Monday, April 8, 2013

IITA DG meets the President of Zanzibar

.......and pledges to support isle to boost production and processing of cassava.  

IITA DG and H.E Dr Ali Mohamed Shein, President of Zanzibar 
The delegation that accompanied IITA DG to meet Zanzibar president at the State House.   
IITA’s DG, Nteranya Sanginga was this week at the institute’s eastern Africa hub in Tanzania where he among others visited the President of Zanzibar, the ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Tanzania and participated in the launch of the IITA-led project that aims at boosting the production of for important staples and is funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Sanginga paid a courtesy call to His Excellency Dr. Ali Mohamed Shein, the President of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar at the State House in Zanzibar on April 4, 2013 and assured him of IITA’s support to boost production and processing of cassava at the island. The DG also delivered an invitation to the President from Chief Olesegun Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria and IITA’s good will ambassador, to the inauguration of IITA’s science building for eastern Africa hub in Dar es Salaam, slotted for 13 May 2013. 
President Shein thanking the DG for the visit and the invitation which he graciously accepted, praised the institute for its good work with the isle’s Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources in boosting the production and productivity of root tuber crops, especially cassava and yams, and appealed for more support in cassava value addition.

AfDB project launch

IITA DG addresses participants at launch of SADC-SC project in Tanzania
Sanginga also participated in the launch of the country program of the ‘Multinational – CGIAR Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa (SARD-SC)” which seeks to increase food security and improve the income and living standards of small-holder farmers in the 20 African countries, Tanzania included, by increasing the production of four important staple crops – maize, wheat, cassava and rice.
Guest of honour:  Dr Khalid S. Mohamed
The event was officiated by Dr. Khalid S. Mohammed, Principal Secretary, Ministry of State, Second Vice President Office, Zanzibar, and United Republic of Tanzania, who assured the participants of his government’s support to the initiative that was in line with his government’s efforts to develop the agriculture sector which is one of the key drivers of the country’s economic growth.  
Speaking at the launch Sanginga, said that this partnership project holds great potential to improve the livelihood of smallholders through improving the value chains of the four priority crops in Africa – cassava, maize, rice and wheat.

Visit to DRC ambassador

From left:  Sanginga, Ambassador Mpago and Manyong
The DG also paid a courtesy call to the Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Dar es Salaam, H.E Mr Juma Mpango.
The DG briefed the ambassador on IITA’s research activities in eastern and Central Africa. He informed the ambassador that DRC was the institute’s hub for Central Africa with a Director who at the moment for logistical reasons, was based in Nairobi. He added that the institute had invested in a science facility at Kalambo near Bukavu and would in the very near future also put up a science building in Kinshasa as the headquarters of the hub. 
Ambassador Mpango warmly welcomed the DG who was accompanied by the Director for eastern Africa Victor Manyong noting the institute was playing a very important role in supporting agriculture in the region and DRC which was rebuilding itself after many years of war.

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