Partners' Forum, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
20 April 2004
Evoking the wisdom of Julius Nyerere, former President of Tanzania, Dr Francisco Songane passionately closed the Partners’ Forum Friday, 20 April.
“I would like to thank all participants in this first Partners’ Forum. The level of participation and the fact that you stayed for a full 3 days discussion is most encouraging for our work. We in the Secretariat and the Board have felt this strong support and it will help us move forward, and to find the directions that the Partnership should take."
If at times discussions were shorter than we would have liked, this was because of time constraints and the ambitious agenda we had set. The outcomes of the discussions will help us in making adjustments to the Partnership Work Plan, and will be taken forward to the Steering Committee meeting tomorrow and the sessions that follow."
Dr Songane pointed out that several key messages from partners were heard loud and clear:
- That the focus of the Partnership should be at country level.
- The Partnership has a major role in raising maternal, newborn and child health issues to the highest political leadership, at global, regional and country levels.
- We need to do better at country level. We support one country plan. This is key to our value added approach.
- The long term-perspective in planning is paramount.
- The MNCH perspective must be linked with the strengthening of health systems.
- That the Partnership develop practical ways to diversify its regional involvement.
“My hope is that this spirit of collaboration will continue" said Dr Songane. "There are many ways we can and will stay in contact. The Secretariat is looking at models of collaboration -- knowledge management networks, and community of practice web-site enhancements. This is one way to keep in touch, there are many more, and we invite your ideas. Partnership is Ujamaa!”
Giving special thanks to the Government of Tanzania for hosting the first and historic Partners' Forum, Dr Songane also thanked the agencies and foundations that provided funding to support this meeting, in particular the governments of Germany and the Netherlands, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.