West African NARS Establish a Community of Practice on Communications

  • Communications experts of national agricultural research systems (NARS) of West Africa have established a community of practice (COP);
  • This opens a window of opportunity to learn together in view of further improving the communications of research outcomes and positioning the NARS to its major partners;  
  • Started by communication experts from eight countries, the long-term objective is to expand it to cover the NARS from Central Africa. 

Communication experts from the NARS of West African countries have agreed to establish a community of good practices. This follows a three-day workshop on best practices in communications held in the Senegalese capital Dakar recently. 

This COP will be an informal group bringing together NARS communication experts willing and committed to share knowledge, learn together and focus on helping the NARS better diffuse their research outcomes.

“Communication is important, and I have always believed in its power to bring technologies out of the labs and make them known to end-users. Communication contributes to the adoption of technologies and, indirectly, helps achieve food security and zero hunger,” said Prof Abdulai Jalloh, Director of Research and Innovation at CORAF, during the closing ceremony of the three-day workshop.

What would be the focus of this COP?

While the principle has been agreed upon, the NARS communication specialists decided to work together in fostering the following:

  • Stimulating interaction;
  • Fostering learning;
  • Creating new knowledge and;
  • Identifying and sharing best practices 

A Whatsapp group would be the channel of engagement at the outset under the leadership of the communications experts from Benin and Ghana, representing French and English-speaking constituencies of West Africa. 

The Dakar meeting brought together around twenty participants from Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. 

Based on an action plan agreed upon, another physical meeting would be considered in the future to include communication experts of Central Africa NARS. While CORAF would remotely coordinate the activities of the COP, leadership would rest within the designated leaders from the NARS.