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July 20, 2024
AgroNigeria
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CGIAR Executive Managing Director Tours IITA, Lauds Innovation Scaling Impact

In an effort to strengthen connections with leaders, staff, and partners of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) worldwide, Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Executive Managing Director, has embarked on a tour of CGIAR centres. 

The objective is to identify challenges and opportunities that can enhance integration among the centres, ultimately boosting the impact and scalability of CGIAR’s initiatives.

During her visit to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr. Elouafi shared her intent to gain a comprehensive understanding of the activities conducted by the centres at both national and global levels. She particularly emphasized her interest in existing innovations within the centres and explored sustainable methods for coordinating and fostering synergy among the 15 centres.

Commending IITA for its efforts in scaling innovations and forming partnerships, Dr. Elouafi stressed the need to take small steps to achieve impactful outcomes. She noted, “It will be interesting to look at the IITA models put in place, and these can be shared with other centres.”

Addressing the scaling of research and partnerships across centres, Dr. Elouafi stated, “Scaling and partnership are novel. We need to be fit for purpose and work with other partners for impact, and that is my vision.”

During discussions with the IITA Senior Management Team, the focus was on developing strategies to strengthen collaborative efforts among CGIAR centres and partners, including outlining plans for IITA within the CGIAR framework.

Accompanied by IITA Director General, Dr. Simeon Ehui and Deputy Director General Partnerships for Delivery, Kenton Dashiell, Dr. Elouafi paid a courtesy visit to IITA Goodwill Ambassador and former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. She expressed gratitude for Chief Obasanjo’s unwavering support for IITA and CGIAR in Africa, emphasizing her optimism about the continent’s immense potential.

Chief Obasanjo, delighted by the visit, highlighted its timeliness as IITA plans a strategic stakeholders’ engagement aimed at providing sustainable solutions to food insecurity on both national and continental levels.

Dr. Elouafi requested the continued support of Chief Obasanjo for impactful scaling of innovation and research delivery, especially for the benefit of smallholder farmers. 

“We need your support for a significant impact on the continent. We have resources and potential, but we need big plans to put all of these together,” she said.

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