Jeff Ehlers as key note speaker
On November 13th Jeff Ehlers was key note speaker in the CSIS conference, "From the Ground Up: Translational Research Pathways to Improve Lives of Smallholder Farmers." Washington D.C where he talked about the N2Africa project and its research loops in his presentation "Challenges and Examples - Research for Farmers" from the Gates Foundation Perspective".
Meeting Bill Gates and Dr Akinwunmi Adesina
It were two remarkable days, 13th and 14th of November 2014, as I, Ojo Comfort Tinuade from the Southwest (Ekiti State) region of Nigeria, had the opportunity to meet with Bill Gates and Dr Akinwunmi Adesina.
On November 13th the N2Africa project, within which I am a PhD candidate, was showcased during the interview with Bill Gates. Professor Ken Giller, my promoter, gave an overview of what the project is about. One of the comments by Bill Gates is the readiness of his foundation to improve Agriculture in Africa. Another part of the visit of Bill Gates was a TV interview for the Dutch prime-time programme College Tour, in which N2Africa was one of the many subjects and profiled in a short video clip. All 5 new PhD students from N2Africa attended the recordings of this interview, but none of us was invited to pose a question. The interview was broadcast on November 18th.
The Right Honourable Minister of Agriculture Dr Akinwunmi Adesina (right) with Wageningen University students (on the left Comfort Ojo)
On the 14th of November 2014, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, the Right Honourable Minister of Agriculture Federal Republic of Nigeria, gave a powerful speech on Unlocking Africa’s Potential for Growth and Prosperity at Wageningen University, the Netherlands.The Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA, Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo) and Nigeria Ambassador to the Netherlands (Dr. Mrs. N.N. Akanbi) both attended. Together with Ken, we presented the aims of N2Africa to the delegates, who were highly impressed. The speech enumerated various developmental projects in Nigeria. One of those projects was the encouragement of youth participation in Agricultural development in Nigeria. The speech was concluded with a statement from the Minister saying that Africans must improve in development outcomes, strengthen economic, social and political systems and build an enduring Africa that is prosperous, peaceful and stable.