FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas – Dr Thula Sizwe Dlamini, Executive Director of the Swaziland Economic Policy Analysis and Research Centre (SEPARC), is the guest speaker for this fall’s Global Food Opportunities seminar series hosted by the University of Arkansas’ Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.

Dlamini was speaking to students, faculty and staff on Wednesday (September 27). The Global Food Opportunities series, which is open to the public, exposes students to international experiences and opportunities to expand career and academic options. Dlamini’s visit is co-sponsored by the Bumpers College International Programmes Office and the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness. His presentation is ‘Nurturing Evidence Based Policy and Practice in the Kingdom of Swaziland: The Role of SEPARC’.

Before going to SEPARC in Mbabane, Swaziland, Dlamini worked as an agricultural economist at the Agricultural Research Council in Pretoria, South Africa, and conducted research on agricultural science and technology policy.

He has received the Cochrane Fellowship at Michigan State University, the South African Agricultural Economics Professional Fellowship from Cornell University and in 2015 was named Young Researcher of the Year at the Agricultural Research Council.

Dlamini earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Swaziland and an honors degree in agricultural economics from the University of Fort Hare in South Africa, conducting research on foreign direct investment in the agriculture sector. He earned his Ph.D. in economics from Rhodes University, serving as assistant lecturer and focusing research on the economic implications of monotonous sheep farming in Graaff-Reinert, Eastern Cape Providence, South Africa.

The Swaziland Economic Policy Analysis and Research Centre was established in 2008 through a joint collaboration between the African Capacity Building Foundation and the Government of the Kingdom Swaziland. The organisation aims to build sustainable national capacity to improve the quality and timeliness of public policies in Swaziland.

Previous speakers in the Global Food Opportunities seminar series include Jose Carreia de Simas, product development leader in research and development at Elanco Animal Health; Glenn Shinn, senior partner at Global Consulting Solutions and Borlaug Senior Scientist in international agricultural development; Robert Zeigler, plant pathologist and director general of the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines; Zehava Uni, professor of poultry nutrition, physiology and embryology at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel; Fred Davies, plant physiologist at Texas A&M University who has worked on space station plant production; Paolo Sambo, professor of vegetable and ornamental production at the University of Padova in Italy; Martin Gummert, senior scientist in post harvest development and mechanisation at the International Rice Research Institute; and Eizabeth Mitcham, director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab at the University of California at Davis.

(Original article published on the University of Arkansas website)