Growing from strength to strength, Fairtrade Africa’s third WOW! (Ways of Working) workshop took place in Nairobi, Kenya from 20th to 25th March 2017. Themed: ‘Partnership for Impact’, the workshop brought together participants from the Fairtrade system in Africa and beyond to deliberate on leveraging partnerships to take Fairtrade Africa (FTA) and indeed the entire Fairtrade system to the next impact level. It was also a milestone FTA WOW! With Fairtrade Africa as the integrated system provider of Fairtrade certification and beyond certification support services and programmes in Africa and the Middle East!
Participants to the workshop were warmly welcomed by the FTA Executive Director Dr. Nyagoy Nyong’o. She began the workshop with the phrase, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude” setting the tone for the WOW! Workshop. On the second day, she introduced the discussion on Partnerships for Impact with a powerful analogy of a Fairtrade premiums beneficiary in Rwanda.
Over 80 participants were addressed by the new Fairtrade International CEO Mr Dario Soto Abril who reemphasised the significance of Ways of Working as a key to enabling the delivery of the Fairtrade strategy 2016-2020. He aptly summarised the goal by saying, “Best In Business, Great and Strong”. During his maiden visit to a Producer Network, the CEO also took the opportunity to visit a flower farm that gave him an opportunity to understand the impact and challenges facing lives of the workers in these hired labour set-ups.
In line withFairtrade’s recognition of the need for income diversification among our producers, WOW! also witnessed the celebration of a MoU partnership between the Fairtrade System as represented by Fairtrade International and International Trade Centre (ITC). The aim of the partnership is to expand the collaboration between Fairtrade and ITC, building on the agreement with FTA, in which the Alliances for Action (A4A) project was begun. The A4A project is to improve the household incomes, food security and sustainability for farmers and entrepreneurs in Ghana by combining food crops and cash crops. Song, dance and jubilation filled the conference room during the signing of the MOU.
WOW! 2017 was the biggest yet with the highest in terms of number of participants since its inception in 2013. The workshop sessions focussed on Partnerships, Programming, Communication, and Advocacy for impact. Concrete actions were formulated to ensure targeted strategies and interventions all for the benefit of the producers we serve. In attendance were staff from all the Fairtrade Africa regional offices, National Fairtrade Organisations (NFOs) and Fairtrade International, ITC, Fair Trade Advocacy (FTAO), and World Fair Trade Organisation.
The week was topped off with field visits to two tea factories; Gacharage and Makomboki and a flower company, Panda Flowers.
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TEAM AFRICA, WOW!
Stay tuned to our website for the WOW report coming out soon