Dr Abdou Tenkouano

Dr Abdou Tenkouano is Executive Director of CORAF, the West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development, an international not for profit Association of National Agricultural Research and Development institutions from 23 countries, with headquarters in Dakar, Senegal. He also is a guest lecturer at the University of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and adjunct professor at the University of Ghana Legon (Ghana) and KU Leuven (Belgium).

His academic background is in crop sciences, with a PhD in Genetics (1993) and an MSc in Plant Breeding (1990) from Texas A&M University (College Station, USA), as well as a degree of “Ingénieur Agronome” (1985) from the University of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). He received executive education in leadership and management from Harvard Business School and the Indian Institute of Management. He has experience in agricultural research covering genetics and breeding (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 260 publications and about 20 supervised theses.

A native of Burkina Faso, he has, prior to his current position, worked across sub-Saharan Africa with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT, 1994–1996, Mali), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA, 1996–2008, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Ghana) and The World Vegetable Center (AVRDC, 2008–2016, Tanzania and Mali). Dr Tenkouano served as a member of the research for development council at IITA and as the deputy chair of the institutional research and development committee, and a member of the institutional management committee at AVRDC. He was recognized with IITA Nomination for CGIAR Outstanding Scientist for 2003 and 2004 and CGIAR Science Award for Outstanding Partnership for 2009 (AVRDC and ICRISAT).

He also 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), Board of Directors, ECOBasic Seed Co. ltd, (iv) Program Steering Committee, Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), (v) International Science Advisory Board, West Africa Center for Crop Improvement (WACCI) at University of Ghana Legon, (vi) International Advisory Board of ILRI-BecA Hub at International Livestock Research Institute, (vii) Steering Committee of Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) of African Union Commission, (viii) Program Steering Committee, TEEBAgriFood/United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), (ix) Special Interest Group on Vegetables at African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA).

Dr Tenkouano firmly believes that innovation is the engine for transformative agriculture, and it is much more complex than bridging research and practice or simply scaling proven technologies. That is why he cultivates insights on how to work with senior officials – at the ministerial level – of national governments as well as regional economic communities to influence the development of enabling policies that support innovation for sustainable uptake of technologies for inclusive agricultural transformation.