Over 300 international speakers from Heads of States, Government and Business.
Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Start-Up Nation Central
Karin Gattegno is the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Start-Up Nation Central, building links between Israel – the Start-up Nation, and companies, countries, governments and entrepreneurs worldwide, connecting them to the Israeli innovation and tech ecosystem. that can help them solve their most pressing problems.
Karin has over 12 years of experience working with High-Tech companies. Prior to joining Start-Up Nation Central, she headed up the Hi-Tech business development in PwC Israel, working with hundreds of start-ups and advising them on various issues including fundraising and M&A’s. Before that, Karin worked at Tamir Fishman, a local investment house, as an investment banker in the Corporate Finance department and then as the head of operations and investor relations of DFJ Tamir Fishman, the local affiliation of Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
Director R4D, Central Africa and Natural Resource Management
Bernard Vanlauwe joined IITA in Kenya in March 2012 to lead the Central Africa hub and the Natural Resource Management research area.
In this capacity, he is also having an oversight role in the Humidtropics, the Water, Land, and Ecosystems, and the CCAFS CGIAR Research Programs. Prior to this recent appointment, he was the leader of the Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) program of the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility research area of CIAT (TSBF-CIAT). He joined CIAT-TSBF in 2001 and led the development, adaptation, and dissemination of best ISFM options in various agro-ecological zones in sub-Saharan Africa. In September 2010, the obtained a Visiting Professor position at the Swedish Agricultural University in Uppsala in the Soils and Environment Department. Before, he worked at IITA in Nigeria (1991 – 2000) and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium (1989-1991), focusing on unraveling the mechanisms underlying nutrient and soil organic matter dynamics in tropical agro-ecosystems.
In that context, he obtained his PhD in 1996 in Applied Biological Sciences. He has published over 150 papers in scientific journals and over 160 in other forms and has (co-) supervised over 40 PhD and over 60 MSc students.
Managing Director and CEO of NMB Bank Plc in Tanzania
Ineke Bussemaker is the Managing Director and CEO of NMB Bank Plc in Tanzania. She joined NMB Bank in May 2015.
NMB Bankis the largest retail bank in Tanzania, with over 210 branches, 2.5 million customers and total assets of approximately USD 2.2 bln. The bank offers the full scope of banking services to consumers, farmers, micro enterprises, SMEs, corporates and the Government in Tanzania.
Ineke has been an international banker for over 30 years and started her career in banking after her MBA degree with a focus on business computing. Her experience covers corporate banking, country management, transaction banking and e-business. Prior to joining NMB, she has worked for Rabobank, Citi and ABNAMRO bank across four European countries: the Netherlands (home country), UK, Ireland and Denmark.
Her focus in banking has always been on innovation and especially how modern technology can support the development of customer friendly new products and services
Consultant in agricultural markets development and SMEs support
Anne Mbaabu, a Kenyan national was the Head of Markets and Post-harvest Management at AGRA for the last 10 years, facilitating and linking smallholder farmers to markets. Prior to joining AGRA, she was the Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Africa Grain Council, where she worked to structure grain trading in Eastern Africa. Anne has over 30 years extensive experience working in food manufacturing companies in marketing and leadership. She has worked with small medium enterprises strengthening their businesses as well as with women based small processing operations.
Anne is currently an independent consultant in agricultural markets development and SMEs support
Peter Keller is an agro economist, having obtained his academic degree at the University of Hohenheim, at the institute of agricultural extension and communication. He has worked in leading positions for many years in the German Development Cooperation (GIZ). Important assignments as long term team leader brought him to Rwanda and Ethiopia in Africa, to Bangladesh and the Philippines in Asia, amongst other countries. A particular focus of his assignments was on communication. Facilitating the dialogue amongst actors of different kind of development programs in agriculture and natural resources management. His special interest in on enabling and enhancing the exchange of multi actor partnerships, in particular along the value chains. Managing rural development programs in Asia and Africa, he gained insight and experience with broad based and inclusive upscaling programs in order to reach entire communities regions or even nations. Thus large parts of farming communities were enabled to benefit and subsequently being integral part of development programs. Extension programs, agricultural vocational training and education systems are key elements for capacity development of agricultural producers and their organizations. Ethiopia, Ghana and India are countries where he conceptualized and partly managed the implementation of these approaches. He is based in Germany as an independent consultant and moderator.
