Africa Improved Foods
- Sector: Consumer Services
- Country of operations: Rwanda
In many East African countries, malnutrition and stunting rates are over 35%. Africa Improved Foods (AIF) aims to tackle this problem by making high-quality, affordable, locally sourced nutritious foods available. The company, which is backed by a number of international development banks, has the capacity to produce 45,000 tonnes of fortified blended food a year at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Kigali, Rwanda.
Last year, its foods were distributed to more than 1.5 million refugees and vulnerable infants across Uganda, South Sudan and Kenya. In its home market of Rwanda, a further 90,000 vulnerable pregnant or breastfeeding mothers and infants were given free access to AIF’s fortified supplementary foods through rural public health centres.
“Being able to provide pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and infants above six months of age with access to much-needed locally produced nutritious foods is the biggest opportunity AIF has been able to capitalise on,” says Amar Ali, CEO.
“By including local farmers in our value chain, we are providing a sustainable local solution to malnutrition while contributing to the local economy via agricultural and private sector development initiatives,” says Amar.
In the coming year, the business is expecting to double in size with the opening of a new high-quality production facility in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A key longer-term aim is to encourage more local production of nutritious foods.
“Many of the high-quality nutritious foods available in the East Africa region are imported,” says Amar. “A great opportunity – and challenge – lies in increasing the import substitution of these foods. This involves convincing both institutions and commercial distributors to increase their local sourcing, even though this may not always be the cheapest option.”