ABN accompanies Africans in voicing their views on issues such as food and seed sovereignty, genetic engineering, agrofuels, biodiversity protection, extractive industries and the rights of small-holder farmers.We focus on indigenous knowledge, ecological agriculture and biodiversity related rights, policy and legislation. We pioneer culturally-centred approaches to social and ecological problems in Africa through sharing experiences, co-developing methodologies and creating a united African voice on the continent on these issues.

Who we are

Africa is at a crossroads, trying to reconcile the conservation and recuperation of its vast cultural and natural heritage and meet the many needs of a growing population. Powerful external forces continue to divert us from solutions that come from within Africa as they push for the privatisation and industrialisation of land, knowledge and biodiversity in the name of poverty alleviation. However, the solutions that we seek already lie within our indigenous cultures. ABN is a network committed to unearthing and implementing African solutions to African problems and building solidarity on biodiversity and community rights issues on the continent.

What we do

ABN strives to ignite and nurture a growing network of change agents working passionately at all levels, in the face of injustices and destruction arising from the current industrial development model, to enable resilient local communities to govern their lives and livelihoods rooted in their own social, cultural and ecological diversity. We focus on indigenous knowledge, ecological agriculture and biodiversity related rights, policy and legislation. We pioneer culturally-centred approaches to social and ecological problems in Africa through sharing experiences, co-developing methodologies and creating a united African voice on the continent on these issues.

Why we do it

Africa is at a crossroads, trying to reconcile the conservation and recuperation of its vast cultural and natural heritage and meet the many needs of a growing population. Powerful external forces continue to divert us from solutions that come from within Africa as they push for the privatisation and industrialisation of land, knowledge and biodiversity in the name of poverty alleviation. However, the solutions that we seek already lie within our indigenous cultures. ABN is a network committed to unearthing and implementing African solutions to African problems and building solidarity on biodiversity and community rights issues on the continent.

Press Release


20th February 2018

Decolonise food production:
A response to SONA 2018 from Biowatch South Africa

Now that the elation surrounding SONA has subsided we can look more soberly at what is being proposed. While the President spoke glowingly about the potential of commercial agriculture, what he didn’t say is that it is a colonial model that has failed spectacularly to feed the nation and create jobs. It is also one of the most environmentally destructive forms of land use, contributing significantly to climate change and utilising the lion’s share of our scarce water resources. Its use of toxic pesticides and fertilisers has led to large-scale contamination of our soil and water. Furthermore, government support of genetically modified crops has put maize, our staple food, in jeopardy. A different approach to agriculture is sorely needed to deliver household food security and livelihoods and to produce sufficient nutrition in a rapidly changing climate.

An answer lies in agroecology, practiced successfully by millions of small-scale farmers across the African continent, who rely on a diversity of crop varieties and animal breeds for food and fibre. This is not a backward step. Agroecology is increasingly recognised as a viable and innovative practice that can be scaled up with adequate policy support. We need urgently to reverse the damages of our colonial agricultural past, to retrain agricultural extension officers to support the majority of South Africa’s farmers, and to reclaim and restore arable land as a productive rather than as an extractive activity. We need to revalue our traditional seed and indigenous knowledge systems. Now is the time for our government to move in a new direction and to reposition resources so that small-scale farmers can reach their full potential. This would meet many of our national development objectives. It would give hope to our youth, give more people a stake in our future, create economic opportunities and sustainable livelihoods for the many, and feed the nation. We urge action and public debate on these questions.


