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Building Partnerships for Health and Sustainable Agricultural Development in East Africa 

Presented by the Global One Health Academy and CALS International Programs, this 3-day symposium focused on exchanging knowledge, fostering collaboration and driving sustainable agricultural development to improve health and wellbeing with our partners representing Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Public Symposium Information

Date: Monday, September 18, 2023

Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Location: Talley Student Union, North Carolina State University

Generously supported by the NC Biotechnology Center, this public symposium took a One health perspective — which recognizes the interconnectedness of human, animal, plant, and ecosystem health — and brought together leading experts, professionals, and stakeholders to exchange knowledge, foster collaboration and drive sustainable agricultural development to improve health and well-being with our partners representing Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Click here for a downloadable PDF of the event agenda

Discussion centered on:

  • agricultural development and links to nutrition and environmental sustainability
  • water sanitation and hygiene and the connection to human, animal, and environmental health
  • approaches to combating infectious diseases, including vector-borne diseases and antimicrobial resistance

This event has concluded. Please contact GOHA with any questions.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Chimimba David Phiri

Dr. Chimimba David Phiri is the Director and FAO Subregional Coordinator for Eastern Africa and the FAO Representative to the African Union (AU) and to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. Before joining FAO SFE in May 2018, Dr. Phiri was the Subregional Coordinator for the FAO Subregional Office for Southern Africa, which supports 16 countries predominantly in Southern Africa, for five years. In addition to this role, he served as FAO Representative to Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Botswana.

Dr. Phiri joined FAO at its headquarters in Rome in 1991 as Policy Economist in the Economic and Social Development Department. From 1998 to 2008, he served in the Cabinet of the FAO Director-General, where he was involved in the policy direction and overall management of the Organization. In September 2008, Dr. Phiri was appointed Chief of the Policy Assistance Support Service in the Technical Cooperation Department. In this position, Dr. Phiri was the focal point for FAO’s support to the African Union and its NEPAD programme, chairing the Organization-wide Task Team for such cooperation.

Dr. Phiri holds a PhD in Economics and Development Economics, which he obtained in 1991 from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. He also holds an MSc in Agricultural Economics from the University of Wales (1984) and Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) with distinction from the University of Malawi (1981).

Featured Symposium Speakers

Mumina Guyo Shibia has a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from Texas Tech University (2019), an MS and a BS in Agricultural and Applied Economics, and a Diploma in Agricultural Education and Extension from Egerton University in Kenya. Her expertise is in policy analysis, value chain development, feasibility studies, outreach, and stakeholder engagements, grant writing, advanced qualitative and quantitative complex data analytics, advanced econometrics and modeling, agribusiness, cooperatives development, risk management, agricultural marketing, economic optimization, international trade, community-driven development, and project management.

Dr. Shibia is very passionate about agricultural and rural development; evidence-based socioeconomics and policy research; climate-smart agriculture; pastoral economy; agricultural value chain competitiveness, finance and risk management, and empowerment of smallholder farmers, women, youth, and other vulnerable groups. She is the Director Planning, Performance Management, and Quality Control at Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO). She is the Principal Investigator for Connecting Research Education and Outreach (CREdO) program.

Dr. Eliud Kiplimo Kireger (OGW) is the Director General/CEO of Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) with over 35 years of experience in the field of agriculture. His illustrious career boasts a wide variety of roles such as the Managing Director/CEO of the Tea Research Foundation of Kenya and Dean School of Natural Resource and environmental Management, University of Kabianga among others. Dr. Kireger is currently the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) System Council alternate member, Sub-Saharan Africa constituency, System Council Active Observer on the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) System Board. 

He has mentored many young scientists and supervised many graduate research projects at BSc, MSc and PhD levels at both Moi and Kabianga Universities. Dr. Kireger holds a PhD in Plant Ecophysiology  from University of Wales, United Kingdom, a Master of Science in Plant genetics and Ecophysiology from University of Toronto, and Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry from Moi University Kenya.

Dr. Alice Murage has a PhD in agricultural economics from the Egerton University, in collaboration with Justus Libeig Universitat, Germany; MSc in Agricultural Economics and BSc in Agriculture (Economics option) from University of Nairobi, Kenya. Her research interest is in economic analysis, gender, food security, and climate change adaptation. Her strength is in qualitative analysis, and problem-solving with excellent communication and writing skills to convey complex information to diverse audiences. She is currently an Assistant Director in charge of research Methods and Analytics at Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO). Dr. Murage has coauthored over 20 publications in refereed journals, over 20 articles in regional and international conferences, many project reports, discussion papers and policy briefs.

Dr. Kevin Obiero is a Senior Research Scientist at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, Sangoro Centre, where he also serves as the Centre Director. He has a PhD in Natural Resources and Life Sciences (with Distinction) from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria, as well as an MSc and BSc in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from Moi University. His academic and professional work experience in fisheries, aquaculture and aquatic sciences spans 16 years. His research interests include how social, economic, and institutional drivers influence how people use, perceive, and govern aquatic food resource systems. These include governance of fisheries, aquaculture and aquatic resources, private sector-led market systems development, fish trade, marketing, value addition, and post-harvest loss reduction, gender-based value chain analysis, policy-oriented research, and advocacy.

