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60 food systems leaders join African Food Fellowship’s third cohort

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27.03.2024

African Food Fellowship opens applications for cohort 4 

The African Food Fellowship is delighted to announce that applications are now open for its fourth cohort. The Fellowship is recruiting 80 new Fellows in Rwanda and Kenya, 40 for each country. These are food systems leaders who are passionate about working together to create healthy, inclusive, and sustainable food systems. 

Interested candidates can submit their applications here before the deadline closes on May 10, 2024. 

In Rwanda, the Fellowship is targeting applicants working in the impact areas of Access to Nutritious Foods, Sustainable Land Use or Food Technology & Trade, while in Kenya, we shall be accepting applications from people working in Horticulture, Aquaculture or Agri-finance. 

“Our network of Fellows is dynamic and fast-growing. We admit people who feel engaged with the way we produce, distribute and consume our food and work in many ways to influence and shape their food systems. This richness and complexity of experiences, perspectives and approaches mirrors the real world in which food systems exist,”

Kenya Dean and Implementing Lead, Brenda Mareri 

Current Fellows include government officials, community leaders, entrepreneurs, farmers, scientists, development workers, financiers, educators and journalists. They contribute different perspectives, practical skills and networks to the Fellowship. Collectively, they can shift the power, policies, investments, and incentives that shape food systems.  

The African Food Fellowship addresses the fragmented approach that characterises how the agri-food sector operates. Many food systems actors work in silos, focusing on individual or organizational goals, without considering the larger ecosystem in which they operate. This way of working has so far failed to provide sustainable responses to the big challenges facing food systems today, including food insecurity, climate change and poverty.  

The Fellowship provides opportunities for food systems leaders in Africa to connect and build relationships with their peers and gain essential food systems leadership knowledge to transform food systems.  

“We offer Fellows a space to connect, learn and act. We do this by curating and nurturing physical and virtual collaborative spaces, offering specialised food systems leadership training, and providing platforms for Fellows to share their work with wider audiences. Overall, we create an enabling environment for Fellows to access resources and collaborate so they can do good, impactful work,”

Rwanda Dean and Implementing Lead Anysie Ishimwe. 

Fellows are co-creators and co-owners of these facilities. Successful applicants will join an impact network of over 170 Fellows in both countries already doing valuable work in their fields. They will start their journey as Fellows with the prestigious Food Systems Leadership Programme (FSLP), a world-class 10-month programme  delivered virtually by faculty from Wageningen University & Research and Wasafiri Consulting. During the programme, Fellows acquire shared language and tools to unpack food systems, analyse their complexity, and identify a food systems action to work on. 

The Fellowship charges a fee of USD800 for the FSLP, payable in two installments. A limited number of scholarships is available for those who can demonstrate they need it. 

Fellows graduate from the FSLP after 10 months and continue their engagement with the Fellowship through the Food Systems Leaders Network. This is a curated space where they enjoy opportunities to continuously learn, co-create knowledge, and collaborate on food systems actions. They can access masterclasses, share insights and information about your sectors, and contribute to research on food systems.   

The fourth cohort is in line with the African Food Fellowship’s aspiration to build a dynamic network of thousands of leaders in Africa working together on radical change to make food systems healthy, sustainable, and inclusive.  The Fellowship is currently present in Rwanda and Kenya and aims to expand into several other African countries by 2027.