The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has launched a $50 million endowment fund for the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI). The fund is established to complete, furnish and equip the centre’s new multi-purpose building into a world-class teaching and research centre.
The launch of the fund took place on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the WACCI in Accra recently.
Mr Ofori-Atta said by instituting the fund, the government had demonstrated its commitment to ensure that education in agriculture was of quality and could create more quality jobs in the country.
The occasion was attended by government officials, students of agriculture and representatives from some African countries. It was on the theme: “The March Towards Food and Nutrition Security in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
The finance minister said the government was investing in science and technology and building universities to encourage more students to study agriculture to improve on food security in the country.
"Agriculture is the core driver for industrialization and poverty reduction, as well as job producer in the country,” he said.
He added that more than one billion people in Africa were faced with food insecurity, with about 27 per cent of the number at the risk of starvation.
On behalf of the Ministry of Finance, the minister contributed a seed money of $1 million to the fund and promised to "mobilize 25 per cent of the targeted funds to ensure early completion of the WACCI building," he said.
He expressed optimism that the new building when completed would become a focal centre for agriculture education and research in Africa.