Issued by Biowatch South Africa
Tel: +27 0 31 206 2954

For further information please contact:
Vanessa Black (Biowatch Advocacy, Research and Policy Coordinator)
Email: vanessa@biowatch.org.za
Telephone the Biowatch SA office: +27 0 31 206 2954

Biowatch South Africa
biodiversity | food sovereignty | agroecology | social justice

Tribute to Sue Edwards

Million Belay

Dear all!
I am sorry that I do not have good news for you. I have just heard that Mrs.  Sue Edwards has passed away. I feel deeply in pain. I wish I was in Ethiopia to be among her family and friends and cried my eyes out. It is doubly painful to be far away. I have fewer people that I love and admire like her. She is open, generous, loyal, creative, hardworking and loving.  I am sure her house will be flooded with hundreds of kids, youth and adults that she has supported in her life time. She tells me of the little football club that she has started on a little open space in front of her house. I am sure it will be the saddest day for the boys. Farmers will be flocking to her house to thank her for the relentless work that she did to show them that their knowledge is counted and they can also learn some technique to better their life. Just what I remember from her countless contribution to our struggle and all of us.

She started an institution in her library and made it one of the most cited and cherished organization on Agroecology in Africa. The initiative that she has started on Agroecology has become a country program. She has experimented with various agroecological methodologies and has managed to spread them in Ethiopia.  She has led one of the longest experiment on sustainable agriculture/ Agroecology and has proved that it works better than high input agriculture.

She is one of the best editors that I know and has led and participated in a countless number of publications. ISD has also published a lot of materials very useful for farmers and extension agents.

She has helped thousands of farmers with the techniques of Agroecology. She has brought to Ethiopia the push and pull technology and also the system of rice intensification which she tried on other crops.

If she sees an initiative in her staff or otherwise, she will nurture it and support it. She is always open to other ideas and will do whatever is in her capacity to help you do it. I myself is an example. The cultural biodiversity program was experimented and spread under her support.

She has participated in both National and Regional initiatives and has worked to make sure that they succeed. She is one of the founders of the African Biodiversity Network and the Ecological and Organic Agriculture Initiative are some of the examples.

She is a fierce fighter for women and youth rights and opportunities. Although a lot of youth projects disappointed her with a lot of in fightings, she kept on supporting them and has managed to have a number of groups quite successful.

She knows a lot and she shares a lot. It is a pity that she did not even write ten percent of what she knows because what she knows comes from years of on ground experience.

Million Belay, Coordinator, Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), Ethiopia

Sulemana Abudulai

Rest in Peace dearest sister!

Million you have captured the very essence of Sue. Down to earth, helpful, pioneering, professional and above all very sharp! Thank you sister and May your journey be smooth to the Creator! Amen

Sulemana Abudulai, African Biodiversity Network (ABN) Board Chair, Ghana

John Wilson

I remember arriving at Bantu Lodge in June 2009, the first of many visits to that lovely, slightly ramshackle, quirky venue for meetings in the foothills of the drier side of Mt. Kenya, on the edge of the mountain forest.

Sue Edwards had already arrived and was waiting in the reception. What a lovely, slightly ramshackle and quirky person!  We had met two years earlier at an ABN meeting in Malindi but never had a chance to get to know each other. She came over to me and asked if I felt like a walk. I certainly did after hours cramped in a car.

I then spent a couple of hours with her wandering the grounds of Bantu lodge and venturing into the forest too. Sue shared some of her wide botanical knowledge with me as we moved around, pointing out various species and giving me snippets of information about them. Being from Zimbabwe I don’t know East African vegetation that well. It was enthralling. I love learning those kinds of things.

We also talked about ABN and sustainable farming and a range of other topics. We never drew breath, with Sue doing most of the talking and me a very happy listener.

Unfortunately I never had another chance to spend that kind of time with her, but I feel privileged to have at least had that. It remains very precious to me as I sit here reflecting on Sue’s passing.

I did have the chance to see Sue many more times after that in a variety of meetings and over lunches with Million and her in Addis. Others have described aspects of her character very well in previous emails. Take heart my friends, she will continue to live within us as we keep her legacy alive. Things are changing fast and she will be a good guide as we have to keep making decisions in this fast changing situation: “What would Sue have done here? What would have been Sue’s perspective on this?”

With lots of deep felt love to all her family and friends, some of whom I was lucky enough to meet and work with a little.

