The MwAPATA Institute is an independent agricultural policy think tank in Malawi. The Institute is engaging the Government of Malawi, private sector, and civil society stakeholders in applied policy analysis, policy outreach, capacity building, and policy coordination.  

Please take 5 minutes to learn about us in this video.

Then scroll further to learn more!

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Rural poverty, malnutrition, inequality and social exclusion remain major challenges in Malawi. It is widely understood that sustained agricultural productivity growth will be necessary to address these challenges, transform the economy, and raise living standards because of extensive forward and backward linkages between agriculture and the rest of Malawi’s economy. We have a plan to attain the level of agricultural growth that can transform the country’s economy.



Meet Our Team

Mr. William Chadza - Executive Director

William is a policy researcher and analyst specializing in agriculture, environment and natural resources for sustainable livelihoods. William has had a successful career in program management with local and international institutions on donor and Government of Malawi funded programs in food security, climate change, environment, natural resources and human capital development.  He has a Master of Business Administration specializing in Corporate Governance from Malawi Institute of Management.


Mrs.  Elizabeth Nyanja - Finance & Administration Manager

Elizabeth is a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CIMA), a holder of a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from University of Derby and a member of Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (ICAM). At MwAPATA, she is primarily responsible for the management of financial, accounting and human resource operations. She has over 12 years of experience in financial management and operations, grants management and administration that has been gained through working with both public and private entities in local as well as International organization settings.


Lemekezani Chilora - Research Assistant

Lemekezani holds a first degree in Agricultural Economics from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He is currently pursuing a Collaborative Master of Science degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics (CMAEE) specializing in environment economics from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources and University of Pretoria. Prior to Joining MwAPATA, Lemekezani worked with Japanese Tobacco International (JTI) as a graduate trainee.

Mrs. Ndidza Chisanu - Communications Specialist

Ndidza has 15 years' experience in mass communication, Public and Media Relations, designing and managing Campaigns, Community Engagement, Brand and Events Management, Graphic Designing, Photography, and Writing Skills. She holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Mass Communications from African Bible College-Malawi, and is currently studying towards a Master of Science in Gender and Development with the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) in Lilongwe. 


Dr. Makaiko Khonje - Research Fellow

Makaiko is an agricultural economist who holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Goettingen in Germany. He obtained his Master of Science degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics from Makerere University, Uganda and University of Pretoria, South Africa. Previously, he worked for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Malawi as a research associate for impact assessment from 2012 to 2017. He has published in several peer-reviewed journals in agricultural and development economics as well as nutrition.

Prof. Julius H. Mangisoni - Adjunct Senior Research Fellow

Prof. Mangisoni is an agricultural economist and graduate of the University of Malawi (BSc and MSc) and the University of Minnesota, USA (PhD). He has worked with the Ministry of Agriculture, Planning Division and taught courses at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. He is currently Professor of Agricultural Economics at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR). He has published research in top journals related to land tenure systems, agricultural and food policies, forestry, water & irrigation, poverty, market & price analysis, agricultural risk, soil and water conservation, and rural & social development.


Dr. Greenwell Matchaya - Adjunct Senior Research Fellow

Greenwell is an International Economics Researcher at the  International Water Management Institute and a Coordinator for the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support systems for Southern Africa Greenwell has previously worked at the University of Reading-UK where he worked as Research Fellow exploring the nexus between agricultural policy, intellectual property rights, and agricultural research and investment. Greenwell provides technical assistance for MwAPATA's research and outreach efforts.

Dr. Maggie Munthali - Research Fellow

Maggie holds a PhD in Geography from University of Pretoria, South Africa. She has vast experience in natural resource management, forest management, agroforestry and integrated soil fertility management (ISFM). Prior to joining MwAPATA Institute, she worked with the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining as Principal Forestry Officer. She is a member of the African Forest Forum (AFF), African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE), International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) and American Society of Agronomy(ASA), among others.

Ernest Mfune - Finance &  Administration Assistant

Ernest is an experienced Administration & Finance Officer with over 7 years of progressive experience working with local and international Organizations. He is responsible for all accounting transactions and day to day administrative operations for the Institute. Ernest has a strong accounting and administrative background with vast knowledge in project and contract management.  Prior to joining MwAPATA Institute, He worked with Sightsavers International as the Finance and Support Service Officer. He is a member of Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (ICAM) and Malawi Accountants Board (MAB)


Mrs. Clara Nsena - Program Assistant/Receptionist

Clara holds a Diploma in Business Management (ABE) and  Secretarial Studies (City n Guilds). She has experience working for international institutions like Management Sciences for Health (MSH) where she worked as Administrative Coordinator before joining MwAPATA.  Her role supports all program activities and managing the front desk. Clara also provides support to the office of the Executive Director by managing his diary among others.  Previously, she also worked for Med Health as Personal Assistant to Managing Director.    Currently, Clara is studying Bachelors of Commerce in Tourism Management with UNIMA- Polytechnic.


