The Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Tsakani Ngomane as Director of the Department’s Extension Programme from 1 September2020. Dr Ngomane’s appointment is a strategic step for the Department and the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Agricultural extension is a crucial support to the transformation and development of agriculture and food systems in South Africa and Africa.
Dr Ngomane brings extensive experience and expertise to the programme. Her experience stretches across the disciplines of sustainable agriculture, food security, rural development, extension advisory services, and youth civic engagement, to name a few. Her profile includes executive and senior management roles in public sector Climate Change, Education, Agriculture and Extension as well as in academic institutions of higher learning. She has served as the first female President of the Advisory Board of the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development (CTA) which serves the EU/Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) region’s agricultural programmes. She served as a Country Member representative in the 3ie Board International Institute for Impact Evaluation (USA).
Dr Ngomane served seven years (on secondment from the University of Pretoria, 2011 - 2017) as the Deputy Director General (Outcomes Facilitator): Rural Economy, Land Reform, Food Security and Sustainable Environment in The Presidency at the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. Since August 2018 she served as the Deputy Director General for Climate Change and Sustainable development at the Department of Environment, Fisheries and Forestry. The Presidency recognised her for her stellar role in support of the Panel on Land Reform and for elevating Climate Change and Food Security in key policy positions of government.
Dr Ngomane completed her PhD in Agricultural Extension and Education in 2004 at the Pennsylvania State University, USA. In August 2014, she was appointed to serve the University of Mpumalanga as Council Member and EXCO Council Senate Member, respectively. In 2018, she was appointed Council Member for the Stellenbosch University. She was awarded a certificate of completion for the Senior Executive Fellow (SEF) Program, January 2020, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Executive Education.
Dr Ngomane has been a recipient of several awards, including the 2004 Penn State Graduate Student Award for Outstanding Dissertation, LaMarr Kopp International Achievement Award, the top USA/SA Fulbright Scholar Award for the year 2000, and Social Sciences Research Council (SSRC, New York) and National Research Foundation (NRF, SA) African Youth in a Global Age Fellowship (2002-2003).
Her research focus lies in Civic Engagement, Agricultural Extension, and Rural Development. She has addressed numerous platforms over the years in these areas of specialisation. Dr Ngomane’s research, experience and roles in government, supported dialogue among key stakeholders in the agricultural sphere, which supported policy changes. As a department, we are delighted to have her as part of the team to support our mission of research excellence.