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Rwanda Transform Food Festival Opens In Kigali

by Daniel Sabiiti
3:09 pm

Sylvie Nirere, (middle) a Food Tech & Trade Fellow and Country Director of the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) won the top prize

   The Rwanda Food Fellowship and Festival has showcased innovations and leadership skills that will be useful in the development of Rwanda’s next Strategic Plan for Agriculture Transformation (PSTA 5).

The Rwanda transform food festival which opened June 23, 2023, in Kigali by the African Food Fellowship included recruitment of leaders to undergo cohort training and rewarding of the best innovations in food value chains, systems, and governance in Rwanda.

The festival is an inspirational gathering for food systems innovators, entrepreneurs, practitioners, and decision-makers in the government and private sector, civil society, and community.

“We are now working on the next strategy and we will need inputs and support from this fellowship, in the form of ideas or even funding where possible,” said Dr. Olivier Kamana, the Permanent Secretary of Minagri.

Dr. Olivier Kamana, the Permanent Secretary of Minagri

Dr. Kamana said that the new PSTA 5 will build on the achievements of the previous PSTA 4 which ends with June 30th this year and witnessed success in land use, and sustainable agriculture.

The Fellowship seeks to build the capacity of leaders in Rwanda to shift the power, policies, incentives, and investments that shape these sectors in order to bring about food systems transformation in the country.

The Rwanda festival served as an opportunity to expand the conversation to include actors beyond the Fellowship to forge collaborations that expedite the achievement of the desired transformation of the country’s food system.

The festival culminated in the Rwanda Food Systems Leadership Award, which honors an outstanding Fellow whose work demonstrates the impact, sustainability, and scale necessary to bring about true food systems transformation.

Sylvie Nirere, a Food Tech and Trade Fellow and Country Director of the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) was crowned the winner for her work in helping thousands of horticulture farmers in Rwanda to access international markets in Europe and the Middle East, therefore building a critical mass of topline exporters.

African Food Fellowship Regional Manager, Claudia Piacenza said the Rwanda Festival is a key ingredient of the Country Food Fellowship as it creates yet another opportunity for Fellows to come together, spend time with each other and foster a sense of belonging, which makes it possible to work on complex food system issues that require collective action.

“As we start seeing Fellows exchanging lessons and exploring opportunities to collaborate, we know we are on the right track. They are experts in their fields and are able to look at the food system in a complex way,” Piacenza said.

The third cohort will immediately start a one-year training journey that will focus on leadership in agri-business, innovations, and developing models that can improve the sector.

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