Wasafiri is looking for a Portfolio Lead – Food Systems and Inclusive Growth (FSIG) to join the team

Scott Hinkle

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Working extensively across the Africa region for over a decade, we seek a dynamic and engaging leader to help us continue to influence food systems transformation globally. A leader who operates with a collaborative spirit and can grow an impactful global Food Systems and Inclusive Growth (FSIG) Portfolio.

The role

The role leads a small and fast-growing team and will collaborate with portfolio leads covering conflict, governance, climate and nature.

The purpose of the role is to generate new opportunities and lead the implementation of impactful projects with high-quality service delivery. The role will also contribute to strategic planning internally and thought leadership to influence the sector. It will also strengthen our network of consultants and partners.

Our desired profile includes the following:

  • Thematic: Food and agricultural systems, youth, entrepreneurship, and economic inclusion.
  • Sectoral: Cross-sector experience. Public-private collaboration. Corporate sustainability. Social impact investment. International philanthropy, NGOs and bilateral donors and international organisations.
  • Geographic: Africa-wide and global experience.

Who we are looking for

We are looking for the successful candidate to demonstrate a proven track record with the following essential professional skills and experience:

  • Proven business development and network development record
  • Excellent project management experience
  • Strong and relevant thematic experience
  • Proven team and people management skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills

The following are desirable skills and experience:

  • Consulting experience
  • Living and working in East Africa
  • Language skills

The successful candidate will thrive in the role in our culture if they are:

  • Excited to be in an entrepreneurial environment
  • Proactive and autonomous
  • Focused on making real change happen
  • Curious about Wasafiri’s systems change practice

Please read the detailed Job Description here.

Additional information

This is a full-time position with a preference for applicants based in Kenya. Other locations and a lighter FTE may be considered for exceptional candidates. International travel is anticipated.

The position comes with an attractive compensation package dependent on skills and experience broadly in the range of GBP 70,000 – 75,000 per annum.

Wasafiri is a supportive employer. We support hybrid working with typically at least 2 days per week in an attractive and comfortable office in Westlands, Nairobi.

Application details

How to apply

  1. Download and complete the application form. Please note that we will not accept submissions without a completed application form.
  2. Include a CV (max 3 pages)
  3. Please submit the application form and CV to opportunities@wasafirihub.com

Selection process

  1. We will review applications as they arrive.
  2. Completion of satisfactory business references and background checks are essential conditions of employment.

Ensuring equality of access

Wasafiri values the unique skills and experiences each individual brings to the organisation and we are committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive and accessible environment for everyone.

Queries

If you have any queries on any aspect of the recruitment process, need additional information, or would like to have an informal discussion, please contact:

Closing date for applications: Midnight GMT Wednesday 1st June 2022. We will be reviewing applications as they arrive and will appoint once a suitable candidate is identified. Early applications are preferred.

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27 Kenyan food systems leaders complete the final stages of prestigious Fellowship

“We did it!” beamed proud Aquaculture Fellow Proscovia Alando, one of 27 Fellows in the inaugural African Food Fellowship cohort from Kenya who added yet another feather to their cap on April 1, 2022. They proudly received certificates for successfully completing Stages 2 and 3 of the Food Systems Leadership Programme.

The Fellows, who are renowned in their respective fields, were grouped into three focus areas: Horticulture, Aquaculture, and Agri-finance. They graduated from the “Systems Action” and “Sharing and Reflection” stages of the programme, which served as an incubator for testing, refining, and practical application of their ideas.

It was an engaging, activity-packed day that was held in Nairobi’s Social House and attended by the Fellowship’s faculty, technical mentors from Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and Wasafiri, and delighted coaches. For the fellows who attended (and for the few who joined in virtually), the excitement of meeting their counterparts, some for the first time in person, was palpable.

African Food Fellowship ceremony
Agri-Finance Fellow Janet Ngombalu receives her certificate from the Dean.

