African Rift Valley

The African Rift Valley Program supports Indigenous and local community and civil society organizations and their collaborative efforts with regional,...

The African Rift Valley Program supports Indigenous and local community and civil society organizations and their collaborative efforts with regional, national and international allies to strengthen livelihoods and landscape-level sustainability. The program focusses on two key landscapes:

  • Desert Mosaic of Northern Kenya:  Home to dozens of pastoralist tribes as well as fisher and hunter-gatherer peoples who have stewarded the natural resources of this arid environment for generations.
  • Southern Lowlands and Southwestern Highlands of Ethiopia:  Diverse cattle, goat and sheep pastoralism thrives in the lowlands while some of the world’s oldest farming landscapes are sustained in the highlands.

Entering into our second decade of grantmaking here, the African Rift Valley program backs the efforts of stewards to maintain culture-based livelihoods on their ancestral lands and to adapt their resource management systems in innovative ways that advance food sovereignty and resilience. The Rift Valley of East Africa has served as a crucial refugia of biodiversity and human societies for thousands of years. To help ensure that the region remains a biocultural hotspot for generations to come, we focus our grantmaking around these key themes:

  • Strengthening Indigenous economy and livelihood options
  • Promoting Indigenous agroecological systems and native crops
  • Strengthening Indigenous institutions for natural resource management
  • Protecting traditional migration routes and ceremonial sites
  • Supporting cross-border peace and cooperation among pastoralist communities
  • Promoting cultural festivals that highlight the interconnections between music, dance, food sovereignty, peace and resilience
  • Supporting community groups to maintain and revitalize language and ceremony
  • Support for research into the links between traditional livelihoods, food and governance systems and climate change and sustainability
  • Supporting culturally-relevant education based on traditional knowledge
  • Developing pro-steward policies at national, regional and international level

To do this work in both Ethiopia and Northern Kenya we support Indigenous and local community and civil society organizations and their collaborations with regional, national and sometimes international expertise. This includes creatively integrating Traditional Knowledge with Western science to find what works best, and deploying international instruments like World Heritage Sites and local initiatives like music festivals and partnerships between local communities and universities.

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Experiences

Next application window:Aug. 1 -Aug. 31


GRANTMAKING TEAM


Hassan Roba

Hassan Roba

Program Officer, African Rift Valley
Yeshi TekleMichael

Yeshi TekleMichael

Grants Manager