In 2017, we are celebrating our Golden Jubilee. IITA will be only one of four CGIAR centers to reach that milestone, and the first Africa-based center to do so. I am very excited and extremely proud to be at the helm when IITA reaches that landmark.
Going towards our 50th anniversary—and together with our partners, supporters, and donors—we continue to toil hard to achieve impact from our research-for-development (R4D) work to help our smallholder farmers create a better life for themselves and their families. To this end, 2016 has been another exciting and productive year for us.
IITA sees a bright future for Africa, a continent that can become a world leader in agriculture and sustainability. The Institute’s 2012–2020 Strategic Plan established an ambitious goal of lifting 11 million people out of poverty and revitalizing 7.5 million hectares of degraded land by 2020. The Board of Trustees is committed to providing leadership and oversight to the Institute in the achievement of this goal.
IITA has undergone a period of unprecedented growth over the last five years. Its budget has tripled since 2011, resulting in a doubling of the number of internationally recruited scientists.