After going through the rigorous 10-month Food Systems Leadership Programme, our food systems are in good, capable hands. For the Fellows this proud moment marks the beginning of a lifelong leadership journey towards more inclusive, sustainable, and healthy food systems for our continent. A challenge they now feel empowered to take on.

For us too, it shows encouraging headway with our aim to help deliver progress promised in the 2014 Malabo Declaration, which aims to end hunger on the continent by 2025 and to promote intra-Africa food exchange through the continental free trade area.

Echoing the words of Fellowship Implementation Lead and proud Dean of the African Food Fellowship, Eunice Khaguli, “we’re building a movement”. We couldn’t agree more.

Have a peek at more photos of the Fellows and follow us to keep up with what’s next for the Fellows and other Fellowship-related news.

Hongera once again. Congratulations!

Wageningen University & Research and Wasafiri Consulting initiated this fellowship to help deliver progress promised in the 2014 Malabo Declaration, which aims to end hunger on the continent by 2025 and to promote intra-Africa food exchange through the continental free trade area. The initiative enjoys support from the IKEA Foundation.

Read more Fellowship related blogs

Photo by Daniel Fazio on Unsplash

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Good Food hub leads discourse supporting small food businesses to advance decent work and living incomes and wages

The Decent Work and Living Incomes and Wages (DWLIW) Coalition is working to improve conditions that will positively impact up to 1.5 billion people working in food systems across the world – from pastoralists to small businesses, to food preparers.

The urgency of this ambitious goal is driven largely by the impacts of Covid-19 over the past two years, which brought forward the essentiality of such workers to our day-to-day lives.

With two-thirds of the extreme poor engaged in agriculture, a sector in which more than 90 percent of employment is informal, SMEs play a critical role in strengthening the incomes and wages of food value chain workers across the world.

On March 23, 2022, the Good Food Hub hosted a dialogue with the DWLIW Coalition and small businesses. The dialogue brought food entrepreneurs in direct conversation with representatives from international organisations like ILO, IFAD, and WBCSD, to highlight how small businesses are advancing decent work in their specific value chains, as well as the constraints they face in expanding this impact.

Three key topics discussed included:

  1. Prioritizing women accelerates systems change.
  2. Digital tools can accelerate decent work, and they can also exacerbate the digital divide.
  3. A holistic supply chain approach, with producers/those most vulnerable at the centre, is needed.

Prioritizing women accelerates systems change

Alejandro of Indiegrow (Colombia) and Lastiana of Aliet Green (Indonesia) both shared about the specific challenges women face in accessing decent work.

Lastiana shared her personal journey facing discrimination in Indonesia as a woman starting an innovative business. Indiegrow works to increase women’s decision-making power in the coffee value chain, so they can have greater agency in their income earned and overall role in the sector.

As both businesses prioritize improving women’s livelihoods in their business operations, both have seen the rapid knock-on effects.

Digital tools can accelerate decent work, and they can also exacerbate the digital divide

Digital tools, like e-commerce and logistics platforms, can improve the efficiency of value chains, with the potential to bring more value back to the producer.

Hemense of AFEX Commodities (Nigeria) shared how their business includes digital platforms as one way of improving the wider infrastructure of Nigeria to increase farmer returns. However, they also employ non-digital strategies to reach areas where internet connection is limited.

In addition to internet access as a barrier, many small businesses, producers, and other food workers are simply too fatigued to learn new technologies, so accessing digital resources can be a barrier.

A holistic supply chain approach, with producers/those most vulnerable at the centre, is needed

Decent work and living incomes and wages is an issue that impacts the entire supply chain, and it requires transparency across the supply chain to improve.

The entrepreneurs called for restructuring supply chains in a way that allows producers and other vulnerable groups in supply chains to capture more value. The DWLIW Coalition is bringing together the broader infrastructure to improve how the entire food economy is run.

This dialogue brought together champions for living wages working at different levels of the food system in conversation, and the Coalition is eager to continue surfacing these voices to ground-truth their efforts that often operate at a broader policy level, but closely affect small businesses.

This article was first published on the Good Food Hub on March 30, 2022.

