The Board of Governors, the highest governing body of FANRPAN, consists of Regional Economic Communities (ECOWAS, COMESA and SADC); Government; Farmer Organization; Research Institution; Donor and Private Sector in the region. The Board is responsible for providing the policy oversight for the organization. The Board has the following members:


Board Chairman

Dr. Theo de Jager is the Chairperson of the FANRPAN Board. He was elected as president of the World Farmers Organisation (WFO) in June 2017, the first South African to head the organization and the second African after Dr. Evelyn Nguleka from Zambia.

His commitment to contribute to the transformation of agriculture saw him representing AgriSA at the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) as a board member for the past eight years, serving as president since 2013. Dr. de Jager also served as president of the Pan-African Farmers’ Organisation (PAFO; Board Member of ACTESA and Chairman of CAADP Non-State Actors Coalition (CNC) since 2015. He is a co-founder of Agri All Africa, a company that assists small farmers in Africa to transition to commercial farming, as well as being a former president of Agri Limpopo; executive member of Agri Letaba; and Chairman of the Trichardt Farmers’ Association

A farmer since 1997, his focus is on timber and subtropical fruits (Avo’s, mangoes, and macadamia nuts) in the South African Lowveld region. He was voted South African Agriculturalist of the Year in 2016 by the Agricultural Writers SA.


Board Vice Chairman

Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo is the Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA). Dr. Akinbamijo has spent the past 28 years of his career in Africa and Europe working in the international agriculture, food security, and rural development domain. Prior to his appointment as Executive Director of FARA, he was the Head of Division of the Agriculture and Food Security Division at the African Union Commission. Before then, he served as the Director of the AU Inter-African Phytosanitary Council based in Yaoundé Cameroon. Dr. Akinbamijo has published several scientific papers and articles and has served on several international panels, including being Chair of the West African Livestock Innovation Centre (WALIC – former International Trypanotolerance Center; Continental Working Group on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Issues; Africa-EU Joint Expert Group; Africa-Brazil on Agriculture and Food Security; Africa-Arab Joint Action on Food Security and Agriculture; Steering Committee on African Growth and Development and a host of others.

He holds a Ph.D. in Agriculture and Environmental Sciences with a specialization in tropical animal production from Wageningen University Research Centre, in The Netherlands.


President of the Sidi Osho Foundation

Professor Sidi Osho is the pioneer and past Vice Chancellor for Afe Babalola University, and the President/Founder of Sidi Osho Foundation, in Nigeria. Prof. Osho is an award-winning agriculture and higher education expert. With over 35 years of experience in administration, strategic planning, international and private-sector partnerships. A graduate of Michigan State and Ohio State University in the USA, as an international scientist, she has worked with several institutions, including the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in several African countries in the area of agriculture. Prof. Osho has several academic publications on food processing, food security, agriculture, higher education, and nutrition, and is a member of over 17 professional national and international bodies and societies. She is an advocate for women in higher education, gender issues, policies, and women empowerment.


Private Sector, Grow Africa

Ibrahim Gourouza is the Chief Executive Officer of Grow Africa, an organisation that facilitates collaboration between governments, international and domestic agriculture companies, and smallholder farmers in order to lower the risk and cost of investing in agriculture, and improve the speed of return to all stakeholders. Grow Africa helps to establish value chain specific multi-stakeholder partnerships at the national level and engages locally through the participating companies. The broader Grow Africa network includes farmer, civil society, development, and research organizations.

Grow Africa’s work is fully anchored within the national and continental policy architecture of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), which to improve food and nutrition security, and increase incomes in Africa’s largely farming-based economies. Grow Africa brings the private sector perspective to the Fanrpan Board.


SADC FANR Directorate Representative

Mr. Domingos Gove is the substantive Director of the Food Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) directorate at the SADC Secretariat. Mr. Gove has vast experience and skills in the food and agriculture sector, and holds postgraduate academic qualifications in natural resources, including specialising in fisheries. While working for the Government of Mozambique he was involved in fisheries management and conservation as well as integrated protected area planning and management, as well as being a member of the Mozambique National Science and Technology Council. He remains an active member of Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA), having served as Mozambique’s focal person between 1989 and 2011. More recently, he worked for regional Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Rare, an American NGO working on conservation of natural resources. As Head of the WWF Coastal East Africa Global Initiative as well as Rare Mozambique, Mr. Gove contributed to the conservation and sustainable use of coastal and marine resources, mainly fisheries, along the whole South West Indian Ocean (SWIO) region, which includes six SADC Member States.


Research Professor, University of Pretoria

Prof Frans Swanepoel is a Research Fellow in Residence with a focus on Future Africa (http://www.up.ac.za/future-africa) at the Centre for Advancement of Scholarship at the University of Pretoria (UP), South Africa. He currently chairs a consensus panel appointed by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) on the revitalisation of Agricultural Education, Training and Research in SA. He serves in various capacities, including as Board Member, and previously as Vice-Chairperson and Acting Chairperson, on the Board of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) in SA – a ministerial appointment. He also serves as board member of the Gates-funded African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) initiative based in Kenya (http://www.awardfellowships.org/); and the continental Science Granting Councils Initiative (http://www.sgciafrica.org/) funded by DfID and IDRC.

He has been a professor at five SA universities that include the Universities of Fort Hare (UFH), Pretoria (UP), Free State (UFS), Stellenbosch (SU) and Western Cape (UWC). He also served as Dean at UFH and was Director of the African Doctoral Academy at SU and Director of the Post-graduate School for Agriculture and Rural Development at the UP. He has lectured and held visiting appointments at a number of institutions in Africa and around the world. He obtained all his degrees [BSc, BSc Agric (Hons) and MSc Agric] with distinction, and already at a young age had an impressive list of invited conference contributions, international professional visits, refereed and popular-scientific publications and merit awards. With a PhD in Animal Breeding and Genetics (graduate coursework completed at Texas A&M University, USA), his early research career spanned more than a decade during which he worked in pioneering areas of beef production science, for which he obtained international recognition confirmed by his NRF rating.


Registration Host Government Zimbabwe Representative

Dr. John Basera, is the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement in Zimbabwe. Dr. Basera has a degree in agronomy, a Masters’ in Business Administration and PhD. in agribusiness. He has extensive experience in agriculture with a focus on agronomy, agricultural research extension services, agricultural value chain management, agricultural strategy, finance and marketing in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi and Namibia.

Dr. Basera joined the ministry at a time when the Government of Zimbabwe was focusing on revitalising agriculture as a critical component of the national strategy towards its Vision 2030. Dr. Basera has worked in the private sector including at Seed Co, and is currently the technical director in charge of the agriculture portfolio at Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe.


Ms. Chileshe Kapwepwe is the current Secretary General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). She is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Masters’ Degree in Business Administration from the University of Bath, U.K. She has vast experience in both private and public sectors, and has served in both local and international organizations, with experience spanning over 30 years senior management positions.

During her career, Ms. Kapwepwe has served as Chief Financial Officer and Managing Director of the National Airports Corporation Limited of Zambia, Deputy Minister of Finance, Member of Parliament, as well as being an Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund, then representing 23 African countries. Ms. Kapwepwe has a proven track record in leadership, business and operations management, and experience in economic development, policy formulation and implementation. She is a director for numerous organisations that include the Zambia Revenue Authority, the Bank of Zambia, Ecobank Zambia Limited, BP Zambia Limited, Zambia Privatization Trust Fund, Airports Council International, African Civil Aviation Commission and Nico Insurance.

Ms. Kapwepwe brings the perspective of the regional economic community and broader international experience to the FANRPAN board