IITA: Former Benin President and Sasakawa executive members praise the work of IITA-Benin
25 March 2017. On 21 March, IITA-Bénin hosted Honorable Ruth Oniang’o, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA), accompanied by Deola Naibakelao, Managing Director, Sasakawa Africa Fund for Extension (SAFE), Mercy Akeredolu, SAFE West Africa Coordinator, and former IITA staff member Leonides Halos-Kim, now Director of Post-Harvest and Agro-processing with SAA. But that was just the beginning of an even more exciting event.
Former President, H.E. Nicephore Dieudonné Soglo, the only Bénin President to have visited IITA station way back in 1992, hearing that Honorable Oniang’o was visiting the station, expressed the wish to be part of the delegation. As a result, the station witnessed the visit of a very high powered delegation, which also included the Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Françoise Assogba-Komlan and her staff, as well as colleagues from the University of Abomey Calavi.
Presentations by IITA-Bénin staff were followed by very lively discussions. President Soglo, Deputy Chair of the Board of Directors of SAA, was very pleased to see that the station was still vibrant and kicking after his last visit 25 years ago. He congratulated IITA for a job well done, particularly with regards to the new course taken by the station in addressing biorisks under the threat of climate change.