Are you making our food more nourishing, sustainable, equitable and resilient? Join the Good Food Hub today.

Photo by Omer Faruq Khan from Pexels

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African Food Fellowship at the forefront of Rwanda’s food systems transformation roundtable

"Unlocking innovation to transform Rwanda’s food systems"

The Fireside Chat conversation is part of the larger IGNITE Food Systems Challenge which will be taking place at the Kigali Conference Centre on March 25, 2022.

The Challenge, which is a first of its kind, will provide an important platform to pitch to Food Systems experts and win much-needed financial and technical support.

The African Food Fellowship’s Dean Eunice Khaguli together with three Rwanda Fellows Florence Mwashimba, Kelvin Odoobo, and Esther Ndungutse Mukundane are excited to be a part of a roundtable discussion on “Unlocking innovation to transform Rwanda’s food systems”.

The fireside chat will convene key players from the local ecosystem for an open and frank discussion about food systems transformation and how to unlock innovation and systems change thinking in Rwanda.

Meet the speakers

Eunice Khaguli

Dean, African Food Fellowship and Senior Manager Food Systems and Inclusive Growth, Wasafiri Consulting & Institute

Eunice is an international development consultant and seasoned incubator, convenor and evaluator of food systems, private sector development and inclusive growth initiatives in Africa.

Her passion to see Africa’s food system transformation championed by Africans is mirrored in her current work at the African Food Fellowship; AGRF 2021; CAADP (Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme) Biennial Review amplification sessions; UNFSS Small Business Agenda and Generation Africa.

Eunice, a firm believer in collective action, has been at the helm of the African Food Fellowship as its Dean since its inception in 2021. Since then and under her joint leadership, the Fellowship has grown in number from a Kenyan cohort of 27 to an additional Rwanda cohort of 27.

“Rwanda continues to make significant strides at developing a sustainable, healthy, and inclusive food system. As a fellowship we welcome this opportunity to lend our voice, experience, and harness collective intelligence over a fireside chat with our peers!”, says the proud Dean.

Esther Ndungutse Mukundane

Esther Ndungutse Mukundane

Country Director, Aspire Rwanda

Esther is a Sustainable Land Use Fellow and an agriculture expert. In her current role as the Country Director at Aspire Rwanda, she oversees programmes geared towards the improvement of the livelihoods of women and youth.

Her notable achievements include setting up and serving as the first country director of Sustainable Harvest Rwanda, an NGO promoting the inclusion of smallholder women coffee farmers in the entire value chain. She also organised the first “Let’s Talk Coffee Rwanda” Conference that attracted senior government officials, retailers, NGOs and roasters from Europe and the US to discuss challenges and opportunities for smallholder farmers in the coffee value chain.

Florence Mwashimba

Florence Mwashimba

Fellow, African Food Fellowship| Founder & CEO Kigalifaam and PIMA Zero Waste Shop

Along with Eunice will be Florence Mwashimba. Florence is an Access to Nutritious Food Fellow, entrepreneur and sales and marketing specialist.

She founded Kigalifaam and PIMA Zero Waste Shop, both the first of their kind in Rwanda, to collect, sort and upcycle tonnes of recyclables in the country. She has also worked with large and small businesses as an aggregator to ensure access to affordable food products.

Notable achievements include being recognised as the Social Founder of the Year, 2021 finalist, Rwanda (Founder of the Year Awards – FOYA).

Kelvin Odoobo

Kelvin Odoobo

CEO & Founder of Shambapro

Kelvin is a Food Entrepreneurship Fellow, Agriprenuer and Agribusiness Consultant in East and Southern Africa. He is the founder and CEO of Shambapro Limited, an Agtech start-up that is helping smallholder farmers in Africa access suitable finance without traditional collateral and other value chain services on its digital platform.

His notable achievements include helping The Hive Limited, a Kenyan beekeeping start-up, to scale and expand to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and Malawi.

