The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) on Thursday, September 8, 2016, received an “AGRA Star Gift” at the just ended African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Nairobi, Kenya.
The award was bestowed on six grantees of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) at a special dinner to mark AGRA’s 10th anniversary. AGRA currently sponsors more than 200 institutions and projects across Africa. The awardees were deemed to have “lived the AGRA dream” and exceeded the expectations of the organisation within its 10 years of existence. Professor Eric Y. Danquah, Director of WACCI received the award on behalf of the Centre.
A number of high profile personalities including the Vice President of Kenya, H.E William Ruto; the Chairman of the AGRA Board, Mr. Strive Masiyiwa; the President of AGRA, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, former President Obasanjo of Nigeria, Ministers from across Africa, High Commissioners, Ambassadors, Development Partners, Foundations, Scientists and major Private Institutions from the world over were present at the dinner.
Speaking at the forum ahead of the dinner on the topic “The Impact of PhD training in plant breeding in Africa by the African Centres of Crop Improvement”, the Director shared the experiences, challenges and successes of WACCI and African Centre for Crop Improvement, University of KwaZulu-Natal.
The AGRF has essentially become the platform for insightful dialogue and strategic planning towards the security of the future of agriculture in Africa. It was established in 2010, following a three-year series of African Green Revolution Conferences (AGRC) held in Oslo, Norway from 2006-2008. The theme for this year’s forum was “Seize the moment; Securing Africa's rise through Agricultural Transformation”, and ran from September 5 to 9, 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. It was officially opened by the Presidents of Kenya and Rwanda.
Prof. E. Danquah (2nd from right) receiving the award on behalf of WACCI
The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) was established as a partnership between the University of Ghana (UG) and Cornell University, USA in June 2007 with funding from AGRA. The Centre is focused on training plant breeders in Africa, who through their education and exposure will pioneer the critical agenda of food security in Africa. The Centre has so far graduated a total of 35 world-class plant breeders at the PhD level out of 98 students enrolled to date.