From 13 to 14 December 2013, a consortium meeting was organized over a two-day period and chaired in turns by the Acting Director of Agriculture at the ECOWAS Commission and the Executive Director of the Hub Rural. The objective of the meeting was to improve the implementation of planned activities under WASP.
The opening ceremony was marked by addresses by Hub Rural, UEMOA, USAIDCORAF/WECARD, CILSS and ECOWAS. The WASP Team took turn to present the 2013 achievements under the following themes: Institutional Support and Management; Alliance for Seed Industry for West Africa (ASIWAS); Seed Policy and Regulations, including COASem; Breeder Seeds Production; Seed Agric-Business; Monitoring and Evaluation and Budgeting and Finance. For each of these themes, presentations were made on expected results against actual achievements, other key achievements, success stories, key challenges, lessons learnt in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 and conclusion. Discussions that followed gave the team the opportunity to clarify the results and the achievements, as well other issues on the implementation, which helped deepen their understanding of the program.
The Consortium meeting was highly participated the Regional Economic Communities (ECOWAS Commission and UEMOA), Inter-Governmental Body (CILSS), financial partner (USAID), CGIARs, the Africa Seed Trade Association (AFSTA), Sub-Regional Initiatives (Hub Rural, WAAPP Burkina and AGRA) and INERA. The high participation of the Consortium members, helped sensitize members of their responsibilities, which facilitated the improvement in their commitment to the vision of WASP
The meeting provided a good platform for effective discussion among the Consortium members in a participatory and congenial manner. This provided important elements for the improvement of project implementation, including the FY 2014 workplan, the establishment of the ASIWA and the WASC/COASem. Discussion on the purpose and mandate of the Consortium were also clarified to the understanding of all members. It was strongly pointed out that an effective establishment of ASIWA, WASC/COASem and Agri-Business environment is necessary for sustainability of the WASP.
The two-day Consortium meeting for the CORAF/WECARD Seed Program was adjudged very successful by members. The meeting indeed, provided a very useful platform to share FY 2013 project results, shape the FY 2014 workplan and to generate constructive ideas for the establishment of ASIWA and the WASC/COASem. The enthusiasm and commitment expressed by members provide strong indications for strong collaboration to implement the seed program in ensuring the achievement of program objective, that is expansion of seed supply and use from 12.5% to 25% within the next four years.