Governor Alia Initiates Groundbreaking Partnership with French Development Agency AFD for Actualisation of EART

Chiemelie Ezeobi 

For the actualisation of the Enhanced Agricultural and Rural Technical and Vocational Training (EART) Project, Rev Fr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia, the Executive Governor of Benue State, spearheaded a high-level delegation to engage with the  French Development Agency (AFD).

According Caleb Senda, Head of Communications Benue State, the meeting marked a significant step towards advancing practical skills development, particularly in agriculture, to address unemployment and drive economic growth in Benue State.

During the engagement, 

Xavier Muron, the Country Director of AFD, delivered a compelling presentation on the transformative potential of the EART project. 

He emphasised its core objective of providing practical skills to students, farmers, and apprentices through comprehensive extension training, encompassing both formal and informal settings. 

This inclusive approach is poised to produce a new generation of job-ready graduates and empower individuals across diverse sectors.

The programme manager, Dashen Plagnan, echoed these sentiments, highlighting the pivotal role of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in fostering economic development and reducing inequalities.

During the discussions, the delegation explored the far-reaching impact and benefits of AFD’s support. They proposed a robust partnership framework, encompassing funding mechanisms and knowledge sharing, to ensure transparency and accountability in project implementation.

Governor Alia reiterated Benue State Government’s unwavering commitment to aligning with AFD’s priorities, particularly in addressing climate change, preserving biodiversity, and promoting social cohesion. 

The governor also proposed the establishment of a facility focused on Agro-tech exchanges, demonstrating Benue State’s eagerness to embrace innovative solutions.

The meeting was attended by key officials, including Dr Emmanuel Chenge, Principal Private Secretary to H.E; Hon Michael Oglegba, Honorable Commissioner for Finance; Mr Denen Aondoakaa, Principal Special Adviser to Gov Alia; Aondoaseer Leonard-Angelo Viashima, Director General – Benue State Bureau for International Cooperation and Developments Unit; Ochanya Okoh, Technical Adviser on Agriculture; and  Professor Jerome Andohol, Director General – Benue State Budget and Economic Planning Commission.

The meeting culminated in discussions on partnership and agreements, just as Governor Alia expressed gratitude for the opportunity and conveyed his eagerness to collaborate with AFD for the successful implementation of the EART Project.

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