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MwAPATA Institute Governance

The Institute is guided by a Board of Directors and an Advisory Board, and backstopped by the Michigan State University Food Security Group. The Boards are made up of members from key stakeholders in the agricultural sector and balanced in terms of skills, knowledge and experience from the public sector, private sector, civil society and development partners in the agricultural/agrifood system.

Please learn more from the MwAPATA Institute organogram showing the technical interaction/guidance provided by MSU Food Security Group and Advisory Board (dashed lines) as well as management levels and reporting hierarchy (solid lines).

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Directors & Advisory Board Members


Prof. Richard Mkandawire - Chairperson, Board of Directors
Regional Director -Alliance for African Partnership (AAP)

Prof. Richard Mkandawire is a Socio-economist and a Rural Development expert. He is currently; the Africa Director of the Alliance for African Partnership (AAP), and Chairperson, Malawi Planning Commission. Before joining AAP, he worked as Vice President of the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership where he led a team of experts in driving innovative interventions for efficient and effective delivery of fertilizers among smallholder famers in Africa


Dr. Agnes Mwangwela - Member, Board of Directors
Deputy Vice Chancellor, Lilongwe University of Agriculture & Natural Resources (LUANAR)

Dr. Mwangwela is a seasoned researcher and a Food Scientist with 26 years’ experience in university teaching at LUANAR with additional experience in domestic and international partnership engagement.  She has served in several university leadership positions ranging from Head of Home economics department, Chair of Deans, College Director of Bunda College, and currently as Deputy Vice Chancellor. She holds a Ph.D. in Food Science from University of Pretoria, an MSc. and BSc. from the University of Malawi.  She is a recipient of The Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology fellowship among other awards.

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Dr. Yanira Ntupanyama - Member, Board of Directors
Principal Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change

Dr. Yanira M Ntupanyama is a seasoned public official in the public service and is a serving Principal Secretary in the Natural Resources and Climate Change Sector since 2012. She has previously served as Chief Director in Agriculture and Director of Environment. She has a PhD in Horticultural Sciences specialized in Socioeconomic, fruit analysis, and propagation of An indigenous fruit tree; An Msc. in Forestry and Range Management; Bsc. in Agriculture and Diploma in Environment Law Making and Negotiations of all Environmental Conventions.  Her ambition is to address clean energy, waste management and phase out plastics and bricks.


Prof. Thom Jayne - Member, Board of Directors
University Foundation Professor emeritus, Michigan State University

Thom is University Foundation Professor of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University (MSU), a Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and Distinguished Fellow of the African Association of Agricultural Economists.  He is a board member of the Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes in Eastern and Southern Africa, and was a founding Co-Director of the Alliance for African Partnership at MSU.  As the Principal Investigator for MwAPATA Institute, he provides overall technical strategic direction by working with the Institute's senior management.


Mr. Chancellor Kaferapanjira - Member, Board of Directors and Advisory Board Member
Chief Executive Officer (MCCCI) & Chief Economic Advisor to Malawi President 

Mr. Kaferapanjira has been CEO for MCCCI since January 2003. Before joining MCCCI, he served as Deputy General Manager of Malawi Investment Promotion Agency (current Malawi Investment and Trade Centre). Chancellor's job involves influencing change in the business environment landscape in Malawi through lobbying every level of government and through advocacy.  He was also appointed Chief Economic Advisor to the President in July 2020 on a part-time basis. He holds an MSc in Strategic Management, an MSc in Economic Management and Policy, a Bachelor of Commerce (Business Administration), a Diploma in Business Studies, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing.


Prof. Lewis Dzimbiri - Member, Board of Directors
Former Deputy Vice Chancellor, Lilongwe University of Agriculture & Natural Resources (LUANAR

Prof. Lewis Baison Dzimbiri, PhD Industrial Relations,(Keele-UK) MSc HRD (Manchester-UK) and BA Public. Administration(Chancellor College-MW) and professor of public administration and management and currently a Deputy Vice Chancellor at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, is a seasoned academician, management educator, trainer, researcher, facilitator and consultant with  three decades of experience in the public, private and non-governmental organizations in Malawi and beyond.


Jacob Christopher Nyirongo -  Chairperson, Advisory Board 
Chief Executive Officer (Farmers Union of Malawi)

Mr. Nyirongo graduated with a Master of Science Degree in Agronomy in 1999 from Bunda College of Agriculture, a Constituent College of the University of Malawi. He is the Chief Executive Officer for Farmers Union of Malawi but previously worked for Farmers Union of Malawi as a Program and Policy Director and has worked for the institution since 2011. Jacob has experience working on agriculture policy and regulatory reforms and has been serving in several steering and Technical Committees of various Malawi Government Agriculture Development Projects providing policy and technical oversight.


Dr. Thomas Munthali -  Member, Advisory Board 
Director General (National Planning Commission)

Dr. Thomas Chataghalala Munthali assumed the position of the first Director General of the Malawi National Planning Commission (NPC) from March 2019.  He is also the Co-chairperson of the SADC National Planning Entities Network. Prior to joining NPC, he was the Director of Knowledge and Learning at the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), a specialized agency of the African Union on capacity development based in Harare, where he coordinated capacity development efforts across the African Union member countries aimed at meeting the continent’s socio-economic transformation agenda goals.


Dr. Alexander Masankho Bulirani - Member, Advisory Board 
Controller of Agriculture Services (Ministry of Agriculture)

Dr. Bulirani holds a PhD in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science from LUANAR obtained in 2016, with a masters of Fisheries from Universite des Sciences et Techniques de Montpellier in France.  He worked on a regional fisheries research project on Lake Malawi funded by DFID then ODA responsible for Fish Biology Program and Fish Stock Assessment.  He then worked as Project Manager on a regional World Bank funded project, to implement the findings from the DFID funded program. Later, he moved to the department of fisheries as deputy director for technical services and became Director in 2007. Later in 2016, he became the Controller of Agriculture Services in the Ministry of Agriculture.


Ms. Lizzie Chikoti - Member, Advisory Board
Commissioner (National Statistics Office)

Ms. Chikoti holds a Master of Arts degree in Economics obtained in 1999 and a Bachelor of Social Science degree (Economics and Statistics) obtained in 1987, both from the University of Malawi (Chancellor College). Lizzie is a Statistician by profession with over 30 years' experience in research and survey work and over 20 years' experience in managerial work.  Being Head of the National Statistical Office, Lizzie oversees the production, analysis and dissemination of various survey results in the NSO.


Mr. Roman Malumero - Member, Advisory Board
Coordinator - Donor group in Agriculture (DCAFS) & Donor group in Trade and Industry (TIPDeP)

Mr. Malumero holds Master’s Degree in Strategic Management awarded from University of Derby of UK, Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture from Bunda College. He has over 22 years of progressive responsible work experience and consultancy assignments in various sectors, both at national, regional and international levels. Experience and knowledge of Roman cut across Policies and Legal frameworks, Program design and Strategic Plan development; participatory community program development and implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation in various sectors including Agriculture, Education, Health, Governance and Gender.  

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