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Sub-Region Seminar On Loan Administration, Others Open

Sep 8, 2009, 7:55 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

Afive-day sub-regional forum on loan administration and financial management is currently underway at the Kairaba Beach Hotel. The forum, which draws participants from Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia, was organised by the West African Rural Foundation (WARF), in collaboration with the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD).

The main objective of the forum is to support IFAD funded projects towards improving capacities in addressing implementation, effectiveness and financial management of the organisation.

The forum curriculum is based on a "blended learning" pedagogy that includes lectures, case studies, role play, small groups exercise, Guest Speakers as well as other "hands on" activities designed to provide participants with practical experience with actual forms, reports and other materials.

Speaking at the opening forum, Kekoi Kuyateh, the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture noted that this achievement have been internationally-acclaimed to have advanced socio-economic development of the poorest in developing countries of IFAD member countries.

According to the Deputy Permanent Secretary, IFAD has financed about eight projects in The Gambia since 1982, investing a total of US$40m. He added that the ninth project, the Livestock and Horticultural Development Project (LHDP) is at an advanced state of preparedness.

He added that all the projects have had an agricultural focus that pursues the overall goal of reducing rural poverty by improving household food security, especially among small farmers and women. He asserted that IFAD projects in The Gambia have become more demand-driven, increasingly developing rural poor people's participation in planning and implementation.

Mr. Kuyateh added that, the IFAD projects in The Gambia are focusing exclusively on the rural areas in The Gambia, where poverty is prevalent.

In conclusion, Mr. Kuyateh on behalf of the government of The Gambia reassured IFAD and other stakeholders of government's readiness to go the extra mile in support of achieving the goal and objectives of the RFP and PIWAMP.

This, he added, will be consisting with IFAD's collective commitment to increasing food security and rural incomes for the social economic well-being of the Gambian people in accordance with the policy objective of The Gambia as incorporated in Vision 2020. 

For her part, the Executive Director of WARF, Ndey Coumba Faal said WARF is an African international institution based in Dakar, which he said, was created in 1993 after 3 years pilot phase, being supported by IDRC and the Ford Foundation (FF).

WARF, she went on, is specialised on participatory methods for development grant management and technical assistance through training and research.

He noted that during these past 3 years, WARF has enjoyed continued IFAD cooperation partnership and support in numerous areas, covering the African sub-Saharan region. "Cooperation with IFAD has given us the opportunity and privilege to increase WARF contribution and knowledge in poverty reduction," she said.

The occasion was chaired by Mr. Alassan Bah, the Project Coordinator of IFAD in The Gambia.