IITA gets new DG

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The Board of Trustees of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, and CGIAR have appointed Dr Simeon Ehui as the Director-General for the Institute and Regional Director, Continental Africa for CGIAR.

A statement on Saturday in Ibadan by Katherine Lopez, IITA’s Media Director noted that Ehui in this role, will build on the institute and CGIAR’s proven track record of impact, working with teams and partners to improve livelihoods, enhance food and nutrition security, increase employment and preserve natural resources across Africa.

“Ehui, a National of Côte d’Ivoire, brings over 30 years’ experience in agriculture and sustainable development to the role.

“He joins IITA from the World Bank where he was Regional Director for Sustainable Development, providing vision, coherence and focus for sustainable development in West and Central Africa.

“Ehui takes over the role from Dr Nteranya Sanginga, who is retiring after 11 years of outstanding leadership,” the Media Director said.

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Ehui, in his remarks, said he was delighted to take up the role of IITA Director-General and Regional Director, Continental Africa at CGIAR.

“Critical scientific research is essential at a time when poverty, hunger and climate and biodiversity crises are escalating.

“Africa needs to enhance its potential to feed itself and make its food systems more resilient to climate change.

“I see myself as a broker across research-for-development among scientists, policy-makers and economists and linking science with programme implementation at the global, regional and national levels,” he said.

Also, Christian Borgemeister, Chair of IITA’s Board of Trustees, said he was very pleased to welcome Ehui as the eighth Director-General of IITA and as CGIAR Regional Director for Continental Africa.

“Ehui brings to these roles a passion for IITA’s mission, proven leadership and deep experience facilitating high-level policy discussions, cultivating major partnerships, and steering transformational projects.

“With his expertise and track record, Ehui is well positioned to be a transformative leader and guide IITA and CGIAR in Africa into the future.

“I also wish to convey my sincere appreciation to Dr Nteranya Sanginga for his tremendous commitment to IITA over the past 11 years,” Borgemeister said.

Also, Claudia Sadoff, the Executive Managing Director, CGIAR, said: “Africa is central to efforts to achieve global food and nutrition security and therefore, critical to CGIAR’s mission to transform food, land and water systems in a climate crisis.

“Early in his career, Ehui worked at CGIAR and we are delighted that this distinguished alumnus is returning to help advance those goals and build impactful partnerships across the Continent.”

Ehui’s appointment is effective Aug. 1, 2023.

In the interim period, IITA’s Deputy Director- General and Director for Research for Development, R4D, Dr Bernard Vanlauwe, will serve as Director-General.