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Refiloe Joala

Refiloe Mahadi Joala



Research Focus:

Political economy of land, agrarian reform and food security


Refiloe Mahadi Joala joined PLAAS in February 2016. Before joining PLAAS, she worked at the City of Tshwane as Researcher to the Chief Economist. She has worked in the development space both locally and internationally. As a researcher, Refiloe’s work has covered a wide range of thematic topics in the area of human security including gender mainstreaming, food security, land reform, agrarian reform and inclusive economic development with a regional focus on Southern Africa. She has researched the dynamics of the recurring food insecurity in Malawi.

Her current research interests include the political economy of land and the impact of the marketisation of food systems on rural and per-urban communities in Southern African countries.


  • Master’s in Development Economics and International Project Management, Université Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne (UPEC), France
  • BA Honours Politics, University of Johannesburg
  • BA Politics and Economics, University of Johannesburg