Over 300 international speakers from Heads of States, Government and Business.
Marie Chantal ISUGI
Seniot staff,Garden Fresh ltd
Seniot staff at Garden Fresh ltd , working on daily basis with a pool of 200 women in horticulture industry. Director (Board Member) of NAEB, Vice Chair of Rwanda Horticulture Working Group. First Senior person to lead a company towards acquisition of a certificate of Good Agricultural Practices in Rwanda.
With ongoing Duo MBA in Supply Chain and Finance, have been working as General Manager at Garden Fresh for 3years , as of now working as Chief Commercial Officer, trading with horticultural commodities at international level. Previously occupied different functions as Woman Entrepreneur, Missionary and as a Bank staff in charge of Treasury management, Trader of foreign currency at international level, Trader of short term financial instruments(money market), and in charge of international trade.
Task Manager of the Integrated Approach Program for foods security and resilience in sub-Sahara Africa
M. Jonky Tenou is the Task Manager of the Integrated Approach Program for foods security and resilience in sub-Sahara Africa, working with IFAD at Environment, Climate, Gender and Social inclusion Division in the Sub regional hub Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
M. Tenou joins IFAD from UNDP, Haiti, where he worked as Chief Technical Specialist and Head of the Disaster and Risk Management (DRM) Unit. Prior to this, Mr. Tenou worked as Climate Change Specialist and Team Leader of poverty reduction and sustainable development unit with UNDP, Togo. He also served as Head of Division at Ministry of environment and forestry resources in Togo where his was in charge of environment sustainability and climate risks management.
M. Tenou possesses a Master degree in natural risks management from University of Liege in Belgium. He also possesses a Master degree in environment and water quality management from University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin and Engineer degree in environment and water resources management from University of Lome in Togo.
Mr. Tenou Holds an International leadership certificate in sustainability management from University of Leuphana in Germany.
He has over fifteen years of hands-on experience in climate change, disaster risks reduction, environment and natural resources management and in advancing human development in complex development context.
Programme Officer Environment and climate, IFAD
Edith is an Environment and Climate Specialist working with IFAD and based in the Sub regional hub in Nairobi, Kenya. Her primary role is to ensure that environment and climate considerations are mainstreamed in IFAD’s projects in the Eastern and Southern Africa region, and that these projects apply adequate environment and social safeguards to mitigate potential risks. Edith holds a PhD. In Human Geography (University of Bordeaux III, France), a Masters degree in Environmental Studies and a Bachelors in Environmental Studies and Community Development from Kenyatta University, Kenya. She has over ten years of regional experience working with international institutions to deliver development projects that are environmentally sustainable and climate resilient.
Founder and CEO, Azuri Health Ltd
Tei Mukunya is the founder and CEO of Azuri Health Ltd a dried fruits and vegetables processing and marketing company. She holds a Masters in Business Administration Strategic Managementfrom the United States International University-Africa and studied Economics and Social Studies at the University of Nairobi. She is a prestigious Borlaug Fellow of Michigan State University and holds a Marketing Society of Kenya Practitioners Course Award of Excellence.
She has vast experience in training and consultancy where for six years she worked with development organizations such as GIZ, SNV, ACDA-VOCA, EU-CDTF and USAID in roles such as capacity building on Business Development and Marketing for women and youth. She developed Value Addition and Value Chain processes for farmer groups before establishing her company Azuri.
Prior to her consulting work she started her corporate career straight from university, at British American Tobacco as a Management Trainee where she served in marketing roles including Trade Marketing, Brand Marketing and Marketing Operations for Kenya and the Horn of Africa markets.
Tei’s passion as an entrepreneur and her leadership acumen in the last 8 years has been key in establishing Azuri Health Ltd, spearheading its successful strategic growth and development whilst partnering with key stakeholders across the Agricultural value chain from East African farmers to partners and markets in Kenya, Japan, Germany, UK, and Middle East. Tei has inspired many upcoming entrepreneurs and is a champion for good health and nutrition which is expressed by the choice of products on her company’s portfolio. Her continued push to curb food loss and food waste has led to international partnerships with revolutionaries like Jamie Oliver (UK) and Selina Juul(Denmark).
