Podcaster 11


N2Africa Podcaster 11

November/December  2011

Title Summary Newsletter item #

We close the year with a number of ‘good news’ items from N2Africa. As you will see there is growing confidence in our approach and ability to put nitrogen fixation to work for the African farmer. We now have the opportunity to reinforce our work in the existing eight focus countries and to extend our activities to another five countries in sub-Saharan Africa. I gave a keynote presentation at the 17th International Conference on Nitrogen Fixation in Fremantle, Australia in December that was well-received and resulted in several new offers and enquiries for collaboration. None of this would be possible without the hard work and commitment of a huge number of individuals and partner organisations. I extend our sincere thanks to all of you from the N2Africa team and we look forward to working closely with you in the coming year.

Wishing you all peace and prosperity in 2012.

Ken Giller

N2Africa Nigeria hosts Bill Gates

Wednesday, 28th September 2011, was a big day for N2Africa when Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, visited one of the project’s soyabean-inoculant demonstration sites in Kano State, Nigeria. Mr Gates was accompanied by Jeff Raikes, the foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Sam Dryden, Director of Agricultural Development, and Prem Warrior, Senior Project Officer with specific responsibility for N2Africa. The team was received by the N2Africa Nigeria Coordinator, Dr Abdullahi Bala. (seen on photo Bill Gates and Abdullahi Bala)


Extending N2Africa Activities in DRC, Liberia and Sierra Leone through a grant from the Howard G. Buffet Foundation

Interest in enhancing inputs from N2-fixation legume integration into production systems continues to rise. The Howard G. Buffett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have announced a partnership to improve the quality of soil in Africa through support for the N2Africa initiative.

Supplementary Grant to N2Africa from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

N2Africa is a learning grant through which we hope to deliver technologies for enhancing nitrogen fixation in grain and forage legumes in farmers’ fields to contribute to improved livelihoods. As illustrated in the diagram below – dissemination and delivery (D&D) form the core of the project activities. M&E provides the data on D&D that allows us to research the underlying reasons for performance of technologies, or for adoption by farmers, and the overall impacts of the N2Africa project. Thus we like to refer to N2Africa as a “development to research project” rather than a research for development project.



New people joined the N2Africa project team in Wageningen

Three new members recently joined the N2 Africa team of Wageningen University: Esther Ronner, Admire Katunga and Edouard Rurangwa.

The photo shows Esther and Edouard discussing.


Human capacity building project on legume sciences

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has just awarded a grant of to undertake capacity building in Legume Sciences for Africa. The project will focus mainly on training and research to increase yields of major food legumes in Africa such as cowpea, groundnut, common bean and soybean. The funding will be used for basic and applied training of 12 MSc and six PhD students over a five-year period. The focus countries of this project include Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

Meeting on N2Africa project finances at Wageningen

December 14th-16th a meeting was organized at Wageningen for the N2Africa financial staff. Led by Alastair Simmons, Ken Giller and Kenton Dashiell the delegates of CIAT (Lorraine Odhiambo), IITA (Kayode Awobajo) and Wageningen University (Lenie Kooijman and Wim de Wijse) worked towards the new budgets for years 3 and 4 of the project.



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