Initiative 166 Council Day, a special event organized by Mali’s Commission for Food Security and its partners, was celebrated on 14-16 April 2010 in Bamako and Segou. This event was part of the celebration of the National Association of Malian Municipalities and was chaired by Mr. Boubacar Sow, Secretary General of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Local Government.
The objective of the workshop was to present to 140 Mayors, who are key partners in the implementation of MDGs at the local level, the results and recommendations of the studies conducted by the Donors Round Table and the tools developed for the implementation of Initiative 166. Participants of the workshop also included representatives of financial and technical partner institutions such as UNDP, FAO and the World Bank.
Following an opening by Mr. Boubacar Sow, Mr. Yaya Nouhoum Tamboura, Deputy Commissioner for Food Security, introduced Initiative 166. Two technical presentations were also given — the first by Mr. Oumar Coulibaly on geographic information systems developed for real-time monitoring implementation, and the second by Mrs. Sow, officer of the National Office for Local Authorities, on MDG-based local planning. The development of MDG-based local planning tools and methodologies are partly financed by the Prince Albert II of the Monaco Foundation and the MDG Centre. The main objective of the MDG panning process is to assist councils with the development or revision of Local Development Plans (PDSECs) that incorporate the Millennium Development Goals and its targets.
A rich exchange of ideas and comments took place following the presentations. Several participants endorsed the Government’s approach, while others thanked the organizers and the President of the Republic for their commitment and clear vision. Participants also acknowledged the importance and urgency of accelerating progress towards the achievement of the MDGs at the local level in these 166 Councils.
Initiative 166 was designed after the President of the Republic, H.E. Amadou Toumani Toure, visited the Tiby MVP cluster. The President was impressed by the effectiveness of the MV concept and the results that were achieved so far. During his visit, he urged his Government to consider the MVP model as a model to be used in Mali to accelerate the achievement of the MDGs in the 166 most vulnerable and food insecure councils in the country.
On the last day of the workshop (April 16), the Deputy Commissioner for Food Security led a delegation visit to Segou and the Tiby MVP in Dioro and Farakou Massa. The delegation was composed of the 166 Mayors, representatives of Ministries, the MDG Centre and other technical partners.
The visit began with a courtesy visit to the Governor of the region. The delegation was welcomed by Mr Diarra Lassine, Economic and Financial Counselor, who was representing the Governor. Mr. Lassine expressed his strong support of the initiative and re-affirmed the commitment of the State to the achievement of the MDGs in Mali by 2015.
Following discussions with the Mayors of Farakou Massa and Dioro, the delegation also visited the Tiby MVP to view the progress made on the ground. Some of the projects visited include school and water points in Konou, a grain storage bank in Komine, and a health clinic in Dioro. The group of Mayors was very impressed by the results obtained so far and the active participation of the local communities.
This trip served as an opportunity for the group of Mayors to realize the importance of their role in the implementation of Initiative 166. Mayors reaffirmed their commitment to support and promote the initiative among their populations and among technical and financial partners. The 166 councils now have the ambition to match or exceed the progress observed in the Tiby MVP.
Ibrahim Diallo is the Regional Communications Manager for the MDG Center for West and Central Africa. He is based in Bamako, Mali.