The STAARS team

The STAARS project is led by a dynamic team of renowned economist researchers with solid knowledge of Africa’s agriculture. They have published extensively on various topics closely related to African agriculture.

STAARS team at the African Development Bank

Abebe Shimeles, PhD

Dr. Shimeles is currently serving as the acting director of the Macroeconomics Policy, Forecasting and Research Department (ECMR) of the African Development Bank and one of the initiators of the STAARS project. He provides overall guidance on the STAARS activities and initiates strategic partnerships with other development and/or research institutions. Dr. Shimeles is a well-known economist and scholar on development issues in Africa. He published extensively in many peer-reviewed journals and he is (co-) author of several books. He recently co-edited a book Manufacturing Transformation: Comparative studies of Industrial Development in Africa and Emerging Asia. Previously, Dr. Shimeles has worked for The World Bank, UNECA, ACTIONAID, and Addis Ababa University in different capacities. His recent research interest includes labor market integration, migration issues in Africa and impact evaluation of policy interventions. He holds a PhD in economics from University of Goteborg, MSC from Delhi School of Economics and undergraduate degree in economics from Addis Ababa University.

Anthony Musonda Simpasa, PhD

Dr. Simpasa is Chief Research Economist and Officer-in-Charge (OIC) in Macroeconomic Policy, Debt Sustainability and Forecasting Division (ECMR.1) of the Research Department (ECMR) at the African Development Bank (AfDB). As OIC of the division hosting the STAARS project, Dr. Simpasa provides overall guidance on the STAARS’ research, capacity building and knowledge outreach activities. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, under the Collaborative PhD Programme (CPP) funded by the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC). He is also a member of the AERC research network and the Global Development Network, where he has published working papers. His research interests include microeconomics of banking; finance and investment and he has recently been working on the macroeconomics of resource windfall revenues in Zambia and the employment effects of development projects funded by the AfDB. Prior to joining the AfDB, Dr. Simpasa worked at the Bank of Zambia for 12 years. 

Andinet Delelegn Woldemicheal, PhD

Dr. Woldemicheal is a Senior Research Economist in the Research Department of the AfDB and currently serves as the task manager of the STAARS project. As such, he immediately supervises all activities related to the project, including individual and firm consultants.  He received his PhD in Economics from Georgia State University and completed a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Maryland, focusing on health economics and cancer treatment technologies. He obtained his undergraduate and master degrees from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. Dr. Woldemichael has distinguished himself as a health and development micro-economist. His research is focused on these areas, and particularly in investigating impact of community based health insurance schemes in Africa. His recent work has been on community health insurance in Rwanda. He has published articles in peer-reviewed journals, including the Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy, Journal of Development Effectiveness, and Ethiopian Journal of Economics

Adeleke Oluwele Salami, PhD

Dr. Salami is a Senior Research Economist in the Research Department (ECMR) of the AfDB and the previous task manager of the STAARS project. During his management, he supervised the organization of the STAARS inaugural conference held December 4-5, 2015, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Prior to joining the Bank, he was a Senior Lecturer in Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria. He served the University among others as the Head, Department of Economics and member of the University Senate. He participated in several interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research projects that have culminated in publications of several refereed journals. Dr. Salami has also worked in the Agribusiness Department of Lever Brothers PLC (Now Unilever, PLC) in Nigeria on contract in 1988 and World Bank-Assisted Ondo State Agricultural Development Program as Principal Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer in 1990. He has also served as consultant on economic development and public finance issues to a number of organizations including National Planning Commission, National Utilities Charges Commission, UNICEF, European Union, World Bank and AfDB Projects. He obtained a PhD Agricultural Economics in 2000 from University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. His research interests are in the area of agricultural policies and food security, poverty issues and development economics.

Adamon Ndungu Mukasa, PhD

Dr. Mukasa is a consultant for the STAARS project since August, 2015. Among his tasks, he conducts analytical research on topics related to the STAARS project, he participates in the preparation of papers and policy briefs on the thematic areas of the project; and participates in capacity building and dissemination events on the STAARS project. He has published in peer-review journals such as World Development. He holds a PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Trento, Italy. He also works as Associate professor of Economics at the Universite Catholique de Bukavu, DR Congo. His research interests are in the area of agricultural economics, development economics, poverty dynamics, and food security.

STAARS team at Cornell University

Prof. Christopher B. Barrett

Prof. Barrett is the Deputy Dean and Dean of Academic Affairs of the College of Business, Stephen B. and Janice G. Ashley Professor of Applied Economics and Management, and an International Professor of Agriculture, all at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, as well as a Professor in the Department of Economics and a Fellow of the David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, all at Cornell University. He is one of the initiators of the STAARS project, having contributed to its conceptualisation. He also participated to early workshops on the STAARS project and supervises the research work of Cornell graduates and researchers affiliated to the project. Under his guidance, Cornell researchers have published six working papers and some of them  will feature in Agricultural Economics and World Development. Prof. Barrett has over 300 publications and his research has been cited more than 24,000 times. He has won more than $30 million in extramural research grants from various corporate, foundation, government agency and nongovernmental organization sponsors. He has supervised more than 100 graduate students and post-docs, many of whom are now faculty and staff at leading universities and research institutes worldwide. He has won several university, national and international awards for teaching, research and public outreach, and is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, and the African Association of Agricultural Economists.

Liz Bageant

Liz Bageant coordinates the STAARS project from Cornell university side. She handles all administrative tasks related to the project and follows up on deliverables from Cornell researchers involved in the project. She recently finished her M.S. in Applied Economics and Management. She received her B.S. in Development Sociology from Cornell University. Her thesis research focused on gender dimensions of demand for index-based livestock insurance in southern Ethiopia. She is particularly interested in the way that formal insurance products interact with informal insurance mechanisms and how these effects vary between male and female-headed households.