The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) is an institution that was established in 2007 as a collaborative effort between University of Ghana, Legon and Cornell University, under the leadership of Prof. Eric Danquah.
It was initiated as a solution to Africa’s hungry and malnourished population, which is fueled by Africa’s rapidly growing population, as well as the persistent low agricultural productivity in the region.
What does WACCI do?
The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement trains plant breeders across Africa, in order to improve the indigenous crops grown in the region. In line with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2, WACCI’s aim is to eliminate extreme hunger and achieve food security in Africa. WACCI currently runs two academic programmes: a 4-year PhD in Plant Breeding and a 2-year MPhil in Seed Science and Technology (SST).
Progressively, the centre has enrolled more than 120 PhD students and about 60 MPhil students from different African countries across the globe. In addition to the 3 high yielding and climate resilient maize varieties released by the centre, the centre’s graduates have also released over 60 varieties.
How is the institution funded?
Since its establishment in 2007, WACCI has, and continues to rely on donor funds. From the year 2007 to 2017, the centre was mainly sponsored by the Alliance for a Green Revolution of Africa (AGRA) under the charity of Bill and Melinda Gates. WACCI has been able to secure partnerships with over 40 world renowned educational institutes, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and private companies. Some major sponsoring partners include the World Bank, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Cornell University, USA, among others. The centre has its arms wide opened for more collaborating partnerships.
National Service Opportunities at the centre
Each year, the institution recruits national service persons and equips them with employable skills needed in the job market. Criteria for the selection of NSPs is based on a good GPA, computer literacy, a passion for excellence, ability to solve practical problems with initiative and drive, among others.
For the 2021/2022 service period, the institution welcomed Mr. Francis Appiah Koranteng, Ms. Abigail Komedza, Ms. Emmanuella Nyamekye Aggrey, Ms. Ruth Gladstone and Mr. Samuel Anim-Opare to serve as national service persons. Both Mr. Appiah Koranteng and Ms. Komedza are Field Research Assistants to the Centre. Ms. Aggrey is the Executive Assistant to the Director. The Resource Mobilization Consultant and Assistant to the Finance Officer roles are occupied by Ms. Gladstone and Mr. Anim-Opare respectively.
The WACCI community is one that empowers its members to strive for excellence. It is a privilege to be a member of such community.