High-level meetings held back-to-back with the official launch of the RICOWAS project, Bamako - Mali

A Sahara and Sahel Observatory delegation led by Mr. Nabil Ben Khatra, OSS Executive Secretary held, this morning, January 19, in Bamako, a set of meetings at the Ministries of Rural Development and the Environment, Sanitation and Sustainable Development of Mali.

H.E. Mr. Modibo Keita, Minister of Rural Development, gave credit to the Sahara and Sahel Observatory for the start of the RICOWAS project, considering that it perfectly matches the needs of Mali and stressing the importance of striving for national food security, which is highly important for economic stability and public security. He recalled that 80% of the population lives in rural areas and highlighted the necessity of setting up useful projects for farmers and providing them with the training, assistance and tools necessary for a successful agricultural work that is closely linked to the development of the country.

Mr. Daniel Siméon Kelema, General Secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development, underlined the importance of rice in the eating habits of the Malian population, which makes it a particularly strategic and crucial commodity that needs to be promoted and developed. He added that producers must have the required capacities and means to adapt their crops to an increasingly threatened environment by the climate change effects.

The meeting with Mr. Mamadou Gakou, General Secretary of the Ministry of the Environment, Sanitation and Sustainable Development made it possible to explore new avenues of collaboration between Mali and the Sahara and Sahel Observatory and to go over the long and deep relationship between both parties. Particular emphasis was placed on Mali's commitment to the success of the OSS implemented projects and on the willingness of national institutions to have them executed.

Mr. Nabil Ben Khatra took these meetings to restate his own commitment and the determination of the Organization to pursue and consolidate the strategic collaboration with Mali. He reminded that the Malian Institute of Rural Economy (IRE) was the RICOWAS project regional management entity and explained that the project will give a new momentum to the Mali-OSS collaboration and develop the initiatives implemented for the benefit of the country.

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