Want to know a secret? Nobody really makes it on their own, at some point it all comes back to the relationships we make that open the right doors. In every success story there’s likely to be someone that opened a doorway through which that success was found.
On Tuesday 5th July, 2016 at Grand Legacy Hotel-Rwanda, CGIAR (Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers) held a Site Integration meeting that brought together about 70 people from different locations within and outside Rwanda. In attendance were representatives of stakeholder categories that include government, NGOs / civil society organizations, research, private sector, UN system, donors, and investors involved in agriculture sector. The meeting’s objectives were (i) to develop site integration plan, (ii) to bring together the work of CGIAR centers and programs so that we can scale up innovations to reach millions of our beneficiaries in Rwanda, (iii) alignment of research, (iv) coordination of delivery, (v) integration of operation functions, (vi) and facilities to increase delivery and efficiency. The meeting started on a high note, with different expectations, and was graced and officially opened by the minister of state in charge of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Hon. Tony Robert Nsanganira.
“If you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go further, go together,” was one of the many quotes shared by speakers as they gave examples of successful collaborations and showed how integration is possible and necessary. Speakers acknowledged that it is human nature to dream of success, fantasy place soothing smile on our cheek, yet few work hard for it. Fear of trying and failing has always stopped people from making decisions. Throughout the meeting, everyone liked the idea of integration and coordination. However, some questions and fears were raised such as: Is it possible to have all this without any conflict of interests? and what incentives / motivations will keep everyone committed to this cause?
Dale Carnegie said, “inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” It was statements like these that inspired drive and encouragement in the participants, which you could see on everybody’s face.
The vibrant group discussions and idea sharing sessions created beams of light to most fears and questions raised by participants. It was agreed that with reduced duplication, effective planning programs, better aligned strategies and purpose to the government’s priorities, plus cost effectiveness – which can be achieved by reducing internal cost transactions from the various CG centers- we shall address malnutrition, climate change and other challenges as stated by the minister of state.
“With the existing partnerships and the ones we continue to build, our goals can be met,” reiterated a key note speaker. In the beginning, some of us did not really understand what CG centers were all about but as participants got more involved involvement in the discussions, they gained a better understanding of the concept.