Agribusiness /Rural Development Professional
Victoria Sekitoleko is an agribusiness /rural development professional. A retired banker, politician and international civil servant with broad experience in local , national, regional and international development . Has an Agribsiness academic background. Holds a bachelors degree in Agriculture extension and management plus a number of certificates in areas like agriculture financing, rural development, international development, leadership, women in development, counseling etc She grew up as a farmers’ daughter in Uganda where she first worked as a development banker for 13 years before joining politics where she spent just under a decade as minister of Agriculture, before proceeding to the United nations based in Zimbabwe , but covering Eastern and Southern Africa ,then later moved to Ethiopia to represent The Food and Agriculture organisation at AU/ECA and Ethiopia., was finally moved on to do the same job in China, Mongolia and the Democratic Republic of Korea
While doing all the above she participated in many national, regional (ECA;SADAC, COMESA) continental and World conferences in a number of cases as a speaker or panelist
Currently chair Uganda Agribusiness Alliance, practing urban farming and promoting agritalks /rural development while serving as board chair or member of a number of both national and international boards
Deputy Director, Agricultural Development, Global Growth & Opportunity, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)
Enock Chikava is Deputy Director, Agricultural Development, Global Growth & Opportunity, at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) based in Seattle, USA. He heads up the IDEAS (Innovations that Drive Effective Agricultural Systems) team. The team develops innovative tools, solutions, and business models that more cost-effectively deliver products, services, and practices in seed systems, soil health, agronomy, and fertilizer, enabled by digital and finance to reach Smallholder farmers at scale.
Enock trained in Agricultural Economics and Business Strategy, with 25-years’ experience in Agriculture. His career spurns from Farmer Organizations, Private sector Seed Industry; Agribusiness and Food Processing and now Philanthropy. Enock Chikava was in the African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA) board for 8 years and is the past President of AFSTA for the period, 2010-2012.
Enock was raised on a smallholder farm (4ha) in a family of eleven and has dedicated his life to work towards the success of smallholder farmers, using modern technologies and tools to raise productivity, incomes, nutrition and economically empower themselves.
Director General of Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB)
Patrick KARANGWA (PhD) is the Director General of Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) since January, 2018, following a 3 year-period as the Head of Research Department in RAB. Dr. KARANGWA holds a PhD in Plant Pathology, from Stellenbosch University, South Africa, and an MSc. in Cell and Molecular Biotechnology, from Wageningen University, The Netherlands. Dr. KARANGWA is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Strengthening Agriculture Research in East and Central Africa (ASARECA). Hehas carried out consultancies, lectured inhigher learning institutes, and made research publications and winning projects.
Rosemary Kagendo Muthomi
Rosemary is a Kenyan female aged 57 years ,Happily married to Gerald Muthomi and a mother of three adults.
Rosemary is an horticulture graduate from Jommo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (1986).
Over the last 25years jointly with my husband we have been entrepreneurs in horticulture industry empowering small holder farmers to produce quality fruits and vegetables as well as providing linkages to domestic and export markets .Its always been our desire to actively participate in bridging small holder farmer gaps in an effort to NOT only improving their incomes and subsequent livelihoods but also to harness the immense potential that lies within the rural farming communities. Todate we celebrate small holder farmer portfolio growth from 30 to 10,000 with a multiplier benefit of 200,000 beneficiaries. Our heart delights at the smile of the marginalised farmer.
Founder and CEO of Tulaa
Hillary Miller-Wise is founder and CEO of Tulaa, a tech company that links farmers to inputs, finance and buyers. Tulaa was incubated inside of Esoko, a pioneer in the use of mobile technology for agriculture, where Ms. Miller-Wise was previously CEO. She has 20 years of experience at the nexus of agriculture, financial services and technology with companies such as DAI and TechnoServe. Ms. Miller-Wise holds an MBA from INSEAD, where she won the Social Entrepreneurship Scholarship. She lives in Nairobi with her husband and two sons.
