About Resource Africa

About Resource Africa
About Resource Africa
STORIES AND VOICES
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ABOUT US

Empowering rural communities to exercise their rights to sustainably use and manage their natural resources.

Who we are

Resource Africa promotes people-centred conservation for thriving, resilient livelihoods.  We advocate for people’s rights to sustainably use their natural resources, respecting their cultures, worldviews, and knowledge systems.  Our interventions are science-based. 

For more about Resource Africa, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

 

Our Vision

Empowered and motivated communities effectively exercising their rights to sustainably manage, benefit from, and conserve their natural resources.


Our Mission

To support southern African communities’ efforts to exercise their rights and enjoy thriving livelihoods by promoting global, regional, and national commitments and actions towards policy, market and legal reforms that secure local people’s rights to own, control and benefit from natural resources, especially land, wildlife, forests and water.


Guiding Principles

  • Rights as central to our work, recognising their interdependence with the integrity of the natural environment.

  • Sustainable use of wildlife and ecosystems by communities and rural people is a basic human right recognized in both national and international law.

  • Addressing land and resource tenure, governance, enhanced livelihoods, gender equality, equity and empowerment as integral to our approach.

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Our Story

Resource Africa’s roots lie in the  attempts to incorporate communities into conservation efforts that started in the 1980’s when a programme known as the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) was developed in Zimbabwe. CAMPFIRE sought to engage and provide incentives and extend the benefits communities could derive from conservation.

This initiative was a game-changer and today the principles that drove the CAMPFIRE programme are recognized as part of a suite of acceptable conservation approaches in several international protocols and in national  conservation strategies in the region.  

Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Resource Africa (RA) played a key role in promoting the concept and application of sustainable use of natural resources – particularly wildlife – as a conservation and development strategy both within southern African and in relevant international policy bodies. Its focus was on promoting community based natural resource management (CBNRM) and its ability to meet the triple objectives of conservation, poverty alleviation and good governance.  Our strategies were to ensure the perspectives of marginalised rural communities were heard and influenced policy processes and to expose the sound science supporting sustainable use as a conservation strategy.

In 2020, Resource Africa resumed substantial operations with generous financial support from Jamma International, a philanthropic foundation that sponsors initiatives that add to the wellbeing of the planet and its  people, as well as in-kind support from our partner organisations listed below. Resource Africa does not receive financial support from the hunting industry

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What We Do

We recognise the fundamental interdependence between human rights and the integrity of the natural environment. We bring to the forefront related issues such as land and resource tenure, governance, resilient and thriving livelihoods, gender equality, inter-generational dialogue, and equity.

Our primary goal is to increase recognition of the right of peoples to sustainably use and benefit from the resources on their land and enhancing community leaders’ ability to engage and exercise their agency in policy processes at all levels. Our work is demand-led.

Where We Work

Region of Operations

Resource Africa presently works with rural communities in 9 Southern African countries:

  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania, Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Although part of the East Africa region, Tanzania is a member of SADC, the Southern African Development Community.

RESOURCE AFRICA NETWORK

Governance

Board Members: RAUK & RASA

Resource Africa Board of Directors

Graham Boynton

RA UK

Graham Boynton has worked as a newspaper and magazine journalist in Britain, the U.S.A., and Africa for more than 25 years. In that time he has covered a range of subjects from politics and the arts to travel and sport and written for newspapers (Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Financial Times, Mail on Sunday, Washington Post) and international magazines (Vanity Fair, Esquire, The Spectator, The New Statesman, Newsweek). In 2011 at the British Travel Press Awards Boynton was honoured for his contribution to travel journalism. Under his own imprimatur – Graham Boynton Associates – he continues to write for international newspapers and magazines.

Resource Africa Board of Directors

Craig Bruce

RA SA

Craig Bruce’s passion for biodiversity conservation grew from his experiences in Zimbabwe, where he was born and spent most of his formative years. He contributed over 20 years’ experience as a protected area manager in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. His interaction with people living alongside wildlife raised his understanding of the power of community based natural resource management (CBNRM). This knowledge was transferred to his advisory role as programme manager for the World Wildlife Fund’s offices across Asia. After almost a decade in Asia, Craig headed up the Asia Conservation Programme for the Zoological Society of London. He is currently the Director for Conservation and Communities for Jamma International where he uses his African and Asian experiences in promoting CBNRM to Jamma’s vision a reality.

Kue Chitepo

Kule Chitepo

RA SA

Kule Chitepo is a leading expert in the development of world-class policy and practice for transformative integrated natural resource management. With over 20 years of experience in East and Southern Africa, he has held strategic leadership positions that have built successful partnerships among international organizations, local and national governments, the private sector, NGOs, and community groups to design and implement innovative and collaborative approaches to environmental conservation and sustainable socioeconomic development. Having served as Resource Africa’s Executive Director for a decade, he is currently a Director and Partnerships Advisor in Chemonics International’s East and Southern Africa Division.