Zephaniah Nyirenda - Research Assistant

Zephania is an agricultural economist holding a Master’s Degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Malawi and University of Pretoria. Previously, he worked as a Policy Research Analyst for the New Alliance Policy Acceleration Support (NAPAS) project in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development and as a Research Analyst at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). He has vast experience in development of data collection tools, field data collection, data management and analysis and report writing. His research focuses on poverty, land tenure, agricultural and food policy, and nutrition.   

Dr. Christone Nyondo - Research Fellow

Christone holds a PhD in Economics and an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Kent (UK). He has a first degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Malawi.  Prior to joining MwAPATA, Christone worked as a Policy Analyst in the New Alliance Policy Acceleration Support (NAPAS) project in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development (MoAIWD). He joined the NAPAS project, from the MoAIWD where he worked as a Chief Economist.  

Dinah Salonga - Research Assistant

Dinah is an agriculture economist holding of Masters Degree in Agriculture and Applied Economics majoring in Agricultural Policy Analysis from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) and the University of Pretoria. Dinah has worked with Opportunity International Bank of Malawi (OIBM) and GIZ before joining the MwAPATA Institute. In addition, she also worked as a freelance research assistant on various consultancies. She has experience in research, project management and banking.

Garnet Sibo - Driver/Office Assistant

Garnet provides support to all staff in the area of transportation and general duties in the office.  He is responsible for driving the Institute vehicles on official business and ensuring that Institute vehicles are always in good running condition. He is responsible for providing administrative support for the smooth operation of the office among other duties.

Technical Support Team

Milu is professor of international development in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Michigan State University (MSU). He holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from MSU, and MA and BA degrees in Economics from the University of Nairobi. Milu worked as a Research Fellow with Tegemeo Institute, Egerton University in Kenya (2004-07), and as an Economist in the Ministry of Planning and National Development in Kenya (1997-2003). As Principal Investigator at MwAPATA, Milu is the Coordinator of MSU sub-grants with MwAPATA, PolSAT, ORG and Purdue University. At MSU, he is principal investigator of DFID-funded Agricultural Policy Research in Africa in Nigeria, and the USAID-funded SERA BORA project in Tanzania.


Dr. Ayala Wineman - Senior Research Fellow

Ayala join holds a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics from Michigan State University and has worked as a Research Associate at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington and as a Research and Survey Specialist at the Global Child Nutrition Foundation. Her research relates broadly to rural development in sub-Saharan Africa, spanning topics such as agricultural transformation, the operation of rural land markets, and the effects of climate variability and climate change.

Kevin Cox - Finance

Kevin is an accountant for the MSU Food Security Group (FSG) responsible for all accounting transactions and processes.  He works hand in hand with the business manager as well as providing technical support to the MwAPATA Institute Finance and Administration Manager.

Scott Frump - Business Development

Scott is the MSU Food Security Group (FSG) Business Manager responsible for HR Transactions, Pre-award proposal submissions, sub-awards, transition to Share-Point-based reporting system and administrative oversight of FSG business activities.  Currently he works hand in hand with MwAPATA Institute Finance and Administration Manager in her role to oversee all Finance and Administration of the institute.

James Monahan - Communications

Jim is the Communications Manager for Michigan State University Food Security Group responsible for all communication work including developing and managing websites as well as overall communication support for the group.  He works hand in hand with the MwAPATA Institute Communications Specialist to manage the communication work including website development and management among others.


Strategic Plan

In this Strategic Plan, we are committing ourselves to conducting policy research with a view to guide agriculture productivity and commercialization now and in the future, and support the development of the National Transformation 2063 document.


The Strategic Plan defines the direction to be taken in the short, medium and long terms and it provides direction on the Institutional and Research Development Agendas of MwAPATA.

Download the full document to learn more about our mission and how we go about making the changes we want to see.



MwAPATA Institute is headed by a Board of Directors that is led by the Chairperson.  The Board gives strategic guidance to the Executive Director and Secretariat of the Institute for implementation of the strategic plan and work plan. The Executive Director also receives guidance from the Advisory Board and is supported by the Director of Research and the Finance & Administration Manager in the running of day to day operations of the institute while receiving technical support from Michigan State University.


MwAPATA Institute’s commitment to long-term, inclusive, and transformational partnerships is of paramount importance to its success and sustained policy influence.