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Imagine life as a flowing river, with progress as the current propelling us ahead. Stagnation acts like a dam, hindering our potential and blocking the path for others. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep moving forward, not only to unlock our own potential but also to pave the way for others. This concept embodies the essence of “Ubuyantanshi”, a Zambian term representing forward movement and progress.

In line with this pursuit of progress, the Africa Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes (ANAPRI) organized a significant meeting. Attended by board members, secretariat staff, principal investigators, and the research director of the network, the event took place at the serene Ciela Resort in Lusaka, Zambia, from Tuesday, August 22nd to Thursday, August 24th, 2023. This gathering marked a pivotal moment in ANAPRI’s journey toward achieving its strategic goals.

Over the course of three days, the event provided a platform for knowledge exchange and the strengthening of team trust. Recognizing that trust is fundamental to successful collaboration, participants engaged in team-building exercises that fostered mutual understanding and synergy among members. Additionally, the retreat facilitated discussions on the network’s strategic plan and other relevant documents crucial for ANAPRI’s advancement and vision.

Under the theme “Sculpting Our Future,”  the meeting delved into shaping ANAPRI’s strategic plan. Through creative and intuitive discussions, participants explored innovative approaches to address evolving challenges and chart the network’s forward trajectory. These discussions underscored the organization’s dedication to excellence and adaptability to the changing global landscape.

Beyond business matters, a delightful cocktail event took place on Wednesday, August 28th. Attendees had the opportunity to network and establish meaningful connections in a relaxed setting. Notable guests included Mr. Coster Chibwe, Senior Planner for Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as representatives from ABSA bank and other key stakeholders in Zambia’s agricultural sector.

The meeting extended beyond the walls of Ciela Resort. A visit to the scenic Chaminuka Resort allowed participants to appreciate Zambia’s natural beauty while fostering a deeper sense of camaraderie. The retreat also featured a Board Meeting during which critical decisions were made. It’s clear that the network is headed in a forward direction.

ANAPRI’s progress is evident, and its entire network is geared towards moving forward. The meeting represented a strategic milestone, reinforcing teamwork, shaping the network’s trajectory, and promoting collaboration across borders. With every discussion, decision, and connection formed during those three days, ANAPRI propelled itself forward – embodying the spirit of “Ubuyantanshi.” As the organization continues to lead in agricultural policy research, it does so with renewed vigour, driven by the principles of progress and unity.