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African Food System Leadership is alive and well; celebration as the African Food Fellowship announces its inaugural graduates!

Eunice Khaguli

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On 1 October 2021, 27 fellows graduated from Stage 1 of the Food Systems Leadership Programme1 – Kenya! And so across Wasafiri’s virtual and literal corridors, there was a jubilant celebration; we have our pathfinders!

As I reflect on the last six months as implementation lead and Dean at the African Food Fellowship1, I smile. These, and soon another 30 Rwandese fellows, are stepping forward to claim ownership and collectively champion food systems transformation!

Why is this exciting or different? The focus here is on leadership as a pathway to food system transformation. Yes, leadership. The ability to influence and guide. And not just any form of leadership, but African Leadership.

As Dean, I can confidently state that we are contributing to ongoing systemic efforts to change the narrative around African Leadership. We are harnessing the collective intelligence of African food system leaders with the ability to influence and guide by shaping agendas, setting priorities for investments, policy, and action.

As an African food system actor, I candidly acknowledge that this recognition is long overdue.

A significant shift in Africa’s food systems socio-economic status presents us with an unprecedented opportunity. Covid-19 and other food system shocks have underscored the eminent need for African leadership to navigate complex contextual problems at country and continental levels.

As a fellowship, we are stepping forward to present cohorts of food system leaders, actively shaping their speciality impact areas and collectively driven by a systems transformation agenda.

Having completed a highly interactive 5-month systems leadership training, our trailblazers are now embarking on another 5-month Systems Action phase (Stage 2), designed to provide catalytic support for progressing Systems Initiatives and to deepen the Fellow’s capacity for leading systems-change through inspiration, coaching, and technical mentoring.

And with that, it is with immense pleasure that I invite you to Meet our Fellows, a shining example of our vision to jointly transform Africa’s food systems through collective leadership.

Agri-Finance and Digital

Anthony Makona – Kilimo Trust
Grace L. N. Njoroge – GSMA Mobile For Development
Janet Ngombalu – Eastern Africa Grain Council
Lillian Ndungu – Regional Centre For Mapping Of Resources For Development
Monica Githige – Global Alliance For Improved Nutrition
Richard Midikira – Aceli Africa
Serah Waceke – Agricultural Finance Corporation
Sieka Gatabaki – Agrifin


Alex Akidiva Amuyumzu – MEST
Charles Kanyuguto – Nyeri County Fish Farmers Cooperative Society
Dave Okech Okech – Cage Fish Farmers Association Of Kenya
Erick Ogello (PhD) – Maseno University
Fredrick Juma – Hydro Victoria Fish Hatchery Farm
Kristian Larsen – Nutriento
Proscovia Alando – Samaky Hub And Ressect
Ruth Lewo Mwarabu – Aquaculture Business Development Programme
Safeena Musa – Kenya Marine And Fisheries Research Institute
Justus Wanjala – Fisheries Meru County


Charles Muteithia – Kagure Syngenta
Elizabeth Gathogo – World Wildlife Fund
Leah Mwaura – SNV Netherlands Development Organisation
Rashid Boru – County Government Of Isiolo
Kweyu Suleiman – Agrokenya
Tele Boit – Wageningen University & Research
Tom Ogweno – Tradin Organic
Waithera Ng’ang’a
Winnie Yegon – Food And Agriculture Organization

What an honour to sit at the table and be surrounded by African Food Systems Leaders who are actively shaping their speciality impact areas (aquaculture, agri-finance and horticulture) and are collectively driven by a systems transformation agenda. Hongera!

1The food systems leadership programme is a flagship programme of the African Food Fellowship, an initiative facilitated by the Wageningen University & Research and Wasafiri Consulting & Institute, with support from IKEA Foundation.

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Photo by Nicolas Tissot on Unsplash