Staff Profiles

Prof. Olekae Tsompi Thakadu
Associate Professor
Okavango Research Institute

Prof. O. T. Thakadu, is an Associate Professor (Environmental Communication) with the University of Botswana, Okavango Research Institute. He worked for public service for a decade in Botswana and mobilized local communities in CBNRM programs beginning 1993, before joining academia. He earned his PhD from the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL., USA., specializing in Agricultural Communication. Thakadu’s dissertation research explored the efficacy of communicating environmental information among Okavango delta residents and proposed a model for predicting environmental knowledge sharing behaviors. His MSc, from the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg is on Environment and Development (Biodiversity specialization) while the first degree in Biology and Environmental Science is from the University of Botswana.

Thakadu conducts research in environmental communication & education, risk communication, CBNRM, knowledge translation, extension and human wildlife conflicts. Thakadu has developed and implemented communication strategies for projects and organizations nationally and regionally. He has numeruos peer reviewed publications in the form of journal articles, monographs and book chapters in the area of communication, extension, community-based natural resources, environmental education, knowledge translation and sharing, and human wildlife conflicts. He has made numerous conference presentations in Botswana, within the region, and abroad. He is member of the International Environmental Communication Association and the Communication Initiative Network.


April 2010        PhD. University of Florida, Department of Agricultural Education & Communication, Gainesville, FL. USA. (Agricultural Communications)

March 1997     M.Sc. University of Natal - South Africa, School of Environment & Development (Biodiversity Conservation)

June  1993      B.Sc. University of Botswana – Botswana (Env. Science & Biology)                      

Completed (Graduated) Postgraduate Students

  • 2018:   Goitsemang Mmeko. Local community participation towards sustainable tourism in Botswana: A case of Mmadinare Development Trust. Masters. Co-supervisor
  • 2018:   Tuelo Bapedi. Power relations in local development in community based natural resources management communities: the case of Chobe Enclave Conservation Trust. MPhil. Co-Supervisor
  • 2018:   Poifo Jibajiba. Socio economic impacts of Wildlife crop raiding in Ngamiland.Communities in Botswana. MPhil. Co-Supervisor
  • 2017:   Kenalekgosi Gontse. Wildlife crop raiding and its implications on livelihoods of Khumaga, Boteti sub-district, Botswana. MPhil Thesis. Co-supervisor
  • 2017: Kefentse Mogwera: Using ecological factors to predict risk areas for large carnivore predation on livestock around Makgadikgadi/Nxai National Parks, Botswana. MPhil Thesis. Co-supervisor
  • 2016:   Hesekia Garekae. Forest Dependency and its Implication on Attitudes for Conservation: Chobe Enclave, Botswana. MPhil Thesis. Main supervisor
  • 2016:   Unabo Tafa. Tourism Development, Rural Livelihoods and Land Use Conflicts Resolution at Tachila Nature Reserve, NED, Botswana. MPhil thesis. Co-supervisor
  • 2016:   Sekondeko Ronnie Noga. Adoption of elephant crop-raiding deterrent innovations by subsistence arable farmers in the Okavango Delta, northern Botswana. MPhil Thesis. Co-supervisor


Chapters in Books

  • Mbaiwa, J. E., Thakadu, O. T., & Kgathi, D. L. (2018). Community based natural resources management and ecosystem services at Lake Ngami, Botswana. In: D. L. Kgathi, E. N. Mosimanyana, J. E. Mbaiwa & W.R. L. Masamba (Eds). Ecosystem services and well-being at Lake Ngami, Botswana. Implications for sustainability, New York: NOVA Publishers, pp 297-317.
  •  Thakadu, O. T. (2014). History of natural resources management in Southern Africa. In: Brown, M. T. & K. Patterson (Eds). Southern Africa systems: Coupling humanity and environment in Southern Africa. [Kindle version]. Gainesville, FL: Centre for Environmental Policy, University of Florida.
  • Thakadu, O. T., Mmopelwa, G., Ngwenya, B. N., Mathanjane, B.,Munatsi, N., & Wanda, W. V. (2014). Factors influencing adoption of flood risk information by residents in flood prone areas of the Okavango delta. In: M. R. Motsholapheko & D. L. Kgathi (Eds). Flooding: Risk factors, environmental impacts and management strategies, New York: NOVA Publishers, pp 135-151.
  • Mbaiwa, J. E., & Thakadu, O. T., (2011). Community Trusts and Access to Natural Resources in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. In: Kgathi, D. L., Ngwenya, B. N., Darkoh, M. B. K. (Eds). Rural Livelihoods, Risks and Political Economy of Access to Natural Resources in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Hauppauge NY: Nova Science Publishers. pp. 275-304.
  • Mbaiwa, J. E., & Thakadu, O. T., Moleele, N. M., Stone, T. M. (2011). Knowledge and Information Management in CBNRM Practice. In Botswana. In: Kgathi, D. L., Ngwenya, B. N., Darkoh, M. B. K. (Eds). Rural Livelihoods, Risks and Political Economy of Access to Natural Resources in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Hauppauge NY: Nova Science Publishers. pp. 305-324.
  • Ngwenya, B. N., & Thakadu, O. T., (2007). HIV/AIDS morbidity/mortality, access to social support and household utilization of natural resources in Ngamiland, Botswana. In: Tiezzi, E., Marques, J. C., Brebbia, C. A., & JØrgensen, S. E. (Eds). Ecosystems and Sustainable Development VI. Boston: WITPress. pp. 303-312

