The West African Centre for Water, Irrigation and Sustainable Agriculture (WACWISA) of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Tamale, held its maiden International Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB) meeting on Monday, 22nd November 2021 via zoom. The International Scientific Advisory Board is composed of leading academics of international repute, with several years of experience in academia, who are expected to provide guidance and inputs on the education and research activities of the Center. The Board is expected to meet twice a year either virtually or face-to-face to discuss the progress of the Center aimed at providing regular feedback to the Center management on their performance relative to the Centre’s proposed workplans. The essence of the maiden meeting was therefore to present the vision and strategic direction of the Centre to members of ISAB and to allow members familiarize with one another.
In her welcome remarks, the Deputy Director of WACWISA, Prof. Gordana Kranjac-Berisavljevic’ indicated that WACWISA was established in January 2019 as an African Centre of Excellence with a grant from the World Bank and Government of Ghana, under the African Centre of Excellence Impact (ACE-Impact) initiative. The Centre is focused on promoting excellence in training and research in irrigation science, sustainable agriculture, water resources management, climate change and food and nutrition security. WACWISA therefore aims at training high level manpower at the graduate level (Masters and PhD) and also organize tailor-made short courses for practitioners of industry as well as conducting high impact research that addresses the developmental needs of the West Africa sub-region and the continent at large. She therefore encouraged the Board to feel part of the initiative and bring their expertise and experiences to bear on the activities of the Centre to ensure success.
The Members of the International Scientific Advisory Board include:
- Kees van’t Klooster, Innovative Modern Agriculture-Wageningen, the Netherlands.
- Rehan Sadiq, The University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus, Canada.
- Nicholas van de Geisen, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), the Netherlands.
- Sankaranarayanan Muthiah, Coimbatore, India.
- Werners, Saskia Elisabeth, Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands.
- Mahesh Poudyal, School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.
- Jacques Somda, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Country Office, Burkina Faso.
- Felix K. Abagale, West African Centre for Water Irrigation and Sustainable Agriculture (WACWISA), University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana
The Board elected Prof. Kees van’t Klooster, a Professor at the Innovative Modern Agriculture of the Netherlands, as Chairperson.
Accepting the nomination, Prof. Klooster commended the Management of WACWISA for the broad vision and the activities so far undertaken by the Centre, and urged Members of the Board to support the Centre in the best possible way towards the attainment of the needed quality and global recognition as an African Centre of Excellence.
The members of ISAB also encouraged Management to take advantage of opportunities for collaborations in joint researches, exchange programmes and collaborative short courses with other research institutions for the benefit of students and faculty of the Centre. WACWISA should also consider reaching out to organizations in the sub-region who work in the water sector and carry them along through collaborative joint research projects, training and capacity building.