GREAT Community of Practice Advisory Board

The GREAT Community of Practice (CoP) Advisory Board is comprised of outstanding Fellows from our finished cohorts who can provide continuous feedback and communication between all of the GREAT cohorts and the project team. Our members serve a one-year term and attend our annual meetings. They advise us on professional development opportunities, solicit formal and informal feedback from the community, and provide other listening opportunities for GREAT. Our current CoP Advisory Board board members are:

Losira Nasirumbi-Sanya– Uganda

A social and development research professional with over 10 years of extensive strategic, adaptive and applied research experience. Losira holds an MS in Agricultural Economics and a BA in Social Sciences from Makerere University, Uganda, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Agricultural and Rural Innovation.

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Lillian Nkengla - Cameroon

A gender specialist at International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Cameroon. Lilian coordinates project activities related to social and gender aspects in West and Central Africa for Banana Bunchy Top Disease. Lilian participates in the development of gender protocols and gender responsive management for data collection and qualitative research. Lilian studied Women and Gender Studies as an undergraduate and holds a PhD in Gender and Natural Resource Management from Brandenburg University of Technology, Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany.

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Williams Esuma - Uganda

A cassava breeder at the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI). Williams holds an MSc degree in Crop Science (Plant Breeding) from Makerere University and a PhD (Plant Breeding and Genetics) from University of the Free State, South Africa, where his research focused on genetics of provitamin A carotenoids in cassava. Currently, he works as a Research Scientist, with a focus on application of genomic selection tools for development of novel cassava varieties with improved nutritional value and virus resistance.

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Bonaventure Aman - Burundi

An epidemiologist, Bonaventure coordinates and supervises project activities in three pilot sites, runs field experiments to evaluate the role of seed systems in controlling Banana Bunchy Top Disease, and collaborates with gender specialists on the implementation of control packages. Bonaventure studied agricultural education and extension as an undergraduate and has a PhD in Entomology from North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.

Bernice Ngina Waweru

Bernice Ngina Waweru, from Kenya, is currently employed by KALRO, and is based at Njoro. She has worked with KALRO since 2010 in various capacities, and is currently working as a molecular breeder under the current cereal breeder at the center. She believes that by embracing technology and practicing sustainable agriculture, food security for all will be achieved in her country. Bernice holds a Master of Science degree in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology from The University of Eldoret, Kenya. Bernice attended the GREAT Cohort 2 (Gender-responsive Cereal grains breeding Course)

Bright Owusu Asanta Bright Owusu Asante, from Ghana, is a Senior Research Scientist currently employed at CSIR-CRI. He has over the past eight years been involved in agricultural development projects aimed at enhancing technology adoption, productivity and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Ghana and across West Africa. His research interests are in agricultural and resource economics; gender mainstreaming; efficiency and productivity analysis; adoption and impact. Bright holds a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of New England, Australia. Bright attended the GREAT Cohort 2 (Gender-responsive Cereal grains breeding Course)
Hellen Opie, from Uganda, is employed by the NARO and based at NaSARRI.  She works as a socio-economist in dryland cereals, as well as other important dryland crops resources. Hellen is passionate about participatory research processes as a means to enhance the uptake of research outputs. Hellen obtained an MSc in Development Economics from Wageningen University, the Netherlands, in 2011. Hellen attended the GREAT Cohort 2 (Gender-responsive Cereal grains breeding Course)
Kachalla Kyari Mala Kachalla Kyari Mala  from Nigeria, works in the Lake Chad Research Institute as a research officer. The institute has, among other things, the national mandate for genetic improvement of wheat, barley, and pearl millet. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Genetics and Crop Breeding from the from the University Of Maiduguri, Nigeria, and his research is aimed at developing high-yielding, early maturing, heat-tolerant, pest- and disease-resistant varieties with specific adaptation to different ecological zones of Nigeria. Kachalla attended the GREAT Cohort 2 (Gender-responsive Cereal grains breeding Course).
Moumouni Konate Moumouni Konate, from Burkina Faso, is employed by Burkina Faso’s Environment and Agriculture Research Institute (INERA) and based at the Farakoba Research Station. For the past eight years Moumouni has been involved in legume crops genetics, with a current focus on peanut breeding for high oil content. His ultimate goal is to increase domestic production of cooking oil to improve family health and wellbeing. Moumouni, who obtained his PhD in Genetics from the University of Adelaide (Australia) in 2017, believes that the development of the peanut value chain will improve livelihoods for women farmers and processors in Burkina Faso.  Moumouni attended the GREAT Cohort 3 (Gender-responsive Legume breeding Course)
Therese Gondwe

Therese Gondwe, from Malawi, currently works in Zambia with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) as a Technology Dissemination specialist. This entails working with breeders end users of a technology to ensure uptake of the promoted agriculture- and nutrition-related technologies. Therese has for the past 10 years been involved in managing and implementing food- and nutrition-related projects after obtaining her PhD in Human and Environmental Sciences from Reading University (UK) in 2008.  Therese attended the GREAT Cohort 3 (Gender-responsive Legume breeding Course).

