The ECCAS delegation that met with CTA was led by Leon Mudubu, head of the Statistics Division within ECCAS, and comprised a team of three experts: Jean-Claude Mbassi, expert in communication and in charge of the Documentation Centre; Nina Sackamenou, in charge of Administrative and Financial Services at FS-CAADP and Oumarou Balarabé, expert in value chains and sustainable agriculture.
CTA, represented by seven staff members and led by Vincent Fautrel, senior programme coordinator and coordinator of CTA’s regional business plan for Central Africa gave the ECCAS team a detailed picture of the Centre’s new strategic orientation with a focus on planned programmes and areas of interest for the region.
Both parties agreed that the main areas of focus of the Central African business plan, intra-regional trade and value chains as well as climate change resilience and mitigation policy and programme, were in line with ECCAS’ five priorities for agriculture.
Indeed while ECCAS has four main departments within its Executive Secretariat, agriculture (managed under the Department for Environmental Affairs [DIPEM]) has identified the following key intervention areas for the region:
- Cross-border trade
- Exchange of agricultural produce
- Governance of agricultural value chains
- Food security and food stock
- Capacity building of agricultural stakeholders
A broad outline for possible collaboration opportunities were also drawn up at the meeting. Areas such as dissemination of information and knowledge as well as more in-depth follow-up through specific knowledge management; projects relating to mainstreaming gender issues in the region’s agricultural policies; and specific mapping activities around ICTs and youth, were tabled as potential domains of collaboration.
Most importantly, the two teams agreed in principle to organise a regional conference on intra-regional trade and value chains, bringing together the main stakeholders of the regions, before ECCAS’s meeting with donors and development partners planned for December 2015. It was agreed that such an event would be both an opportunity to introduce CTA’s renewed commitment to the region and a platform to generate specific project ideas to feed into ECCAS’s meeting in December 2015.
The meeting ended on a high note with the conviction that the partnership would have a strong, positive impact on the stakeholders of the region.