Dr Sepo Hachigonta Appointed Chair of the IIASA Council Membership Committee

Dr Sepo Hachigonta Appointed Chair of the IIASA Council Membership Committee

The NRF is pleased to announce that Dr Sepo Hachigonta has been appointed to serve as Chair of the Council Membership Committee of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) from 01 January 2024 to 31 December 2026.

IIASA is an independent international research institute with National and Regional Member Organisations in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Dr Hachigonta is also a member of the IIASA Council.

“We congratulate Dr Hachigonta on this well-deserved appointment. He plays an active role in the development of the regional systems analysis expertise and has been instrumental in spearheading the NRF’s and Africa’s participation in regional and international bodies such as the International Science Council and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis”, said Dr Fulufhelo Nelwamondo, NRF CEO.

South Africa has been an active member of IIASA since 2007. In 2022, IIASA increased its membership footprint through its newest member, the Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Member Organisation (SSARMO), as part of a regional approach to participation in IIASA research and capacity-building activities. SSARMO includes 17 African countries that are participating in the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) in Sub-Saharan Africa.

SSARMO’s IIASA membership contributes to the acceleration of career pathways of emerging researchers to become internationally recognised and leading researchers with strengthened academic rigour and competitiveness through increased international exposure, collaboration, and student mentorship opportunities. During the past 10 years, more than 200 PhD students funded by the NRF and British Council, and postdoctoral Fellows;  have been trained as part of the Southern African Systems Analysis Centre (SASAC) and the Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP) partnership with IIASA. 

In 2007, Dr Hachigonta was a first-year PhD student studying Crop and Climate Modelling and was a member of the YSSP cohort. Currently, in his  position as the acting  Executive Director: Strategic Partnerships, Dr Hachigonta continues to play a significant role in developing open science and systems analysis expertise; aimed at addressing current global challenges through various programmes. These include the Southern African Systems Analysis Centre, a multi-year initiative that supports systems analysis interventions in Africa, and the Africa Open Science Platform – a pan-Africa initiative which aims to position African scientists at the cutting edge of data-intensive science.

He has published widely in environmental and agriculture systems, with a specific focus on the research to policy interface. He is the author, co-author/editor of more than 40 articles and books (20 in scientific international journals).

Dr Hachigonta has extensive networks within the African Continent and beyond; having worked with partners in more than 20 African countries, and is an IIASA, 2007 YSSP Alumni.

About IIASA:

IIASA is an international research institute that advances systems analysis and applies its research methods to identify policy solutions to reduce human footprints, enhance the resilience of natural and socioeconomic systems, and help achieve the sustainable development goals.

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