Alliance to End Hunger Holds Conference, Meets with Leaders in Tanzania

November 20, 2014

Nathan Magrath, Manager of Communications and Outreach, Alliance to End Hunger

During the first week of November, a team from the Alliance to End Hunger traveled to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to hold a conference for civil society coalitions partnered with the Alliance through the National Alliance Partnership Program.  The Partnership Program, funded by USAID through the U.S. government’s Feed the Future initiative, focuses on building capacities of local civil society coalitions (National Alliances) to meaningfully influence food security, agricultural development, and nutrition policy processes.

Conference participants. (Photo: Nathan Magrath)

Conference participants. (Photo: Nathan Magrath)

The conference, held at the Serena Hotel in downtown Dar es Salaam, was attended by leadership delegations from the Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition in Kenya, the Tanzania Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition, and the Food Rights Alliance of Uganda.  Additionally, representatives from Outreach, Inc., Heifer International, One Acre Fund, UN REACH, and the FAO were in attendance.  The purpose of the conference was threefold:

  1. Share knowledge and experiences related to forming and managing National Alliances around agriculture, food security, and nutrition issues – to include sharing of best practices and success stories as well as challenges, concerns, and frustrations.
  2. Encourage new and innovative thinking about fundraising and sustainability through a focused facilitated learning activity around the theme: “Local Philanthropy & Sustainability of Civil Society Coalitions.”
  3. Begin to make connections and build relationships amongst National Alliance leaders across national lines and create mechanisms for maintaining connections and continuing communication and sharing after the conference.
Small group discussion around local resource mobilization (Photo: Nathan Magrath)

Small group discussion around local resource mobilization (Photo: Nathan Magrath)

The conference program featured presentations from the US Alliance, the three partner Alliances from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, and also a video presentation from the Hunger Alliance in Ghana.  Participants were able to draw comparisons between both the potentials and challenges of the various coalitions. A workshop on mobilizing local resources was conducted, with the intention of addressing issues of financial capacity among the coalitions, followed by small group discussions on how what was learned can be translated into the everyday operations of the National Alliances.

The conference was well received, and left National Alliance leaders feeling energized and able to strengthen their own coalitions through what was learned and discussed.

Ambassador Hall meets with Political Leaders

In addition to the National Alliance Leaders Conference, Executive Director Emeritus Ambassador Tony Hall had the opportunity to meet with Parliamentarians, a top official from the Office of the Prime Minister, and the U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania.

Ambassador Tony Hall with Tanzanian Members of Parliament. (Photo: Nathan Magrath)

Ambassador Tony Hall with Tanzanian Members of Parliament. (Photo: Nathan Magrath)

In a meeting with Tanzanian Members of Parliament (Hon. Lediana Mng’ong’o, Hon. Gaudence Kayombo, and Hon. Rev. Luckson Mwanjale), Amb.Hall explained his own experiences fighting against hunger as a U.S. Congressman, and held a discussion with the three MP’s on how legislative bodies should take a prominent role in combating hunger and malnutrition at a national scale.  The MP’s were very supportive of the message, dedicated to the same cause in Tanzania, and offered to assist the Tanzanian National Alliance however they could.  Similar support was displayed through the Office of the Prime Minister during a meeting with Mr. Obey Assery Nkya, a key coordinating official for the PM. Mr. Assery shared his own vision of transforming agriculture through support for smallholder farmers and closer coordination of existing agricultural systems—recognizing the potential role of a National Alliance in this regard.  Finally, Amb. Hall also had the opportunity to meet with the U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania, Mark Childress.  Amb. Childress offered insight on both the great potential and challenges of working in Tanzania, was generously supportive of the Alliance, and offered an open door to his office to discuss opportunities and challenges as the Partnership Program progresses.

The Alliance to End Hunger will be holding a briefing in Washington DC on Monday, December 8, to discuss progress of the Partnership Program and the path ahead. To learn more and register, please contact Nathan Magrath at nmagrath@alliancetoendhunger.org.

To learn more, visit the National Alliance Partnership Program website and follow the initiative on Facebook and Twitter.