Describing the 2011-2020 strategic plan of the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) to boost the rice sector in Africa as “evidenced-based and therefore very solid and powerful,” the new Director General of AfricaRice Dr Harold Roy-Macauley urged AfricaRice staff “to be adventurous and ingenious in the way we roll out our rice science.”
He stated that although AfricaRice’s mandate covers the rice sector in Africa, it is global in its approach, because of the growing importance and opportunities of the African rice sector in the global rice market. “Rice is global and it is big business,” said Dr Roy-Macauley. “It is the white gold of the future. We at AfricaRice should consider ourselves fortunate to be in big business already.”
Dr Roy-Macauley made these remarks in his first speech to the AfricaRice staff during the handover ceremony on 12 March 2015 at AfricaRice temporary headquarters in Cotonou, Benin, in which the Interim Director General Dr Adama Traoré handed over office to him.
Dr Roy-Macauley, a Sierra Leonean national, was appointed as the new Director General of AfricaRice at an Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of AfricaRice held on 6 February 2015, in Kampala, Uganda.
After thanking Dr Traoré for ably steering the Center during the interim period, Dr Roy-Macauley outlined his first priorities that include the following:
- Rendering partnerships more efficient around rice science and sector development
- Strengthening capacity for rice science and sector development
- Improving access of small-holders rice producers to markets
- Reintegrating rice science in the policy agenda of countries
- Increasing investments in rice science and sector development
To realize his vision for AfricaRice, he highlighted the need for AfricaRice Management and staff to focus on the implementation of four main pillars:
- “Consolidation, which implies consolidating existing scientific and development activities to respond directly to the weaknesses observed in the rice value chain with special focus on integrating functional Innovation platforms (IPs) in rice value chain in the rice hubs and striking a better balance between varietal development and dissemination and agronomy.
- Efficiency/Efficacy, which implies improving the following key systems – monitoring, evaluation and learning; data and information collection and analysis; knowledge management; information and communication; cooperate services and quality delivery; and governance policies, leading to increased credibility of AfricaRice, the interest of development partners including the private sector and their investments and the sustainable funding of AfricaRice’s activities.
- Punctuality, which implies anticipating consequences (proactivity and rapidity), having great consideration of our clients, inspiring confidence in staff, and being polite, which will lead to improved client relationship and the reputation of AfricaRice Management.
- Excellence, which implies being very progressive, having a sense of responsibility and a spirit of openness, and recognizing diversity, merits and talents, which will lead to improved work environment.”
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