Mano River Union: Strategic Plan Review Moving Forward

Mano River Union: Strategic Plan Review Moving Forward
September 9, 2019 11:01 am News

In keeping with its mandate to promote peace, food security, and economic development, the Mano River Union (MRU) Secretariat is reviewing one of its key policy instruments, a five-year strategic plan for its member states. The review and revision of the plan reflects the Secretariat’s commitment to ensuring stability and accelerating the economic growth of its four member states (Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and Cote d’Ivoire) while preserving environmental goods and services. The formal review began at an inception workshop in February 2019, after which an initial road map document and framework was prepared. These documents were then presented and revised at a June 2019 workshop to shape the development of a first draft.

Senior MRU Management, including the Secretary General (SG) and her Deputies as well as technical staff and partners, participated in both events. The team identified successes and failures in the implementation of the current strategy and solicited ideas on how to integrate emergent natural resource management issues—such as climate change, biodiversity conservation, and wildlife trafficking—with the MRU’s Peace and Security Mandate.

The MRU is a core regional partner of WA BiCC, which was requested by the SG to support the review process and explore how to effectively address issues related to combating wildlife trafficking; increasing coastal resilience to climate change; and reducing deforestation, forest degradation, and biodiversity loss. Complementary to this, WA BiCC is also identifying the resources required to increase the technical and organizational capacity of the regional body to meet these new challenges.

A man and a woman sitting at the high table.
Left-Medina Wesseh, MRU Secretary-General; Right-Stephen Kelleher, WA BiCC Chief of Party.


In her opening remarks at the inception workshop, Secretary-General Ambassador Medina Wesseh expressed thanks and appreciation to USAID and WA BiCC for the level of collaboration and support for the development of MRU’s next five-year Strategic Plan, stating “I do hope this workshop will see us put our minds and focus into the African Union vision and be able to plan for the next five years to work for the greater good of the sub-region.

WA BiCC Chief of Party, Mr. Stephen Kelleher, added, “WA BiCC is fortunate to be able to work with all the MRU Member States, and to bring those experiences to the review and revision process of the Union’s new five-year Strategic Plan.”

A group of people posing for a picture.
Participants at the 2nd review workshop


Participants also assessed the current needs and structural challenges undermining the effectiveness of the Union. The workshop yielded robust ideas on how to align the Strategic Plan with the latest global and regional agendas such as the UN Agenda 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the African Union Agenda 2063. Most importantly, it reflects the vision of the MRU Heads of States and the goals that will guide the union through 2025. It is envisaged that the revised Strategic Plan will be complemented by an implementation-oriented Action Plan, a Resource Mobilization Strategy, and a Monitoring and Evaluation Plan, each developed to ensure the successful implementation of the new strategy.

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