Professor Cheikh Mbow was appointed as the inaugural Director of Future Africa at the University of Pretoria effective September 1, 2019. Future Africa is an initiative established by the University of Pretoria as a platform to develop leadership in transdisciplinary research in Africa in order to address the grand challenges that hamper transformation towards a prosperous, equitable and sustainable future of the continent.
Until this appointment, Prof Mbow had been leading START International-Inc (2016-2019), a US-based think tank working on research and capacity building in developing countries, mostly in Africa and Asia. Before joining START, he served as a Senior Scientist on climate change and agroforestry (2011-2016) at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Nairobi, Kenya. Prior to that, he was Professor at the Institute of Environmental Sciences at University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, Senegal.
After his PhD in Remote Sensing and Forestry from the University of Dakar and Copenhagen University, Prof Mbow undertook his postdoctoral studies in Canada from 2002 to 2003. Soon after, he joined the University of Dakar’s Faculty of Science where he started developing various research programmes on land resources, climate change and food security within Senegal and in other African regions. He was a lead scientist for many regional and global programmes, including the GOFC-GOLD (Global Observation of Forest Cover and Land Degradation), the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), Future Earth and IGBP (International Geosphere, Biosphere Programme).
During his tenure at Future Africa, Prof Mbow will also serve as an academic member (Professor) at the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science to keep up with research activities in his area of expertise.
Prof Mbow’s vast experience in inter-, multi- and trans-disciplinary research is central to the Future Africa mission of addressing the complex problems facing Africa and the world. He will, among other responsibilities, lead and coordinate the international collaborations and partnerships necessary to achieve the task of using transdisciplinary knowledge to transform Africa into a just, economically prosperous and socially progressive continent.