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April 5, 2011

Lecture to focus on agricultural economics in Africa

Ousmane Badiane, Africa director for the International Food Policy Research Institute, will discuss improving African economies through agricultural growth.

By Melissae Fellet

Agriculture in Africa has grown steadily for the past 15 years. But that economic improvement is just making up for the preceding two decades of stagnation, says Ousmane Badiane, Africa director for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

And future progress toward industrialization depends on continued agricultural growth, he says.

Badiane will deliver a lecture on April 7, titled "Why Has Africa Been Slow in Developing Its Agriculture?" He will discuss the current state of agriculture in Africa, the technological resources available and policies needed for economic growth, and how agriculture can address the country's challenge of poverty.

The talk will begin at 4 p.m. at the Bechtel Conference Center in Encina Hall. It is free and open to the public.

A citizen of Senegal working in IFPRI's Washington, D.C., office, Badiane coordinates the organization's food policy research and communications throughout Africa.

From 1998 until mid-2008, Badiane worked at the World Bank as a lead specialist for food and agricultural policy for the Africa region.

As a senior research fellow at IFPRI from 1989 until 1997, Badiane led the institute's work on market reforms and development. He taught as an adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies from 1993 until 2003.

Stanford's Program for Food Security and the Environment (FSE) sponsors the two-year Global Food Policy and Food Security Symposium Series, which is funded by a $1 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Jeff Raikes, chief executive officer of the Gates Foundation, and Greg Page, chief executive officer and chairman of Cargill Inc., delivered the first lecture in February.

Future seminars will cover policy development to increase wealth, agricultural productivity and resource stewardship.

On April 27, Christopher Barrett, an economist at Cornell University, will talk about "Assisting the Escape from Persistent Ultra-Poverty in Rural Africa."

On May 26, C. Peter Timmer, professor emeritus of development studies at Harvard University, will deliver the fourth lecture, "Managing Food Price Volatility: Approaches at the Global, National and Household Levels."

All lectures will be videotaped and posted on the symposium website.

Melissae Fellet is a science-writing intern at the Stanford News Service.



Dan Stober, Stanford News Service: (650) 721-6965,

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