Resource Africa Board of Directors

Maxwell Gomera

RA UK

Maxwell Gomera is a resource economist with extensive experience in nature conservation, agricultural development, and people and nature issues. He has worked extensively with governments and corporates from across the world and is currently Director of the Biodiversity and Land Branch at UN Environment Program. He is also a Senior Fellow of Aspen New Voices. Max was part of the team that developed a “Global Green New Deal” for reviving the global economy and boosting employment while simultaneously accelerating the fight against climate change, environmental degradation and poverty - in response to the financial and economic crisis of 2008. He writes for many mainstream newspapers and media – and is widely published.

Dr Malan Lindeque

Dr Malan Lindeque

RA SA

Dr Malan Lindeque has extensive senior management experience in government, private sector and international organizations and worked in wildlife research, protected area management, community based natural resource management, and other areas. He contributed to the development of an entirely new conservation and environmental philosophy and practice in Namibia post-independence in 1990. Malan served as Permanent Secretary of Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism. Ministry of Trade and Industry, and as the Chief: Scientific Coordination Unit, Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora (CITES). Malan was awarded a Masters in zoology from the University of Pretoria and a PhD by the University of Stellenbosch.

Resource Africa Board of Directors

Maxi pia louis

RA SA

Maxi Pia Louis has dedicated over two decades to community based natural resources management (CBNRM) working with government structures and non-governmental organisations in Namibia. She played a key role in the development of CBNRM related policies, Community Based Tourism Enterprises? (CBTE), including the establishment of the Namibian Community Based Tourism Association as a founding member. As part of these processes she facilitated community, government and private sectors partnerships and coordination. She is the Director of the Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organizations (NACSO), an association comprising 8 Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and the University of Namibia.

Resource Africa Board of Directors

Keith Madders

CHAIRMAN RA UK | chairman ra sa

Keith Madders is an economist and a founder member of Resource Africa. His early involvement in institution-building processes for rural community management and monitoring systems for sorghum, maize, groundnuts, tea and natural resources led to the implementation of CAMPFIRE (Communal Area Management Program for Indigenous Resources) in Zimbabwe, where rural communities collectively managed their wild resources sustainably and demonstrated that maintaining biodiversity is their optimum land use. Consequently, vast tracts of communal land were returned to the wild, through processes led by these rural communities. Keith was born in Zimbabwe and was awarded an MBE in 2002 Honours List.

Resource Africa Board of Directors

Masego Madzwamuse

RA SA

Masego Madzwamuse has over 15 years working in the development sector. She specialises in development policy, poverty and inequality, community rights, economic justice, sustainable development, land rights and rural livelihoods, as well as the political economy of climate change. Masego is the Chief Executive Officer of the Southern Africa Trust and previously worked for IUCN and the Open Society Initiative. She is a long-standing member of the Southern African Sustainable Use Group. In 2019 she was selected to be a part of the Aspen Institute New Voices Fellowship class of 2020. Masego holds an MA in Environmental Science from Rhodes University.

Resource Africa Board of Directors

DR HECTOR MAGOME

RA SA

Dr Daniel Thabo (Hector) Magome has been working in the global environment and development sector for over three decades, with a focus on science excellence and policy development. He specializes in protected area planning and development, stakeholder consultation, from local communities to Ministers, and large wildlife management plans, amongst others. His extensive experience includes over 19 years with the South African National Parks (SANParks), rising to the position of Managing Executive, Conservation Services. He is a published author in nature conservation and development, serves on Conservation and Tourism Boards, and is a non executive Director in 5 Star Private Safari Lodges.. Hector obtained a PhD in Biodiversity Management (policy) from Kent University and was awarded the 2004/2005 Fiona Alexander Prize for the Best Researcher.

CHARLES NUPEN

RA SA

Charles David Nupen is a South African attorney and Dispute Resolution specialist. Since 2008 he has been consulting in the field of employee relations. He has been involved in high level interventions and managed major multi stakeholder negotiations in both the public and private sectors. In 2009, he received the Tokiso Mediator of the Year award. From 1998 to 2008 he directed technical cooperation projects in Africa for the International Labour Organisation (ILO), during which time he facilitated labour law reform projects and the establishment of several national dispute settlement agencies in southern African countries. In 1994 he was appointed as a commissioner of the Independent Electoral Commission, which oversaw South Africa’s first national democratic elections. He studied Law at the University of Kwazulu Natal.

