Eswatini Economic Policy Analysis and Research Centre (ESEPARC) congratulates Senior Research Fellow, Dr Thabo Sacolo who was recently conferred a PhD in Environmental Economics by the University of Pretoria.

Thabo expressed gratitude towards his family, friends, and colleagues for supporting him throughout his academic pursuits. He also extended special thanks to ESEPARC management for allowing him to take time off work to fulfil his academic obligations. Also, Thabo forwarded special thanks to ESEPARC staff as well as his thesis advisor for their unending support and encouragement.

“I am really grateful for all the support I received from the various people within my family and professional structures during the trying times while I pursued my dream; without their support I would not have achieved this great milestone,” he said.

Adding, he also extended accolades to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for funding his studies, as well as the Global Water Partnership Southern Africa (GWP-SA) and Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa (CEEPA) for assisting him with research funding.

Thabo’s research at ESEPARC focuses on behavioural economics (choice modelling and willingness to pay elicitation), environmental policy, agricultural development, natural resource management, and impact assessment. He has published work on water policy and trade (regional integration and non-tariff barriers to trade). The senior research fellow has been involved in several projects both at national and regional level: understanding the demand for and efficient use of water in the Limpopo River Basin; affordability and willingness to pay for water and sanitation services in Eswatini; forest ecosystems in transition to green economy and the role of REDD+ in Tanzania.

Prior to joining ESEPARC, he was a lecturer of Research Methodology, Introduction to Economics, Applied Economics, and International Trade at Tshwane University of Technology. During his two-year teaching career, Thabo was also the course coordinator for Research Methodology. While pursuing his studies, he also worked for the University of Pretoria as a Research Assistant and was involved in numerous projects carried out by the Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa (CEEPA). He also served as an Assistant Programme Director for the African Economics Research Consortium (AERC) Collaborative Masters.

Thabo also holds an MSc degree in Agricultural Economics (Environmental Economics major) from the University of Pretoria and a BSc in Agricultural Economics from the University of Eswatini.