The second phase of N2Africa started on the 1st January 2014 and it has been a very busy time writing up reports and getting started with our new strategy. N2Africa is going through some major changes in staffing and we extend a very warm thanks to all of those staff who are moving on to new challenges. Jeroen Huising has moved to a new position at IITA, Ibadan. Linus Franke has taken up a position as Senior Lecturer at the Department of Soil, Crop and Climate Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa. From this position he hopes to remain engaged with N2Africa and has several joint manuscripts in development with N2Africa staff and partners. Judith de Wolf remains in Zimbabwe and is assisting in transitioning the N2Africa Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) into the new era as a consultant for two months. We thank Alastair Simmons and the other Taskscape staff for the wonderful video materials produced during the first phase.
We advertised all of the new positions in December and had a large number of applications. We thank all of the people who assisted in interviewing which has resulted in a number of new appointments. We introduce to you below: Edward Baars, the N2Africa Business Development Officer who will be based in Abuja, Nigeria; Joost van Heerwarden, Research and Data based at Wageningen, The Netherlands. We have also appointed the Coordinators for the Core Countries: Endalkachew Wolde-meskel (Ethiopia), Samuel Adjei-Nsiah (Ghana), Emmanuel Ademola Sangodele (Nigeria), Freddy Baijukya (Tanzania) and Peter Ebanyat (Uganda). We have yet to appoint the Project Coordinator and the Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist and are still interviewing.
We are busy with a number of key activities. The past few months have been a hectic period of writing Milestone Reports and the Final Report for the first phase. We are developing a new Communication Strategy, with a strong emphasis on improving sharing of knowledge among countries within N2Africa. As part of this, Greta van den Brand and Charlotte Schilt have been (and still are) assisting Marcel Lubbers with revamping the N2Africa website (www.N2Africa.org) in line with our new strategy. We hope that the numerous (more than 60!) reports and MSc theses can now be found more easily and look forward to your feedback on the website. There is also an interactive map that is being developed to show where we are working and to provide an easy way of finding out about past and current activities. N2Africa now has a Facebook page (see www.facebook.com/N2Africa) to help us speed up communication within and outside N2Africa – please visit the page and give us a Like!
On the photo: The N2Africa Field Liaison Officer in Nigeria, Esther Chinedu with her son who was named "Inoculant" – surely a first!! His parents also gave him the official name of Elijah Chinedu.