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Biography of Thomas ODHIAMBO

Kenya > Science : Thomas ODHIAMBO

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Born on 04/02/1931 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Dr Thomas Risley Odhiambo (b.Fev 4, 1931- died May 26, 2003), was a prominent  Kenyan scientist who founded an international insect research center renowned for giving African farmers low-cost solutions for pest control. Dr. Odhiambo, a Cambridge-educated entomologist, founded what became the International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology in 1967 at the University of Nairobi, where he taught. The center was started to help African farmers combat harmful insects.

 Professor Thomas R. Odhiambo, an entomologist by training, was  one of the world's leading scientists and a pioneer in establishing Africa's indigenous scientific capacity. As founding director of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), his research focused on developing sustainable solutions to the pressing need for increased food production and improved health in rural communities. In 1985, Professor Odhiambo's efforts to develop and promote scientific expertise among Africans led to the establishment of the African Academy of Sciences. As its first president until 1999 and became  Honorary President, he was working to achieve its objectives, which include: identifying outstanding scientific talent within the continent; promoting the utilization of this talent in national development; and advancing the partnership between scientific and political leaders in building Africa's future. In addition, he served as founding vice president of the Third World Academy of Sciences until 1999, founding president of the Association of African Science Editors until 1995 and founding president of the Kenya National Academy of Sciences until 1994. The author of more than 130 papers and monographs, Professor Odhiambo has also written six children's books designed to educate, inspire and entertain the children of Africa.


In 1987, he and the former president of Senegal, Abdou Diouf, were the first recipients of the Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger. The prize is given by The Hunger Project, which is based in New York.

He was also won the Albert Einstein Medal in 1979 and an honorary doctorate of sciences from the University of Oslo in 1986.

 Gold Mercury International Award. In 1983 Dr. Odhiambo was awarded Gold Medal Award from the International Congress of Plant Protection. An Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Oslo was conferred upon Dr. Odhiambo in 1986.  

. Dr. Odhiambo maintained, as a distinguished visitor with John D. and Katherine T. Mac Arthur Foundation in Chicago (October 6, 1995):

Last update : 02/25/2009

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