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Towards Impact and Resilience: Transformative Change in and through Agricultural Education and Training in Sub-Saharan Africa

Edited by Frans Swanepoel, Zenda Ofir, and Aldo Stroebel

This book, consisting of 17 chapters, focuses on clarifying the challenges, issues, and priorities of Agricultural Education and Training (AET) in sub-Saharan Africa and provides suggestions for practical solutions that can help guide organisations interested in furthering AET for agricultural development on the continent. The book discusses the African context within which a transformed AET system needs to be located; analyses African and international experiences that are relevant to identified AET needs and challenges; dissects AET models that may hold important lessons; and addresses the main critical issues that will impact AET in sub-Saharan Africa. The concluding chapter synthesises the ideas, experiences, and evidence from the chapters in order to highlight critical issues for success as well as possible solutions. The book is uniquely positioned to add to a call to action on AET, to pull together state-of-the-art knowledge from within and outside sub-Saharan Africa, and to advance "out of the box" thinking about the principles, values and character of AET for development, with an emphasis on the models that can help to cultivate leaders and change-makers at all levels of the agricultural sector.

The book is written for academic professionals, industry experts, government officials, international decision-makers, and other scholars interested in advancing and promoting AET for agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa. 


Frans Swanepoel is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science, and Technology (CREST) and the Deputy-Director of the African Doctoral Academy (ADA) at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for African Development (IAD) at Cornell University. Formerly he was Senior Director of Research Development and Professor of Sustainable Agriculture at the University of the Free State, South Africa. He holds a PhD in Animal Breeding. He has served as Dean of Agriculture at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa, where he is now an Adjunct Professor; he is also Professor and Director of postgraduate studies in Agriculture and Rural Development at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He serves on the Board of the South African Agricultural Research Council. During 2008–2009, he was a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development (CIIFAD). He is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and has recently been appointed Panel Chair of a national consensus study to revitalise agricultural education and training. He is the author/ co-author of more than 150 journal articles, monographs, reports, and book chapters. His fields of specialisation include African smallholder agriculture, research and innovation management, agricultural education and training, and capacity development.

Zenda Ofir is a South African international evaluation specialist. With a PhD in chemistry, she initially worked as manager in a South African science council, responsible for national higher education/industry research on biotechnology, food production, and food security; later she worked as Director of Research at the University of Pretoria. Since then she has worked on assignments in nearly 40 countries on four continents—conducting evaluations, facilitating the design of monitoring and evaluation systems, and helping programs and organisations clarify their change logic towards impact. She has done extensive work in the agriculture sector for the Rockefeller Foundation, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and AWARD, a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded program cultivating African women leaders in agricultural research and development. She is a former President of the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA) and former Vice-President of the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE). She also served on the first steering committee of the Network of Networks on Impact Evaluation (NONIE), a global network representing hundreds of donor organizations and professional evaluation networks, and she is the first Board member of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) to live outside of North America.

Aldo Stroebel is Executive Director of International Relations and Collaboration at the National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa, and Affiliated Associate Professor at the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Rural Development and Extension, University of the Free State (UFS), South Africa. He is the former Director of International Academic Programmes in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, UFS. He is a well-known agriculture and rural development specialist, focusing on smallholder farming systems in Africa. He researched his PhD at UFS and at Cornell University in New York. He was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. He is the author/co-author of more than 80 journal articles and publications. During his tenure at the University of Pretoria, he was the Programme Coordinator of the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) in partnership with the WK Kellogg Foundation, directing the establishment of a model for human capital and economic development in nine geographical areas in six southern African countries, including Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. He was recently elected as one of 20 Founding Members of the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS). His fields of specialisation include smallholder farming systems, human capital development and capacity building, and internationalisation of higher education. 


Click here to order direct from Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

IAD/CSP 2014, 548 pages, 978-1-4438-5680-5, 1-4438-5680-0