It is widely accepted as fact that in order to achieve the goals set forth in the African Union’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), citizen participation is essential. The same is true for the development and implementation of each country’s National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP) and National Food Security and Nutrition Plans (PNIASAN). The overall goals of these key policy frameworks are poverty reduction, increased food security, and economic growth through transformation of the agriculture sector.
A recent “Champions for Change (C4C) Leadership Training” workshop that occurred in Tambacounda, Senegal demonstrated how a greater sense of ownership and understanding emanates from providing an opportunity for learning and discussion in local languages.
Through the Feed the Future Senegal Program for Increased Agricultural Investment Africa Lead is providing support to the Movement for Development in Senegal (MSD), in French “le Mouvement Sénégalais pour le Développement,” for the organization of a series of four C4C workshops for its members. MSD is one of the Senegal’s largest farmer organization platforms. Its membership of around 315,000, spread across the country, is active in all sectors of agriculture.
The objective of the C4C workshop series was to strengthen the leadership capacities of the MSD governing board and in so doing help to foster a behavior change that will allow the leadership to better serve its membership. The workshop theme was “Leadership, Management, and Managing Change.”
The training sessions addressed transformational leadership; national, pan-African, and international food security policies; developing capacities for project management; strategic planning; and how to assess the capacity- building and service needs of its members. A major outcome of this program was that it provided the MSD board the opportunity to draft its first-ever strategic plan which will be shared with its members for review and discussion before a final version is adopted.
The C4C training sessions are being conducted in national languages, mainly Wolof and Pulaar. The Tambacounda workshop, the second of three workshops held so far, stands out for its linguistic variety. It was held from 11-15 May 2018. It brought together MSD members from the Southern and Southeastern regions of the country (Tambacounda, Kedougou, Kolda, Sedhiou and Ziguinchor).
At the close of the program, participants were enthusiastic in their appreciation. “This workshop really provided an opportunity for us to share experiences with MSD members living in the different regions of the country,” said one.
In his closing remarks, Serigne Moustapha Sylla, MSD President, thanked the workshop facilitator CheikhTouba Ndiaye and Africa Lead. “The Tamba workshop presents the great originality of bringing together several ethnic groups from the southern regions of the country,” he said.
To date, 112 MSD members, 40 of whom were women, have benefitted from this C4C training series. The third workshop, held in June in Saint Louis, had 42 participants who came from the country’s northern region. Africa Lead is continuing to support this MSD activity. The fourth and final MSD C4C workshop will take place from 10-14 July 2018 in Kaolack and it will be for women only.