Over 150 international speakers from business, government and heads of states.
Dr. Agnes Kalibata
As President of AGRA, Dr. Kalibata leads the organization’s efforts with public and private partners to ensure a food secure and prosperous Africa through rapid, sustainable agricultural growth, improving the productivity and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers.
Prior to joining AGRA in September 2014, Dr. Kalibata was Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI). In this role, she was widely considered to be one of the most successful Agriculture Ministers in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Kalibata has held several other leadership positions, including Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture and Deputy Vice Chancellor of University of Rwanda. She also worked for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Uganda, and various other agricultural development organizations. She sits on various boards including the International Fertilizer Development Corporation (IFDC), Institute of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, the Strategic Advisory Council of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH).
Dr. Kalibata has a distinguished track record as an agricultural scientist, policy maker and thought leader. She holds a doctorate in entomology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Chairman and Founder, Econet and Board Chair, AGRA
Mr. Masiyiwa is from Zimbabwe and is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Econet Wireless International, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is also a Trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation. In 2002, Mr. Masiyiwa was named to the Time Magazine List of Most Influential People, and in March 2014, he was selected to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.” He is one of Africa’s most influential figures, and a champion for the power of technology to improve the lives of millions of Africa’s smallholders.
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina
President, African Development Bank
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina is the President of the African Development Bank. He previously served as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. Until his appointment as Minister in 2010, he was Vice President of Policy and Partnerships for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).He is an Agricultural development expert with 24 years of experience in developing and managing successful agricultural programs across Africa. He graduated with Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics with First Class Honours from the University of Ife, Nigeria (1981). He obtained his PhD degree in Agricultural Economics in 1988 from Purdue University, USA, where he won the Outstanding PhD Thesis for his research work
Dr. Kanayo F. Nwanze
Former President, IFAD & Inaugural Africa Food Prize Winner
Dr. Lindiwe Sibanda
Vice President, Country Support And Delivery, AGRA
Madam Josefa Sacko
African Union Commissioner For Rural Economy And Agriculture
Dr. Ousmane Badiane
Africa Director, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Prof. Richard Mkandawire
Vice President Of The African Fertilizer And Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP)
Director At African Women In Agricultural Research And Development (AWARD)
Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin
CEO, Ethiopia Commodity Exchange
Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Dr. Ruth Oniang’o
Founder And Executive Director Of Rural Outreach Africa, 2018 Africa Food Prize Winner
Mr. Edwin Macharia
Partner And Regional Director, Africa, Dalberg
Dr Roberto RIDOLFI
Dr Roberto Ridolfi, Ph.D. is seconded from the European Union to FAO in Rome as Special Adviser for Strategy and Financing Development, as of January 2018.
Dr Ridolfi was Director for Sustainable Growth and Development as well as Director for Planet and Prosperity at the Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) of the European Commission (2013-2017).
He was instrumental in developing main policy innovations on the role of the private sector in development, the promotion of financial instruments and blending, notably in the areas of renewable energy and productive agriculture launching, inter alia, initiatives like ELECTRIFI and AGRIFI and, most notably though the conception and the start-up of the 44 Billion EUR European External Investment Plan and the European Fund for Sustainable Development.
Twice Ambassador, Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU), Dr Ridolfi first worked in Suva, Fiji, from 2005 to 2007, where he was in charge of relations of the EU with 15 Pacific countries and territories. In 2010, he was appointed by the High Representative for Foreign Policy of the EU in Uganda, where he served as Ambassador for the EU until September 2013.
From 2008 to 2010, as Head of the Global Thematic Programmes of the European Commission, at EuropeAid, he managed worldwide programmes dealing with agriculture and rural development, environment and climate change, food security, human development, migration and asylum, renewable energies, as well as the One-Billion-Euro Food Facility in 50 countries.
Dr Ridolfi joined the EU in 1994 and worked in several countries beyond the Pacific and Uganda: Malawi, Namibia and Kosovo as development and economic adviser. Throughout accession negotiations (2001-2004), he was the principal coordinator dealing with environment and transport, and was also in charge of Public-Private-Partnerships on which he is a key note speaker and writer.
Instrumental to his drive in the private sector are his working experiences in the private sector before joining the Commission. These experiences, which were mainly in strategic management, finance and marketing engineering, were coupled with lecturing and (later on) with roles as Associate Professor at various universities in Italy and abroad.
