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Engineer Alvord Mabena retires as Nust council chairman

by Staff reporter
18 Oct 2022 at 05:58hrs | Views
ENGINEER Alvord Mabena has retired as the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) council chairman after serving the institution for 15 years, with his deputy, Professor Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, taking over the chairpersonship. Eng Mabena retired together with Dr Shelly Gondo, who served the university council for three years.

Dr Gondo was part of the university business, particularly in the Campus Development Committee on which she served.

In a statement, Nust director of communication and marketing Mr Thabani Mpofu said Eng Mabena and Dr Gondo played a significant role in the development of the university. He said through Eng Mabena's visionary leadership, Nust managed to resume its construction works, which had stopped for years.

For years, construction works at Nust had stalled, but through Government efforts working with Nust"s council, construction works have resumed. Government allocated $1 billion towards the construction works at Nust, and this has led to the resumption in construction of the university's Students Services Centre, whose completion is earmarked for December. Nust is expected to commence the construction of the institution's giant library next year.

Mr Mpofu said prior to his appointment as the council chairman Eng Mabena had served as council's vice-chairman and sat on various committees of the council.

"Under Eng Mabena's guidance, the university strengthened its relations with key stakeholders. He oversaw the filling of all vacant senior and middle management positions, a development that brought stability and direction to the university. His contribution to infrastructure projects cannot go unnoticed," he said.

"Through his leadership and assistance from the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, the university was able to resume the construction of buildings." Mr Mpofu said as Eng Mabena steps aside, the university will continue to strive for excellence.

He said the new council chairperson Prof Majele Sibanda is an accomplished scientist and a respected agriculture and food systems policy advisor to local and international institutions.

"Prof Majele Sibanda has worked in senior leadership positions in various international organisations, including as Vice-President, Country Support, Policy and Partnerships for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and CEO and Head of Mission of the pan-African Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)," said Mr Mpofu.

"She is the director and chair of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She is a serving member of the Nestle Board, the One CGIAR System Board (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research), and the World Veg Board."

Mr Mpofu said Prof Majele Sibanda is a serving member of the SDG 12.3 Champions working to accelerate progress towards reducing food loss and waste by 2030.

He said part of her duties is to ensure that SDGs are implemented from grassroots to global level.

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

"Prof Majele Sibanda has served as co-chair of the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA) hosted by the Food, Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, Rome, Italy. She also served as board chair for the International Livestock Research Institution (ILRI), board member of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and chair of the nominating committee, and programme advisor to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)," said Mr Mpofu.

"International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) research programme. She served on the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems and as a member of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) Policy Advisory Council."

He said Prof Majele Sibanda holds a PhD in Agriculture Sciences — Animal Nutrition and an MSc in Agriculture Grassland Science from the University of Reading, and a BSc in Animal Production from the University of Alexandria, Egypt.

Source - The Chronicle