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 Rwanda work in three key impact areas: Access to Nutritious Food, Food Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Land Use.
Meet Cohort 2 of the Rwanda Fellows
Food Tech and Trade Fellows
Alice is a financial management coach/consultant working with World Food Program (WFP) – Rwanda, with a focus on farmers’ organisations. She previously worked as cooperative development manager, cooperative trainer, small and medium enterprises coordinator, and cooperative financial analyst. She holds a Master’s Degree in Cooperative and Community Development from Sokonie University/ MUCCOBS campus in Tanzania.
Augustin is a private sector development and engagement expert with extensive experience working with different agriculture stakeholders including the government, donors and civil society. He specializes in value chain development, policy analysis, rural infrastructure development (including roads, markets and irrigation) and food security/safety. He holds a Masters’ degree in Agricultural Economics from Wageningen University.
Bruce is an agriculture engineer and young entrepreneur who leads Farmoja ltd, an agritech start-up that manufactures tools to support farmers in increasing production through use of sensor technology that gives real-time soil data, controls irrigation systems, and applies precision farming. His career has also seen him involved in training rural communities living in extreme poverty on how to strive for self-reliance, and teaching rural women cooperatives to build model kitchen gardens that resist harsh weather to fight malnutrition. He holds a diploma in Cross-border Agriculture from Kinneret College, Jordan valley, Israel, and is currently pursuing an MBA.
Gilberthe Uwera Benimana
Gilberthe is a research analyst at the International Food Policy Research Institute-Rwanda where her data-driven, evidence-based work contributes toward agricultural policy formulation and advisory. She has been involved in in-depth analysis of Rwanda’s agricultural sector and food system, including issues pertaining to public spending prioritization, farm input subsidies, land and poverty. She has also worked on projects that are aimed to empower girls and young women in underrepresented communities in Rwanda. She holds a collaborative Master’s Degree in Agriculture and Applied Economics from the University of Nairobi.
Ninsiima Innocent Ihinda
Nansiima is external relations specialist with over 10 years of combined experience in legal and corporate affairs, policy, strategic communications & partnerships development/management, and compliance. He has worked in both the renewable energy sector and the Agri – Expo sector across Rwanda, Kenya, DRC and Togo. Nansiima was Rwanda’s first Youth Representative to the Commonwealth, and is an advocate of SDGs across Africa though the Resilient 40. He holds a Law Degree from the Open University of Tanzania.
Segond Fidens Iragena
Segond has since July 2018 been leading an online grocery store Park&Pick, which offers home delivery services: buying from partner vendors/farms; cleaning, sorting, packaging; and delivering up to 208 types of fresh agricultural products and basic commodities to homes and businesses around Kigali. This has helped him gain an understanding of his customers needs, allowing him to organize more efficient logistics and ease the way people access quality fresh food in urban communities across the continent. He holds Master’s Degree in Applied Economics (Innovation Management).
Therese is an agri-business advisor who oversees over 20 horticultural SMEs supports them with accessing finance to market linkages. Her main success has been contributing to the success of HortInvest, which facilitates SMEs in exporting fruits and vegetables to markets in Europe and Dubai, thus enhancing Rwanda’s horticultural export. She is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Development Studies at Mount Kenya University.
Julien Gael Irakoze
Julien is an agronomist working with True Blossom Ltd. His work involves conducting field trials for new crops/flowers and has since June 2021 worked on a partnership to produce Ranunculus Asiaticus flowers for export to the Netherlands. He previously worked with rural Nyamagabe District farmers on ways to improve coffee production. He holds a bachelor’s degree in soil science and environmental management from University of Rwanda.
Fidele is an agriculture finance consultant providing local companies with project management, production costing, profitability analysis, fund seeking, market relations and farm financial model development. Over the years he has worked to link Rwandan exporters to quality, low cost and reliable packaging materials abroad for fruits and vegetables. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Accounting from University of Rwanda.
Jennifer is a strategy and operations senior analyst at One Acre Fund Rwanda. She has worked on the Future of Farmer Finance Initiative, which seeks to improve existing and develop new, innovative financial opportunities for farmers to support them on their pathway to prosperity. She is very excited to apply her skills and experience, and gain new insights from peers to drive change in the Rwandan Food System. She holds a Master’s Degree in Development Practice from University of California at Berkeley.
Sylvie is an agricultural economist and Country Manager of Stichting IDH Rwanda. She currently works with farmers and the private sector towards improving their working conditions, nutrition, and livelihoods. She has successfully managed various projects in agriculture targeting export market development, food systems transformation towards creation of better jobs, better income and better environment. Her motivation is to use available natural resources sustainably to feed the growing population, and using technology to reduce food losses. Sylvie has a Masters Degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Nairobi.
