Featured in this issue

1. Dr. Jacob Agea
2. Prof. Berhanu Gashe



Dr. Jacob Agea

Dr. Jacob AgeaDr. Jacob Godfrey Agea is a Lecturer in the Department of Community Forestry & Extension in Faculty of Forestry & Nature Conservation, Makerere University. He is also a Director of Research and Quality Assurance in Global Health Network (U). He was born and raised in a rural countryside in Northern Uganda. He holds a First Class Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry (Makerere University Kampala), a Master of Science Degree (Forestry) (Makerere University Kampala), and a PhD in Agriculture (Applied Ethnobotany & Food security) of Bangor University, UK. Jacob has productive research experiences. He has conducted research on the use and potential of wild and semi-wild food plants (WSWFPs) in alleviating household poverty and food security in Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom of Uganda (funded Commonwealth Commission of UK & SIDA/SAREC); Ecology, conservation & agroforestry potential of ‘gum Arabic tree’ Acacia senegal in the Uganda’s rangelands (financed by NORAD); Potential of domesticating indigenous fruit trees for income & household food security in Northern Uganda (funded by NURRU); Socio-economic analysis of Uganda & Kenya’s forest policies (funded by AFORNET); Relationship between Access to Forest & Tree Resources & Livelihoods in Central Uganda (funded by Norwegian Support to Makerere University IDP-Phase II); Development of a national beekeeping calendar, honeybee pest & disease control methods to boost production of honey & other hive products in Uganda (funded by Natural Agricultural Research Organization- NARO Uganda); On-farm conservation strategies, post-harvest handling & nutritional value of the Shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) & Shea products in Uganda (Research grant from Carnegie-Makerere Competitive Research funds); Market survey of Mondia whytei (Mulondo) roots in Kampala City (funded by GOU through Makerere University).

Jacob was also jointly awarded research grant from Norwegian Support to Makerere University by Makerere University School of Graduate Studies in August 2008 to conduct a two (2) year (August 2008-August 2010) research on the nutritional values & innovative approaches in the value addition of Ruspolia nitidula (‘Nsenene’ grasshoppers) for income generation in Uganda. In 2009, he was jointly awarded a competitive research grant (SIDA-SAREC) to develop an improved protocol for processing & handling of honey in Uganda. Jacob has undertaken several consultancies including the Analysis of forest & land resource utilization, management & their impact on livelihoods in Teso & Lango farming systems funded by DFID through National Forest Resources Research Institute (NaFORRI-Uganda); Development of component 4 (capacity building, dissemination & replication strategy) for a project on removing barriers to the effective management of invasive alien species (IAS) in Africa (under a GEF-CABI funded initiative by the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO); Baseline survey on biodiversity usage & conservation in relation to the local communities’ livelihoods, Dokolo District (financed by YICAFA through UNDP); Training of trainers (TOT) of YICAFA on Agroforestry & Environment Protection sponsored by UNDP through Rural Energy & Environmental Conservation Project (REECA) in Dokolo; Gathering & abstracting gray literature on forest related research work carried out in Uganda sponsored by Global Forest Information System (GFIS).

Jacob has also been a resource person in several training workshops like in-service training of district service providers in appropriate agroforestry intervention (I@mak project), & development of curriculum through the DACUM process for training NGOs in sustainable agriculture & natural resource management (funded by Environmental Alert). With his childhood in the poor rural areas; a good comprehension of poverty, and sympathy for the rural poor, coupled with his good academic struggle blended with rich practical experiences, he has preliminarily achieved the establishment of participatory management of indigenous fruit tree (IFT) resources on community level in a very poor countryside. He has published a number of articles in peer reviewed journals, and has particular research interest in applied ethnobotany and food security (with emphasis on medicinal & under-utilized wild and semi-wild food plants), ethnozoology (with emphasis on edible wild animals including insects), agroforestry/farm forestry development, policy changes & institutional reforms on livelihood outcomes of rural poor. He can be contacted at: Department of Community Forestry & Extension, Faculty of Forestry & Nature Conservation, Makerere University, P. O Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda, Mobile Tel: 256 392 945330, E-mail:,,

When we profiled Dr Jacob Agea before, he had not completed his PhD. Now he has and we wish to conratulate him and wish him a challenigng and successful career. We value his support as a dedicated reviewer. Ed. AJFAND


Prof. Berhanu Gashe

Prof. Berhanu GasheBerhanu Abegaz Gashe, earned BSc in Animal Sciences from the College of Agriculture (currently renamed Haramaya University in Ethiopia) in 1968, MSc in microbiology from Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma, USA in 1970 and lectured microbiology to undergraduate plant and animal science students (1970-1973). Because of meritorious and examplenary work he did at the college he was offered USAID/Ford Foundation scholarship to study for his PhD in Microbiology in the USA. He earned his PhD from Oklahoma State University in 1977. He is currently working in the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Botswana, where he lectures in microbiology and pursues research on bacterial pathogens, industrial microbiology, food safety and hygiene.

He carried postdoctoral research between 1977-1979 on a bioremedial project on oil spills. He then returned to Ethiopia and briefly joined industry (1979-1981) to set up a research unit in the Ethiopian Chemical Corporation and carried out research on indigenous oil bearing wild plants with potential use for industry. Having spent 2 ½ years in industry  he eventually moved to the Department of Biology, Addis Ababa University to pursue his passion in teaching and research.  He taught microbiology at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, started research and research training in biotechnology based on the utilization of cellulosic agricultural waste materials to useful products using microorganisms or their enzymes as a model. He also carried out research on major bacterial diseases in the country. He recruited several students at postgraduate levels (MSc and PhD) and created a very dynamic program in biotechnology/ industrial microbiology in the department. Funding for biotechnology project was obtained from SAREC, Sweden and collaborative research endeavour was struck with the Department of Biotechnology, Lund University. Furthermore in collaboration with the Ethiopian Nutrition Institute he initiated a viable research program on microbiology of Ethiopian fermented foods where he, his students and collaborators described fermentation processes of the major fermented foods which are unique to Ethiopia. The help which he received from IFS in initiating his studies on Ethiopian foods is gratefully acknowledged. He currently serves as one of the international advisors who is called upon to evaluate research proposals and reports submitted to IFS.  Other grants obtained from SIDA, AAU and UNU contributed to vigorous research conducted in the program.

It was also at this juncture that he was tasked by the Dean of Science Faculty to evaluate the academic programs of the Department of Biology and draft the way forward on a establishment of additional programs in the department. Soon after that, after evaluating his performance both internally and externally for his contribution in teaching, research and service Addis Ababa University promoted him to the rank of full Professor in 1994. The recommended reorganization of the department is being implemented though belatedly.

While at Addis Ababa University he also served as editor-in-chief of SINET: The Ethiopian journal of science for several years. He is a member of the American Society for Microbiology.

In 1994 when he joined the University of Botswana as sabbaticant, a postgraduate program in applied microbiology was in the making. The program was approved and took its first intake of postgraduate students in 1996. Since then he has been managing the program. He and his colleagues in the microbiology cognate area developed research themes and tackled problems on keeping quality of indigenous foods, stored food products and in food safety and hygiene on which in-coming postgraduate students and staff could participate. For almost a decade the Belgian Government supported our initiative in postgraduate applied microbiology program by sponsoring students from the SADC region but grants received from NORAD, DANIDA, SAREC and UNDP also facilitated the smooth operation of the program. The postgraduate applied microbiology program is recognized by SADC.

Prof Gasheba has been a committed reviewer of AJFAND since inception nearly a decade ago. His support is highly appreciated. Ed. AJFAND

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