Future Africa appoints Prof Frans Swanepoel as Research Chair for the Sustainable Food Systems Domain
"This appointment marks a significant milestone for Future Africa's work. Professor Swanepoel’s leadership will take pan-African research and capacity development in sustainable food systems to a new level.
Future Africa, the pan-African collaborative research platform at the University of Pretoria (UP), is pleased to announce the formal appointment of Professor Frans Swanepoel as the Research Chair for the Sustainable Food Systems Domain, effective from 1 November 2023. Professor Swanepoel has been serving as the interim Research Chair for the domain since February 2023.
Professor Swanepoel is a former NRF-rated expert in agriculture and food systems transformation in Africa. He holds the position of Director for International Strategic Partnerships at UP and Principal Investigator for the URKI-ARUA GCRF Food Systems Research Network for Africa (FSNet-Africa) Project. He is also Professor for Agricultural Transformation in Africa (ATA) at the Centre for Advancement of Scholarship (CAS) at UP and Interim Director of the ARUA Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems (ACoE in SFS).
Over the years, Professor Swanepoel has held several leadership positions in the African research and development sector, including Dean of Agriculture at the University of Fort Hare (UFH), Director of the Postgraduate School of Agriculture and Rural Development at UP, Head of Animal Science at the University of the Free State (UFS), and Director of Research at UFS. He has also held the position of Director of the African Doctoral Academy at Stellenbosch University and DVC Research and Innovation at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). Additionally, he is a Senior Fulbright Fellow and a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for African Development (IAD) at Cornell University and the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Western Australia (UWA) respectively.
Dr Heide Hackmann, the Director of Future Africa, congratulated Professor Swanepoel on his appointment and remarked, "This appointment marks a significant milestone for Future Africa's work on advancing and unleashing the transformative potential of African sciences. Professor Swanepoel’s leadership will take Pan-African research and capacity development in sustainable food systems to a new level."
Professor Swanepoel expressed his gratitude for the appointment, stating, "I am honoured to be appointed as the Research Chair for the Sustainable Food Systems Domain at Future Africa. This is an important time for the transformation of Africa's food systems. I am excited to extend the progress we've made during my interim leadership, and am confident that, together with our partners, we will make a significant contribution to developing sustainable solutions for Africa's food systems."
About the Sustainable Food Systems Domain
The Future Africa Sustainable Food Systems Domain was launched in January 2022, with multiple objectives in alignment with the platforms core mission of developing transformative research to address complex real-world challenges. The domain hosts the African Research Universities Alliance Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems (ARUA-SFS). Currently, three active collaborative projects are underway in this domain:
- The Climate, Land, Agriculture, and Biodiversity (CLAB) initiative, funded by the Gates Foundation.
- The Food Systems Research Network for Africa (FSNet-Africa), an ARUA-SFS Flagship project, supported by UK Research and Innovation.
- The Food and Livelihood Resilience from Neglected Plant Species in Western and Southern Africa (FORENS) project, supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) South Africa under the Africa-Japan Collaboration.
For more information about the projects and initiatives within the Sustainable Food Systems Domain, please visit: https://www.futureafrica.science/our-challenge-domains/sustainable-food-systems