Dr Mohamed Imam Bakarr
Lead Environmental Specialist, Program Strategy in the Global Environmental Facility (GEF)
Dr Mohamed Imam Bakarr is Lead Environmental Specialist responsible for Program Strategy in the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Secretariat, Washington DC, USA.He has more than two decades experience working on various aspects of integrated natural resource management including agroforestry land use, biodiversity conservation, and ecological restoration in the tropics. Prior to joining the GEF, he worked for seven years in several capacities at Conservation International, including as Executive Director of the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science; and four years at the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) in Nairobi, Kenya as Director of Strategic Initiatives (Assistant Director General). Mohamed holds a BSc in Biological Sciences from Njala University in Sierra Leone, and a Masters and PhD in Tropical Ecology from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.
Founder and Chairman, Blue Skies Holdings Ltd
Anthony Pile is the Founder and Chairman of Blue Skies, a leading manufacturer of fresh-cut fruit, freshly squeezed juice, and dairy-free ice-cream, with eleven operations in seven countries, including Ghana, Egypt, South Africa, Ivory Coast and Senegal. Blue Skies supplies leading retailers around the world, including Waitrose and Sainsbury’s in the UK, Albert Heijn in the Netherlands and Carrefour in France.
The company is built on the principle of value-adding at source. This means that Blue Skies aims to make the finished product in the countries where the fruit grows, rather than exporting only the raw material and processing it elsewhere. By doing this it believes that 75% of the value of the finished product remains in the country of origin, as opposed to only 15% if processed overseas. This approach also enables the business to deliver a better quality fruit that is delivered ‘fresh from harvest, from farm to store within as little as 36 hours.
Anthony was a soldier in the British Army for 13 years and saw active service in the Middle East, Northern Ireland and Cyprus. He has been a magistrate, attended the post graduate Sloan Fellowship Programme at the London Business School and was the Managing Director of Orchard House Foods from 1989 to 1996. In 1997 he founded Blue Skies in Ghana and has grown the company over the last 20 years into a company employing over 6,000 people with a turnover of £100m.
Associate Director for Agriculture and Animal Health at Canada’s International Development Research Center (IDRC)
Santiago Alba-Corral is the Associate Director for Agriculture and Animal Health at Canada’s International Development Research Center (IDRC). He is responsible for strategic direction and management of the Agriculture, Food Security and Livestock Vaccines programs. He has more than 20 years of professional experience in Africa, Middle East and Europe. Prior to IDRC, Santiago was the Senior Director of International Development at CARE Canada and the Research Director at Action Against Hunger. An Agriculture Engineer, Santiago received a master’s degree from Cornell University in international agriculture and rural development.
Research scientist for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).
Mercy Lung’aho, RN, Ph.D. is a research scientist for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). With expertise in nutrition-sensitive agricultural programming, her research includes a landmark study from Rwanda documenting evidence that eating beans biofortified with iron can reduce iron deficiency and improve cognitive function in women of reproductive age.
Her current work has focused on food safety, drivers of food choice, food and nutrition policy, and nutrition interventions linking agriculture to nutrition and resilience building in national and regional food systems in Africa. She is a member of the American Society for Nutrition, the African Nutrition Society and a registered nutritionist at the Kenya Nutrition and Dietetics Institute among others.
Dr Jemimah Njuki
Senior Program Specialist, Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
Dr Jemimah Njuki is a Senior Program Specialist at Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) where she oversees a portfolio of projects on gender and women’s empowerment in agriculture as well as supporting gender integration in agriculture projects in IDRC’s Agriculture and Food Security Program. For the last 18 years she has carried out gender research and managed women’s economic empowerment programs in Africa and Asia. She has published widely on gender and women’s economic empowerment specifically in the areas of gender and technology, women and markets, and women and livestock. She has recently co-edited two books; one on ‘Women and livestock in Eastern and Southern Africa’, and the other on ‘Transforming Gender and Food Systems in the Global South’. She is the founder and editor in chief of the Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security. Prior to joining IDRC, she started and led the Women in Agriculture Program (Pathways to empowerment) at CARE USA, working in 6 countries in Africa and Asia and headed the Gender and Impact Program at the International Livestock Research Institute. She is an Aspen New Voices 2017 Fellow and currently chairs the advisory committee of the African Women in Agriculture Research and Development (AWARD) and in the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sustainable Intensification.