John Wilson, a friend to African Biodiversity Network (ABN) and Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), Zimbabwe

Gizaw Gebremariam

It is with the greatest of sadness that I deliver to you today the heartbreaking news of the death of Our Hero Susan Edwards, the Co-Founder and Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD).

We have lost a great mother to many Ethiopian farmers. She was a dedicated soul who committed her life to improving and changing the lives of so many farmers. She has touched millions through her ideas for progress and change.

Gizaw Gebremariam, Institute for sustainable Development (ISD), Ethiopia


What a loss!! I am shocked to hear this sad news. Sue shaped my career as instructor, supervisor and mentor. It is a great loss to biodiversity and organic agriculture community in Ethiopia and the region. Rest in Peace, Sue.

Tadesse, Plant Sciences Aksum University Shire Campus, Ethiopia

Sebsebe Demissew

We learned the death of our beloved mentor, sister and colleague Sue Edwards. It is a huge loss to the global biodiversity community in general and to all of us who had closely worked with her over many decades in particular. We have lost one of the initiators and one of the two main editors of the Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea. May her soul rest in eternal peace.

Sebsebe Demissew, Prof. & Nigist Plant Systematic and Biodiversity Department of Plant Biology & Biodiversity Management, College of Natural Sciences

David M. Amudavi, PhD

Dear Sue Edwards’ Family, ISD team, Colleagues and Friends,

The news about the passing on of our beloved Ms. Sue Edwards has been received with profound shock and sadness. We know how much more this means to her family members, staff and close friends. On behalf of the Chair and members of the Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Continental Steering Committee and partners, I convey our deepest sympathies and condolences to the dear ones for the great loss.

Sue was a great Champion of EOA and I remember very well when she stayed late into the night discussing and conceptualising with us how the now well growing EOA initiative could take off. Yes, she was a great encourager, supporter, facilitator, mentor and catalyst for change towards genuine sustainable development. She will be missed!

For ISD staff and partners, let’s endeavor to embrace the philosophy, values, principles and practices she stood for in sustainable development. We pray to our Almighty God to rest her soul in eternal peace.  With heartfelt condolences,

 David M. Amudavi (PhD), Biovision Africa Trust, Kenya 

Getnet Atenafu Abate, PhD

Dear Sue Edwards’ Family, ISD team, partners and Colleagues, Indeed it is a big loss, shocking to hear about our beloved Ms. Sue Edwards death. We have lost invaluable asset and best collaborator in Debe Markos University.

She was the main actor for the new practice, Push –pull technology, an integrated pest, and soil management in cereal-livestock based farming systems in East and West Gojjam zones.  We wish condolence and strength to her beloved family.

Getnet Atenafu Abate (PhD), Debre Markos University Ethiopia

Haileselassie Ghebremariam

Dear Susan’s Family, ISD staff and collaborators,

I have learnt with deep sorrow the passing on of Ms. Sue Edwards. It is indeed a big loss for all of us! My deepest condolence to the family. May God give your family all the strength during this time.

She was a unique person who never gave up working with and for the poor farmers till her last breath. Ms. Susan Edwards will live among us because of her real postive impact on Sustainable Development!  May Her Soul Rest In Peace!

Haileselassie Ghebremariam, Lecturer

Gebremedhine Birega Dagaga

Dear Dr. Sarah,

It is rally very bad news, which I heard very late as I was in a rural area in Woliatta.  We all have been saying we did not want to hear such bad news. Yet, it was natural and will continue. If we believe we owe her, we have to continue her legacy of EOA in Ethiopia and Africa as well. By so doing we can raise her name always up and keep remembering her meaningfully.

Please accept my condolences. May her soul rest in peace.

Gebremedhine Birega Dagaga, Ethiopia

Fassil Gebeyehu Yelemtu, PhD

I am deeply touched by all ranges of kind words and condolences to Sue’s family. A crowd of people attended her burial ceremony this morning also expressed their sorrow with flood of tears in their eyes. She was different in her personality and had the great extent sense of humour. She was loving and caring mother to many, Ethiopians, youth, old, male and female. Some of us in particular are privileged to enjoy her mentorship and wisdom. May the almighty God rest her soul in peace!

