The African Union Semi-Arid Food Grains Research and Development (AU-SAFGRAD), organized an 11-day intensive training for early career irrigation Engineers and agwater management professionals.
The training was held in Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt from 11-21 June 2023. It was organized as part of AU-SAFGRAD’s capacity building support program to Member States (MS) in mitigating challenges of agricultural development, aimed to bridge the capacity gap in the design, operation and maintenance of cost and water efficient modern irrigation schemes and projects. It builds on the CAADP/Malabo agenda of increasing productivity and intensification of African agriculture to achieve agricultural transformation and sustainable food systems in the Continent.
The theme of the 2023 training was “Managing irrigation schemes and adaptation to water scarcity in African agriculture”. A total of 15 young irrigation professionals nominated by the relevant Ministries of Water/Irrigation and Agriculture of 14 MS (Anglophone) were the beneficiaries of the training. The training is the product of the collaboration with the League of Arab States’ fund for technical assistance to African countries (AFTAAC) and the regional center for training in water studies (RCTWS)- now a pan African center for water and climate change adaptation.
The 11-day intensive training was fully residential and it combined mixed modes of classroom lectures and visits to projects and farm sites. The closing ceremony was hosted by the honorable Minister of Water Resources in Egypt, Prof Hani Sewilam and attended by Ambassador of Arab League (AFTAAC) and African Ambassadors in Egypt.
At the closing ceremony, Dr Ahmed Elmekass, Coordinator of AU-SAFGRAD, reiterated the commitment of the Commission through AU-SAFGRAD to support MS in developing local capacities through targeted trainings on niche areas such as sustainable agricultural water management solutions to achieve the goal of Agenda 2063.
Amb Mohand Salah Ladjouzi, Assistant Secretary General of the league of Arab States and Director General of AFTAAC, emphasized the importance of developing local capacity and chronicled how the Fund has responded through its technical assistance to African countries.
In his speech, the Hon Minister of Water Resources, Prof Hani Sewilam, who is also the President of African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), said that Africa is blessed with sufficient water resources and, that, efficient management is needed to take advantage of this resource to build water adaptation to climate change for food systems transformation and overall economic development of the continent.