Over 300 international speakers from Heads of States, Government and Business.
Prof. Moses Moroe Zinnah
Dean, William R. Tolbert Jr. College of Agriculture and Forestry University of Liberia
Prof. Moses M. Zinnah is a distinguished agricultural development expert with over 30 years of extensive professional experience in various institutional settings, including public/government sector, research institutes, international non-governmental organizations, and higher agricultural education institutions.
Currently Dr. Zinnah is the Dean of the William R. Tolbert, Jr. College of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Liberia. Prior to joining the University of Liberia, Prof. Zinnah served in several high-level positions of the Government of Liberia, including Minister of Agriculture, Deputy Minister for Planning and Development, and Director of the Program Management Unit (PMU) in the Ministry of Agriculture.
Prof. Zinnah served with distinction as the West Africa Regional Coordinator of the Sasakawa Africa Fund for Extension Education (SAFE) initiative that was set up by Winrock International and Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) to reform higher agricultural education institutions in sub-Saharan Africa to enable them to train mid-career agricultural extension staff that work directly with smallholder farm families to improve their livelihoods. The SAFE project has been successfully scaled up from 1 pilot program in Ghana in 1993 to over 17 innovative programs spread across 9 countries in East, West and Southern Africa.
Prof. Zinnah has published 25 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. Due to his outstanding professional work, in 2003 he was awarded the Outstanding Young Professional Award by the Association for International Agricultural Education and Extension (AIAEE). He is also a recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation African Career Award, and prestigious Fulbright Fellowship.
He holds a B.Sc. degree in General Agriculture from the University of Liberia, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees Agricultural and Extension Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.
Dr. Priscilla M Achakpa
Executive Director, Women Environmental Programme
Dr. Priscilla M. Achakpa is the founder and Executive Director of Women Environmental Programme (WEP) in Nigeria which currently has offices in Nigeria, Togo, Burkina Faso, Tunisia and USA. She has over twenty years of experience in development work, gender issues, research and documentation, resource mobilization, monitoring and evaluation, conflict intervention and peace building, negotiations, labour activism and poverty reduction intervention programmes.
I have held many positions of authority both in a work place, in networks and within religious development organizations in Nigeria, regional and international levels and have accomplished these responsibilities successfully. Amongst such positions are: Lead Gender Negotiator for Nigeria at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), National Coordinator, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council,(WSSCC) a UN Agency, , African Regional Organizing Partner (OP) for the Women’s Major Group at the UN, Co-Facilitator, Women Major UNEP, Team Member, African Working Group on Gender and Climate Change (AWGGCC), Advisory Board Member, Initiative for Equality, International Conference on Drylands, Desert & Desertification, Sustainability Awards Africa, Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reform, National Technical Committee on REDD+, National Technical Committee on Chemicals Management & Technical Coordinating Committee, Expert Member, Land Governance Assessment Framework, World Bank Nigeria, Chair, UNWOMEN Civil Society Advisory Group Nigeria.
A recipient of many national and international awards including Ashoka Fellow in 2013. “2face Peace Award” for Exemplary Advocacy on Internally Displace Persons (IDPs) and Peaceful Co-Existence in Nigeria, 2016, ECO Ambassador, Channels TV Nigeria and Deutsche Welle, a public broadcasting institution formed under German April 2016, Climate Change Warriors –Vogue Magazine, USA December 2015, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution & UNDP award for Community Peacebuilding in Nigeria, September 2012, Mother of Peace Award: for Mediating and Bringing Peace to Agila Community in Benue State Nigeria, 2011
A Ph.D. Economics from the University of Business Engineering and Management, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, M.SC in Development Studies, Benue State University, Higher National Diploma and National Diploma in Business Admin, Post Graduate Diploma in Management, Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management and Programme Administration, Post Graduate Diploma in Land Management and Informal Settlement Regularization and several short courses in gender issues, conflict and peace building programmes and on other developmental issues.
Founder, African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET)
K.Y. Amoako has contributed with passion and energy to Africa’s ongoing development in a career spanning more than four decades. He began his career in 1974 at the World Bank, rising quickly to become Division Chief for Country Programs in the Africa Region and also Division Chief for Sector Programs in the Latin America and Caribbean Region among other roles. He ultimately became the Bank’s first Director for Education and Social Policy from 1992 to 1995. He was appointed the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission on Africa (UNECA) and served from 1995-2005. He spent 2006 as a Distinguished African Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. In 2008, he founded the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), an economic policy institute with headquarters in Accra. ACET works across Africa with the mission of supporting the sustained growth and transformation of African economies.
