Dr. Abdoul Aziz Niane takes the helm at ICARDA's Arabian Peninsula Regional Program
On November 1st, Dr. Abdoul Aziz took over from Dr. Azaiez Ouled Belgacem as ICARDA's Regional Coordinator of the Arabian Peninsula Regional Program. Dr. Aziz will ensure ICARDA objectives remain on track, through the CGIAR research agenda that supports vulnerable rural farming communities under the intensifying climate crisis.
The Arabian Peninsula Regional Program has particular significance for ICARDA's dryland research-for-development (R4D) due to its propensity for water scarcity and soil degradation which acts as both a research challenge and opportunity. The program's priority is to ensure that ICARDA's unique 40-year expertise in these research fields is deployed to full advantage to strengthen the resilience of livelihoods of smallholder farmers who live in the region.
The handover from former Regional Coordinator Dr. Azaiez Ouled Belgacem took place at a farewell dinner. Dr. Abdoul Aziz expressed ICARDA's gratitude for Dr. Azaiez's long and significant contribution to the Arabian Peninsula research program's development in terms of resource mobilization, scientific achievement, and the establishment of a robust collaborative research network with regional scientists and national agricultural research institutions. Dr. Azaiez, who himself is from Tunisia expressed gratitude to ICARDA for providing him with the opportunity to serve farming communities in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) dryland region and contribute to the significant advancement of ICARDA's R4D agenda.
Since joining ICARDA in 1987, Dr. Abdoul Aziz has helped develop its International Nurseries program as well as seed multiplication and production activities, and post-harvest operations. He has carried out extensive regional research activities, including building national research capacities through extensive training and technical support on national seed systems diversification.
We congratulate Dr. Abdoul Aziz and look forward to working closely with him in his new role.