Dr. David De Koeyer and wife, Victoria entering the venue of the ceremony
A cross section of some IITA staff at the send forth ceremony
AfricaYam Project Leader, Dr. Patrick Adebola-L- and Dr. Asrat Amele -R-
The AfricaYam project team, together with friends, gathered yesterday, April, 26th, 2018 at Kappa Bar, IITA, in a send-forth ceremony of one of its Breeders, Dr. David De Koeyer as he leaves IITA.
De Koeyer joined IITA-Ibadan, Nigeria in 2015 as Project Leader, AfricaYam and later Head of the IITA Yam breeding program. In an opening remark at the event, AfricaYam project leader, Dr. Patrick Adebola, said David will be missed dearly by all for his immense contribution to the project and IITA in general.
IITA Head of Administration for West Africa, Sylvia Oyinlola thanked Victoria, David’s wife for the support she gave her husband and his staff in her own way. She also thanked David for his work in IITA and his relationship with staff, which she described as selfless, “a man’s value and worth are measured in how he treats people” she said. Dr. Asrat Asfaw Amele, Yam Breeder AfricaYam project also took the floor to acknowledge David for sharing some of his knowledge with him, which is something he said he appreciates very much. Dr Agre Paterne, Mrs Oluchi Odom, Mr Alex Edemodu and Mr Shadrack Esaniye, among others, described their experiences working with David as pleasant and rewarding.
A brief citation about David was read by Miss Anuoluwa Babalola, a corps member with the Yam Breeding Unit after which there was a photo shoot session with David and his wife, followed by presentation of gifts by some of the participants and the AfricaYam Project administrator, Olubunmi Olukotun on behalf of the project.
Dr. Morufat Balogun, Tissue culture specialist, on behalf of YIIFSWA, also presented a gift and described David’s departure as bitter-sweet “but it is also in leaving that the network is enriched” she said.
The event ended with a closing remark by Bhattacharjee Ranjana, Molecular Geneticist, IITA who wished David and Victoria well in their future endeavor “the world is a small place and we will meet again someday” she said.
Farewell David. IITA and the AfricaYam Project team will miss you!