Dr. Martin Fregene
Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department, AfDB
Dr. Martin Fregene is a plant geneticist and molecular breeder with over 25 years of research and development experience at two International Agricultural Research Centers (IARCs), a renowned Plant Science Center in the US (judged the sixth best plant science center in the US), at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) of Nigeria – as Chief Technical Adviser to the erstwhile Minister of Agriculture, and as Adviser to the Vice President of Agriculture, Human, and Social Development at the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Jennifer Blanke. He is currently Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industry (AHAI) at the African Development Bank working on implementation of a bold initiative of the Bank, the Feed Africa Strategy in collaboration with AHAI’s sister department at the Bank, Agricultural Financing and Rural Development (AHFR). Specifically, he is leading the execution of the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) to raise farm level crop, livestock, and aquaculture productivity across the continent. He is also leading the design and implementation of the Transformation of African Savannah Initiative (TASI), a science and technology –based initiative, that seeks to transform 16 million Ha of African Savannah across eight African countries into breadbaskets producing 50million MT of maize, 30million MT of soybean, and 10 million MT of livestock within 25 years via new private sector investments and climate-smart agriculture.
He began his career at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1991 as a pre-doctoral fellow in cassava breeding (1991-1993. While at IITA, he was a recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation post-doctoral fellowship on molecular genetic mapping (1993 – 1996) that took him to the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT, its Spanish acronym), Cali, Colombia; while at CIAT as a post-doc, he developed the first molecular genetic map of cassava. From 1996 until 1997 he was an associate scientist at CIAT working on tagging of genes controlling early yield, resistance to diseases and pests in cassava. In 1999, he was promoted senior scientist and cassava geneticist at CIAT and initiated the first cassava molecular breeding program to accelerate development of improved cassava varieties for various agro-ecologies of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
He left CIAT in 2008 to join the Biocassava Plus project, an initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to enhance the nutritional status of cassava, as product development manager at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (DDPSC), St. Louis, Missouri. He was promoted Director of the Biocassava plus project in July 2010 and led a team that produced cassava events rich in pro-vitamin A and iron, also successfully renewing the grant, securing an additional US$7million for a phase II, bringing the total grant to US$21million. Dr Fregene took a leave of absence from DDPSC to join the Honorable Minister of Agriculture as a Chief Technical Advisor and team leader of the cassava value-added chain, continuing on to the African Development Bank in 2015 as adviser on Feed Africa.
Dr Fregene has a B.Sc. degree in Chemistry from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He bagged a M.Sc. degree in Organic chemistry at the same University, graduating at the top of his class. His Ph.D. degree in plant genetics and breeding was conducted at the John Innes Center, Norwich UK, the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT, its Spanish acronym), Cali, Colombia, and awarded by the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Dr Fregene has also been recipient of several travel award: including a grant of the Japanese Society for the promotion of Science (JSPS) in 2001 to spend a total of 6 months at the Iwate Biotechnology Research Institute (IBRC), Kitakami, Japan; a CIAT award to spend 3 months with Dr Rod Wing at the Clemson University Genome Institute (CUGI), a grant of the International Program for Science of the University of Uppsala to spend 3 months at the Swedish Agricultural University, Uppsala, Sweden, amongst others. He also won best publication award twice while at CIAT. He has been recipient of over US$25M in research grants over the course of his 25 year career and has published over 70 scientific papers in refereed journals and book chapters.
Social Impact Strategist
With over a decade of leading multi-cultural teams across various continents in development contexts, Shanoo is a social impact strategist, innovator in multi-stakeholder partnerships, and a firm believer in market based solutions. In her last role, Shanoo was working with the UN World Food Programme’s Supply Chain Division as the Global Lead for the emerging ‘strengthening national capacities and markets’ portfolio. She was responsible for the development of a global strategy and country-based services to enable efficient supply chain mechanisms for first line responders i.e. local private and public sector actors. The proposed services would leverage WFP’s $3 billion supply chain footprint in 90 countries. Prior to this, Shanoo held various management roles within WFP including as Global Coordinator of Business Development and Innovations for the Procurement Division where she was the co-founder of the FtMA model and has worked in multiple operational and advisory capacities for the public and private sector. Shanoo holds an MBA in Social Entrepreneurship from University of Oxford’s Said Business School.
