Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire — To effectively translate its new Strategic Plan, The Africa Rice Center (WARDA) has announced a new programmatic and corporate structure that will enhance the relevance and impact of its research products and services in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
“The new structure, which was recently approved by the Board and endorsed by our NARS partners, will better position the Center to address the emerging challenges in SSA and ensure that the quality of our science continues to meet the highest international standards,” remarked Dr Kanayo F. Nwanze, Director General of The Africa Rice Center.
New Programmatic Structure of Core Research Areas
The Center’s core research areas will focus on the two major challenges highlighted in its 2003-2012 Strategic Plan: 1. Integrated Rice Production Systems; and 2. Rice Policy and Development. The two programs will be headed each by an Assistant Director under the supervision of the Assistant Director General, Research and Development.
Integrated Rice Production Systems
Activities under this program will seek to:
Improve resource use efficiency for more productive, profitable, and socio-economically viable rice production systems in SSA
Develop stress-tolerant rice varieties and agronomic practices that best fit or better optimize existing production systems in SSA and are acceptable to both producers and consumers
Rice Policy and Development
The thrust of this program is to:
Build strategies for competitive rice sector development in SSA through a better understanding of rice policy and market dynamics and a systematic assessment of impacts of technical and institutional changes within the rice sector
Enhance the institutional capacity of national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES) by extending its highly successful network model to other rice-producing areas of Africa
Mitigate the effects of environmental disasters and pandemic diseases on rice-based livelihoods by providing information, technology, and support
These two programs will function through a set of a limited number of well-focused projects with specific outputs and milestones within the Medium-Term Plan (MTP).
As part of its new research agenda, the Center will reach out beyond its traditional partners to ensure that its knowledge and technologies are relevant and accessible to a broader range of actors interested in rice development in Africa: ranging from international development banks and bilateral agencies, through government and research institutions to local NGOs and the private sector.
New Executive Management Team and Corporate Structure
To effectively support its new research agenda, the Center has transformed its Executive Management Team organization and streamlined its corporate structure.
As part of the new structure, the Director General will be assisted by:
Dr Shellemiah Keya, Assistant Director General, Research and Development, and
Mr Long Tien Nguyen, who has just been appointed Assistant Director General, Corporate Services