The African Food Fellowship brings together aspiring leaders from different backgrounds to establish a critical mass of fellows who deeply understand and are committed to the practice of cross-sector collaboration and innovation in food systems. Together they can shape agendas and set priorities for investment, policy and action. Our Fellows in Kenya work in three key impact areas: Agri-Finance, Horticulture and Aquaculture.
Meet the inaugural Kenya Fellows
Winnie is a Horticulture Fellow with a passion for finding solutions to food waste and losses across and along selected value chains. She’s a Food Systems Specialist at the Food and Agriculture Organization, working with a wide range of stakeholders both in the private sector and in government, applying the food systems approach to achieve food and nutrition security in a holistic manner. Winnie has conducted extensive research on food waste and losses, and food systems assessments with findings informing national strategies by highlighting gaps and opportunities that inform decision making. Before joining FAO, she was a programme assistant in the Ministry of Agriculture where she supported coordination of government stakeholders in Agricultural policy and strategy development . Winnie has an MBA from Thompson Rivers University in Canada and a BSc in Agricultural Economics from Egerton University. She believes that Africa has a lot to offer the world through the agricultural sector.
Tele is a Horticulture Fellow passionate about translating evidence-based nutritional research into action through innovations, policies, programmes, and advocacy. A nutrition researcher at Wageningen University & Research, she works on a project on sustainable and alternative nutrient- dense food sources. Her study specifically assesses the absorption of zinc from edible insects in young children. Prior to this she worked with Choices International Foundation, conducting studies on the prevention of the double burden of malnutrition in low and middle income countries. A budding entrepreneur in the sustainable health and wellness space, Tele recently completed a course on Greentech Businesses in Kenya, hosted by Future Females Business School and UK-Kenya Tech hub. She holds an MSc in Nutrition and Health from Wageningen University (The Netherlands) and a BSc in Biomedicine from Pearson Institute (South Africa).
Rashid Jattani Boru
Rashid is a Horticulture Fellow with extensive experience working in emergency and development contexts in arid and semi-arid counties in the Horn of Kenya. He has over four years of experience in project management in livelihoods, nutrition, agriculture, value chain, resilience building and health. Currently an Agriculture Officer with County Government of Isiolo, he mobilises communities to work together to promote sustainable livelihoods, food security and nutrition resilience. Rashid works with smallholders in the food systems to improve their productivity, enhance their income and build resilience to climate change shocks. He is a trainer of trainers on sustainable agriculture with a goal to promote access to healthy, safe, and nutritious foods and sustainable income by the marginalized and vulnerable population through inclusive food system transformation. Rashid holds a BSc in Foods, Nutrition and Dietetics from Egerton University.
Tom is a Horticulture Fellow and a social change advocate seeking to transform the Kenyan food systems to focus more on food safety and quality. He has seven years of experience helping sugarcane farmers in Migori and Homabay counties to improve their crop and diversify their markets. As an independent Organic Ingredients Sourcing Consultant, he has worked with seed suppliers to improve quality of inputs for smallholder farmers in arid and semi-arid areas. Previously he was marketing and business development specialist at Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation. He has a BSc. in Agricultural Economics from University of Eldoret and an MSc. in Organic Agriculture from Wageningen University & Research.
Leah is a Horticulture Fellow with keen interest in value chains, specifically facilitating horizontal and vertical linkages for micro, small and medium enterprises. She’s Project Manager at SNV, the Netherlands Development Organization, responsible for helping SMEs access markets and finance. Leah believes in sharing knowledge, has extensive research experience and has published several papers, the most recent being an assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on Kenyan food systems, a collaboration between SNV and WUR. Among her greatest achievements is linking MFIs and financial institutions to secure money for lending to smallholder farmers. Before moving to project management, Leah worked in M&E. She read Agricultural Economics at Egerton University and has a Master in Economics from the University of Nairobi.
Elizabeth is a Horticulture Fellow with a strong desire to transform food systems to improve livelihoods across communities. Currently an Agri-business Project Officer at WWF, she has experience in project management, sustainable production, marketing and enterprise development for smallholder farmers. A team leader and player, Elizabeth has successfully implemented projects in the corporate, public and not-for-profit sectors. She has helped develop technical training materials on crop production for use by Trainer of Trainers. Elizabeth has a BSc in Horticulture from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and an MSc in Agricultural Resource Management from the University of Nairobi.
