By Olamide Tejuoso
A total of 49 mid-career African women drawn from six African Anglophone countries – Ghana, Nigeria Kenya, Malawi, Uganda and Zambia – have been announced as fellows in the first cohort of the Gender Responsive Agriculture Systems Policy Fellowship, (GRASP). The fellowship, which is a three-year career development programme, is an initiative of the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) by targeting African women in agri-food policies, who can support the implementation of gender-responsive agricultural policies in Africa.
Fellows were drawn from diverse organisations including the private sector, non-governmental organisations, and government agencies. The GRASP fellowship, through mentorship, provides candidates with the much-needed support and guidance in building their skillsets and connections, which would expose participants to series of intervention programmes specifically designed to enable them and become more effective policy practitioners. The latest state of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2022 (SOFI) report revealed that while there was increased hunger globally and Africa is severely affected.
This is why these women; with their passion, dedication and expertise, would catalyse change, advocate for gender equality, inclusivity and sustainability in agricultural policies and practices, and ultimately contribute to the transformation of Africa’s agricultural landscape. Meanwhile, AWARD has extended the deadline for its second cohort till May 15, 2023. The second cohort call targets other African countries such as Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Rwanda and Senegal.