MRU in collaboration with USAID through WABICC Program organized an inception workshop to review the MRU Strategic Plan 2010-2020, and to begin the process of developing a new plan for the next five years (2020-2025). This workshop chaired by the Secretary General de la MRU, Mrs Medina Wesseh Esq, was held at the Atlantic Lumley Hotel, Freetown, from 19-20 February, 2019, in the presence of Mr. Stephen Keller of Chief of Party of Tetra Tech ARD et Director of WABBIC project.
The MRU Secretary General thanked USAID and WABICC for providing the funding for the workshop and the recruitment of a consultant for the review of the strategic plan. She noted that the current ten year plan (2010-2020) is in its final year, and with the emergence of the UN 2030 agenda of the SDGs, the AU Agenda 2063, and the developmental agendas of the Member States, there is need for a review of the current plan. Mr. Stephen of Chief of Party of Tetra Tech ARD Firm implementing the WABICC Program also thanked the MRU for its cordial collaboration and also encouraged participants to work closely with the consultant during the workshop proceedings.
The current plan is being implemented, albeit with some challenges, which also necessitate the need for a review. Various evaluations, including integrated technical and organizational capacity and institutional audit, have confirmed the need to improve the performance of the Secretariat by building on progress made under the current plan. It should also be noted that the Heads of State and Government of the MRU member states feels the need for a revitalization of the Union and the review of the current plan is critical in this regard.
The inception workshop therefore took into account the strength and weaknesses of the current plan as lessons learnt towards the development of a new plan. The discussions during the workshop proceedings provided adequate information and knowledge sharing that would enhance the work of the consultant during the review process with a view to produce a plan that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (SMART) and also ensure that it reflects the vision of the founding fathers of the Union.
The Hon Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Mrs Nabeela Tunis, who closed the inception workshop, highlighted the relevance for the review of the strategic plan and the need for the new plan to be aligned with the national priorities of member states. She also thanked the new management of the MRU for organizing the workshop.
SIGNATURE OF MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
BETWEEN MRU AND TETRA TECH ARD
From 19-20 February, 2019, at the Atlantic Lumley Hotel, Freetown, the Secretary General de la MRU, Mrs Medina Wesseh Esq and Stephen Keller of Chief of Party of Tetra Tech ARD and Director of WABBIC project, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize their collaboration in the implementation of the WABICC program, it was in the presence of the Honourable Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Mrs Nabeela Tunis.
Indeed, since the previous Secretary General of the MRU has started, the discussions leading to the signing of a memorandum of understanding may have been possible at the arrival of the current Secretary General, Mrs Medina Wesseh Esq,
Through this agreement, the two institutions share their objectives to bring out the vision of strengthening the resilience and sustainability of West Africa institutions, ecosystems and communities. Thus, they reflect their desire to strengthen their cooperation and collaboration to achieve various outputs and and outcomes through joint activities in sipport of combating wildlife trafficking, increasing coastal resilience to climate change and reducing forest and biodiversity loss and degradation.
The common benefit resulting for both parties is to promote the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources for the socio-economic development of the MRU member’s states.
The West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change (WABICC) program is a USAID-founded 5-year regional program that aims to improve conservation, climate resilient and low emission growth in the West Africa Region. WABICC works to strengthen policies and regional capacity to improve natural resource management and maintain healthy, resilient forest ecosystem and forest-based livelihoods in West Africa.
This program is perfectly in line with the MRU 2010-2020 Strategic Plan, as it helps to achieve two objectives, of pillar 3 Economic Development and Regional Integration, namely:
- Ensure the sustainable conservation, utilization and management of the transboundry water resources of the sub region;
- Create enabling conditions for promoting trade and attracting investment to the sub region;
The signing of this contract, whose spinoffs for the Mano River Union space and even for the world are invaluable, completes that signed with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on October 24, 2017, as part of the Mano River Ecosystem Conservation Project and International Water Resources Management. The WABICC Program ends in May 2020.