The Honorable Professor Ruth Khasaya Oniang’o to Receive Distinguished Service Award During 2014 Agribusiness & Food World Forum
Leadership on the Development of Nutrition and Agricultural Research and Development Spans Continent
WASHINGTON, June 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — As part of the 2014 Agribusiness & Food World Forum in Cape Town, South Africa, the Honorable Professor Ruth Khasaya Oniang’o will receive the Distinguished Service Award for her influence on the development of nutrition training and agricultural research and development throughout Africa. Far beyond her home country of Kenya, Professor Oniang’o has participated in international activities which have helped to generate decisions that have shaped and furthered global food security and nutrition.
The recognition of Professor Oniang’o as part of the first World Forum on the African continent is particularly fitting. Jointly hosted by the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) and The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), the Agribusiness & Food World Forum will focus on Africa as a region of limitless opportunity, where agribusiness has the potential to be the engine that drives dynamic, unprecedented economic growth and development. More than 500 international colleagues will gather on June 15-19, 2014, to explore and further the Forum’s theme – People Feed the World – from multiple viewpoints.
Professor Oniang’o is a past a member of Kenya’s parliament and served as Professor of Food Science and Nutrition and Director of Graduate Studies at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology. The first nutrition professor in Kenya (and arguably in all of sub-Saharan Africa), she received undergraduate and master’s degrees from Washington State University, Pullman, Washington and received her Ph.D. from the University of Nairobi, Kenya.
IFAMA President, Thad Simons comments: “Professor Oniang’o's firm grasp of African food and nutrition issues has allowed her to serve as Africa’s voice at many international forums and as an advisor to many. Her leadership in the creation and continued oversight of the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development has provided an avenue for the publishing of scholarly research and served as a capacity builder for budding academics across the globe. She embodies all of the Continent’s vast promise.”
Ruth Oniang’o's additional leadership includes service as the founder and first executive director of Rural Outreach Africa, a non-profit community development organization established in 1993 following an action research project whose findings catalyzed the founding of Rural Outreach Program (ROP). Through ROP, Oniang’o has transformed the lives of many rural poor families in the Butere-Mumias district of western Kenya and the environs.
CCA’s President and CEO, Stephen Hayes, was quick to note that, beyond food security, Professor Oniang’o has tackled countless other issues: “Kenya, the African continent and, indeed, the world celebrate Ruth Oniang’o. Beyond agriculture, she has worked to further wealth creation, the economic empowerment of women, health and sanitation, and eradicate environment and poverty challenges. It is no surprise that she has received national medals from her home country of Kenya, as well as so much recognition the world over. As part of our World Forum, CCA and IFAMA are delighted to add our applause and gratitude.”
About the 2014 Agribusiness & Food World Forum
Jointly presented by the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) and the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), the 2014 Agribusiness & Food World Forum will focus on Africa as a region of limitless opportunity, where agribusiness has the potential to be the engine that drives dynamic, unprecedented economic growth and development. Hosted June 15-19, 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa, the overarching framework for the forum is People Feed the World. Interactive discussions and presentations will engage students, academic, government and business leaders and focus on the common and binding factor of the human talent and potential to achieve global nutritional security.
IFAMA is an international management organization based in Washington, D.C. that brings together current and future business, academic and government leaders along with other industry stakeholders to improve the strategic focus, transparency, sustainability and responsiveness of the global food and agribusiness system. IFAMA has over 700 members in more than 50 countries, and serves as an effective worldwide networking organization, bridging the agribusiness industry, researchers, educators, government, consumer groups and non-governmental organizations.
CCA is a nonprofit, membership-based organization promoting business and investment between the United States and the nations of Africa. CCA is the premier American organization devoted to U.S.-Africa business relations and includes members from more than 160 companies, which represent nearly 85 percent of total U.S. private sector investments in Africa. CCA’s members represent a diverse pool of industries from Africa’s most promising sectors, including agribusiness, capacity building, energy, finance, health, ICT, infrastructure and security.