IITA hosts workshop on Water‒Energy‒Food systems in sub-Saharan Africa
To ensure economic development and technology advancement in agriculture, IITA and partners organized a workshop focused on achieving sustainable water, energy, and food systems in sub-Saharan Africa.
The workshop was held at the IITA conference center, Ibadan, 25 to 27 June. It proposed to build an alliance of partners committed to developing a significant water, energy, and food system in sub-Saharan Africa, thereby developing partnerships between institutions or individuals interested in immediate collaboration around specific nexus research, education, or outreach projects. Some of the institutions involved are Pennsylvania State University (USA), University of Ibadan (Nigeria), IITA, and the International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering (Burkina Faso).
The workshop was attended by dignitaries including His Excellency Godwin Obaseki, Executive Governor of Edo State; Prof Michael Adewumi, Vice-Provost for Global Programs at Penn State University; Dr Nteranya Sanginga, IITA Director General; and Prof Olanike Adeyemo, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, University of Ibadan.
In his opening remarks, Dr Sanginga stressed the importance of the discussion on resource management, which he says is a key topic, not just for now but also for the future. In his address, Governor Obaseki said his government is interested in partnering with IITA as they are proud of IITA’s success over the last 50 years. He said, “Edo State is committed to agricultural development and we are honored to be part of this initiative.”
The network of academic, public, and private sector institutions present at the workshop was looking to address significant scientific, social, environmental, and engineering challenges facing the building of sustainability and resilience of the water, energy and food nexus, which is recognized as a critical foundation for poverty reduction and economic development.
IITA and partners plan to leverage on the strong land-grant tradition of Pennsylvania State University to improve the water, energy and food nexus. This will be done by focusing on gender and youth programs, workforce development, and entrepreneurial activities.
Prof Adewumi explained that one of the goals of Penn State University is to resolve global challenges in the areas of food, energy, and water security, which are considered of great importance. He explained that this workshop will provide an interlink between the water experts, energy experts, and food experts as the university is ready to partner with other institutions.
The Director of the Oyo State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Popoola Rasheed, highlighted the Government’s concern about water, energy, and food systems, noting that the Ministry of Agriculture has the responsibility to regulate agriculture generally and water is very important for agricultural production, as was energy. He also said that the government is ready to partner with the organizers and is waiting for the outcome from the workshop for implementation.