A Trip to Dublin

    A black woman stands in front of a flip chart covered with colorful sticky notes. They are speaking and gesturing with their hands. The person is wearing a red and yellow patterned jacket over a black outfit, and there are laptops on tables around them.

    Dimakatso Sekhoto, our Sector Lead for Agri-business, attended the Small Foundation’s biannual team gathering as a guest speaker. In her presentation, she spoke about her people-centered career journey, which started in finance, transitioned to agriculture, and eventually led to network leadership. Along the way, she honed key lessons and leveraged them to chart a niche career path.

    The time spent with the Small Foundation (SF) team in Dublin was transformative, providing an in-depth look at the incredible work that SF does in partnering with various stakeholders to support the rural SME ecosystem in Africa. It was gratifying to know how her work in network practice and a relational approach to working is contributing to the broader African agrifood system. She tells her us:

    “My trip to Dublin was blessed with sunshine, warm weather and a warm welcome from the Small Foundation (SF)team and an ALforAg network member (Babra Akello). It has been a week of hard work, great engagement and learning and lots of walking (my Apple watch has tracked over 120 000 steps since l’ve been here????).  
    I also had the pleasure of working in-person with Thomas and Aoife who look after the ALforAg network at SF, hashing out network practice and how to elevate this work throughout Africa. I was also invited to attend the SF bi-annual retreat where l got to hear about all the depth and breadth of work SF does investing and collaborating with global partners to tackle poverty in rural Africa through supporting agriculture and SMEs.  
    The most special moments were the time and one-on-one discussions l had with the individuals at SF, from the founding family, the board of directors, and the individual team members. I walked away with so much from so many of them. 
    This trip culminated in the 75minute presentation l made as a guest speaker today sharing my career journey leading to ALA, the work in establishing the ALforAg network, and how l see the evolution of the network, especially highlighting the lessons learned and skills gained as a network coordinator (in our case as a program manager).

    I have been humbled by this experience, inspired by the support and encouragement from SF for the work we do here at ALA and I am looking forward to bringing some of the insight l got here to some of our work”.