On 13 September, UNU-LRT celebrated the graduation of 14 fellows from the annual six-month training programme. The graduates come from eight countries in Africa and Asia: Ethiopia, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mongolia, Niger, Uganda and Uzbekistan. With the graduating fellows of 2017, the total number of graduated fellows from the Land Restoration Training Programme has reached 101 fellows, 46 women and 55 men.
The graduating ceremony took place at Keldnaholt research campus of the Agricultural University of Iceland. Speakers at the ceremony were Mr Sturla Sigurjonsson the Permanent Secretary of State, Dr Hafdis Hanna Aegisdottir UNU-LRT Director, and Dr Arni Bragason the Chair of the UNU-LRT Board and Director of the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland. Two of the graduating fellows addressed the guests on behalf of the graduating fellows, Ms Badam Ariya from Mongolia and Mr Emmanuel Lignule from Ghana, followed by a song by Ms Beatrice Dossah from Ghana, inspired by her project work at UNU-LRT and performed by her and Mr Emmanuel Mwathunga from Malawi. The Permanent Secretary of State and UNU-LRT Director handed out the graduation certificates to the fellows. Finally, Dr Björn Thorsteinsson the Rector of the Agricultural University of Iceland addressed the fellows and the invited guests and closed the ceremony.
As always, the graduation day was a joyous day. It was used to reflect on results and successes and celebrate the fellow’s achievements in the training programme. Congratulation class of 2017!