As the Lead Consultant, he also helped H2O Venture Partners to build Ingabo Plant Health, a Rwandan social enterprise that provides solutions for farmers to reduce crop losses, increase crop yields and increase their incomes, and raise £100,000 seed funding from DFID.

Moving forward

The African Food Fellowship is increasingly being recognised as a voice in the transformation of food systems in Africa and believes that through practical, collaborative, and visionary leadership, ending world hunger on the continent is achievable.

Moving forward, the Fellowship is looking forward to even more opportunities to support as many African start-ups and SMEs as possible to scale up their solutions and contribute to their communities and economy.

Meet the rest of our amazing fellows.

About the African Food Fellowship

The African Food Fellowship is a leadership initiative for inclusive and regenerative food futures on the continent. It targets emerging leaders from the civic, public, and private circles to jointly transform Africa’s food systems and ensure equitable availability and access to healthy and sustainable food for all.

Wageningen University & Research and Wasafiri Consulting initiated this fellowship to help deliver progress promised in the 2014 Malabo Declaration, which aims to end hunger on the continent by 2025, and to promote intra-Africa food exchange through the continental free trade area.

Photo by Irina Blok on Unsplash

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Wasafiri leads in nature-positive discourse to tackle climate change; WEF “Bold Actions for Food” event

According to the Davos agenda, sustainably nourishing 9.7 billion people by 2050 requires a transformation in food systems. Unprecedented, concerted action from diverse cross-sector actors is required to evolve production, value chains, market systems, technology, and consumer demand from the local to the global level.

As part of their commitment to a transformation in food systems, the World Economic Forum, the Food Action Alliance, and partners will hold the “Bold Actions for Food” Event on March 15 – 16.

Recognising the need for concerted action from diverse cross-sector actions, this event will bring together leaders from public, private, civil society sectors, and experts who are driving action on innovative examples of systems change initiatives.

As part of this convening, Wasafiri’s Good Food Hub initiative, as well as Clim-Eat, will convene a dialogue with the Nature-Positive Innovation Coalition on March 16. Our very own SME platform that has brought together food actors who are making food more nourishing, sustainable, equitable and more resilient.

In part, the event is looking at how to raise ambitions and scale leadership action this year towards bringing Food into the centre of COP27, as well as holding discussions on how to accelerate the small businesses that are bringing nature-positive innovations to millions of farmers.

Wasafiri is giving voice to these food-preneurs and small food business owners who know the importance of making our food systems nature-positive. We want to increase the recognition of small businesses that are innovating solutions that are enhancing natural capital such as water, soil health, and biodiversity.

A wonderful example of this is Good Food Hub member Claire Baker who is the Co-founder and Director of The Toothpick project (Claire is currently a finalist in the Milken-Motsepe Prize in AgriTech).

Bringing businesses to the forefront of the conversation doesn’t just support them, it inspires us to do more too!

Join this dialogue and discuss how businesses are bringing innovations to farmers and explore how the Nature-Positive Innovation Coalition can support access to the investment, regulatory reform, technology, and commercial partnerships that will take solutions to scale.

Sign up today

This dialogue is sponsored by EIT Food.

Read some of our Climate and Nature related blogs

Photo by Monstera from Pexels

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How public capital can help small businesses make food systems greener and more inclusive – Good Food hub dialogues off to a fantastic start!

In 2021, the UN Food Systems Summit elevated small business voices to inform the world’s plans to make our food more nourishing, sustainable, equitable and resilient. In the same year, Wasafiri launched the Good Food Hub – a hub for small businesses that are doing just that.

Between February 16 and March 30, the Good Food Hub will host a series of dialogues with five UN Food Systems Summit coalitions, asking how they can each integrate and support the transformative potential of pioneering small businesses.

The first of these dialogues was between SMEs and the Public Development Banks Coalition. Wasafiri played a vital role in providing a platform for small food businesses to present their challenges directly to the financial institutions that, in large part, enable them to scale more quickly. At the same time, it is making it possible for these entities to cast a wider reach on food SME’s.

