During his visit (November 28-29), Dr. Timothy Williams, Director Africa, International Water Management Institute (IMWI), visited FAFS and AREC, where he met with faculty members from the AGRI and NFSC Departments. Discussions centered on collaborative research opportunities for improved agricultural practices, especially in land and water management, and on opportunities for capacity building and development. Student exchange between IMWI-Africa and FAFS-AUB through special programs and the Water Security Africa Initiative were discussed.
The IMWI initiative aims to launch a Youth fellowship program intended to bring talented young people with an interest in using technology to improve data management of water resources. Youth in the agriculture, water and energy sectors will work together to develop applications and extensions based on open data source technology. IMWI’s Cairo office for the Middle East and North Africa region has already initiated some the work. In Lebanon, they have assessed groundwater issues and hope to continue and possibly implement some work at AREC, following a suitability analysis.
Dr. Williams was hosted during his visit by Dr. Mustapha Haidar, AREC Director, and Dr. Martin Keulertz, Chair and Assistant Professor for the FAFS Food Security program. They briefed Dr. Williams regarding the role of AREC in support of regional agricultural development and the major on-going research and projects at the center.