President & Board Chairman

Dr Adedola [Dola] Adeboye (Nigeria)

Interim Secretary

James Elegbeleye

James Elegbeleye is the Interim Secretary of the African Food Research Network (AfREN).

He is a graduate of Microbiology from the University of Lagos (Nigeria) and currently a PhD student of the Consumer and Food Sciences at the University of Pretoria. He is a recipient of MOBILE UNLIMITED Project International Credit Mobility Universidade do Porto and Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. He is an experienced educator with a tenacity for helping young people to discover their potential and purpose.James has an interest in food safety quality systems with a bias for African foods. As a burgeoning Scientist, he has few articles in recognized journals and strives to see them on the increase in the coming days. He is a member of local and international associations such as South Africa Association for Food Science and Technology (SAAFoST), International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), American Society for Microbiology (ASM) among others.

Board Member

Julia Thandikile Baloyi (Zimbabwe)

Julia Thandikile Baloyi is an aspiring cereal science professional, with an interest in food security, sustainability of food chain systems and environmental studies. Driven by the need to use the available resources in a sustainable way, Julia believes in the possibility of using African indigenous food ingredients and ancient grains to produce healthy food product portfolios that will combat food insecurity, particularly in Africa where hunger and malnutrition are prevalent. Ms Baloyi graduated holds BSc Hons. and Master’s degree in Food Science from the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She has more than two years’ experience working in the food industry. Currently, she is working at a company that processes maize into snacks as a Product Development Technologist and in the near future, she plans to pursue her PhD studies.

One of her career goals is to find a way of using locally available “wild foods/herbs/fruits” (some which are becoming extinct) to produce food products that can be consumed by people from all classes, to boost their nutritional status  and possibly lower their risk of lifestyle diseases/conditions such as diabetes, blood pressure, obesity etc. Julia is among the founding and board members of AfREN, and she is also a member of SAAFOST – South African Association of Food Science and Technology. Outside her professional space, Julia likes to pursue creative projects such as sewing, crocheting and knitting (which some may consider as the 18th century hobbies). In addition, she enjoys engaging in outdoor activities and playing sport (tennis, swimming).

Board Member

Arinola Olaonipekun [Nigeria]

Arinola Olaonipekun is currently a PhD student (Food Science) at the Department of Consumer and Food Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa specializing in Food Microbiology. She is also a Research/Teaching assistant in the Department. She started off as a graduate of Microbiology from Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ogun State, Nigeria and proceeded to further her studies up to Masters level at the University of Pretoria.

Arinola’s area of expertise include but not limited to; New product development, Food quality and safety, Predictive Modelling in Foods, shelf life estimation of food products, Challenge study, thermal and pressure technology process validation for ready to eat food products, Food standards and regulations. She is a certified FSSC 22000 lead auditor and Laboratory Systems management (ISO 17025:2017).

She is a passionate food microbiologist with experience in Food safety research, Research project management and Teaching. She is currently a committee member of the Young Scientist International Committee on Predictive Modelling in Foods (YICPMF). Also, a member of the following associations: International Association of Food Protection (IAFP), South African Association of Food Scientists (SAAFoST), Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), South African Council of Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP). Arinola loves cooking, travelling and meeting people.

Board Member

Nomzamo Magano (nee Dlamini) – RSA

Nomzamo did her undergraduate and honour’s degrees in food science at the University of Pretoria. She has two years of experience in the food industry where she worked as a product development technologist. She is currently completing her master’s degree in food science at the University of Pretoria. With her research, she aimed to understand how consumers’ attitudes towards health and pleasure aspects of food in general may influence their perception of the sensory properties (the appearance, texture, smell and taste) of bread made from non-wheat indigenous and climate-smart crops. Nomzamo is a member of the South African Association of Food Science and Technology (SAAFoST) and she aspires to continue to participate in knowledge contribution activities by pursuing her PhD in food science in the near future. She is passionate about food security, sustainable food systems and consumer education, particularly in the African context. She believes in a future where all Africans have enough safe and nutritious food to eat under local food chain systems which are economically and environmentally sustainable.


Board member’s Role

Dr Dola Adeboye 

Dola Coordinates overall administration of the organization.

James Elegbeleye

James see to the secretariat and logistic affairs

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