Cotonou, Benin — The recently appointed Director General of the Africa Rice Center (WARDA) Dr Papa Abdoulaye Seck assumed office with effect from 7 October 2006, taking over the reins from Dr Kanayo F. Nwanze.
Dr Nwanze stated that this would ensure a smooth transition at the helm since he was going on leave from 15 October to 30 November 2006 when he would officially separate from WARDA at the end of his second term.
Dr Seck, of Senegalese nationality, was appointed WARDA’s new Director General at an Extraordinary Session of the WARDA Council of Ministers on 22 June 2006 in Abuja, Nigeria.
On assuming office, Dr Seck reiterated that his work at WARDA would be built on the pillars of “transparency, equity, scientific excellence, strengthening of collaboration with the national agricultural research systems and an open-door policy towards all partners.”
Elaborating further on his vision and strategy, Dr Seck spelt out his priorities to:
Expand WARDA’s scientific and geographical mandate
Accentuate WARDA’s unique strengths in research, develop and partnership to generate and disseminate highly relevant technologies, such as the NERICAs, for different ecosystems
Enhance the culture of excellence in every area at WARDA
Strengthen further WARDA’s relationship with the national agricultural research and extension systems
Increase the impact and visibility of WARDA’s research through strategic communication programs targeted to various stakeholders
Foster diversification of R&D activities through a dynamic “market-oriented” process to increase end-use value of rice
Dr Seck said that the strategies to achieve these priorities will include effective fund-raising plans, openness towards all partners, and enhanced advocacy for rice research.
He underlined that he was fully committed to the Regional Medium Term Plan for West and Central Africa and that WARDA would be actively engaged in its implementation.