Charles Muteithia Kagure
Charles is a Horticulture Fellow and an agri-food professional with more than 11 years of experience helping farmers to realize better yields and incomes. A Programme Officer at the Irish Embassy, he is leading the implementation of Ireland Kenya Agri-food Strategy 2017-2021 to improve dairy and potato value chains. Charles has led and managed country programmes, designed and developed projects, managed contracts and grants, and undertaken monitoring and evaluation. He has extensive experience in the potato value chain where he has leveraged donor funding to catalyze private sector engagement in seed production and potato processing; training farmers in good agricultural practices leading to more than 40% increase in yield. Previously, Charles worked for Hello Tractor as a project manager and as a farmer services manager at Mumias Sugar Company. He has an MBA and Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nairobi and is a certified public accountant. Charles has published a paper on implementation of outsourcing strategy in sugar companies.
Waithera is a Horticulture Fellow and an award winning corporate strategist with extensive experience in business, communications, marketing and operations. She’s passionate about agriculture and commerce, working with food systems players to streamline their agribusiness value chain, route-to-market engineering, packaging and marketing of produce. She also consults on leadership, entrepreneurship and political communication. A former CEO of the Marketing Society of Kenya, Waithera is also a content producer and runs a popular Facebook and YouTube Channel on entrepreneurship titled LIFE - Lessons & Insights from Entrepreneurs. Previously, she was head of marketing at the Standard Media Group. Waithera was named among the Top 40 under 40 women leaders to watch by Business Daily and is a Rising Star award winner. Outside the C-Suite, Waithera has held various leadership and advisory positions, including global advisory member at the World Brand Congress (2015), industry representative at East African Public Societies Platform (2014-2016) and Trustee, Kenya Audience Research Foundation (2016-2020).
I am a son of a smallholder farmer in western Kenya and the founder of agrokenya organization. I went to rural schools for my primary and secondary education before joining Kenyatta University for my undergraduate degree in Commerce. I proceeded to Brandenburg University of Applied sciences in Berlin for my masters degree in financial economics. My greatest motivation is to see marginalized farming communities be able to lead decent lives through agriculture. Our motto at agrokenya is making our famers heroes.
Sieka is an Agri-Finance Fellow and a business strategy leader with passion for helping institutions and individuals benefit from new technologies for deepening access to financial services. He is currently Deputy Programme Director at the Mercy Corps AgriFin. He works in strategy and product usage and development, channel development and go-to-market execution, providing digital financial and information services to small holder farmers in Sub Saharan Africa. Previously, Sieka served as Airtel Money Director at Airtel Kenya and Technical Advisor with IFC, supporting digital financial inclusion in Uganda. He has consulted for various organizations, including Vital Wave, Ernest & Young, and Grameen Foundation and serves on the board of Standard and Mutual, a corporate finance advisory firm. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa and is completing an MA in Sociology and Entrepreneurship at the University of Nairobi.
Serah is an Agri-finance Fellow and an agricultural economist with extensive experience in designing and overseeing agricultural development and finance projects in public, private and not-for-profit sectors. As a Senior Planning Officer at the Agricultural Finance Corporation, Serah works with government departments and development partners to position the corporation as the go-to institution for rural agricultural finance and market intelligence. She’s responsible for corporate communications, marketing, resource mobilization and business development, deploying strategies to grow the corporation’s business. Notable achievements include developing the framework for Shariah compliant products that opened credit facilities for Muslim clients in northern Kenyan and working with UN Women to help more than 2000 women secure funding after training. She studied at Egerton and University of Nairobi.
Richard is an Agri-Finance Fellow with track record of building relations and delivering solutions to SMEs in Africa. He believes in the power of SMEs to improve the livelihoods of millions in Africa. As Technical Assistance Manager, Aceli Africa, he is responsible for supporting agribusinesses in East Africa to access finance and international markets. A former management consultant with Deloitte and Ernst & Young, Richard has worked in financial services, oil and gas, telecommunications, governments and NGOs across East and Central Africa to improve risk management and governance. Prior to joining Aceli, he worked at International Trade Centre as Task Team Lead for a $23 million DFID funded project to promote trade, investment, knowledge and technology transfer between India and East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda & Ethiopia). Richard read actuarial science at the University of Nairobi and has an MA in international management from Instituto de Empresa, Madrid.
