Dr. Catherine Nakalembe with Lutheran World Relief staff. Left to right: Hazara Ouedraogo, Lutheran World Relief Mali country director, Bijou Kuzimbu, Lutheran World Relief regional program manager for Africa, Dr. Catherine Nakalembe, University of Maryland NASA Harvest East Africa lead, Mamy Coulibaly national coordinator Mali Early Warning System and Noel Diara, Lutheran World Relief project coordinator.

Lutheran World Relief congratulates Dr. Catherine Nakalembe, winner of 2020 Africa Food Prize

  • John Rivera
  • Sep 11, 2020

BALTIMORE—Lutheran World Relief offers congratulations to Dr. Catherine Nakalembe of NASA Harvest and the University of Maryland on being named a 2020 winner of the prestigious Africa Food Prize.

Dr. Catherine Nakalembe

Dr. Nakalembe is the Africa lead for NASA Harvest, an initiative commissioned by NASA and led by the Geographical Sciences Department at the University of Maryland, to enhance the use of satellite data in decision-making related to food security and agriculture. NASA Harvest is working with governments across the globe to help them learn to use the data. 

Lutheran World Relief is currently working with NASA Harvest in Mali as part of the Relief to Resilience project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to gather valuable on-the-ground information about crop conditions so that relevant government agencies can better interpret satellite imagery and advise farmers about potential challenges. 

Lutheran World Relief began working with Dr. Nakalembe in 2017 in Tanzania and Uganda. Lutheran World Relief’s network of community agricultural extension agents supported data collection and ground truthing of satellite earth-observation data used to inform government ministries on food security policy.

“We are so excited for our partner, Dr. Catherine Nakalembe, on this high profile recognition of her work,” said Bijou Kuzimbu, Lutheran World Relief’s deputy director for operations. “We look forward to continuing to find ways to collaborate with Dr. Nakalembe and NASA Harvest on bringing data solutions ‘down to earth’ to improve food systems in Africa and food security of the communities we serve.”

Awarded by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the Africa Food Prize is the preeminent award presented to outstanding individuals who are leading the effort to improve farming practices and outcomes in Africa.


John Rivera, Sep 11, 2020 email