May 3, 2022

Fairtrade International, the world’s most recognised label for social justice and sustainability, has announced the appointment of its new Global CEO, Sandra Uwera.

She is stepping into the role following the departure of Dr. Nyagoy Nyong’o, who served as Interim Global CEO until 31 March 2022.

According to a statement released by the organisation, Uwera comes to Fairtrade International with a wealth of experience in Eastern and Southern Africa and brings with her a unique set of skills, perspectives, and relationships to lead it into the future, the company says.

Uwera has held many senior positions in business with the most recent being CEO of COMESA Business Council (CBC), the leading business member organisation in Africa and a private sector institution of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which represents 34 business sectors across 21 countries.

As part of her work with CBC and COMESA, Uwera has led projects and programs on sustainable solutions for small and medium enterprises, advocacy, technical capacity-building, industry competitiveness and market access, digital financial inclusion, and programs focused on women and youth empowerment, Fairtrade said.

Of her new position, Uwera commented: “I am delighted and honoured to lead Fairtrade as it builds on its leading role in confronting the greatest challenges of our time, from climate change and poverty to gender equality.

“For many people around the world, Fairtrade International means a fairer future for farmers, a more sustainable future for our planet, and a better future for consumers committed to making a difference,” she continued. “This is the Fairtrade vision I look forward to growing alongside the millions of Fairtraders who support our mission.”

Lynette Thorstensen, Chair of Fairtrade’s Board, added: “We are thrilled to have Sandra at the helm of Fairtrade International at such an important juncture in our organisation’s history. With her exceptional talent and vision, we expect Sandra’s leadership to build on our ambitious Global Strategy, hone our strategic direction, and deepen our impact around the world. We are especially pleased to have hired a citizen from a vital Fairtrade farming region who will be based there, working from Fairtrade Africa’s offices in Nairobi, Kenya.”

Sandra Uwera is a Rwandan national. She grew up in both Kenya and Rwanda and is fluent in both French and English. She holds a Master of Science (MSc) in Strategic Planning, a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications, and has undertaken advanced professional training in international trade policy and law, digital inclusion and leadership for business sustainability. She is an Eisenhower fellow and sits on various Boards in Africa and internationally.

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