CORAF Honors Champions of R&D

Eight prominent African scientists have been honored for their lifetime contributions to research and development (R&D) in West and Central Africa.

At an event organized on the sidelines of the ongoing 13th General Assembly of CORAF in N’djamena, CORAF paid tribute to these researchers for their leadership and contributions to advancing the science and research agenda. Below is a complete list of those honored:

  • Dr. Paco Sereme
  • Prof. Victor Kwame Agyeman
  • Dr. Famoi Béavogui
  • Prof. Abdulai Jalloh
  • Dr. Djondang Koye
  • Prof. Daniel Franck Idiata
  • Dr. Oumar Chaib Hassanty
  • Mr. Nathanaël Mapungu Buka

Who are the Laureates?

Those honored may have different professional and academic paths. But they all have one element in common – their contributions to food system research and advancing the food and nutrition security agenda at the local, national, regional, and global levels.

Who is Dr. Paco Sereme?

Dr. Paco Sereme is a plant pathologist and a national of Burkina Faso. He has contributed to research outputs that have benefitted people in his native Burkina Faso and beyond. He has held several leadership positions throughout his home country, Africa, and beyond throughout his career. For about seven years, he was a Board member of ICRISAT and became its Board Chair in 2018 until his retirement in 2020. In addition, he served CORAF as its Executive Director for many years. Overall, Dr. Sereme has made significant contributions to agriculture research and is credited with building solid relations with many institutions to transform agriculture in West and Central Africa.

Who is Prof. Victor Kwame Agyeman?

Prof. Victor Kwame Agyeman has been the Director-General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) since January 2015. He is a Chief Research Scientist and is also regarded as one of the leading authorities on Tropical Forest Ecology in Africa. Prof. Agyeman has been serving as a member of the Board of Directors of CORAF since 2017, where he leads the Audit and Governance Committee. CSIR is Ghana’s leading government research organization, encompassing 13 research agencies, 9 of which conduct agriculturally related research activities. It was established in 1968 to organize and coordinate scientific research in Ghana. Prof. Agyeman is recognized as a leading expert on Tropical Forest Ecology in Africa.

Who is Dr. Famoi Béavogui?

Dr. Beavogui was a member of the Governing Board of CORAF between 2012 to 2018. At the time, he was Director-General of the Agricultural Research Institute of Guinea (IRAG). IRAG is Guinea’s principal institute charged with agricultural R&D. The institute was established in 1989 and falls under the administrative coordination of the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. It has the mandate to research crops, livestock, forestry, and socioeconomic issues. As DG of IRAG, Dr. Béavogui contributed significantly to the development of the agriculture industry in his country. He would later be nominated as the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Who is Prof. Abdulai Jalloh?

Prof. Abdulai Jalloh is currently the Research and Innovation Lead at AfricaRice based in Boaké. Before joining AfricaRice, Prof Jalloh was CORAF’s Director of Research and Innovation, helping to implement its 2018-2022 Operational plan, credited for advancing science and innovation in West and Central Africa. He retired in July 2021. In-between (2016-2017), Prof. Jalloh coordinated a program funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (African Cassava Agronomy Initiative) atthe International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan, Nigeria. Prof. Jalloh has served his native Sierra Leone in several capacities, including the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI), where he served as Deputy Director-General between 2008-2009. 

Who is Dr. Djondang Koye?

Dr. Djondang Koye is an Agronomist and Agricultural Economist. He served as Vice-Chair of the Governing Board whileDirector-General of the Chadian Institute for Agricultural Research for Development (ITRAD). Dr. Djondang Koye has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics with more than 27 years of experience in agricultural economics focused on agricultural production systems, farm management, and agriculture and livestock integration. He was the Scientific Director of ITRAD from December 2005 to June 2014. he has also served as the Chairperson of the Governing Board of the Regional Center of Applied Research for the Development of Farming Systems in Central Africa (PRASAC). 

Who is Prof. Daniel Franck Idiata?

Gabonese of origin, Prof. Idiata is a Pschyco-Linguist and served as a member of the Governing Board of CORAF between 2017-2020. His contribution to research and innovation in Gabon and Central Africa is well documented following his work asChief Commissioner of the National Center for Scientific and Technological Research (CENAREST) of Gabon and as Chair of the Regional Center of Applied Research for the Development of Farming Systems in Central Africa (PRASAC) between 2010-2014. Prof Idiata holds a Ph.D. in Language Sciences, specialized in language acquisition (psycholinguistics), and full Professor of CAMES since 2011. He has experience of more than 20 years in the acquisition of languages by children, the description of African languages, ethnohistory, anthropology and cultures of Gabon, the reform of national systems of scientific research, reform of national higher education systems. 

Who is Mr. Nathanaël Mupungu Buka?

Mr. Nathanaël Mupungu Buka is a Development Specialist and member of the Governing Board of CORAF between 2017 and 2019, representing farmer organizations. Mr. Buka holds a Bachelor’s degree in Science and Technology Development. He was President of the Regional Platform for Central African Producers’ Organizations (PROPAC) from 2017 to 2021. In addition to this responsibility, he is the President of the National Committee for the promotion of family farming in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since 2014. He is also a member of several organizations promoting agriculture and food security both in the DRC and at the regional and international level.

Who is Dr. Oumar Chaib Hassanty?

Mr.Oumar Chaib Hassanty was Director-General of the Chadian Institute for Agricultural Research for Development (ITRAD) in 2019. At the time, he joined the Governing Board of CORAF as the Vice-Chair of the Governing Board of Directors. In May 2020, he was appointed as the Chadian Ministry of Production, Irrigation, and Agricultural Equipment Director-General.

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