Fassil Gebeyehu Yelemtu, PHD, African Biodiversity Network (ABN), Ethiopia

Bayush Tsegaye

Dear Dr. Tewolde and Sue’ Family, ISD team, all Partners and Colleagues.

My condolences to all of you as we lost a very passionate and devoted leader of ISD who had deep interest in working with farmers towards improving their livelihood. Her contributions were great nationally and even got international recognition.

She was a great asset as a lead person not only for ISD but also in African Organic Agriculture movement, the Ethiopian Flora project, and much more.

May God comfort you all. May her soul Rest in Peace!

Bayush Tsegaye

Dawit Melese, PhD

Dear All

It is a sad news for all of us. Please pass my condolence to ISD team and her family.


Dawit Melese, PhD, Woldia University

Hudson Wereh Shiraku

A lady so passionate and committed to the organic agriculture movement in Africa. May her soul rest in eternal peace.

Hudson Wereh Shiraku, Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT), Kenya

Mathama Flora Maswanganyi

My condolences take what she taught you and mentor the others  and may her soul rest in peace.

Mathama Flora Maswanganyi

Amadou Kanoute

I have not met Sue but heard a lot about her. Indeed a great loss to our community! My sincere condolences.

Amadou Kanoute

Ali Aii Shatu

My condolence to the entire Ethiopian Community. May her soul test in peace.

Ali Aii Shatu

Janet Maro

This is sad. My condolences to her family, ISD Team and the whole EOA movement, it is a great loss. May her beautiful soul rest in peace.

Janet Maro, Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT), Tanzania

Nnimmo Bassey

Condolences, brothers and sisters.

Nnimmo Bassey, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Nigeria

Mariam Mayet

Oh Million friends, how utterly gut wrenching.  Tewolde and Sue –  such a big part of all of us, and the world, the farmers, our biodiversity.

Huge, huge.  I am thinking of her children now.  Please Million can you share by Facebook so we can share this more widely. With many tears, Mariam and ACB team.

Mariam Mayet, African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB)

Bright Thamie Phiri

I am shocked with this tragic news. I have worked with Sue Edwards since 2010. I remember in 2013 when we visited Tigray farming communities I had toothache troubles. She laboured to walk to some far away spaza shop and bought me pain killers. Thanks to her the pain vanished for the rest of my stay in Ethiopia. If all of us can be as courteous as she was, this world would be a better place to live in.

Bright Thamie Phiri, Commons for EcoJustice, Malawi

Bernard Kitonyi

Thank you for sharing the sad news of passing away of our dear mother/sister/ colleague Sue Edwards. It is really sad for those who knew and had opportunity to work/ interact with her. She has courageously borne the pain and suffering from her sickness.  Kudos to a good committed development practitioner. Condolences to her spouse family and friends.

Bernard Kitonyi, African Biodiversity Network (ABN), Board of Trustees

Stephen Greenberg

Sorry to hear it Million. Sue has left a powerful legacy for us to carry forward.

Stephen Greenberg, African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), South Africa

Salome Kisenge

My prayers and condolences to her family, relatives, friends and colleagues. We will always remember her valuable contribution. Let us all gather strength, pull ourselves strongly and sustain the services she started in different corners of the world. Our prayers that her soul rest in eternal peace.

Salome Kisenge, Envirocare, Tanzania

Famara Diédhiou

Nous présentons nos très sincères condoléances à la famille éplorée. Oui, pour les courts moment que j’ai eu l’occasion de passer avec Elle, j’ai découvert une personne généreuse et pleine de savoir.Que son âme repose en paix.

We offer our very sincere condolences to the bereaved family.Yes, for the short time that I had the opportunity to spend with her, I discovered a generous person and full of knowledge. That her soul rests in peace.

