AGRICULTURAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND VALUE CHAIN DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (AIVDP) HOSTS 3RD PROJECT STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING
Following the 2nd Steering Committee Meeting, held five months prior, the Agricultural Infrastructure and Value Chain Development Project (AIVDP) hosted its 3rd Project Steering Committee Meeting on Wednesday June 16th 2021 at Mountain Hotel, Buea. The event was presided over by H.E Gabriel Mbaïrobe, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. In attendance, were the Secretary General representing H.E Bernard Okalia Bilai, Governor of South West Region, Dr. Besong Ntui Ogork, the Director General of South West Development Authority (SOWEDA) and Project Coordinator of AIVDP, Representatives from Government Ministries, Implementation Partners and the Project Management Team.
The day began with festivities at the SOWEDA Complex at 10am where, H.E Gabriel Mbaïrobe was welcomed by SOWEDA and AIVDP staff. Ceremonial proceedings commenced by a welcome address by the Mayor of Buea and an enlightening presentation of the Project building by Dr. Besong Ntui Ogork. An array of musical interludes ensued, as various cultural dance groups from South West Region, dazzled attendees.
‘It was considered imperative that the Project made provisions to create some space for the direct personnel of the establishment. The building is our own version of SMART building, with low energy bulbs and automatic fire alarm system that will alert personnel of any fire in the building irrespective of their position on the globe.’
-Dr. Besong Ntui Ogork
The ceremony concluded with attendees making their way to the AIVDP Office Building for its Inauguration. After the Inauguration Address the cutting of the Cutting of Inaugural Ribbon by H.E Gabriel Mbaïrobe took place followed by the unveiling of the plaque commemorating the construction of the building. A complete tour of the office Building took place shortly after with, Minister visiting each room of the grand structure.
‘A sound mind in a sound body will produce sound results. In the same way a good working environment will equally allow its occupants to produce great outputs such as the philosophy that guides the development of the AIVDP with the construction of this good working space for the Project Management Unit.’
-H. E Gabriel Mbaïrobe
In his opening address at the 3rd Steering Committee Meeting, H.E Mbaïrobe addressed participants by recapping that the meeting was not only to define the overall orientation of the Project, but to also review and approve the necessary reports, budgets and work plans entailed for the steering the Project in its appropriate direction. In confirming that the agenda for the day-the review the audit report for the years 2019 and 2020, H.E reiterated the importance of the review as the Project had reached its third year of implementation. During the course of the productive meeting, the Minister prompted attendees to carefully review the fundamental document and add any corrective measures and or recommendations where necessary, citing that failure to do so, could impact the Projects ability in securing crop and job generation for the population in the Project’s area of intervention. Those present, were also reminded that the current Project Steering Committee meeting was to be considered a prelude to the Project’s Midterm evaluation session to be held in the nearer future.
‘Financial Auditing is a cardinal activity in any institution; and the examination and approval of Audit Reports is paramount especially in an era of good governance.’
-H.E Gabriel Mbaïrobe
Taking heed of the Minster’s sound council, committee members commenced on the thorough analysis of the audit report. Spanning over an hour, deliberations over the financial report took place, in which partakers delivered insightful inputs with each remark being taken into consideration. The meeting drew to a close with the validation of the audit report by contributors. In the closing remarks emphasis was placed on the Project Management Unit to strongly reflect on the recommendations by committee members in order to ensure ongoing project progress.
‘This project must be successfully executed, in order to significantly contribute on the improvement of the livelihood of the many persons not just those in the Project area, but well beyond the boundaries of the South West Region. The ball is in our court and thus, we will redouble our efforts and ensure significant realization of the 2021 Work Plan and Budget.’
-Dr. Besong Ntui Ogork