Incoming CGIAR Executive Managing Director, Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, visits AfricaRice
As part of her tour to visit One CGIAR centers, the new CGIAR Executive Managing Director (EMD) Dr. Ismahane Elouafi visited Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) in Côte d'Ivoire from January 11 to 13, 2024. Before being appointed as CGIAR EMD, Dr. Elouafi was Chief Scientist at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. In this role, she represented FAO on the CGIAR System Council and she has previously served as a member of the CGIAR System Board. She was Director General at the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture based in the United Arab Emirates, and has held senior scientific and leadership positions including advising the Canadian government.
Dr. Elouafi seized the opportunity of this visit to put science diplomacy at work, as she was given audiences by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Discussions with the Ministers focused on the role of CGIAR and AfricaRice in the country's efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in rice, and the support that other One CGIAR centers can provide regarding other agricultural sectors. The Ministers applauded the CGIAR's efforts and assured Dr. Elouafi of their continued support to AfricaRice.
During this visit, Dr. Elouafi also visited AfricaRice research station in Mbé. Speaking at a meeting held in hybrid format with all AfricaRice staff, she expressed the role and importance of the transition to One CGIAR, both institutionally and in terms of staff development.
Dr. Elouafi also made the most of the opportunity to visit AfricaRice's facilities in Mbé, particularly laboratories, the genebank, and also had a tree planting session.
The role of the CGIAR
CGIAR is the world’s largest publicly-funded agrifoods-focused research network with nearly 9,000 staff working in over 80 countries. In 2019, in response to demand from its country, regional, science, and funding partners CGIAR began a process of boldly reimagining its mission and strategy to become a more integrated, more impactful, and better funded ‘One’ CGIAR, fit-for-purpose to tackle the complex, interconnected challenges of the era.