Director IFDC - Global Field Programs
Rob has 30 years of experience in international agricultural development, with focus on food security and soil fertility management in sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2017 he is IFDC Director IFDC –Global Field Programs. Between 2004 and 2016 he wasRegional IFDC Director for North/West Africa and later East/Southern Africa.Prior to joining IFDC, he was involved in R&Dinitiatives on soil fertility improvement, fertilizer use and climate change. As Executive Secretary of the Plant Sciences Group of Wageningen University in the Netherlands (1999-2004), he supportedstrategy and new business development. Before 1999 hemanaged several international research projects, including those focusing on the impact of climate change on water availability and food security in semiarid regions in sub-Saharan Africa. Rob holds a degree inagronomy and biology from Wageningen University, the Netherlands.
Logistics and technology entrepreneur
DoreenRwigamba,is a Rwandan logistics and technology entrepreneur,who holdsan MSc. in Global Logistics from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.Her passion for leveraging innovation in the Agriculture value-chain led to the founding of KivuCold Ltd.
Kivu Cold is an off-grid cold-chain solutions company that specializes in the reduction of post-harvest losses for small farmers, leveraging ICT as an enabler.
Prior to starting KivuCold she held various positions at Africa Smart Investments – Distribution, including Chief Executive Officer; Chief Operating Officer; and Head of Logistics. Also previously, a lead member of the Distribution Center Optimization Team at Henkel North America in Phoenix, Arizona.
An active member of the youth, Ms. Rwigamba is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper in the Kigali hub and a mentor for the Imbuto Foundation & Yale Young African Scholars program (YYAS).
Rockefeller Foundation Fellow ; The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
An accomplished leader in international organization reform, Catherine Bertini has a distinguished career improving the efficiency and operations of organizations serving poor and hungry people in the United States and around the world.
She was named the 2003 World Food Prize Laureate for her transformational leadership at the World Food Programme (WFP), which she led for ten years, and for the positive impact she had on the lives of women. While in the US government, she expanded the electronic benefit transfer options for food stamp beneficiaries, created the food package for breast feeding mothers, presented the first effort to picture healthy diets, and expanded education and training opportunities for poor women.
More recently, she co-chaired a successful effort to impact American policy supporting poor farmers in the developing world. As a United Nations Under Secretary General, she initiated efforts to reform the global system for security of staff and for the recognition of all staff marriages. She interacted with all UN agencies and their leadership through a variety of UN bodies in humanitarian, development, nutrition, security and management roles, and led UN humanitarian missions to the Horn of Africa and to Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel. With her World Food Prize, she created the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education to support programs to increase opportunities for girls and women to attend school. Bertini’s career includes over twenty years in the private sector; thirteen years as a university professor; three major foundations and a think tank; service in local, state and national governments; board membership in a variety of organizations.
At the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, she taught graduate courses in humanitarian action, post conflict reconstruction, girls’ education, UN management, food security, international organizations, and leadership. She has been honored by twelve universities in four countries with honorary degrees and by the Republics of Italy and Ireland. She has received multiple awards for her work to improve the lives of children, for her management of internal reform processes, and for her advocacy for women and girls. She was appointed to senior positions by three UN secretaries general and five US presidents.
Bertini now is a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow. Concurrently, she is Distinguished Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. She is a professor emeritus at Syracuse University. She serves as a board member of the Tupperware Brands Corporation, the Stuart Family Foundation, and the Global FoodBanking Network. She is an affiliated expert at the Lugar Center, a patron of Gender in Agricultural Partnership (GAP), an honorary advisor to the Global Child Nutrition Foundation, an advisory board member of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at the Bush School of Public Service at Texas A&M University, and a member of the Leadership Council of Compact 2025 of the International Food Policy Research Institute. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Public Administration, and the International Union of Food Science and Technology. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission.
Senior Adviser at the Tony Blair Institute (TBI)
Valérie Vencatachellum is a Senior Adviser at the Tony Blair Institute (TBI). She advised the Minister of Agriculture in Liberia in 2016 and 2017 on designing and executing the agriculture transformation strategy, defining priorities, ensuring alignment of state and non-state actors and developing organizational capability. Valérie has extensive experience in Africa, having served the Deputy Chairperson at the African Union Commission and in advisory positions with the governments of Burundi and Togo as well as private entities in Mauritius and Kenya. Key areas of interest include implementation strategy for complex programs, institutional reforms, agriculture transformation, private sector development. She studied Philosophy and Business Administration at Sorbonne University, France.
