Edward Mabaya, M.S. ’98, Ph.D. ’03, was elected president of the African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) Sept. 23 during the association’s fifth triennial conference at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Mabaya is associate director of the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development (CIIFAD) and a senior research associate at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. His research and outreach work focuses on agricultural development and food security in Africa.
Mabaya has pioneered improving availability of high-quality, locally adapted and affordable seeds for smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. His research focuses on food marketing and distribution, seed systems and the role of efficient agricultural markets in Africa’s economic development.
“Having grown up on a small farm in rural Zimbabwe, I know firsthand about the power of agriculture in not only putting food on the table, but also in alleviating rural poverty. By working with the executive committee and members of the association, we hope to play a key role in shaping the future of agriculture in Africa,” Mabaya said.
AAAE is an organization of agricultural economists and other professionals interested in agricultural economic issues and applied research that informs public policy to improve the productivity of African agriculture. The group aims to further the agricultural economics profession and develop relevant policy options that show the trade-offs between productivity and income growth.
More than 450 members participated in this year’s AAAE meeting, including agricultural economists, development practitioners, policymakers, academics, researchers and students. Mabaya is the association’s fifth president.
In his acceptance speech, Mabaya promised to follow the association’s vision of “supporting capacity building activities of its members, with expanded opportunities for young scientists, and contributing significantly to policy research and development on African agriculture.”
CIIFAD Director Ralph Christy said, “Ed will make an outstanding president of the AAAE. His election reflects the respect and confidence his peers have in his leadership, intelligence and deep commitment to sustainable development of the African continent.”
Matt Hayes is managing editor and social media officer for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.