The 11th Annual Meeting of the Environment for Development Initiative ended with a general assembly that looked backward and forward from four busy days in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, October 26-30, 2017.
The assembly began with a moment of silence for Wilfred Nyangena, who died in July, 2017. Dr. Nyangena, the founding director of EfD Kenya, displayed the same courage in fighting cancer as he did in escaping armed carjackers during his doctoral research many years ago, said his former professor, Thomas Sterner. Wilfred’s friend and colleague Edwin Muchapondwa of EfD South Africa noted that the latest volume in the EfD book series has been dedicated to Dr. Nyangena’s memory.
Thomas Sterner added that it was fitting that Wilfred’s PhD research focused on “social capital” – the idea that social networks have economic value – because EfD researchers have formed a genuine family whose members will look out for Dr. Nyangena’s young son through mentorship and practical support.
Looking ahead to a new generation of researchers, a highlight of the closing session was the presentation of the Gunnar Köhlin Award for Best Master’s Thesis to Robel Seifemichael for his research on climate change, farm practices, and food security in Ethiopia. Another proud moment was the news that Dr. Milagro Saborío-Rodriguez of Costa Rica had a scholarly article accepted for publication in the American Economic Review, one of the most prestigious economics journals in the world.
Looking further forward, three African universities presented their ideas about joining the EfD network. Reflecting on EfD’s growth from six centers to 12 and counting, EfD Director Gunnar Köhlin closed with an invitation to attend the 12th Annual Meeting, November 1-5, 2018, in Vietnam.
By: Cyndi Berck