The International Forestry Students' Association (IFSA) and the joint IUFRO-IFSA Task Force on Forestry Education launched their book “Building a successful forestry career in Africa: Inspirational stories and opportunities” during an online event on 12 August. This book is a project spearheaded by young people for young people and profiles 23 success stories of African forestry professionals. Speaking at the launch, Prof. Mike Wingfield, Immediate Past President of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) said that it was a joy to read the inspirational stories of young African forestry professionals profiled in this book. Mike also wrote the Foreword for the book that was conceived in 2019 and during his tenure as IUFRO President. The point was made that forestry is not an immediate choice for employment or a career path for many young Africans. This book aims to change that view by offering practical advice on where to study forestry on the continent and providing  advice on opportunities for networking, tips on applying for scholarships and other practical suggestions.

As the first African IUFRO President, Mike had undertaken to promote the interests of forestry and forestry education on the continent during his five-year term.  He thanked IFSA and the Task Force for providing impetus and material that helped him to  succeed in this goal. He noted that the book is a product of the IUFRO-IFSA Task Force on Forest Education established in 2015 during his Presidential term and is led by IUFRO Board member Prof. Sandra Rodriguez. It provides deep insights into the value of mentorship and the importance of choosing powerful role models to support the goals of students and forestry professionals. While the book has a significant African focus, its relevance extends far more broadly and it will be one of the most important resources to future forestry students and educators in this field. In his presentation during the book launch, Dr Michael Kleine, Deputy Executive Director of IUFRO, encouraged students to harness the networking opportunities offered by IUFRO membership, involvement in IUFRO Working Parties and other associated opportunities illustrated in the book.

The book can be downloaded by clicking here.