Prof. Achille Ephrem Assogbadjo of the University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin, has won the 2019 Young African Researchers Award.

Prof. Achille Ephrem Assogbadjo of the University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin, has won the 2019 Young African Researchers Award.  He was selected for “authenticity and quality of scientific research in the field of Agriculture and Food Sciences. The award was given to him by the Academy of Scientific research and Technology (ASRT) of Egypt.

The 2019 award was announced by the ASRT Council of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology at its 173rd session in April. Funded by the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, the award is given to young, non- Egyptian researchers from Africa to support scientific cooperation between Egypt and the rest of the continent. Two other researchers from Algeria and South Africa received awards in the fields of medicine and environmental science.

Prof. Achille is an agronomist and forester with a special interest in non-timber forest products, wild edible plants, orphan crops and crop wild relative species. He holds a PhD in Applied Biological Sciences and is a full Professor of Conservation genetics, Forest ecology and Ethnobotany at the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin, a RUFORUM member University. He doubles as a visiting Professor at Université Félix Houphouët Boigny in Côte d’Ivoire, University of Costa Rica in Costa Rica and University of Florianopolis in Brasil. He is experienced in population genetics, ethnobotany, conservation and domestication of forest genetic resources.

Prof. Achille has been awarded more than 21 research grants and 9 at regional or international levels, including from RUFORUM where he is the Principal Investigator for a Community Action Research Programme Plus (CARP+) focused baobab value chain.  The research is exploring the use of this iconic tree to address human nutrition and fodder needs of communities in Benin. Watch Video here.

Prof. Achille attending the 13th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting in 2017 in Lilongwe, Malawi

The overall goal of his current CARP+ project is to combine both participatory research and capacity building activities to set a long lasting valorization scheme for the African baobab at a national scale in Benin. With a target group of Youth, Women and farmer Organisations, the project envisages to directly impact 300 farmers, 60 small and medium-sized enterprises involved in baobab leaves and fruit pulp and derived-products value chains, and 36 students through a better organization of the value chains while contributing to food security and conservation of the species. Read more about it here

Prof. Achille Ephrem Assogbadjo is a talented and well established scientist, consistently motivated by the need to produce innovative research and technologies for positive change in the society. He is currently the permanent Secretary of the Scientific Council of the Faculty of Agronomic Sciences at the University of Abomey-Calavi, and also the vice coordinator of the Doctoral Training in Natural Resources at the University. To- date, Prof. Achille has (co)authored at total of 162 scientific articles published in international  peer review journals, 26 books and/or book chapters; 11 proceedings and 9 technical reports. He won 11 international prizes some of which include: the Ebi Kimanani Memorial Fellowship Award in 2008 (Peru), the Heinz and Johannes Prize for the best scientific research paper on ecology in Africa in 2009 (Germany), and a prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation in 2010 and now the 2019 Young African Researchers Award.