Eight Malawian female policy practitioners selected for fellowship in agri-food systems

African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) has selected 50 African mid-career women, including eight from Malawi, as fellows in the first cohort of its newest two-year career development program known as Gender Responsive Agriculture Systems Policy (GRASP) fellowship.

GRASP, according to a press release issued by AWARD, aims to grow a pool of confident and capable African women to lead policy changes to improve African smallholders’ livelihoods.

The 50 fellows of the inaugural cohort of the GRASP fellowship hail from six African anglophone countries—Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia.

Sarah Mubiru and Esther Lugwana of Sow and Grow foundation and AWARD Fellows, in Jinja District Uganda on a pre-testing a diary Survey visit Fred Wambi, who is Cross Farming (New breed of cattle and not the traditional breeds only) in the village of Buleeba

The women are drawn from diverse organisations including private sector, non-governmental organisations and government agencies.

The 50 fellows are set to participate in a series of interventions designed to enable them to become more effective policy practitioners.

“They will receive tailored training that will enhance their negotiation skills to lead and navigate policy processes, equip them to design and implement gender-responsive policies, and help build collaborative relationships for impactful policy outcomes. 

“Delivered by a team of experienced and dynamic AWARD trainers and partners, the immersive career development program will also provide catalytic funding to AWARD Policy Fellows to design innovative policy-oriented projects, known as Policy Innovation Projects (PIPs),” the press release reads in part.

On Thursday, December 1st, the fellows were convened at a launch webinar that is part of a series of dialogues under the GRASP Fellowship aimed at curating conversations on how to intensify efforts toward fostering policy change for equitable agri-food systems in Africa. 

The fellows from Malawi are:

  • Grace Chilongo lecturer at Share World Open University
  • Linda Chinangwa Program Manager at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP Malawi)
  • Carolyn Munthali Principal Fisheries Officer in the Department of Fisheries in the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Beatrice Mbakaya Director of Programmes at Nkhata Bay District Council-Ministry of Local Government
  • Ponyadira Kabwaza-Corner lecturer at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Tendai Museka Head of Programs and Policy at Civil Society Agriculture Network
  • Chikumbutso Mtemwa Technical Lead-Gender at Palladium
  • Sarah Tione Principal Economist in the Planning Department/Policy and Programs Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture.

The press release adds the GRASP Fellowship came into being considering that effective policies are critical if research innovations are to provide gender-inclusive, sustainable solutions for Africa to transform its agriculture and feed its growing population. 

“The guidelines for country implementation of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) under the Malabo Declaration highlight the need for agricultural policies that will both facilitate private sector engagement and inclusive, equitable agricultural growth. Such policies require careful interrogation of the policy processes from decisions to actions”. 

It further says in order to foster knowledge and experience sharing while catalysing intergenerational networks, the GRASP Fellowship will entail a three-tiered mentoring process where each Fellow will be matched with a senior policy professional as their Mentor as well as a junior policy professional as their Mentee. 

“The mentoring trio will be supported to form coalitions that will work on the PIPs which will provide hands-on practical experience in collaborating toward gender-responsive policy development in the agricultural sector”. 

AWARD has a long legacy of enhancing women’s leadership capabilities in Africa. Since 2008, the organisation has invested in building a pool of capable, confident, and influential African women scientists to lead critical advances and innovations in the agricultural research and development sector.

To date, 617 women in agricultural research from 25 countries have been awarded various AWARD Fellowships.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Sharing is caring!

Follow us in Twitter
Read previous post:
Chakwera, Nyusi to Launch Region 5 Games 

Minister of Sports Richard Chimwendo Banda has handed over a torch to Mayor of Lilongwe City Councillor Richard Banda. Handing...