The African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) Board of Trustees Chairman, Dr. Namanga Ngongi, was awarded the prestigious African Green Revolution Forum Lifetime Achievement Award at a gala dinner held as part of the forum’s meeting in Arusha.
H.E. Kofi A. Annan, chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and former secretary-general of the United Nations, presented the award. For Ngongi, the honor came as a surprise.
“Thank you to those who consider my services to agriculture worthy of such an award,” Ngongi said as he accepted the honor from Annan.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented on the second day of the African Green Revolution Forum, a gathering of experts dedicated to growth and prosperity in the African agriculture sector. The three-day meeting was held in Arusha and featured workshops on agricultural topics, plenary gatherings and the gala awards dinner.
Ngongi was granted the lifetime achievement award for his “contribution to the transformation of Africa’s agricultural sector,” according to the presenters.
AFAP president and CEO, Jason Scarpone, praised Ngongi’s dedication African smallholder farmers.
“Of course, Dr. Ngongi’s CV is long on accomplishments,” Scarpone said in remarks at a side event at the Arusha forum. “It includes major contributions to African agricultural development and international diplomacy. But it is because of his farming experience and commitment to smallholder farmers that we are so pleased that he is AFAP’s first chairman.”
Until April 2012, Ngongi was the president of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He took the job after decades of service to the United Nations. Ngongi joined the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) as head of the East and Southern Africa service and later served the WFP as deputy executive director. He was appointed undersecretary-general
and special representative to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a role that required him to manage peacekeeping operations, organize peace negotiations, and oversee delivery of humanitarian aide.
Ngongi earned agricultural degrees from California State University and Cornell University. He started his career as an agricultural extension officer in Cameroon, where he owns a farm.