A High-level Side Event on “Gender Responsive Policies as Drivers of Innovative Solutions for Equitable Agri-food Systems”
When: September 4, 2023 Time: 2:00 pm-3:30 pm EAT Location: Mt. Kilimanjaro room, Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre, Dar es Salaam

A new FAO Report (2023) that provides a comprehensive picture of the status of women in agri-food systems finds that whilst there has been some progress, there persists substantial gender inequalities in agri-food systems. The report further highlights the need to intensify efforts toward policy reforms to ensure that agricultural and climate change policies specifically address gender equality and women’s empowerment.

In collaboration with the African Food Changemakers, AWARD hosted a successful side event that drew attention to the importance of gender-responsive agricultural policies and programs for equitable agri-food systems.

The event also illuminated the innovations and contributions of African women in the food industry. By highlighting their achievements, we drew learnings from what is working and fostered discussion on ways to advance gender equity in the system.

With a focus on diversity, the event also featured a culmination of the Leading African Women in Food Fellowship program. This gave the attendees a chance to meet these incredible women, learn about their impactful work, and discover the transformative outcomes of the program.

• Present Africa-led initiatives that are supporting policy reforms to drive equitable, gender-responsive food systems.
• Showcase African women’s contributions and achievements in the food industry.
• Address the barriers that hinder the increased participation of women in the food industry.
• Amplify the voices of underrepresented players, including young innovators and provide a forum to foster collaborations among African actors working on similar priorities.

Key questions
• What are some of the gender gaps in agricultural policies?
• What are the priority areas of action to promote gender-responsive agricultural policies?
• What are some of the successful policy processes we can scale up?
• What are the opportunities for inter-sectoral collaborations to move the needle toward equitable policies?
• How can we achieve well-designed policies to close the gender gap in agriculture?
• What are the main innovations and impacts of women in the food industry?
• What are the main barriers that hinder the increased participation of women in the food industry?
• How can we foster connections and collaborations among African women in the food sector?
• What are the key lessons/callouts from the LAWFF program?


  • Ms. Dorine Odongo, Senior Communications Manager, African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD)

Keynote Address

  • Ms. Dina Esposito, Assistant to the Administrator, Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, Feed the Future Deputy Coordinator for Development, and the Agency’s Global Food Crisis Coordinator, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)


  • Dr. Nicoline de Hann, Director, CGIAR GENDER Impact Platform
  • Dr. Susan Kaaria, Director, African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD)
  • Dr. Nomathemba Mhlanga-Agribusiness Officer, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • Dr. Lilian Kirimi, Senior Research Fellow and Research Coordinator, Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development
  • Ms. Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli-Founder and Executive Chair, Sahel Consulting: Agriculture & Nutrition Ltd

Fireside chat featuring leading women revolutionizing African agri-food


  • Ms. Anne Obize, Communications Officer, African Food Changemakers


  • Ms. Olutayo Adeyemi, National Nutritional Consultant
  • Ms. Chantelle de Bruyn, Buttercup Farmhouse
  • Ms. Jacqueline Joyreen Banda, Jeyie Foods
  • Ms. Moyosoreoluwa Odunfa, The Atije Experience
  • Ms. Anne Kirya, For Food’s Sake Eat

View photos from the event.


AWARD Side Event at the 2023 AGRF Summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


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

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