Prof. Guy Mergeai passed away on 4 May 2021
Professor Guy Mergeai passed away on 4 May 2021 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Born in Kabinda, DRC, on 15 October 1959, Guy was Professor of Tropical Agronomy at Gembloux Agro Bio-Tech University of Liège.
He was a pioneer in agronomic research on Artemisia. He helped set up the first House of Artemisia in Senegal and consequently was responsible for almost all the Artemisia annua seeds in the House of Artemisia network (which now counts over 100 Houses!).
He was a courageous, philanthropic and extremely competent man… he recently told Lucile that he was extremely proud to have contributed to the spread of Artemisia cultivation in Africa to the communities that needed it the most.
It is thanks to him that Audrey, our in-house agronomist, fell into the Artemisia pot!
“I will always consider him the pioneer of seed research and the cultivation of Artemisia annua and afra. He was still planning to help us supervise trials to distribute germinating Artemisia afra seeds throughout the network. He was the agro-ecology professor who encouraged me to change my studies and work on Artemisia, revealing to me all his humanity. He was the Artemisia agronomic expert for all of us, he is leaving too soon…”
Numerous tributes have been received from all over the network, all of them praising his generosity, his humanity and his skills.
He participated in the creation of the first House of Artemisia in Senegal and Karim Sankare, who was trained by him, tells us: “Very courageous, philanthropic, competent. Yes, Prof. Mergeai was all that and more. I was his closest co-worker in Senegal from 2006 to 2016. When he was ill and had to undergo heavy treatment, he entrusted me with the House of Artemisia. What a loss. These last days I had a terrible sense of foreboding. He was more than a boss for me because he not only gave me work, but he protected me and righted injustices that others mistakenly inflicted on me…”
We have lost a friend.
May he rest in peace with the assurance that what he sowed here on earth will continue to bear fruit.