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The urgency for future food leaders is evident. We struggle with enormous challenges in our global food system, such as depletion of natural resources, concurrent hunger and obesity, climate change and soil erosion. Against the backdrop of this crisis, new initiatives, start-ups and networks of changemakers are emerging at the grassroots level with innovative ideas and massive potential to break through.

As part of the Human Rights Day 2016 commemoration in Zimbabwe, the Dutch Royal Embassy and Hivos Southern Africa invited innovators and human rights practitioners to participate in an Internet and Human Rights Innovation Challenge (IHRC). We asked innovators to share ideas on how to effectively use the internet to advance human rights in Zimbabwe.

The Challenge aimed at addressing and promoting rights around four key themes:

Hivos and ARTICLE 19 are currently seeking proposals for its global programme on Open Contracting Data that builds the capacity of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), media, entrepreneurs or social-start-ups in analyzing public contracting data,

for lobby and advocacy purposes.

Small-scale farmers in Uganda are selling their crops without reserving enough for local consumption. They concentrate all their efforts on selling their produce, which leads them to buy the most affordable, yet less nutritious, food products for personal intake. This has contributed to increased malnutrition in the Kabarole region.

Photo: Andrés Marenco

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can.” Peter-Derrek Hof, Dutch Ambassador for Central America, repeated these words by Martin Luther King to officially launch Nexos, a Human Rights Program in Central America implemented by Hivos for the Embassy of the Netherlands.

Nairobi, Friday 9, 2016… Hivos East Africa in conjunction with Oxfam Novib today launched a programme in the lead up to International Human Rights Day, which is observed every year on 10 December to commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Behar Ali is a woman with a mission. As a young woman, she lived through the infamous poison gas attack on Halabja in the late eighties in Iraq. When Saddam Hussein started another campaign of violence against the Kurds in the mid-nineties, Behar fled to the Netherlands where she specialised in women's rights. After the fall of Saddam, she returned to northern Iraq to help rebuild her country.

Nairobi, Wednesday 7 December 2016… Open Contracting offers the governments of Kenya and Tanzania the biggest hope in winning the war against corruption according to a new report by Hivos East Africa and Article 19. The report indicates that governments worldwide spend an estimated USD 9.5 trillion annually on public contracting and calls for the need to commit to open contracting standards for accountability.

Open Contracting Data programme stresses need for citizen engagement

''Show me your magician’’ remains a life-changing statement that Hivos East Africa’s Regional Director Mendi Njonjo vividly remembers from her recent trip in Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso has been referred to as West Africa’s fastest growing biogas market by the Africa Biogas Partnership Programme. Mendi’s encounter with the programme’s impact in the Sahel country showed how true this appraisal is.

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