The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa has inaugurated Bongiwe Njobe and Aggrey Agumya as its Board Chairperson and Executive Director respectively.
The ceremony took place at the 9th FARA General Assembly during the 8th African Agriculture and Science Week in Durban, South Africa.
The Board Chair of FARA, Bongiwe Njobe in her address applauded the Government of Ghana and her predecessors for their continuous support and assured that in the next three years she will “deliver on the strategic vision based on the achievements till date and work together to enhance the overall effectiveness of the organization.”
She further added that her leadership will focus on “tackling the critical and much-needed relationship from enhanced participation in the ecosystem by the private sector through drawing insights from our relationship with the African Development Bank, AFRIEXIM Bank, African Business Council, etc. that are aimed at boosting intra-Africa trade.”
The immediate-past Board Chair of FARA , Dr Alioune Fall applauded participating organizations and sponsors for a successful FARA general assembly and the 8th African Agriculture and Science Week.
Giving an account of the board’s work, Dr Fall recalled that during the heights of COVID, the solutions and recovery plans showed the power of collated efforts among the scientists.
He boasted of the board’s work in operationalizing FARA’s business plan, the formation of CAADP-XP4, relocation of FARA’s office, appointing of external auditor for 2021 to 2023 financial year, various partnerships to streamline operations, among others.
The Executive Director of FARA, Dr Aggrey Agumya presenting on FARA’s medium term strategy said that the institution is in a transition phase [in both business and leadership] therefore it “will draw an institutional assessment carried out in the context of CCGAR which will be in line with CAADP research and innovation strategy.”
Recounting FARA’s successes in the past years, he said that the entity still had “it’s mandate and convening power, aligned with the CAADP and AUC, among others”, however low funding affected its operations.
Also, “fragmentation in innovation system is a challenge but there has been progress”, he assured.
Dr Aggrey Agumya succeeds Dr Yemi Akinbammijo who served as the second Executive Director of FARA from 2013 – 2023.
The board chaired by Madam Bongiwe Njobe comprises Dr Abdou Tenkouano, Mr Philip Boahen, Dr Simeon Ehui, Dr Enock Warinda, Prof Cliff Dlamini , Prof Mohamed Soliman, Madam Elizabeth Nsimadala, Madam Janet Ngombalu, Mrs Beatrice Nakacwa-Egulu, Mr Christophe Larose, Mr Anthony Boateng, and Dr Aggrey Agumya who is FARA’s Executive Director and Secretary to the Board.
The ceremony was held at the 8th Africa Agriculture and Science Week.
The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) is the apex continental organization responsible for coordinating and advocating for agricultural research for development (AR4D). FARA serves as the technical arm of the Africa Union Commission on matters concerning agriculture science, technology and innovation.
FARA was conceived in the late 1990s by a core group of committed champions, including both African scientists and enlightened donor aid officials, who believed in agriculture’s potential to lift the continent from poverty, yet realized that this would only be achieved if the continent’s weak and fragmented agricultural research systems could somehow be brought together and strengthened under a common banner.
FARA was then voted into existence in 1997 by the Sub-Regional Organizations, including CORAF/WECARD, ASARECA and SADC-FANR, at the 17th Plenary of the Special Programme for African Agricultural Research (SPAAR), a precursor organization to FARA, situated within the World Bank.