Regional workshop in Kigali, Rwanda 17 March 2011

The Kagera TAMP regional workshop was held on the 17th of March, 2011 at the Hotel de Milles Collines in Kigali, Rwanda. The workshop was attended by 29 participants from four regional countries including Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania all sharing the Kagera river basin. A few other invited collaborators from the region also participated. The regional workshop being the first of its kind since project inception was organised by Rwanda FAO representation supported by FAO headquarters (NRLD-LTU) with purpose to allow consultation of various stakeholders from the region and obtain their inputs on project work planning and also as a means to seek ways of collaboration. Besides, the workshop was indeed an opportunity for the Regional Project Steering Committee (RPSC) members and other high level project stakeholders from the region and target districts to endorse the project strategy, technical focus and approaches for sustainable land management. During the one day event, the RPSC members interacted with the project management team and through formal and informal discussions guidance was provided on project management particularly the opportunity windows for co-funding from government and other partner institutions for ultimate attainment of the project goal and objectives.

The specific issues on the workshop agenda included:

  • Welcoming note by the guest of honour (Permanent Secretary of the Rwanda Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources-MINAGRI)
  • Introduction to Kagera TAMP objectives, expected outcomes and SLM strategy
  • Presentation of Project Implementation status and project baseline in the 4 countries sharing the Kagera River Basin
  • Presentation by stakeholders on partnership with Kagera TAMP
  • Discussions and recommendations

Welcoming note by the guest of honor (Mr Ernest Ruzindaza)

The workshop was officially opened by Mr. Ernest Ruzindaza, the Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Rwanda Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources. The PS generally expressed appreciation and importance of Kagera TAMP, the project that addresses land degradation in the Kagera basin and shared by four countries including Rwanda. Referring to Rwanda situation, the PS disclosed that land degradation in Rwanda is a serious issue characterised by soil erosion, decline in soil fertility resulted by unsustainable land use practices including deforestation, over cultivation especially on steep slopes without appropriate soil conservation measures. Given the fragility of the natural resource base, it is essential to realise that the sustained agricultural activities will require sustainable management of land and water. The PS mentioned that Kagera TAMP has been conceptualised and formulated in an endeavour to address all those negative environmental and agricultural production practices. Finally he emphasized that for successful implementation of this project it would be necessary to put in practice holistic application of sustainable land management practices geared towards restoration of degraded lands and improved agricultural productivity among other tangible results.