Why do we offer this programme?

Food systems in Africa face many complex and connected challenges: malnutrition, climate change, inequality and the overuse of natural resources to give a few examples. These are not just challenges for the government and private sector. They require effective leadership at every level, from every perspective, to make the difficult decisions needed for system-wide change. Wageningen University and Research and Wasafiri Consulting, with support from IKEA Foundation, have come together to create a unique systems-leadership development and fellowship programme for Africa’s food systems leaders. We need leaders in the food system who see the bigger picture and can adapt to an ever-changing context. As a leader in the field, you have the opportunity to help make Africa’s food systems regenerative and more inclusive.

Janet Ngombalu, Agri-finance Fellow

what we provide

When you join, you will be offered the opportunity to participate in a highly interactive, four- month programme, and given membership to the African Food Fellowship. This includes a further coaching programme of six months. After this programme, you will:

  • Understand food systems and systems thinking. You learn about the interactions between the food supply chain and its impact on social, economic and environmental health. This includes an exploration of the dynamic nature of food systems and how they change.

  • See where there are trade-offs in the system. You will get to design strategies and learn approaches to deal with these trade-offs and create synergies by learning how to effectively steer the process of change.

  • Develop individual and collective leadership qualities by exploring personal attitudes and aspirations. You will better your networking skills, build relationships, find common ground and overcome resistance to change.

  • Build your network. Become part of a community of food systems leaders across the continent.

  • Gain world-class, expert knowledge by engaging with leading faculties and mentors.

How will you learn?

  • The programme will be mainly online and highly interactive, but there are in-country, informal meet-ups, too.

  • You will gain practical insights from experts and other Fellows to help you in your leadership role.

  • You will have regular meetings with business leaders, mentors, food-systems experts, soft- skill trainers and dialogue facilitators.

  • You will work with others in your sector to learn how you can be effective system leaders together.

How long will the programme take?

The leadership programme takes ten months. You will meet regularly online, take part in interactive sessions and work on your individual missions as food systems leaders. Over the course, you will cover four modules. Each of these cover fundamental skills you will need as a food systems leader. The modules are as follows.

Stage 1 Food Systems Leadership Programme: Systems Insight

  • Module I Concepts for Food Systems Leadership: What is the Food System, Systems Leadership, The Network, The ‘How’ of System Change.

  • Module II Foresights, Scenarios and Deep Dives: The Food System on national level, the Food System in My Impact Area.

  • Module III Design for Systems Action: Developing Strategy, Design and Plan Action for Food Systems Transformation.

Upon completion of stage 1 of the programme, you will receive a certificate and six further months of coaching to put your recently acquired food systems leadership skills into practice.

Stage 2 Food Systems Leadership Programme: Systems Action

  • Module IV Systems action: Design and Action for Food Systems Transformation, Coaching, Mentoring and Inspiration Sessions.

  • Module V Reflection and Fellowship Community Building

Upon completion of the first stage of the programme, participants will be awarded with a certificate of commitment to food systems transformation and will enter the coaching programme as Fellows of the African Food Fellowship

Interested? Get started now

Apply on the African Food Fellowship website. You will receive a confirmation and more information within a week. Early application is recommended as some parts of the application can take time. Successful applicants will be awarded full scholarships to join the first cohort of this prestigious leadership Fellowship. Your time investment: 4 hrs/week on average. The programme will be delivered online and will facilitate informal meet-ups and assignments to visit other Fellows, organisations and businesses. Upon completion of the programme, participants will be awarded with a certificate of commitment to food systems transformation and will enter the coaching programme as Fellows of the African Food Fellowship.