Adkipala Ekwamu (Ph.D. Plant Pathology 1992) is featured by Ohio State's Alumni Association for his work in literally transforming agriculture in Africa through research and education.
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Ekwamu was honored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences with the 2010 International Alumni Award. Ekwamu (center) is pictured with Mark Erbaugh (left), Director of International Programs in Agriculture, and Mike Boehm (right), Vice Provost for Academic Planning (former department chair).
Through his dedicated leadership and perseverance, RUFORUM has been extremely successful in obtaining support from many international organizations, including The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the Rockefeller Foundation, the International Research and Development Centre (IDRC), the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), and most recently from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Ekwamu received his MSc from Makarere Uniiversity in Uganda in 1980 and his PhD in Plant Pathology from Ohio State in 1992. After graduation, he returned to Makerere University where he rapidly moved up through the faculty ranks. He served as chair or secretary of virtually all of the university's key governing and advisory committees.
Ekwamu quickly established himself as a local and regional leader in plant pathology and agricultural development for East Africa. In research, he and his 46 graduate students made numerous contributions to the epidemiology and management of diseases and pests of the important crops of the region, publishing over 150 journal articles.
Ekwamu created a continental scientific journal, the African Crop Science Journal, and served as Editor in Chief for a decade. He revitalized two other journals and led the continental organization, African Crop Science Society, for 6 years as its president. He has served on the Board of Directors for several national and international organizations dealing with agriculture and science, including the Ugandan National Council for Science and Technology, the Ugandan National Agricultural Research Organization, and the International Foundation for Science (based in Sweden), and has been a consultant with FAO and the Rockefeller Foundation.
In various leadership roles, he has facilitated linkages between Makerere and the ASARECA Network (Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa) and the International-Ag-Center "CGIAR" Network (e.g., CIMMYT, IITA), for student training and research, and he has also developed and designed two workplans for ASARECA which have generated several million dollars for agricultural research.
Ekwamu is a recognized leader of research and higher education in Africa and is a credit to his nation and to his alma mater.