African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (Award) has partnered with Agropolis Foundation to support the implementation of the Award Pan-African Fellowship initiative.
The Award Fellowships offer career-growth opportunities to Africa’s leading women agricultural scientists to ensure that a growing cohort of capable, confident and influential African women scientists is available to lead critical advances and innovations in the agriculture.
Agropolis Foundation’s funding of US$1 million (Sh102 million) will support Award in structuring its fellowship activities to maximise interactions between female scientists from francophone and Anglophone Africa.
“The partnership marks the launch of a new round of fellowships that will not only see us expand into francophone Africa, but also beyond. This year, we will include women scientists from the Pacific, Southeast Asia and Europe,” said Dr Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, Director of Award.
She said the two organisations share the same vision of supporting African agriculture and African women scientists for the continent’s prosperity.
In Francophone Africa, women perform 47 per cent of the agricultural labour, but only 16 per cent of the agricultural research labour force is female, says the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).
“This partnership will result in a number of Award Fellows being hosted in research laboratories in Montpellier (France), and to contribute to Award’s expansion in Francophone Africa,” said Dr Pascal Kosuth, Director, Agropolis Foundation.
This year’s Award Fellows includes women scientists who have been sponsored by institutions. Since 2008, AWARD Fellowships have directly benefited 1,158 agricultural scientists (84 per cent of them women) from over 300 institutions.