WACCI Commissions External Review Panel Chaired by Rita Mumm

The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) has commissioned an External Review Panel to evaluate the initial 10-year phase of the AGRA-funded project and make recommendations for transforming WACCI into a sustainable Centre of Excellence.

The Panel is chaired by Dr. Rita Hogan Mumm, Professor Emerita and Founding Director, Plant Breeding Centre, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne, USA. She is also Former President, National Plant Breeders Association, USA.

The panel has the following experts as members:

  • Dr. Hans Adu-Dapaah, Immediate Past Director & Chief Scientist, Crops Research Institute, Fumesua, CSIR, Ghana (Member)
  • Dr. Raymond Atuguba, Legal Expert & Executive Secretary to the President of Ghana (Member)
  • Mr. Richard Boapea, Finance Director, University of Ghana (Member)
  • Mr. Alfred Ted Konu, Former Registrar, University of Ghana (Member-Secretary)

In prosecuting its assignment, the panel will work with the plant breeders in the National Agricultural Research Systems in West Africa, Staff of WACCI, international partners and the management of the University of Ghana.

The terms of reference are to:

  • evaluate WACCI’s performance during the AGRA-funded phase of the project
  • advise on a comprehensive strategy for a smooth transition from the AGRA-funded project into a sustainable programme
  • make recommendations on ways of transforming WACCI into a sustainable African Centre of Excellence for post-graduate training in Plant Breeding and related subjects.

The panel will pay a site visit to WACCI from January 26 - 30, 2015 as part of its assignment and document its findings in a comprehensive report to the Director of WACCI by March 2015.

The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) was established in 2007 as a partnership between the University of Ghana and Cornell University with initial funding from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to train plant breeders, at the PhD level, with expertise to improve the indigenous crops that feed the people of the sub-region. Since inception, the Centre has enrolled 67 PhD students from 10 African countries and has graduated 18 students from two cohorts. The Centre has attracted about 3 million US dollars from multiple donors in addition to the initial grant of 11 million US dollars from AGRA.  Recently, WACCI was selected as one of 19 Africa Centres of Excellence by the Association of African Universities to receive 8 million dollars from the World Bank as a project support grant. The AGRA-funded phase is expected to end in December 2017.