The Leading African Women in Food Fellowship is an ambitious program aimed at supporting changemakers who are making outstanding contributions/impact in the African food ecosystem. This initiative amplifies, celebrates, champions, and advances the work of these female food changemakers.
Mercy Olorunfemi is a project management specialist with multisectoral experience in food systems transformation, innovation, entrepreneurship development, and partnership. With a background in building sustainable and inclusive communities through policy, gender, entrepreneurship development, and innovation in Africa, she has collaborated with developmental organizations, consortiums, government institutions, and innovation hubs in the EMEA region.
Currently, Mercy is a Project Manager at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). In this role, she oversees the portfolio of the Strengthening Nutrition in Priority Staples Project (SNIPS) in Nigeria. Through partnerships with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Green Innovation Centre for the Agricultural and Food Sector in Nigeria, Mercy works towards improving access to safe and nutritious food, supporting food and nutrition security, and promoting capacity development, climate-smart agriculture, market systems strengthening, access to finance, and the scale-up of local innovations. She is experienced in fostering collaborations and partnerships to enhance financial access for businesses in West Africa.
Mercy has spearheaded successful partnerships with commercial banks and venture capital firms, facilitating credit access and market opportunities for agribusinesses, farmers, and tech startups. In 2019, Mercy led the West African launch of the Africa Business Heroes initiative (Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative), a $10 million fund for impactful businesses in Nigeria.
Exhilarated about creating decent jobs in Africa, Mercy supported the International Labour Organisation in co-creating the Decent Jobs for Youth Initiative. She also led the Next Economy Programme, a multi-country initiative focused on addressing employability and developmental challenges in Nigeria. Through this program, Mercy facilitated financial literacy training, startup development, and soft skills training for over 1,000 youths while also supporting 500 tech entrepreneurs with early-stage innovations to grow, scale, and secure seed capital.
Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)