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Hervé Bouagnimbeck is an engineer in organic agriculture. Hervé has more than 15 years of experience in the development of organic agriculture. In Cameroon, Hervé is currently putting his experience into practice for the development of local markets for organic products. A Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) has been set up as the primary means by which producers are certified and organized to feed and develop the local organic market. Prior to working in Cameroon, Hervé was IFOAM-Organics International’s Africa Office Coordinator for 7 years.
Anne Wanjiku Maina is the National Coordinator of BIBA Kenya (formerly Kenya Boodiversity Coalition) who has been actively working on challenging false solutions being pushed in Africa like Genetically Engineering, the push for a green revolution in Africa, biofuels and carbon markets as a strategy to cope with climate change in Africa. Anne articulates these issues at the national, regional and international level in forums such as the UNFCCC and the CBD. She is continuously engaged in conducting capacity building and campaigning on these issues in eastern, southern and West Africa.
Bibi Giyose is senior nutrition and food systems officer, and special advisor to the NEPAD CEO. Previously, she advised the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Planning and Coordinating Agency, an organ of the African Union, on the same, and was an UNDP/UNAIDS regional project coordinator for HIV and nutrition. She holds an M.S. in international nutrition from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, USA and a B.S. in nutrition and dietetics from Appalachian State University – Boone, NC, USA.
Dr. Naudé Malan is Senior Lecturer in Development Studies at the University of Johannesburg. He is the convener of the multi-stakeholder engagement project Izindaba Zokudla that aims to create opportunities for urban agriculture in a sustainable food system in Soweto. The project engages with and links urban farmers, entrepreneurs, academics, civil servants and other stakeholders and aims at participatory technology and enterprise development.
Fatimah Kelleher is a Pan African feminist technical adviser/strategist engaged in feminist advocacy, research and advice. Fatimah has worked primarily on African transformational trajectories, with a focus on challenging economic and other development orthodoxies in particular.
Andrew Bennie has worked in grassroots organising, research and advocacy around the solidarity economy and food sovereignty in South Africa. He works in research and advocacy at the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), which is based in Johannesburg. He is currently writing his PhD on the agrarian question and food politics in South Africa.
Appolinaire is President of GRABE Benin (Research and Action Group for Well-Being In Benin). GRABE works for the conservation of natural resources based on the knowledge of our ancestors and intergenerational dialogue. Appolinaire studied natural sciences and geography in Benin and then abroad, before working in Kenya with Professor Wangari Maathai on the Green Belt Movement, and in South Africa, during Nelson Mandela’s lifetime, on intergenerational transmission with an approach known there as “M’bewu” and SEGNI (Social Empowerment through Group and Nature Interaction) in Ethiopia.
Cecilia Moraa Onyango (PhD) is an Associate professor of Horticulture at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. She has over 18 years of experience in training, research and community outreach in the areas of crop production systems, postharvest handling, standards and food safety. The main focus of her research work has been on sustainable African traditional crops’ production and utilization. Cecilia distinguishes herself as a scholar who embraces a systems thinking approach to create sustainable food systems for food security and nutrition.
Susan Nakacwa is a programme officer at GRAIN. Her passion lies in researching, documenting and making the case for agroecology, healthy food and smallholder farming on the African continent. She strongly believes that smallholder farmers are the custodians of healthy and sustainable agricultural practices and are our only hope in fixing our broken food system.
Dr. Allison Marie Loconto is a Sustainable Trade and Innovation Expert at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). She is also Deputy Director of the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Science, Innovation and Society (LISIS) and a Senior Researcher at the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE). With 20 years of experience in international development and research, she focuses on the governance of transitions to sustainable food systems, specifically on the metrics, markets, standards and systems of certification that are part of emerging institutional innovations. Dr. Loconto is on the editorial boards of the following academic journals: Agriculture and Human Values, the International Journal of the Sociology of Agriculture, and Food and Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems: Social Movements, Institutions and Governance.
