Nairobi, Kenya – The African Water Facility, with the support of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) East Africa Regional Resource Center, brought together more than 40 project managers from over 15 English-speaking African countries to participate in a five day project management training in Nairobi from August 4 to 8.
The workshop was designed to increasing AWF grantees’ capacity to navigate through the AfDB and AWF rules and procedures, as well as to help enhance their ability to manage various administrative aspects of their projects, thereby maximizing results on the ground and benefits to targeted populations.
For some years now, the AWF has been offering project management trainings to its grantees to further improve the quality of its activities by ensuring effective and timely start-up and implementation of projects. The novelty this year has been emphasis on case studies and resolving real issues brought up by participants often dealing with a myriad of challenges, for example the requirement to speeding up project implementation, which is not always possible given their context.
“The African Water Facility has committed itself to working closely with its grantees to help them overcome the challenges of project management and implementation,” said Akissa Bahri, Coordinator of the African Water Facility. “Enhanced familiarity with our project management rules, as well as knowledge sharing and capacity building are of tremendous value to our grantees and can significantly increase the success of their projects in the short and long term.”
At the workshop opening on Monday, August 4, Gabriel Negatu, Director of the AfDB’s East Africa Regional Resource Center, acknowledged AWF’s role in identifying and financing preparation of projects, particularly those involving complex, niche or innovative approaches and the increasing number in the AWF portfolio in the region. He encouraged participants to use the workshop as an opportunity to address bottlenecks affecting implementation which lead to start up delays. He emphasised the need to ensure project delivery is done in a timely manner to enable faster achievement of intended benefits and avoid cancellation of funds.
The workshop was designed to:
• Enhance the knowledge of the project management team members on the rules and procedures of the AfDB and the AWF in administrative, technical and financial management of projects;
• Review the constraints and difficulties encountered in the implementation of projects;
• Review the terms of distilling and documentation of lessons learned and knowledge products;
• Foster discussions among project management team members and exchange experiences to make the appropriate recommendations to improve procedures for monitoring and supervision of projects’ reporting to the AWF.
Participants included a mix of professionals such a project coordinators, procurement and financial specialists for whom the training was specifically tailored.
“The scenario based procurement workshop provided more insight to me, than the previously attended workshops, which traditionally focus on Bank rules and procedures,” said Ellen Pratt, Project Manager for the AWF-funded Fostering Innovative Sanitation and Hygiene (FISH) project in Monrovia, Liberia. “Real-time issues highlighted by participants illuminated the theoretical knowledge in a practical light.”
“The workshop has been very insightful, educational, interactive and conversational,” said James A. Abbey, Project Manager of the AWF-funded Sogakope-Lomé project implemented between Ghana and Togo. “Varied experiences from colleagues from other countries have enriched our knowledge on the subject to take back home.”