This report contains the Science Council commentary on the Sub Saharan Africa challenge program proposal. It also contains a letter from Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Science Council Chair to Ian Johnson. Both letter and report state that the Science Council does not find that there is sufficient information available in the proposal - in terms of specific research plans and science for the Science Council to make a judgement on the relevance and quality of the science and will therefore not justify a $ 70 million investment over the five-year plan. The Science Council, however, recommends an alternative plan which is described in the report. This report was discussed at the CGIAR Business Meeting during AGM 2004.