Father Nzamujo Godfrey

Father Nzamujo Godfrey

Director, Songhai Project

A driving force behind the work of Father Nzamujo has been his recognition that rural populations and local resources are essential in fostering economic self-reliance. A Nigerian-born Dominican priest, Father Nzamujo spent five years studying and teaching in the United States. Upon returning to Africa, he established the Songhai Project, a program to foster agricultural autonomy. During his travels abroad, Father Nzamujo became convinced that development in the Western sense contributed to the African "crisis" by undermining the role of the African people. He has helped to create a different vision for Africa, one that mobilizes farmers to study and implement the tools they see as best fit for development. Bringing his expertise in engineering, economics and management to Benin, Father Nzamujo established a 25-hectare farm that serves as a research and training center for representatives of rural communities, and focuses on crop production, aquaculture and livestock production. The waste materials are recycled as nutrients for plants and animals and as biogas for fuel. "Commitment to Excellence" is the Songhai Project's motto. The project calls for African farmers to use their own resources, and symbolizes Father Nzamujo's belief that Africa's ecological characteristics are advantages rather than impediments.