Robert Zougmoré

Regional Coordinator, West Africa
Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT


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

I coordinate AICCRA in West Africa (WA), spearheading project implementation at the WA sub-regional level through ensuring regional engagement, coordination and support to countries in West Africa. I develop strategic partnerships with regional organisations (e.g., CORAF, AGRHYMET, ECOWAS, RUFORUM, WASCAL), and strengthen their capacity with relevant scientific tools, knowledge, and information to undertake spillover effects and south-south learning activities across their networks and constituencies.

One of my major roles is also to support AICCRA country clusters through backstopping country teams on AICCRA direction, relevant partnerships and capacity needs at country level, key CGIAR/CCAFS outcomes and lessons learnt for CSA and CIS scaling.

I'm an agronomist and soil scientist with a PhD in Production Ecology & Resources Conservation, University of Wageningen, The Netherlands. Under my leadership, CCAFS action research was conducted at all levels, from the climate-smart villages to district and national level science-policy platforms, and to the regional climate-smart agriculture (CSA) alliances, generating scientific knowledge that informed top-down and bottom-up decision-making processes on climate change, agriculture and food security. I achieved outstanding development outcomes such as: (1) the widespread dissemination of climate information services to 7.4 million people in Senegal, (2) the mainstreaming of CCAFS climate-smart village approach to promote climate-smart agricultural technologies and practices within 60 communes in Niger, (3) the use of CCAFS science to inform the development of major national and regional agricultural policies (e.g. Development of a national CSA action plan for Ghana, a rural sector plan for Burkina Faso, a CSA implementation framework and a CSA alliance for ECOWAS). The above constitute a legacy that will foster the implementation of AICCRA.

I have also been a senior staff within the Environment Program of the Sahara & Sahel Observatory (Tunisia) where I actively developed and implemented initiatives pertaining to the 3 Rio conventions. I'm also a part-time Lecturer at several Universities (Polytechnic University of Bobo-Dioulasso on land degradation and sustainable land & water management; AGRHYMET for climate change master programs; Cape Coast, Niamey, IPR-IFRA for WASCAL PhD and master programs). I've been recipient of the 2019 Derek Tribe Award, an international biennially recognition to a citizen of a developing country in recognition of their distinguished contributions to the application of research in agriculture or natural resource management in developing countries.

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

Besides being one of the most hit regions, Africa countries lag behind in terms of institutional and individual capacities, including women experts, to effectively and sustainably tackle the adverse impact of climate change. AICCRA, by focusing on (1) how to package context-specific knowledge from the CGIAR and partners' climate science, (2) develop synergistic partnerships among stakeholders, and (3) define proper mechanisms for delivery to support beneficiaries in climate risk and agricultural management, sounds the best-fit approach to accelerating food systems transformation in Africa in the context of climate change.