The 2010 batch of students from the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana, Legon have returned to the Centre upon completion of their research work in their home institutions to complete theses for submission. This research component of their PhD training lasted a period of 33 months. WACCI is one of the Africa Centers of Excellence.
A number of these students are already making impact in research for development at the country and regional levels in West and Central Africa. These students will be game changers and history makers as West and Central Africa strives to end hunger and attain food and nutritional security by 2030. Highlights are as follows:
Five other students from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Nigeria have also made breakthroughs in their work on four staple crops (Cassava, Cowpea, Maize and Sorghum) and are returning to their home institutions in December, 2015 to work towards developing improved and resilient crop varieties with genes for resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses.
The eighth student of this cohort, Kenneth Fafa Egbadzor completed his PhD a year ahead of his colleagues and is back at the Plant Genetics Resources Institute, Bunso, Ghana leading a programme on cowpea improvement.
The quality and importance of the WACCI PhD in plant breeding programme has been acclaimed worldwide and recommended for replication in Africa and south East Asia by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in their 2009 report. Development partners and Foundations are encouraged to support the WACCI programme for West and Central Africa to develop the critical mass of plant breeders needed to develop the climate-smart, high yielding and nutritious varieties of staple crops urgently needed in farmers fields to meet the goal of food and nutritional security in the region by 2030. For more information on WACCI, visit www.wacci.edu.gh.