Fairtrade International announces Sandra Uwera as new Global CEO

KENYA – Fairtrade, the world’s most recognized label for social justice and sustainability, has appointed Sandra Uwera as its new Global CEO to be based at its regional offices in Kenya.

Ms. Uwera steps into the role following the departure of Dr. Nyagoy Nyong’o, who served as Interim Global CEO from January 2021 until 31 March 2022.

Prior to taking over the helm of the company, Nyagoy served as the Executive Director of Fairtrade Africa from 2013 to December 2020 and had a prior long history with the organization having also been an auditor for Max Havelaar Switzerland and FLOCERT.

“I am delighted and honored 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 means a fairer future for farmers, a more sustainable future for our planet, and a better future for consumers committed to making a difference.

“This is the Fairtrade vision I look forward to growing alongside the millions of Fairtraders who support our mission,” Ms. Uwera said.

She brings to her new role a wealth of experience and a unique set of skills, perspectives, and relationships to lead Fairtrade into the future.

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She most recently served as CEO of COMESA Business Council (CBC), the leading Business Member Organization 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, she 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.

“We are thrilled to have Sandra at the helm of Fairtrade at such an important juncture in our organization’s history,” said Lynette Thorstensen, Chair of Fairtrade’s Board.

“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,” she said.

Ms. Uwera is a Rwandan national and 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.

Ms Uwera joins Fairtrade at a time the organization is making significant strides in achieving its vision of fairness to the farmers, consumers and communities it serves.

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