A marketer by training but a food systems leader by passion, Monica is an Agri-Finance Fellow who believes in providing solutions to help farmers and institutions to improve their productivity and profitability. She is currently a Senior Associate, Technical and Enterprise Development, at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, where she is responsible for developing viable business models that promote safe and nutritious foods in Africa and Asia. Previously, she was project manager at TechnoServe where she led a USAID-funded programme on improving dairy value chain, and business development manager at Bata Shoe Company with responsibility for market penetration in six countries – Rwanda, DR Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Burundi. Monica is an alumna of United States International University, where she read international business administration and MBA
Lilian is an Agri-Finance Fellow with an eye for connecting the dots to create impactful outputs. A tenacious and creative champion for agricultural transformation, Lilian is passionate about the use of technology to make work easier. She has 10 years of experience in the design and management of ICT/GEO projects; with proven capability in strategic planning. As the Thematic Lead for Agriculture and Food Security at the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development, Lilian has developed scalable, replicable and sustainable decision-making products and technology models. She sits in several high-level forums and provide technical advisory as well as speaking on EO data driven agricultural transformation to policy and decision makers. Lilian has published technical papers and presented at international conferences (the full profile is available here on Google Scholar.) In 2016, she received a NASA Excellence Award for contribution towards Agriculture and Food Security Assessments in East and Southern Africa. Recently, she was listed among Geospatial World’s Top 50 Rising Stars in 2021 for contributions towards improving agricultural decision making in the region. Lilian mentors girls in universities through organized forums such as AFRICA GIS and UNOOSA’s Technovation. She has a bachelor’s in ICT, an MSc in in GIS and hoping to complete a Ph.D. in GIS.
Janet is an Agri-finance Fellow and a socio-economist with over 15 years of experience in transformative and innovative change in the food sector. She has been instrumental in developing revolutionary innovations that foster food systems change in the development sector, including the Regional Market Information System and the Climate Change for Grains (CI4G) systems. Janet is the Regional Programmes Coordinator at the Eastern Africa Grain Council, with focus on leading sustainable impact on livelihoods, food security and support to economic growth. She drives change in 10 countries in the wider Eastern Africa region — Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, Zambia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, DR Congo and Burundi. Janet has worked in managerial positions in food security and livelihoods management for 10 years. She has a keen interest in working in emerging innovations and strategies to support the development agenda for refugees in the region. An all-round professional, Janet holds an MA in Sociology from the University of Nairobi and a BA in Community Development from Daystar University.
Grace is an Agri-finance Fellow and an inclusive finance and programme management specialist with experience in designing and implementing large development projects in emerging markets in Africa and Asia for socio-economic impact. She’s currently Innovation Fund Manager at the GSMA Mobile for Development. Before that, she worked with the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity where she was directly responsible for managing a US$14 million kitty for deepening financial inclusion among rural populations, especially smallholder farmers. Grace has also been involved in running the AGRA Agribusiness Outlook survey which tracks and disseminates trends in agribusiness to donors and investors as well as other stakeholders in the sector. Previously, she was digital financial services manager with Microsave Consulting where she supported the development and roll out of inclusive finance products. In her personal capacity as a consultant, Grace has conducted research on digital finance for development partners and other stakeholders, and was a lead trainer at the Helix Institute, which was one of the pioneer training institutes in digital finance. Grace sits on the board of the African Women in Fintech and Payments Network – Kenya chapter, as a founding board member and acts as the network’s secretary.
Anthony Mugambi Makona
Anthony is an Agri-finance Fellow with a passion for market-led initiatives for structured and inclusive agricultural trading systems. A strong believer in free and fair trade, he is an agricultural value chain development and market access specialist with over 14 years of experience working with the private, public and civil society sectors across East Africa. As Country Team Leader at Kilimo Trust, Kenya, Anthony implements national and multi-country trade-based projects on apiculture, dairy, horticulture, coffee, food staples and oil crops. He is currently leading a regional project on regenerative rice value chain in Kenya and Uganda. An incurable optimist, Anthony believes in building partnerships to unlock possibilities. He read horticulture at Maseno University and has an MSc in Agricultural Production Chains Management from the Van Hall University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands.
Charles Mbauni Kanyaguto
I am dedicated to make societal change for small scale business and communities in Kenya. I grew up in Kenya and attended Gavilan Community College California US. I am very motivated to contribute to enhancing welfare of the most vulnerable in the communities. This includes youth, women and children. I am a local leader, elected by the communities engaged in fish food systems to lead community members, taking responsibilities and thinking beyond existing food systems including food security, livelihood, environmental sustainability, climate change and poverty alleviation. My core expertise is the aquaculture value-chain. However, I have a broad expertise and hold various positions in the communities in Kenya including: Director and co-founder of Together Forever Community Org (CBO), Chair of the Aquacultural Association of Kenya (Nyeri Chapter), and earlier I held positions as: Secretary and co-founder of Nyeri County Fish Farmers Development Group, Manager at Mugumoini Children Centre, Youth officer at Fly-M youth movement and I have worked as the Africa Officer, African Peace Project (TAPP), and as a Mountain guide, Mountain Rock Hotel. I am representing fish farmers in national projects and programmes on aquaculture, by the national government, FAO and IFAD (County Programme Coordinating Committee, ABDP), as well as WUR research projects as 3RKenya, Feeding cities and migration settlement. I’m results oriented, have ability to work across a multi-racial and cross-cultural communities.