Passionate about improving lives, Ingabire is a resourceful professional with extensive experience in development and management of projects and programs aiming at improving lives and transforming futures. She has performed a wide range of projects within both the public and the private sectors, for global corporations as well as International agencies.
Ingabire Mamy is the Managing Director of Charis UAS, a recent and fast-developing start-up founded by young Rwandan entrepreneur. It is a first ever leading and licensed Drone Company in Rwanda. Ingabire has immensely contributed in using innovations to tackle some of the biggest challenges in Agriculture and in other various sectors through the use of digital technologies especially Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) known as Drone to provide new revenue and value producing opportunities. She has led several UAV based projects in Agriculture, environmental and in other sectors that has created new knowledge, education and employment opportunities for youth. Mamy also plays a key role as an accountable manager in maintaining safety standards required by regulations. She has a corporate authority to ensure that all operations and maintenance system activities be financed and carried to the standard required.
Ingabire Mamy holds a Bachelor Degree in Applied Life Sciences with a Major in Biotechnology from Midrand University in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ingabire Mamy has also completed courses in Project Management and Virtual program of Leadership and Management.
CEO, aBi Trust Uganda
Josephine is the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Agricultural Business Initiative (aBi) Trust, an entity founded by the Governments of Uganda and Denmark to promote private sector agribusiness development to enhance wealth creation in Uganda. The organization has attracted six key development partnerships to fund its USD 110 Million Business Plan and for Fund Management services over the last four years.
Josephine holds a Master’s Degree in Banking and Finance for Development from the Fondazione Giordano Dell ‘Amore in Italy and has been awarded 154 hours of ICF Approved Coach Specific Training as part of International Coach Federation Certification (Strathmore Business School, Kenya and The Performance Solution of the UK). She is keen to become a Certified Regional Coach, especially for the upcoming woman leader.
She is an experienced professional in financial Portfolio Management, Business Planning, Risk Management, Capacity Development, Coaching and working cross culturally. She has a proven track record of superior performance in five financial institutions and one International Development Agency in varied roles as an Executive Director, Chief Credit Officer, Chief Risk Officer and Senior Private Sector Development Advisor.
Josephine leads the team at aBi to promote private sector investment in Agribusinesses through Grant support for interventions that are designed to address specific constraints identified in six priority agro value chains. At the same time, aBi also promotes access to agricultural financing, through the use of varied financial instruments and inclusive strategies to sustainable development of agribusinesses in Uganda.
She is a member of the Board of Directors at Housing Finance Bank, the premier mortgage financier in Uganda. She also chairs the Female Future Association Alumni Board, an entity established to mentor and coach young women into leadership positions. At the same time, she represents aBi on the Private Sector Working Group under the Private Sector Development Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in Uganda.
Chief Financial Economist and Coordinator Enable Youth Program, African Development Bank
Edson Mpyisi is the Coordinator of the ENABLE Youth Program at the African Development Bank (AfDB) whose objective is to empower youth as agripreneurs by providing agricultural training along the value chain, business training, incubation through mentorship and facilitating access to finance for youth-led agribusiness enterprises. Mr. Mpyisi has over 20 years of experience in Economic and Rural Development with extensive policy, research, management and investment experience on key strategic and emerging issues facing Africa.
Prior to joining the AfDB, Mr. Mpyisi was the Head of Division of Agriculture and Food Security at the African Union Commission (2005-2009) where he spearheaded the development, coordination and implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). Prior to that, Mr. Mpyisi worked with Michigan State University as the Country Coordinator of the Food Security Research Project (FSRP) in Rwanda and as the Rwanda Country Representative for USAID’s Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNet).
Ms. Ndey Naffie Ceesay
PACA Country Officer in The Gambia
Ndey Naffie Ceesay is an economist by training with a BA in Economics and an MSc in Development. Ms Ceesay has over a decade of experience working in the development field in the public and private sector.
During the twelve (12) years work experience in The Gambia civil service Ms Ceesay was directly involved in the development of the first MSME Policy 2008 in recognition of this group of operators as economic drivers; as well as the restructuring of the defunct Gambia Investment & Promotion and Free Zones Agency to the current Gambia Investment & Export Promotion Agency towards achieving a more focussed private sector driven investment promotion agency.
