The latest news and highlights from AWARD
June, 2016

AWARD Director, Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, Reflects on AWARD’s Ambitious Plans for the Future

Just over two years ago, Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg took the helm as AWARD’s Director. In this interview, she describes the journey and articulates a bold new vision for AWARD’s future.

AWARD has been undergoing a strategic planning process. How are you connecting the dots between scientific innovation, gender responsiveness, and African prosperity?

"Agricultural value chains begin at the research stage and Africa cannot afford to ignore, or outsource its agricultural innovation needs. We must continue building a sustainable and resilient agricultural innovation system, ensuring that African agripreneurs, especially the farmers, have access to appropriate innovations that help them respond to Africa’s unique challenges.

AWARD Phase III will focus on supporting Africa’s agricultural innovation system to become more gender responsive: comprised of institutions and scientists whose research agendas respond to the needs and priorities of both men and women across the entire agricultural value chain. The new strategy is built on three pillars: 1; Continuing our investments in high potential African women scientists, 2; Supporting African ARD institutions to become more gender responsive, and, 3; Collating the evidence and convening conversations on the role of gender responsiveness in improve the efficiency and efficacy of African ARD". Read full interview

AWARD Fellow Wins L’Oreal UNESCO Research Fellowship

(From left) Dr. Phil Mjwara, DG Department of Science and Technology, AWARD Fellow Ifeoluwa Olotu, Dr. Peggy Oti-Boateng , Senior Programme Specialist for S&T, and Mr Sandeep Rai - Country Managing Director, L'Oréal

“Winning the L’Oréal UNESCO research fellowship amongst 12 young scientists in sub-Saharan Africa came as a pleasant surprise to me. I am particularly encouraged to be recognized and appreciated by L’Oréal UNESCO through its fellowship platform,” says Ifeoluwa Olotu, a PhD student at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Olotu won the award for her contribution in solving Africa’s food safety and security challenges. Olotu is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Her work is focused on creating a value chain for solid waste from cassava processing, through use of the waste as substrate to cultivate edible mushrooms.

The 2015 L’Oreal-UNESCO sub-Saharan awards, the 6th in the series, acknowledged the contribution of distinguished African women scientists in solving the myriad of challenges of the continent (food insecurity, water and access to health) and their contribution to global knowledge, at a prestigious ceremony in Johannesburg. Read more

Celebrating the Graduating Class of AWARD Fellows

Highlights of the 2016 Regional Progress Monitoring Meetings

AWARD Fellows, mentors, trainers, and staff in Kampala, Uganda, for the 2016 progress monitoring meeting

It was pomp and color in Kampala and Accra, where 2014 and 2015 AWARD Fellows, and mentors met to report on their career, research, and personal development transformation, over the course of their two-year AWARD fellowship.

Focused on three themes (collaboration, innovation, and transformation), this year’s regional meetings saw AWARD Fellows share their individual progress, building on their uniquely designed career purpose road maps. Read more

What AWARD Staff had to say from their experience at the 2016 Progress Monitoring Meetings

AWARD Facilitates Mentoring Session for Young Women Scholars

Young women from the Akili Dada program, after their mentorship session, and tour of the ICRAF laboratories

Members of the AWARD community shared insights with Akili Dada scholars on the importance of mentorship and choosing agriculture as a career path. The six scientists served as panelists as 31 girls from different high schools listened keenly to their respective mentoring journeys. Akili Dada was founded by AWARD Director Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg 13 years ago and serves as a leadership incubator for young women who are passionate about driving change in their communities. Scholars shared their excitement after the encounter

Featured Fellow

E-mentoring for Success

Miriam Ahunna Ofoeze, with her mentor, Prof Sanni Lateef Oladimeji

Before she participated in the e-mentoring programme, Miriam Ofoeze had reservations about the whole exercise. She now reveals how her experience with her mentor, Professor Sanni Lateef, has influenced her career. The skills she has acquired from AWARD training, have enriched her with a depth of knowledge which she draws from, when guiding her mentee.
Watch the video

Upcoming Events

AWARD Leadership Skills for Career Development
For AWARD Fellow Mentees
Accra, Ghana
June 6-9, 2016
AWARD Women’s Leadership and Management Course

For Post-Graduate AWARD Fellows
Accra, Ghana
June 19-25, 2016
AWARD Mentoring Orientation Workshop

For Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA-MOW)
Morogoro, Tanzania
June 27-30, 2016
AWARD Training of Trainers

For AWARD trainers
July 25-29, 2016

Leadership Program for Agricultural Research and Development
July 4-8, 2016
AWARD Enhancing Negotiations Skills for Women Course
Nairobi, Kenya
August 3-5, 2016
Women’s Leadership& Management Course
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CYMMT), Mexico

For Institutional partners
October 2-8, 2016.

For more information on AWARD courses for individuals, and institutions, please write to us at

Fellowship Opportunities

The American Association for the Advancement of Science
Science and Technology Policy Fellowship
Deadline: November 1, 2016
See more details

Funding and Grant Opportunities

Agribusiness Incubators Network
Application Deadline: June 30, 2016
See more details
Food and Business Applied Research
Call for Proposals
Deadline: July 5, 2016
See more details
Spain Biodiversity Foundation
Deadline: July 15, 2016
See more details
African Union Research Grants II
Call for Proposals 2016
Deadline: August 17, 2016
See more details
The German Ministry of Food and Agriculture
Call for Proposals
Deadline: September 2016
See more details
USAID’s Biodiversity Annual Program Statement (APS)
Deadline: September 26, 2016
See more details
USAID’s Livelihoods, Vulnerability, and Resilience Program (LVRP)
Call for Proposals
Application deadline: October 10, 2016
See more details


Agriculture Nutrition and Health Academy
June 20-24, 2016
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Conference website

Job Opportunities

The International Center for Tropical Agriculture
Gender Postdoctoral Fellow-LivestockPlus
Deadline: June 13, 2016
See more details

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AWARD is a catalyst for innovations with high potential to contribute to the prosperity and well-being of African smallholder farmers. We equip top women agricultural scientists across sub-Saharan Africa to accelerate agricultural gains by strengthening their research and leadership skills. Learn more at

AWARD is generously supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United States Agency for International Development, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, and Agropolis Fondation.
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