Dear AAAE Members and affiliates;

I feel honoured and enthusiastic as I begin my term as the 5th President of the African Association of Agricultural Economists. 

Let me start by thanking the outgoing executive committee led by past president Dr. Augustine Langyintuo for an excellent job leading the Association the past three years.  Their hard work and dedication is evident in the growth of the Association’s membership between our fourth and fifth conferences.  If is a pleasure to take over from such a capable team and I am counting on their continued engagement. 

Next, I would like to thank the organizers of the 5th International Conference of AAAE that took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the theme “Transforming Smallholder Agriculture in Africa: The Role of Policy and Governance.”  Based on the high participation, seamless flow of logistics, and the positive feedback that MISSING received from many participants, the event was well planned and carefully managed. Special appreciation goes to Dr. Berhanu Gebremedhin for Chairing the Local Organizing Committee and Prof. Nick Vink for leading the Program Committee.  The triennial conference remains our flagship event, and I salute everyone who participated in the recent conference.  The Association is stronger today because of your many contributions. 

A big congratulations to the editorial team for getting our journal -- African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics -- indexed in the Science Citation Index.  Thank you, Nick, for championing this effort.  Our next challenge is to raise the impact factor of the journal. 

Let me also take this chance to welcome the new Executive Committee members.  Your election to the various positions attests to the confidence that your colleagues have in you.  I look forward to serving the Association with such a distinguished team of scholars and leaders. 

In line with our vision of a “dynamic and vibrant Association, supporting capacity building activities of its members, with expanded opportunities for young scientists, and contributing significantly to policy research and development on African agriculture”, I my campaign for presidency was based on a three-pronged manifesto.  First was to build on my predecessors work in growing the membership of the Association.  My target is to achieve at least 10% growth by our next conference.  Second was to expand the activities of the Association, thereby bringing more value to our members.  We are currently developing more ways to engage with you between and beyond the triennial conferences.  Third, I promised to build a bridge between our “core or founding” members and the new generation of African agricultural economists.  The Association will make a special effort to target women and younger graduates and bring them onboard. To achieve these goals, I am counting on all of you to play an active role.  Our Secretariat and Executive Committee have already started a resource mobilization drive to support this work. 

As we set priorities for the next three years, we would like to hear from you.  If you have any suggestions or inquiries, please feel free to contact me, the Secretariat or any of our Executive Committee members.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your President. I look forward to partnering with you as we strengthen and grow our Association.

Sincerely,

[signed]

Ed Mabaya