Over the years, the life and style of H.E. Rhoda Peace Tumusiime have impacted greatly on African economics most especially with her deep passion for agricultural development which no doubt is one of the key factors that affects the likes of both rural and urban dwellers across the continent.
With a background academic qualification in Agricultural economics, it is obvious that her passion for agriculture goes beyond studying the course, rather it is more of a burning desire to put an end to poverty and food insecurities in the continent. This is evident in her words: “Africa’s biggest challenge is limited markets and innovation… We need science and technology in order to help increase production and productivity.”
According to Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, “Every African country should be involved in the transformative development of the continent”, adding that; “supporting weather and climate services is critical in strengthening Africa’s resilience in the context of Africa Agenda 2063 on the Africa We Want”.
At the launch of her autobiography in May 2017, Tumusiime, who served as Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa for eight years, underscored the critical role of agriculture in fostering overall economic growth through mitigating household poverty and food insecurity. She stressed that there is a need for the government to increase funding to the agricultural sector to boost production which is key to sustainable economic growth. Tumusiiime also highlighted some of her key achievements which include pushing for the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) an Africa’s policy framework for agricultural transformation, wealth creation, food security and nutrition, economic growth and prosperity for all.
She appeals to African governments to focus on increasing productivity by using irrigation, fertilizers and modern seeds.
Like the rest of the world, women in developing nations like H.E. Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, have begun to seat on boards and councils where their voices will be heard, and where they can make a significant impact for the benefit of women.
Tumusiime, who ended her tenure as the Commissioner of Rural Economy and Agriculture at the African Union in January 2017, has championed causes such as women empowerment, poverty eradication, agricultural development, strategic planning, and partnership building, among others. Her portfolio as AU Commissioner covers multiple sectors ranging from crop agriculture, livestock, fisheries, forestry, land, water, environment, climate change, climate services, and disaster risk reduction to rural development.
She has mobilized and closely worked with other pan-African institutions and development partner agencies in all those areas to secure and provide support to the AU Member States. Her efforts have yielded increased responses in the framework of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Programme.
H.E Tumusiime holds a Bachelor’s in Agricultural Economics; Master’s in Economics, Planning and Managing Rural Dev.; and Diploma in Women and Dev. Previously she held senior positions in the Government Uganda, including as Commissioner for Agriculture Planning and Commissioner for Women and Development. Her expertise and experience as well as commitment have won her a number of key positions in regional and international organisations, such as membership of the High-level Advisory Panel of UNISDR, Advisory Board of Expo 2015 dedicated to the Theme: Feeding the Planet, Energy For Life, Governing Board of the International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC), Chair of the Governing Council of the African Fertiliser Financing Mechanism (AFFM), Chair of the ALive Platform for livestock development in Africa, member of the Global Panel on Nutrition, among others.
Earlier in the year, Tumusiime won the New African Woman magazine’s award in Agriculture for pushing the importance of food security and adding value chain to African goods while she was at the AU which called for radical measures of transforming agriculture through respecting the Maputo Declaration. The Award ceremony took place in the Senegalese capital, Dakar.