As an industrial economist at the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration & Employment (MoTIE) Ndey Naffie has represented Gambia Government in different international fora on trade and industrial development and had the opportunity to contribute in the formulation and implementation of of regional and continental Trade and Industry policy documents.
Following transition from the civil service Ms Ceesay has served as consultant for:
United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in the implementation of the UNIDO/Gambia Country Programme.
African Development Bank to Identify, Collect & Classify non-tariff measures
UNIDO to assess gender impact of UNIDO/GEF4 Project in The Gambia
ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and contributed in the development of The Gambia first RE Investment Strategy
From July 2016 to date Ms Ceesay is serving as Country Officer in The Gambia for the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa [PACA]. This is a flagship program of the African Union Commission’s CAADP which seeks to mitigate aflatoxin contamination along the value chain of identified crops towards the Development of Agriculture, Safeguarding of Health and Promotion of Trade. The program is currently on pilot in six (6) countries
Board Member Pan Africa Farmers Organization (PAFO)
ELIZABETH NSIMADALAis the Board Member Pan Africa Farmers Organization (PAFO) a position she hold on behalf of The Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF) where she serves as The Regional President.
Previously she served four years as the Regional Women Representative at the EAFF and Treasurer Board Uganda cooperative Alliance (UCA) a member of EAFF
She is also the Chairperson Governing Council Uganda Cooperative College Tororo, Coordinator Caritas Cooperative Governing Council and Secretary of her local cooperative – Nyabubare Cooperative Society a member of UCA.
Professionally she holds a Master of Science in Project planning and Management (Ndejje University Uganda) and a Bachelor of Arts in Social sciences (Makerere University Kampala), she has also received specialized training in Cooperative Management, Agricultural marketing and logistics management for cooperatives, public administration and management, Administrative law among others at both international and National level.
Elizabeth is a successful Agripreneur and has been key in promoting aggregation of farmers for markets model. She has specialized in banana value addition (wine production)and has so far trained over 250 farmer groups through the Uganda Cooperative Alliance, Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports – Non Formal Skills program, The Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives (One Village One Product programme) and through Nyabubare Cooperative Society.As a result of her efforts, she was awarded the best established enterprise award by Consortium for Enhancing University Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development (CURAD).
Government Relations Lead in Rwanda, One Acre Fund
Doreen holds a B.A in International Relations from Tufts University and currently works as One Acre Fund’s Government Relations Lead in Rwanda. One Acre Fund is a non-profit organization that provides smallholder farmers with asset-based financing for farm inputs, local delivery, extension services, and market facilitation to reduce post-harvest losses and optimize fair market prices. At One Acre Fund, Doreen manages high-level government engagement, policy advocacy, and operational partnerships that align the work of the organization with the government’s goal of increasing yield and productivity for smallholder farmers in Rwanda.
Prior to joining One Acre Fund, Doreen served with the United States Peace Corps in Belize as a Community Health Educator under the Ministry of Health. She implemented a Rural Family Health Project on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) and Non-Communicable Diseases and designed capacity building projects that allowed Mayan girls to raise small livestock to fund their own secondary education.
Doreen has previously worked on rule of law program design for the World Justice Project and interned for the Supreme Court of Rwanda.
YieldWise Nigeria Project Director, PYXERA Global
Over the past twenty five years, Lekan’s career has included professional experience in agricultural research & extension and agribusiness in the public, private and the social sectors. He worked with organizations such as the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Premier Seeds Nigeria and with UNDP/UNOPS Millennium Villages. He had also worked with Notore Chemical Industries, the Mercy Corps before joining PYXERA Global where he started as deputy project director and then Project Director for YieldWise Nigeria. In this position, he leads the day-to-day management of the project and is responsible for technical and strategic direction of the project. Lekan has a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Extension, and post-graduate diplomas in Business Management and Agronomy and Farm Management. He has also participated in several trainings such as in financial inclusion, program management and supply chain management. Lekan has passion for working with smallholder farmers and empowering women and youth.
