SFOAP Main Phase Start-up workshop

The Steering Committee and start-up workshop of the main phase of the SFOAP was held from 12 to 15 March 2013 in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). It was well attended by more than 30 participants, bringing together all stakeholders, including the Presidents and technical staff of RFOs, representatives from SFOAP backdonors (EC, AFD, SDC, IFAD) and other partners (e.g. Global Forum For Agricultural Research – GFAR – and the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development – WECARD).

Following the opening ceremony the President of the PAFO delivered a presentation providing an overview of the programme, its objectives, approaches and modalities of implementation.

RFOs further presented their final regional programmes of work (2013-2017), particularly focusing on key activities and approaches for the 2013 regional annual work plans and budgets.

Concerning components 1 and 2 (Institutional strengthening and Policy engagement respectively) RFOs will implement different activities as established in consultation with their national members and according to different priorities identified in each region.

As far as the new component 3 (Provision of economic services) is concerned, RFOs will undertake in 2013 preliminary and preparatory activities to set up the implementation and coordination framework for the component (e.g. undertake regional inception meetings, national stakeholders workshops, identification of team of experts or set up of technical units for the management of the component, identification of value chains to be supported under the component etc.).

The approach of the Component is different depending on the region (more strategic approach with strategic priorities in specific commodities and countries in the case of EAFF and SACAU; more competitive approach with proposals arising from local FOs in the case of PROPAC and ROPPA).

In North Africa, implementation arrangements follow a dual approach. Complementary to and in cooperation with the direct institutional support provided to UMAGRI, Fert – an agri-agency member of AgriCord – will develop and pilots test tools for FOs to provide tailored services to poorer members, principally geared towards inclusion in value chains. In 2013 UMAGRI will undertake a process of consultation to broadening its membership while Fert will focus on the identification of the number and type of FOs that will benefit from the programme through their intervention. Notwithstanding the different approaches the component 3 is built around key common principles including: (i) the idea of supporting a limited number of key cases at the level of local/intermediate FOs with good potential for replication and scaling up; (ii) the application of the principle of subsidiarity in terms of responsibilities in the implementation of activities at all levels; (iii) the use of knowledge management as a key tool to complement activities implemented under the component to take stock of the results achieved and create the premises for their replication for a number of FOs not supported by the programme. 

The SFOAP main phase was successfully launched and followed by reach discussion among Steering Committee members and observers.

One day training and discussion on financial management and fiduciary aspects was further organized and facilitated by IFAD with the support from a financial consultant. Templates and procedures for financial management (modalities and conditions for disbursements, financial reporting and planning, withdrawal applications, audit and procurement etc.) were explained, clarified, discussed and agreed. 

Also, specific session on SFOAP calendar, annual supervision missions, annual reporting and planning and monitoring and evaluation were facilitated by IFAD and independent consultants hired by IFAD. 

A half day visit was organized to the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU), one of EAFF national members in Ethiopia.

Workshop sessions featured interesting and relevant presentations, lively discussions and active group work. The workshop discussions provided guidance on requirements for programme implementation and financial management, and agreement on actions needed and related timetable.

Please download the full report from the event below. 



from 12/03/2013 to 15/03/2013
Thematic Areas: Capacity Building, Gender, Knowledge Management, Markets and Value chains, Monitoring and Evaluation, Policy Dialogue, Strategic planning / Communication
Region: PAN Africa
Countries: Ethiopia