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

Stella Odhiambo
Stella Odhiambo

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“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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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.

Learn more by subscribing to our fellowship social media pages:

Photo by Nicolas Tissot on Unsplash

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The Fellowship brings together 30 passionate food systems leaders who make up the inaugural cohort of the African Food Systems Leadership Programme.
This 10-month Fellowship is the first of its