East and Central Africa

Solidaridad operates across East and Central Africa in agricultural, industry and mining supply chains. We work with farmers, producers, miners, the public and private sectors and development partners. Through a combination of boots-and-brains on the ground, interactive dialogue, community-based initiatives and public-private partnerships, we champion sustainable supply chains.
In Uganda’s Barley Fields, a Sustainable Initiative Transforms Lives Read featured story

Where We Work

Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, Solidaridad East, and Central Africa has country offices and programmes in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda and outreaches in Burundi, Rwanda, Cameroon, Gabon, and Chad. We support producers – farmers, workers, and miners – across these countries to promote sustainable production of specific commodities.



farmers with improved yield (kg/ha)


hectares under good agricultural practices


Workers and miners with access to improved services


Insecurity amid growth

The region is facing numerous challenges as a result of rapid population growth. These include food and nutrition insecurity, impacts of climate change on agricultural production, poverty, political instability, lack of gender and social inclusion, inadequate legal and regulatory frameworks, land pressures, high unemployment rates, rising levels of debt in some countries, political instability and insecurity concerns.

The increasing frequency and severity of weather events such as droughts, floods, and even locusts continue to impact the agricultural sector and informal worker economy. As climate change worsens, severe weather will continue to pose threats owing to the region’s considerably limited adaptive capacities and widespread poverty.

World over, consumers, and retailers are becoming increasingly aware of the need to source responsibly to reduce the environmental impact resulting from the use of harmful pesticides and other farm inputs. The shift is primarily due to the growing health concerns among consumers and increased awareness of the health benefits associated with consuming sustainably produced food. However, for smallholder farmers, the opportunity cost of transitioning to organic farming and certification outweighs the benefits, making certification difficult to achieve.

Social exclusion remains a challenge across the region. Studies have shown that women and youth play a huge role in agricultural production but receive little to no income from agriculture. Exclusion along various value chains is widening inequalities and contributing to poor production systems, inequalities, lack of access to decent jobs, and persistent poverty. Despite the increasing investments in the region, access to finance has also remained unbalanced.


Strategic training and financing for improved lives

With a growing middle class in the region, and increased investment in infrastructure, there is an opportunity to transform livelihoods for smallholder farmers, miners, and workers by increasing access to information, technology, and financing opportunities.

Capacity enhancement is a major component in our interventions. Providing smallholder farmers, producer organizations, workers and miners, with the skills and competencies to improve their productivity, access information, utilize new technologies, and finance opportunities to transform livelihoods and support development.

Access to finance is essential for sustainable growth of small businesses and producer organizations in the agricultural sector. Solidaridad works with financial institutions and impact investors to link high potential business models to investment opportunities. Through this model, Uganda’s Kayonza Tea Factory secured funding to increase production and improve tea producers livelihoods.

Tea is Uganda’s third largest agricultural export commodity, with the sector employing over half a million Ugandans. Solidaridad works closely with public and private actors in Uganda’s tea sector to develop inclusive policies for a supportive enabling environment. The use of multi-stakeholder platforms is crucial for interactive dialogue.

We need widespread adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Combined with an evidence-based approach, this will ensure better farm management. Our partnerships with organizations like aWhere provide real-time weather insights and predictions to optimize planning and climate-proof farm management.

Taking a data-driven approach by using digital innovations has led to improved productivity, efficiency, transparency and planning for producer organizations and farmers alike. For example, the Dairy Management System and the Farmers’ Realm mobile phone app.


Micheal Wachira in his fruit and vegetable farm in Nakuru County, Kenya

East Africa’s goals in 2023 included accelerating initiatives to boost market access, innovation, and the formulation of supportive policies. At our strategy’s heart, we prioritized producers and aimed to empower them as sustainability leaders within their sectors. This approach not only sought to revolutionize their industries but also to champion a sustainable future through their leadership and innovation.


To catalyze sustainable production systems and reimagine value-addition opportunities, Solidaridad East and Central Africa worked closely with demand- and supply-side actors raising awareness and pushing for inclusive policies, good practices, fair value distribution, decent work, gender and social inclusion, and market access, among others.

Victor Murei (Right), a 23 year-old coffee farmer in his coffee nursery in Trans Nzoia, Kenya

Transformative change

In 2021, Solidaridad East and Central Africa sustained the implementation of transformative solutions. Alongside our communities and partners, we championed producer-led initiatives to improve production, food and nutrition security, incomes, and working conditions outcomes, while enhancing producers’ resilience to the effects of climate change.

Making gains

Through our Practice for Change project and Food for All Kenya, we supported more than 85,000 producers (65 percent women) to adopt good practices. Our enabling policy work contributed to the finalization of the National Tea Policy, its Implementation Plan, and Regulatory Impact Assessment. Meanwhile our advocacy in mining continued with lobbying in Tanzania to make gold mining licensing more gender inclusive with greater flexibility on land ownership requirements. Finally, pilot programmes under sustainable landscapes saw more than 10,000 producers adopt land-use planning in the Kilimanjaro region, and income and funding gains for the pilot groups.