Dr. Obiero has worked as a Principal Investigator on donor funded collaborative applied and adaptive projects, where he is responsible for providing high quality technical expertise for project design, implementation, management, and supervision. His publications include 52 peer-reviewed journal articles, 8 edited books, 14 book chapters and training manuals, 5 policy briefs, 20+ consultancy reports as well as 30+ scientific conference presentations.

Dr. James Kiwanuka-Tondo is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Communication at North Carolina State University. He is currently a consultant at the School of Journalism, Media and Communication, Uganda Christian University. His main area of research is health communication campaigns with particular emphasis on HIV/AIDS. His major contribution has been the development of the first quantitative model of relationships between organizational factors, campaign planning, and campaign execution variables. He has published an edited book on HIV/AIDS in Uganda, 18 peer-review journal articles, four peer-reviewed book chapters, one peer-reviewed conference proceeding, and four peer-reviewed research reports. He has been a principal investigator (PI) on several research grants.

Professor Kiwanuka-Tondo received the Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal from the Board of Trustees at North Carolina State University on May 4, 2021. This is the most prestigious award a professor can get at North Carolina State University. He received the Outstanding Graduate Professor 2021/2022. He was recognized as a member of the Academy of Excellence in Global Engagement for outstanding achievements in international education and research, North Carolina State University in November 2019. Dr. Kiwanuka-Tondo has received several awards such as Fulbright Scholar 2017/2018; Carnegie Africa Diaspora Fellow 2016; Jackson Rigney International Service Award 2017; Outstanding Global Engagement Award 2015; and the inaugural Lawrence M. Clark Faculty Excellence Award 2013. Professor Kiwanuka-Tondo is Vice President of East Africa Communication Association (EACA) and Editor Africa Journal of Communication.

Dr. Sheila Okoth is a professor at the University of Nairobi. She holds PhD in mycology and conducts specialist laboratory training in plant biotechnology and biosafety, mycotoxin analysis and molecular techniques at the Stellenbosch University, South Africa, University of Hertfordshire, UK, the Institute of Sciences of Food Production (ISPA-CNR), Italy, and the International Agricultural Centre, Netherlands. Professor Okoth is a member of the Joint (FAO/WHO) Expert Committee on Food Additives and a member of the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) steering committee.

Dr. Okoth’s research interests are in fungi, food and feed safety. She has more than 130 publications in refereed journals, published two books and edited two volumes of International Journal of Tropical and Subtropical Agroecosystems.

Dr. Festus Murithi holds a PhD (Agricultural Economics) from the University of Reading UK; MSc (Agricultural Economics) and BSc (Agriculture) both from the University of Nairobi.  He is currently the Director, Socio-economics and Policy Development at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO). He leads a team of over 90 Socio-economists and Statisticians in undertaking socio-economics research.

Dr. Murithi’s research focus is on economic analysis of technologies and projects; social and gender analysis; participatory research methodologies; market and policy analysis; ex-ante and ex-post impact assessment; and institutional development/management.

Dr. Petros Chigwechokha is a Senior Lecturer and the Head for the Department of Biological Sciences at Malawi University of Science and Technology. He holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from Kagoshima University. His research interests are in the application of genetics and molecular-based approaches in understanding aquatic biota, human life, and the environment, such as wastewater-based pathogen detection, fish genetics, molecular ecology, phylogenetics and recombinant technologies.

Dr. Chigwechokha has developed a keen interest in wastewater-based epidemiology and is currently involved in wastewater-multipathogen surveillance in resource-limited settings. With more than 24 publications in international journals and numerous presentations both locally and internationally, Dr. Chigwechokha has made significant contributions to the field. Having dedicated over a decade to academic institutions, he has taken on various leadership roles, including Deputy Dean, and has extensive experience in curriculum development and academic program implementation.

Hamisi M. Williams is currently the Assistant FAO Representative for Kenya and in charge of Country Programmes since March, 2019. Until his appointment, he was the Technical Policy and Institutional Governance Advisor to the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, having concluded the same function in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries & Irrigation where he served on secondment from the Executive Office of the President. Prior to that, he worked as a senior lecturer at Bukura Agricultural College and later under the Ministry of Agriculture. Hamisi has also served in various capacities as the Head of Policy Research and Strategy at the State Corporations Advisory Committee (SCAC) unit under the Executive Office of the President focusing on the agro-based agencies where he led the development and implementation of research outcomes on their institutional governance.

Hamisi has a keen interest in institutional reforms vis-à-vis governance, more so within the transformation of Kenya’s agricultural landscape in promoting food and nutrition security.

He holds a Master of Science in Agricultural Information and Communication Management from the University of Nairobi and Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Strategic Management. Other courses include Cochran Fellow in Agricultural Policy from North Carolina State University (USA), Data Management Tool from Harvard University (USA), Project Management from University of Adelaide (Australia) and Agricultural Products and Trade Policies from AMI Institute, Beijing, China.

