The African Plant Breeders Association (APBA) will host its second continental conference (#APBAConf2021) from October 25 – 29, 2021 at the Serena Hotel, in Kigali, Rwanda, to discuss current research outputs and outcomes in plant-breeding and related disciplines.
Held under the theme, “Accelerating Genetic Gains in Plant Breeding for Resilience and Transformative Food Systems and Economic Growth in Africa”, the conference will feature plenary sessions and panel discussions by leading plant breeders in Africa and beyond.
In addition, there will be five pre-conference workshops administered by the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), Iowa State University, Michigan State University, the CGIAR-Excellence in Breeding Platform, the Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance, and the African Union Commission (AUC) African Seed and Biotechnology Platform Working Group on Plant Genetic Resources Management.
So far, over 600 participants have confirmed attendance, including leading scientists and students from different research institutions and organizations across the world.
“Strategic partnerships and urgent action in the area of genetic innovation are needed to develop resilient, nutritious and productive varieties of Africa’s staple crops. It is this urgent need that led to the formation of APBA, which is now supported by important consultations like those that will be held at the plant-breeding conference in Kigali,” said APBA President, and WACCI Founding Director, Prof. Eric Yirenkyi Danquah.
Among the key speakers at the #APBAConf2021 are H.E. Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA, H.E. Amb. Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment at the AUC, and Hon. Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana, Rwanda’s Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources.
Others include Dr. Barbara Wells, the Global Director of Genetic Innovation at CGIAR, Dr. Robert Bertram, the Chief Scientist at USAID’s Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, Dr. Ousmane Badiane, AKADEMIYA2063’s Executive Chairman, and Aggie Konde, AGRA’s Vice President of Program Development and Innovation.
Taking a hybrid format, with both in-person and virtual attendance, the forum will pick up from the inaugural edition of 2019 in Ghana, where resolutions were made to mobilize resources and build capacities for the long-term strategic development of the agricultural sector in Africa, through effective plant-breeding programs.
The 2021 Conference will extend these objectives by presenting tangible solutions to governments, seed companies, non-governmental organizations, academia and farmers.