Board of Directors

Hon. Professor Ruth K. Oniang’o, Chair

Professor Ruth Oniang’o is the founder and editor-in-chief of the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development and the founder and leader of the Rural Outreach Program, a Kenya-based NGO. She has served on a number of international boards, such as the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Australian Centre of International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).
She was a member of the Kenyan parliament, from 2002 to 2007, and Shadow Minister of Education, and currently chairs the Kenyan government’s thematic group for food security and nutrition.

Dr. Amit Roy, Vice-Chair

Dr. Amit Roy oversees the operations of the organization as Vice- Chairman. He is a former IFDC’s president and chief executive officer, and has more than 40 years of experience in international agricultural development in more than 100 countries.
Under Dr. Roy’s leadership, IFDC’s programs broadened to help create sustainable agricultural productivity around the world. From bringing farmers from poverty to prosperity to ensuring global food and nutrition security to environmental protection and economic growth, IFDC has helped farmers thrive.
Among other honors, Dr. Roy was instrumental in organizing the Africa Fertilizer Summit in Abuja, Nigeria, in June 2006; in 2008 he spoke before the Hunger Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives and in 2012 was appointed to the Steering Committee of the Global Nutrient Management Project of the United Nations Environment Program.

Dr. Makoto Kitanaka, President

Dr. Kitanaka was appointed as President of the SAA on November 5, 2019. He has worked for JICA for more than 30 years and served as the Director General of the Department of Rural Development.
Some of his achievements are: 1) expansion of the CARD (Coalition for African Rice Development) with the aim of doubling rice production in Africa in 10 years, 2) expansion of SHEP (Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment & Promotion in Africa) , and 3) launch of IFNA (Initiative for Food and Nutrition Security in Africa).

Prof. Keiichi Shirato, Director

Professor Keiichi Shirato is a Professor of International Relations at Ritsumeikan University. For almost two decades, Professor Shirato worked for Mainichi Newspapers as a correspondent based in Johannesburg and Washington DC. His commendable experience includes his previous role as General Manager of EMEA and Russia Department of the Mitsui & Co. Global Strategic Studies Institute in Tokyo. In addition to his current position as a Professor of International Relations, Professor Shirato is also a Specially Appointed Professor at the Center for African Area Studies at Kyoto University. His research focuses on Japan’s African Diplomacy and the role of business in Africa’s development. Among Professor Shirato’s publications is The Great Resource Continent Africa, which was awarded the Japan Congress of Journalists Award in 2010.

Board of Councillors

Dr. Jiro Aikawa

Senior Advisor for Agriculture and Rural Development, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

Prof. Hiroshi Ehara

Professor, Nagoya University

Takeju Ogata

President, The Nippon Foundation

Mitsuru Suemori

CEO, International Development Journal Co., Ltd

Prof. Fumio Watanabe

Professor, Tokyo University of Agriculture


Akinori Sugai

Executive Director of The Sasakawa Peace Foundation

SAA Publications

"Walking with the Farmer"

SAA publishes a bimonthly e-newsletter reporting on SAA activities.

SAA Mail News

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SAA history book
"Walking with the Farmer: The journey of the Sasakawa Africa Assoication since 1986"

This book chronicles the history of SAA from its inception to the present.

Success stories
Voices from the Field Special Edition 2022

This is a special edition of the "Voices from the Field" articles.