YPARD is glad to welcome a new Steering Committee member: Sithembile Ndema Mwamakamba. Sithembile is a young international development professional with experience in policy advocacy, agriculture development, poverty reduction, youth development and gender mainstreaming.
Sithembile coordinates the Food Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis (FANRPAN) Youth and Gender Programme, aimed at developing a holistic agriculture policy framework in Africa to support youth and women. She is responsible for maintaining and managing a knowledge base on evolving issues on youth and women farmers and agriculture in Africa as well as within the global context.
She is also responsible for identifying advocacy platforms and opportunities where trained women farmers and youth can engage with policy-makers and advocate for better policies. Between 2012 and 2014 she coordinated ten country case studies on current and emerging youth policies and initiatives with a focus on links to agriculture. She led a team of young agriculture champions in advocating for member states to build strong youth-centred policies, programmes and projects.
Sithembile has experience with program design, strategy, programmatic reporting, monitoring & evaluation, facilitation, advocacy, and social media. She has a strong focus on agriculture and smallholder farmers throughout Sithembile has experience working with and building partnerships among a range of stakeholders across government, UN agencies, private sector, NGOs, and academic institutions.
When asked what´s her message to youth within the agricultural sector, Sithembile doesn’t hesitate in responding: “If we want our voices to be heard in policy spaces we need to speak up, after all the future is ours!”
Having Sithembile in YPARD Steering Committee is invaluable for strengthening the strategic directions of the Platform. It is particularly a chance to expand the network and YPARD’s partnerships in Africa. Warm welcome, Sithembile!