Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dr Sanginga praises supporter of IITA projects

IITA DG Sanginga praised Prem Warrior, former Senior Program Officer with the Gates Foundation, for his unwavering support to African smallholder farmers.
DG Sanginga introduces Prem Warrior, formerly of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

At a dinner attended by key management staff of IITA, Dr Sanginga said Mr Warrior was instrumental to the success of several projects in Africa, including N2Africa—Putting nitrogen fixation to work for smallholder farmers in Africa.

Dr Sanginga and Mr Warrior first met in Nairobi. At that time, Dr Sanginga was the director of CIAT-TSBF based in Nairobi, and coincidentally CIAT-TSBF projects were being transferred to Mr Warrior who had just joined the foundation.

“When I got a call that a Mr Warrior would be visiting our team in Nairobi, I was apprehensive, especially looking at his name, and I asked myself and shared with colleagues: Who is this Mr Warrior? I hope he is not coming for war?” Dr Sanginga recalled.

The DG said that his anxieties fizzled out with the arrival of Mr Warrior—a soft spoken but firm officer who is given to details.

“In my interactions with Mr Warrior, I have found him to be a friend who is committed to bringing development to Africa’s poor,” he added.

Earlier, Dr Kenton Dashiell, Deputy Director General for Partnerships & Capacity Development thanked Mr Warrior for his efforts towards a food secure Africa.

In his response steeped in a deep sense of humility, Mr Warrior said he was simply discharging his duties and responsibilities.

“I saw a huge potential in IITA and other partner organizations, and supporting them was the right thing to do,” he said.

Apart from N2africa, other projects which have received support from Mr Warrior’s portfolio included, COMPRO and the aflatoxin control project that has received global recognition with the World Food Prize Field Award given to Dr Charity Mutegi of IITA-Kenya recently. These projects are impacting on the livelihoods of farmers, improving incomes and providing safer foods.

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