Lessons from African communities can inspire change
Edie Mukiibi, Vice President of Slow Food International, is currently on a European tour of conferences and public meetings.
Mukiibi lives and works in Uganda. He is an agronomist, an educator in food and agriculture, social entrepreneur and executive director of Slow Food Uganda. He also played a pivotal role in the development of the Slow Food Gardens in Africa project and in the overall growth of the Slow Food network in Eastern Africa.
He will give to his audience an overview about international food politics and the importance of the Southern perspective. With years of working experience in dozens of African countries, Mukiibi is familiar with different local and global food systems. A unique opportunity that offers a much-needed perspective on international food issues, an ‘eyewitness’ to the food crisis already unfolding in full force on the ‘forgotten’ continent, but also to the opportunities that are being seized to cause change.
After a series of events in recent weeks in The Netherlands, including participation in the biennial conference at Wageningen University organised by Voedsel Anders, a field visit to the Zealand Sea fishing community, a session with the Slow Food Youth Academy and meetings with the Slow Food activists, he is now in Italy.
On Saturday 25 June he will attend the World of Coffee event in Milan.
Edie will then move on to Germany, where he will attend the World Organic Forum, on 27-30 June at Schloss Kirchberg (Kirchberg Castle). The World Organic Forum focuses on the local implementation of the UN-Agenda 2030 with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There, on Wednesday 29 Edie will speak about “Slow Food Communities – A Socio- Cultural and Socio-Culinary Framework for Localizing the SDGs and Organic Agriculture”.
On July 1st Slow Food Germany will present its report “Food is political. 30 years of expertise for nutrition”. It is a detailed dossier on food policy outlining how Slow Food Germany has succeeded in uniting pleasure and responsibility. Edie will participate during the event and join the panel of speakers discussing how a more sustainable future of food can look like.
Strategic meetings in Berlin with Slow Food’s partner organizations and government officials are on the agenda in the following days. Edie’s tour will end with his participation in the General Assembly of Slow Food Germany in Erfurt.
Mukiibi states: “Currently, almost a quarter of all global greenhouse gas emissions come from the industrialized food system, which is also a major contributor to biodiversity loss, deforestation and water and air pollution. It is also a major factor in the rapid disappearance of local food cultures and traditions. While large-scale change has been broadly hidden from the mainstream media, all over the world communities and farmers are embracing agriculture practices that offer us real hope. Instead of fast profits based on extractive practices, agroecology finds its success by applying ecological principles to agricultural systems, adopting regenerative practices and integrating indigenous knowledge. From where I sit in Uganda, smallholder farmers across the country are increasingly using agroecology to revive and protect our heritage foods, preserve ancient knowledge and promote sustainable practices. In doing so, they are also delivering more diverse and nutritious diets for their families and local communities. They show us that we can repair the relationship between people and nature, and can help us tackle food insecurity.”
Edie Mukiibi has served on the Executive Committee of Slow Food since 2012 and became Slow Food vice president in 2014.