WATDEV International Stakeholder Forum and Project Partners gather to discuss water management in East Africa and Egypt

We are thrilled to announce the upcoming 2nd Stakeholder Forum and Annual Partnership Meeting of the international cooperation project "WATDEV - Climate Smart WATer Management and Sustainable DEVelopment for Food and Agriculture in East Africa". This Euro-African meeting will take place at the Italian headquarters of the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies, CIHEAM Bari, on 13 and 14 May 2024.

Nearly 60 delegates, including project partners and stakeholders, are expected to attend the event. The WATDEV Stakeholder Forum brings together national and local public authorities, universities, research institutes and value chain extension services from Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan. They will take stock of relevant results achieved during the last year of the project and will contribute to steer the way forward by making recommendations for further action, facilitating dialogue with representatives of a wider range of actors, and helping to ensure that the project responds to the needs of local communities and countries.

CIHEAM Bari Director and AICS Cairo Office Director will welcome the participants and open the meeting. The project officer from the European Commission's DG INTPA will join the session remotely.

Following the selection of best agricultural practices for water, soil and crop management in the target areas in Nairobi last year, the WATDEV project partnership has organised a series of awareness-raising events and training sessions, engaging key stakeholders, collecting critical data and undertaking feasibility studies. At the same time, the modelling working group has refined the integration of different models to simulate future agronomic scenarios. CIHEAM Bari, as lead scientific and technical partner, and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), as project coordinator, have convened the Stakeholder Forum and the project partnership at this crucial stage to present the project’s mid-term results and to chart the future work course.

Alongside the Stakeholder Forum members, key representatives from various international organisations partnering with the WATDEV project will also attend the two-day event, including the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) the International Soil Reference and Information Centre (ISRIC), the Italian National Research Council (CNR-IPSP), Heliopolis University (HU), the Water Research Centre of Khartoum University (WRC), the Water and Land Resources Centre of Addis Ababa University (WRLC), and the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO). These valuable partners play a vital role in advancing the project's objectives, leveraging their expert knowledge and networks to promote climate-smart water management and sustainable agricultural practices.

Funded by the EU (DG INTPA) DeSIRA programme, WATDEV aims to address and mitigate the problems caused by climate change in East Africa and Egypt by fostering research and innovation in water and soil management.

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