The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) at the University of Ghana has announced it will hold a series of events from May 31 to June 2, 2023, to mark its 16th-anniversary celebration.
A statement from the institution to the media said alumni of WACCI from 15 countries and partners from across the world will converge at the University of Ghana for the celebration.
Since its establishment, WACCI has graduated 105 PhD and 40 MPhil students who have successfully released 227 improved crop varieties across Africa.
WACCI alumni have also attracted over US$ 57 million to their home institutions for research and development projects.
The Centre has also trained 56 agri – entrepreneurs at its Kofi Annan Enterprise Hub for Agricultural Innovation (KAEHAI).
These agri-entrepreneurs are scaling-up innovations through the establishment of start-ups and agribusinesses.
The theme of the celebration is; “Harnessing Human Capital in Plant Breeding for the Future of Food and Nutrition Security in Africa.”
The statement said the theme reflects WACCI’s rich story of academic excellence and commitment to shaping the future of food security in Africa through quality teaching, impact-driven research, extension, and community engagement.
Representatives from founding, implementing, and prospective partners will participate in the celebration.
They include the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Cornell University, University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), University of Pretoria, King Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) and the University of Zagreb.
Key personalities including the following will participate in the celebration; Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo – Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Dr Bryan Acheampong – Ghana’s Minister for Food and Agriculture, Prof. Eric Danquah – Founding Director of WACCI, and Prof. Boateng Onwona-Agyeman – Provost of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences at the University of Ghana.
There will be a keynote address on the impact of plant breeding on food security and the role of higher education in the global sphere by Prof. Giles Oldroyd, Director of the Cambridge Crop Science Centre.
The celebration will end on June 2, 2023, with the International Symposium on Agricultural Transformation and Biotech Crops in Africa, co-hosted by WACCI and the Alliance for Science Ghana, at the WACCI premises.
The symposium will deliberate on what agricultural sector stakeholders need to do differently to ensure expanded farmer access to crops produced using new breeding techniques.
The statement said the 16th-anniversary celebration is expected to bring together WACCI’s global community of alumni and partners to celebrate the Centre’s impact on food and nutrition security in Africa, as well as forge new strategic partnerships.
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