DAKAR, Senegal, July 13, 2019  — Two Senegal government officials, Mr. Abdoulaye Ka and Mr. El Hadji Seck, have been selected to participate in USDA’s prestigious Cochran Fellowship Program, and have joined a Cochran Team of Fellows comprised of both public and private sector participants from Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire. Mr. Ka and Mr. Seck were nominated by Counterpart International for their dedication to delivering sustainable school feeding programs for communities in Senegal. This Cochran Fellowship Program on School Meals will take place primarily in Raleigh, North Carolina, from July 13-26, 2019, and also includes visits with U.S. government agencies in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Seck is the Director of the School Feeding Division at the Ministry of National Education (DCAS-MEN) and Mr. Ka is the General Manager and National Coordinator for the National Committee for the fight against Malnutrition (CLM) in Senegal. Both institutions are actively involved in promoting sustainable school feeding in Senegal and their representatives play an active role in advocating for increased government resources in support of school feeding and full ownership of management by communities. They both support communities in the fight for greater food security for school age children through advocacy by drafting and influencing policies in support of school feeding.

I am excited to participate in this program, and I feel it will strengthen my capacities in agricultural systems and enable me to make a stronger contribution to graduating schools through both the McGovern-Dole and the Local and Regional Procurement projects in Senegal,” stated Mr. Seck, Director of the School Feeding Division in Senegal.

The Cochran Fellowship Program provides short-term training opportunities to agricultural professionals from middle-income countries, emerging markets, and emerging democracies. The goal is to assist eligible countries to develop agricultural systems necessary to meet the food and fiber needs of their domestic populations and to strengthen and enhance trade linkages between eligible countries and agricultural interests in the United States.

Approximately 600 Cochran fellows come to the United States each year, generally for 2-3 weeks, to work with U.S. universities, government agencies, and private companies. They receive hands-on training to enhance their technical knowledge and skills in areas related to agricultural trade, agribusiness development, management, policy, and marketing. USDA announces eligible countries and topics each year based on current trade issues.

Counterpart International has been implementing various projects in Senegal for almost 20 years, targeting institutional strengthening, education, agriculture, nutrition, and food security sectors. Since October 2018, Counterpart has been implementing a USDA-funded school feeding and nutrition program in Senegal in collaboration with partners such as Save the Children, ARED, NCBA-CLUSA and Virginia Tech. This integrated program includes two projects: McGovern-Dole and Local Regional Procurement Project respectively known locally as Sukaabe Janngo (children of tomorrow) and TACSS. The goal of this program is to sustainably transfer the management of schools to communities by 2022.

For more information, please visit Counterpart.org.

Frederic Bambara, Communications and Advocacy Specialist, + 221 77 572 53 47; Email: fbambara@counterpart.org

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