We heard from CEOs of public development banks in Rwanda, Senegal, and Mexico, as well as many pioneering SMEs, such as Siny Simba, CEO of Le Lionceau (Senegal), Javier Van Cauwelaert, CEO of SmartFish (Mexico), Kelvin Odoobo, CEO of Shambapro (Rwanda), and Julien Potron, CEO of Nadjibi (Senegal).

The dialogue highlighted that many public banks and small businesses share in a common endeavour to make our local and global food systems more equitable and sustainable. Yet, too often, conversations about financing can unhelpfully pitch the two at opposite sides of the table. Bankers and entrepreneurs have much to gain from working together on designing financial products that support improvements to our food systems.

Financial solutions are already underway

La Banque Agricole in Senegal is the second bank to ever be accredited by the Green Climate Fund promoting climate finance. Already, they are working with smallholder farmers to finance solar energy solutions, among others.

The Development Bank of Rwanda is developing a Green Bond and is also pivoting its approach to financing agricultural value chains holistically, not only to isolated farmers or end processors.

Lastly, FIRA (Mexico) has a loan guarantee to reduce the burden of high-interest rates for businesses achieving climate positive outcomes.

As small businesses are working every day to address local challenges, these national financial products generate critical opportunities to enable small business solutions to scale more quickly and reach more and more people.

Banks find it expensive to provide finance to individual small-scale producers, and such focus can fail to address financial bottlenecks further along the value chain. SMEs offer economies of scale and specialist knowledge for reaching small-scale producers.

By offering financial products to agri-food SMEs, public banks can economically strengthen small-scale producers and strengthen local supply chains. National policies need strengthening in parallel so that such businesses thrive commercially, and the sector is de-risked.

Banks traditionally view small businesses as risky investments; the rewards of innovation now justify the risk. There is a particular need among emerging markets to have financial products available at the scale-up stage of small businesses. And as the digital economy rapidly advances, digital innovations on both the agricultural value chain and the finance side are enabling much closer supply chain linkages, data, access to credit, and more.

Women and young entrepreneurs often lead the most pioneering food businesses but are not always treated with the equal credibility that they deserve. That’s both unjust and a missed opportunity.

As Javier so aptly stated at the end of the dialogue, we must put money in service of planet, not put the planet in service of money. Discussions like this demonstrate the power of public-private partnerships to develop targeted solutions that collectively drive towards a more green and inclusive future.

Read a little more about what the rest of the Good Food hub UNFSS coalition dialogues are about.

Are you making our food more nourishing, sustainable, equitable and resilient? Join the Good Food Hub today.

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Stage 2 of the African Food Fellowship: A glance at the next phase helping Fellows dive a little deeper

Building on Stage 1 successes

“We need new leaders to drive action and help shape food systems that are healthier and more sustainable for all of us. These Fellows are on a journey together that will continue for a generation, to further realise their country’s and continent’s potential.”

This galvanising call to action by the Director of the African Food Fellowship, Joost Guijt, lies at the heart of the second stage of the programme. It’s an action-oriented phase designed around four themes:

  1. First, Stage 2 provides catalytic support for helping Fellows progress real-world Systems Initiatives – to drive real change within Impact Areas that matter here in Kenya. In doing so, it will build on the concepts developed in Stage 1, serving as an incubator for testing, refining and applying these initiatives for systemic impact.
  2. Second, it continues to build the capacity of Fellows for leading systems-change through a carefully tailored blend of inspiration, coaching and mentoring around real-world issues and initiatives.
  3. Third, from this starting point, the stage will build on and strengthen the networks and relationships established in Stage 1. It will also bring in new Fellows from adjacent cohorts, expanding connections across countries and food systems.
  4. And finally, the stage is designed to generate rich insight into how change actually happens within food systems, helping the programme adapt and evolve as it scales into the future.

Stage 2 is all about helping Fellows dive more deeply into the challenges and opportunities that matter to them, and helping them access all the brilliant ideas and insights that their peers have to offer.

