Advocating for impact has always been Dr. Lindiwe Sibanda passion. That passion was recognized this year when Lindiwe was awarded the Yara prize for her many years of work generating knowledge and facilitating dialogue to develop informed, research-based development through policy and advocacy across Africa as CEO of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), where she has served since 2004.
FANRPAN is perceived to be one of the most influential policy networks across the African region. Its focus areas include policy research and advocacy work on food policy, agricultural productivity, natural resources and environment, and the impact of HIV/AIDS on farmers’ livelihoods. Dr. Sibanda has played a global leadership role in increasing the visibility and importance of agriculture as a key development driver. In 2009, Dr. Sibanda led the global “No-Agriculture, No-Deal” campaign and mobilized African civil society organizations to push for the inclusion of agriculture in the UNFCCC climate change negotiations.
Dr. Sibanda has built the advocacy capacity of FANRPAN through her innovative use of strategic outreach and communication activities which help leverage and amplify the work done by the organization and its partners at the ground level. Through this multi-pronged approach Dr. Sibanda has effectively built recognition for FANRPAN as one of the most recognized and trusted voices on African agriculture and food security, including a strong focus on women farmers.
The Yara Prize Committee has selected a woman whose advocacy which has enabled change in the African agricultural sector. She has translated ideas on the development of African agriculture into impactful results, and it is her drive that is playing a vital role in transforming agriculture in Africa. Proof of this is the extension of FANRPAN’s mandate to become Africa-wide in 2012, and has identified youth as an important stakeholder group to be further nurtured and included in agricultural policy processes, launching the FANRPAN Youth in Agriculture Award in 2012.
Having worked with Lindiwe many times over the past few years, during the Rio+20 conference, on the Farming First coalition, and in the Agriculture, Livelihoods and Landscapes day in the climate change negotiations, I cannot imagine a more deserving winner. She is such as effective facilitator – both behind the podium and behind the scenes – and has developed innovative programming to help farmers on the ground as well as at the United Nations.
Watch Lindiwe at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utFYgHhycRQ