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24 November 2023

AYGS 2024 Conference preparatory masterclasses: December

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

Leveraging AfCFTA for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development in Africa

On 6-7 March 2024, the 18th Africa Young Graduates and Scholars (AYGS) Conference will be held in Nairobi, Kenya.

Building up to the event, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) is hosting a masterclass series to provide a comprehensive understanding of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and its potential to drive inclusive growth and sustainable development in Africa. All selected delegates are required to attend those classes that pertain to their conference papers and presentations.

The masterclasses will be conducted online, and is open to the public. Register for the December masterclasses here.

Led by the HSRC’s Africa Institute of South Africa, these classes kicked off in October 2023, and will run through January 2024, covering four key thematic areas:

Governance, peace, and security in the implementation of the AfCFTA: This session will explore the role of good governance, peace, and security in the successful implementation of the AfCFTA. It will discuss how a stable political environment can facilitate trade and economic growth, and how the AfCFTA can contribute to peacebuilding efforts in the African region.

Agriculture and food system transformation: This section will focus on how the AfCFTA can catalyse the transformation of Africa’s agriculture and food systems. It will examine the potential of intra-African trade in enhancing food security, promoting agricultural innovation, and driving sustainable development.

The role of science, technology, and innovation in the implementation of the AfCFTA: This session will highlight the importance of science, technology, and innovation in leveraging the benefits of the AfCFTA. It will discuss how technological advancements can facilitate trade, improve competitiveness, and foster innovation.

The role of the AfCFTA in catalysing climate action, green economy, and just transition: This session will explore how AfCFTA can contribute to Africa’s efforts to combat climate change, promote a green economy, and ensure a just transition. In addition, it will discuss the potential of trade policies in promoting sustainable practices and green technologies.


Prof. Emmanuel Remi Aiyede, Professor of Political Institutions, Governance and Public Policy, University of Ibadan

Emmanuel Remi Aiyede is currently the Research and Policy Uptake Lead at the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) in Nairobi, Kenya. He is a Professor of Political Institutions, Governance and Public Policy in the Department of Political Science at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and is a fellow of the Pan-African Scientific Research Council. Aiyede has also been the Head of the Department of Political Science (01 August 2020 – 31 July 2022); a Sub-Dean in the Faculty of the Social Sciences (2012–2014); and a Coordinator of the Leadership and Governance Programme (2010–2014) in the Centre for Sustainable Development at the University of Ibadan. Aiyede was also a Visiting Scholar at the Electoral Institute, Independent National Electoral Commission, Abuja (2016–2017); Visiting Fellow at the Transregional Centre for Democratic Studies (TCDS) at the New School University in New York, 2000; and a Fellow at the Governance Unit of the Development Policy Centre (DPC), an independent think tank in Ibadan (1998–2004).

Dr Ndiadivha Tempia, Agricultural Economist

“Dr Dee” Ndiadivha Tempia is an agricultural economist. She is passionate about evidence-based policy formation and dialogue and possesses a wealth of experience in academia as a lecturer in the field of economics. In her career, Tempia has occupied executive management positions, such as Head of Department: Economics and Senior Manager for the research division responsible for advisory services to policy-making institutions in the agricultural sector. She is currently serving as the Deputy-Chairperson for the Scientific Committee of the International Conference of Business Models in Agriculture (IBMA). Her qualifications include a doctoral degree in Agricultural Economics (University of Pretoria), Master of Arts (Economics) and Master of Science (Environmental and Resource Economics from the Colorado State University, USA). Tempia obtained her BCom and BCom (Hons) from Rhodes University and the University of Witwatersrand respectively. She is currently studying towards a Master of Business Administration at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Business School. Tempia is also a recipient of the Mandela Economics Scholarship Programme and the Robert S McNamara Fellowship Programme. Her current research work focuses on agro-food systems, trade policy and market access.

Jonathan Naidoo, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Durban Technology Hub (SmartXchange)

Jonathan Naidoo is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Durban Technology Hub (SmartXchange). He is an economics graduate with a post graduate specialisation in research methods, political and economic geography and a master’s qualification in GIS. Naidoo also holds certificates in Imports and Exports, Project Financing for Public Private Partnerships, Conflict Management, Programme Management, Financial Modeling, and Incubation Governance and Management. He also has an estate agents diploma, an education degree specialising in Mathematics, and completed a “Trade Promotion for South Africa” course in Japan. Naidoo has extensive experience in trade and investment-related activities, having led and accompanied a number of outward and inward business missions. His vast business experience coupled with his domestic and international connections have earned him a reputation as an astute “deal maker”.

Dr Vuyo Mjimba, Chief Research Specialist, Human Sciences Research Council

Dr Vuyo Mjimba is a chief research specialist in the Africa Institute of South Africa at the Human Sciences Research Council. He is a development, policy and practice scholar with an interest in sustainable development. His focus is on sustainable industrialisation, global value chains, policy analysis and climate change where he has worked with trans-, inter-, and multidisciplinary research teams. Mjimba brings more than 12 years of commercial industry experience and insights to his research and academic work.

If you missed the pervious classes, you can watch the them in the playlist below:

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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