WACCI to Celebrate 16 Years of Contributing to and Enhancing Food Security in Africa

The management, staff, alumni and partners of the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana, are excited to announce a three-day event from May 31 to June 2, 2023 to mark its 16th Anniversary celebration. Alumni of WACCI from 15 countries and partners from the global north and south will converge at the University of Ghana for conversations and actions that will take WACCI to the next level.

The theme of this year’s celebration is, “Harnessing Human Capital in Plant Breeding for the Future of Food and Nutrition Security in Africa.” It reflects WACCI’s rich story of academic excellence in capacity building and commitment to shaping the future of food security in Africa through quality teaching, impact-driven research, extension and community engagement.

Since its establishment, WACCI has graduated 105 PhD and 40 MPhil students who have successfully released 227 improved crop varieties and attracted over US$ 57 million to their home institutions for research and development projects. The Centre 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 celebration will kick off on May 31, 2023, at the ISSER Conference Room with a welcome address by Prof. Eric Y. Danquah, Founding Director of WACCI. There will be interactive panel discussions featuring distinguished alumni on various topics to inform the strategic direction and sustainability of the Centre. There will also be addresses from founding, implementing and prospective partners including 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. The climax of the day will be the election of the members of the WACCI Alumni Executive Committee. The day will end with a networking cocktail event at which alumni and invited guests will interact and socialise.

On Day Two, there will be a high-level event to celebrate the 16th Anniversary at the Cedi Conference Centre, University of Ghana. Key persons to illuminate the opening ceremony of the Conference with speeches include Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana; Dr. Bryan Acheampong, Honourable Minister for Food and Agriculture, Ghana; Prof. Boateng Onwona-Agyeman, Provost, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, UG and Prof. Eric Danquah, Founding Director WACCI. 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 day promises to be insightful, with spotlight talks, exhibitions and poster sessions by agricultural value chain actors and WACCI alumni.

A special closed event, an Anniversary Gala, will take place at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana, where guests will be entertained with a grand performance from the legendary Ghanaian Dance Hall artiste, Samini. Ms. Pascaline Kuunzugla Songsore will emcee the opening ceremony and anniversary gala.

The Alumni Homecoming event will end on June 2, 2023, with a symposium on “Biotech Crops and Genome Editing in Africa” co-hosted by WACCI and the Alliance for Science, Ghana at the WACCI premises.

The WACCI Alumni Homecoming and 16th anniversary celebration promises to be a memorable event, bringing together WACCI’s global community of alumni and partners to celebrate the Centre’s impact on food and nutrition security in Africa while creating an excellent opportunity for forging new strategic partnerships for sustaining one of Africa’s celebrated institutions, WACCI.

For more information about the event and registration, please email WACCI at info@wacci.ug.edu.gh.

For sponsorship, please click on the following link (Sponsorship packages) for sponsorship packages and contact information.