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AAP Advisory Board

The Advisory Board meets quarterly to guide and provide feedback on the AAP’s activities and plans.


AAP's relationship to its advisory board members are maintained through and after their term. AAP is proud of its current outstanding advisory board members as well as our previous advisory board members


Soji-Adelaja.jpgSoji Adelaja

John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor in Land Policy

Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics

Michigan State University, MI, United States

Email: adelaja(at)



Soji Adelaja is appointed in the tenure stream in AFRE and in 2004 was named the John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor in Land Policy. Until April 2011, he served as director of the Land Policy Institute, which he founded in 2006. In that capacity, he also served as the director of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, funded Michigan Higher Education Land Policy Consortium (MiHELP), and the People and Land Initiative (PAL). Dr. Adelaja’s work in public policy is highly respected and he has served as advisor to several key local, state, and national policy makers. 

Prior to coming to MSU in 2004, Dr. Adelaja was at Rutgers University for 18 years, during which period he served as Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dean of Cook College, Executive Director of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Director of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Professor and Chair of Agricultural Food and Resource Economics, Director of the Food Policy Institute, Director of the Food Innovation Center, and Director of the Eco-Policy Center.

Soji has received numerous awards for excellence in research, outreach and policy leadership, including being named ARER Fellow in 2012 by the Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, the 2011 Distinguished Faculty Award from Michigan State, 2010 tribute from the Governor of Michigan for his contribution to public policy and the State’s economic development, a 2011 Outstanding article of the year award from Emerald Publishers, the 2010 Outstanding article of the year award from the Agricultural and Resource Economic Review, the 2003 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Public Policy through Economics from NAREA, the Rutgers Presidential Award for Distinguished Public Service from Rutgers University, the 1999 Person of the Year Award from the National Prepared Foods Association, the 2002 Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Pennsylvania State University, and the New Jersey Governor’s Recognition for Outstanding Contributions to the Garden State.


Karima Grant.jpg

Co-Founder & Executive Director

ImagiNation Afrika

Yoff Rankhar près de l’Hôtel Océan

Dakar, Senegal

Email: karima(at)



Social entrepreneur, educational leader, co-founder Ker ImagiNation Playschools.

With over twenty five years experience working in the field of human development and education on three continents, I seek to change the ecosystem of learning for over 1 million young changemakers in Africa.

In my current role as founder and Director of ImagiNation Afrika, West Africa's first children's learning and innovation hub, I lead an amazing diverse team of change makers, designing and developing innovative educational programming integrating local culture, play and experiential learning to develop creative and critical thinking in children 6 months to 19 years and implementing our ecosystem approach to supporting young African changemakers across West Africa.

My vision: a world of African children change-makers solving the problems of development.

The Ker ImagiNation Afrika hub is a place that offers play areas and activities for children between six months and 14 years old in Dakar. The animators help the children and encourage them to find innovative practical solutions together. Through play and experiential learning, children hypothesize, experiment, fail, innovate, practice, pretend, suspend common beliefs, produce creatively, think critically and imagine. These are the fundamental qualities of those responsible for change. Allowing children to experience themselves and their abilities in new environments increases the creative confidence of the most marginalized children and helps them realize that they can make a significant contribution to society. The organization believes that creativity will be the driving force for development in Africa and that children will become the architects, engineers, artists and presidents of tomorrow. They are the ones who will bring light.

Ms. Grant has an undergraduate degree in African Studies from Mount Holyoke College and a Masters degree in Fiction Writing from Pine Manor College.



Professor Tawana Kupe

Vice Chancellor and Principal

University of Pretoria

Pretoria, South Africa

Email: tawana.kupe(at)







Professor Tawana Kupe was appointed Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the University of Pretoria in January 2019.

Prior to this appointment, Professor Kupe held several senior positions at the University of Witwatersrand, including his role as the Vice-Principal responsible for running the University. Prior to that role he was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Advancement, Human Resources and Transformation. He also served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Finance and Operations, and was Executive Dean of the Wits Faculty of Humanities. He was the founding Head of the Media Studies Department at Wits University. He also lectured at Rhodes University, where he briefly acted as Head of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies. Before Rhodes, he worked in various academic capacities at the University of Zimbabwe, including Chairperson of the Department of English, Media and Communication StudieProfessor Kupe holds a BA Honours degree and Masters in English from the University of Zimbabwe, as well as a DPhil in Media Studies from the University of Oslo in Norway. He was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in Humanities by Michigan State University (MSU) in December 2019.


Professor Kupe has been appointed International Council member of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) from 2020-2024. The IAMCR aims to support and develop media and communication research throughout the world. It particularly encourages the participation of emerging scholars, women and those from economically disadvantaged regions. He is also a Council Member and Trustee of the Association of Commonwealth universities (ACU). The ACU is an international organisation dedicated to building a better world through higher education, by bringing universities together from around the world by helping to advance knowledge, promote understanding, broaden minds, and improve lives.



