The African Food Fellowship graduated its inaugural Rwanda cohort on Thursday 29 September 2022 at a gala event in Kigali. Some 24 Fellows received certificates for successfully completing the Fellowship’s flagship offering, the Food System Leadership Programme. They will now go on to form the Rwanda Food Fellowship, an alumni programme that will allow them to continue engaging, collaborating and inspiring transformative change across Rwanda’s food systems.
“You are more than food systems leaders, you are food systems ambassadors. The knowledge and skills you have gained from this programme make you uniquely qualified to ensure a prosperous, food secure future for Rwanda,” said chief guest Jean Claude Ndorimana, an advisor to the Rwanda Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources.
At the graduation, the Fellows showcased the exciting initiatives they have been working on as part of their coursework during the programme, ranging from innovations in recycling food waste, sustainable urban farms and digital technologies to open up markets and extension services for farmers.
“It's a great honor to have graduated from the African Food Fellowship after 10 months of focused learning about food systems! This is not the end, but the start! A big thanks to my fellows, Wageningen University and Research, and the IKEA Foundation,” said Sustainable Land Use Fellow Thacien Munyamahame, who is also the country manager of the Youth in Agroecology Business Learning Track in Africa (YALTA) Initiative in Rwanda.
As members of the Rwanda Food Fellowship, the Fellows will enjoy continued support from the Fellowship secretariat, and will continue to receive coaching as well as specialised masterclasses in soft skills such as communication. They will use the platform to convene and exchange ideas in order to nurture the collaborative spirit sparked during their time at the Fellowship, culminating in an annual Transform Food Festival designed as an inspirational showcase and celebration for food systems innovators, entrepreneurs, practitioners and pioneers working in Rwanda. The festival will take place in Kigali next year.
“These Fellows are at the vanguard of food systems transformation in Rwanda. We shall continue to engage them to ensure that they are fully supported in their mandate to collaborate and devise solutions to the most pressing food systems challenges the country is facing today. They will continue to inspire food systems leaders for generations to come,” said the Fellowship’s Rwanda Dean and Implementation Lead, Anysie Ishimwe.