Winterthur/Kaiseraugst/Uzwil, September 4, 2018 – The Swiss Green Economy Symposium (SGES) this year presented its first SDG Award to Africa Improved Foods (AIF). AIF Rwanda is a joint venture between the Government of Rwanda and a consortium of Royal DSM, Dutch development bank (FMO), DFID Impact Acceleration Facility managed by CDC Group plc and International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. It is the leading manufacturer of high quality and nutritious complementary foods in Rwanda.

First award for promoting sustainable consumption

The Swiss Green Economy Symposium (SGES), Switzerland’s most comprehensive economic summit for sustainability, distinguishes projects committed in an exemplary way to implementing the United Nations’ sustainability goals while integrating local knowhow with the expertise of global players. The partner of the Award is the Swiss Federal Office for Spatial Development ARE, which defines a sustainability goal of the United Nations as “SDG of the Year” for the Award. This year it was SDG 12 – “Sustainable Consumption” – where Africa Improved Foods presented the most convincing concept: a cooperation venture between the government of Rwanda, a consortium of various banks, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is part of the World Bank Group. Along with the Award, Africa Improved Foods also received prize money of 4,000 Swiss francs, which Amar Ali donates to a local convent in one of the poorest areas in Kigali that looks after about 2,000 orphans, providing them with education and food.

Africa Improved Foods (AIF) applies a new approach to fight malnutrition in Africa, promoting local production by directly buying farmers’ yields of maize and soy against cash at competitive prices. While the company has become largely known for its world-class nutrition products including the commercial brands Nootri Mama, Nootri Toto and the latest Nootri Family (for all age groups), AIF mainly continues to produce porridge flours (with added milk, vitamins and minerals) targeting vulnerable population segments such as pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, older infants and young children for the critical first 1,000 days of their lives.

“We were impressed by the way in which Africa Improved Foods combines its social commitment with the successful networking of public and private players,” says Dr. Anne le Duc, CEO of SGES, upon announcing the first award-winner. “With our economic development model, we can make a strong and sustainable social impact on our entire environment, and this in a sustainable way,” says Amar Ali, CEO of Africa Improved Foods. On May 31, 2017, AIF opened its state-of-the-art facility in the Rwandan capital city of Kigali, where it produces an annual output of 45,000 tonnes of fortified blended foods. Its first two products are porridge flours with added milk powder, vitamins, and minerals. The factory employs over 300 staff and also offers 24,000 Rwandan farmers a stable, sustainable income for a proportion of their harvest. The factory recently celebrated its first anniversary and will soon have the capacity to feed 2 million people and be able to reduce stunting in Rwanda from 38% to 32% by 2020 – a 6% reduction – bringing hope to tens of thousands of children.

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