Charles began his studies in Agricultural Economics at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa, in 1976. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Honours) degree, with Agricultural Economics as a major subject in 1980. In 1985, he was awarded a Master of Science in Agriculture degree, majoring in Agricultural Economics by the University of the North (now University of Limpopo) in South Africa. He completed a second master’s degree and a PhD in Agricultural Economics at Michigan State University in 1995 and 1997, respectively.
His academic career began at the University of Fort Hare in 1980 when he was appointed as a Junior Lecturer in Agricultural Economics. In 1982, he joined the University of the North as a Lecturer in Agricultural Economics. Charles has held several senior academic and management positions. He has served as a Professor and Head of Department of Agricultural Economics, Dean of Faculty of Agriculture and Acting Vice-Chancellor at the University of the North. In addition, he has served as a Board member of the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa, National Botanical Institute, and as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Agricultural and Rural Development Corporation in Limpopo Province, South Africa. He has served on the Board of the South Africa-Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development (SANPAD) and was a member of the Ministerial Committee on the Review of Agricultural Marketing in South Africa. At the University of Pretoria, he has served as Director of the Postgraduate School of Agriculture and Rural Development and Acting Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension & Rural Development. Currently, he is a Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Pretoria.
RESEARCH AND PUBLICATIONS
His research has focussed on agricultural and rural development issues, including agricultural and rural finance, agricultural cooperatives, agricultural development policy, economics of smallholder irrigation, land reform and micro and small enterprises. He has published widely in these areas.