H.E. Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) will receive the Distinguished Award for Meritorious Service at the 2nd Conference of the African Plant Breeders Association (APBA) on October 26, 2021 in Kigali, Rwanda. The award, which is in recognition of Dr. Kalibata’s immense contribution to the transformation of agriculture in Africa, was approved at the 13th Meeting of the APBA Executive Committee on August 25, 2021.
“The Executive Committee of the APBA is delighted to recognize one of Africa’s illustrious daughters for her outstanding contribution to the establishment and functioning of the APBA and the development of agriculture on the continent”, said Professor Eric Danquah, President of the APBA.
The conference, themed, “Accelerating Genetic Gains in Plant Breeding for Resilience and Transformative Food Systems and Economic Growth in Africa” has attracted over 700 participants from over 62 countries.
H.E. Dr. Agnes Kalibata, H.E. Amb. Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment at the AUC, Dr. Barbara Wells, Global Director for Genetic Innovation, CGIAR and Hon. Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana, Rwanda’s Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources will deliver keynote addresses at the Opening Ceremony. There will be a high-level panel on Inclusive Transformation of Agriculture in Africa to be moderated by Dr. Robert Bertram, Chief Scientist of the Bureau of Resilience and Food Security, USAID.
Also to be recognized at a pre-opening-ceremony symposium on Plant Breeding Education in Africa are two Cornell University alumni, Dr. Ronnie Coffman and Dr. Joseph D. DeVries for their instrumental role in the development of plant breeding human capacity in Africa. Dr. Coffman is the International Professor of Plant Breeding and Director of International Programmes at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University. Dr. DeVries is the President of Seed Systems Group.
The African Plant Breeders Association is an initiative of experienced agricultural scientists, students and professionals in Africa from higher education institutions, research organizations and private companies who see the need to change the narrative of crop improvement and the seed sector in Africa. It is a forum dedicated to promoting scientific plant breeding and related research, developing human capacities, identifying solutions to food and nutrition insecurity in Africa and providing tangible solutions to governments, seed companies, non-governmental organizations and farmers. The APBA was inaugurated at the University of Ghana in October 2019. The inaugural conference was a resounding success. Over 400 scientists from 30 countries converged in Accra, Ghana to share ideas and develop a plan of action. At the business meeting held to approve the constitution and elect officers, it was resolved that the APBA platform would drive an agenda for innovation in plant breeding on the continent to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger and the aspirations of the African Union, “the Africa We Want” by 2063 as documented in the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).