Science - January 11, 2018

Zimbabwe beckons Ken Giller

Text:
Albert Sikkema

Ken Giller, the successful Wageningen professor of Plant Production Systems, is considering continuing his career in Zimbabwe. ‘I would like to return to rebuild the agriculture faculty at the University of Zimbabwe.’

Twenty years ago, Giller spent three years working in Zimbabwe as professor of Soil Science. He was forced to leave the country when the Mugabe government did not extend the contracts of professors from Kenya, Nigeria or the UK. ‘So I’m an economic refugee’, he says ironically.

Brain drain
However, now that Mugabe has left the position of president, possibilities might arise to rebuild the agricultural research in Zimbabwe. ‘In the 1990s, Zimbabwe had the best university in Africa in the field of small-scale farming, but the country has suffered a massive brain drain past years. I would love to contribute to restoring the University of Zimbabwe to its former glory.’ But Giller only wants to go back if a genuine regime change will take place in Zimbabwe, that is if the current government is completely gone.

Read the full article on Ken Giller here.


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