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Njala University Participates in WAVE Regional Center and High Level Policy and Technical Dialogue Meeting on Cassava Viral Diseases

By:  Alhaji Umaru Gbow

Njala University, 29th May 2021- A team from Njala University headed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Bo Campus, Professor Mohamed Syed Fofanah are currently representing Njala University alongside the Honorable Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Abubakar Karim at a two-day high level meeting in Abidjan Cote d’Ivoire.

The team is also comprising of Dr. Alusaine Samura, Country Director WAVE-Njala University, Sierra Leone and Lecturer Crop Science Department School of Agriculture and Food Sciences and Madam Raymonda Johnson, Head Crop Protection Unit, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Sierra Leone delegation from left to right : DVC Bo Campus Professor Mohamed Syed Fofanah, Madam Raymonda Johnson of the Crop protection unit MAFFS, the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and WAVE Country Director for Sierra Leone, Dr.Samura.

The meeting is providing an opportunity for the inauguration of the WAVE Regional Center for Transboundary Plant Pathogens and to also carry out a high-level policy and technical dialogue on viral diseases of cassava.

The meeting is co-organized by the West and Central African countries for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF) and the Central and West African Virus Epidemiology (WAVE) program hosted at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny University in Abidjan.

The International meeting has also drawn participants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the UK Foreign and Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the European Union as well as governments, policy makers and scientific representatives of the Central and West African regions.

It is expected that recommendations and actions plans derived from the high-level policy dialogue meeting will guide the WAVE, CORAF and ECOWAS to better contribute to sustainable food and nutritional security in Central and West Africa.

Leveraging on the support of its partners, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and partners have established a network of hubs in ten Central and West African Countries. Njala University’s School of Agriculture and Food Sciences is hosting the Sierra Leone hub. The respective hubs were set up to monitor, detect and control the spread of transboundary plant pathogens in the regions.

The Sierra Leone hub of the WAVE Project anchored at Njala University has been launched quite recently and has received funding to undertake the establishment of a state-of-the art biotechnology laboratory (molecular laboratory) at Njala University.

The project will also seek to Identify and characterize root and tuber crop viruses particularly cassava; train producers to recognize cassava viral disease symptoms and adopt good farming practices and train masters and PHD (Doctor of Philosophy) students in epidemiology and virus characterization amongst several others.

The Njala University delegation attending the high-level policy meeting in Abidjan are expected to tap into new knowledge to further meet the aspirations of the project.

For more enquiries, contact the Public Relations Office, Njala University on +23276336213/+23276245292/ /