First for Black women countrywide
At its autumn graduation ceremony on 9 May 2012, North-West University’s Mafikeng Campus conferred a PhD degree in Agricultural Extension on Ms Karabo Mabe. She is the first Black woman in the country to obtain this degree.
Dr Mabe has worked as a researcher and lecturer in the field of agricultural extension and economics for the past 10 years. She is currently a lecturer, research supervisor and programme coordinator for the Agricultural Economics and Extension Programme at the Mafikeng Campus. She is also the acting manager of the Centre for Agribusiness and Entrepreneurial Skills Training (CAEST).
The 39-year old who hails from Tlhabane, Rustenburg said she was very excited about her accomplishment. “I am grateful, overwhelmed and humbled by the honour which has been bestowed on me today. I dedicate this achievement to the management, staff and students of North-West University as well as my family who has made it possible.”
After enrolling at the University in 1993, Dr Mabe obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture (Animal Production) and post-graduate Diplomas in Education (1997) and Agricultural Extension (1998). She then obtained a BSc (Hons) and an MSc in Agricultural Extension in 2001 and 2004 respectively.
One of her aims, Dr Mabe said, was to stimulate a culture of “giving back to the University”. She also wanted to increase the level of participation of Black alumni and encourage greater participation in community outreach programmes.
“At the University we encourage and provide support to small farmers to not only view farming as a source of day-to-day food provision but to turn it into strong profit-oriented businesses,” she added.
“I also plan to utilize my experience as an educator and researcher with expertise in agricultural extension and economics to galvanize support from graduates and local businesses to communities surrounding the University.”
Dr Mabe said she was due to present part of her PhD thesis in Thailand in a week’s time.