Safina is an Aquaculture Fellow and research scientist at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute. She’s currently leading a team of researchers from Sussex University, UK, in a project funded by Science and Technology Facilities Council, UK, to monitor and identify suitable sites for fish cage culture in Lake Victoria, Kenya. Safina has published more than 20 papers, five books and book chapters in SCI-indexed journals of aquatic sciences research and is a reviewer of several international academic journals (Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management, International Journal of Fisheries and Aquaculture). A team leader and public speaker, Safina has attended senior management course at Kenya School of Government and is a member of Sarnissa, AQUAHUB and Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management professional bodies. Safina holds an MSc in Aquatic Sciences from Moi University and has completed many professional courses in aquaculture, including advanced training and research in sustainable aquaculture in Iceland and responsible aquaculture development for food security and economic progress, Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands
Ruth Lewo Mwarabu
Ruth is an Aquaculture Fellow championing growth across the value chain in the fisheries sector. She’s currently an Aquaculture Specialist with Aquaculture Business Development Programme, an initiative of Kenya Government and IFAD to reduce poverty and increase food security and nutrition in rural communities through aquaculture. Working in 15 counties with high concentrations of aquaculture activity, the programme blends public and private investments in the aquaculture value chain with local initiatives that promote good nutrition and food security. Previously, Ruth was a Fisheries Officer in Nakuru County focusing on the development, management and conservation of fisheries resources. Ruth has published in refereed journals and is the editor of the Aquaculture Handbook: A Practical Guide to Aquaculture Value Chain in Kenya. She has a Master of Science in Aquatic Tropical Ecology from Bremen University, Germany, and a Bachelor of Science in Applied Aquatic Science from Egerton University.
Proscovia is an Aquaculture Fellow, an entrepreneur and social change champion who believes in environmental conservation and sustainable food production. Founder and CEO of Samaky Hub, an aquaculture consultancy targeting small scale fish farmers, Proscovia is passionate about food and nutrition security in Africa. She is also co-founder and head of business development at Ressect, a start-up in Nakuru that specialises in farming black soldier fly as an alternative protein source in animal feed formulation. Ressect was recently shortlisted for the Food Systems Game Changers Lab as one of the enterprises and initiatives that have the potential to transform the world’s food systems. Proscovia is also a fellow at Aspiring Entrepreneurship Programme by Pan African Women Empowerment Network. The fellowship mentors young entrepreneurs on growing and managing business. Proscovia read Applied Aquatic Science at Egerton University, and has MSc in Sustainable Aquaculture from the University of Stirling UK.
Kristian is an Aquaculture Fellow working to produce alternative, environment-friendly and affordable fish feed to make fish farming sustainable in Africa. He’s the Chief Executive of NutriEnto, which he founded in 2019 to farm insects as a better alternative to traditional feeds for fish. Previously, Kristian worked in aquaculture in Australia and in agribusiness in Kenya where he set up large scale agricultural processing facilities with both private sector and government contracts. He studied agribusiness with a major in aquaculture at university in Perth, Australia. A sports and travel enthusiast, Kristian is driven to work for a better Kenya and is determined to see its natural beauty preserved.
Justus Wekesa Wanjala
Justus is an Aquaculture Fellow currently working as Chief Fisheries Officer in Meru County. Since 2010 Justus has implemented many aquaculture projects at the county level, key among them the Kenya Productivity and Agribusiness Project and Fish Farming Enterprise Productivity Programme under the economic stimulus programme. Through these projects, he was able to build capacity of farmers by offering extension and training as well as mobilizing them into groups to pool resources to address supply and demand challenges. As a result of this, many smallholder farmers have taken up fish farming, entrenching aquaculture and fish eating in a county with no history of the practices. Justus is currently implementing two projects on fisheries and food safety funded by IFAD and AgriFI Kenya. In his personal capacity as a consultant, Justus has conducted suitability and infrastructure mapping research in 15 aquaculture potential counties in Kenya. He holds a BSc in Fisheries from Moi University and an MSc in Aquaculture from Ghent University (Belgium).