Mr. Nick Austin
Director, Agricultural Development, within the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Mr. Nick Austin is Director, Agricultural Development, within the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He joined the foundation on January 3 this year. Previously, he was Interim Executive Director, CGIAR, based in Montpellier, France, and prior to that served for seven years as Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), where he was responsible for leading the Centre’s effort to improve the incomes and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the developing world.
Nick has held senior executive roles for over a decade, was a member of the Portfolio Executive of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and served for seven years on the CGIAR Fund Council. Coming from a farming family, Nick holds a PhD in irrigation and water quality from the University of Melbourne; a Masters in Sustainable Management from the University of Sydney; and a Bachelor of Engineering in Agriculture with Honors (University of Melbourne). He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has held a number of directorships on private and not for profit companies.
Mustapha El Ouafi
Managing Director, OCP Group & Chairman, OCP Africa
Mr. Mustapha El Ouafi, Managing Director, OCP Group and Chairman, OCP Africa, has 25 years’ experience in the phosphates industry. He joined OCP in 1992 and started his career as a mining engineer.
Since then, he has held the roles of Sales Director for Asia, Middle East and Oceania, as well as Director in Charge of the Jorf Lasfar Platform at OCP and Executive Director in charge of Sales, Marketing and Raw Material Procurement.
Mr. El Ouafi holds a civil engineering degree from EMI (Rabat).
Dr Chimimba David Phiri
FAO Subregional Coordinator for Eastern Africa
Dr Chimimba David Phiri is FAO Subregional Coordinator for Eastern Africa and FAO Representative to the African Union and to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. He assumed this position on 1 May 2018.
He holds a Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) degree from the University of Malawi (1981); a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Wales (1984); and a PhD in Agricultural Economics and Development Economics from the University of Cambridge (1987).
Dr Phiri started his career in 1981 as Projects Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture in Malawi. He then joined the University of Malawi, where he was Lecturer in Agricultural Economics until 1987.
He joined FAO at its headquarters in Rome in 1991 as Policy Economist in the Economic and Social Development Department. From 1998 to 2008, he served in the Cabinet of the FAO Director-General, where, as senior aide to the Director-General, he was involved in the policy direction and overall management of the Organization.
In September 2008, Dr Phiri was appointed Chief of the Policy Assistance Support Service in the Technical Cooperation Department. In this position, as well as overall responsibility for FAO policy assistance worldwide, Dr Phiri was the focal point for FAO’s support to the African Union and its NEPAD programme, and he chaired the Organization-wide Task Team for such cooperation.
Between April 2013 and April 2018, he served as FAO Subregional Coordinator for Southern Africa, which supports 16 countries predominantly in Southern Africa.
Nana Ama Aning Oppong-Duah
Nana Ama Aning Oppong-Duah has an MSc in Tropical & International Agriculture following a BSc in Agric. Economics and a Certificate in Organisation and Systems Development. With about 20 years of work experience, she has worked with firms Like the German Development Cooperation as a project coordinator and the Millennium Development Authority (implementers of the Ghana Compact), as a Project Support Consultant. As a consultant, she has worked with several clients like the British High Commission, United States Agency for International Development, Economic & Serious Crimes Office in Ghana and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa among others. She also works as a Policy Advisor for the John A. Kufuor Foundation and has work experience in countries like Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Ghana.
Dr. Howarth Bouis
Acting CEO, Harvest Plus (2016 World Food Prize Laureate
Dr. Howarth Bouis was awarded the World Food Prize in 2016, along with colleagues from the International Potato Center, in recognition of his efforts over 25 years to promote and implement biofortification, the interdisciplinary, global effort to improve nutrition and health by developing and disseminating micronutrient-rich staple food crops. Bouis helped pioneer this concept in the early 1990s and devoted his career to turning this idea into a global movement that currently reaches more than 30 million people in rural farming families in developing countries. The vision is that most of the staple food crop supply in developing countries will be biofortified, with the hope of reaching several hundred million more beneficiaries in the coming decade.
Dr. Bouis is the founding director of HarvestPlus, a joint program of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) (Washington, D.C.) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) (Cali, Colombia). Using conventional breeding techniques, HarvestPlus and its 400+ partners deliver staple food crops – including beans, cassava, maize, pearl millet, rice, sweet potato, and wheat — that provide higher amounts of vitamin A, iron, or zinc, three micronutrients identified by the World Health Organization as most lacking in diets globally. Biofortified crops have been released or are being tested in 60 countries around the world.