Selected Articles in Refereed Journals

  • Modise, O. M., Lekoko, R. N., Thakadu, O. T., & Mpotokwane, M. A. (2018).  Toward sustainable conservation and management of human–wildlife interactions in the Mmadinare Region of Botswana: Villagers’ perceptions on challenges and prospects. Human–Wildlife Interactions, 12(2), 220–232
  • Gontse, K., Mbaiwa, J. E., & Thakadu, O. T. (2018). Effects of wildlife crop raiding on the livelihoods of arable farmers in Khumaga, Boteti sub-district, Botswana. Development Southern Africa, 1-12.
  • Noga, S. R., Kolawole, O. D., Thakadu, O. T., & Masunga, G. S. (2018). ‘Wildlife officials only care about animals’: Farmers' perceptions of a Ministry-based extension delivery system in mitigating human-wildlife conflicts in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Journal of Rural Studies, 61, 216-226
  • Thakadu, O. T., Ngwenya, B. N., Phaladze, N. A., & Bolaane, B. (2018). Sanitation and hygiene practices among primary school learners in Ngamiland district, Botswana. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, 105, 224-230.
  • Ngwenya, B. N., Thakadu, O. T., Phaladze, N. A., & Bolaane, B. (2018). Access to water and sanitation facilities in primary schools: A neglected educational crisis in Ngamiland district in Botswana. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, 105, 231-238.
  • Thakadu, O. T. (2017).  Communicating in the public sphere: Effects of patriarchy on knowledge sharing among community-based organisation leaders in Botswana. Environment, Development & Sustainability. doi:10.1007/s10668-017-9986-9.
  • Thakadu, O. T., Kolawole, O. D., Sommer, C., Mthombeni, N., & Ditlhakeng, P. (2017).  Flood risk communication within flood prone communities of the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Botswana Notes & Records. 49, 87-105.
  • Garekae, H., Thakadu, O. T., & Lepetu, J. (2016). Attitudes of local communities towards forest conservation in Botswana: A case study of Chobe Forest Reserve. International Forestry Review, 18(2), 180–191.
  • Thakadu, O.T., Ngwenya, B.N., Magole, L., & Chimbari, M.J. (2015). Promoting Knowledge Translation through Information and Knowledge Sharing: The Case of the Molapo Farming Communities. The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication. 10(3), 17-30
  • Thakadu, O. T., Irani, T. A., Telg, R. (2013). Predictors of Knowledge-Sharing Behaviors among Community-Based Natural Resources Organizations in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Science Communication. 35(5), 572-602. doi: 10.1177/1075547012470821.
  • Thakadu, O. T., & Tau, O. S. (2012). Communicating environment in the Okavango Delta, Botswana: An exploratory assessment of the sources, channels, and approaches used among Delta communities. Science Communication. 34(6) 776–802. doi:10.1177/1075547012437277
  • Thakadu, O. T., Irani, T. A., Telg, R. (2011). Relative Effects of Visualized and Verbal Presentation Methods in Communicating Environmental Information among Stakeholders: Okavango Delta, Botswana. Applied Environmental Education & Communication. 10(1) 63-75.
  • Thakadu, O. T., Irani, T. A., Telg, R. (2011). Communicating in the Public Sphere: Attitudes Towards Different Public Instructional Communication Methods. Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture. 5 (1), 83-103.
  • Thakadu, O. T. (2005). Success Factors in Community Based Natural Resources Management In Northern Botswana: Lessons from Practice. Natural Resources Forum. 29 (3) 199-212.
  • Thakadu, O. T., Mangadi, K., Mbaiwa, J. E., & Benard, T., (2005). The Economic Contribution of Safari Hunting to Rural Livelihoods in the Okavango, Botswana. The Case of Sankuyo Village. Botswana Notes and Records.  (37) 22 - 39.