My motto in life is that determination and hard work pays. These values I believehave propelled me this far. My knack for academic excellence earned me a scholarship to pursue postgraduate studiesand now I feel blessed to be a beneficiary of a Generation Challenge Programme (GCP) sponsorship package to pursue the PhD programme at WACCIRuth Thompson had her primary and secondary school education in the Greater Accra and Eastern Regions of Ghana respectively. She earned her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Biological Sciences at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and TechnologyGhana. This training gave her well-defined insightknowledgeand interest in molecular biology as well as a love for DNA-related research. Ruth works with the Biotechnology Division of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Crops Research Institute as an Assistant Research Scientist. Her work over the years involved the characterisation of and diversity studies on crops such as cassavabananaplantain and cocoyam through the use of molecular markers. For her PhDRuth will work on improving the shelf life of cassavaone of the major crops of Africathrough the introgression of desirable genes into farmer preferred varieties. Thisshe believes will improve the income of our poorly resourced farmers.I subscribe strongly to farmer participatory research and believe that the best and most cost-effective solutions can be found only through close collaboration with farmers. Ruth says. Her research project and work thereafter will thus be considerably shaped by farmer-opinion. The quest for a hunger free Africa is ambitious but not unachievable. As an individualI am committed to living up to the challenge she affirms.