Mar 4, 2021
#IWD2021: Celebrating Women Leading Agricultural Research and Development in Africa

A 2017 study revealed that only 24 percent of agricultural researchers in sub-Saharan Africa are women, and only 14 percent of those in leadership positions in agricultural research are women. These statistics not only mean we are failing to benefit from all the expertise we have or can have, but that we are also lagging in agricultural development as a result. We need to pay attention to the numbers of women in leadership positions in Africa’s agricultural research and development by highlighting the gender gap, investing in bridging the gap, and celebrating the milestones toward supporting women to grow and thrive as leaders of agricultural research and development.

As we commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day, themed “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World”, we at AWARD will be running a three-week social media campaign featuring #womeninagresearch and how they are contributing toward agricultural-driven development across Africa. We know that the COVID-19 pandemic did shake our health systems and massively disrupted agricultural production and our food systems.

The campaign will celebrate women leading agricultural research and development. It will keep the discussions going beyond March 8, culminating in an interactive dialogue on March 31, 20201 (details to be shared here soon).

We will spotlight some of the AWARD Fellows and other leading and emerging women in agricultural research and development across Africa by sharing their thoughts and stories on women and leadership.

We will also share statistics on the number of women who have gone through the flagship AWARD Fellowship. We will be breaking down the numbers, shed light on where these women are located, the types of institutions they represent, and the kinds of agricultural research they are leading.

AWARD has, since 2008, been working to widen the pipeline of women in leadership by investing in accelerating the careers of Africa’s leading women agricultural scientists. Through our flagship initiative, the AWARD Fellowship, we cultivate a growing pool of women to be effective and influential agricultural research leaders. We also invest in building their skills to become scientists of uncompromising quality generating innovations that respond to smallholders’ needs.

We are proud of the AWARD Fellows and other AWARD champions we look forward to honoring and celebrating in the coming weeks.

We invite you to participate in the campaign by following our Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn activity. Join the conversations using the hashtag #womeninagresearch and the official IWD hashtag, #IWD2021. Please share with us your thoughts and stories on why it is vital to invest in women’s leadership for agricultural-driven prosperity in Africa!


African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD). Hosted by World Agroforestry Centre, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri. P.O Box 30677-00100 Nairobi, Kenya.

Email: awardqueries@cifor-icraf.org | Tel: +254 (0) 20 722 4242