This is what’s working for the Fellows

Horticulture Fellow Winnie Yegon said her involvement has gone beyond food systems; “It has made me a better leader and gone beyond that to help shape me as a person as well. It has not just been about professional growth, it has been a personal journey too,” she said.

For Agri-finance Fellows Grace Njoroge and Sieka Gatabaki, the monthly Inspiration Sessions have been a gamechanger. These one-hour sessions are designed to expand networks, increase skills and build knowledge. They are delivered by industry experts and food systems leaders, as a mix of online skills masterclasses, industry deep-dives and leadership presentations.

In addition, each team is provided four hours per month of flexible, online support by dedicated Technical Mentors, designed to provide ready access to relevant technical and industry expertise and networks in order to progress Systems Initiatives.

The Fellows also benefit from online coaching sessions tailored to help teams progress their Systems Initiatives and to deepen the capacity for systems leadership. Delivered virtually by a cadre of Systems Leadership Coaches, they appear to have added considerable value to Fellows; “When we sat down to talk about solutions, all these different ideas came up from different people with different perspectives. I will definitely be replicating this at my place of work,” said Aquaculture Fellow, Seika.

“I realised that we have similar issues but different ways of approaching them, and different perspectives. People were able to open up because it was a safe space,” said Horticulture Fellow Grace.

Looking ahead, Fellows will be presenting the outcomes from their Systems Initiatives to an external panel of advanced food systems leaders in late March. The event will serve as a graduation for the Fellows into the inaugural Kenyan Food Fellowship; laying vital seeds for a movement of food systems game-changers.

Read more Fellowship-related blogs

Photo by Blue Ox Studio from Pexels

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Could there be good news for meeting the Mighty Malabo Goals?

The third Biennial Review Report of the African Union on the Implementation of the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods is coming. And it could be encouraging.

The report on agricultural transformation will land for public consumption after the African Union Summit on 5th/6th February 2022. It will convey a complex but fundamental picture of progress among nations in the fight against hunger and raising living standards across the continent. It’s a report we can all understand and make use of.

Does it really matter to me?

All too often in Africa, those working in government, regional economic communities, the international development sector and partners, work in silos. Heads are down and focused on delivering on their individual day-to-day but that doesn’t always satisfy the soul.

We all too rarely lift our heads to see the bigger picture from all the hard work that’s gone in. There’s always lots of talk about action, but the proof of the pudding is always in the eating… not the cooking.

The ‘Biennial Review’, as it is known in familiar circles, will show progress at a continental scale and in each country. It is based on the latest data from each nation.

The authoritative report gives insight into powerful trends and is provided by governments for governments to take action through mutual accountability.

Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Yes, perhaps too good to be true.

How influential will it be?

The nations of Africa and their regional economic communities are coalescing behind the analysis of impact providing the most authoritative view that exists on ending hunger, reducing poverty, improving nutrition, enhancing social protection, and sustaining good land management.

It measures progress in almost 50 areas from circa 50 countries. These issues are often looked at separately, yet we know they must be intertwined to raise prosperity and resilience in the long run.

The report has been approved by a Committee of Ministers as it makes its way for review and adoption by Heads of State and Governments at the African Union Summit in early February.

In the past, Africa and the world have taken only mild notice. This is a travesty given all the work put into compiling it, and what it could mean for us all if used well.

Because it embodies a powder keg of evidence on what is and what isn’t working in Africa – we seek an explosion of its use in national and regional settings. Parliamentarians, NGOs, farmer organisations, farmers, and citizens are essential to encourage this to happen.

Progress relies on multiple actors sharing their learning on what seems to be working and coordinating in favour of a collective evidence-based approach, all anchored by governments while letting the private sector do what it does best.

Should we be excited?

Is this Biennial Review report news? I think it is. Journalists will be briefed at a civil society event on 2nd February.

The report and its findings are embargoed and will be available after 6th February along with some snazzy new communications tools. But there are whispers that it might bring some good news about progress in at least some nations against the mighty goals established in Malabo in 2014, which include wiping hunger off the map of Africa by 2025.

If true, this would be the good news needed to give the recovery from Covid-19 a spring in its step.

