Getting a first experience in a professional environment is essential for young graduates. With this in mind, I was selected for ACED’s Young Professionals Programme at the end of my professional master’s degree in agronomy. I spent 12 months in the programme, from May 2019 to May 2020. During my stay at ACED, I had the opportunity to learn about the production of water hyacinth compost and the process of agricultural advice, monitoring and evaluation of vegetable production, specifically that made with natural fertilizer (water hyacinth compost).
On the other hand, this experience allowed me to discover another craft, which is basketry, with items such as tables, bags, hats made from dried water hyacinth. I also learned some accounting skills thanks to the opportunity that ACED gives to young professionals by involving them in every detail of the activities carried out in the company.
In addition to these acquired skills, this passage within the ACED centre allowed me to participate in data collection on urban agriculture and other themes carried out in three communes (Porto-Novo, So-Ava and Abomey-Calavi) and to improve my writing techniques through the drafting of mission reports, terms of reference, ex-ante evaluation of a project, policy notes and other technical documents.
In addition to these different tasks, I also participated in the preparation of workshops and meetings organised by ACED. I was also involved in the implementation and monitoring of ACED’s EU-funded initiative on women’s and men’s economic empowerment and civic participation in local governance in the commune of So-ava.I also learned some accounting skills thanks to the opportunity that ACED gives to young professionals by involving them in every detail of the activities carried out within the organisation. Click To Tweet
The last 12 months at ACED have been very instructive. The human relations between the different employees of the centre, regardless of their function, has taught me how to behave in the workplace.
The circulation of information and the sharing of responsibilities are the strong points that caught my attention in this centre, both in terms of collaborative work and the involvement of all in the functioning and development of activities within the centre. Through this conviviality I was able to understand that the activity of a structure is more efficient in a warm and benevolent atmosphere.
In terms of suggestions, I suggest that ACED consider a better involvement of the future participants in the programme in the drafting of the project and in the process of mobilising funding.