The Sixth South-South Cooperation Workshop - Closing Ceremony
The curtains came down on the Sixth South-South Cooperation Workshop in Maputo Mozambique on 8 August 2014.
In his closing remarks on behalf of IFAD, Mr Cheik Sourang - Strategy and Knowledge Management in IFAD, recognised the presence of his IFAD colleagues: Sun Yinhong - China, Robson Mutandi - Ethiopia, Haingo Rakotondratsima - Madagascar, and Ahmed Subahi - Sudan. He hoped the workshop was a worthwhile experience for all the participants. He mentioned that triangular south-south cooperation involves the government, private sector, and producers in a public private producer partnership which IFAD is championing. He mentioned that the SSC intervention for IFAD is being championed at three levels: (i) at country level, SSC is being linked to the country level engagement and knowledge management; (ii) at corporate level, IFAD is exploring opportunities and additional funding instruments such as trust funds for the south-south agenda to complement the grants and loans programmes; and (iii) at the global level, IFAD has facilitated policy discussion on the scaling up agenda to meet the MDGs, etc. He thanked Mozambique and China for sharing experiences. He indicated that the best of SSC is yet to come. He mentioned that IFAD will undertake a survey to get feedback from participants on ways to improve the SSC.
In his closing remarks, Mr Antonio Limbāo - Vice Minister of Agriculture, Mozambique on behalf of Minister of Planning and development, expressed his appreciation by saying, “as we come to the end of the sixth SSC workshop, it was a pleasure to host you in Mozambique to discuss the SSC experience together”. He believed that the SSC in agricultural development and especially in the rice technology transfer in Mozambique is contributing to poverty reduction and increase of revenue to the farmers. The workshop was an opportunity to share experiences on other Chinese interventions in other African countries and the linkage with IFAD. In Mozambique the SSC initiatives is linked to the government strategies especially in rural development and poverty reduction. The technological transfer can be of value to African countries to address the challenges facing the small holder farmers. On behalf of the government of Mozambique and Gaza province that facilitated this international workshop he wished the participants safe travel to their respective countries.
In his closing remarks, Mr Zhang Zhengwei - Representative of China in IFAD Executive Board thanked the co-host Mozambique, IFAD and China Poverty Reduction Centre for organizing this important workshop. He indicated that China will always support SSC. He mentioned that China started SSC though bilateral channels but is now exploring multilateral channels through agencies like IFAD. He agreed with the need to address country’s real demand and therefore ownership is an important ingredient in the success of the SSC. China will continue to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the SSC. The idea by IFAD to hold the 6th workshop in Africa was a big step for China, but there is still room for further innovation, for example, combine enterprise promotion and agricultural development. He mentioned that the workshop approach of thematic discussions and field visits was a good approach and will continue to be used. China is willing to share its own experience but as a new developed country it shares similar challenges as developing countries. Therefore there is room to learn from each other. He indicated that IFAD’s uniqueness can play a profound role in promoting SSC. He wished the participants safe return to their countries and declared the Sixth South-South Cooperation workshop officially closed.
Feedback from Participants
- Participants were impressed with the rice technology transfer programme as demand driven given the shortfall of the domestic supply of rice. The Chinese in the SSC tried to solve it by aligning it to Mozambique existing agricultural policy programme
- The rice technologies transfer focuses on food security and inclusiveness in that it involves the young agroprenuers extension workers, and private sector partners
- The importance of the multiservice extension centre in training and learning as well as technology demonstration
- Participants appreciated the SSC practical learning approach rather than theoretical approaches and felt it should be replicated in Africa for the benefit of farmers
- One striking problem rural-urban migration where the young are leaving the old in the rural area to do agriculture. China addressed these issues through policies
- Participants highlighted the need to introduce knowledge management into the SSC to enable the documentation and a repository of the knowledge generated which is important for skills transfer for the benefit of the scientist and farmers
- There is need for a cultural centre to address the cross cultural issues and language barriers for the smooth transfer of the technologies.