CORAF Sixth General Assembly Reaffirms Framework for DMP Action in West/Central Africa
Uniting the agricultural research capacities of the West/Central Africa (WCA) region and with its partners is CORAF/WECARD's main mission (Conference of Agricultural Research Leaders in West and Central Africa/West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development). The DMP participated in CORAF/WECARD's Sixth General Assembly during 18-21 May 2005 in Dakar, Senegal, represented by Dr. Saidou Koala, DMP Global Coordinator and Dr Ramadjita Tabo, DMP Regional Coordinator for WCA.
The Assembly was still in grief over the recent untimely death of its President, Dr Sie Koffi of Cote d' Ivoire. While mourning his loss, the Assembly performed its duty of selecting a new President, Dr Awuso Benoit from Ghana [Photo: Dr. Benoit at left; CORAF/WECARD Executive Secretary Paco Sereme at right].
Links to Africa-wide initiatives
The Assembly confirmed CORAF/WECARD's responsibility as the main facilitator for the implementation of Africa-wide programs in WCA such as NEPAD's CAADP and FARA's Sub-Saharan Africa Challenge Program. The DMP is involved in both initiatives.
The Assembly laid the groundwork for CORAF/WECARD's continued development, adopting a revised constitution, rules and regulations. It also adopted a new biotechnology and biosafety program strategy (download). This program strategy will be tabled at the Ministerial Meeting on Biotechnology in Bamako, Mali during June 24-25. To implement this new program, CORAF/WECARD has developed a biotechnology and biosafety proposal of more than US$ 24 million over five years.
The Assembly also formed a Committee on Science and Technology (CST) and nominated of most of its 12 members. They will oversee CORAF/WECARD technical issues, review its competitive funding mechanism and advise its Executive Secretary.
CGIAR Centers link to CORAF/WECARD plans
The CGIAR Centers (one of which, ICRISAT, convenes the DMP) and advanced research institutions made a declaration in plenary updating the Assembly on the CGIAR's restructuring in Africa, its commitment to strengthen ties with CORAF/WECARD, and the current development of a regional Medium Term Plan based on priorities set by CORAF/WECARD.
The meeting also organized an informative visit to CERAAS (Centre d’Etude Régional pour l’Amélioration de l’Adaptation ŕ la Sécheresse/Regional Center for Studies on the Improvement of Plant Adaptation to Drought), a CORAF/WECARD research institution, in Thies, Senegal on 20 May 2005. Read a summary of DMP impressions of that visit.
Next CORAF meeting venue
The meeting concluded by selecting Nigeria or The Gambia as the venue for the CORAF Annual General Meeting next year.