VISIT : REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF GROWAFRICA CONTACTS SONGHAI CENTER

Ibrahim GrowAfricaWhile in Benin in the framework of the launching of the inclusive platform of actors in the pineapple industry in Cotonou, Ibrahim Gourouza-Magagi, regional director of GrowAfrica program, a NEPAD program, in charge of attracting private investment for the development of Agriculture in Africa – paid a visit to Songhai Center. The purpose of his visit on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, was mainly to contact the Center's authorities for future collaborations.

The inclusive platform of actors in the pineapple industry in Benin brings together all stakeholders - including Songhai Center - involved in the process of production, processing, distribution, research, financial services and bankers. It was therefore appropriate that, as part of the launching of activities of this platform, GrowAfrica's West Africa and Central Africa Region Director goes beyond the "room presentations" to get first hand experience of the reality on the field.

Thus in Songhai, although he did not have the opportunity to visit vast fields of pineapple, Ibrahim Gourouza-Magagi was however impressed by the quality of the work that is done in the Center and also by its biodiversity. He would have liked the Center to be much more widely known on a continental scale, for its development model that deserves, according to him, to be duplicated everywhere in Africa.

Finally, the exchanges with the Deputy Director of Songhaï Center, Wilnès Tilus, focused much more on the possibilities of working closely with the NGO for real agricultural development in Africa. Ibrahim Gourouza-Magagi promised to come back for a deeper working session with Songhai authorities, since this first visit is for him, a meeting to make contact.

GrowAfrica program was launched in 2011 by NEPAD, the African Union and the World Economic Forum; it intends to help countries involved to fully unlock their agricultural potential. More than half of the investment commitments made under this initiative come from African companies.

VISIT: AFD'S NEW DIRECTOR DISCOVERS SONGHAÏ CENTER

cAdrian Haye, newly appointed head of the French Development Agency in Benin, set out to establish contact with the institutions with which the agency is collaborating. It is in this context that he visited Songhai Center, Ouando in Porto-Novo on Friday 22 September.

He was welcomed by Father Nzamujo with whom he exchanged a lot before the visit of the Center. This visit helped the new director to see firsthand the activities carried out in the Center. Adrien Haye did not fail to exclaim his amazement at the many discoveries he made during the visit. He was very interested in the integrated system, the fish farm complex, the plastic recycling, the foundry ... in short, the dynamism of the Center.

Songhaï is in partnership with the AFD on several projects, including Songhai Leadership Academy, a project for the training of a critical mass of human resources, equipped with moral, technical and organizational skills to face the challenge of development in Africa.

Discover here some pictures of the visit…https://youtu.be/PboC7YmjIW4

PARTNERSHIP: SONGHAÏ MODEL SOON REPLICATED IN GABON

To reduce by half its food imports estimated in 2015, according to the country's customs services at nearly 364 billion CFA, the government of Gabon is calling on Songhai Center. A Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation has just been signed between the two parties, with a view to strengthening the capacities of the agri-preneurs, setting up a NGO Songhaï Gabon and establishing a Framework of bilateral cooperation.

The signing of this document took place on July 1st, as part of the "Meeting on the revitalization of agriculture for food sovereignty in Gabon", to which Fr Godfrey Nzamujo, Director of Songhai Center was invited. Specifically, Songhaï will make available its expertise for, among other things, the development and development of human resources capacities in agro-ecology and in agricultural entrepreneurship for the youths, the promotion of an integrated agro-ecological system, taking into account the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors and based on sustainable development, and the establishment of an Association for Research and Development around crops such as cassava, sweet potato, peanut and soybean, vegetable crops, medicinal plants such as moringa, animal and fish production.

This partnership agreement signed between Yves Fernand Manfoumbi, Gabonese Minister of Agriculture, and Godfrey Nzamujo, Founder of Songhaï Center, is in fact part of the implementation of the program GRAINE being Agricultural Achievements and Initiatives by Committed Citizens of Gabon, a program included in the economic recovery plan of the country, to develop the agricultural sector. Its objective is to ensure Gabon's food self-sufficiency by 2020 and increase the contribution of agriculture in the country from 5% to 20% of the GDP.

RESTITUTION WORKSHOP IN SONGHAI: WABEF EXPLAINS RESULTS OF RESEARCH ON METHANISATION IN WEST AFRICA

What are the solutions or possibilities available today to transform into energy and fertilizers, organic waste from cities and rural areas in West Africa? The question was at the heart of a workshop on the report of the research carried out on this subject within the framework of the Western Africa Bio-wastes For Energy and Fertilizer WABEF project. The meeting was held at Songhaï Center in Porto-Novo, from 16 to 18 July 2017. It was attended by several development actors, civil society, experts and other officials from institutions involved in the field and part of the project.

Initiated in 2014, WABEF project has set itself the main objective of identifying and listing all possible techniques for the mechanization of organic residues, in order to make them available to politicians, experts, institutions or project managers in West Africa. The results of this research were presented, discussed and amended during the "WABEF Regional School" which took place from 16 to 18 July at Songhai Center and which brought together Experts and technicians from Senegal, Benin, Mali and Cape Verde. Some organizations such as the Dutch Development Organization (SNV), the National Agency for Rural Development Support (ANADER) , And the Benin Ministry of Energy, were also invited to this "WABEF Regional School" in order to absorb the results and to be able to disseminate them. According to Jean-Michel Médoc, Project Coordinator and researcher at the Center for International Cooperation and Research (CIRAD), the results from WABEF will be widely disseminated and will in fact constitute "tools to help make an informed choice of options and for a viable business plan ".

In this dynamic, Songhai Center in Benin, like the Association for Aid and Rural Development (AEDR) - TeriyaBugu in Mali, is positioning itself as a demonstration site for the establishment of a biogas and fertilizers production unit from the mechanization of organic waste. The Center produces 5% of its monthly consumption of electricity and can reduce up to 50% and 25% the expenses related to the consumption of firewood, respectively at the trainees’ canteen and at the Bar-restaurant through the production of biogas.

VISIT: THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF UNESCO MADE AMBASSADOR OF SONGHAÏ CENTER

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He will now speak of Songhai with great pride in all the instances where he finds himself; Ydo Yao, the regional director of UNESCO for eight (8) African countries including Benin, is the new ambassador for Songhai Center after a visit to the Center in Porto Novo on Saturday, 17th June 2017.

The regional director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, who came as a simple visitor who had heard all the good things about Songhai, took upon himself the mission to talk about Songhai Center around him and "encourage more people to visit the Center to touch the reality and realize that development is possible in Africa through agriculture". In this sense, everyone has a role to play, according to Ydo Yao. Authorities, policy-makers and other African leaders should be mobilized to assist young people who are "seriously anxious" to develop the agricultural sector to come to Songhai and get inspired by its development model and also see to what extent, this can be replicated in the sub-region. For if there is one thing that the UNESCO representative is more convinced of after his visit to Songhai, it is that Agriculture remains "the primary sector that provides employment in Africa and which can help solve the unemployment problem on the continent if wise investments are made in it ". In so doing, it will be possible to cope with the challenges of climate change by promoting green jobs.

At the end of a tour led by Fr Godfrey Nzamujo, director of Songhai, the regional director of UNESCO said he was "amazed" by the quality of work that is done at Songhai and also the leadership of Fr Nzamujo, for everyone to always remain productive and aware of his role for the development of the continent.

Contact Us

CENTRE SONGHAI REGIONAL
Route de Ouando
Porto-Novo (République du Bénin)
01 BP 597 Porto-Novo
Tél : +229 20 24 60 92 / 62 52 92 80
Fax : +229 20 24 72 50

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