On December 10, 2020, the Feed the Future Developing Local Extension Capacity (DLEC), the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS), and the West and Central Africa Network of Agricultural and Rural Advisory Services (RESCAR-AOC) organized a webinar on enhancing professionalization and partnerships in agricultural extension in West and Central Africa. This webinar, attended by 60 people, served two purposes: (1) to share findings and recommendations from a recently completed DLEC report on strengthening professionalization and partnerships in Guinea; and (2) to introduce the concept of a country forum to stakeholders in Guinea and the region. The webinar recording is available here.
Dr. Amadou Ndiaye, from RESCAR-AOC, provided opening remarks highlighting the importance of partnership and professionalization of agricultural extension. Dr. Kristin Davis, DLEC Co-Director, presented on pluralistic extension systems and lessons from DLEC’s work. Next, Dr. Patrice Djamen, DLEC consultant, and Mr. Laye Sacko from the Guinean National Agency for Rural Promotion and Agricultural Advisory Services (ANPROCA), presented the findings and recommendations of the report, Strengthening Partnerships and Professionalization in Agricultural Extension in Guinea, which is available in English and French. Key recommendations include:
After that, Mr. Max Olupot, partnership specialist for AFAAS, and Dr. Samson Eshetu, institutional capacity specialist for AFAAS, provided an overview of AFAAS, explained the role of a country forum vis-à-vis the regional and global forums for agricultural extension and how these work together, and described success factors for a country forum. A country forum is an inclusive platform or community of practice for different actors to coordinate, exchange information and knowledge and identify service delivery opportunities. It is also used to advocate for better investment in EAS and to develop relationships between national stakeholders and other continental and international initiatives.
Next, the moderator, Mr. Andri Rasoanindrainy led a moderated Q&A to explore the issues raised during the presentation in more depth. Dr. Aly Conde, Director General of ANPROCA, provided closing remarks summarizing key learnings from the webinar.
DLEC is setting the foundation of a national EAS country forum in Guinea, including hosting learning events such as this webinar, continue socializing the country forum concept to relevant stakeholders in Guinea, and holding participatory discussions on the mandate of the forum, its structure, and how to make it inclusive and sustainable. DLEC will work with RESCAR-AOC to continue supporting this nascent country forum. We hope that this work has lasting influence in Guinea’s agricultural extension ecosystem and ultimately helps farmers receive pluralistic, timely, and robust agricultural extension services.
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