IGCAT welcomed to the office, Larissa Uwase, IGCAT’s expert from Rwanda, who is breaking new ground in food and nutrition. Larissa has been recently recognised as a top female innovator in Africa at the World Economic Forum. Larissa co-owns the CARL GROUP in Kigali, Rwanda that is working to improve the health of the nation by innovating new food products from a staple crop, the sweet potato.
An agronomist by training, Larissa Uwase’s latest innovation, in partnership with the University of Rwanda, is to make spaghetti from the vegetable. Larissa agreed to work with other experts across Africa to further IGCAT’s mission of building awareness of the importance of culture and food diversity for sustainable futures. Larissa spent three days at IGCAT, meeting with the staff and interns and learning about how IGCAT experts are developing models to support local development. Larissa was excited by the European Region of Gastronomy project and envisaged a future whereby Africa might have a similar initiative. She was particularly interested in how food branding connected to regions and how this can help both in terms of regional visibility and tourism.
Larissa explained that in Rwanda, poor possibilities for refrigeration are one of the biggest challenges for food producers and this relates to significant levels of food waste. Larissa’s mission is to learn more about sustainable eco-options for food packaging. Dr. Diane Dodd and Jordi Vegas from IGCAT agreed to research into this matter as food waste is becoming an important agenda item.
IGCAT is an international network of experts in the fields of culture, arts, tourism and gastronomy. Collectively, we aim to empower local communities by guiding, facilitating and supporting leaders in cities, regions and cultural projects to understand the potential of their distinct food, culture, arts and sustainable tourism assets.