MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — Dr. Kanayo F. Nwanze will be on the Kansas State University (KSU) campus this week to receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Department of Entomology. He will present a seminar, "Role of Agricultural Research in Global Food Security" on Oct. 8 in the Town Hall room of the Leadership Studies Building. Nwanze’s seminar is open to the public and will be followed by a reception to meet friends, guests and colleagues.
Since April 1, 2009 Nwanze has served as the fifth President of IFAD, the International Fund for Agricultural Development. A Nigerian national, Nwanze has a strong record as an advocate and leader of change and a keen understanding of the complexity of development issues. He has more than 30 years of experience across three continents in poverty reduction through agriculture, rural development and research.
"Dr. Nwanze’s achievements and impact point to his personal drive to serve and also to the ability of K-State to train professionals who are equipped to do great things locally and internationally," said Tom Phillips, Entomology department head at KSU.
Under Nwanze’s leadership, IFAD has stepped up its advocacy efforts to ensure that agriculture is a central part of the international development agenda, and that the concerns and needs of smallholders and other poor rural people are recognized by governments around the world.
"We do this because our goal is to improve their incomes and to have greater food security. And we know that investing in agricultural development is one of the smartest investments anyone can make if they want to reduce poverty and hunger" said Nwanze.
In recognition of Nwanze’s intellectual leadership on issues of food security, he was asked to chair the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Food Security in 2010.
Prior to being elected President of IFAD, Nwanze was director-general of the Africa Rice Center for a decade; and was instrumental in introducing and promoting New Rice for Africa (NERICA), a high-yield, drought- and pest-resistant rice variety developed specifically for the African landscape. He also transformed the Center from a West African association to an Africa-wide organization with an international reputation for excellence. Nwanze has held senior positions at a number of research centers affiliated with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in Africa and Asia, and he was instrumental in the establishment of the Alliance of CGIAR Centers.
Nwanze earned a bachelor’s of science degree in agricultural science from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1971, and a master of science’s degree in 1973 and a doctorate in entomology in 1975, both from the Department of Entomology at KSU. He has published extensively, is a member of several scientific associations and has served on the executive boards of various institutions.