Grace Nanonjo Grace Nanyonjo, a Ugandan, currently works with the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), located in Namulonge. Grace holds a BSc in Horticulture and is awaiting for an MA in Gender Studies, both from Makerere University in Uganda. Over a period of three years, Grace has been working closely with breeders, analyzing gender issues along the bean value chain, and designing and implementing priority interventions. She focuses on use of various methods beyond sex disaggregation during participatory varietal selection and household dynamics for increased adoption of improved varieties and improved livelihoods of men and women farmers. She is motivated by changing household dynamics and gender roles. Grace attended the GREAT Cohort 3 (Gender-responsive Legume breeding Course).
Nchimunya Bbebe

Nchimunya Bbebe, from Zambia, is currently employed by Mulungushi University based at Kapiri Mposhi main campus. For over ten years, Nchimunya has been involved in crop improvement work for various crops. His main interest is breeding crop varieties that are tolerant to drought and heat. Since joining Mulungushi University his focus has largely been on Bambara groundnuts and popcorn improvement. Nchimunya obtained his MSc in Plant Breeding and Seed Systems from the University of Zambia, and is currently studying towards a PhD in Plant Breeding at the same institution. Nchimunya attended the GREAT Cohort 3 (Gender-responsive Legume breeding Course).

Almamy Sylla Almamy Sylla, from Mali, is currently employed by the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and based in Samanko, Mali. For the past three years Almamy has been involved in gender integration in research and bilateral projects on new groundnut, cowpea, millet and sorghum varieties. His work focuses largely on agency, innovations, gender norms, trait preferences, and his goal is to improve livelihoods for women, youth and cowpea, groundnut, sorghum and millet value chain actors in West and Central Africa as a way to improve food security and wellbeing. Almamy obtained his master’s degree in Anthropology in 2014 from l’institut supérieur de formation et de recherche appliquée (ISFRA) / Université des Sciences Juridiques et Politiques de Bamako (USJPB) in Mali. Almamy attended the GREAT Cohort 3 (Gender-responsive Legume breeding Course).
Isata Kamanda

Isata Kamanda is a plant breeder/ biotechnologist at the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI). She’s the Project Development and Management Officer coordinating and supervising all scientific research. Isata also a focal scientist for the HarvestPlus project and the Next Generation Cassava (NextGen Cassava) project for the community of practice in Sierra Leone, and a lead scientist for the project ‘Involving women in participatory selection of biofortified cassava germplasm in Sierra Leone.’ Her research interests include the development and applications of innovative techniques for the genetic improvement of crop plants. Isata attended the GREAT Cohort 4 (Gender-responsive Plant breeding Course).

Eileen Bogweb Nchanji Eileen Bogweh Nchanji is a gender specialist in the African Regional Office at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the Pan-African Bean Alliance, and is passionate about achieving gender equality and inclusive growth for all. Her mantra is ‘lifting women out of poverty by providing them with opportunities to jointly build their homes and the nation with their partners.’ Eileen provides technical backstopping to ongoing gender-related activities on breeding, ICM, nutrition, markets, seeds and Knowledge management in 30 countries across Africa. She has an MA in Anthropology of Development from the University of Yaounde 1, Cameroon, and a PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology from Georg-August University, Göttingen, Germany. Eileen  attended the GREAT Cohort 4 (Gender-responsive Plant breeding Course).
Eric Etchikinto Agoyi Eric Etchikinto Agoyi, from Benin, is a lecturer-researcher at the Non-Timber Forest Product & Orphan Crops Unit, Laboratory of Applied Ecology, at the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin. He holds a PhD in Plant Breeding, Biotechnology & Seed Systems, obtained at the University of Makerere in Uganda. He has keen interest in making significant impacts towards nutritional and food security in Africa. Eric focuses his strategy on breeding orphan crops, developing improved and more nutritious cultivars of food crops with high importance, introducing new food crops or more nutritious varieties of mainly grown food crops.  Eric attended the GREAT Cohort 4 (Gender-responsive Plant breeding Course).
Martin Agboton Martin Agboton is the coordinator of the transdisciplinary research and development project “Enhancing Kersting’s groundnut production marketability in Benin” at SOJAGNON-NGO. The project is aimed at co-creating quality seeds of consumer preferred KG varieties and enhance market linkages in Benin. Martin is interested in socioeconomic data collection and analysis. He holds a master’s degree in Rural Economics, Sociology and Extension obtained from the University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin and an Advanced Masters in International and Development Economics, from the University of Namur and Université Catholique de Louvain (UC Louvain), Belgium. Martin attended the GREAT Cohort 4 (Gender-responsive Plant breeding Course)