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Professional Fellows Program - Advancing Young Women in Agribusiness




East African entrepreneurs, MSU, and external partners connect via the U.S. Department of State funded Professional Fellows Program - Advancing Young Women Agribusiness Entrepreneurs and Innovators

The Professional Fellows Program - Advancing Women Agribusiness Entrepreneurs and Innovators hosted at Michigan State University (MSU) connects Ugandan, Tanzanian, and Kenyan agribusiness professionals and entrepreneurs with their counterparts in Michigan for knowledge exchange and capacity building. The program strengthens visiting fellows’ skills in agro-entrepreneurship and agri-food system innovation, and addresses issues of women’s economic empowerment.

2021 Alumni Engagement Grant Now Open

Michigan State University (MSU) in partnership with Sokoine University of Agriculture, University of Nairobi, and Kyambogo University

The Advancing Young Women Entrepreneurs and Innovators Professional Fellows Program (PFP) will utilize the funding allocated for alumni engagement grants to promote linkages among fellows from the Spring 2020 (January 2021 virtual) cohort and between them and previous cohorts. This competitive grant framework is designed to increase the impact of the MSU PFP program by enhancing alumni’s leadership skills, reinforcing professional and personal networks developed during the virtual exchange and, by disseminating the knowledge they gained to their wider communities and areas of work. As such, the grants program approaches a systems-based design wherein program alumni utilize their new network of mentors, in-country academic partners at Kyambogo University (KyU), the University of Nairobi (UoN), and Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), fellow alumni, MSU experts, and community stakeholders to identify and address major challenges in the local agribusiness and agriculture sector. MSU will award two alumni engagement grants per country, up to $5,000 per grant.

Program Description

The purpose of the alumni engagement grant is not only to build the leadership capacity of program alumni but to increase their capacity to design and implement outreach programs that engage youth working in the agricultural sector as well. Applicants are free to propose any methodology or programmatic activity that is in support of the strategic objectives of ECA and The Team AND must include at least one information dissemination workshop implemented by PFP alumni. To be eligible, applicants must form teams that have AT LEAST two MSU PFP alumni, one of which must have participated in the virtual 2021 exchange while the additional member(s) may come from any previous MSU cohort, including the 2021 virtual exchange. Proposals must identify a pressing agricultural challenge faced in their communities and detail a clearly defined plan to address the issue. Contingency planning for COVID-19 is required for an application to be successful, and all ECA, MSU, and local safety guidelines such as mask wearing, social distancing, and frequent handwashing must be adhered to if in-person activities are proposed. Applicants should also consider delaying in-person activities until later in their period of performance to better assess the health situation and design safeguards to protect the safety of their stakeholders.

Contact Information

For more information about the program, please contact:


Dr. John Jeckoniah
Coordinator, Center for Gender Studies
Sokoine University of Agriculture


Prof. Agnes Mwang’ombe
Professor of Plant Pathology
University of Nairobi


Dr. Kebirungi Harriet
Head, Gender Mainstreaming Department
Kyambogo University

United States

Dr. Amy Jamison
Alliance for African Partnership


This is a program of the U.S. Department of State, administered by Michigan State University.