The chairpersons of steering committees of national programs of the West African Agricultural Productivity Project (WAAPP) were on visit to Songhai Centre in Porto Novo on 30th May 2015. Nearly 13 African countries were represented by the delegation led by Janvier Capo-Chichi, Program Coordinator –Agricultural Diversification Support Framework (Pro-CAD).

Pro-CAD is a project which aims first and foremost at coordinating the interventions financed by the World Bank in the agricultural sector. It includes two projects: WAAPP and PADA (Agricultural Diversification Support Project). Ahead the regular meeting of the Regional Steering Committee held in Cotonou on June 1st, 2015, the Chairpersons of the national project steering committees chose to visit Songhai Centre in Porto-Novo to see what is being done. According to Pro-CAD Coordinator, it is a tradition for the Chairpersons to find out the good practices in the country hosting meetings of this magnitude. In Benin, Songhai Centre was therefore identified by the coordination of Pro-CAD as the best organization in agriculture. “We felt, knowing what Songhai is and all that Songhai can offer, that it was one of the best ideas that we might have to bring them here,” said Janvier Capo-Chichi. Moreover, since “WAAPP aims at identifying and disseminating new technologies for different crops”, this is an opportunity for the Chairpersons of the national steering committees to learn and discover the activities carried out in the center. Minayaha Siaka Coulibaly, principal private secretary of the Minister of Agriculture of Côte d’Ivoire and Chairman of WAAPP National Steering Committee in his country, was amazed during the tour led by Fr Nzamujo. “I am impressed and at the same time amazed and proud of Africa which should find its salvation through this integrated system,” he says. The principal private secretary also expresses regrets that it took WAAPP mission in Benin for him to discover Songhai, whereas the center has existed for thirty years. Therefore, he decided to conduct promotional activities for the center. For Minayaha Siaka Coulibaly, Songhai development model must be distributed throughout the sub-region, because in fact, true development, according to him, is the one that goes South-South.


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