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Participant in the Setting the Scene at the Start of the Workshop
13 July 2013, Nairobi –  Participants from the East and Southern Africa (ESA) region are gathered in Nairobi, Kenya for the ESA Annual Knowledge Management Workshop taking place from 13 – 16 August 2013 hosted by IFADAFRICA. A total of 84 participants, from 40 IFAD-supported projects from a total of 12 countries (Botswana, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia) are attending the meeting. The participants included thematic networks coordinators, project/programme coordinators, M&E officers, KM officers and IFAD Country Office staff from Ethi opia, Rwanda and Uganda.  The main aim of this workshop is to launch the IFADAFRICA Phase II.

Amidst fears that the workshop could have been cancelled as a result of the fire that razed down the arrivals section of Kenya’s main airport, the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, most participants managed to arrive in Nairobi as scheduled except those from Madagascar and a few from Malawi whose flight were cancelled but are expected to arrive on the second day of the workshop.

This annual forum gives participants an opportunity to take stock of their experiences in putting knowledge management and learning (KM&L) into practice, sharing the lessons, impacts and challenges, and looking deeper into institutionalization of KM&L in IFAD country programmes and projects.  Participants will also share on ways of promoting online Communities of Practice (CoPs) as a learning tool.

The opening remarks were provided by Helen Gillman (IFAD HQ) and Harold Liversage (Regional Office, Nairobi) representing the Nadine Gbossa - Director, Kenya Programme and Head of Regional Office in Nairobi. The two IFAD representatives emphasized the importance of KM specifically for IFAD as a learning organization. The two speakers highlighted the importance IFAD places on KM was the rationale for the support of IFADAFRICA Phase II. The projects were encouraged  to use this opportunity to share their KM experiences and through this find ways and means to improve the impact of their programmes through learning from each other.

The participants focused on the milestones and challenges faced in the IFADAFRICA Phase I, which ended in 2012. The project components of the second phase of IFADAFRICA were also analyzed. Some of the key issues that emerged were the need to emphasize not only why KM is important, but also what needs to be done to achieve integration of KM. Participants, the greater percentage of whom were first time attendants, indicated that they would like the workshop to focus on institutionalizing and demystifying KM & L, integrating.