Famara Diédhiou, Alliance for Food Sovereignity in Africa (AFSA), Senegal

Bridget Mugambe

This is so sad! What a loss to the movement and to all the young people she was working to support. Condolences to her family. She was such a resource and such a simple woman to engage with. May her soul Rest in Peace.

Bridget Mugambe, Alliance for Food Sovereignity in Africa (AFSA), Uganda

Elizabeth Mpofu

This is bad news .To lose someone whom you are so close to and with her work towards strengthening our work. We have lost a hero and may her soul rest in peace. We will always remember her of her work.

Elizabeth Mpofu, La Via Campesina, Zimbabwe

Anne Maina

My condolences to Dr. Tewolde and the family. Mama Sue was an inspiration to many people all over the world. She truly served humanity with a pure heart. May she rest in peace!

Anne Maina, Kenya Biodiversity Coalition (KBioC), Kenya

Josephine Atangana

Million, tu nous apprends ici, une terrible nouvelle pour notre mouvement.  Sue était une icone, tout un symbole et un modèle à suivre. Le contact avec elle était tellement vrai et transparent. Que son âme repose en paix et surtout beaucoup de courage à ses très proches.

– Million, you’re telling us here, terrible news for our movement. Sue was an icon, a symbol and a model to follow. The contact with her was so true and transparent. May her soul rest in peace and above all much courage to his very close.

Josephine Atangana

Tsitsi Maradze

I met Sue briefly when we had the workshop in 2016 and I am so sorry for your loss. Condolences to the EOI family and may her dear soul rest in peace!

Tsitsi Maradze, Q Partnership International, Zimbabwe

Kadidja Kone

Mes sincères condoléances! – My Sincere Condolences!

Kadidja Kone, Cote d’Ivoire

Ibrahima Seck

I am very sorry about this news. Sue has been a strong Champion of Agroecology and Organic agriculture. I wish her soul always be in Peace.

Ibrahima Seck, FENAB Senegal  

Kebede Abegaz

It is sad. My condolences to her beloved family and colleagues around her. It is a great loss. May her soul rest in peace.

Kebede Abegaz


It is sad to know that Sue is not with us anymore. She was a sweet warrior and inspiration for all of us. However, as we say in Brazil:  Sue turned in to a star in the sky! I had the privilege of meeting Sue in the early years of ABN. She was always very active and nurtured collective reflections with great motivation and energy. She was also funny in informal women chats that I fortunately had the chance to share with her a couple of times. I share 2 pictures I have took in these nice occasions. My sincere condolences for Sue´s family and friends.

Rest in peace Sue! Fica a saudade.



Oh my God! Indeed it is such a sad news. I still have my memories of meeting Mrs Sue too. Though very knowledgeable, she was such a simple, kind and easy going person.  May our good God bless her with a good rest. May the strength of God be with her family and us all as we go through such a painful time. May God’s wisdom be with those of us still living to live according to His will and continue to share the knowledge we are blessed with , with others before our own hour knocks at the door. this way even in our absence, what we are standing for will be stood for from generation to generation.

Lets all stay strong and in prayers for our mother, sister, friend.


Zachary Makanya

Dear ISD Team and the Global Biodiversity Family

This is a sad and dark day for me and all of us. We have received this sad news great sadness. We have lost a real heavyweight, our mentor and one who leaves a huge legacy of servitude, a champion of organic agriculture and protectors of mother earth and biodiversity. She was an African at heart and she was very proud about it.

We have all passed through her molding, mentoring. Actually, some of us are what we are because of her. To be honest no enough words can describe Sue. She will remain a huge presence in our midst. See the attached some memorable photos – all taken in Benin.

On behalf of PELUM Kenya member organisations, management, staff and the board, I wish to send our heartfelt condolences. May her soul rest in eternal peace!

  Zachary Makanya, Pelum Kenya Country Coordinator

Charles Ssekweya

It is sad to hear the news about Sue. I met her couple of times in Ethiopia. I always found her full of energy and new ideas. We lost a good practitioner and supporter of biodiversity.

May her soul rest in peace!

