Prof. Joseph Mukiibi

Prof. Joseph Mukiibi

Prof. Joseph Mukiibi

Celebrating the life of Prof. Joseph Mukiibi, ASARECA founding Member

Prof. Joseph Mukiibi
Prof. Mukiibi (centre in expression) RIP emphasising a point during ASARECA Strategic visioning in 2014.
He made a priceless contribution to livelihoods during his time.

By Ben Moses Ilakut - One of the founding members of the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), Prof. Joseph Mukiibi has died. Also the founding Director-General (DG) of the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO)—Uganda’s AR4D apex body, which he served for 15 years, Prof. Mukiibi passed away on Tuesday March 2, 2021 in Kampala, according the NARO Director General, Dr. Ambrose Agona. Prof. Mukiibi was also the founding chairman of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), the continental agriculture apex body.

“It is with great sadness that I have learnt and relay the news of the death of Prof. Joseph Mukibi, the first-ever NARO DG,” NARO’s Dr. Agona announced on his twitter account.

Prof. Mukiibi as well served as Makerere University’s leading Plant Pathologist and Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry for over 20 years. He has an elaborate career in improving livelihoods on the Continent. Together with nine other Director Generals of Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa, Mukiibi in 1994 birthed the idea of an agricultural research for development umbrella body in Eastern and Central Africa that led to the establishment of ASARECA.

He provided ASARECA its first office space, a room next to his office at NARO and also lent it furniture and stationery. More or less a loose Association at the time, ASARECA would later become a powerful non-profit sub-regional, inter-governmental body, now of 14 member countries. These include: Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Prof. Mukiibi, often referred to as one of ASARECA’s “10 wise men”, obtained his Ph.D. in Mycology and Plant Pathology from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, among other qualifications.

Reacting to Prof. Mukiibi’s death, ASARECA’s Executive Director, Prof. Jean Jacques Mbonigaba Muhinda said, “The death of Prof. Mukiibi is a great loss to concerted efforts to transform Agricultural Research in the Continent. However, we are consoled by the fact that he passed on his knowledge and skills to the younger generation and produced many scientists, and leaders for our region. Bravo Prof!)

He worked at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria and served on many boards including IITA, the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia, the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau International (CABI), and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA).

He also led consultations on institutional reforms in African agricultural research and chairs boards of several community-based organizations. Recently, he worked in South Sudan on a project for establishing and aligning the young nations’ National Agricultural Research system to its peers on the Continent.

Prof. Mukiibi will be both missed and celebrated by the AR4D fraternity. May God Rest his Soul in Eternal Peace!

Source: Date Published: Thursday, 04 March 2021

Prof. Micah Bheki Masuku

Prof. Micah Bheki Masuku

Professor Micah Bheki Masuku, the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Full Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Management of the University of Eswatini, died on the 16th January 2021 at the age 60 years after a short illness.

Prof. M.B. Masuku grew up in Nkamanzi under the Manzini region of the Kingdom of Eswatini. He received his certificate in Agriculture in 1981, Diploma in Agricultural Education (1985-1987) and Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (1989-1992) from the University of Swaziland; Master of Science in Agricultural Economics (1995-1997) from the Ohio State University, USA; and his PhD in Agricultural Economics, majoring in Agribusiness Economics (1999 to 2003) from the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He served as the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Eswatini from 2015-to the time of his demise. Positions previously held by Prof. Masuku include: being Head of Department for Agricultural Economics and Management (2005-2015), Director of the UNISWA Consultancy and Training Centre (2006-2013), Acting Director of the Institute of Post-graduate Studies (2013-2015), he also frequently acted at short intervals as the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture (2007-2014) and acted as Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Eswatini (18th July-12th August 2016, and 3rd Januray-5th February 2018; and 22nd February to 31st September, 2018).

Prof. M.B. Masuku joined the University of Swaziland as Teaching Assistant on 1st April 1994 and was appointed Lecturer in September 1997. He rose through the ranks to become Lecturer beyond the Bar in 2004, Senior Lecturer in 2006, Associate Professor in 2013 and Full Professor in 2017. Prof. Masuku held membership and positions in technical and professional national and international organisations. Nationally, Prof. Masuku served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAMBOARD) (2004-2009), Member of the Board of Directors of the National Maize Corporation (NMC) (2004-2009), Member of the Board of Directors of Swaziland Enterprise Development Company, SEDCO (2004-2012), member of the Board of Directors of LULOTE, BMEP (2015 till he passed on), and member of the Board of Directors of Chakaza Holding Company, Pty Ltd, UNISWA Company (2016-until his untimely demise).

Internationally, Prof. Masuku served as Chairman of the Collaborative Masters’ Programme in Agricultural and Applied Economics (CMAAE) for East, Central, and Southern Africa Academic Advisory Board from 2015-2019. Prof. Masuku has been a member of the CMAAE network since its inception and served at the Academic Advisory Board in Various capacities. Prof. Masuku was a member of several associations in his discipline, such as the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE), Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE), Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), and Collaborative Masters programme in Agricultural and Applied Economics (CMAAE) network.

Prof. Masuku has published 85 articles in refereed national and international journals, 4 book chapters. He attended and presented 19 papers in national and international conferences, and edited 2 workshop proceedings, and authored 16 research projects reports. Prof. Masuku successfully supervised 56 undergraduate students, and 38 postgraduate students. He was External Examiner for 30 post-graduate MSc and PhD theses in the region. He had been the Internal Examination Moderator for the Agricultural Economics and Management Department (2009 until his untimely demise). He was instrumental in the introduction of the M.Sc. in Agricultural and Applied Economics (2006) and the Ph.D. in Agricultural and Applied Economics in 2015 in the Agricultural Economics and Management Department of the University of Eswatini. He was also a reviewer of several journals in the Agricultural Economics discipline.

Prof. Masuku was a member of the University of Eswatini Senate (2005 until he passed on) and a member of the University of Eswatini Council and its committees (2015 until his demise).

He married Andriana Thoko Dlamini in 1989 and they were blessed with three children, a daughter and two sons. Professor Masuku will be dearly missed for his humility, thoughtfulness, kindness and analytic skills.

Professor Masuku is survived by his wife, three children and three grandchildren.

May his soul rest in peace!

Forwarded by
Sotja G. Dlamini, PhD
Lecturer and Head
Department of Agricultural Economics & Management
University of Eswatini, Faculty of Agriculture
P. O. Luyengo
Luyengo, Eswatini

Back to top