Dr Thomas Risley Odhiambo

The Late Dr Thomas Risley Odhiambo (1959) (born.Fev 4, 1931- died May 26, 2003)

Thomas odhiambo was a prominent Kenyan scientist who founded the International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), an international insect research centre renowned for giving African farmers low-cost solutions for pest control.

Dr. Odhiambo, matriculated at Queens’ College Cambridge in 1959, reading Natsci, and later graduated with a PhD in Insect Physiology becoming the first Kenyan to study at Queens’ College. He was the first Professor and Head of the Department of Entomology at the University of Nairobi and was the first Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture. Among his many honors, Dr. Odhiambo was the 1987 laureate of the Africa Prize for Leadership.

He founded what became the International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology(ICIPE) in 1967 at the University of Nairobi, where he taught. As founding Director of the ICIPE, his research focused on developing sustainable solutions to the pressing need for increased food production and improved health in rural communities.

In 1985, Professor Odhiambo's efforts to develop and promote scientific expertise among Africans led to the establishment of the African Academy of Sciences. In addition, he served as founding Vice President of the Third World Academy of Sciences until 1999, founding President of the Association of African Science Editors until 1995 and founding President of the Kenya National Academy of Sciences until 1994. The author of more than 130 papers and monographs, Professor Odhiambo also wrote children's books designed to educate, inspire and entertain the children of Africa.

Prof. Odhiambo published some 110 scientific papers and books, mainly in the field of Comparative Insect Endocrinology, and more specifically in the area of Hormonal Control of Insect Reproduction.

The Honourable Edward A Laing Jnr

A pre-eminent judge, diplomat, professor and community leader, Laing was a native of Belize and born in 1942. His mother was a head mistress and teacher, and his father was a journalist and newspaper editor.

In 1961, Eddie was awarded a Belize Open Scholarship to study Law at Queens' College, Cambridge (BA, 1964; LLB 1966). Immediately after graduating, he returned to Belize to work as an assistant magistrate and Crown Counsel. A year later (1967), he received a Fulbright scholarship to Columbia University to pursue a Master’s degree in International Law.

An expert in Caribbean and maritime law, Laing had an extensive teaching career from 1974 to 1996 in the United States. He served on the law faculties of Notre Dame, the University of Maryland, Howard and New York Law Schools. In addition to teaching courses on commercial and international law, international trade and business law, and the law of the sea, he also directed the graduate programme at Howard University.

His career as a diplomat began in 1985 when he served as Belize’s Ambassador to the United States, High Commissioner to Canada and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States. During his time as Ambassador, he negotiated a border treaty between Belize and Guatemala. By 1993, Laing was serving as Permanent Representative of Belize to the United Nations. Most of his most significant work there was on Security Council reform, as well as interregional governance, and intellectual property law in the Caribbean; and the establishment of a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. He also proposed the sharing of seats on the council to increase participation by developing countries.

In 1996, he was elected to the first tenure of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. He is noted as receiving the most votes of any candidate and served on this distinguished court of twenty-one jurists in Hamburg, Germany.

Laing was also very actively involved in community affairs. He was the founding President of the New York Belizean Committee, and he rallied Belizean participation in the New York West Indian Labor Day Parade. As the founding President of the Consortium for Belizean Development of the United States and Canada, he dedicated his time to the promotion of democracy building, economic prosperity, environmental sustainability, peace and human rights, and cultural preservation in the Diaspora.

He died in Belize in 2001 at 59 years old.

For more information, kindly refer to the following sources




  • Alexander Crummel (1848)
  • John Thorpe (1800s)
  • George Caulker (1800s)
  • William Ofori Attah (1938)
  • Amma Kyei Mensah (1986)

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