Scott has more than two decades of research and teaching expertise related to food systems, livelihoods and vulnerability in Africa, with in-depth knowledge of food and nutrition security. Taking a largely political economy lens, he has focused primarily on food policy and the facilitation of new institutional arrangements for food system governance. He has wide-ranging skills in cross-disciplinary research and has directed the Southern Africa Food Lab (www.southernafricafoodlab.org) since 2013. This is a multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together stakeholders in the regional food system to identify and pilot innovative means to achieve long-term, sustainable food security.
Gertrude Pswarayi-Jabson is the Country Coordinator for the Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Zimbabwe. For the past 15 years, she has been working with Civil Society Organisations to raise consciousness on agroecology, food systems, gender, information and communication technologies and livelihoods on practical and political intervention level. She holds a MSc. degree in Development Studies and a BSc. Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. Gertrude is a social entrepreneur, an award-winning journalist and a feminist. Currently, Gertrude is studying Earth Jurisprudence, an emerging field of law that encompasses both environmental and legal practice. She has extensive experience on diverse social issues working with marginalized groups in Southern Africa.
Pat Mooney has more than four decades experience working in international civil society, first addressing aid and development issues and then focusing on food, agriculture and commodity trade. In 1977 Mooney co-founded RAFI (Rural Advancement Fund International, renamed ETC Group in 2001). He received The Right Livelihood Award (the “Alternative Nobel Prize”) in the Swedish Parliament in 1985 and the Pearson Peace Prize from Canada’s Governor General in 1998. He has also received the American “Giraffe Award” given to people “who stick their necks out.” Pat Mooney is widely regarded as an authority on issues of global governance, corporate concentration, and intellectual property monopoly.
Dr Lokosang is a national of South Sudan and currently serves as Advisor for Food and Nutrition Security of the African Union’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). An alumni of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), University of Reading (UK) and the University of Juba (South Sudan), Dr. Lokosang holds a PhD in Statistics, and an MSc in Biometry and Food. He has published a number of peer reviewed articles on food security, livelihoods, resilience and nutrition. With a career spanning 33 years, Lailà served in various consultancy roles in management information systems design, database design, community health and livelihoods surveillance and disaster risk analysis as contracted by international organizations and UN agencies.
Million Belay is the General Coordinator of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty for Africa, an alliance of major networks in Africa. He was a founder and director of MELCA – Ethiopia, an indigenous NGO working on issues of agro-ecology, intergenerational learning, advocacy and livelihood improvement of local and indigenous peoples. Million has been working over two decades on the issues of intergenerational learning of bio-cultural diversity, sustainable agriculture, the right of local communities for seed and food sovereignty and forest issues. His main interest is now advocacy on food sovereignty, learning among generations, knowledge dialogues and the use of participatory mapping for social learning, identity building and mobilization of memory for resilience. He has PhD in environmental learning and MsC in tourism and conservation and BsC in Biology.
Chris is the Regional Director for Africa at World Neighbors, an international development organization. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, he leads World Neighbors’ development team in five African countries.
With a Ph.D. in Urban Geography and Planning from the University of Cambridge, and – over 20 years of university teaching and research – Chris rose to the position of Associate Professor of the University of Nairobi, Kenya. He has over 15 years of international development work, currently managing programs that focus on sustainable agriculture, livelihoods, natural resources management, and community and reproductive health.
Chris co-chairs Prolinnova Oversight Group, an international network focusing on innovation and experimentation by smallholder farmers. He is the current Chairperson of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA).
Bethule is Programs Manager at TrustAfrica, a pan-African Foundation that works to advance responsible citizens, accountable governance and equitable development in Africa. Bethule holds a PhD in Agriculture and coordinates TrustAfrica’s work in food and agriculture policy advocacy, economic and climate justice. Bethule has contributed to building civil society capacity in transformational leadership, policy analysis and building strong institutions.
