President (2020 - 2022)
Dr Namukolo Covic is a Registered Nutritionist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). She is a Senior Research Coordinator at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) for the CGIAR Collaborative Research Programme on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH). She is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where her work includes promoting the use of available evidence in Government and African Union efforts that address food security, food systems and nutrition.
She has a dual background in agriculture (BSc) and nutrition (PhD), and her expertise straddles the interface of policy, dynamics of agriculture and food systems and related interventions and how research could inform the intended impact on nutrition and health outcomes for Low-Middle-Income-Countries (LMICs) with special focus on Africa. She is also a capacity strengthening expert and master facilitator. She brings to the position experience of working in several African countries, Zambia, Botswana, South Africa, and Ethiopia. She has also led projects on food security and nutrition research, and capacity strengthening collaborating with universities in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, and Nigeria. She is a core member of the African Nutrition Leadership Programme facilitating team.
Namukolo is currently one of the editors of the Elsevier Global Food Security journal and has served on many scientific working groups and committees including, the FAO/WHO Expert Consultation that developed Sustainable Healthy Diets Guiding Principles; African Union Commission CAADP Biennial Review Technical Working Group on the Ending Hunger Thematic Area; African Academy of Sciences Steering Committee on Food and Nutrition Security; the Technical Advisory Group for the African Leaders for Nutrition Initiative led by the African development bank; the New York Academy of Sciences, The Academy of Science of South Africa and the International Union of Nutrition Societies.
Namukolo has published widely in academic journals, including the Africa Annual Trends and Outlooks Report 2015 published in 2016 on Achieving a Nutrition Revolution for Africa. She is a frequent speaker at African and global conferences including keynote addresses. Her areas of research interest have included child nutrition and cognitive development, diet quality, food security and food systems. She is a strong believer in Africa’s potential to address food security and nutrition more sustainably through an evidence informed food systems approach and that country and African regional programmes like CAADP and others present important entry points to promote progress.