Cotonou, Benin — With the start of a New Year, a new temporary headquarters for the Africa Rice Center has been established in Cotonou, Benin, from where scientists and other staff will continue to strive for improved and sustainable food supply and poverty reduction.
The first group of researchers and administration staff, led by the Africa Rice Center Director General Dr Kanayo Nwanze, started work on 5 January 2005 at the IITA Station at Togoudo, 13 km north of Cotonou City, courtesy of our hosts, the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Institut National de Recherche Agronomique du Bénin (INRAB). The remainder of the scientific team will move from Bamako at the end of January when further new offices are ready for occupation at Togoudo.
With immediate effect, the Africa Rice Center (WARDA) mailing address is:
01 B.P. 2031
Telephone: (229) 350188
Fax: (229) 350556
Key telephone extension numbers are:
Director General 221
Director General’s Secretariat 310
The principal headquarters of the Africa Rice Center remains at M’bé, Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire, but the temporary relocation to Cotonou brings together all elements of the WARDA team—scientists, administration and management—on one site for the first time since the civil conflict started in Côte d’Ivoire in 2002. The synergy to be gained from uniting in one place will enable the efficient continuation of WARDA’s mission to contribute to poverty alleviation and food security in Africa, through research, development and partnership activities aimed at increasing the productivity and profitability of the rice sector in ways that ensure the sustainability of the farming environment.
Activities in Côte d’Ivoire have been reduced to a minimum. It is expected that the Center will resume operations at its Bouaké Headquarters only after the cessation of hostilities and when conditions have been adjudged to be conducive for WARDA’s operations. Satellite stations at Saint-Louis, Senegal, and at Ibadan, Nigeria, continue to operate as usual.
The WARDA Research Days have been scheduled to take place in mid-February 2005 at Cotonou.