Dr. Bouis currently serves as the interim CEO of HarvestPlus. He also serves on HarvestPlus’ Program Advisory Committee and chairs the Board of Trustees of the Micronutrient Forum. Prior to serving as HarvestPlus Interim CEO, Bouis was an Institute Fellow at IFPRI and guest scientist at the International Rice Research Institute, residing in the Philippines. In 2017, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa, by the University of Greenwich.
Dr. Bouis received his B.A. in economics from Stanford University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University’s Food Research Institute. After receiving his PhD, Bouis was offered a postdoctoral position in 1982 in the Food Consumption and Nutrition Division of IFPRI to undertake a two-year research project on the Philippines. He subsequently worked as a Research Fellow and Senior Research Fellow in the same division. His research concentrated on understanding how economic factors affect food demand and nutrition outcomes, particularly in Asia. Insights gained during this research led him to propose the concept of biofortification.
Prior to beginning his graduate studies, Bouis worked for three years as a volunteer in the Philippines with Volunteers in Asia.
Mr. Edwin Macharia
Partner And Regional Director, Africa, Dalberg
Ms Dolika Banda
AECF Board Member
Ms Dolika Banda is a Zambian banking and finance expert with more than 25 years of international banking and financial management experience. After a long career with IFC culminating in the Director of Financial Markets, she worked as regional director for Africa at the CDC and, since 2016 she has been CEO of the African Risk Capacity Insurance Company Limited (ARC Ltd), Africa’s first catastrophe risk pool.
Ms Banda has also held senior corporate and merchant banking positions at Barclays and Citibank in Zambia and currently sits as a non-executive director on a number of boards
CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility
Since taking the helm at the GEF in 2012, Naoko Ishii, an economist by training, has steered the development and implementation of a new long-term strategy that addresses the underlying drivers of environmental degradation. She has put protecting the global commons – our air, water, biodiversity, forests, land, oceans and a stable climate – at its center. Previously, Naoko was Deputy Vice Minister of Finance in Japan and has also worked at the World Bank and the IMF. She has published numerous papers and several books, two of which were awarded the Suntory Prize (1990) and Okita Memorial Prize for International Development Research (2004). She is the inaugural recipient of the 2006 Enjoji Jiro Memorial Prize. Naoko holds a B.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo.
Ms. Atsuko Toda
Director for Agricultural Finance and Rural Development, AfDB
Ms. Atsuko Toda, Japanese, is an experienced manager and expert in the field of rural and agricultural finance, with extensive experience in rural development. She joins the Bank from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), where she has worked for close to twenty years on rural development and financing in Asia and Africa.
She is currently the Country Director for Nigeria for IFAD, where she manages a large portfolio of investments in rural development, accelerating the access of farmers to new technologies, finance and markets.
Ms. Toda is a passionate, dynamic and consummate rural development expert, with solid on-the-ground field experience of working in rural communities. She brings extensive field and operational experience.
Since joining IFAD in 1997, Ms. Toda has held several positions in different countries including Bangladesh, Nepal, Laos and Vietnam. She brings strong portfolio management experience, with particular focus on turning around problematic projects. While in Vietnam, IFAD’s rural development and finance operations in rural communities grew from just one province to operate in eleven provinces of the Northern, Central, Highland and Mekong Delta regions. During this expansion, rural communities were linked to markets and rural finance. She also decentralized project implementation to the provinces, boosting rural economies, an achievement that earned the IFAD Country programme a special recognition of contribution from the Government of Vietnam. She is also credited for building strong linkages with the private sector in agriculture, transitioning country programmes from an emphasis on integrated rural development and community infrastructure, towards a portfolio of innovative market-oriented solutions involving private sector actors.
In Nigeria, where she has worked for IFAD since 2012, she built a reputation for promoting strong partnerships with Government and other development partners. She is credited for setting up and leading the Agriculture Sector Donor Working Group, which has become the platform for constructive dialogue between partners in the sector and the Government on agriculture. She more than doubled the portfolio size of IFAD in rural communities, while building strong partnerships with private sector food processing and manufacturing companies to provide market access to farmers.
Ms Toda holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, with specialization in multi-cultural societies, from the Doshisha University of Kyoto, Japan; a Diploma in Developmental Studies from Cambridge University, United Kingdom; and a Masters’ Degree in Public Administration, with specialization in rural finance, from the International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan.
Speaking about Ms. Toda’s appointment, the President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said: “Ms. Toda brings extensive operations’ management experience in the fields of rural and agricultural finance and rural development. She combines practical field experience in rural communities, with expertise in building strong institutions to support rural communities and linking farmers to markets to improve their incomes and livelihoods. Atsuko’s passion and down-to-earth pragmatic approaches will help to advance the work of the Bank in support of rural economies to achieve inclusive growth”.
