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AfricaRice Board of Trustees Resolves to Amend the 2016 Revised AfricaRice Constitution

Communique of the 49th meeting of the AfricaRice Board of Trustees |

The 49th meeting of the AfricaRice Board of Trustees held on November 19, 2020 was presided over by the Chairperson of the AfricaRice Board of Trustees, Dr Carol Kramer-LeBlanc. The Chairperson inducted the newly reconstituted Board into the business of AfricaRice. She emphasized on the founding in 1971 of the Center as the West African Rice Development Association and as an Intergovernmental Association by fourteen West African States, its adherence to CGIAR in 1986, and the resulting changes in its governance mechanisms to align with the governance framework of CGIAR. The Board Chair explained to the new Board the long-standing relationship of AfricaRice and the extensive network of national agricultural research institutes throughout Africa that permits AfricaRice to multiply its impact.

The Director General, reported on progress made by AfricaRice vis-a-vis the One CGIAR reforms and the AfricaRice-IRRI Alliance process, and proposed strategic directions moving forward. The Board was informed of the Center’s adherence to One CGIAR, which was endorsed by the COM on the 29th September. This process will have to receive legal legitimization through the passing of another resolution by the Board to amend some provisions in the 2016 revised AfricaRice Constitution, notably related to the structure and functions of the Board of Trustees with aim of bringing it in line with the One CGIAR governance framework. He also informed the BoT that AfricaRice is actively providing support to the EMT as regards development of the 2030 Research Strategy, its implementation, and the operational structure of One CGIAR. He informed the Board that cursors were developed, which will be used in the establishment of a single rice research for development strategy for Africa. Furthermore, the breeding programs of both institutions have been unified with the appointment of Global, African and Asian Leads, the establishment of a common breeding strategy and the implementation of common breeding programs. He also indicated that challenges are still being encountered by both institutions in defining an appropriate governance and management model for the Alliance. On strategic directions, he proposed that AfricaRice should continue its active involvement in the establishment of One CGIAR and programmatic alliance with IRRI. He noted his conviction that the operational structure of One CGIAR proposed by the EMT will eventually streamline governance issues of all CGIAR Centers and that this might necessitate putting on hold discussions to finalize the unification agreement between AfricaRice and IRRI.

The 49th Board commended the AfricaRice Management on steps taken in burgeoning its research program through its programmatic alignment with IRRI. It agreed that AfricaRice should prioritize actions related to compliance with the requirements of One CGIAR, and that the AfricaRice-IRRI Alliance discussions should be put on hold pending the outcome of the CGIAR reform processes. The Board resolved to approving the amendments made to the 2016 AfricaRice Constitution, which considers alignment of the governance instruments with the governance framework of One CGIAR and deciding that the Board Chair and Director General should ensure that the resolution be endorsed by the COM. The Board was gratified to observe a healthy cashflow situation of AfricaRice as projected for close of the 2020 financial year and despite the COVID-19 pandemic an improved 2021 provisional budget compared to that of 2020, which was approved to facilitate initiation of activities in 2021, pending final approval of the 2021 working budget, during its next meeting scheduled for April 2021. The Board approved a proposed revised compensation modality of its members in view of the intensification of the activities of Board members, related to the One CGIAR reforms. The Board Chair recognized the presence of members of the EMT at the 49th meeting of the AfricaRice BoT and closed the meeting by thanking all those who contributed to its successful organization.


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