Eric Yirenkyi Danquah

Eric Yirenkyi Danquah

Director, West Africa Center of Excellence for Crop Improvement (WACCI), Ghana

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Eric Yirenkyi Danquah is a Professor of Plant Molecular Genetics at the University of Ghana (UG). He is the founding Director of the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana, established in 2007, in collaboration with Cornell University to train a new generation of plant breeders to develop improved varieties of the staple crops of West and Central Africa. In 2014, WACCI joined the World Bank-funded Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence and has evolved into one of the largest PhD programmes in plant breeding in the world. The Center has enrolled 160 PhDs from 19 countries in Africa. Graduates of WACCI, 105 in number, have released over 200 improved varieties of staple crops in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Uganda. They have also published 250 articles in high impact journals and attracted over $57 million to their research institutions for research and development projects. Professor Danquah recently led the WACCI hybrid maize development project, which has released three high-yielding hybrid maize varieties currently being scaled up for commercialization in Ghana.

Professor Danquah served as the Director, Biotechnology Centre, UG from 2014 to 2019 and is a former Dean, International Programmes, UG. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia, a Visiting Scientist at Cornell University and a member of the Standing Advisory Group on Nuclear Applications (SAGNA), International Atomic Energy Agency. He has 161 refereed journal articles, four books, a book chapter and over 40 other publications to his credit.

He holds a BSc. degree in Crop Science from the University of Ghana, a MPhil degree in plant breeding and a PhD in genetics from the University of Cambridge, UK. He is a recipient of the UG Distinguished Award for Meritorious Service (2013), the 2018 Laureate, GCHERA World Agriculture Prize, the 2022 Laureate, Africa Food Prize and the President of the African Plant Breeders Association.  

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