Magazine Article - Outreach

Profile: Calestous Juma

| December 15, 2011

Nationality: Kenyan

Country of residence: USA

Current Position: Professor of the Practice of International Development and Director of Agricultural Innovation in Africa Project at Harvard Kennedy School

What prompted your early interest in the environment?
I grew up on the Kenyan shores of Lake Victoria at the mouth of two rivers (Nzoia and Yala) that flooded regularly and often twice a year. Living on the edge of Africa's largest lake and watching truly glorious sunsets over it, is sufficient to inspire and awaken even the sleepiest of souls. My earliest experiences were shaped by societal interest to balance between environmental risks and benefits. The flows and ebbs of the two rivers were directly linked to discernible changes in population and economic fortunes. Ecological drama was an integral part of my early childhood and it was then that I developed interest in responding to challenges through creativity and innovation. It was also then that I learned that innovation, like introducing new crops, is not risk free. Doing nothing is not a choice when you live an area that is constantly undergoing change. These were not just ordinary lessons for me but they directly shaped my personality and outlook....

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For Academic Citation: Juma, Calestous. “Profile: Calestous Juma.” Outreach, December 15, 2011.

The Author

Calestous Juma