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Food Systems Champion Mike Khunga, Malawi

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Food Systems Champion Mike Khunga, Malawi

From the Civil Society Organization Nutrition Alliance (CSONA) Mr Khunga is leading work on youth engagement.
Franck Kuwonu
From Africa Renewal: 
9 June 2021
Mike Nkhombo Khunga
Mike Nkhombo Khunga

What does it feel like being a UN Food Champion?

It is an amazing experience to be recognized as a champion because of your work. It exposes you to multiple dialogues and engagements, where you gain a lot of expertise in solution development, coordination and ideas of promoting food systems. The experience is diverse because of the opportunities that come along.

Initially, my expectation was that the UN would pay me for being a Food Champion, but then I realized that this is something to do with passion for the poor and impoverished people. Even without being paid, you achieve a lot by engaging in the development of solutions targeting poor people.

My mission has been so great, and it has exposed me to a number of meetings and platforms. I have had opportunities to connect with people from different areas of expertise, where I have learned a number of things.

Any surprises, pleasant or otherwise?

I have been able to facilitate a number of global meetings and I have been a panelist with a lot of people whom I never thought I would ever share a platform with. I have had interactions with David Nabarro [Food Systems Summit Advisory Committee Member] and Agnes Kalibata [the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to the Food Systems Summit] and I have been recognized as a youth doing a lot in Africa. I have had opportunities to contribute to UN communications through my blogs.

When did you start food advocacy?

I am leading a strong youth team on Action Track 5 [Building resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stress] as I am the vice chair. I am a pillar for many youth groups on UN Food System transformation. I am engaging a lot of youths to have independent dialogues and I have been able to link youths from fragile and conflict countries to Action Track 5.

[The Food Systems Summit’s Action Tracks offer stakeholders from a wide range of backgrounds a space to share and learn, with a view to fostering new actions and partnerships and amplifying existing initiatives. The Action Tracks are aligned with the Summit’s five objectives. Each Action Track is designed to address possible trade-offs with other tracks, and to identify solutions that can deliver wide-reaching benefits.