Charles Ssekweya

Hailu Araya

Today is one of the saddest days for us because as Million said we lost our IRON Lady. She passed away after she had visited washroom and tried to eat her last meal and everything was changed in minutes.

As Million said I am witnessed for her all efforts to push the practices of Ethiopian smallholder farmers for two decades. Moreover, she is one of the front line people who prepared the Ethiopian and Eritrean Flora books.

Today I saw the youth around her area clearing the surroundings for people to seat. It was shocking telling the sad news for our farmers; anyway I did it. They were in a meeting around Axum and they changed the meeting into tears … tears … tears

It was good they were talking to Dr Tewolde by turn over the telephone; good to be a friend of farmers. That is what happened.

She is one of our great mentor as Million said and we are responsible to keep the momentum.

Hailu Araya, Pelum Ethiopia

Anne Nashipae

We mourn with you at this trying moment, indeed her works speak for her lets carry the mantle take it a niche higher for her to rejoice as she rest.

We never know the hour nor the day that the Lord comes knocking in our doors lets rejoice and be glad in Him.

Anne Nashipae, Vice Chairperson Pelum Regional  

Mere Jah

May Mother Sue Edwards Rise in Power and from above keeps on guiding us for the Victory of Agroecology and African Biodiversity. Blessed Love !

Mere Jah, CEVASTE and African Biodiversity Network (ABN) Board of Trustees

Faris Ahmed

This is very sad news indeed.  A loss for the whole community.  On behalf of all my colleagues at USC Canada, our heartfelt condolences to Sue’s family and friends.

I will remember her for her astute critique of the dominant agribusiness paradigm that continues to colonise Africa.  The early support for seed diversity, farmers knowledge and rights, offered by Sue, Dr. Tewolde, Dr. Melaku and others are a particularly significant legacy for my organisation, which has drawn much inspiration and technical expertise from the methodologies developed in Ethiopia. May she rest in peace!

Faris Ahmed, USC CANADA

Jane Kinya

It’s really sad but her spirit shall never wither!

Sue always had a youthful heart with a radiant charisma. She embraced diversity and freely shared her knowledge and experiences with a smile….I will really miss her finesse touch in everything she did. Heartfelt condolences to her family, the ISD team and to all her friends

Jane Kinya, African Biodiversity Network (ABN), Kenya

Henk Hobbelink

Indeed, Sue was the rock and origin of so many initiatives sprouting up in Ethiopia around concerns about the loss of biodiversity, the expansion of GMOs and the role of local communities to do something about it. I still remember the first time I came to Addis in the early 1990s and there she was, together with Tewolde and Melaku, at the centre of everything. Lots of strength to Tewolde, Million and everybody close to her.

Henk Hobbelink, GRAIN, Barcelona Spain

Michael Farrely

Sue continues to inspire us.

Here she explains how agroecology can feed Africa. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPvKYmNOSck

Here she talks about the role of indigenous knowledge in food production https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf7NdCU5Rew

Michael Farrely, Alliance for food Sovereignity in Africa (AFSA) Uganda

Janet Taabu

Rest in power dear Sue. Till we meet again

Janet Taabu, African Biodiversity Network (ABN), Kenya

Sena Aluoka

Je suis sous le choc. Jai l’espoir de revoir Sue bientot ds le Paradis. Restons forts dici la et co – I am in shock. I hope to see Sue again soon in Paradise. Let’s stay strong!

Sena Aluoka, JVE International Togo

Betty Aguti

May her soul Rest in Peace.

Betty Aguti, CARITAS Uganda

Marie Dossou

Paix a L’ame de Sue – Peace to the soul of Sue.

Marie Dossou, Nature Tropicale, Benin

Belynda Atieno

We celebrate her. Rest in peace Sue.

Belynda Atieno, African Biodiversity Network (ABN), Kenya

Method Gundidza

May her soul rest in eternal peace!

Method Gundidza, Earthlore, South Africa

Martin Muriuki

Even though hero has fallen, her spirit and knowledge forever lives, RIP!