Nnimmo Bassey is director of the ecological think tank Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and a member of the steering committee of Oilwatch International. He was chair of Friends of the Earth International (2008-2012) and executive director of Nigeria’s Environmental Rights Action (1993-2013). He was a co-recipient of the 2010 Right Livelihood Award, also known as the “Alternative Noble Prize.” In 2012 he received the Rafto Human Rights Award. In 2014 he received Nigeria’s national honor as Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) in recognition of his environmental activism. Bassey is a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Architects and has authored books on the environment, architecture, and poetry.
Mariam is the founder and Executive Director of the African Centre for Biodiversity. She holds BA LLB and LLM degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Under Mariam’s leadership, the ACB has produced a respected record of evidence-based work and plays a vital role in food sovereignty struggles on the African continent.
Olivier is co-chair of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) and since May 2020 is the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. He also served as UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food from 2008 until 2014 and was elected to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights from 2014 to 2020. He is a Professor at the Catholic University of Louvain and at the College of Europe (Natolin). He is also a Member of the Global Law School Faculty at New York University and is Visiting Professor at Columbia University. His publications are in the area of international human rights and fundamental rights in the EU, with a particular emphasis on economic and social rights and on the relationship between human rights and governance.
Mariama Sonko est la présidente du mouvement international “Nous sommes la solution”, un réseau de 800 associations de femmes rurales dans sept pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest (Burkina Faso, Gambie, Ghana, Guinée Conakry, Guinée Bissau, Mali et Sénégal). Elle se bat pour les droits humains et socio-économiques des femmes et des jeunes. Originaire du sud-ouest du Sénégal, elle a rejoint le mouvement en 1990 et depuis lors, elle soutient et développe les connaissances et les pratiques agricoles locales. Mère de cinq enfants, ses propres produits agricoles constituent la base de l’alimentation de sa famille. La vision de Mariama est celle d’une Afrique unique, où, par solidarité, les paysans participent aux décisions et cultivent, transforment, consomment et vendent les produits de l’agriculture familiale africaine tout en préservant l’environnement.
Elizabeth Mpofu est la coordinatrice générale de La Via Campesina, un mouvement international de paysans qui compte 200 millions de membres provenant de 73 pays d’Afrique, d’Asie, d’Europe et des Amériques. Elle est une agricultrice biologique et une activiste basée à Masvingo, au Zimbabwe. Elle a consacré sa vie à travailler sans relâche à l’amélioration des conditions de vie des petits exploitants agricoles sur les questions d’agroécologie, de souveraineté alimentaire, d’agriculture régénérative et de droits des femmes et des filles.
Charles Dhewa a grandi avec de la bouse de vache entre les orteils dans le district de Gokwe North au Zimbabwe, où l’agriculture reste la principale source de revenus. Il est le directeur général de Knowledge Transfer Africa (Pvt) Ltd (www.knowledgetransafrica.com) qu’il a fondé en 2006. Travaillant à l’intersection des marchés agricoles formels et informels, son organisation a mis en place une plateforme fluide de connaissances et d’informations appelée eMKambo (www.emkambo.co.zw) qui suit les tendances et veille à ce que les chaînes de valeur agricoles soient animées par la connaissance, la technologie et l’innovation. Il s’efforce en permanence de clarifier les opportunités et d’influencer les politiques grâce à son blog de réflexion https://emkambo.wordpress.com
Mamadou GOÏTA (PhD), est un socio-économiste du développement du Mali. Il est le directeur exécutif de l’Institut de recherche et de promotion des alternatives en développement, un Think & Do Tank au statut scientifique et académique. Avant de rejoindre l’IRPAD, il a travaillé pour l’UNICEF au Mali, le PNUD au Togo et au Burkina Faso et plusieurs ONG internationales, dont ACORD et OXFAM-Belgique. Il est actif dans les mouvements sociaux et travaille avec les organisations paysannes et leurs réseaux en Afrique. Il a participé à la coordination du Forum mondial de la souveraineté alimentaire au centre Nyéleni (Mali-2007) et est l’un des membres fondateurs de l’AFSA. Il est membre de l’IPES-Food et a été l’auteur principal d’un rapport de l’IPES-Food intitulé “The Added Value(s) of Agroecology” : Libérer le potentiel de transition en Afrique de l’Ouest”. ”
Jen Astone est une activiste financière et une dirigeante philanthropique. Elle a fondé Integrated Capital Investing pour inciter les fondations à investir leurs fonds de dotation dans des économies régénératives et des systèmes alimentaires sains. Elle a été directrice exécutive de la Fondation Swift et de la Fondation Firelight et a occupé des postes de programme au Fonds mondial pour les femmes et à la Fondation pour le développement de l’Afrique, finançant des travaux dans plus de 25 pays africains. Chercheuse, militante et créatrice de coalitions axées sur des solutions de mouvement dirigées par les communautés, Jen a contribué au lancement du Fonds pour l’agroécologie et de l’initiative Transformational Investing in Food Systems. Jen a obtenu son doctorat en anthropologie basé sur le travail de terrain sur le genre et l’agriculture en Guinée, en Afrique de l’Ouest.
