We sadly lost a bright mind Calestous Juma, a prominent global advocate for sustainable development in struggling countries, particularly in Africa, he could trace his passion for technological innovation to his village childhood in colonial Kenya.
His father, a carpenter, introduced cassava, to give villagers a more reliable food supply. His mother became an entrepreneur, selling goods at marketplaces so that she could help pay for her son’s schooling.
That schooling led him ultimately to Harvard, where he became a professor of international development at the Kennedy School and directed the Agricultural Innovation in Africa project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
Professor Juma died on Dec. 15 at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He was 64. His wife said the cause was cancer. At his death he was widely credited as having been an important force in ensuring that biotechnology would play a critical role in improving economic life in many developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.