The immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Kwadwo Asenso-Okyere, has been appointed the Director of the Washington-based International Service for National Agricultural Research, (ISNAR) of the International Food Policy Research Institute (lFPRI).

The IFPRI is the policy research institute of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research whose aim is to find sustainable solutions to end hunger, malnutrition and poverty in the world.

The ISNAR, on the other hand, has the mandate to facilitate the creation of organisational, institutional and technological knowledge and innovation in the world through research, capacity strengthening and communications.

A statement issued by ISNAR said until his confirmation Prof. Asenso-Okyere had been the interim Director since January 2007 and was based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

It said Asenso-Okyere joined the “IFPRI in November 2006 as the leader of its Nigeria Strategic Support Programme.

Prof Asenso-Okyere, it noted, served as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana from October 2002 to September 2006. He first joined the university in 1976 as a research fellow at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), becoming a full professor and then ISSER’s Director for five years.

The statement said he had also worked as an economist with the World Bank’s Western Africa Department and as a consultant to the Ghana Cocoa Board and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

Prof Asenso-Okyere holds a BSc (Hons), degree from the University of Ghana, an MSc from the University of Guelph, Canada, and a PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia, United States of America.

During his career, he focused on both research and capacity strengthening, helping to build innovation systems for agricultural development, poverty reduction and health.

He served on many boards and committees in Ghana and elsewhere, including the Advisory Committee of the Institute of Environment and Human Security of the United Nations University, the Global Consortium of Higher Education and Research Marketing Committee, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Ghana Hunger Project and Finatrade Foundation.

Other boards or committees he served on included the Implementation Committee of Building Africa’s Scientific and Institutional Capacity for Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Advisory Committee of the Global Open Food and Agriculture University (GO-FAU) and Chairman of the management board of SADAOC.

Prof Asenso-Okyere has authored or co-authored more than 130 publications and his contributions have been widely recognised, with the Kumawu Traditional Council giving him an award for long, loyal and meritorious service, while the International Biographical Centre has included him among the outstanding people of the 20th Century for his contribution to the development of research and also included him in the Who is Who in the 21st Century in honour of his contribution in the field of development policy management.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) presented him with an award for excellence and outstanding work in the community and valued contribution to the global partnership to Roll Back Malaria.

Prof Asenso-Okyere is a fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, fellow of the Association of Certified Entrepreneurs, member of the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Agricultural Economics Association and the International Association of Agricultural Economists, of which he was the associate editor of its journal, Agricultural Economics, for eight years and other associations.

Credit Daily Graphic.