We are continuing our work across vibrant networks in East and West Africa and are delighted to share the first in a new series of podcast interviews and insights into this work. The Network Impact Insights series is an inspiring look behind the scenes at the successes and challenges of the networks, the work we do with them and how implementing a networks approach supports accelerated impact.

In this first podcast, Creative Metier Strategic Advisor Wangechi Muriuki is in conversation with Edward Akapire, Head of Region, West Africa, Fairtrade Africa. You will hear about the important work of the network, how they support and engage their members, their greatest achievements and aspirations for the future.

After listening to this, look forward to a peek behind the scenes of how we introduce a networks approach next week, followed by a second interview with Edward exploring the impact of a networks approach and his experience of working with Creative Metier the week after.

Edward Akapire

Edward is a Development and Agricultural Economist by training with 15 years of development work experience. He holds an MA in Development Economics and BSc in Agricultural Technology (Economics and Extension Communication).

Edward has more than 10 years experience leading and facilitating the design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects in the areas of food security and climate adaptation, education, gender and community empowerment, among others. He has over the period gained valuable experience in working with farmer organisations and their networks, both local and international NGOs, thus obtaining a good appreciation of partnership expectations, demands and performance from both perspectives.

Currently, as the Head of Region, Edward leads the West African team in providing services to producers and workers in the cocoa, banana, pineapple, coconut and shea value chains. He leads his team in advocating for better policies and trading conditions for producers in West Africa, promoting their access to markets and sustainable livelihoods as well as building their capacity and organisation.

We would like to thank Small Foundation for their support for this research, Converge for their willingness to share their work which was one of the inspirations for this initiative, and the Fairtrade West Africa team who entered so enthusiastically into this work.