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Biography of Amos NAMANGA NGONGI

Cameroon > Science : Amos NAMANGA NGONGI

Biography :

Amos Namanga Ngongi (b.September 3,1945), is a Cameroonian Agronomist and leader of African farmers and World Agriculture.  "former Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Program and currently member of the United Nations' Performance Management Board, has expressed his readiness to continue serving the nation back home even as Mayor of Buea. Dr Ngongi, who dutifully served the United Nations for 19 years in various capacities and retired in 2003 while in Democratic Republic of Congo as the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General". He is currently the President of "Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa".

Ngongi began his career in the fields alongside farmers in his native Cameroon, where he worked as an agricultural officer helping farmers improve yield and diversify and market their crops. His career has spanned involvement in international organisations, and has included serving as Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and leading the peace-keeping mission in war-torn Congo for the United Nations.

 Born in Buea, Cameroon, in 1945, Ngongi earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, Calif. He earned masters and doctorate degrees in agronomy from Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y. Ngongi went on to earn a postgraduate certificate in agricultural and rural development project planning from the University of Bradford, in the United Kingdom.

Early in his career, Ngongi worked with village farmers for Cameroon’s Ministry of Agriculture. He motivated farmers to grow new crops such as yams and plantains, and worked to help them control plant-damaging pests. Later, collaborating with the Government of Ghana and Cornell University, he headed a joint soils research project aimed at ensuring sustained production of basic food crops across the country’s agro-ecological zones. He supervised the establishment of rural development institutions and agro-industrial enterprises in Cameroon.

Ngongi began his international service with the Cameroon Embassy in Rome, where he played an active role in key committees of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

He joined the WFP in 1984, heading operational activities in 17 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, and addressing the populations’ needs after the devastating droughts in Ethiopia, Sudan and the Sahel.

In 2001, Ngongi became Under-Secretary-General of the UN and head of the organisation’s peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

As special representative of the UN Secretary-General, Ngongi managed a mission comprised of 6,000 troops from seven countries and a civilian staff of over 1,500 from more than 60 countries. He organised several local peace negotiations between warring factions in the midst of fighting, hunger and disease, while working to deliver humanitarian aid. His efforts are credited with contributing significantly to the overall success of the peace negotiations as well as the formation of a transitional government in the DRC.

Ngongi retired from the UN in 2003, and returned to Cameroon. He has since taken up farming on his own farm, while also undertaking several high-level missions for the UN, including a study on food reserve systems in Africa.

It is not enough to know about the problems of farmers from 26,000 feet in the air,” Ngongi said. “I know about the problems of farmers on the ground, and I know that with the support of AGRA partnerships, we can overcome those problems.”

Ngongi succeeds interim president Dr. Gary Toenniessen, who has presided since AGRA’s founding in September 2006.

Last update : 12/12/2007

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