Fellows move from ideas to practical solutions for transforming food systems in Africa

October 8, 2021:

The African Food Fellowship has officially launched Stage 2 of the Food Systems Leadership Programme, bringing on board world class coaches and technical mentors to guide Fellows in creating workable solutions for transforming food systems. The 5-month Systems Action Stage is designed to provide catalytic support for progressing Systems Initiatives conceptualized in Stage 1, and to deepen Fellows’ capacity for leading systems change through inspiration, coaching, and technical mentoring.

“We’re poised to embark on the next stage of this grand challenge to help build healthier, more inclusive and sustainable food systems. We’re excited to finally launch Stage 2 where we move from ideas and insight into real-world action,” said Hamish Wilson, the programme’s Stage 2 Coordinator. The 27 Kenyan fellows progressing into Stage 2 graduated from Stage 1 on October 1, 2021 where they completed the first part of their training, a deep-dive into ideas, insights and practices for leading systems-change, which lay the ground for the hands-on, action- driven approach of Stage 2.

Lilian Ndungu
Lilian Ndungu is an Agri-Finance Fellow with an eye for connecting the dots to create impactful outputs.

The stage will serve as an incubator for testing, refining and applying concepts into workable solutions to tackle pressing issues and harness new opportunities. Fellows will continue to strengthen and widen networks and relationships built in Stage 1, and channel those resources towards real world problem solving. Using Systemcraft approach — a framework for tackling complex problems developed by Wasafiri Consulting – Fellows will generate deep insights into how change actually happens within food systems.

“Our ambition is to seed and nurture new initiatives designed to seize opportunities for change across Kenya’s food systems in acquaculture, horticulture and agricultural finance,” said Hamish. “With a hands-on approach anchored in strong foundational theoretical knowledge and fueled by rich networks, we are excited for what the Fellows might be able to achieve,” he added.

Stage 2 will be conducted via virtual sessions anchored in three pillars of inspiration, coaching and technical mentoring. Inspiration will be realised through a mix of online skills masterclasses, industry deep dives and leadership presentations delivered by industry experts and food systems leaders. Coaching is designed to build capacity for systems leadership through sessions run by a cadre of Systems Leadership Coaches. Mentoring will see dedicated technical advisors provide relevant technical and industry expertise as well as networks to the Fellows to enable them to progress food systems initiatives of their choice.

The African Food Fellowship is a practical, collaborative and visionary leadership initiative for inclusive and regenerative food futures on the continent. It targets emerging leaders from the civic, public and private circles to jointly transform Africa's food systems and ensure equitable availability and access to healthy and sustainable food for all. Wageningen University & Research and Wasafiri Consulting initiated this fellowship to help deliver progress promised in the 2014 Malabo Declaration, which aims to end hunger on the continent by 2025, and to promote intra-Africa food exchange through the continental free trade area. The initiative enjoys support from the IKEA Foundation.