Award for CTLGH director for contribution to international development

Thursday 13th August 2020, 1:00pm

Professor Appolinaire Djikeng, the Director of the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health (CTLGH) has been awarded the International Nelson Mandela Justice Award by the UNESCO Centre for Peace.

Professor Appolinaire Djikeng, CTLGH director - credit University of Edinburgh

Professor Djikeng has over twenty years of experience leading multi-disciplinary, multi institutional and global research and development programmes focusing on agricultural development and human health.

The award, which was signed by US Senator, Chris Van Hollen, was awarded in recognition of Professor Djikeng’s work to make a difference in the lives of others.

Professor Djikeng joined the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health (CTLGH) in 2017 and leads the Centre in their mission to drive and support research to develop solutions to help improve the productivity, sustainability and resilience of livestock in low and middle income countries.

CTLGH is a strategic livestock genetics research and development alliance between the University of Edinburgh (through The Roslin Institute),  Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and the International Livestock Research Centre (ILRI) in Kenya and Ethiopia.  The Centre has just launched its Vision 2030 document which highlights it’s strategic direction and future focus for the next 10 years.

As the global population grows, demand for animal protein, milk and eggs is increasing. It is estimated that the world will need to produce 50% more food by 2050. If livestock in places like sub-Saharan Africa can produce more meat, milk and eggs, it will help improve both the nutrition and income for the millions of smallholder farming families that rely on them.

"Agriculture has to be much better, it has to be more efficient.  It has to really be a strong industry in order to meet the needs of a growing global population, because people are always going to need food.  It's a requirement, it's not a temporal thing." 

Professor Appolinaire Djikeng, Director of CTLGH

The UNESCO Centre for Peace exists to build communities where people appreciate each other and support each other and Professor Djikeng has been working with the Centre for several years.

Professor Djikeng recently gave an online presentation during a summer camp run by UNESCO Centre for Peace on the importance of a strong global agriculture industry and how, for millions of smallholder farmers, farming provides them with a pathway out of poverty.

"I am honoured to speak at this years UNESCO summer camp and to receive this award. My inclination has always been towards improving the quality or the livelihoods of people who are exposed to so many externalities. Smallholder farmers in tropical countries only have livestock as their source of income, they have no safety net so are, by definition, quite vulnerable."

"During my talk I spoke about the United Nations’ sustainable development goals and how CTLGH’s work contributes to them. I think it’s important for young people to know about the challenges we face now, in the hope that they will see the possibilities to improve the lives of others through agricultural development."

Professor Appolinaire Djikeng, Director of CTLGH