MALI : Setting the scene for good programme implementation

PAPAM – Information and introduction to IFAD procedures Workshop

On 25 September 2012, the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Mali, Dr Yaranga Coulibaly, opened the IFAD information and learning workshop on IFAD procedures for Agricultural Productivity Programme in Mali (PAPAM), one of the largest programmes in Mali IFAD has co- financed with the World Bank, for a total of 160 million dollars.

During his opening statement, His Excellency the Minister of Agriculture evoked the importance of PAPAM which is a demand based integrated development programme. The programme, has had a difficult start up due to the complexity of the institutional setup and the numerous financiers which will be servicing Mali during its most severe crisis. He has asked all of the partners of the programme to take advantage of the start-up difficulties of this programme to question not only the setup but our own capacities and take the necessary steps to ensure that this programme is launched quickly.

Mr N. Ehoue, WB - Mr P. Remy, IFAD - Hon Dr Yaranga Coulibaly, Minister of Agriculture - Mr A. Toure, PAPAM

At the opening were also present the World Bank representative Mr Nicaise Ehoue, Mr Aboulaye Touré, PAPAM Coordinator as well as Mr Philippe Remy, CPM at IFAD.

After the opening statements, the IFAD and WARF (West Africa Rural Foundation – who helped facilitate the workshop) teams proceeded to introduce the workshop objectives and learning sessions.

Several presentations were made to introduce IFAD and its procedures. A special session was dedicated to the difficulties in the institutional setup of the programme and the necessity to address how to favour synergies between all of the actors.

This synergy will be important throughout the entire programme life, but crucial as the programme is starting up. Good communication and cooperation between the programme actors will allow to prepare a proper annual work plan and budget, which is the basis of the planning for the activities for the year to come, not to mention a condition for the first programme funds to be disbursed.

Other crosscutting themes such as targeting , gender inclusion and knowledge management were addressed. Importance was given to addressing these activities at project start up in order to make sure that the activities are integrated into normal project life and are not seen as additional. Gender was elaborated as a participative exercise assuring all levels of community and helping to avoid elite capture in IFAD financed projects. Good targeting at the beginning of a programme assures better results as well as sustainability of activities after the programme.

The importance of teamwork and good communication between all actors, was stressed.

The workshop from 25 to 27 September has been organised by IFAD, WARF and PAPAM with the assistance of the Ministry of Agriculture. The meetings are taking place at the Laïco Hotel El Farouk in Bamako.