With the permission of Dr Marco Wopereis our Deputy Director General and Director of Research for Development (DDG/DR4D), it is with great pleasure that I would like to announce to you his appointment on Friday 16th October 2015, as the new Director General of AVRDC-The World Vegetable Center.
I would like all AfricaRice Board members, staff and partners to join me in expressing our sincere congratulations to Marco on this new appointment but also on this significant and positive evolution in his professional career. I am certain none of us in the agricultural research world will refute the fact that this is a well-deserved appointment. During such moments, we should also have in mind that Marco has not been walking alone. He has undoubtedly received very strong family support, which merits recognition. As such, I would also like you to join me in extending our congratulations to his family.
As the saying goes “one man’s loss is another man’s gain”; AfricaRice is losing its DDG/DR4D to AVRDC’s gain. What is important to retain, however, is the fact that looking back at Marco’s track record, he has indeed made very significant contributions to AfricaRice, more especially in terms of the establishment of a solid scientific direction and foundation. He has certainly played a highly significant role in leading the implementation of the research for development program, which has ensured a sound scientific position for AfricaRice in the global rice research arena and the achievement of important successes.
I have only spent six months working directly with him and I can assure you that it has really been real quality time and pleasure for me. He has indeed facilitated my integration into AfricaRice and I do appreciate this. I also believe that over the whole period he has been with the Institution, some of his sterling qualities have rubbed-off on some AfricaRice staff members and close associates, which should ensure business continuity in research for development work at AfricaRice. AVRDC is, therefore, lucky to have such a quality person heading it.
What would certainly be on the lips of all who know Marco now would be “Marco is more than capable and therefore will be very successful as the new DG of AVRDC”. I would like to encourage us all, however, to be more rational and wish him all the best of luck and to exhort divine support as he takes on the new position, which like all others, surely comes with its own numerous and unknown challenges to overcome.
We would also like to say to Marco, as he takes on the new challenges, “rest assured of our continued support and more especially let’s exploit the opportunities for collaboration within the context of the Rice Agri-Food System (RAFS) project in the making under Phase 2 CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs), with vegetables”. It will certainly be a happy marriage for Africa.
I would like also to thank Marco for giving AfricaRice the time to prepare for a successful transition, and more importantly, for having pledged his unflinching support to the Institution, up to the time he has planned to leave in mid-April 2016. At this point in time we can only, once more, wish him well, and look forward to exploiting opportunities of continuing to work with him in his new career path.
AfricaRice Director General