The African Centre for Aquatic Research and Education (ACARE) on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 announced the on-boarding of two leaders in African Great Lakes research and education: Dr. Ken Irvine, IHE-Delft, The Netherlands, and Professor Emmanuel Kaunda, Director of the World Bank Africa Centre of Excellence in Aquaculture & Fisheries and Professor at Lilongwe University of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Lilongwe, Malawi.
Dr. Irvine brings vast knowledge of freshwater expertise to ACARE having obtained his PhD from the University of East Anglia (UK) working on shallow lake ecology, having conducted studies on Lake Malawi/Nyasa/Niassa, and having investigated policy and ecology to support European water policy.
In 2011 he moved to IHE Delft Institute of Water Education in the Netherlands to head the Aquatic Ecosystems Group. Recent projects on the Great Lakes includes work on Lake Victoria.
Professor Emmanuel Kaunda is currently the Director of the World Bank Africa Centre of Excellence in Aquaculture Fisheries at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources. His research is on aquaculture and fisheries and he has contributed to the development of the Pan African Fisheries Reform Strategy having coordinated the Aquaculture Working Group of the New Partnerships for Africa’s Development.
Professor Kaunda has also received notable awards in recognition of his contribution to aquaculture development and science in general, and is involved in numerous multinational projects regarding fisheries. He is President of the Pan African Fish and Fisheries Association (PAFFA) and is a Robin L. Welcomme Fellow at Michigan State University in the USA. He obtained his PhD in Fisheries Science from Rhodes University in 2001.
“In our efforts to broaden ACARE’s capacity, knowledge, and expertise in addressing some of Africa’s Great Lakes’ most challenging issues, we identified two members of the community who have already been leaders and supporters of our efforts,” said Dr. Bob Hecky, co-founder of ACARE and former chair.
“They have been leading various efforts, research, and education during their rich careers and they will strengthen ACARE’s ability to grow in its next phase,” Dr. Hecky added.
In addition to adding two new board members, the board changed leadership, with Dr. Bob Hecky retiring from the board in line with plans for transferring guidance to the emerging generation of leaders. Dr. Hecky is one of the founders of ACARE and has been a stalwart figure in both North American and African Great Lakes research.
“Having Dr. Hecky develop this organisation at the onset was crucial for our current success,” said Dr. Kevin Obiero, on-coming chair of ACARE’s Board. “We would not be where we are without his knowledge, passion, direction, and support. We have been honoured to have Dr. Hecky as our leader, and though we will miss him on the board, we look forward to his continued guidance in his contributions as an advisor.”
The new board chair, Dr. Kevin Obiero, Centre Director, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, Sangoro, Kenya, joined ACARE’s board in 2017 and was also critical in the development of the organisation at the beginning.
Dr. Obiero will lead ACARE for at least two years and is assisting in development of virtual meetings during the increasingly difficult time of the Coronavirus pandemic.