The third Africa RISING review and planning workshop took place 23-25 October in Tamale, Ghana. The review of that first year helped develop an agenda for subsequent years.
For this meeting, 60 participants gathered at the Modern City Hotel to hear progress about activities in year one and to develop integrated research plans on sustainable intensification for the four different zones in which the project is taking place in the Guinea Savannah.
What is interesting about this region is that contrary to East and Southern Africa and the Ethiopian Highlands, the teams developed action programs related to outputs and outcomes, not quick win projects on specific short-term activities. As stressed by both Asamoah Larbi and Eva Weltzien in recent interviews, the region has developed a lot of activities that relate to the building blocks of an integrated research program: seed management, nutrition, access to markets, multiple partnerships (within and outside the CGIAR system).
As in the other regions, developing strong team dynamics is important and the review and planning workshop took useful steps in this direction:
- Leading up to this workshop, participants teamed up to share presentations about the main activities carried out in year one, collating inputs from various centers and organizations gathered under a broader banner: maize-based systems, sorghum-based systems, rice-based systems and vegetable-based systems.
- In the workshop, the participants reshaped these groups and had three iterations of planning and presenting around the four implementation zones: Sissako district in Mali; Upper-East, Upper West and Northern regions in Ghana. An additional group worked on research output one to introduce ways forward for the situation analysis and system-wide synthesis.
Despite the complexity of the program and the over-confident expectation of achieving crisp action plans by the end of the workshop, the teams managed to produce (arguably) more integrated plans than in the other two regions. They also achieved a good understanding of what it means to work on integrated research about sustainable intensification.
With the relative luxury of having a few months before the planting season starts next year, proponents of Africa RISING in Guinea Savannah are off to a promising real and official start of the wider project.
See some of the presentations that were shared during the workshop.
Discover some pictures from the workshop.