Resource Africa Board of Directors

DR dilys roe

ra uk

Dr Dilys Roe has contributed to the field of environment and development for over two decades. She is Principal Researcher, Biodiversity, Natural Resources Group for the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). Additionally, she is Chair of the IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group – a voluntary global network of 400+ experts on sustainable wildlife management. She is also a member of the UK Government’s Darwin Expert Committee and Illegal Wildlife Trade Advisory Group; a Fellow of UNEP-WCMC and a review editor of the IPBES Sustainable Use Assessment. Dilys is a published author and holds a PhD in Biodiversity Management from the University of Kent.

Resource Africa Board of Directors

Julian Sturgeon

ra sa

Julian Sturgeon is a co-founder of Resource Africa and a specialist in Community Based Natural Resource Management, conservation and rural development. He has worked in the sector in Zimbabwe and South Africa for over four decades, including as Programme Manager for Zimbabwe Trust; Executive Manager, Project Management Unit for the South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs; and as Manager, Sustainable Ventures Programme for IUCN. He has extensive experience as a consultant in project management, and organizational learning. Julian studied Political Science and African History and Mechanical Engineering at the Universities of Cape Town and the School of Oriental and African Studies in London respectively.

RASA team members

REsource Africa CEO Lesle Jansen

Leslé Jansen

CEO RA SA

Leslé Jansen is a South African indigenous lawyer with over 15 years’ experience in the areas of environmental and social justice, with special focus on traditional knowledge, local communities and resource rights. Prior to joining Resource Africa, she was part of the management team of Natural Justice where she worked for nine years supporting local communities' resource and related rights across southern Africa. Ms Jansen holds a Master’s degree in Indigenous Peoples in International Law from the University of Arizona (USA) and a Master’s degree in the Rule of Law for Development from Loyola University (Chicago), completed in Rome, Italy. She is an indigenous expert member to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ special mechanism - the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa.

Dr Shylock Muyengwa

Dr Shylock Muyengwa

CBNRM Monitoring Advisor

Dr Muyengwa has more than 15 years’ experience with natural resources governance in Southern Africa. He has studied CBNRM systems in Botswana,Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, focusing on governance and livelihoods, including the economic contribution of hunting and non-hunting activities to the welfare of rural households. Dr Muyengwa currently serves as the President of the Zimbabwe Evaluation Association, which provides technical support to the government. He has experience with rigorous quantitative research design and analysis/evaluation, survey design, and Zimbabwe’s agriculture, food security, youth employment and empowerment and livelihoods sectors.He holds a PhD from the University of Florida.

Tafadzwa Magaracha

Financial controller

Tafadzwa Magaracha is a professional accountant with lots of energy and experience spanning from grants management to compliance and financial management in addition to reporting, tax compliance, administration and project management. She is well versed in the use of programme accounting and financial reporting systems and ensuring compliance with a broad range of donor financial and accounting rules and regulations, including USAID, EU and UN requirements. Tafadzwa holds Bachelor of Accounting Science from the University of South Africa, an Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and is currently studying towards the Strategic Level – CIMA. She has been working with RA since 2013.

Grant Clark

Senior Communications Manager

Grant Clark is an award-winning journalist and communications specialist with a career spanning more than 25 years. He has led media and communications campaigns for human rights organisations including global civil society alliance, CIVICUS and pan-African social movement, Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity. As a journalist, Clark has worked for international news media including Al Jazeera, the BBC World Service, AFP and NPR while based in London, Washington and Johannesburg, and has managed television news programmes for South African public broadcaster, the SABC.

Gail C. Thomson

Communications Consultant

Gail C. Thomson (M.Sc.) is a conservation communicator who has worked closely with rural communities and conservation organisations in southern Africa. She has worked in Botswana and Namibia for ten years in wildlife management areas and communal conservancies respectively. At Resource Africa, she works as a communications consultant to amplify the voices of rural communities, especially those represented by the Community Leaders Network of Southern Africa

Emmanuel Siakilo

Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Manager

Emmanuel is passionate about impact monitoring and has been offering over fifteen years of national, regional and international service in leveraging rich expertise in planning, monitoring and evaluation [PMEAL] in the fields of natural resource management and conservation, climate change, energy, education, governance, livelihoods and social development, aimed at strengthening internal systems of accountability, efficiency, effectiveness, coherence, impact and learning. He serves with Resource Africa as a Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Manager charged with the responsibility of providing background programmatic research and guiding progress and achievement of qualitative and quantitative indicators for projects. Emmanuel desires for a just world in which resources are equitably and sustainably utilized. He holds a masters and a doctorate in environmental monitoring, planning and management.

Ntandoyenkosi Ngwenya

Digital Communications Officer

Ntandoyenkosi Ngwenya has more than 7 years experience with digital media and marketing. He holds a BA Honours Degree from the University of Chichester. Prior to working with NGO’s from 2017, he was station manager for a local radio station, responsible for scheduling, content, quality control, marketing and producing shows. Working within the radio and marketing industry, he developed the need to harness a knowledge of digital media, andto pursue it at a higher level. Not only is he experienced in social media marketing but he also carries valuable skills in SEO, SEM, graphic design and video editing amongst other necessary skills for any digital media professional. Ntandoyenkosi has also co-ordinated 4 international conferences in Senegal, Kenya, Ghana and South Africa where he was responsible for sales, event branding, in-house curation for showcases and marketing.