Frederick Juma Ouma
Fredrick is an Aquaculture Fellow with over 10 years of experience in dissemination of agricultural technologies and community development. In 2018, he founded Hydro Victoria Fish Hatchery Farm, a social entrepreneurship institution directly driving livelihoods of 2,130 smallholder farmers and indirectly impacting 10,560 people in households through insect-biocircular economy, fish-poultry feed and seeds. The initiative won a results-based-loan from Kenya Climate Ventures (Business School-Strathmore University) funded by EU-Embassy of Denmark. Previously, he worked with Kickstart International, Africa Development Solutions and ACDIVOCA-USA as monitoring, evaluation and learning manager in northern Kenya. Fredrick is a member of Steering Research and Innovations for Global Goals team which won a two-year grant funded by UNDP and jointly implemented by University of Sussex and University of Pretoria in South Africa (Graduate School of Technology Management). He has a BSc in Environmental Science from Egerton University and an MSc. in Geospatial Information Systems and Remote Sensing from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture Technology.
Dr Erick Ogello
Erick is an Aquaculture Fellow and scholar teaching in the Department of Fisheries and Natural Resources, Maseno University. He previously worked as a research scientist at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute for 10 years, where he also served as the Director for Kegati and Sangoro Aquaculture Research Centres. His research interests include fisheries science, limnology, aquaculture value chain and blue economy. Erick is currently running three donor projects, namely: Climate Smart Fish Culture Systems Project, funded by the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project; Artemia production for sustainable coastal aquaculture, funded by Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association, and Blue-cycling: Integrated Aquaculture and Agriculture for Resource Efficient Food Production, funded by Food Systems and Climate – Horizon-2020. He has published over 70 scholarly articles in peer reviewed international journals, and presented papers at several local and international scientific conferences. He holds a PhD in Fisheries Science from Nagasaki University, Japan, an MSc in Aquaculture from Ghent University, Belgium, and a BSc in Fisheries from Moi University, Kenya. He is a member of Eastern African Water Association (EAWA) and Aquaculture Association of Kenya
Dave Okech is an Aquaculture Fellow and a social entrepreneur who believes in inclusive development. In 2018, he launched his flagship aquaculture innovation, “AquaRech App”, a mobile application that has connected more than 3,000 small-scale fish farmers directly to the market. Benefits go beyond simply the economic: the mobile app gives women the tools and platform to purchase fish without engaging in the sex-for-fish trade, an entrenched issue in the Lake Victoria region. A serial innovator, his first foray into small scale innovations was solar-powered egg incubators that cut overheads for poultry farmers and increased earnings by more than 60%. Dave founded the Cage Fish Farmers Association of Kenya to advocate for cage fish farming policy in Kenya to secure the needs of the small farmers. Dave has won several international awards for his work, including Mandela Washington Fellow 2016, Acumen Fellow 2019, and Global Farmer Network Fellow 2020. Dave is committed to building from the ground up an inclusive aquaculture ecosystem, for the well-being of all Kenyans. He has a diploma in actuarial science.
Alex Akidiva Amuyunzu
Alex is an Aquaculture Fellow working with county governments to promote aquaculture production in Kenya. He has over ten years of experience in aquatic resource management and is currently an Aquaculture Programme Officer with the Micro Enterprises Support Programme Trust - MESPT. Major achievements include securing accreditation for 13 technical institutes to offer competency based education and training in aquaculture, dairy and horticulture. Previously, Alex was lead aquaculture researcher at Agro-Science Park Fish, Egerton University, where he oversaw rehabilitation of the fish farm and construction of a fish hatchery. He has also worked with leading farms in Kenya such as Makindi and Kamuthanga recirculatory aquaculture farms, Mwea fish farm and Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute. A fisheries graduate of Egerton University, Alex has published his research in academic journals.
Justus is the Chief Fisheries Officer in the Directorate of Aquaculture in Meru County. He has been involved in implementation of different projects at the county level including; Kenya Productivity and Agribusiness Project (KAPAP), Fish Farming Enterprise productivity program (FFEPP) under the economic stimulus program (ESP) among others. Through this projects, he was able to capacity build farmers by offering extension and training, mobilizing them into different farmer organization in the effort to deal with logistical challenges. Since then, fish farming has taken shape and fish eating culture has become acceptable to a large extent in this region where fish farming and eating was not a tradition.