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Nexus Workshop in Bamako // Better Structuring of What We Already Know

By Richard Sagno. The Nexus Workshop in Bamako on 2-3 May 2018 brought together more than 40 professionals to discuss the Nexus and share their experience from a wide range of institutions and projects. The Nexus approach, it was clear, allows for better priority setting and reduction of unwanted externalities.

The information and appropriation workshop for the Nexus Dialogue Water-Energy-Food Security in Bamako followed the launch of the Niger basin regional dialogue in October 2017 in Niamey. The gathering mobilized representatives coming from ministries, farmer organisations, rice growers' associations, national and international non-government organisations and various projects and programmes.

The work revolved around information and experience sharing on the Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus approach. Building this approach into project and programme planning can ensure for better priority setting in investments and at the same time reduce the undesirable externalities in sectoral resource use.

For 80% of the workshop participants it was the first contact with the Nexus concept. "It’s the first time I come to a gathering about the Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus," says Ramadan Sylla of CNOP-Mali." I think it is a very good exercise, and I find that it will be useful within the project we are finishing on socio-professional insertion of 1,000 young professionals."

Supported by case studies, the sessions showed participants the inextricable interdependencies of water, energy and soil resources. and highlighted the need for more awareness of the benefits of promoting cross-sectoral dialogue to assure water, energy and food security.

The sessions introduced participants to the new Nexus planning approach. This approach is useful to determine proper procedures to identify challenges, priorities and success indicators, and useful, too, for a systematic analyse of the coherence between sectoral indicators in a framework of sectorial dialogue. "With the proper implementation of the Nexus approach, projects can offer the population better access to drinking water, to energy for domestic or agricultural needs, and to the necessary food for living; and therefore, also to sustainable development," says Dr Djibrilla Maiga, coordinator of the SFN/NBA.

The gathering also triggered new perspectives for collaboration by building the Nexus dialogue into existing initiatives, such as PARIZON/PASSIP and Eco-Lac Wégnia/Caritas Switzerland. "This workshop is like the psychologist, who aides in structuring ideas in our heads about things we already know and already do, " summarises Knud T.K. Schneider, responsible for the PARIZON/PASSIP project. "Now I have some ideas about how to use what I learned in the workshop within our own project, PARIZON."

The improvement of participant´s Nexus knowledge will also help twinning Nexus supporters from various institutions with those in government departments and structures, who can introduce and pursue internal reflection about the Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus.

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