Live from Gao, Mali - Launch of Umoja Supply Chain Phase 1
In a unique Go-Live Event on 6 September 2017, the UN bid farewell to Galileo and celebrated the migration to Umoja, which includes new functionality in inventory, property and fleet management for the UN. The global event was held in Gao, Mali, in the heart of West Africa, a regional base of MINUSMA, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali. Situated in northern Mali, Gao sits in the radiating Sahara sand on the banks of the River Niger, roughly one hour east of the iconic city of Timbuktu.
But why launch the Umoja solution for Supply Chain Phase 1 in the middle of the desert? “The location of Gao recognises the difficult conditions in which the UN often operates,” asserted Mr Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support: “If we can launch this new way of working here in Gao, then we can deploy it anywhere and we will deploy it everywhere.” Flanked by uniformed military personnel, civilian staff and members of the project team, Mr Koen Davidse, the Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General in MINUSMA, elaborated that “[we] serve the peace process in Mali, a country that faces severe logistical challenges and enormous distances. An effective supply chain is key… to the effectiveness of our mission and to delivering on our mandate.”
“Galileo has served peacekeeping well, but it is time to build on those strengths and leverage the capabilities of an ERP system like Umoja to position the UN to deal more effectively and efficiently with the constantly evolving challenges, and particular obstacles in the field,” stated Ms Jan Beagle, Under-Secretary-General for Management, who joined the event from UNHQ. This ceremony was the culmination of a multi-year Galileo Decommissioning Project, helmed by the Logistics Support Division (LSD) of the Department of Field Support that included numerous enhancements to the Umoja Foundation solution for Logistics Execution and Service Delivery to accommodate the unique requirements of the UN’s field operations.
“What we are celebrating today really is the start of a new era of supply chain management in the UN, in the way we deliver services to our clients in these difficult conditions,” said Ms AnneMarie van den Berg, Director of LSD. The event concluded with an exhibition of takamba music and dance, native to the Gao region.