West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement to host stakeholder meeting in Maryland, USA
West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement to host stakeholder meeting in Maryland, USA

West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement to host stakeholder meeting in Maryland, USA

The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) is set to convene a groundbreaking Stakeholder Engagement Meeting titled "Seeds of Tomorrow: Cultivating Global Partnerships for Africa's Agricultural Renaissance" on April 12, 2024, at Hotel Silver Spring in Maryland, USA. This event marks a pivotal step in reshaping agricultural strategies across Africa.


Led by Professor Eric Yirenkyi Danquah, the Founding Director of WACCI, this meeting aims to usher in a new era of agricultural innovation and resilience. WACCI 3.0, the upcoming phase, seeks to bolster crop resilience, foster innovative farming practices, and ensure food security throughout the continent.

The event, hosted by Pascaline Songsore, will commence with opening remarks from Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana. Prof. Danquah will then delve into the rationale behind WACCI 3.0, highlighting the urgent need to evolve agricultural capabilities in response to contemporary challenges.

The keynote address by Dr. Robert Bertram, Chief Scientist at the Bureau for Resilience, Environment and Food Security, USAID, will focus on sustainable partnerships to fortify resilient food systems in Africa, aligning with WACCI's core objectives.

A crucial segment of the meeting will center on "Funding African Centres of Excellence," spearheaded by Dr. Simeon Ehui, Director General of IITA, Nigeria. Esteemed speakers include Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA; Trina S. Haque, Regional Director for Human Development at the World Bank; and Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister for Education, Ghana. This session aims to explore viable funding mechanisms to bolster research and training capacities in African agricultural centers of excellence.

The event will also witness a transition of leadership within WACCI's International Scientific Advisory Board, honoring Dr. Eugene Terry's contributions and welcoming Emeritus Professor Ronnie Coffman of Cornell University as the new Chair.

The afternoon session will feature lightning talks on breakthrough ideas and strategies for agricultural innovation, covering topics such as artificial intelligence in agriculture and sustainable value chain development. These discussions, moderated by Teale Yalch of GAIN, USA, and Professor Kwame Offei of the University of Ghana, underscore collaborative efforts to enhance food systems and agricultural development in Africa.

With the participation of key stakeholders from organizations like the World Bank, USAID, the U.S. Department of State, Cornell University, and AGRA, among others, this Stakeholder Engagement Meeting is poised to shape the trajectory of agricultural development and food security in Africa. WACCI's longstanding commitment to agricultural innovation and its emphasis on innovative funding and partnerships highlight the significance of this strategic event.

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