Food systems leaders from across Kenya gathered in Nairobi on November 4, 2022, for the the first ever Transform Food Festival hosted by the African Food Fellowship. The festival is an inspirational gathering designed to showcase innovations in food systems and unlock new ideas, connections and action for building healthier, more inclusive and sustainable food systems.
In line with the Fellowship’s focus on the three impact areas of horticulture, agri-finance and aquaculture, the exclusive guest list included Fellows and guests of the African Food Fellowship working in those areas, featuring innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers, in government, the private sector and civil society.
“The Transform Food Festival represents a journey of togetherness, hope and opportunity. This gathering includes the sharpest actors in the industry working on solutions to the most pressing challenges facing food systems today. The African Food Fellowship is proud to catalyse collaborations among different sectors represented here in order to spark impactful action on the ground,” said African Food Fellowship Director Joost Guijt.
Participants enjoyed an action-packed day full of learning with sessions ranging from plenary presentations to more intimate discussions in break out groups for each impact area. The discussions prompted attendees to think about their role in the food systems, the challenges they are addressing and the new pathways to action that they can create. “The need for food systems leadership is greater than ever. There is no shortage of evidence, ideas or ambition. We need more effective, systemic action toward healthier, more inclusive and sustainable outcomes. This requires new forms of collaborative leadership which is what the festival hopes to achieve,” said African Food Fellowship Kenya Dean and Lead Brenda Mareri.
The festival culminated in the Food Systems Leadership Award, with Aquaculture Fellows Dr Erick Ogello and Mr Fredrick Juma winning the most promising food systems leader and most promising food system initiative awards respectively. Dr Ogello was recognized for his contributions to research in live fish food production while Mr Juma won the judges over with commitment to protecting community livelihoods through farming black soldier fly. Watch a short video documentary of their work here.
“Our award winners exemplify the kind of strong leadership action that inspires us all to do better in our spheres of influence. They are brave and committed, and are not afraid to stand up to be counted. We are proud of them and cannot wait to see what they do next!” said Fellowship Director Joost Guijt.
About the African Food Fellowship
The African Food Fellowship is bringing together a new generation of African leaders to build healthier, more inclusive and sustainable food systems across the continent. We equip leaders and practitioners to deliver new forms of action to transform food systems. The Fellowship is hosted by leading institutions Wageningen University and Research and Wasafiri Consulting with support from the IKEA Foundation.