STEPHENVILLE (September 1, 2016) — Tarleton State University’s Dr. Derrill Watson is one of several professors from around the world participating this summer and fall in the Collaborative Masters of Science in Agricultural and Applied Economics (CMAAE) degree program of the African Economic Research Consortium at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.
The assistant professor of accounting, finance and economics is teaching a master’s level class in agricultural policy analysis.
“It’s a great honor for me and for Tarleton to participate in this life-changing program,” Watson said. “The education these students receive will make life better for millions of people.”
The program is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the typical CMAAE degree takes 18 to 24 months to complete. Professors like Watson provide expert instruction for one semester—August through November.
Seventeen universities in a dozen southern and eastern African countries participate in the program, designed to address food security, agricultural productivity and environmental management. Graduate students complete core courses at participating universities, then come to Pretoria—one of the world’s top 500 research institutions—for specialized training.
Johann Kirtsen, chairperson of the University of Pretoria’s Economics Department, invited Watson to participate in the CMAAE program after the two partnered a few years back to study government response to the world food-price crisis.