What AWARD’s 2023-2027 strategy is all about

TANZANIA, Dar es Salaam African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) has successfully unveiled its 2023-2027 strategy in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday evening. The five-year dossier focuses on three main issues geared to bring equitable agri-food systems that equally benefits men and women smallholders.

The strategy, launched at the sideline of the ongoing 2023 Africa Food Systems Forum (AGRF 2023) in Tanzania’s business capital, throws weight behind three important pillars namely, Investing in Individuals, Strengthening Institutions and Enabling the Environment.

Speaking at the event, AWARD’s director Dr Susan Kaaria said on investing in individuals, the organization will continue building a pool of capable and confident influential women leaders in agricultural research for development (AR4D) as well as expanding its target to include early career and emerging leaders for a sustainable and strong pipeline.

“We will deliberately equip women and men AR4D professionals with the skills to integrate gender in their work more meaningfully,” she added.

On Strengthening Institutions, the director said, the non-government organization recognizes that institutions’ ‘commitment to gender equality, along with positive external pressure for change, are key success factors in institutional transformation.

Under the new strategy, AWARD will partner with institutions that have demonstrated commitment to gender equality to influence their policies and practices to address gender issues.

According to her, the organisation’s alumni and country chapters will form integral components in the execution of the agenda under this pillar.

 Award’s new strategy third pillar is enabling the environment of which the organization will engage with AR4D policy practitioners at regional, sub-regional and global levels to create awareness and catalyze the design of gender responsive policies.

Emphasizing on the matter, Dr Kaaria said: “We will revamp our approach to expand collaboration with actors to cultivate a gender responsive AR4D ecosystem.”

Award was founded exactly 15 years ago. It started as a career development program that sought to nurture more women leaders in ARD. In 2017 AWARD launched a five-year strategy (2017-2022) anchored on three pillars: individuals, institutions, and the environment.

So far, the organization has strengthened the capacity of African women scientists for effective research and leadership and contributed to building and sustaining a strong talent pool of women agricultural researchers.

It has benefited a total of 1,773 beneficiaries from 260 institutions in 26 countries.

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