By Sharon Atieno

A Kenyan team is among the top ten finalists eligible for a prize of USD 200,000 in a global challenge by the Rockefeller Foundation to develop visions of a regenerative and nourishing food system by the year 2050.

The team, led by the Nairobi- based African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) aims to develop a more equitable, just and sustainable urban space, where access to nutritious food is a reality for everyone.

The vision, Restoring Nairobi to “A Place of Cool Waters” seeks to make vital contributions in four main ways: improving diets; enhancing environmental sustainability; promoting economic security; and preserving human, social and cultural values.

Other finalists in the Food System Vision Prize challenge hail from Canada, China, India, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Peru, and the U.S., and were selected from a pool of more than 1,300 applicants from 110 countries.

“The inspiring Visions they have put forward paint a picture of a more hopeful future food system – one that is equitable, sustainable and can transform our planet and improve the diets and health of people across the globe,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation in a press statement.

“These Visions are a great example of the importance of—and opportunity for—innovation during a crisis. This is even more urgent given the severe stresses placed on food systems as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Roy Steiner, Senior Vice President of the Food Initiative at The Rockefeller Foundation. “We look forward to seeing how they move their ideas from Vision to action.”

In September, the Finalists will advance to a three-month virtual Accelerator phase during which they will receive support to further refine their Visions and find pathways for implementation and impact.

The Accelerator will focus on stakeholder engagement, storytelling, communications, and action planning through virtual programming, one-on-one mentorship and customized support. Each Finalist is eligible to become a Top Visionary and to receive a prize of $200,000 USD. Top Visionaries will be announced in December 2020.

The Food System Vision Prize was launched nearly a year ago as an invitation for organizations, institutions, companies, universities and governments across the globe to develop actionable solutions for the food systems of tomorrow. This year’s challenge is in partnership with SecondMuse and OpenIDEO.