AKY MBAYE.pngAhmadou Aly Mbaye

Vice Chancellor

University Cheikh Anta DIOP (UCAD)

Dakar, Senegal

Email: ahmadou.mbaye(at) 


Ahmadou Aly Mbaye is Vice Chancellor at the University Cheikh Anta DIOP (UCAD) since August 2020. Previously, Professor Mbaye was the Rector and a Professor of Economics at the University Cheikh Anta DIOP (UCAD) in Dakar, Senegal. He was a nonresident Senior Fellow - Global Economy and Development, Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institute in the US, a senior research associate at the Centre for Development Research (ZEF, University of Bonn, Germany) and held the position of director of the Laboratoire d’Analyse des Politiques de Developpement (LAPD). He was also the director of the regional graduate program in climate change economics (including 10 countries). Previously, he had served as the dean of the School of Economics and Management at the Cheikh Anta DIOP University and chair of CIEREA-PTCI (the Francophone African network of research and higher education in economics) Board for 10 years. Mbaye has been a consultant for many regional and international organizations. He is managing several international programs within his universities and has numerous publications on development economics and Africa. Mbaye has been serving as a member in the AERC’s Programme Committee for more than four years now.

In the area of research, Mbaye developed a new concept of the informal sector, which challenges the mainstream formal/informal dichotomous classification, and proposes an approach of informality based on a continuum of degrees of formality. He then led an international team that implemented the methodology in most Francophone African countries. The multi-donor financed project that resulted from this experience has led to several publications, including a volume and numerous peer reviewed papers.


OliverNabiryo.jpgOlivia Nabiryo


Michigan Fellows Agribusiness Initiative Uganda

Email: onabiryo(at)







Co-founder of the Michigan Fellows Agribusiness initiative Uganda (MFAI-U), a non-profit registered in Uganda, which is a network consisting of alumni who participated in the “Advancing Young Women Agribusiness Entrepreneurs and innovators Fellowship Program”, a U.S. Department of State-funded program that has been administered by Michigan State University (MSU) since 2018. The network brings together exceptionally gifted young women and men who are passionate about improving livelihoods by advancing agribusiness, especially women in Uganda. The Network members represent the entire agricultural value chain in Uganda including the private sector, non-government organizations, institutions of higher education and the Uganda government. Members meet periodically to share knowledge with each other and collectively strategize on ways they can continue to build capacity in Agri entrepreneurship, Agri-food system innovation and issues of women economic empowerment in Uganda. MFAI-U seeks to tackle food losses and wastage through improving on the pre and post-harvesting methods for nutrition security, food security, safety and quality produce.  MFAI address this through high-tech post-harvest handling training and bulk selling and marketing. They have applied for several grants with MSU faculty and also offer a 4-day training program to youth entrepreneurs in Uganda called The Agribusiness Apprenticeship Program (Ag-AP).





Barnabas Nawangwe

Vice Chancellor

Makerere University 

Kampala, Uganda

Email: nawangwe(at)






Barnabas Nawangwe is a Ugandan architect, academic and the current Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, the largest public university of Uganda. He was a lecturer and Head of Department of Architecture, from the time the department was founded in 1987 until 2002. He became Senior Lecturer in 1996. In 2002, he was appointed Associate Dean, Faculty of Technology. The following year, he became Dean, Faculty of Technology, serving in that capacity from 2003 until 2010. In 2004, he became a Professor. He served as the Principal, College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology from 2010 - 2013. He was then the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, "responsible for the planning, budgeting and development of the university" from 2013 -2017. 

Professor Barnabas Nawangwe was installed as Vice Chancellor of Makerere University on 14 September 2017, at a ceremony at which the president of Uganda was the chief guest. He serves as a consultant architect and has been involved in many architectural projects at the university for a period stretching back at least 20 years. 


DorothyNgila.jpgDorothy Ngila


Science Granting Council Initiative & Resource Partnerships Development at the South African National Research Foundation

Pretoria, South Africa

Email: dorothy.ngila(at)


Dorothy Ngila is the Director: Science Granting Council Initiative (SGCI) and Resource Partnerships Development at the South African National Research Foundation (NRF). Her core responsibility is to coordinate the NRF’s contribution to the multi-stakeholder and multi-agency capacity strengthening programme, the SGCI in sub-Saharan Africa, which serves 15 public science granting councils in East, West and Southern Africa. She is chair of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) South African National Chapter; and serves on the Global Research Council (GRC) Gender Working Group, both advancing conversations and actions promoting the equality and status of women in research. Prior to joining the NRF, she served in various capacities within the international partnerships programme of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). Ms Ngila is currently completing her PhD in Science and Technology Studies at Stellenbosch University, and has a Masters degree in Geography and Environmental Management from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa and a Bachelor of Arts (Public Administration and Environmental Sciences) from the University of Botswana.