Abdou Tenkouano

Member, Independent Steering Committee (ISC)
CORAF (West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development)


What’s your role at AICCRA and the journey that led you here?  

I am a member of the ISC, which provides guidance and oversight for the successful implementation of AICCRA.

My most recent academic qualification is a PhD in Genetics obtained in 1993 at Texas A&M University, following which I have had a career in international agricultural research covering genetics (quantitative, molecular, cytogenetics), breeding (ploidy and genome manipulation), biotechnology (tissue culture, genetic engineering), pathology (host plant resistance, pathogen population management), agronomy, and postharvest (storage and value addition) in support of extension and development thrusts on several crop species including sorghum, millet, maize, cassava, yam, banana and plantain - supported and evidenced by more than 240 publications and about 20 supervised theses.

I currently serve or have served on many boards and advisory panels, most recently as (i) Chair of Programme Committee of Board of Directors of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), (ii) Chair of Governance Committee of Board of Trustees of WorldFish, (iii) Program Steering Committee, Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), (iv) International Science Advisory Board, West Africa Center for Crop Improvement (WACCI) at University of Ghana Legon, (v) International Advisory Board of ILRI-BecA Hub at International Livestock Research Institute, (vi) Steering Committee of Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) of African Union Commission, (vii) Program Steering Committee, TEEBAgriFood/United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), (viii) Special Interest Group on Vegetables at African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA).

Tell us why you think AICCRA can help deliver a climate-smart future for Africa?  

I firmly believe that innovation is the engine for transformative agriculture, and it is much more complex than bridging research and practice or simply scaling proven technologies. I have become convinced that, unless certain enablers pertaining to institutions, people, finance, and markets, etc. were activated, no significant or sustained improvement of livelihoods that depend on agriculture could be achieved, particularly under a climate crisis context that is further compounded by economic, health and security crises. AICCRA's Climate Smart Villages provide the platform where technologies meet people and policies in a mutually reinforcing dialogue for change in context.