His Excellency, Governor Marcelin Chishambo Ruhoya of South Kivu in DR Congo, has praised IITA’s efforts to support development in his region and country and assured the Institute of his government’s support of its activities. He said he was especially happy with the decision to set up a new science building in the province which is scheduled to be launched in June 2014.
IITA is a friend, he said, and the repairing of the road to the Station was a clear demonstration of his government’s desire to collaborate with the Institute.
The Governor was speaking at a dinner he hosted at his residence on 10 January 2014 for the IITA DG who was in the country on an official visit. It was attended by the Provincial Ministers of Agriculture, Health, and Budget, other aides to the Governor, and others.
On his part, the IITA DG thanked the Governor for granting him an audience earlier in the day and for his continued assistance and generous support to the IITA Station. He recalled how the two of them had nurtured the idea of establishing a science laboratory in Kalambo (to be known as “Science for Peace” building) in 2004 while the DG was the Director of International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the Governor was a State Advisor.
The DG further commended the Governor for facilitating the execution of the project and for supporting the expansion of the station and construction of a Science Building. The DG also seized the opportunity to inform the aides of the governor of the plans to commission the IITA Kalambo Science Building on 5 June 2014.
He said that the launch would attract Heads of States and top government functionaries and representatives of donor agencies and international organizations in the region and that the IITA Ambassador for Africa, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo would attend.
He added that the Station will have cassava processing facilities so that farmers will have the opportunity to learn how to derive more benefits from cassava production.
“Apart from ugali, a popular cassava food in the region, there are more than 27 food products from cassava, well known for their nutritional value and marketability”, he said.
DG Sanginga was accompanied to the dinner by Chris Okafor the Officer in Charge of IITA Kalambo and Musendeeq Oyedeji, one of the IITA engineers working at the site.