French version

FIAN launches Africa right to food and nutrition course for activists

FIAN is launching a new course which helps to equip activists and human rights practitioners with the right knowledge and skills to defend and promote the right to food and nutrition in Africa.

The Right to Food and Nutrition in Africa curriculum was developed by experts from Makerere University in Uganda. A pilot course was held in Kampala in December. The course covers the environmental, economic, socio-cultural and political issues which impact on the right to food and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa. It also introduces conceptual thinking on how to sustain the present and future food and nutritional needs of the region.

“This is an important tool for training and building a growing pool of human rights activists and defenders who can contribute to the realization of the right to food and nutrition in Africa,” says Valentin Hategekimana, FIAN International Africa coordinator.

The five-day course uses participatory methods and experiential learning techniques that draw on participants’ knowledge and experiences. Although mainly intended for human rights activists and defenders, the course is also open to participants from academia, government, intergovernmental bodies and the judiciary.

“This training relates to what I do every day. It will be informing my day-to-day programming,” says Charles Opiyo, a seeds rights officer from Oxfam who attended the course in Uganda, adding that the capacity and opportunity for farmers to produce their own food is a critical part of the right to food.

Cissy Ssempala, a Ugandan human rights lawyer and advocate also participated in the course.

“I have learned that the right to food … is much more than just what the law says. It’s a livelihood – it encompasses so many rights,” she says. “So going forward in my practice I am going to try to reflect on and incorporate what I have learned here. It’s going to make me a better human rights lawyer.

The main aims of the course are:

  • Enabling participants to understand food, nutrition and the legal content and foundations of food and nutrition as a right;
  • Enhancing the knowledge of participants and building their skills to ensure the progressive realization of the right to food and nutrition in Africa;
  • Identifying and discussing the issues affecting the realization of the right to food and nutrition in Africa and how these could be overcome;
  • Bringing together human rights activists/defenders and creating a pool of empowered people to engage with right to food and nutrition issues in Africa and to support them in understanding their role in dealing with violations/abuses vis-à-vis affected communities;
  • Sharing experiences and best practices for the realization of the right to food and nutrition in Africa; and
  • Recognizing that different individuals, groups, and organizations might have different experiences, perspectives, and/or priorities with regard to the right to food and nutrition, and listening to and respecting differences is very much connected to listening for spaces and strategies for collaboration.

For further details please contact Valentin Hategekimana, FIAN International Africa coordinator at