This is a brief introduction to the academic and support staff you will meet during your academic journey from the Department of Development Studies.

Professor Stephen Mago 

Professor and Head of Department

Stephen Mago is a Professor at Nelson Mandela University in the Department of Development Studies. He is an interdisciplinary researcher who holds a BSc Honours degree in Economics, a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), and a PhD in Development Studies. Stephen’s research interests are in development finance, entrepreneurship (including rural entrepreneurship), local economic development, development theory, research ethics, and social science research methods. He supervises postgraduate students up to the doctoral level. Stephen has linkages with various universities (national and international) as an external examiner or moderator.


Prof Janet Cherry


Janet Cherry is a researcher and activist in the field of sustainable and participatory development. She has an interdisciplinary background in economic history and political sociology, with her qualifications being a PhD in political sociology from Rhodes University and Honours and Masters in Economic History from the University of Cape Town. She has done research in the fields of social and political history, civil society and social movements, political participation, human rights, land, gender and sustainable development. She has worked as a researcher for the HSRC Democracy and Governance programme and the SA Truth and Reconciliation Commission, among others, and as a researcher and trainer in many African countries. She is currently involved in action research on township economies and sustainable development in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, namely the Sustainable Settlement Pilot Project and the Transition Township Project. Her Masters and Doctoral students are working in the fields of food sovereignty, conservation agriculture, land and sustainable livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa. 


Dr Amanda van den Berg

Senior Lecturer and Academic Coordinator

Dr Amanda van den Berg obtained her PhD in Business Management from the Nelson Mandela University in 2016.  She received her BA, BA Honours and MA degrees from the University of Port Elizabeth in South Africa. She is currently employed and teaches within the Department of Development Studies at Nelson Mandela University.  She is involved in the teaching, supervision, research and academic delivery, including the co-ordination of the Masters and Doctoral programmes within the Department. She also offers her services to a number of South African universities as an external examiner/moderator. 



Dr Florah Sewela Modiba

Lecturer and Academic Coordinator

Florah is an academic coordinator, lecturer and researcher in the Department of Development Studies. She holds a doctoral degree (DLITT ET PHIL) in Development Studies from UNISA. Before joining NMU, she spent eight years in the corporate industry and academia working for companies such as SAP Research and UNISA. She is also an external examiner and moderator for other universities. Her research and innovation interests are in development policy; entrepreneurship (formal and informal businesses); ICTs in development; gender and development; and sustainable rural and township development. She is involved in research projects focusing on rural and township entrepreneurial financing, smart rural communities, rural livelihoods, community development, entrepreneurial development, youth empowerment, and local economic development.


Dr Danai Tembo

Lecturer and Academic Coordinator

Danai Tembo hold a DPhil in Development Studies; her study focusing on improving the implementation of marine living resource legislation in South Africa. In 2008, she graduated with a BSc in Environmental Sciences, majoring in Geosciences and Zoology. In 2011, she received her MA in Development Studies, with her research focusing on the disparities prevalent in the policing of consumptive and non-consumptive marine activities. Danai has worked in the department since 2009 and is currently lecturering on various programmes in the department including the BA Development Studies, PG Dip Maritime Studies, and MPhil Maritime Studies programmes. In addition, she supervises the research of postgraduate students and is the programme leader for the MPhil Development Finance programme. Her current research interests include marine resource governance, maritime governance and security, fisheries crime, and capacity building in the Western Indian Ocean region.


Mr Sakhile Phiri

Lecturer and Academic Coordinator

Sakhile M. Phiri graduated with Hons in Economics and Business studies, from University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, in 2006. The subject of his dissertation was macroeconomic policy. He previously worked as an enterprise account manager for Newcastle city council. Mr Phiri graduated from Nelson Mandela University in 2009 after completing his Master research in policing and conflict. He joined the Department of Development Studies as programme co-ordinater and associate lecturer. His current research focuses on enhancing employability, entrepreneurship and youth development within the local labour market. Mr Phiri is also the Programme Coordinator for the BA Development Studies programme.


Dr. Laura Novienyo Abla Amoah

Lecturer and Academic Coordinator

Laura has worked with the National Research Foundation, the National Department of Water & Sanitation (Pretoria) with the Policy directorate, the National Department of Public Works (Pretoria), the Nuclear Energy Cooperation of South Africa, and the Department of Environmental Health (NMU) as a lecturing Assistant before joining the Department of Development Studies. Laura is involved in the teaching, supervision, research, and coordination of the MPhil and PG Dip Maritime programmes within the Department. Laura obtained her BSc from WSU, BSc Honours at UNISA and MSc and Ph.D. from the University of Witwatersrand. She has presented a public lecture, and hosted panel discussions on topical environmental issues facing Africa. Her research interests are in Maritime and Coastal issues, food security, EIA, climate change, vulnerability adaptation, sustainable development, environmental and disaster management, and environmental education.




Ms Chwayita Kani

Postgraduate - Associate Lecturer

Chwayita Kani completed her BA Development studies degree at Nelson Mandela University in 2014, she went on to complete her BA (Honours) Development Studies degree at NMU in 2015. She has been working in the department since 2012, first as a student assistant and then as a lecturing assistant. She is currently assisting with the coordination of the BA Development Studies undergraduate programme. Chwayita is currently working on her Masters by research in Development Studies degree which will look at the potential effects of Shale Gas Development on the agricultural livelihoods of commercial livestock farmers in the Chris Hani District.


Mr Muzi Shoba

Associate Lecturer

Muzi Shoba is an Associate Lecturer in the Department of Development Studies at Nelson Mandela University. He is involved in teaching at the undergraduate level and assists with the coordination of the Master's programme. He also supervises postgraduate students at the Honours and Masters level. He is currently completing his doctoral studies at the University of KwaZulu Natal. His current research focuses on BRICS, China-Africa relations, and local economic development. He has broad interests in analysing current African development and global affairs.


Programme Administrator

Ms Joshna Daya

Tel: +27 (0)41 504 2504

Fax: +27 (0)41 504 2826





Research Associates:

Prof Jonathan Makuwira

Prof Frederik Claeyè

Dr Susan Ziehl


Associated Lecturing Staff and Guest Lecturers


BA in Development Studies

Dr Pat Gibs

Dr Gabriel Musasa


PG Dip in Maritime Studies

Ms Rize Van Rooyen

Ms Asisipo Mhlonyane

Mr Rory Haschick

Dr Daniel Lemley

Dr Lynn Jonas

Ms Dudzai Kuture


BA Honours in Development Studies

Mr Albert Kagande

Ms Chwayita Kani


MPhil in Development Finance

Dr Clement Moyo

Mr Michael Coenraad de Lange

Mr Idriss Mouchili

Mr Msingathi Sipuka


MPhil in Maritime Studies

Ms Roshin Petersen

Prof Bernadette Snow

Mr Jonas Aryee

Mr Toyer Jappie

Dr Lynn Jonas

Prof Progress Hove-Sibanda


PG Dip in Development Finance

Prof Charles Wait

Prof Olabanji Oni

Ms Oyama Mkaza


Research Supervisors

Prof Gift Mugano

Dr Deon Pretorius

Prof Charles Wait

Prof Bernadette Snow

Ms Mia Strand

Prof Lori Hartmann-Mahmud

Dr Susanne Lindegarth

Dr Nasreen Peer