Martin Muriuki, Institute for Culture and Ecology, Kenya

Josea Sagbo

Paix, paix a l’ame de la combattante Sue – Peace, peace to the soul of the fighter Sue.

Josea Sagbo, Nature Tropicale, Benin

Emile Frison

We have lost a pioneer. My sincere condolences.

Emile Frison, Bioversity International, Rome

Abdalla Mkindi

Merci de partager cette triste nouvelle de la mort de madame Sue Edwards. Passez notre condoléance à sa famille  – Thank you for sharing this sad news of the death of Mrs. Sue Edwards. Give our condolences to his family.

Abdalla Mkindi, Tanzania Alliance for Biodiversity (TABIO)

Chester Chituwu

It’s indeed a great loss to those with great passion for the work that we do and the communities we work with. May her soul rest in peace and may her works spur us on.

Chester Chituwu, Chikukwa Ecological land Use Community Trust (CELUCT), and ABN Board of Trustees Zimbabwe  

Patrice Sagbo

She has worked for the best through the world. Her life was full of good actions for nature, humans, PEACE, Justice. She was like a Baobab tree! May her souls rest in PEACE. She has not died but joined the new house of rest.

Patrice Sagbo, JINUKUN Benin

Bern Guri

I was one of the numerous persons who had the privilege of knowing and relating with Sue. May she continue as a worthy ancestor to watch over us and continue to guide us in our earthly struggles

Bern Guri, Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organization Development and (CIKOD) Ghana

Karen Nekesa

It is sad that you have passed on without meeting me when I had really planned to. I wanted to meet you when I visited Ethiopia late 2016 unfortunately I was informed that you had gone for further treatment.

Even without meeting you in person, I have heard many good stories about you; your wisdom and mentorship remain in our hearts. My heartfelt condolences to your family at this sad moment, may you rest in eternal peace!

Karen Nekesa, African Biodiversity Network (ABN), Kenya

Fiona Wilton

Feeling the sorrow here. Million you have articulated so beautifully the special person and indomitable character that was Sue. The links with the Gaia Foundation go back a long, long way.. and she will be sorely missed by so many. But, I’m pretty sure her spirit is going to live on.. and to be honest within the ABN family that’s what we need to do, to keep strong her values, strength, her humanity, and passion for Agroecology

Fiona Wilton, The Gaia Foundation, London

Denis Tabaro

Indeed this is sad news. I personally know Sue. We have met in several meetings and especially in ABN meetings. I remember her in 2015 when she was called to preside over an ABN meeting farewell dinner and she was handing over presents. She gave a brief history on every participant as she handed over them presents, as if she was reading from a prepared text. I was amazed by her sharp memory at her age. She has left a legacy, history and memory to reckon.

In our culture (Banyankole) from Uganda to a person of her repute and legacy, we say that she has gone to rest. She accomplished all she had to and has left when everybody loved her. May she rest in eternal peace.

Denis Tabaro, National Association of Proffessional Environmentalists (NAPE), Uganda

Simon Mitambo

It is indeed very sad story to learn of passing on of Sue Edwards after enduring and braving long duration of sickness. Sue has indeed been my mentor too in ABN who served well as one of the founders and in the Steering Committee of the ABN. She will be remembered by all at the ABN family and globally for her good job. Let her soul rest in eternal peace.

Simon Mitambo, African Biodiversity Network(ABN), Kenya

Mariann Bassey Orovwuje

Oh no! What agonising news!

I remember my first visit Addis and she treated us to a sumptuous dinner in her beautiful and love filled home. I remember returning two years later to Addis and she still remembered me and called me by my names.

Hmmmm, people like her never die, they continue to live on in our hearts forever.  Through her work, her brilliant mind and her relentless energy she has left the world a better place. She has added a lot of value to our collective struggles. We will miss her wisdom and excellent commitment in our various labours.

