Uwera, a Rwandan national who is fluent in both French and English, comes to Fairtrade with a wealth of experience in Eastern and Southern Africa along with a unique set of skills, perspectives, and relationships to lead Fairtrade into the future, the organisation said.
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.
“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,” Uwera said.
“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,” she continued. “This is the Fairtrade vision I look forward to growing alongside the millions of Fairtraders who support our mission.”
As part of her work with CBC and COMESA, Uwera has led projects on sustainable solutions for small and medium enterprises, advocacy, technical capacity-building, industry competitiveness and market access, digital financial inclusion, and programmes focused on women and youth empowerment.
“We are thrilled to have Sandra at the helm of Fairtrade at such an important juncture in our organisation’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.”