Dr. Francis Obuoro Wayua has a Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, an M.Sc. in Food Science and Technology from Ghent University, Belgium and a B.Sc. in Food Science and Postharvest Technology from Jomo Kenya University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Kenya. His expertise is in food science, postharvest technologies, applied human nutrition, livelihoods, community based enterprises, agriculture product value chains, project management, and program reviews and evaluations. Dr. Wayua is very passionate about application of food science and postharvest technologies for catalyzing the growth of the agricultural sector, feeding into agribusiness. He is the Deputy Institute Director at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Kakamega. He is a Co-Principal Investigator for Connecting Research, Education and Outreach (CREdO) program in Kenya (CREdO Kenya).

Dr. Richard Nyankanga is the Head of Crop Science and associate professor of Horticulture in the Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection, University of Nairobi, Kenya. His research interests are in crop production and protection, climate change and farmers’ knowledge. Dr. Nyankanga has an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Horticulture and International Development from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA and B.Sc. in Horticulture from Egerton University in Kenya.

Dr. Teddie Oliver Nakhumwa is the National Co-ordinator for the Agricultural Commercialisation Project (AGCOM), a Malawi Government flagship program for commercialising agriculture. AGCOM is financed by a $95m credit facility from the World Bank. Dr Nakhumwa previously worked for the British Department for International Development (DfID) in Malawi as an economic adviser, and at the University of Malawi’s Bunda College of Agriculture (now the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources) as a senior lecturer in environmental and resource economics and a senior research fellow at the Centre for Agricultural Research and Development. He has also worked as the chief economist for AHL Commodity Exchange.

Teddie holds a master’s degree in agricultural economics and a PhD in environmental and resource economics from the University of Pretoria. He has more than 25 years of accumulated experience as a researcher and expert in social and economic development, and has published several research papers in refereed journals including Journal for Southern Africa Agricultural Economists (Agrekon) and European Journal for Environmental and Resource Economics.

Dr. Edna Makule is a Visiting Scientist at the Department of Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutritional Sciences – North Carolina State University, USA. With a career spanning over a decade, she serves as a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST)- Tanzania, an institution renowned for its dedication to postgraduate training and research excellence. At NM-AIST, Dr. Makule’s influence extended beyond the classroom and laboratory, for more than five years, she led and provided visionary leadership to the Directorate for Research and Innovation. This encompassed the strategic oversight and coordination of a diverse spectrum of institutional research and innovation initiatives such as; Research Management, Incubation of promising Innovations, Intellectual Property Management, Technology Transfer, and Commercialization.

With a passion for research, Dr. Makule spearheaded several donor-funded projects in the fields of agro-food processing, preservation, value addition, food safety, and nutrition. Her commitment to scientific advancement is reflected in over 30 peer-reviewed publications, each contributing to the broader scientific discourse.

Beyond academia, Dr. Makule’s impact resonates within the local community in Tanzania and East Africa at large. She has demonstrated a profound commitment to translating research outcomes into tangible benefits for society, fostering engagement and collaboration for effective technology transfer.

Dr. Makule earned her Ph.D. in Natural Science (Pharmacognosy) from the University of Regensburg in Germany, her MSc in Food Technology, an inter-university program of Ghent and Katholike Universities – Belgium, and her BSc in Food Science and Technology from Sokoine University of Agriculture-Tanzania.

Dr. Johnson Nyasani is a versatile research scientist (entomologist) with extensive experience in the biology and bioecology of insect pests, pest risk analysis, insect-pathogen-plant interactions, classical biological control and integrated pest management. He is interested in basic and applied research in the above research areas. Dr. Nyasani has broad experience working directly in multi-disciplinary CGIAR-NARS partner research.

Funding Agency Representatives

Symposium Details

Each of the three days of the symposium had a distinct format and goals.

September 18 | Talley Student Union, 3260A – Piedmont Ballroom | Time: 09:00 am – 05:00 pm

Day 1 included presentations by invited East African speakers on ongoing research, development projects, challenges, and needs for NC State-East Africa collaborations. The day featured remarks from Chancellor Woodson and a keynote presentation from Dr. Chimimba David Phiri of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

September 19 | Invitation-Only | Time: 09:00 am – 05:00 pm

The first half of Day 2 included discussions of NC State’s research relevant to the East African rural development and research needs. Faculty members with relevant research and regional experience provided overviews of their work to develop a foundation for the collaborative project discussions on Day 3. The second half of Day 2 included visits to various NC State facilities.

Group photo of participants of Day 2 of the 2023 East Africa Symposium
September 20 | Invitation-Only | Time 09:00 am – 03:00 pm

Day 3 involved open forum discussions and facilitated small group focus sessions. The final day focused on envisioning specific future research, implementation of agendas, and sketching out paths for action.

This symposium is supported by a Biotechnology Meeting Grant (BMG) award generously granted by the NC Biotechnology Center.

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