Cultivating a new crop of African cassava experts
With support from NextGen, dozens of young people have turned their passions into career pathways that will build capacity in Africa’s agriculture breeding programs. NextGen Fellows have obtained advanced degrees from Cornell University’s School of Integrative Plant Science, the West African Center for Crop Improvement (WACCI), a partnership between the University of Ghana and Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Makerere University Regional Centre for Crop Improvement in Uganda.
Lydia Ezenwaka Jiwuba, WACCI 2018
”My experience with NextGen has been amazing! The project gave me a full sponsorship for my PhD programme. Within my fully funded PhD programme, I had the opportunity to study with great minds from different countries which I enjoyed because these people actually care about your perspective. I was able to learn a lot in a fast-paced environment, and it has sharpened my problem-solving skills - how to break down complicated problems and ability to think on the spot.
Mercy Diebiru-Ojo, WACCI 2017
is a vegetative seed production expert at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria. Her advances in cassava plant conservation via tissue culture and cryopreservation earned her selection as a fellow in the prestigious Norman E. Borlaug Leadership Enhancement in Agriculture Program (LEAP).