Our host Mary Nandazi, Secretary-General of AFRACA welcomed the participants, or rather she said: "Kiribu sana". Miriam Cherogony, the IFADAfrica coordinator outlined the scope and objectives of the start-up workshop which aims to provide the following to IFAD-fund projects and programmes in Western and Central Africa and Eastern and Southern Africa.
- Support for knowledge harvesting, sharing and communications
- Capacity-building and training
- Support to policy dialogue
Miriam highlighted that the most important output of this workshop is to come up with an action plan and work programme for the network but more importantly to network and interact with the participants. She asked the participants to mingle and interact with colleagues who they do not know. She went to the extent of asking people to move around and sit next to someone who they do not know. Subsequently we asked colleagues to spend 10 minutes to introduce themselves to each other. During these 10 minutes, there was a wonderful buzz in the room.
Afterwards I asked one of the participants to share with the rest of the group what he learnt. Our Nigerian colleague mentioned that not only he had fun but also realized that he had a lot in common with his other colleagues, as everyone in the room is working towards the same overarching goal of eradicating rural poverty. He also said that he was impressed by the many commonalities which undoubtely will make the networking much easier.
Miriam in her brief presentation mentioned that during the next 5 days, participants will be exposed and learn about a number of KM tools, such as World Cafe, chat shows, social reporting, after action review, story telling, capitalization and sistematizacion.