Prof Frans Swanepoel, recently appointed as Professor: Future Africa at the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship, was recognised for his significant contributions to capacity development in support of agricultural transformation and development in Africa during the 5th African Higher Education Week, organised by the Regional University Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) and held in Cape Town from 15 to 21 October 2016. RUFORUM is a network of 60 African universities, including the University of Pretoria (UP).
Commenting on his award, Prof Swanepoel said: 'I am humbled and most honoured to be recognised in this way by RUFORUM. Africa is the continent of the future, and is the continent where the future of the planet will be written.'
Prof Swanepoel is a former Director of the Postgraduate School of Agriculture and Rural Development at UP. He subsequently served as Senior Director of Research at the University of the Free State, Director of the African Doctoral Academy at Stellenbosch University, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) at the University of the Western Cape. He assumed his current position as Professor: Future Africa at UP on 1 October. He is an accomplished scientific leader in South Africa and internationally, as evidenced by his election in 2010 as a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and his appointment as Senior Fulbright Fellow at Cornell University, USA, during 2008/2009. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for African Development at Cornell University. Prof Swanepoel serves on the boards of the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa, and the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development programme based in Nairobi, Kenya. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Science Granting Council Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa, led by the National Research Foundation, the UK's Department for International Development and Canada's International Development Research Centre. He was the lead consultant in the development of a continental framework for agricultural education and skills development under the New Partnership for Africa's Development. He currently chairs an ASSAf Consensus Panel to revitalise agricultural education and training in South Africa. He has published widely and supervised more than 30 master's and PhD students to completion.