Dr Ridolfi holds a M.Sc. in Engineering, an MBA and a Ph.D. in A. Technology.
João Bosco Monte
João Bosco Monte holds a PhD in Education from the Federal University of Ceará and Postdoctoral studies from the University of Brasilia (UNB), with the object of research on the integration of the African continent. He is a visiting professor of important Brazilian and African universities and author of books and publications about the relations between the various international actors.
Professor Monte also acts as an international consultant for Brazilian and foreign organizations. He is a columnist and commentator in important media in Brazil. In 2018 Professor Monte was admitted as Comendador da Ordem de Rio Branco, a very prestigious award of the Brazilian Government, in recognition for his merits achieved on the promotion of the relations between Brazil and Africa.
He was a Brazilian delegate to the 2013 edition of the Academic Forum of the BRICS. He is the General Coordinator of the Brazil Africa Forum and the President of the Board of Trustees of the Youth Technical Training Program (IBRAF).
Madame Maimouna COULIBALY
Founder and CEO Faso Kaba Seed Company
Madame Maimouna Coulibaly is an accountant who in 2003 retired from an American NGO, CLUSA-Mali sponsored by USAID, which worked with Farmers organizations in Mali. Maimouna developed interest in seed business during the period when her spouse was pursuing post graduate studies at IOWA State University in US she got a part time job to work for a seed company.
It is the knowledge gained from her US seed company experience and her 15 years of experience in NGO work that allowed her to start and manage Faso Kaba Seed Company in Mali. The company started with a production of only 28.5 MT of seed in 2007, with a bank loan of $10000 guaranteed for 50% (paid back) by the NGO SG2000 in Mali. Today Faso Kaba is producing over 1,500 MT.
From a humble beginning, the company now has in place modern facilities to process, distribution network and producing a range of crops from hybrid maize, sorghum, rice, cowpea, peanut and vegetable seeds, with AGRA technical and financial support. Maimouna has participated in several national and international seed panels including one in Senegal where she represented seed companies in West Africa to meet Barrack Obama when he was US president. Maimouna has equally attended several trainings in seed in Africa and other continents and it is this experience she has used to grow Faso Kaba Seed Company to the biggest company in Mali.
Co-Founder & CEO, Farmcrowdy
Onyeka Akumah is the Co-Founder and CEO of Farmcrowdy – Nigeria’s first Digital Agriculture platform. Prior to Farmcrowdy, Onyeka has been involved in the inner-workings of some of the leading Internet businesses in Nigeria. Such businesses include Konga.com, Jumia.com, GTBank, Deloitte, Wakanow.com and Travelbeta.com.
Although he was one of the top in his class learning Software Engineering in an Indian University, Onyeka’s eye for marketing led him to focus on the user-experience and customer journey of selling products and services of technology-reliant organizations he has worked for or founded on his own.
Onyeka currently seats on the Board of leading tech start-ups in New York and Lagos and constantly seeks ways to impact on Nigerian youths through media and technology. He was named 2017 Tech Startup CEO of the Year at the Nigeria Technology Awards as well as one of the Top 20 Young Entrepreneurs to Watch in Africa by the African Youth Forum in Egypt and more.
In his capacity as a public speaker, he has spoken on a number of platforms including The Economist Summit in Kenya, TEDx BellsTech, Abuja International ICT Conference and more.
Co-Founder and CEO, KadAfrica Estate
Eric was born and raised in Kenya, with a Kenyan mother and a Uganda father he considers himself an East African. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of KadAfrica Estate, a commercial passion fruit farm and out grower network. KadAfrica has worked with more than 2000 out of school girls aged 14-24 in western Uganda to build sustainable livelihood options by starting viable agro-enterprises cultivating passion fruit. He “passionately” believes that involving youth in agriculture is key to creating sustainable development on the continent.
Eric’s organization KadAfrica is a commercial passion fruit farm and socially-driven agribusiness that uses passion fruit farming to empower out of school girls in Western Uganda through a proprietary training program called the KadAfrica Experience. By equipping girls with knowledge, skills and assets
to begin their own sustainable passion fruit farms, they become financially literate, entrepreneurial leaders generating income through agribusiness. This girl-powered vertically integrated value chain creates vibrant rural communities and allows us to provide the highest quality fruit at a consistent price, year-round.