Agribusiness expert Mandla Nkomo appointed director of Solidaridad Southern Africa

With over 19 years’ experience establishing agribusinesses and facilitating market linkages between established commercial entities and rural communities, Mandla Nkomo took on the role of managing director of Solidaridad Southern Africa on 1 May 2017. Nkomo brings a deep understanding of the complexities facing the Southern Africa region, as well as practical and technical expertise to propel the newly established regional office forward as a leader in the sustainable development of the region.

Unlocking Southern Africa’s potential

Speaking of the potential of the region, Nkomo believes that “the Southern Africa region, with almost a 250 million inhabitants and some of Africa’s best agricultural potential, offers great opportunities for the development of farmer-centred programmes that help unlock the potential of inclusive and sustainable agro-food value chains. Solidaridad Southern Africa is focussed on building strong regional and national programmes that achieve this objective.”

Extensive agribusiness and management experience

Nkomo has worked in agribusiness consulting and conducted industry studies within South Africa, Mozambique, Uganda, Ghana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. He has also been involved in comprehensive agro-processing studies for the Mpumalanga Provincial Government and developed a Horticulture Cluster Competitive Action Plan study for the Greater Marble Hall Municipality in South Africa.  Nkomo also contributed his expertise to the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, seeking to develop over 300,000 hectares of irrigation land between the Zambezi valley and Bulawayo city as a co–project for providing drinking water to the City of Bulawayo.    

In addition, Nkomo brings with him over seven years of experience at Technoserve where he excelled in various roles including business development manager for agribusiness and food security and interim country director for both South Africa and Zambia.  He remains a founding and current trustee of the Khula Sizwe trust that operates in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique with the aim of developing market linkages between commercial agricultural entities and rural small-scale farmers.

Addressing the region’s unique challenges

“Even though the region has two of Africa’s poorest nations – Malawi and Mozambique – both these countries are well endowed with willing and hard-working farmers who have the potential to meet the demands of local, regional or international markets,” Nkomo said.

Solidaridad is excited to have Nkomo at the helm of operations in Southern Africa, and Nkomo is encouraged that a “regional talent pool gives the Southern Africa office confidence that we can build a strong team of professionals who will be the boots and brains on the ground, moving the transformation agenda forward in the region.”

Learn more about Solidaridad programmes in Southern Africa.