Fancy getting involved?

Stay tuned as we learn more. Please get in touch with Ruthpearl Ng’ang’a if you’d like to get involved in making sure this wonderful data and reporting system spreads its wings and strengthens the hands of governments, parliaments, development partners, and civil society to press for the policies and actions that can secure greater progress in future.

Let’s lift our heads and connect with this ‘bigger picture’ to see where we are now and where we are going before we double down on our day-to-day tasks. It is, after all, good for the soul.

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The African Food Fellowship welcomes 30 new Fellows in Rwanda!

Murakaza neza! Karibuni! Welcome!

I would like to extend a warm welcome and hearty congratulations to the 30 Rwanda fellows who have this month joined the African Food Fellowship. We begin our journey with reflection and celebration of the many invaluable contributions you continue to make in your impact areas. We are look forward to collaborating with you to transform Rwanda food system up to and beyond the SDGs! And to share these learings across geographies. Indeed, with Rwanda on board our pan African vision is now taking shape. I look forward to building the fellowship with you all.

Murakoze cyane! Asanteni! Thank you very much!

Eunice Khaguli
Dean, African Food Fellowship

I am ecstatic! On November 1st, 2021, the African Food Fellowship welcomed 30 new Fellows in Rwanda to its world-class Food Systems Leadership Programme!1

This was a merit-based selection in recognition of their outstanding contributions towards making Rwanda’s food systems sustainable and inclusive.

The 30 Fellows include 12 access to nutritious food experts, nine sustainable land use and labour specialists and nine food entrepreneurship experts.

The newly selected 30 fellow cohort is geographically spread across all four provinces and Kigali city. Of those selected, 47% are women, 53% male, with an average age of 36.

Meet our new Fellows

Access to nutritious food

Aime Kayumba, Rural Development Initiative (RDI)
Aimée Kaze Ange, Kaze’s Kitchen
Christella Mukakalisa, KOPERATIVE CODIKA
Darius Bazimya, Health Relief and Development Organisation
Eugene Nzaramba, Benelliot Farming Company Ltd
Florence Mwashimba, Kigali Farmers´ And Artisans´ Market
Jean Baptiste Ndahetuye, University of Rwanda
Jean Yves Ntimugura, Caritas Rwanda
Joan Mutoni, Alight Rwanda
Josine Umuhire Munyentwali, Rwanda Agriculture and animal resources Board (RAB)
Liliane Mutuyimana, Kigali Farms ltd
Theogene Dusingizimana, University of Rwanda

Food Entrepreneurship

Abdu Usanase, AGRIRESEARCH
Epiphanie Karekezi, Eastern Africa Grain Council
Herve Tuyishime, Paniel Meat Processing Ltd
Janvier Ahimanishyize, SNV
Kate Ojungo, Kenya Seed Company Rwanda Ltd
Kelvin Odoobo, Shambapro Ltd
Paula Mutesi, One Acre Fund
Thacien Munyamahame, Three Mountains Learning Advisors
Valentine Uwase, Land O’Lakes Venture37

Sustainable Land Use

Alexis Rutagengwa, Rwanda Land Management and Use Authority
Assumpta Uzamukunda, HortInvest project (WUR)
Esther Ndungutse Mukundane, ASPIRE Rwanda
Francois Hakorimana, Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS Network)
Françoise Umarishavu, Assistance in Sustainable Agriculture and Certification (ASAC)
Innocent Bisangwa, Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources
Juvenal Kabagambe, Urban and rural farming development company (U.R.F.D.C) Ltd
Daniel Mutiganda, One Acre Fund
Petronille Dusingizimana, IFPRI

Our new Fellows of the African Food Fellowship join a community of now 57 leading minds that are actively transforming Kenya and Rwanda food systems.

Once a vision, now a reality! The African Food Fellowship is growing!

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.

Learn more by subscribing to our fellowship social media pages:

Photo by Daniel Fazio on Unsplash

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

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

Aquaculture

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

Horticulture

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

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