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Prof. Richard Mkandawire Profile:

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 of the Malawi Planning Commission. Before joining AAP, he worked as Vice President of the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) where he led a team of experts in driving innovative interventions for efficient and effective delivery of fertilizers among smallholder famers in Africa.


Prior to joining AFAP, Prof Mkandawire was Senior Advisor to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), where he was the principal architect in the design of NEPAD’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) and a catalyzer for its acceptance by African Heads of State and Donor Agencies. During CAADP’s critical initial decade, he served as CAADP’s heart and soul, as well as its public face.

Prof Mkandawire’ academic career includes teaching and research at in the University of Malawi at Bunda College of Agriculture (LUANAR) where he was at the helm of leadership in the establishment of the Centre for Agriculture Research and Development (CARD). After LUANAR, Prof Mkandawire worked with the Commonwealth Secretariat as the Africa Regional Director for Youth Programs. For a period of 6 years he was instrumental in the establishment of National Youth Development initiatives across African Commonwealth Counties including serving as the founding Director of the Centre for Youth Studies at the University of Venda in South Africa.


Prof. Mkandawire’ development initiatives have been recognized across the continent. In 2008 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of KwaZulu-Natal for his work in spearheading the CAADP agenda and in 2008 he was an awardee of “Drivers of Change” for his leadership in driving CAADP acceptance by African Heads of State and Government and development partners. In 2012 the University of Pretoria appointed him as “Extra-Ordinary Professor” for his contribution to spearheading agriculture transformation in Africa. Prof Mkandawire has over the years published extensively in agriculture development policy and related areas.

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