Prof. Eric Danquah Appointed to UK-CGIAR Centre's Science & Impact Advisory Group

University of Ghana's Prof. Eric Yirenkyi Danquah, a distinguished professor of Plant Genetics and the Founding Director of the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), has been appointed as a key member of the Science & Impact Advisory Group of the newly established UK-CGIAR Centre.

This follows the successful launch of the UK-CGIAR Centre by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on November 20, 2023, during the Global Food Security Summit in London. The summit, hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, served as the platform for the launch of the UK-CGIAR Centre, a collaborative initiative between the UK and CGIAR, the world's largest global agricultural innovation network.

The Science & Impact Advisory Group, which Prof. Eric Danquah now joins, will play a pivotal role in providing strategic guidance and independent assessment of project proposals for the Centre. Other members of the Advisory Group include Nitya Rao, Jane Langdale, and Wayne Powell.

As a member of the Advisory Group, Prof. Eric Danquah's involvement will be crucial in shaping the strategic direction of UK-CGIAR's Scientific Impact Initiatives. His profound expertise and leadership in agricultural research position him as a valuable contributor to the Advisory Group, which will provide guidance for the initiatives of the Centre focused on enhancing the resilience and productivity of global food systems.

In his announcement, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak highlighted the UK's leadership in scientific advancements related to global food security, citing the development of malaria vaccines and innovations in crops that are drought-resistant and enriched in vitamins, benefiting millions globally.

The Prime Minster said, “As the country that over the last few years has led the development of the world’s first and second malaria vaccine, we’re also driving scientific advances in food security which benefit millions globally as well as supporting our brilliant farmers here at home.”

“We’ve already helped develop crops that are drought-resistant and even richer in vitamins, now feeding 100 million people across Africa. And we’re going further, launching a new UK CGIAR Science Centre to drive cutting-edge research” he remarked.

Prof. Danquah expressed his honour at being appointed, stating, "As a newly appointed member of the Science and Impact Advisory Group for the UK-CGIAR Centre, I am deeply honored to contribute to this pioneering initiative. The Centre's focus on harnessing cutting-edge science to address global food security and climate change resonates profoundly with my work and values.”

He further emphasised the potential for collaborative efforts to advance sustainable agricultural practices, crop resilience and nutritional improvements, particularly in regions like Africa and South Asia.

“Our collaborative efforts will undoubtedly advance sustainable agricultural practices, crop resilience, and nutritional improvements, making a significant impact in regions like Africa and South Asia. I am eager to work alongside esteemed colleagues to drive innovative solutions for these pressing global challenges," Prof. Danquah stated.

In a congratulatory message, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, stated, "This is a testament to the extraordinary talent we have here at the University of Ghana, which is being harnessed for national, regional, and global development. I am confident that Prof. Danquah will deliver excellently on his mandate and continue to make UG proud."

The launch of the UK-CGIAR Centre aligns with the UK government's commitment to leveraging its strengths in science and technology to address the interconnected challenges of global food security and climate change. With funding from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the Centre aims to strengthen ties between CGIAR and leading-edge UK science, fostering innovative solutions to pressing global challenges.

The University of Ghana congratulates Prof. Eric Danquah on this appointment and wishes him fruitful and impactful contributions during his tenure as a member of the Science and Impact Advisory Group of the UK-CGIAR Centre, providing solutions for global food security and climate change.

Click here to read more about Prof. Eric Danquah.