Prof. Ernest Ndomahina
Professor Abu Sesay assumed the office of Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Njala University on 7th December 2009. He thus became the second substantive Vice-Chancellor & Principal of Njala University and the first alumnus of Njala to be appointed substantive Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University. His career began with an undergraduate degree in Biology and Education at Njala University College within the former University of Sierra Leone. He received a M.Sc. in Crop Production & Physiology and a PhD in Crop & Plant Physiology from Iowa State University in the United States.
Professor Sesay has spent all his professional life of over 35 years in the educational field, spreading over five countries (Sierra Leone, USA, UK, Swaziland and Botswana). He started his professional career at Njala University College, where he was employed, immediately after graduation, as a Teaching and Research Assistant in the Department of Biological Sciences, and rose through the ranks of Assistant Lecturer, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Head of Department of Biological Sciences, Associate Professor in Botany, Vice-Principal and Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences. During this period he also served as Associate Scientist and Leader of the Grain Legume Programme in the Institute of Agricultural Research, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Njala, and Visiting Research Fellow at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA. In 1995, following the relocation of Njala University College to Freetown, after the vicious attacks on the College by the rebels, Professor Sesay, then unable to continue his research on Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea L. Verdc.) in Sierra Leone, was invited to join the Bambara Groundnut Research Group at the Tropical Crops Research Unit (TCRU), University of Nottingham as a Visiting Scientist. Two years later Professor Sesay accepted a position at the University of Swaziland as Associate Professor in Botany and was later promoted to the rank of Full Professor in Botany. In 2005 he accepted an offer as Associate Professor of Crop Science at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Botswana. He was under consideration for promotion to full professorship in Crop Science when he was appointed to his current position as Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Njala University.
TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE:
He has over 35 years of teaching experience; all of which has been in the University sector both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. His teaching and professional interests include: Plant physiology, Crop plant physiology, Tropical crop ecology (Legumes), Agricultural Biodiversity – improvement of African crops, Conservation Science. He has had 30 years of post-training research experience in both basic and applied plant science and has to his credit 42 articles in refereed journals and published Conference Proceedings
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:
- Commander of the Order of the Republic of Sierra Leone (CRSL). National Honour & Award in recognition of committed, outstanding and dedicated service to the nation, particularly in Tertiary Education, on 27th April 2013.
- Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education. Received from the World Education Congress 2013, at Mumbai, India, on 29th June 2013.
- Invited Scientist, Plenary Meeting, International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa,7-12 April 2008
- Member, sub-Saharan (SSA) regional design team for the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). Nairobi, Kenya, April 6-10, 2005
- Member, Programme Committee, First International Crop Science Congress, USA. July 14 -22. 1992
- Member, Review Panel, Resource and Crop Management Programme. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria, 27-29 August, 1991
- Post Doctorate Research Fellowship Award, Iowa State University
- World Food Institute Distinguished Foreign Scholar. Iowa State University Research Award (USA). 1986
- Member, Sigma XI, the Scientific Research Society (USA).
- Member, Gama Sigma Delta, Honour Society (USA).
Since becoming Vice-Chancellor & Principal in 2009, Professor Sesay has launched an ambitious strategy for Njala University’s development and operational efficiency focusing on the following:
- Improvement of the university infrastructure.
- Strengthening of staff capacity.
- Improvement of university operations.
- Enhancement of university reputation.
- Establishment and cultivation of international partnerships.
- Increased student enrollment.
- Introduction of relevant academic courses/programmes
- Development and enactment of policies to guide university operations
- ICT mainstreaming.
Within his first term in office Professor Sesay led the University to three national awards as the best performing tertiary institution in Sierra Leone in 2012 and 2013. The world ranking of the University also continues to soar.