UNIVEN Alumnus, Prof Sylvester Mpandeli, made the University of Venda proud when he received a citation plaque on irrigation and drainage during the 23rd International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) and 68th International Executive Council (IEC) Meeting in Mexico City, from the 08 – 14 October 2017. Prof Mpandeli obtained his first degree, Bachelor of Agriculture from the University of Venda in 1997. This award confirms the University of Venda’s commitment to create future leaders. Professor Sylvester Mpandeli became the first black South African to be honoured and awarded with a citation plaque since South Africa joined the ICID in 1993.

Professor Sylvester Mpandeli posing for a photo holding an award at the 23rd International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) meeting in Mexico City

The citation plaque was awarded to him for his sterling work and achievements made during his tenure as the Chairman of the African Regional Working
Group (AFRW) of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) during the 2013-2016 period.

Some of the most important achievements of Professor Mpandeli include developing capacity building strategy for Africa on Agricultural Water Management (AWM), securing funding for short training course from the Chinese National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, a short training which was held in Cairo, Egypt from 17 to 24 April 2016 and also being part of the team that developed a road map to ICID Vision 2030 which is going to be implemented by more than 100 countries across the globe.

He is currently part of the agriculture expert team that is providing capacity building and technology transfer on global young professionals on water issues across the globe.
“I am coordinating and facilitating the establishment of the young professionals on the African continent. Moreover, I am tasked by the African countries to finalize a strategy on the Green Revolution in Africa by 2018. With other former Univen students, we are making positive contributions across the globe on Sustainable Millennium Development Goals such as zero hunger, clean water and sanitation and affordable and clean energy. I became one of the representatives and negotiators of the South African Government on climate change adaptation negotiations at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from 2006 to 2013”, said Professor Mpandeli.
As a gesture of respect on his leadership, Professor Mpandeli has been requested by the African member countries and ICID to co-chair the AFRWG until 2020 together with Dr Wabha from Egypt.

After completing a Bachelor of Agriculture degree at the University of Venda in 1997, he went to the University of Pretoria where he obtained two honours degrees, one in 1998 specializing in floriculture and the other in 2002 specializing in Land Use Planning. Again, in the University of Pretoria, he completed a master’s degree specialising in Irrigation and Agronomy. In 2006, he completed a PhD degree at the University of Witwatersrand specialising in climate change adaptation issues.

He is a renowned scholar who published more than twenty-six scientific papers, seventy-five peer reviewed conference proceedings, published five book chapters and an external examiner of post graduate students across different universities in South Africa.

Issued by:
Department of Communications & Marketing
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525
Date: 26 October 2017

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