Elize Shakalela

RA Podcast Host

Elize Shakalela is an Environmental law activist, who serves a Law Lecturer at the University of Namibia and Part time environmental law consultant. She holds a Master’s degree in rule of Law for development with specific focus on environmental courts and Tribunals & a LLB degree. she’s serves as board member at the Community Conservation Fund of Namibia (CCFN), A trustee of the Rooikat Trust and is an Honorary member of the Namibia Chamber of Environment. She also founded the plastic free campaign for Namibia which persuaded Namibia’s government to place a ban on all single use plastic bags and introduced plastic levies. She is also Namibia’s Earth Ambassador through Miss Earth Namibia 2016.

Sobantu Mzwakali

Programme Manager

Sobantu Mzwakali has expertise in community engagement, research, policy analysis, advocacy, writing and publishing on multimedia platforms. His work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Open democracy, Counterpunch, and the Daily Maverick, and he has also contributed to a number of research-advocacy initiatives run by civil society organisations. Sobantu currently serves as the Program Manager at Resource Africa, having previously held positions such as the Senior Programme Officer at Natural Justice – lawyers for communities and the environment; Campaigns and Advocacy Officer at Tshintsha Amakhaya – an action learning network for civil society organisations that supports local community movements in land and agrarian reform; and as Writer for the Land and Accountability Research Centre – a research and advocacy unit within the University of Cape Town’s Law Department.

Chiedza Machaka

Research Intern

Chiedza Lucia Amanda Machaka holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of the Witwatersrand, a Master of Laws in Environmental Law and Governance from North-West University and a Doctor of Laws in International Aspects of Law focusing on Environmental law from North-West University. Her research specialisations and interests are on the law governing communities living in and adjacent to state protected areas, indigenous peoples rights, social-ecological resilience and climate change. Prior to joining Resource Africa, Chiedza worked as a volunteer legal assistant at Ditshwanelo the Botswana Centre for Human Rights, a Project Coordinator for the Freedom of Expression and Access to Information program at the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria, a legal intern at Greenpeace Africa and a freelance researcher for Executive Research Associates.

RAUK team members

Patricia Wangui Resource Africa

patricia wangui

operations manager

Patricia Wangui has over 20 years’ experience working in international development with professional teams, rural communities and other stakeholders in Kenya. She has strong communication and management skills as well as mentorship and coaching experience. Patricia has extensive knowledge in the area of sustainable natural resource management, conservation, agriculture and development, with experience in policy development and implementation. She has a keen interest in climate change applied through participation in global interventions to build climate resilience among rural communities. Patricia holds an MSc. in rural development and is a 2014 African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) fellow.

bupe banda

Bupe Banda

RAUK Programme Manager

Bupe studied Environmental Education at the University of Zambia. This was followed by an internship with Zambia’s Department of National Parks, attached to the Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) Programme, where her interest in working with communities developed. When she was invited to join the Community Resources Board Association, she saw this an opportunity to drive community voices to another level. Her experience has given her knowledge and understanding of communities and their role in conservation both from the government and community perspectives. "It should not always require us making noise just to be heard, policy makers should recognise the need for our voices to be heard, our input to be part of the outcome and our rights to be respected!"

Marianne Courouble Resource Africa

Marianne Courouble

European Programme Director

Marianne Courouble brings to RA over 25 years of professional experience in biodiversity conservation/sustainable development and technical cooperation. She gained extensive experience in international biodiversity negotiations during her time as representative of the French government, involvement in numerous Multilateral Environmental Agreements, and successful fundraising with public agencies. She has strong knowledge of the European Union (EU) and EU processes, gathered over a decade in Brussels managing EU financed projects, lobbying and working within the EU on behalf of the French Ministry of Environment. Marianne also has a solid experience in international project development and management, and technical analysis of international biodiversity related legislation. Her African field experience includes domestic ivory trade surveys in West Africa for TRAFFIC International. She represented Africa Resources Trust, the predecessor to RA, from 1997 to 2001 as France-based liaison officer on a CBNRM public awareness campaign in Europe.

Resource Africa our work

Nicola Monro

website manager

Nicola Monro has been providing consulting services in website content management and strategy for a range of clients across different sectors for nearly a decade. Her keen eye for design developed early, influenced by African art and history in Zimbabwe, where she was born. She has applied her passion to a career that has included roles as a gallerist and exhibitions curator, as a documentary researcher in the film industry, and marketing for SATOUR in the United States during a period when South Africa was positioning itself as a prime tourism destination.

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