Launching Ceremony of WAVE Phase 2

On November 6th, 2019, Libreville hosted the WAVE Phase 2 launching ceremony under the theme of “The power of togetherness to unleash agriculture productivity in central and west Africa”. The event brought together about 400 participants including:

  • 7 government Ministers
  • Over 10 Members of the diplomatic corps accredited in Gabon (European Union, USA, Brazil, …)
  • WAVE Program donors (BMGF, DFID)
  • 9 Heads of Regional and International institutions (AfDB, AGRA, CAMES, CORAF, FAO, ECCAS, IsDB, WAEMU, WHO …)
  • 11 Heads of Institutions hosting the WAVE program
  • 13 WAVE program Country Directors
  • 7 WAVE program partner projects
  • Farmers’ cooperatives
  • Researchers
  • Gabonese and International press

The objectives of the ceremony were not only to present WAVE’s Phase 2 to stakeholders and officially launch its activities but also to build alliances, enhance collaboration and collective actions against root and tuber crops viral diseases in West and Central Africa.

The first part of the day was dedicated to the official ceremony with:

  • A welcome address by Prof. Jacques François Mavoungou, WAVE Country Director in Gabon
  • A presentation by Prof. Justin Pita, WAVE Executive Director
  • A speech by Áine Mc Gowan, Partner Relationship and Liaison Officer on assignment at BMGF (DFID)
  • A presentation by Dr. Katherine Kahn, WAVE Senior Program officer at BMGF
  • An official WAVE program Phase 2 launching speech given by the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fishery and Food Security of the Gabonese Republic

After the official launching ceremony, panel discussions took place in the afternoon.

The first panel was moderated by Prof. Abdourahamane Sangare, Deputy Director-General of the “Centre National de Recherche Agronomique” of Côte d’Ivoire and member of WAVE’s Advisory committee. The regional institutions were on the spotlight to discuss the “types of collaboration that should be established with their institutions to boost sustainable agricultural productivity in Central and West Africa”. The panelists were:

  • Forster Boateng,Regional Head (West Africa) of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
  • Prof. Bertrand Mbatchi, General Secretary of “Conseil Africain et Malgache pour l’Enseignement Supérieur” (CAMES) 
  • Dr. Abdou Tenkouano, Executive Director of the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (WECARD)

The second panel was dedicated to the theme “Pooling Our Resources to better Support Sustainable Agricultural Productivity in Central and West Africa. Moderated by Dr. Chiedozie Egesi, Project Manager at NextGen Cassava, the panel brought on stage:

  • Dr. Katherine Kahn, Senior Program Officer at BMGF
  • Áine Mc Gowan, Partner Relationship and Liaison Officer on assignment at BMGF, from DFID
  • Ali Eyeghe, Head of the Agriculture, Human and Social Development Division / Regional Office for the Development and Provision of Services in Central Africa at the African Development Bank (AfDB)
  • Ougfaly Badji (Operations Team Lead Food Security); Moussa Mahamane (Operations Team Food Security) and Sabiu Auwal (Agricultural Economist) at the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Regional hub of Abuja

The WAVE phase 2 launching ceremony received the entire support of the Gabonese government. Impressed by the WAVE program’s achievements and convening power that he witnessed during the Cotonou conference held in June 2018, the Gabonese Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fishery and Food, gave an exceptional support to facilitate the organization of the ceremony. Therefore, on August 1st, 2019, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Gabon approved the hosting of the WAVE Phase 2 launching ceremony. This decision allowed the Minister to throw his full support behind the success of the event.