Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 1 at the AgKnowledge Africa Share Fair - Making knowledge travel

After a fruitful day of learning, sharing and training, we moved into the actual Share Fair on Tuesday (19 October 2010). The opening ceremony in the tent started with Bruce Scott from ILRI welcoming the 300+ participants. This was followed by short statements from Lamourdia Thiombian, FAO representative, Koda Traore, CTA and Roxanna Samii, IFAD.

Bruce Scott on the Share Fair

The guest speaker at the Opening was Owen Barder, is a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development. He made an excellent presentation and more about his presentation and the opening ceremony is captured in impressions of Roxanna Samii.

On each of our badges, along with our name and orgaization, there is a picture of an animal. After the Opening ceremony, Peter Ballantyne from ILRI asked us to find our own species over coffee and mingle and get to know them. Our first time blogger - Camille De Stoop – shares an interesting experience with her “brother duck”.

Once the coffee was over, we separated into four learning pathways – water, climate change, land and livestock. The pathways integrate key knowledge processes and major knowledge spaces in a participatory process of mapping, sharing and connecting the people attending. Each pathway contains three phases: mapping, sharing and brokering. The idea is that at each phase the conversation should explicitly address grassroot spaces, intermediary spaces and research and policy spaces. More about how the learning pathways can be organized and used is available from the AgKnowledge Africa Wiki.

Each of the session’s first meeting is summarized below:

Climate Change


During lunch participants continued networking, learning and sharing. Here is a beautiful story by Grace on how colleagues helped each other and shared their knowledge.

The beauty of this event has been the seamless integration of local culture and traditions in the Fair. The Bunna ladies are constantly serving excellent, and I mean EXCELLENT, coffee! The African horn is used continuously to sound breaks and starts of sessions.

The highlight was the market place which was spread over the ILRI campus. There were “travelling knowledge” donkeys – usually used to transport construction materials – carrying knowledge products, people selling local products, hawkers, shoe polishers and more. This and the spirit of the “market place” is captured by Roxanna in her blogpost. We finished off the day with "tasting session" where we tasted different types of honey and were served local Ethiopian drink and of course, some good African music and dancing!

Stay in touch and tuned!

During the day, there was an extensive coverage on Twitter, and a mass of pictures are being posted on the Flickr group. Have also a look at the mobile reporting via Shot from the Hip. For more information, take a look at the list of social media tools used by the Social Reporting Team.

And, the communications team, true to its words, has released the latest version of the Daily Tail. Here's a link to the Monday edition.

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