The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) announces appointment of new Director General

Dr Abdou Tenkouano, a national of Burkina Faso, has been appointed the new Director General of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), starting from 01 January 2024. He becomes the fifth leader of the Centre, taking over from Dr Segenet Kelemu, who has held the helm since November 2013.

Founded in 1970 and headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, icipe is globally distinct and eminent as the sole research institute working primarily on insects and other arthropods, and the only one that combines food security, human health, animal health and environmental health. Moreover, icipe is a model of scientific excellence, uniquely blending the generation of world-class knowledge, and its translation into nature-based, One Health, systems-approach, inclusive innovations that transform the livelihoods of millions of people across Africa.
“We are extremely confident that Dr Tenkouano will ably advance icipe’s vision and mission, as well as the Centre’s place in a fast-evolving world. He has a prolific career spanning more than three decades in agricultural research, supported by immense scientific knowledge production, technology development and dissemination. He also has a strong track record in management and leadership, resource mobilisation, networks and collaboration, capacity building, as well as a reputable standing in the regional and international research and development sector.” - Prof. Kym Anderson, Chair, icipe Governing Council.
Dr Tenkouano holds a PhD in Genetics and an MSc in Plant Breeding, from Texas A&M University, USA; and a Diplome d'Ingénieur Agronome from the University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. His research has focused on genetics, breeding, biotechnology, pathology, agronomy and postharvest strategies, working with multidisciplinary teams to support extension and development of various crops including sorghum, millet, maize, cassava, yam, banana and plantain.
Dr Tenkouano has been the Executive Director, West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), based in Dakar, Senegal. He joined the Council from the World Vegetable Center (WorldVeg, previously the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center – AVRDC), where he served for eight years, first as the Director, Regional Center for Africa, based in Arusha, Tanzania; and then as Regional Director, West and Central Africa, based in Bamako, Mali.  Previously, he held a 12-year stint, and various positions at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), working on genetics, breeding and improvement of plantain and banana, cassava and yams. Earlier, he was Coordinator, West and Central Africa Sorghum Research Network, International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), in Bamako, Mali. 
“It is with great pleasure and humility that I join the icipe family. I firmly believe in inclusive innovations as the engine for transformative socio-economic development in Africa. I also recognise the complexities that must be addressed by research and development institutions to achieve this goal. I consider icipe to be ahead of the curve, and I look forward to continuing the rhythm of continuation and evolution set by my predecessors.” - Dr Tenkouano.
Dr Tenkouano is actively engaged within the regional and global scientific community, having published widely in refereed publications, through his professional services and memberships, as a member of various regional international committees focusing on research for development, as an awards jurist, and through visiting positions in academia. He has received several recognitions including CGIAR Science Award for Outstanding Partnership (2009) between AVRDC and ICRISAT).

Notes for Editors

The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology ( working through the 4Hs Themes – Human Health, Animal Health, Plant Health and Environmental Health, the Centre conducts world-class science, and then translates this knowledge into innovate environmentally friendly, affordable, accessible and easy to use solutions to tackle crop pests and disease vectors. icipe’s role also extends to the conservation and sustainable exploitation of the beneficial insect biodiversity. For a comprehensive history of icipe, visit:  We gratefully acknowledge the support of icipe core donors: Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida); Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC); Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR); Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Government of the Republic of Kenya. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the donors.