Festus O. Amadu – Keough School

Festus Amadu is a postdoctoral fellow at the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, where he works with Daniel Miller. Amadu’s research focuses on forests, trees and livelihoods in Africa, with primary research activities that include compiling and analyzing data on the socio-economic dimensions of forests and trees in farms in Malawi and several other African countries. Other research interests include the use of applied econometrics to model the adoption, impacts and pathways of climate-smart and resilient agriculture in terms of food security and environmental sustainability in Africa.

Amadu received his Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environmental Economics from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in August 2018. His doctoral studies were supported by a Borlaug LEAP Fellowship. During his doctoral studies, Amadu completed an internship at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Malawi, where he also conducted his thesis research. He conducted an ex post impact evaluation of a climate-smart and resilient agriculture program in southern Malawi. His thesis research has been published in Global development, Ecological economy, Food policyand Farming systems.

Amadu earned a Master of Science in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2014, and he holds an undergraduate and master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University from Sierra Leone.

Before coming to Notre Dame, Amadu was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he worked on the $15 million project funded by the USAID “Strengthening Agricultural and Nutrition Extension” (SANE) in Malawi. Amadu has extensive experience in researching, teaching and managing projects related to sustainable agriculture and environmental management in African countries such as Sierra Leone, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda.

Prior to his doctoral studies in the United States, Amadu was a lecturer in agricultural economics at the University of Njala in Sierra Leone and adevelopment economics at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. He was also a consultant for the United Nations where he contributed to several projects, including the 2020 Africa Sustainable Development Report produced by the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, where he developed a thematic background paper on United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 17 entitled “Means of implementation and partnerships for the goals.”

Recent work

Amadu, OF, McNamara, PE, Davis, KE, 2021. Impacts on Soil Health and Grain Yield of Climate-Resilient Agricultural Projects: Evidence from Southern Malawi. Farming systems, 193103230.

Amadu, OF., McNamara, PE, and Miller, DC, 2020. Return to Investment Effects of Supporting Climate-Smart Agriculture in Southern Malawi. Food policy.

Amadu, OF., Miller, DC, McNamara, PE, 2020. Agroforestry as a pathway to agricultural yield impacts in climate-smart agricultural investments: evidence from southern Malawi. Ecological economy.

Amadu, OF., McNamara, PE, and Miller, DC, 2020. Understanding the Adoption of Climate-Smart Agriculture: A Farm-Level Typology with Empirical Evidence from Southern Malawi. Global development.

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