Accelerating market interventions

In 2019, we accelerated and deepened our market-based interventions with a focus on 2020 and beyond. With multiple key projects reaching maturity, we extracted lessons and best practices. For instance, we are learning from the outcomes of multiple projects in Kenya and Ethiopia which have trained farmers in good dairy practices. We increased our business development activities and developed a strong opportunities pipeline. We also expanded our efforts in Central Africa, particularly in Cameroon.

Sector transformation

In 2018, Solidaridad East and Central Africa promoted best practices and sustainability to ensure sector transformation through our textile, leather, coffee, gold, dairy, tea, fruits and vegetable programmes. We focused on food security, gender inclusivity, ICT, climate innovations, investment in viable businesses for impact creation,-and working with producers and industries. We engaged governments, financial institutions and markets in creating robust infrastructures, that resulted in effective production and working environments. The formation of the Kenya Coffee Platform, coordination of sustainable landscapes multi-stakeholder platforms and the advocacy work to establish a sustainable Tea Policy in Uganda were highlights of our regional public-private sector engagements.

An enabling policy environment

One of Solidaridad’s key focuses for 2017 was creating an enabling policy environment in Uganda where all stakeholders in tea, fruit and vegetables are involved in policy discussions. In Tanzania, under the Golden Line project, Solidaridad engaged in advocacy initiatives where legal mining issues were discussed. Solidaridad also established strategic partnerships with private and public entities related to climate change, creating an enabling policy environment, impact investment, digital solutions and sustainable landscape innovations.

Strategic partnerships

From Ethiopia to Zambia, and Kenya to the Congo, the rising temperatures and drought conditions, as well as political issues, posed significant risks to agriculture. A general decrease in quantities, qualities and prices of agricultural commodities was evident. Coffee, tea, fruits and vegetable farmers in the wetter highlands continued to adopt climate-resistant varieties with Solidaridad’s support. Solidaridad also continued to strengthen partnerships with research institutes in addressing climate-smart agriculture.

New opportunities

Solidaridad East and Central Africa made concerted efforts to explore new partnerships and funding opportunities. In early 2015, Solidaridad was awarded a pilot project by Ford Foundation and aBi Trust for fruits, vegetables and barley in Uganda. Solidaridad won a grant for a food security project from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and Comic Relief gave a grant to Solidaridad for a food security project in Ethiopia. By the end of 2015, opportunities arose for policy influencing under Solidaridad’s new strategy.

Strengthening capacity

Solidaridad East and Central Africa has expanded, creating further opportunities for growth. Strengthening staff capacity was a key priority in 2014, as was maintaining good relationships with donors. These improvements have helped us to continue running successful programmes, creating real change. In addition, new partnerships have given Solidaridad an opportunity to develop exciting new projects.

Regional Programmes

RECLAIM Sustainability!

Funded by The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this programme targets coffee, tea, palm oil, cotton,textiles, and gold value chains in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda. It promotes sustainable practices and equitable value sharing in commodity supply chains by influencing policies, initiating regulatory frameworks, innovating inclusive technologies, convening multi-stakeholder dialogues, advocating for decent work and living income, and involving CSOs in decision-making.

Pathways to prosperity

This project builds on Solidaridad’s 55-year endeavor
towards an inclusive economy. It promotes socially and environmentally responsible production among 203,000 smallholder coffee farmers, and service providers in specified value chains in Kenya and Tanzania. It is funded by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

Acting now

Acting Now for Food Security and Resilient Food Systems is implemented in Kenya and Ethiopia to provide short-term food security while simultaneously promoting long-term food system resilience.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands funds this project (2023-2025) to enhance the resilience, livelihoods, and productivity of smallholder farmers in drought-prone areas of Kenya and Ethiopia through sustainable development and inclusive growth in agriculture.

Change story - coffee barometer

Climate Heroes

This is a National Postcode Lottery funded project (2022-2026) implemented in Uganda and Kenya. The project seeks to transform 51,000 smallholder coffee farmers from climate victims to heroes by enhancing their resilience, improving quality of life, and mitigating climate change by reducing greenhouse gases.
The project focuses on three major pillars: carbon farming, financing, and trading.

Project Access

Funded by the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals, the project (2021-2024) aims to formalize artisanal and small-scale gold mining operations in Kenya and Uganda.
It assists miners in accessing official markets, investing in equipment, enhancing productivity and safety, and developing their skills.

Change that matters. Find out what we can achieve together.

Continental Supervisory Board

Isaac Gyamfi – Managing Director Solidaridad West Africa
Olivia Agbenyega – Board member Solidaridad West Africa
Gilles Atayi – Board member Solidaridad West Africa
Rachel Wanyoike – Managing Director Solidaridad East and Central Africa
Susan Waceke – Board member Solidaridad East and Central Africa
Herman Kasekende – Board member Solidaridad East and Central Africa
Shungu Kanyemba – Managing Director Solidaridad Southern Africa

Get in touch

Want to know more about our work in East and Central Africa? Get in touch with our team.

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Kilimani Business Centre, Kirichwa Road
P.O. Box 42234 – 00100
Nairobi, Kenya

+254 (0) 716 666 862


Rachel Wanyoike
Managing Director

Edith Wairimu
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Stephen Kithuka

Country Manager

David kyeyune

David Kyeyune

Country Manager Uganda

Mary Mkonyi

Mary Mkonyi

Country Manager Tanzania

Sanka Shaita

Sanka Shaita

Country Manager Ethiopia