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New leadership programme to boost food systems in Africa

Published on
May 18, 2021

Yesterday, the African Food Fellowship was launched at a virtual ceremony. The Fellowship, a visionary and practical initiative for inclusive and regenerative food future on the continent , brings together 30 passionate food systems leaders who make up the inaugural cohort of the African Food Systems Leadership Programme. It is the first of its kind in Africa and focuses initially on three impact areas of aquaculture, horticulture and agri-finance.

The Fellowship was launched by Louise O. Fresco, President of the Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research and Martin Kalungu-Banda, a renowned leadership expert, founder and director of Wasafiri.

“This inaugural leadership programme will deeply hone the skills and insights of these food systems leaders and direct them into where change is needed and possible, and provide them with inspiring, informed and influential peer connections that will last them a lifetime," said Joost Guijt, the African Food Fellowship Director.

African ownership and leadership

The programme targets emerging leaders from the private, public, and civic circles who will shape the ambitions, agendas and market dynamics that are needed to transform Africa's food systems, and ensure availability and access to healthy and sustainable food for all. It seeks to build African ownership and leadership of the solutions to the most pressing challenges facing African food systems today, guided by the ethos of leadership development, incubation, networking and collaboration.

“The aim of the Fellowship is to foster partnerships, innovation mindsets and resources to shift African food systems towards more regenerative and inclusive outcomes. This inaugural cohort is made up of passionate food systems leaders who are taking the proactive step to develop their individual leadership skills, networks, strategies and transformative action within African food systems," said Eunice Khaguli, the programme dean.

The programme combines theory with practical engagements starting with a highly interactive four-month systems leadership training followed by six months of group coaching on a food systems initiative of their choice. It will later in 2021 expand operations to Rwanda, before eventually rolling out to over 30 countries within the continent.

About African Food Fellowship

The African Food Fellowship is a visionary and practical initiative for inclusive and regenerative food future on the continent. It targets emerging leaders from the private, public, and civic circles. Together these leaders will shape the ambitions, agendas and market dynamics that are needed to  transform Africa's food systems, and ensure availability and access to healthy and sustainable food for all. It is initiated by Wageningen University & Research and Wasafiri, with the support of IKEA Foundation and University Fund Wageningen.​