Samson is senior accountant for IMARB Group Ltd, one of the leading players in the garlic supply value chain in Rwanda. He has been meeting the accounting needs of individuals and companies in agribusinesses and agro processing subsectors in Rwanda. Samson is completely deaf. He says that his deafness is a constant challenge for him in daily life, but it has not prevented him from reaching his academic, career and professional goals. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Hendrix College, United States.
Access to Nutritious Food Fellows
Christella is an Access to Nutritious Food Fellow and a rural development and natural resource management expert with experience advising cooperatives and communities on livelihood, gender, governance and food security programmes. As the Agriculture Adviser at Koperative Duhinge Ikigori Kanjongo, she educates the members, a majority of them small-scale famers, on proper use of seeds and fertiliser, crop management, and soil management to improve maize, beans, and cabbage production in the Kanjongo area. Notable achievements include being one of the 20 women selected by Economic Policy Research Network and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung to participate in discussions on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in East Africa. Christella also helped develop an overview of national economic strategies under Rwanda’s Vision 2050 between February and October 2021. She holds an MSc in Rural Development and Natural Resources Management from Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
Godfrey is an agronomist and a project management practitioner who works for Gardens for Health International as head of agriculture and partnerships. He is passionate about working with farmers in developing community-based solutions to improve resilience to climate change. His career has seen him take part in implementing and monitoring programmes within international and national NGOs where he managed food security, nutrition, community economic empowerment and humanitarian programs. He holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Economics from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
Hyacinthe is a research associate with extensive experience in agricultural quantitative, qualitative and participatory research design, implementation and analysis. She works with International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) as project research associate on a novel digital and crowdsourced citizen science approach called Tricot project. In particular, she has led participatory field experiments with farmers and consumers who selected best crop varieties suitable to their preferences across Rwanda. She is a PhD candidate at Wageningen University & Research in Farming Systems Analytics.
Ildephonse is a Lecturer at INES-Ruhengeri, and regional coordinator for Central Africa at Thought for Food. He is passionate about applying agro-products processing skills, food science and technology skills, communication and leadership skills to bring about positive changes in food systems and feed the world. He holds a Ph.D. in Agro-products Processing and Utilization from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Jean de la Croix Imbabazi
Jean de la Croix is a nutritionist and public health practitioner with keen interest in multi-sectoral links between agriculture, human nutrition, and health. He has worked with government, international and non-governmental organisations, always looking to promote pro-poor agricultural development, reduce food and nutrition insecurity, and improve the health and nutrition of the most vulnerable people. He is a Master’s Degree candidate in International Health Management at the International Telematics University Uninettuno, Italy.
Justus is a nutrition officer at the school feeding unit of the Rwanda Ministry of Education. He describes himself as an ambitious and dedicated nutrition and dietetics expert with experience in project implementation, policy development, research, data analysis and interpretation, and nutrition education and counseling. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Rwanda, College of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Marie Rose Umutoni
Marie Rose is a development practitioner. She has worked on different agriculture projects, including assessing the food safety situation for horticulture crops and fruits, as well as forest management plans. She worked as a district watershed officer for a project in three districts of Rwanda targeting more than 9000 smallholder farmers. She holds a Master’s Degree in Rural Development and Food Security from VHL University of Applied Science (Holland).
Lise Janviere Amizero Igihozo
Lise Janviere is a food scientist using her experience to develop and improve healthy and nutritious products so as to achieve zero hunger. She emerged among winners of the WFP Ignite Food systems challenge where she demonstrated innovative solutions of addressing challenges in food systems and contributing towards food security in Rwanda. Her solution focuses on processing banana fruits into chips to reduce banana postharvest loss while increasing revenues for farmers. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science and Technology from the University of Rwanda.
Edith is a nutrition expert licensed by Rwanda Allied Health Professional Council. Her career has seen her take part in nutrition sensitive projects aimed towards behaviour change interventions as well as raising consumers' awareness. She recently worked as the nutrition advisor leading the food and nutrition Security component of the Investing in Horticultural development project (HortInvest) in Rwanda which is funded by the Dutch Embassy. She is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Health at University of Rwanda.
Joselyne is a public health practitioner with experience in public health and nutrition in the humanitarian and development context. She has worked with various NGOs and UN agencies in Rwanda to support public health surveillance, and prevention and control of malnutrition. She is in the process of publishing research on prevalence and determinants of malnutrition among people living with HIV in the hospital. Joselyne holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Mount Kenya University.
Jean Felix Mizero
Jean Felix is the founder of Nutrition Advisory Council Rwanda, a youth social company which aims to achieve food security through a sustainable agriculture value chain to improve nutrition. He is a private consultant specializing in good agriculture practices, post-harvest losses management, good manufacturing practices and good hygienic practices as required in food industries to fulfill standards requirements. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science and Technology from Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, KIST.
