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
, 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