One of 7 high-tech laboratories at the Biosciences eastern and central Africa Hub, a regional state-of-the-art science platform hosted and managed by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), in Nairobi, Kenya (photo credit: ILRI/David White).
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has arrived in Kenya.
Her busy one-day visit to this country, the first of three countries she is visiting on her African tour, includes talks with Kenya President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
As reported in Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper on Sunday, Merkel will also hold a joint press conference with Prime Minister Odinga. At the press conference, to be held at the Intercontinental Hotel, in Nairobi’s city centre, Chancellor Merkel will sign a new agreement between her government and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), which is headquartered in Kenya.
ILRI Director General Carlos Seré and Director for Partnerships and Communications Bruce Scott will attend the prime minister’s press conference and take part in the signing ceremony. Chancellor Merkel and ILRI’s Carlos Seré will then attend a State luncheon hosted by President Kibaki at State House.
After the luncheon, Chancellor Merkel is scheduled to give a speech at the University of Nairobi. She will then pay a visit to ILRI’s headquarters, in the suburb of Kabete, where she will tour ILRI’s farm and labs, be introduced to some of the research partnerships her country is involved in, and give an address to the ILRI and diplomatic community.
The Daily Nation reports that some of Germany’s scientists are working at ILRI, which is ‘described as a model of a state-of-the-art research institution in Africa.’
President Kibaki is quite familiar himself with ILRI’s research. The president toured the laboratories at ILRI/BecA late last year (17 Nov 2010) when he officially launched the BecA Hub. And just last Friday (8 Jul 2011), the president paid a visit to an ILRI exhibit at the launch of his government’s ‘Open Data Web Portal,’ the first of its kind in Africa, at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre. At this launch, the president and several of his ministers as well as some 1,000 (techie) participants heard from ILRI scientist Andrew Mude, who presented to them a novel livestock insurance product that ILRI has initiated with private and public partners for poor livestock herders living in Kenya’s northern pastoral lands.
After her busy day today in Nairobi, Chancellor Merkel departs tonight (Tue 12 Jul 2011) for Angola before going on to Nigeria.
This is a red-letter day for ILRI for another reason. ILRI Director General Carlos Seré, an agricultural economist from Uruguay, and his wife, Chrysille Seré, from Germany, will also be departing Kenya tonight, as it is the director general’s last official day in his Nairobi office. Carlos Seré has led ILRI for ten years, having started his tenure in January 2002. He is going on summer leave starting tonight. On 1 October of this year, Jimmy Smith, an animal scientist and policymaker from Guyana, now at the World Bank, will take over from Carlos Seré as director general of ILRI.
ILRI has had several informal goodbye parties for the Seré’s and will have one more opportunity to wish him well in the new position he is taking up in Rome at the International Fund for Agricultural Research (IFAD) at a 1.5-day ‘Seré Seminar’ that will take place this November in Addis Ababa to look back at Seré’s 10-year ILRI legacy and forward to new leadership under Smith.
ILRI staff are thus expressing to themselves how kind it is for Chancellor Merkel and President Kibaki to bid their director general farewell in suitable style at the State and ILRI functions today. :-)
Read the whole article in the Daily Nation: German leader jets in Tuesday, 10 Jul 2011.