Mariama Sonko is the Chair of the international movement “We Are the Solution”, a network of 800 Rural Women’s Associations in seven countries of West Africa (Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Mali, and Senegal). She fights for the human and socio-economic rights of women and youth.
From southwestern Senegal, she joined the movement in 1990 and since then has been supporting and developing local knowledge and farming practices. The mother of five children, her own agricultural produce is the basis of her family’s diet. Mariama’s vision is One Africa, wherein solidarity the peasants are involved in decision-making and cultivate, process, consume and sell the products of African family farming while preserving the environment.
Jen Astone is a financial activist and philanthropic leader. She founded Integrated Capital Investing to catalyze foundations to invest their endowments in regenerative economies and healthy food systems. She served as Executive Director at Swift Foundation and Firelight Foundation and in program roles at the Global Fund for Women and African Development Foundation, funding work in over 25 African countries. A researcher, advocate, and coalition builder focused on community-led, movement solutions, Jen helped to launch the Agroecology Fund and the Transformational Investing in Food Systems Initiative. Jen received her PhD in anthropology based on gender and agriculture fieldwork in Guinea, West Africa.
Mamadou GOÏTA is a development socio-economist from Mali. He is the Executive Director of the Institute for Research and Promotion of Alternatives in Development, a Think & Do Tank with scientific and academic status. Before joining IRPAD, he worked for UNICEF in Mali, UNDP in Togo and Burkina Faso and several international NGOs, including ACORD and OXFAM-Belgium. He is active in social movements and works with farmer organizations and their networks in Africa. He participated in the coordination of the World Food Sovereignty Forum at Nyéleni center (Mali-2007) and is one of the founding members of AFSA. He is a member of IPES-Food and was the main author of an IPES-Food report “The Added Value(s) of Agroecology: Unlocking the potential for transition in West Africa.”
Charles Dhewa grew up with cow dung between his toes in Gokwe North district of Zimbabwe where farming remains the major source of livelihood. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Knowledge Transfer Africa (Pvt) Ltd (www.knowledgetransafrica.com) which he founded in 2006.
Working at the intersection of formal and informal agricultural markets, his organization has set up a fluid knowledge and information platform called eMKambo (www.emkambo.co.zw) which tracks trends and ensures agricultural value chains are driven by knowledge, technology, and innovation. He is always clarifying opportunities and influencing policy through his thought leadership blog https://emkambo.wordpress.com
Elizabeth Mpofu is the General Coordinator of La Via Campesina, an international peasants’ movement with a membership of 200 million farmers from 73 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
She is an organic farmer and activist based in Masvingo, Zimbabwe. She has dedicated her life to working tirelessly for the betterment of smallholder farmers on issues of agroecology, food sovereignty, regenerative agriculture, and the rights of women and girls.