Official launching of WAVE Sierra Leone activities

Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, welcomed the launching ceremony of the WAVE activities
in Sierra Leone, on December 1 st , 2020. The ceremony gathered around sixty participants
including representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Health,
representatives of Njala University, representatives of Sierra Leone Agricultural Institute
(SLARI), Sierra Leonean administrative authorities, researchers, a delegation from WAVE
headquarters and WAVE implementing countries as well as national press.

As a reminder, Sierra Leone is one of the 3 countries that joined the WAVE program network
in its second phase which officially started in November 2019. The objectives of the
ceremony were to officially launch the program activities in Sierra Leone and to strengthen
the collaboration between WAVE and its national partners to respond to the threats posed
by cassava viruses in Sierra Leone.

The launching ceremony was highly supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry,
represented by its Deputy Minister, Hon. Samking Koihinah Braima, and the host institution
of the WAVE program, Njala University, represented by its Vice-Chancellor, Professor
Mohamed Bashiru Koroma. The personalities present at the ceremony renewed their
support to WAVE and welcomed the launch of the program activities.

The launch activities continued on December 2, 2020, at Njala University for a coordination
meeting with the University authorities followed by the scientific and technical training of
WAVE Sierra Leone team on the WAVE harmonized protocol used during field surveys. Thus,
Dr. Fidèle Tiendrébéogo, WAVE Burkina Faso Country Director, trained the team on the use
of a tablet equipped with an application designed by Cambridge University researchers, used
to collect epidemiological data essential for laboratory diagnosis of viral diseases present in
the surveyed fields. He then conducted a practical demonstration of the protocol in several
cassava fields to familiarize the team with these scientific tools and processes.

What they said?

1. Dr. Mohamed Ajuba Sheriff, Chief Agricultural Officer

“This program is aligned with the transformation plan of the Ministry of Agriculture and
Forestry. We have a task of achieving food security in the country and we also have a task of
crop diversification as a strategy to attain that. (…) This program was carefully designed to
meet our challenges. I am sure that once this project is implemented in the country, we will
be able to achieve our desired results.”

2. Professor Mohamed Bashiru Koroma, Njala University Vice-Chancellor

“In conformity with the project overall objectives, which we have interpreted as to combat
critical root and tuber crops viral diseases, specially Cassava Mosaic Disease and Cassava Brown Streak Disease, our focus will be in this direction and area of disease for us to create
an enabling environment to interface this body in effort to protect animals and humans.”

3. Dr. Alusaine Edward Samura, WAVE Sierra Leone Country Director

“We are proud to build with the WAVE program the first plant protection laboratory in Sierra

4. Dr. Josiah Mutuku, WAVE Director of Research and Operations

“We need to identify the current diseases affecting cassava production and map out
strategies to prevent further diseases coming from other countries in the continent.”

5. Hon. Samking Koihinah Braima, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

“The Minister of Agriculture pledge our commitment to continue to support the efforts of
WAVE Sierra Leone. (…) We join local partners to signal and send our message of readiness
to continue to support WAVE in Sierra Leone.”