Coordination & Governance

Currently, the central coordination of the network is hosted in the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa and is headed by Mr Cyriaque Hakizimana. He is assisted by a team of six people elected by YARA members and representing all African regions. The secretariat is in charge of the overall functioning and operations of the network including managing membership of the network, developing and implementing short, medium, and long term strategies and activities of the network. In addition, it manages fund-raising initiatives in the network and all forms of communication of the network; including YARA website and other forms of media.

Further, YARA has established an international advisory team of highly experienced development professionals and scholars with knowledge of rural development issues in Africa. This team offers insights into all YARA activities based on their own experience, and engage in an on-going dialogue with YARA members in different African regions.  The team includes, among others, Prof Ian Scoones, director of STEPS Centre at the University of Sussex; Prof Ben Cousins, the founder of and former director of the Institute for Poverty, Land, and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape; Prof Julian May, the director of the Centre of Excellence for Food Security at the University of the Western Cape; Prof Dzodzi Tsikata, director of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA); Prof Mamadou Goita, Executive Director of the Institute for Research and the Promotion of Alternatives in Development (IRPAD/Afrique); and Dr Joan Cuka Kagwanja, Chief of the Land Policy Initiative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.