Slow Food International Appoints Ugandan Edie Mukiibi as Vice President

With support from new Ugandan Vice President Edie Mukiibi, Slow Food International aims to create 10,000 gardens throughout Africa. (Danielle Nierenberg)

Slow Food International announced the appointment of new Vice President, Edie Mukiibi. Mukiibi lives and works in Uganda, and has been incorporating Slow Food principles of “good, clean, fair” food into youth and community gardens in Africa through the Developing Innovations in School and Community Gardens (DISC) project since 2006.

Slow Food International is a grassroots movement with chapters in over 160 countries around the world. Their wide-ranging network tackles issues as diverse as protecting food biodiversity, celebrating historical food traditions, and even supports an international university dedicated to teaching and promoting Slow Food principles through gastronomy and agricultural sciences.

In his appointment, Mukiibi will work alongside Alice Waters, a pioneer of the local food movement through her legendary California restaurant Chez Panisse. Waters has served as Vice President of Slow Food International since 2002. Mukiibi’s experience implementing school gardens through DISCC will complement Waters’ high-profile work in the school garden community in the U.S. through her Edible Schoolyard project.

Mukiibi’s background is also well matched to support and inform Slow Food’s current global priorities, including A Thousand Gardens in Africa. The project was launched in 2010 with the goal of creating 1,000 gardens in schools and villages in 25 cities throughout Africa. Just a few days before announcing Mukiibi’s appointment last week, Slow Food reached their 1,000-garden goal, and also announced an expanded effort to relaunch the project with a new target of creating 10,000 gardens in Africa.

Mukiibi’s leadership amongst the Slow Food network in Africa will no doubt be a crucial asset in helping Slow Food International to reach that ambitious goal. In a statement about his new role, Mukiibi said, “I am happy to have an active leadership role to continue with the development of the African network. This can be realized with the support and collaboration of the African Slow Food leaders in all the 30 countries where we are present. This is our time in Africa to promote our own food and gastronomy, to strengthen our traditional food systems and communities, and to defend our African biodiversity.”

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Cortney Ahern currently serves as President of Slow Food Chicago, the nation's third largest chapter. She has experience working across the food chain, on domestic and international agricultural issues. Cortney has held strategic positions at the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. She has worked on organic family farms in Upstate New York and Isaan, Thailand. She holds a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from Colgate University, and studied international social justice throughout Southeast Asia. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @ctahern.

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