Oh Sue! You will always be remembered as our shining ray of light that will forever keep on shining in our hearts.Our hearts and love go out to her family, friends, colleagues and comrades. Sending strength and comfort to all of you in this difficult.

Mariann Bassey Orovwuje, Chair AFSA

Mariamé Quattara

Your testimony is very touching and allows me to know more Sue Edwards life. Her passing is truly a great loss for food sovereignty and Agroecology activists. My sincere condolences to the whole family. May his soul rest in peace! Amen.

Mariamé Quattara, Burkina Faso

Polly Wachira

My condolence to the family and all of us who knew the charming Sue.It is such a loss. I remember spending very good times with her and including having a  nice meal in her House.  Such was such a museum with a wealth of knowledge in many areas of development and especially about culture.

We will surely miss you Sue but may God rest your soul in peace.

Polly Wachira, SACDEP, Kenya

Haidee Swanby

Thank you so much for those Michael, lovely quirky humble Sue. Many tears at her loss! and gratitude for her incredible body of work and life of dedication.

Sending love and strength to all her family and all those who held her dear. We owe a big thanks to her for guiding people of calibre like our dear Million. What a sad time!

Haidee Swanby, African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), South Africa

Gathuru Mburu

Wishing family and friend’s strength as you come to terms with the loss of such an amazing leader in the Agroecology movement.  May she rest in peace.

Gathuru Mburu, Member of County Assembly and Friend to African Biodiversity Network(ABN), Kenya

René M. Segbenou

You surely know Sue better than me. But for the couple of times that I met her, I can confirm all that you said about her. Let’s wish that she is now together with all the ancestors that believe in the same things and as we say in our culture here, now that she turned her back to us, she may help us continue cultivating the seeds that she has sowed all her life.

I wish she rests in peace.


Zachary Makanya

Here sleepeth a great woman, Sue Edward!

Today, we are all gathered here, from near and far, to pay our tributes and mourn the death of our beloved Sue Edward, our mother, a wife to Dr Tewolde and a friend and a mentor to many:

Good people, here sleepeth a great woman, Sue Edward!

Sue has been a mentor and a friend to us all. A mobiliser of people to rise against injustices. She was always full of humour, hard working, practical, humble, patient, had a word of encouragement for all, and she was always there for everybody:

Good people, here sleepeth a great woman, Sue Edward!

She was a brave woman, always humble, a keen listener, always honest and full of integrity ….. during her time, she could stand her ground for what she believed to be right and many times, it turned out to be so, hence many could trust and respect her judgments and decisions:

Good people, here sleepeth a great woman, Sue Edward!

Good people …. let us celebrate our friend and mother. And let our tears freely flow… and let nobody tell us not to cry… inwardly or outwardly. Sue, your family celebrates you, your relatives celebrate you, your friends celebrate you, and your children celebrate you and your grandchildren celebrate you. Yes, all the Ethiopian communities, and all global citizens celebrate you, we all celebrate you because you were a great woman, dear to us all.

Here sleepeth a great woman, Sue Edward! ….

We, all her friends will always remember her good deeds. Sometimes we feel that we want to ask a question: why did she have to die now? We cannot get a good answer … and who will answer us anyway?

Again we ask ourselves: who do we ask the question? It is the Lord who gives and takes life – all for his glory … so we end up in our knees, humbled and submitting ourselves to the will of the almighty God, and accept His will with humility. We have to soldier on with life struggles and patiently wait for our turn to come …for this is the way of those born of women.

Are there people, who look at all other people with the same lenses of equality and respect? If there are such people, then Sue Edwards was one of them. Sue, we salute your big vision for ISD, the communities in Ethiopia and Africa, for the global citizens, for the biodiversity and for Mother Earth!

Fare thee well our mother and friend, we will meet you again at the close of the times. May the great sacrifices you made as you lived be a legacy to be emulated by many and us all!

Sue Edwards, our Dear Sue, Dear Sosena, may your soul Rest in Peace!

Zachary Makanya, Country Coordinator, PELUM-Kenya and a dear Family Friend!