Abou Togola is a Postdoctoral Fellow on entomology working with breeders on cowpea host plant resistance to increase the performance of improved varieties and make them available to smallholder farmers across West Africa. He obtained a PhD in Entomology and a master’s degree in Project Management.

Togola worked previously at the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) and before that at the International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). His professional background is research on integrated management of insect pests of tropical crops including cowpea, rice, sorghum, pearl millet, cotton, and groundnut.

Lucky Osabuohien Omoigui, a Nigerian national, has joined IITA-Kano Station as a Seed Systems Specialist. He obtained his BSc in General Agriculture from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, (1999), his MSc in Plant Science (2003), and his PhD in Plant Breeding and Genetics also from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (2010). He received special training in Plant Molecular Biology and Genomic tools from the University of Virginia USA in 2008.

He started his career with IITA as a Research Technician in the cowpea breeding program (1990 to 1993) where he also worked as a Research Associate with IITA in the PROSAB project (2004-2009). He was also a Principal Investigator of the Kirkhouse Trust and AGRA cowpea breeding Projects that seek to develop improved cowpea cultivars that are resistant to Striga and Alectra using molecular tools. He has been collaborating with IITA and ICRISAT on the Tropical Legume seed systems in Nigeria since 2010.

Prior to this current appointment, he was an Associate Professor of Plant Breeding and Seed Science with the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi, Nigeria.

Alpha Yaya Kamara is a Systems Agronomist and Principal Scientist at IITA. He heads the Kano station and leads the CGIAR Research Program on L and, Water, and Ecosystems for IITA.

Dr Kamara has extensive experience spanning over 20 years in agronomy, soil fertility management, crop science, natural resource management, stress physiology and farmer participatory evaluation of technologies, which enable him to initiate, design, and efficiently implement integrated agricultural R4D programs in the West African savannas. He collaborates with colleagues in national agricultural research centers, extension agencies, NGOs, and policymakers in West, Central, East, and Southern Africa in developing and disseminating complementary crop management practices to better exploit the potential of stress-tolerant crop cultivars.

He coordinates and manages several R4D-oriented projects to improve rural livelihoods in West and Central Africa. He also has extensive experience in monitoring and evaluating projects jointly implemented with national institutions in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr. Kamara has contributed to many proposals at IITA with a combined value of over US$23 million. He has published over 50 journal articles, 20 articles in books of abstracts, and 19 papers in conference proceedings on natural resource management, soil fertility, weed and crop management, and crop physiology.

Prior to joining IITA, he worked as a Scientific Assistant (1998─1999) at the Institute of Crop Science, University of Kassel Germany, where he advised graduate students and formulated grant proposals; Research Assistant (1987─1988) and Research Officer (1993─1995) at the Institute of Agricultural Research, Njala, Sierra Leone; and Agronomist in the Women’s Program, National Association of Farmers of Sierra Leone (1986─1987). He was a recipient of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Young Scientists Award in 1995.

Dr Kamara received his B.Sc. in General Agriculture from the University of Sierra Leone in 1986, M.Sc. in Agronomy from the Christian Albrecht’s University of Kiel, Germany in 1993, and Doctorate in Agronomy and Natural Resource Management from the University of Kassel, Germany in 1998.

Ousmane Boukar is a Cowpea Breeder at IITA-Kano Station. Ousmane obtained a BSc in Agronomy from the National Advanced School of Agriculture in Cameroon in 1988, and his MSc (1998) and PhD (2002) from Purdue University. Prior to his appointment with IITA, Ousmane was a cowpea breeder and regional scientific coordinator with IRAD. He is Cameroonian.