Zara Soutonnoma Nikiema was born at Bobo Dioulassothe economic town of Burkina Faso. The primary activity of this town is agriculture. Even thought her parents were not farmersthey had a little farm to produce some vegetables (Okro)cereals (Maize)legumes (Groundnut and Cowpea) to support the family's consumption.
All the children had an area to produce what they wanted during the rainy season (Vacations). Zara did her Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry at University of Ouagadougou. After her first degree in she continued to pursue a second degree in Microbiology and Biotechnology (MSc.) also at the University of Ouagadougou. She did her MSc. practical at the University of Franceville in Gabon in 2009. She has since then been working at the Institute of Research in Environment and Agricultures (INERA) of Burkina Faso. After several research activities with her colleagues in the laboratory she find out that cereals particularly on sorghum has a lot of pathogens particularly fungus. These pathogens attack and destroyed the seedlings before it grow up. Aside their effect the plant the fungi also produced toxins which gave canker to human as well as to animal. All these findings made Zara apply for the scholarship at the West African Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI). Zara thinks she is fortunate to have won the WACCI PhD grant and believes this training will give to her the knowledge and tools she needs to contribute in the area of increasing sorghum production.