Africa-UniNet Presidency

hand reaching into a big bowl which is filled with citrus fruits © BOKU/Melcher Andreas

General information and tasks

In the constituent phase - the preparations until the first General Assembly and the first 3 years of the Network - a representative of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), will be in charge of the Network’s management (Presidency).

According to the statues, the President shall propose a Vice-President from among the Board members, who is to be confirmed by the Board. If the President comes from Austria, the Vice-President is to be elected from among the African members and vice versa.

Tasks of the President:

  • Official representative of Africa-UniNet
  • Overall coordination of the Network in technical and strategic terms
  • Chairmanship of the Board and the General Assembly
  • Representation of the Network towards institutional and other partners at home and abroad
  • Strategic planning and coordination of the public image
  • Preparing proposals for the Network strategy and for the annual work programme in consultation with the Board
  • Coordination with other relevant networks
  • Submission of proposals for the Network’s thematic orientation and for the tendering of specific Network activities in consultation with the Board, within the limits of available resources and funding.

President and Vice-President

  • President of Africa-UniNet

Univ.Prof. DI Dr.DDr.h.c. Hubert Hasenauer; BOKU

Univ.Prof.Dr.DDr.h.c. Hubert Hasenauer: Professor for Forest Ecosystem Management, at BOKU - the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. He started his career as forest manager for the federal forest company before he joined BOKU. His scientific interests are forest management, ecosystem modeling, and the role of forests in the global carbon cycle. He contributed and led more than 70 projects in Europe as well as in the US, South America, Russia, Ethiopia, China, Nepal and Bhutan. He published more than 250 scientific papers, mainly in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and conference contributions. He served as the chairman of the European Forest Institute, was chief-editor of Forest Ecology and Management and is the editor of the Austrian Journal of Forest Science. He chairs the Austrian-Africa Uninet, is the vice-president of ICA, the network of the 60 European Life Science Universities. For 7 years, he chaired the academic Senate of the University, was the speaker of the 22 public Austrian Universities and was one of the 12 members of the committee for higher education in Austria. From February 2018 until February 2022, he was President of BOKU.

  • Vice-President

Prof. Nzula Kitaka; Egerton University, Kenya; Director

Nzula Kitaka is an associate professor and a researcher of “Aquatic/Water Science” in the department of Biological Science, Egerton University, Kenya. Prof Kitaka graduated from University of Nairobi, Kenya with a B.Ed. Sc. (Hons) Botany & Zoology in 1985 and M.Sc. Hydrobiology in 1993. Kitaka attended a 9 months International Post –Graduate Course on Limnology at the Institute of Limnology, Austrian Academy of Sciences in 1992. She obtained a PhD in 2001 at the Faculty of Medicine & Biological Sciences, University of Leicester, UK, specializing in Limnology. Prof Kitaka has been involved in several collaborative research projects either as a PI or researcher; among them, Country Manager in 2003 and a researcher in the European Union INCO-DEV Fingerponds project on integrated Aquaculture in East African Wetlands geared towards improving the livelihoods of the wetland communities without harming the natural environment; Researcher in the Dutch Government funded projects under DUPC in collaboration with UNESCO-IHE- ECOLIVE (Ecology of livelihoods in Nyando Wetlands); PI in Environmental Flows for the People and Ecosystem in the Mara River Basin (MaraFlows Project) and PI in “Co-Management of Wetland Ecosystems and Irrigation for enhancing livelihood in Lake Victoria Basins”; Researcher and Kenyan Project coordinator of “An Earth Observation and Integrated Assessment EOIA) Approach to the Governance of Lake Naivasha, Kenya” project which was a collaborative research between Egerton University & University of Twente-ITC (Funded by WOTRO); A Technical Director in the “Transboundary Water for Biodiversity in the Mara River Basin, Kenya” project, contracted by The Florida International University Board of Trustees; a Team leader of “Nile Ecosystems Valuation for wise-Use” (Nile-Eco-VWU) funded by CGIR in collaboration with other 6 institute in Africa and Europe among others. Kitaka was one of the founders of “Tropical Limnology Course” (Troplimno – a three weeks course from 2004- 2008) in collaboration with Austrian Academy of Sciences. The course evolved becoming one of the major regional programmes in training water scientists and managers. Prof Kitaka has been one of the coordinators in the initial Limnology of Wetland Ecosystems (LWE) of UNESCO-IHE, The Netherlands (2009-2012) which transformed to a Joint Degree in Limnology and Wetland Management (LWM) in Collaboration with Egerton University, BOKU & UNESCO/IHE- Delft from 2012 to date and newly launched Joint Master’s Degree in Ecosystem Aquatic & Ecosystem and Environment Management (AEEM) in partnership with Egerton University, Addis Ababa University (AAU), Bahir Dar University (BDU) and Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), majorly funded by Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC). These programmes have provided in-depth insight in translation of theoretical knowledge into practical approach to enhance research skills towards wise use of aquatic systems and ecosystems services for livelihoods enhancement, particularly in tropical systems in developing countries. In 2013 & 2018, Kitaka partnered with Loughborough University in UK to host the 36th and 41st WEDC International conferences at Egerton University Prof Kitaka has been involved in professional networking and advocacy in the region through Eastern Africa Water Association (EAWA), launched in December 2003 with the support of the ADC as a former Secretary and national Chair. EAWA intensified regional and international collaboration in water sciences and technology in order to tackle the local societal challenges in water and sanitation, particularly in enhancing linkages between communities, water scientist and policy makers. She has also been a member of ARCA-Net Consortium: Alumni Raising Crises-&-Conflict Awareness in 2005-2010. ARCA-Net was a consortium of worldwide professionals from different sectors in partnership with Free, Humboldt, and Technical Universities in Berlin & Max Plank Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law addressing issues related to Nexus of Natural Resources and conflicts: Prevention & Resolutions, Coping strategies focusing on different cases worldwide. She was one of the lead persons on the Info Dev Growing Innovator and World Bank project which developed “East Africa Climate Innovation Network” (EACIN) a collaboration initiative of Egerton University, African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), South-South Global Assets and Technology Exchange (SS-GATE), University of Dar es Salaam, National Agricultural Laboratories (NARL), Uganda, Practical Action East Africa, Rwanda & University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Funded by World Bank) On Policy advisory, Prof Kitaka was appointed as a member of the Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) for the ERA Net “SPLASH” project: European Union Water Initiative European Research Area Network (EU-WI Era-Net) ERAC-CT-2006-036268 and was a Council member for the Kenyan National Council for Science and Technology (NCST) 2010-2013 which transformed to “National Commission for Science & Technology (NACOSTI). In 2014 Kitaka was appointed a member of the National Steering Committee for NETFUND Green Innovations Award (NETFUND-GIA) under the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Prof Nzula Kitaka is one of the directors of Local Ocean Conservation (LOC-WTW) protecting Sea Turtles in Watamu, Kenya. She has supervised several masters and PhD students and published widely in referred journals, publications and book chapters