Meet The Laureates Advancing Agricultural Science, Technology, and Innovation in Africa #AASW8

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The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) is the apex continental organisation responsible for facilitating and coordinating agricultural research and innovation advancement on the continent.

The FARA Leadership Prize for Advancing Agricultural Science, Technology and Innovation in Africa is awarded in recognition of the immense contribution of organisations and individuals’ visionary leadership in driving exemplary successes in African Agriculture and unlocking its potential to create wealth.

The award ceremony will be held during this year’s Africa Agribusiness and Science Week (AASW8) from the 5th to the 8th June 2023 in Durban, South Africa.

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of African Development Bank Group, who is widely lauded for his visionary leadership and passion for Africa’s transformation was the 2013 laureate.

The recipients for this year’s awards include eminent personalities namely: 

HE Dr. Papa Abdoulaye Seck is a world-class multi-facetted, multidimensional research scientist, agricultural policy strategist, highly cited and decorated diplomat. For many years, Papa Seck was the Director General of the Institut senegalaise de la recherche agronomique (ISRA)—the NARI of Senegal. He was a member of the Board of Governors of CORAF, as well as former Chair and Board member of FARA. In the latter part of his research career, Papa was appointed the Director General of Africa Rice – member of the One CGIAR (Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research) coalition.

After an illustrious career in the field of science in which he distinguished himself as evidenced by diverse accolades, Papa served as the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development in Senegal. Thereafter, Papa has capped his political mission by serving as the Ambassador Plenipotentiary of Senegal to Italy and Permanent representative to the UN agencies in Rome (FAO, IFAD, WFP).

Papa Seck is not new to distinction. He has been decorated severally at home and abroad in recognition of his contribution to Africa’s food security.

He has significantly strengthened international scientific collaboration between Africa and the rest of the world thereby unlocking valuable resources for advancing research, innovation and policy actions.

Dr Seck has more than 130 scientific publications and has prefaced more than 10 books on African and world agriculture.

H.E. Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko is the Commissioner for the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Econobilingualtainable Development (AUCDARBE. Mrs. Sacko was previously the special adviser to the Minister of Agriculture, assigned with the responsibility of advising on issues related to international cooperation, Climate Change, Food Security, Eradication of Hunger, and Poverty Reduction. She was also the former Secretary General of the Inter African Coffee Organization (IACO) for 13 years in Cote D’Ivoire where she oversaw the coffee economy of 25 African Coffee producing countries.

During her tenure, she successfully advocated for the empowerment of small-scale coffee farmers across the continent by setting up Regional Centres of Excellence for Capacity Building of Member States, on Genetic Material Conservation, Coffee Quality Improvement, and Cup Tasting Liquor in Cote d’Ivoire, Uganda, Cameroon, and Zambia.

Madam Sacko has built up her international profile and reputation by either consulting or working with several Regional, and Global Institutional on Agriculture including the World Trade Organization (WTO), African Union (AU), International Coffee Organization (ICO), African Development Bank (AfDB), African Eexport-ImportBank (AFREXIMBANK), (FAO), UNECA, NEPAD, among several others.

Dr. Benedict Okey Oramah is the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank). Before he was appointed Chairman, he was the Executive Vice President in charge of Business Development and Corporate.

 In that position, he supervised the business development departments and units of the Bank, namely, Trade Finance and Branches; Project and Export Development Finance; Syndications and Specialized Finance; and Corporate Finance and Advisory Services. He also supervised the Research and Knowledge Management department and assisted the President in overseeing the Strategic Planning and International Cooperation functions.

Before joining Afreximbank, he was an Assistant Research Manager at the Nigerian Export Import Bank. He has published a book, “Foundations of Structured Trade Finance”, and has written more than 35 articles on a wide range of African economic, trade and trade finance issues. He is a regular speaker in trade and trade finance conferences around the world.

 Dr. Oramah serves as Chairperson of the Africa Chapter of the International Factors Group (IFG) and is on the Board of the IFG and the Editorial Boards of Trade and Forfaiting Review and the Journal of African Trade. He is also a member of the Consultative Board on World Cocoa Economy of the International Cocoa Organization.

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-IwealaWorld Trade Organization’s Director-General is a global finance expert, an economist and an international development professional. She has 30 years of experience working in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala was formerly Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. She previously served on the Boards of Standard Chartered PLC and Twitter Inc. She was appointed as African Union (AU) Special Envoy to mobilize international financial support for the fight against COVID-19 and WHO Special Envoy for Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator.

A skilled negotiator, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has brokered numerous agreements which have produced win-win outcomes in negotiations. She is regarded as an effective consensus builder and an honest broker enjoying the trust and confidence of governments and other stakeholders.

The former Nigeria’s Finance Minister is a firm believer in the power of trade to lift developing countries out of poverty and assist them to achieve robust economic growth and sustainable development.

Headquartered in Accra, Ghana, FARA has existed for 25 years with the unique role of enhancing the connection of science, technology, innovation and business through the Africa Agribusiness and Science Week (AASW) Africa’s own Agribusiness Platform.

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