Luis Alfredo Perez
Lead, Crop Nutrition, YARA
Currently leading Yara Crop Nutrition’s business in Sub-Saharan Africa from the regional head office in Johannesburg, Senior Vice President Luis Alfredo Pérez (country of origin: Guatemala) accumulates 20 years of in-depth experience in the fertilizer industry, having held commercial management and business development positions across Latin America, Asia and Southern Europe. Luis holds a technical degree in Plastics Technology and a B.S. in Economics.
MARCO WOPEREIS is a Dutch national and holds a PhD degree in tropical agronomy from the Wageningen University, Netherlands. He is the Director General of the World Vegetable Center and based in Taiwan. Prior to his current position he served as the deputy director general of the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice, Benin). He also worked for the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD, France), the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC, Togo), the West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI, Philippines).
Deputy Director General Research for Development at IITA
I work as Deputy Director General Research for Development at IITA since May 2017. Before joining IITA I was a research professor (senior research scientist) at NIBIO – Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Biotechnology and Plant Health Division.
My professional background encompasses research, development and teaching within plant protection and plant health, with a good balance between basic and applied research. Research focus has been on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and agricultural entomology for sustainable agro-ecosystems, research on ecology, population dynamics and natural enemies of arthropod pests in Norway and Africa. Another major activity at NIBIO was to develop and promote the Institute’s international dimension, to establish and enhance collaborative research with international partners, as well as providing technical assistance.
Research experience include studies of insect biology and behavior in fruit orchards; the use of sex pheromones as a tool for monitoring distribution and flight activity of insect pests, prognosis and forecasting for extension service and farmers based on trap-catches and degree-day models; use of dynamic models like CLIMEX, as a tool to assess (spatial and temporal distribution) bioclimatic potential for a given species; work on quarantine pests, pest risk assessments in relation to the WTO-SPS agreement. A greater part of my research is conducted in Africa: Rice in Nigeria, developing biological control options and IPM tools for management of the African rice gall midge in farmer’s fields in West Africa. Vegetables in Benin, IPM in urban and peri-urban horticulture. Banana in Tanzania (banana weevil). Alien and invasive species & urban landscapes in Norway and Africa. Other experiences include evaluation of national IPM-programme (Nepal); pesticide usage surveys in different crops (Norway and Benin); as well as teaching and evaluation committees at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB). Supervision of PhD (UMB) and MSc students at UMB, École Supérieure d’Agriculture d’Angers (France), University of Abomey Calavi (Benin), and Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania). I represented Norway in EPPO/IOBC-panel on Biological Control Agents; and served in the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety.
Head of Marketing and Commercial Excellence in Africa and Middle East at Syngenta
Peter Veal is Head of Marketing and Commercial Excellence in Africa and Middle East at Syngenta. He has 25 years’ experience in agribusiness and close to 15 years African experience. Previous roles include Head of Business Development Africa Middle East, Study Director in Research & Development, Head of Strategy for Europe, Head of Marketing for Europe and Managing Director of Syngenta East Africa.
A graduate of West London University and astute, commercially aware business analyst. Alhaji Tajuddeen is a qualified management administrator with over 20 years experience working with high-profile global organizations. He has a solid business track-record of combining strong product knowledge with excellent negotiation skills to identify and maximize sales opportunities and deliver results.
He is also a pacesetter, demonstrating a cognitive professionalism during his service years as Group Managing Director with the Dantata Organization for close to 25 years. As a government appointee, Alhaji Tajuddeen has held various posts, including Chairman, Kano State Tourism Board and Chairman, Kano State Housing Corporation.
Alhaji Tajuddeen currently sits on the board of some very important Nigerian companies in the capacity of Chairman or Director, including the Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO), the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN), Electric Meter Company of Nigeria (EMCON), Jaiz Bank, and MTN Nigeria, amongst others. Alhaji Tajudden has also attended various courses and seminars nationally and internationally, is widely traveled, and has presented various papers with a specialty in providing business solutions.