The African Wildlife Economy Institute (AWEI) is a leading academic think tank in Africa for impactful research, engagement, and teaching on wildlife economies. Institutionally, AWEI is an academic unit within the Faculty of AgriSciences of Stellenbosch University. It conducts and facilitates research and studies, disseminates knowledge and information, and organises and participates in events to promote the wildlife economy in Africa.
The study of wildlife economies is inherently multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary. It includes the application of business management, economics, law, philosophy, and science. Hence, the academic mandate of AWEI is to work across the faculties of Stellenbosch University and also to collaborate with universities, research institutes, and conservation organisations across the African continent.
Founded in 2018, the Institute became fully operational in mid-2021 through a partnership with Oppenheimer Generations Conservation and Research (OGCR). As a think tank committed to inclusive and sustainable development, AWEI’s values include objectivity, critical thinking, independence, innovation, integrity, and transparency.
The Advisory Board is responsible for oversight and strategic direction of the Institute. This includes:
- Advising on overall strategic objectives and activities, strategic plans, and business plans;
- Approving annual business plans, progress reports, and the budget;
- Making recommendations concerning the progress of the Institute in relation to its objectives, its funders, the University, and other partners; and
- Assisting in the promotion of and lobbying for support for the Institute to facilitate the achievement of its objectives.
The composition of the Board is multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary and multinational. Its members include a minimum of two and a maximum of six representatives from across Africa to ensure geographic coverage and diversity. The core positions are as follows:
- Vice-Dean (Research) of the Faculty of AgriSciences or his/her nominee as Chair;
- Institute Director;
- Representatives from the Management Committee;
- Representatives from University departments actively participating in the Institute activities; and
- Representatives (2 to 6) from across Africa to ensure geographic coverage and diversity.
The Advisory Board meets annually. Decisions are normally taken on a consensus basis. In fulfilling their advisory role, the Board members are expected to observe policies and principles of good corporate governance and to cooperate in efforts to apply these.
To learn more about our Advisory Board Members, visit the People page.