The Alliance for Science mourns the loss of 2016 Global Leadership Fellow and biotechnology champion Aisha Umar Agaie who passed away on August 2. We also celebrate her life and her many achievements. Aisha served as a communications officer for the Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) hosted by the National Biotechnology Development Agency of Nigeria, based in Abuja, Nigeria for nearly a decade.
Aisha was best known within the global science community for her dedication to ensuring access to biotechnology for those Nigerians who needed it most. She worked tirelessly to help ensure the passage of the Nigerian biosafety law—an important step toward commercialization of biotechnology crops in her native country. Although Aisha was reserved, she was an important and diligent amplifier of science-based messaging to help advance Nigerian agriculture. Aisha worked closely with media and policymakers to help ensure they had access to the latest relevant information, a natural extension of her studies in mass communication at Bayero University, Kano.
Aisha officially joined the Alliance as a Global Leadership Fellow in 2016. During her time at Cornell University, she advanced her communications work with the end-goal of continuing to serve the interests of Nigeria’s people. Aisha worked hard during her fellowship, balancing the demands of the program with taking care of her young daughter.
Aisha turned 40 years old last month. Her time with us was far too short. I will always remember Aisha as strong, brave, and determined. Her dedication to agriculture and the people of Nigeria never wavered. We celebrate her achievements in ensuring Nigerians’ access to biotechnology, her resilience, and her resolve.
– Sarah Evanega on behalf of the entire Alliance for Science team