Jean Claude KAYISINGA
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI -RWANDA)
Mr. Jean Claude KAYISINGA was appointed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI -RWANDA) in August 2016.
Prior to that from September 2015 until August 2016, he served as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) in charge of Marketing and Export at the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB). Besides, Mr. Kayisinga served in Senior Positions in various organizations involved in coffee, pyrethrum and horticulture value chain like USAID funded projects and the Clinton Development Initiative/Clinton Foundation. Mr. Kayisinga taught at the Former University of Rwanda in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness. He holds a Masters in Agribusiness (MAB)from the Texas A&M University, United States of America.
H.E. Sara Hradecky
High Commissioner of Canada to Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda, Ambassador to Somalia
Sara Hradecky (BA [International Affairs], Carleton University, 1981; MA [International Affairs], Carleton University, 1983; MSc [Aeronautical Science], Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 2004) joined Canada’s Department of External Affairs in 1983 and has since served abroad in Canadian Embassies in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Belgrade, Yugoslavia and Tel Aviv, Israel.
She also served as Canada’s first Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. At Headquarters, she has served as Director, International Financing, and as Director General, International Business Development Policy and Innovation.
Ms. Hradecky was Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (2006 to 2009) and Assistant Deputy Minister of the Afghanistan Task Force in the Privy Council Office (2009 to 2011). Ms. Hradecky was Ambassador to Mexico (2011 to 2015) and was appointed Canada’s High Commissioner to Kenya in September, presenting her credentials to H. E. President Uhuru Kenyatta on September 7th, 2016; to UNON’s Director General H. E. Sahle-Work Zewde on October 31, 2016, to Rwanda’s President H. E. Paul Kagame on January 23, 2017; to Somalia’s President H.E. Mohamed A. Mohamed on June 6, 2017 and to Uganda’s President H. E. Yoweri Museveni on June 13, 2017.
George William Kayonga
Dr. Munhamo Chisvo
Dr Chisvo is a highly experienced, successful and well-regarded leader in agricultural development, food and nutrition security, policy analysis and strategic planning. He has over 25 years of experience in agricultural development, with a special focus on food and nutrition security, multi-sectoral strategy development processes, resource mobilization, mainstreaming gender in development cooperation programmes, results-based management, and project formulation and management at national and international levels.
Mr. Chisvo has extensive expertise gained from running an internationally recognised development consultancy firm which has won two international awards for service excellence. He has strong process facilitation and writing skills, and has published a number of peer-reviewed journal articles, policy briefs and books. Amongst his achievements, Mr. Chisvo has successfully led the development of national policies, strategic plans, programmes, and monitoring and evaluation systems for food and nutrition security projects; facilitated the development of an EU-funded regional programme to support the implementation of the SADC Regional Agricultural Policy; and assisted the DFID, EU, CIDA, DAPP, AusAid, Help Germany and BRAC in Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, and Ghana to prepare project proposals that mobilized over USD 300 million.
Executive Director, The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH)
Joost Oorthuizen is the Executive Director at The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) and board member of the andgreen.fund.
The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), is a multi-government funded organization that works with over 400 companies, local governments and civil society to mainstream sustainable trade in internationally traded commodities through public private partnerships. Joost sits on the board the Better Cotton Initiative; and the Grow Asia and Grow Africa boards of the New Vision for Agriculture Initiative of the World Economic Forum.
Joost started his career in Asia in water engineering and lectured on public-private governance at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, the Institute for Hydraulic Engineering and Wageningen University. He continued as management consultant in international retail and the infrastructure and has worked for the consultancy Twynstra Gudde and Agroprofocus among others. He is an expert in public private stakeholder management, holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resource Management and a post-graduate Master of Change Management degree (MCM). See for more information: www.idhsustainabletrade.com
Xavier Le Prince
Head of Business Sustainability EAME
Xavier Leprince is the Head of EAME Business Sustainability for Syngenta, one of the world’s largest agricultural technology companies with 28,000 employees across 90 countries. Syngenta is committed to helping to improve global food security by enabling millions of farmers to make better use of available resources, rescuing land from degradation, enhancing biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities.
