GRASP fellowship opens to female policy makers in Rwanda, more countries

Dr. Islamiyat Folashade, Senior Lecturer, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria. Dr. Islamiyat is one of the 2020 One Planet Laureate Candidates. PHOTO | AWARD |Abraham Ali

Female policy makers in Rwanda and three other African countries stand a chance to benefit from the Gender Responsive Agriculture Systems Policy (GRASP) Fellowship after organisers expanded the programme.

Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the programme targets mid-career African women in the policy field to catalyze the design and implementation of gender-responsive agricultural policies across the African continent.

In particular, participants get customized training in mentoring, leadership, negotiation skills, and integrating gender in policy that enable them “to advance policy reforms that can enable women and men smallholders to participate equally and benefit from opportunities in the agricultural sector.”

“We know that well-designed agricultural policies can close the gender gap in agriculture and rural labor markets, generate gains in agricultural output and enhance food security,” said Dr. Susan Kaaria, Director at African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD), the organization that implements the fellowship programme.

The call for GRASP Fellowship was issued Wednesday July 20. It closes on August 31, 2022.

Previous GRASP calls targeted participants from Malawi, Zambia, and Nigeria.

The fellowship organisers say the expansion builds on successful initiatives to increase gender-responsive agricultural innovation systems and foster equitable food systems.

AWARD officials say they seek, through the fellowship programme, to grow a pool of confident, capable, and influential African women to lead policy changes to improve African women and men’s smallholders’ livelihoods.

Applicants must have at least 10 years of experience in the policy field in agriculture and food systems at national, regional, or continental levels.

Details shared in the call show each Fellow will be paired with a mentor- a senior policy professional, and a mentee- a junior policy professional.

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