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Botswana FANRPAN Node Launched
Maharaja Conference Centre, Gaborone
17 March 2008


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On 17 March 2008, stakeholders from the food, agriculture and natural resources (FANR) sector convened at Maharaja Conference Centre, Gaborone, to launch the Botswana FANRPAN node. This was a follow up meeting to a workshop that was held in August 2007, where stakeholders from Botswana and Dr Lindiwe Sibanda, the CEO of FANRPAN, discussed issues related to the establishment of a database of stakeholders in the FANR sector, and made recommendations on the node hosting institution for the FANRPAN node in Botswana. The delegates at the August 2007 workshop endorsed the Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA) as the node hosting institution, thus paving the way for conducting a viability analysis of the institution. That workshop also agreed on the institutions that were to be represented by members serving in the FANRPAN Botswana Node steering committee, and nominations were made.

Dr. M. Chimbombi, the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture was the guest of honour. In his keynote address, he stated that FANRPAN was a regional network which plays an important role in FANR policy formulation, highlighting that the network was vital in bringing together all the stakeholders involved in FANR policy formulation including farmers.

Dr. Chimbombi delivers his keynote address

"Some organizations come up with policies which are meant for the farmers and yet the farmers are not included in the dialogue right from the initial stage", he indicated. Giving a brief history, Dr Chimbombi stated that FANRPAN has been in existence for sometime now in Botswana and that, prior to the selection of BIDPA as the new node hosting institution, FANRPAN operations were coordinated by the Office of Research and Development (ORD) at the University of Botswana (UB). Furthermore, he outlined some of the activities that were done during the ORD's tenure as the Secretariat of Botswana Node, to include studies on HIV and AIDS within the agricultural sector, the Biotechnology situation in Botswana and Agricultural trade within SADC.

The Deputy Permanent Secretary also informed the participants of the workshop that FANRPAN had run a series of training courses on issues such as strategic planning and research methodology and confirmed that these had a positive impact on the country's agricultural sector.

Dr. Chimbombi informed the workshop participants of the main outcomes from the FANRPAN Regional Stakeholders Policy Dialogue and Annual General Meeting held in Lusaka, Zambia in September 2007. His opinion was that the research programmes that were proposed in Zambia, including trade liberalization and economic integration initiatives within the SADC region, would help in addressing problems facing the region's agricultural sector, however, on condition that the country nodes participated in these programmes. The Deputy Permanent Secretary concluded by promising his Ministry's commitment to working closely with the Node in ensuring that the FANRPAN research programmes addressed issues of concern to stakeholders and the agricultural sector in general.

Speaking on behalf of Dr Lindiwe Sibanda, the CEO of FANRPAN, Mr. Francis Hale made presentations covering an overview of FANRPAN, the new 8 year strategic plan, 5 year business plan, and ongoing and proposed research projects. He also highlighted the efforts at regional level to secure core funding for the business plan, and the need for nodes to be actively involved to ensure the network was grant worthy. Mr. Hale outlined the implementation and coordination mechanisms to make the strategy implementation a success, and concluded by sharing a provisional budget for the regional office and nodes. He emphasized the need for the nodes to be able to raise additional funding.

Apart from two representatives from the FANRPAN Regional Office, 33 members attended, and these were distributed as follows; 11 from government, 5 from farmer organisations, 13 from policy research institutions and universities, 2 from private sector, and 1 from the media fraternity. These stakeholders unanimously endorsed BIDPA as the node hosting institution, and an official announcement was also made that Dr. Tebogo Seleka had been appointed by BIDPA as the FANRPAN Node Coordinator, and that Ms. P. Kebakile would attend to issues in his absence. The stakeholders also endorsed the nominated members for the National Steering Committee, with Ms. K. Laletsang of the Ministry of Agriculture as the inaugural Chairperson.


Download file FANRPAN Botswana node: Members of the Steering Committee (30Kb < 1min)

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