As Head of EAME Business Sustainability, Xavier leads a team across Europe and Africa Middle East (EAME) responsible for sustainable technologies for agriculture and innovation. His team is also responsible for regulatory, public affairs and public policy, building the corporate brand and company’s reputation. Xavier is an agribusiness professional with over 35 years’ experience across a variety of business positions and locations at Syngenta and its legacy companies. Prior to his current role, he was Head of Global Business Unit Fungicides. Xavier Leprince is French and is an agronomist who graduated from “Institut Supérieur Agriculture” de Lille, France. He holds a master’s in Finance from Lille University as well as an MBA from EDHEC business school.
He is also a board member at the Institut Supérieur d’Agriculture in Lille and a visiting professor specialized in strategy for medium sized companies.
Dr. Betty Chinyamunyamu
Chief Executive Officer for the National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM)
Dr. Betty Chinyamunyamu is a Development Economist with extensive knowledge and experience in agribusiness development, food security, rural development, project development and management, policy and advocacy, farmer organisation development and management, and women economic empowerment.
She is currently the Chief Executive Officer for the National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM) – Malawi’s largest independent smallholder farmer organisation with a membership of over 130,000 farmers and annual turnover of around US$20 million.
Previously, she worked as a Policy and Programmes Manager for an agribusiness project managed by ACDI/VOCA. She has also held various positions in NASFAM including Programmes Manager; Development Director; and Deputy CEO.
Dr. Chinyamunyamu is a Board member of several organisations in Malawi and the Southern Africa region. She has a bachelor’s degree in Economics (distinction) from Chancellor College, University of Malawi; a master’s degree in Development Studies (distinction) from the University of Cambridge (UK); and a PhD from the University of Leeds (UK).
Strategy and Operations Senior officer, at the African Union Commission’s Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa
Ms Liz Ogutu is the Strategy and Operations Senior officer, at the African Union Commission’s Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa. She has spent most of her career assisting people and organizations to implement efficient and effective systems to achieve their goals and objectives. Before joining the African Union Commission, she worked for the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) as the Regional Manager for Africa and has spent over 10 years supporting agricultural researchers in fundraising, establishing and maintaining strong partnerships, maximising cooperation and promoting program objectives and strategic vision. She has experience in program management and advocating with development partners and other stakeholders in agricultural challenges, priorities and research capacity in Sub Saharan Africa.Prior to her work in agriculture and development, Liz spent 14 years working in the private sector. She holds a BSc Degree from the Open University (UK) and an MBA from the Heriot Watt University (UK).
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.
Partner in McKinsey’s Global Agriculture and Sustainability and Resource Productivity Practices
David Fiocco is a Partner in McKinsey’s Global Agriculture and Sustainability and Resource Productivity Practices, with experience across the public and private sectors in both the developed and developing world—including North and South America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. His work spans food value chains from crop inputs to origination, processing and retail. He particularly focuses on helping clients build industry-leading digital agriculture platforms.
David co-leads McKinsey’s Agricultural Commodity Research Engine (ACRETM) solution, using advanced analytics from crop models to weather analysis and geospatial tools to make evidence-based decisions. He is passionate about sustainability, and has worked with leaders around the world to build sustainable agriculture growth plans. Closer to home, he convenes a sustainability roundtable with many of Minnesota’s private sector and academic leaders. He recently authored the white paper “From Liability to Opportunity: How to Build Food Security and Nourish Growth.
Examples of his recent work include:
Crafting the market growth strategy for two Fortune 500 companies in East Africa, including nurturing partnerships with other multinationals, local players, and governments
Digitizing the “farmer decision journey” in partnership with a world leading agricultural distributor, building an online analytics platform to transform farmers’ year-round ability to plan, purchase, and monitor farm inputs
Drafting the “Agriculture 2020” vision for a Central American country, working with the President’s office and across ministries
Connecting a multinational food distributor directly with farmers around the world—beginning with a Mexico pilot to reduce waste, improve sustainable sourcing, and lower input and production costs
Designing South Sudan’s agriculture transformation plan, bringing together donors and government leaders to build a holistic agenda, including public-private partnerships across the value chain
Building the sourcing strategy for a global retailer to secure long-term sustainable supply chains in the face of climate change and resource pressure, price volatility, and grower demographics
Creating an integrated national food security strategy for a Middle East government, including domestic production, trade, market reforms, and emergency relief planning
Supporting the launch of a bilateral food security aid and development program, including a $100M+ annual research and development agenda for sustainable agriculture and nutrition
Prior to joining McKinsey, David was a research consultant with Yale University (Innovations for Poverty Action) and the World Bank and worked with the Ministry of Agriculture in Uganda. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Uganda and holds BAs from Duke University in anthropology and public policy, focused on agricultural development economics.