Education for Leadership

EARTH Futures partners with a wide range of agricultural higher education institutions and networks, to transform agricultural education in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa to prepare the next generation of leaders for our Food Systems. We share the academic model and lessons learned at EARTH over our 30-year history with colleagues at other academic institutions. We also partner in learning together and designing new pilot programs – such as the Mastercard Foundation – EARTH University Fellowship Program – to inspire powerful innovations in the field.

Mastercard Foundation 

EARTH University Fellowship Program

“Working at GIZ Malawi is an exciting opportunity. Through my job, I have been able to establish connections with peers and farmers, and gained trust from my superiors to independently execute duties despite the fact that am a recent graduate. I feel like I am a significant asset to the project and this has strengthened my confidence to work towards better results”.


– Yamikani Funsani (EARTH Class of 2019 & Fellow 2023, Malawi)

“ILRI is an incredible organization. The people are very supportive and welcoming. My supervisor has given challenging tasks that have enabled me get out of my comfort zone and kept me grounded. I am very excited about my Fellowship experience and am eagerly looking forward to learning more.”


– Nancy Musa (EARTH Class of 2021 & Fellow 2023, Zimbabwe)

As part of the Fellowship, EARTH and select host partners provide one-year placement opportunities in employment and entrepreneurship in certain African countries, across four tracks:
  1. The Agricultural Employment Track allows Fellows to contribute to the future of agriculture and food systems through placements with partner institutions in the private, public, or social sectors.
  2. The Agricultural Entrepreneurship Track provides support to Fellows in growing their own market-based endeavors that offer innovative solutions to food systems challenges.
  3. The Agricultural Education Track provides teaching and training opportunities to support the expansion of innovation and best practices in agricultural education.
  4. The Agricultural Innovation Through Science And Research Track places graduates in national and international research organizations, universities, and other research-focused institutions.

During one-year placement opportunities beginning between July and September each year, Fellows receive a monthly stipend and annual health insurance in addition to mentoring services to support their career development and impact potential.

EARTH also organizes periodic convenings among Fellows in Africa as spaces for peer-to-peer learning and professional development. For the first three years of the program through 2023, only recent EARTH African graduates were eligible to apply. Beginning in 2024, the program is open to recent alumni of additional select partner institutions in the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program network.

The Fellowship Program plays an important role in establishing best practices and contributes to the creation of viable pathways to transition from school to employment and entrepreneurship. The Fellowship Program is facilitating and accelerating transitions of 140 Mastercard Foundation Scholars over a period of 8 years to fulfill their potential and exercise their abilities as leaders of change in and for Africa.

For more information about the Fellowship Program
How to Apply
The Mastercard Foundation – EARTH University Fellowship Program is currently open to graduates of EARTH University and additional selected Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program partner institutions in Africa. The application process generally opens in January and closes at the end of February of each year. Fellowship placements begin between July and September of each year for a 12 month-period.

Application requirements


*Only for applicants to the entrepreneurship track

We are looking for Fellows who want to create impact in and for Africa, who are willing to prioritize this as their primary engagement over the Fellowship period, and who are willing to reside in Africa during the Fellowship period.  

Meet Our Dedicated Host Partners

Would you like to become a Host partner?

We are looking for organizations/institutions that are prepared to:
  • Support transitions of talented and committed young leaders from university to impactful employment and entrepreneurship within Africa’s Food Systems.
  • Provide supervision and mentoring at the work site for the duration of the Fellowship Program.
  • Where possible, contribute to the cost of hosting the Fellow. This may take the form of a salary or stipend and/or the provision of certain in-kind benefits received by regular employees of the host enterprise.  
  • Collaborate with the Fellow and the Fellowship Program staff to develop a work plan before the Fellow begins his/her Fellowship.  
  • Participate in the evaluation process of the Fellowship experience.
Meet The Fellows
Our 2023 Fellows include 8 Fellows from 8 countries: Malawi, Rwanda, Somaliland, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Ghana and Cameroon.
Alliance with RUFORUM

Since the early 2000s, EARTH has been affiliated with the African network of universities, RUFORUM, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, to support innovation in higher agricultural education on the African continent. Many vice-chancellors, deans, professors, and other RUFORUM members from various universities have come to EARTH to learn from the University’s experience.


EARTH administrators and staff have reciprocated the visits to many African universities to share experiences while learning from their colleagues. Recently, EARTH has partnered with Gulu and Egerton Universities to promote the integration of community engagement and entrepreneurship education into their programs. With our colleagues at RUFORUM, we are exploring a new phase of EARTH-RUFORUM cooperation to accelerate preparing youth for employment and entrepreneurship on the African continent.

Contact Us

For more information about the Fellowship Program and about being a Host Partner, contact:
Julius Mbuga 

Naboth Bwambale

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