Kumvana Program

The Kumvana Fellowship program sees two entrepreneurs from sub-Saharan Africa stay in Windsor for one week each. Fellows are treated to work placements, chapter socials, and recreational activities.

In the Chichewa dialect of Malawi, Kumvana means “unite so we may discuss and understand.” In this spirit, EWB’s Kumvana Program brings together 10-15 dynamic African professionals for leadership development and network building, while enhancing Canadians’ understanding of sub-Saharan Africa’s development realities.

The Kumvana program consists of an 8-week online learning course (approximately 3 hours per week), an African retreat, and a 1-month intensive Canadian experience. During the Fellows’ time in Canada, they will attend the EWB National Conference and receive specifically tailored training programs, a 3-day leadership development course, and participate in 2 weeks of organisational placements to learn from relevant professional networks. Participants will have the opportunity for an immersive cultural experience, and spend time living with Canadian host families. The Kumvana Program gives to its Fellows an opportunity to network and foster collaborations with Canadian professionals and extraordinary leaders from other African countries. Additionally, these changemakers will receive new skills, ideas, contacts, motivation and the potential to lead that will help guide their actions toward greater, sector-wide impact.

EWB Windsor introduced the Kumvana Fellowship program in the 2016-2017 year, by hosting Prossy Kawala and Ursula Banda.

Learn more about the program!

  • Past Windsor Kumvana Fellows

    Sprouting innovations in Ugandan agriculture.

    • Participated as a third-year Water Resources Engineering student at the University of Guelph.
    • Partnered with the Agriculture Value Chains venture in the town of Iganga, Uganda.
    • Developed insights on business influence and ownership that scaled to create change in maize, coffee and agricultural inputs value chains.

    Working directly with a small agricultural-inputs business, Emily was able to grow in-depth understanding of field level realities in relation to access and use of agro-inputs by small-scale farmers. In close collaboration with the business owner, Emily co-evaluated the potential of a new operating model to help the business enhance its market share and bring quality-certified seed closer to the farm-gate.

  • Past Windsor Kumvana Fellows

    Mobilizing insight for Ghanaian farmers.

    • Participated as a second-year Arts & Science student at McMaster University.
    • Worked with the Business Development Services Venture in Northern Ghana, and later in the more southern city of Kumasi.
    • Played a key role in pre-pilot market analysis to ensure a service was launched to the most receptive and appropriate audience base.

    Alexandra conducted research into Farmerline, a service that delivers vital agricultural information directly to farmers’ mobile phones. Alexandra analyzed the way smallholder crop farmers in Northern Ghana use extension services and mobile phones. After determining this would not be a good initial market for the service, Alexandra moved south to Kumasi to help pivot the service for a new market – fish farmers. There, she developed a partnership with Ghana’s fisheries commission and held workshops to engage and educate potential clients.

  • Past Windsor Kumvana Fellows

    Partnering with district councils for more accountable accounting.

    • Participated as a second-year Electrical Engineering student at the University of Alberta.
    • Worked with the Governance and Rural Infrastructure Venture at the West Gonja District Assembly in Damongo, Ghana, on revenue mobilization.
    • Played a key role in developing a system for accurate revenue projections and measures to improve accountability for revenue collectors.

    Through partnering with the District Assembly as well as Area Councils, Ryan investigated a range of the district’s entrenched challenges. After initial investigation, Ryan’s team implemented a Revenue Projection Database and data collection processes to ensure that all financing projections were made based on legitimate figures from the ground. His team also ensured that contracts were updated to improve the accountability and responsibilities of revenue collectors on commission.

  • Past Windsor Kumvana Fellows

    Breaking new ground for more responsible global mining.

    • Two-time winner at the first-ever Canadian Sustainable Development Goals Awards, 2016.
    • Co-drafted an international standard for reporting on local procurement for global mining companies.
    • Participated in Toronto through the Mining Shared Value Venture, part of our Governance and Sustainable Services portfolio.

    Through his Junior Fellowship placement with Mining Shared Value, Aditya worked on several integral projects to play a key role in taking the venture to new heights. Over the course of his placement, Aditya was involved in co-drafting an early iteration of an international standard for reporting on local procurement as a part of corporate social responsibility for mining companies around the world.

    In collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, Aditya mapped out a network of organizations that focus on responsible mining, made recommendations to Global Affairs Canada by participating in Canada’s International Assistance Review, and more.

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