A visit to Tunis by an Arab Society for Plant Protection delegation
As part of the ASPP activities in preparation for the for the 13th Arab Congress of Plant Protection which will be held in Tunisia during the period 1-6 November 2020 (ACPP 2020) organized by ASPP in collaboration with the Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries represented by the National Agricultural Research Institute of Tunisia (INRAT), an ASPP delegation composed of Dr. Ibrahim Jboory, ASPP president, Dr. Khaled Makkouk and Dr. Safaa Kumari, members of the ASPP Executive Committee, made a short visit to Tunisia lasted for 4 days. During this visit, the ASPP delegation accompanied with the chair of the ACPP 2020 Local Organizing Committee Dr. Asma Najar, paid a visit to policy makers in the Tunisian institutions involved in agricultural scientific research and has vested interest in making ACPP 2020 a successful event. The first visit was to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries Dr. Bou Bakr Kray who was briefed by the delegation about ASPP activities since its establishment in 1981 and then discussed with him ongoing arrangements to organize ACPP 2020 in Tunisia. Dr. Kray expressed the willingness of the Ministry of Agriculture to support the congress to the maximum of its ability to make sure that it will be a successful event. The delegation then visited Dr. Mahmoud Elias Hamze, President of the Agricultural Research and Higher Education Institute (IRESA) in Tunisia and again briefed him about ASPP activities and discussed with him ways and means to make ACPP 2020 a successful event, especially most of the Tunisian scientists who will participate in the congress are working at institutions under IRESA. Dr. Hamza was extremely positive about having ACPP 2020 in Tunisia and indicated his strong support to this regional congress. The delegation also visited with Dr. Mondher Ben Salem, Acting Director General of INRAT, the institution directly involved in organizing ACPP 2020, as the chair of the congress organizing committee Dr. Asma Najar is an INRAT scientist. There was a broad discussion with Dr. Ben Salem who also joined the organizational joint ASPP-Local Organizing Committee meeting held on December 13, 2018.
The delegation accompanied with the chair of the Local Organizing Committee Dr. Asma Najar visited the few hotels in Hammamat that has the capacity to host a congress of 400-500 participants. The congress needs were discussed with the sales people of the hotels visited who were requested to submit their offers the next morning, to enable the Congress Organizing Committee make a final decision on the congress venue in its meeting on December 13, 2018.
During the last day of the visit, a joint meeting between ASPP Executive Committee and the Local Organizing Committee represented by all its members was held at INRAT and discussed all organizational details related to the congress. The meeting lasted five hours and there was full agreement on all points discussed. During the meeting all the hotel offers received were evaluated and there was agreement that the venue of the congress will be Le Royal Hotel in Hammamat, Tunisia who gave the best offer. The date and venue of the congress will be formally announced during January 2019 in the first announcement for the congress which will be placed on the ACPP 2020 dedicated website.
By all measures the visit of the ASPP delegation to Tunisia was very successful. The warm welcome expressed to the delegation by all those who met with them is an expression of willingness to make ACPP 2020 a big success.