Emil Fischer

Born in Ghana, West Africa***, to a Ghanaian mother and Swiss father, Emil Martey Fischer interweaves two distinct cultures. Emil combines the characteristics of the two countries and has a vision of creating synergies between the two cultures.

His enviable career begun after his apprenticeship as a Precision Mechanic in Switzerland, producing high precision machine parts for a host of top level clients, including Daimler Chrysler Aerospace. He went on to perfect his craft as a goldsmith and then later rekindled his love for furniture, which through his father was inherent. This passion and his adventurous spirit led him to reside in Nassau The Bahamas for 7 years, managing SMG Millwork, a company noted for producing high end custom woodwork and furniture designs.

The utilisation of tropical timber and the fast rate of deforestation lead Emil on a quest of sourcing, sustainable building and construction materials.

The fascination for bamboo took him on various research trips to China, India and Singapore. Later he moved to Bali, Indonesia, where he among other projects worked as Plant Manager for IBL Indobamboo Lestari. This positive experience deepened his knowledge and expertise in bamboo and its sustainable utilization. Emil Fischer is presently residing in Ghana with his wife and two kids and is acting as Director of Bamboo for Integrated Development-Ghana (BIDG), a Non-Governmental organisation, operating under close guidance of the Environmental Bamboo Foundation and the Bamboo4Future-Assosiation in Switzerland.

The Non-Governmental organisation BIDG, together with partners aims at ensuring food security in rural Sub-Sahara Africa as well as reducing poverty through livelihoods improvement sustainable bamboo agroforestry programs. BSD-Ghana seeks to improve soils and rejuvenate degraded farmlands through community based bamboo agroforestry systems. One main objective is mitigating climate change and improving adaptive capacity of local farmers. The organization in its maiden pilot programme is establishing a 10 Ha Bamboo Agroforestry Nursery in Ghana, West Africa, and is training dozens of farmers in villages to plant bamboo on their farms in the form of community based outgrowers across the Afram Plains.


Andrew Oteng-Amoako Ph. D

Prof. Andrew Akwesi Oteng-Amoako is a renowned global forest products development scientist with over 40 years of experience in more than 10 countries. He epitomizes integrity, hard work and perseverance in his field of work, specializing in wood anatomy, identification, quality and wood preservation. He is regarded as a pioneer bamboo researcher in Ghana, facilitating the establishment of the only Bambusetum in Ghana.

Prof Andrew is a decorated academician. His research and publications have been recognized by many institutions across the globe. He holds a Doctorate degree of philosophy in Wood Products Engineering from the State University of New York and a Master of Science degree in Forest products from the Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Wood Technology from the University of Hamburg, Germany.

As a chief Research Scientist at the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research’s Forestry Research Institute (CSIR-FORIG), he has led and coordinated numerous Bamboo projects in collaboration with several international governments and institutions to identify and develop bamboo resources in Ghana. His most recent work includes an EU funded collaborative INBAR-FORIG Bamboo Biomass Energy Project which sought to popularize the production and utilization of bamboo charcoal and briquettes in Ghana and Ethiopia.

He is an icon and mentor to many young scientists who are passionate about bamboo and global environmental issues. He has shared his experiences, lecturing in New York, Papua New Guinea, Eastern Finland and his native country Ghana, serving on many academic and examination boards in the country. Together with his wife Cecilia, they founded The Hilltop Platinum International College, a co-educational day and boarding school in Kumasi, Ghana, where they continue to share the love of bamboo to young hearts.


Professional background

1980-1983: Ph.D Wood Products Engineering, State University of New York, Syracuse, New York
1974-1976: M.Sc. Forest Products Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, U.S.A,
1971-1974: B.Sc Wood Science and Technology, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Fields of interest

Wood Anatomy and Identification, Wood Structure-property relationship, Wood Preservation, Bamboo and Rattan Science and Technology

Research Projects

Project Leader, Sustainable Development of Bamboo from Ghana and Togo. Funded by African Research Network (2004-2007)

Project Leader, Wood Identification of Lesser-used Timber Species from Tropical Africa. International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) sponsored project with Swiss School of Wood Engineering, Biel as collaborator (1999-2002, extended).

Project Leader, Rattan Production to Consumption System in Africa - a socio-economic survey. Sponsored grant from International Network of Bamboo and Rattan, China. (1998 - 2000)

Project Leader, African Rattan Sponsored Project on Cultivation, Management and Processing of African Rattans. (200 - 2003, 2007). Sponsored grant from DFID.

Project Leader, Sustainable Development and Utilization of Bamboo Resources of Ghana and Togo (2004-2006). Sponsored grant from African Research Network

Project Leader, Optimising Variables for Effective Preservation of Wood and other Forest Products for Rural Application. Sponsored by Ghana Government. (1999-Present)

Project Leader, Screening the Efficacy of Antisapstain and Antiborer Chemicals for use in Ghana


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Kwabena A. Akodwaa-Boadi Msc eMBA

Kwabena A. Akodwaa-Boadi is a Natural Resource Management Expert and consultant. He loves bamboo and has been researching into the properties and potential of bamboo for over 7 years. His research covers consumer preference levels for bamboo and rattan products and experiments on selected strength properties between indigenous bamboo species in Ghana.

Kwabena holds a Master’s degree in Bio-economy and Natural Resource Management and an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration both from the University of Eastern Finland. His academic loreals also includes a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Management with a speciality in Wood Science and Technology from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). He is currently working to be a Ph. D candidate and hopes to address local and global issues with his research into community based agroecology with the champion plant, bamboo.

He heads the Research and Development department of BIDG, mandated to investigate issues affecting agriculture in target communities and to formulate community based interventions and programmes to address these issues with bamboo.

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Emmanuel Nettey

Emmanuel N. Nettey partners BIDG as its Community Developer. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience working in rural Ghana for over 10 years. As a member of the Northern Ghana Peace Building Council, he was active in preserving peace and harmony amongst rural communities in Northern Ghana which hitherto faced continuous chieftaincy and land disputes. His expertise focuses on sensitizing associations into achieving common goals especially in remote, rural settings.

Mr Nettey is a trained teacher. He attended Pope John’s Secondary School and holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Ghana, Legon.

His social and interpersonal skills through the years complement his efforts in working on social programmes that impact positively on society and the environment. He has spearheaded most of these projects together with agencies including The American Peace Corps, The Catholic Relief Services and The Government of Ghana. He believes in Bamboo and is constantly interacting with farmers and rural people, sensitizing them on the benefits and enormous potential of the plant in tackling social and environmental problems.