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African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) Steering Committee elects a new Chairperson

November 2019, Nairobi- A renowned Nigerian Professor of Food Science and Technology and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) in Nigeria, Professor Sanni Oladimeji Lateef, is the new chairperson of the AWARD Steering Committee.

At its 16th annual meeting held on October 25, 2019, in Nairobi, the AWARD steering committee unanimously nominated and elected Professor Lateef as its chairperson. Professor Lateef has over 25 years' global experience in research and development as a postharvest expert on tropical root crops.

Having joined the Committee in 2016 and served as its vice-chairperson, Professor Lateef takes over from Dr. Jemimah Njuki, who stepped down after serving as the chairperson of the Committee for three years.

In his acceptance of the nomination and election, the professor of food science noted that he was honored to serve as the chair, looking forward to taking AWARD to its next level. AWARD is currently undergoing a strategy review and refresh of its five-year strategy, and Professor Lateef expressed his commitment to steering the organization to new levels.

While congratulating him, Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, AWARD Director, said "I and the entire AWARD staff are excited to get to work under the leadership and guidance of Professor Lateef. He has been a precious member of the AWARD family for many years and is an exemplar of what men in leadership can do to support women’s career growth. I know that with his wise counsel, AWARD will continue to reach even greater heights."

The meeting also saw several other changes, including the admittance of new members and the election of a new vice-chairperson, Dr. Jemimah Njuki. Dr. Njuki is a Senior Program Officer at Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), based in Africa’s Regional Office in Nairobi, Kenya.