World Blank’s Global Director for Education Tours University of Ghana Inspired Centre of Excellence

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World Blank S Global Director

The Director of the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), Professor Eric Yirenkyi Danquah, revealed that the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has continued to import maize seeds from South Africa, subsidize them, and distribute them to Ghanaian farmers as part of the Planting for Food and Jobs program even though his organization has developed hybrid maize seeds.

The hybrid maize seeds which were developed as a result of funding from the World Bank according to the Director of WACCI must be planted by every Ghanaian farmer but because of Government policy, the seeds cannot reach Ghanaian farmers.

He was not happy that there is no program to empower local entrepreneurs in the seed sector for their seeds to reach farmers noting that Ghanaian seed producers cannot compete with imported seeds on the market.

Professor Danquah made this disclosure when Jaime Saavedra, Global Director for Education, World Bank paid a working visit to WACCI and The West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious and Non-Communicable Diseases (WACCBIP) at the University of Ghana.

The Director of WACCI said his outfit was thinking about impacting Government seed policy so that their hybrid maize and tomato seeds can reach every Ghanaian farmer.

Currently, he said, WACCI are in partnership with the private sector to get their seeds on the market.

The purpose of Jaime Saavedra visit is to learn about how the ongoing US$60 million first Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence for Development Impact Project had been utilized to improve the quality and relevance of their course offering and research.

The visit also provides the opportunity for the Global Director for Education, World Bank to interact with teachers, Directors, and Ghanaian and regional students who provided insights on academic experience and post-graduate plans.

Addressing staff and students of WACCI, Jaime Saavedra said investing in basic, technical, and higher education would inure to the socio-economic development of Africa because the brain power of the African students would be developed through education.

The development of the brain power of the students, he adds, would ultimately lead to the development of the much-needed human capital for the continent.

He paid glowing tribute to the staff and students of WACCI for their research work, saying it would translate into development.

The World Bank had been funding WACCI to train plant breeders and scientists in Ghana since 2015.

As a result, WACCI had been at the forefront of educating farmers on best practices in order for them to increase yield and productivity.

It has also trained agric extension agents, and entrepreneurs and is the hub where they equip the youth to turn their knowledge, skills, and ideas into innovation.

In over five workshops, WACCI had been named the number one centre of excellence in Africa.

At WACCBIP, Dr. Lydia Mosi, the Deputy Director of Administration, WACCBIP said her outfit has positioned itself to create an environment to be a hub for training African scientists who are hungry for change. Jaime Saavedra reiterated similar comments he made at WACCI.

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