Meet the participants

Yazdan SOLTANPOUR, Iran: For 5 years, I’ve worked as a monitoring and evaluation expert/ economic consultant/ facilitator in rural development projects in Iran dealing mainly with issues such as irrigation, management of natural resources, capacity building and conflict resolution. My Ph.D. thesis title (on-going): Social impact assessment of small-scale fisheries in Mediterranean Sea. I’d remain as a M&E consultant after my Ph.D. graduation but I’d rather prefer to continue offering my expertise at the international level.


Pilirani KHOZA, Malawi: I am an Agricultural entrepreneur and also a researcher on food security and climate change with an academic background in Science and Forestry. Concerned by the gender gap of women in Agriculture, I founded the Bunda Female Students Organization (BUFESO) where I work for the empowerment of young women to get academically involved in the field of Science and Agriculture by sourcing funds for needy university students. I am now willing to develop my own activity in agriculture, my ambition is to target the international scale.

Charlotte NAVARRO, Belgium: I studied Geography to specialize myself in rural territorial development in Latin America. I did research work with displaced farmer communities in Colombia (Montes de Maria region), carrying a project related to agroforestry. My experience in Cochabamba in Bolivia, in rural communities has confirmed my desire to work on territorial development and territorial governance. I want to work for a harmonious development of the territories in Latin America, which would place the peasant communities at the center of decisions. I am currently working at SOS Faim, a Belgian NGO, to redefine their development strategy. The territorial approach is at the heart of this redefinition.


Ayodeji OGUNODE, South Africa: I am a young Engineering graduate with a Bachelors in Mining, Masters in Civil and recently began my Doctorate in Civil. I am researching on the evaluation of the optical water quality parameters using remote sensing techniques with a case study in South Africa. I am involved with community-based NGOs such as Engineers Without Borders, Eskom Expo for Young Scientists (Judge), where the focus is to create a better Environment. With my work, I aspire to positively impact my immediate environment and the society at large.

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Clement MENSAH, Ghana: I am a development planner by profession and currently an African Pathways Doctoral Scholar, pursuing a PhD in Development Studies at the Institute for Social Development, University of the Western CapeHave had the opportunity to be involved in several development works that span across fields such as project monitoring and evaluation, sustainable livelihoods, community development, food security, civil society and quantitative research. A hard worker, team player and excited about taking up new challenges.


Tsilavo RALANDISON, Madagascar: I am an Assistant Professor at Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Economics in Japan where I teach courses such as field research methods. I am interested in collaborating with other researchers and practitioners who focus on agricultural issues in developing countries. My topics of interest include rice markets, farmers’ organization and land governance.  My PhD is in Agricultural Science (Agricultural Economics), received in 2010 from Kagoshima University, Japan. After my PhD, I worked for six years teaching and doing research activities in Madagascar at IST Antananarivo and with Cirad; and in Japan at the Institute of Developing Economies.


Tarek SOLIMAN, Egypt: I am an agroecologist, I work at the future food institute as an AgriFood knowledge and Innovation advisor. Besides creating written content, I design and coordinate short training courses, and I do lots of networking for the purpose of visibility and outreach of the Institute. In my research work I try to investigate the meaning and possible application of the concepts of responsible innovation to food and agriculture, and what the emerging paradigm of agroecology contribute to supporting that.


Wendy NICOLAS-MORALES, Mexico: I collaborate with an organization working for human right of water and water community management in rural villages. I feel very confident in the field working and interacting with people. I fell inspired and I have a facility to work with rural and indigenous women. I coordinate the systematization area; the objective is to manage the information and experiences to analyse the learnings for improving actions in the future. Besides this, I am studying an international course of Epistemologies of the South.


Daniel JEAN MASEY, Dominican Republic: I am an agronomist who did his master thesis on the assessment of the impact of the agricultural practices on Agro-biodiversity. At the moment, I am coordinating for Haiti and Dominican Republic an FAO regional project, based on “strengthening rural decent employment for young men and women in the Caribbean”. Based on my academic and professional experience, I have been working on a PhD proposal “Family farming as a strategy to preserve biodiversity”.


Eduardo FUENTES NAVARRO, Peru: I am an Animal Science Engineer with a Master in Nutrition and Rural Development (Ghent University, Belgium) and a PhD in Agricultural Science (Montpellier Supagro, France). My scientific interest is focused on farm management, livestock production, rural economics, nutrition, agricultural systems and value chains. I am a highly motivated person always ready to improve my professional skills. I approach every new challenge with great enthusiasm. Currently, I work as a lecturer at Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina in Peru.


Sokhna Rokhaya GAYE, Senegal: I am sociologist with experience in research, development and policy analysis. I’m specialized on gender, women and youth in agricultural development. I am enrolled in a PhD research on gender and agriculture at Gaston Berger University of saint Louis, Senegal. And so, as a researcher, I am committed to agribusiness, gender mainstreaming, social development, value chain and rural development. In line with my engagements, I am YPARD (Young Professional for Agricultural Development) Senegal Representative.


Béthyna Hermann NGOUKOULOU, Congo: Holder of a degree in monetary and financial economics, currently I am preparing a master's degree in Economics and International Finance. In 2016, I did an internship as a project evaluation and monitoring assistant in the program section of the FAO representation in Congo Brazzaville. Currently I am administrative assistant of the project integrated management of mangroves and associated wetlands, and coastal forest ecosystems of the Republic of the Congo; to the FAO representation Congo brazzaville.


Linda Esteli MENDEZ-BARRIENTOS, Nicaragua: I am a third year PhD student in Ecology, National Science Foundation (NSF GRFP) Fellow and Climate Change, Water and Society (CCWAS) NSF IGERT trainee at UC Davis. I have worked with UNESCO-IHE and the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where I developed an ethnographic research project to understand processes of implementation of South Africa's monumental land and water reform in its effort to address apartheid's heritage of inequality. My professional dream is to be a professor and do critical research on natural resource management institutions.


Miriam MURAMBADORO, South Africa: I am an environmental social scientist interested in research and development projects that are at the human nature interface. Some of my research interests are on the governance of climate change, sustainable livelihoods, poverty alleviation and gender equality. I love engaging with people and learning from other cultures. I hope my work will be able to make an impact and  contribute to sustainable development in Africa and beyond.  I am currently studying for my PhD with the Witswatersrand University  and my research seeks to understand and enhance the capacity of different actors who are involved in governance of climate change  and natural resources in South Africa..


Mariya PENEVA, Bulgaria: I am graduated in the field of Agricultural Economics and Finance and I have successfully completed my PhD study (thesis title: Optimization of the production structure of the farms). After that I have been involved in the Department of Natural Resource Economics, UNWE, as a researcher in different projects and later as a lecturer. Currently I teach courses in the field of Application Quantitative Methods in Agricultural Economics, Territorial Governance and Rural Development.


Olivia MUZA, Rwanda: I am currently a PhD fellow, specialising in Energy Economics. Over the years, I have worked in the development field, especially, issues at the intersection of resource economics, agriculture, climate change, environmental governance, policy/advocacy, food and nutrition security, value chain development and enterprise development. Working with rural territories for some time now, I have been touched by their high level of resilience and perseverance against odds. I am a persistent hard worker, who admires quality and celebrates excellence

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