Networking: An essential ingredient to scale-up nutrition.
I am from Senegal and French is my first language. It took travelling across the continent, all the way to South Africa, for me to learn valuable lessons about the importance of engaging the business and private sector in my work back at home. The ANLP networking café was the coming together face to face, of people from different countries, cultures, religions and languages. I talked to colleagues from Morocco, USA, France, Ethiopia and India. My interview with Navneet, a nutritionist from New Delhi currently working for a pharmaceutical company, was an eye opening discussion about how we all need to change the way we work at all levels. Let us stop working in silos. We must all champion a collaborative approach. If we continue to work alone, we will not have impact. The ANLP networking café has proven the necessity of talking together for engaging all stakeholders like the business. We have to work with business, because at times they are the ones with the machinery to make things move. This realization was an AH-HA moment for me.
I have learnt that when I return to Dakar, I need to make more noise about nutrition by bringing stakeholders together. Everybody needs good food and nutrition, but our noise is still too low. I feel that this opportunity to interact with Navneet and exchange ideas has ignited something in me that will help me move the nutrition agenda forward. It is true when they say that “iron sharpens iron”. Networking and talking to people is definitely the best way to go.
By Bineta Ndiaye and Gugulethu Moyo