A non-profit organisation focused on research in the arid zone of southern Africa


To provide managers, landowners, researches and students of the southern African Arid Zone a platform for networking and sharing information in order to improve the livelihoods and ecological status of dryland communities.


AZEF aims to:

  • foster and coordinate multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional research activities
  • help identify research priority areas and shortage of skills and expertise at national and regional levels
  • facilitate information transfer
  • develop a network of expertise which integrates insight, information, goals and problems of resource managers with those of researchers and educators
  • Build student capacity

This is achieved by:

  • Organising an annual research and management meeting
  • Arranging and facilitating courses and workshops to address specific issues
  • Arranging field trips to sites and areas of special interest
  • Promoting international links
  • Promoting partnerships and collaboration


AZEF is comprised of an informal network of people from state, provincial, educational and research institutions, as well as farmers and individuals from the private sector who commit to:

  • Share expertise and knowledge
  • Contribute to research, management and policy direction
  • Establish contact, share common problems and develop solutions within the Forum community
  • Keep abreast of research and education developments, both nationally and internationally