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The Millennium Villages Project (MVP), which works to create sustainable solutions to hunger and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, is staffed by dedicated Africans like Ataoulaye Bah.
Bah has been the MVP Business Development Coordinator in Tiby, Mali, for more than two years. His responsibilities include working to boost income generation and diversify sources of household income. He works with local residents to develop sound business plans and secure financing as well as implement, monitor, and evaluate business initiatives.
He shared a little about the Project’s success and how working for MVP has changed his life in a recent interview.
What has been the biggest success so far in 2011 at the Millennium Village of Tiby?
This year, through strategic planning and linking farmers with new market opportunities, the farmers were able to sell their rice on time at competitive prices. At the same time, the MVP is working with local financial institutions to transition farmers from a subsidy to a credit based system. MVP has already agreed with a local microfinance institution to establish on a $1.5 million financing agreement to support agribusiness development in the cluster.
What are some areas that have the potential for future development?
In Tiby, horticulture can play a crucial role in fighting poverty and achieving gender equality. An estimated 2,726 women are engaged in the thirteen community gardens across the cluster, with other unused land available for development.
What are some of the other ways that you're working to improve lives?
Through MVP, we are encouraging people to use the clinics for any health issues before traditional solutions, in order to better control disease.
How has working on this project changed your life?
Working with the MVP has contributed to my professional and personal growth. Working directly with the beneficiary population, I have to came to realize that even challenges that seem to be purely economic are multi-dimensional and require an integrated and concerted solution such as the one adopted through MVP. On the personal level, I have built strong and lasting relationships with people from different backgrounds.
Photo of Mr. Bah courtesy of Millennium Promise