Colombe is the founder and managing director of Ruco farm, a local company involved in producing and processing macadamia nuts while also producing high quality macadamia seedlings for farmers and contributing to modern agriculture. She has also attended several trainings abroad including a one year of modern agriculture professional training in the state of Israel, which equipped her with the knowledge, skills and experience that created a great opportunity for her to run and manage a farming businesses. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture with a specialization in Horticulture Science from University of Rwanda.
Faustin is a program manager at Gardens for Health International. He leads the program to address malnutrition among pregnant and lactating women, children and households. The program reached over 20,000 families over the last decade, and is highly regarded by food and nutrition stakeholders for building capacities of local organizations. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science and Public Administration from University of Rwanda.
Emerence Mukangabo is a research coordinator with extensive experience in community nutrition, rural development, agriculture, food security and gender with particular interest in the nutrition of women and children under five. She has supported a project on the efficacy of bio fortified beans in improving the iron status of Rwandan women of reproductive age. The success of this work helped Rwanda to introduce high iron beans to tackle the high rate of anaemia the country. She holds a Master’s Degree in Management of Development from Van Hall Larenstein, University of Applied sciences in the Netherlands.
Rosemary works with One Acre Fund in Rwanda as a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning associate. Her work has largely entailed designing impact evaluation strategies for the organization which includes leading data collection and analysis to understand program impact and make recommendations to teams on strategies that are more impactful and sustainable for the organization. The nature of the projects evaluated have ranged from agroforestry to market access and agriculture. She holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from University of Malawi.
Jean Marie Ntakirutimana
Jean Marie is a business advisor and agribusiness expert with 10 years’ of work experience in the agricultural cooperative and SMEs development sector. His experience includes working with farmer-led businesses, women, and youth in agribusiness, funds management, and market and business linkages. His work as a mentor, trainer, coach, facilitator, and moderator has led to the formation of cooperatives of over 3000 sugar cane farmers, and attracted over 400,000 Euros in funding. He holds a Master’s Degree in Agriculture and Applied Economics from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
Sustainable Land Use Fellows
Benjamin works at Go&Grow Farm Solutions where he provides technical support to Rwandan export SMEs to increase production volumes and meet the quality requirements for export premium markets. Living in the Netherlands, he dedicated his working life to the Dutch African Agribusiness sector where he delivered sustainable farm solutions to agricultural businesses in Africa. He has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Sciences from Wageningen University & Research.
Eric works as a data and GIS specialist on Rwanda Soil Information Services, a project run by Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board. His work involves designing data collection frameworks, mapping fertilizer recommendations and appropriate erosion measures around the country. He has worked in the past as a land use analyst, utility spatial planning, and on the preparation of national and district land use master plans. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science in Geo-information and Earth Observation from the University of Twente in the Netherlands.
Marie Lys Irakoze
Marie Lys is the CEO & Founder of Keza Farm, which she started in order to alleviate hunger in her community. She has been doing research on adding value to traditional vegetables using fermentation in a bid to contribute to food security, nutrition, and economic development. She holds a Master's Degree in Food Science and Technology from the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology – Kenya.
Moussa Senge Kyembwa
Moussa is a program delivery and system improvement manager at One Acre Fund – Rwanda. His roles involve coordinating partnerships with stakeholders to design, implement and monitor the National Agriculture Extension Advisory Services locally known as Twigire muhinzi. His main motivation is to initiate new processes that would resolve challenges that Rwandan farmers face around access to agriculture inputs, skills and knowledge. He is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Agroforestry and Soil Management at University of Rwanda.
Sylvie is a technical expert at Cleaner Production and Climate Innovation Centre (CPCIP). She is also a trainer in sustainability, resource efficiency and circular economy, and does awareness raising for SMEs and private sector actors in adoption of responsible consumption and production including circular practices. Previously she worked as certification officer with Rwanda Standards Board (RSB). She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Chemistry from University of Rwanda.
Brian Nicholas Neza
Brian is a project manager with over a decade of experience in food security and conservation agriculture. He leads teams that develop proposals and raise funding for project on food security, nutrition, good agronomic practices, and conservation agriculture. He is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Business Adminstration at the University of Suffolk in the United Kingdom.
Richard is a program officer with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), working with local partners to contribute to the efforts of alleviating food insecurity and poverty in vulnerable communities in Rubavu, Musanze, Burera, Gicumbi, Nyamagabe, Ruhango, Bugesera and Kayonza districts. He has worked on projects which have contributed to sustainable land use and improved the nutrition status of communities. He holds a Master’s Degree in Project management from University of Kigali.