Isaiah M. Kirema
Project Manager, YieldWise
Isaiah M. Kirema is an economic development professional with over 13 years’ experience working in the Agriculture sector with deep understanding in Horticultural value chains. He has demonstrated skills in: project design, strategy formulation and execution, analytical work and private sector engagement. He currently serves as Program Manager in the Rockefeller funded YieldWise Project. Isaiah has also served as the Project Manager with the Mavuno Zaidi Project funded by Syngenta and other private sector Companies working with 15,000 Potato and Tomato farmers to increase productivity while adopting good agricultural practices. Previously, he played a pivotal role in the implementation of Project Nurture, managing business plan development and agronomy trainings for mango farmers and coordinating with County Government, private and non-governmental organizations to plan and implement project interventions.
Isaiah has also worked the on yellow passion fruit commercialization and banana value chain development. Mr. Kirema holds an MBA in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship from Africa Nazerene University, a Post Graduate Higher Diploma in Business Management and a BSc in Horticulture. He speaks English, Swahili, Kimeru and Kikuyu.
Manager of Strategic Partnerships at Start-Up Nation Central
Shira Goldblum is a Manager of Strategic Partnerships at Start-Up Nation Central.
At SNC, Shira has built and maintained ongoing relationships with many C-level executives from Fortune 1000 companies from around the world, learning their technological and strategy challenges and curating business opportunities within the Israeli Hi-Tech ecosystem for them. Shira is also focused on the collaboration that SNC is undertaking with partners in Africa.
Prior to her position at SNC, Shira, originally from South Africa, qualified and practiced as a lawyer, focusing on M&A at Bowmans, one of Africa’s leading Pan-African law firms. Following that, Shira completed a graduate program at the University of Oxford in International Human Rights Law and focused on building relationships between the Israeli and South African governments. Shira is a qualified mediator in South Africa and the United Kingdom and completed a Master’s Program at Tel Aviv University in Conflict Resolution and Mediation. Shira specialized in this area and worked in the field of political conflict resolution before joining Start-Up Nation Central.
Dr. Leonard Mizzi
Head of Unit at the European Commission, Directorate-General (DG) for International Cooperation and Development
Dr. Leonard Mizzi is currently Head of Unit at the European Commission, Directorate-General (DG) for International Cooperation and Development – Rural development, food security and nutrition, since 1st of January 2017. Prior to this post he was Head of Unit for 10 years in DG Agriculture and Rural Development, first on agri trade and development issues (2007-2014) and then more recently on inter institutional matters (European Parliament, Council) 2015-2016.
He is a graduate in Public Administration from the University of Malta (BA Hons First Class); and has degrees from CIHEAM-Montpellier (Master of Science) and a Ph.D in Agricultural economics from the University of Reading (UK). He has been an author of a number of articles and publications on agri food issues and nutrition in the Mediterranean region.
Dr. Mizzi has a broad working experience in the Maltese public administration and the Maltese private sector. He first worked in the Economic Planning Division of the Office of the Prime Minister (Malta) and from 1996-2006 was the Director of the Malta Business Bureau in Brussels- the office of the Malta Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise and the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association. He was also visiting lecturer at the Boston University (Brussels campus), Open University and Malta University.
His areas of specialisation are governance, agriculture and food and nutrition security, the Mediterranean area, Sub Saharan Africa.
Director, Women in Trade Programme, TradeMark East Africa (TMEA)
Gloria Atuheirwe has over 20 years’ work experience in programme, project and business management. Specifically, she has experience in designing and managing multi-thematic development projects across East Africa and the DRC in the areas of Trade and Regional Integration, Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment, Research and Advocacy, SME development, Sustainable Livelihoods, Poverty Reduction and Inclusive Growth. Of these, 10 years have been in senior management positions where she has effectively managed business units in the banking sector, leading multi-disciplinary teams and multi-million-dollar development programmes. She is currently the Director Women in Trade for TradeMark East Africa leading the Women and Trade Programme which seeks to increase the participation of women and their economic contribution to trade across East Africa. This programme seeks to benefit over 150,000 women traders and transform the lives of thousands more through increased incomes and improved livelihoods. Gloria holds a Master of Science in Financial Economics from the University of Leicester UK and project management certification.
Founding Partner at IDinsight
Paul Wang is a Founding Partner at IDinsight, an NGO that designs, delivers and promotes evidence-generating tools to help leaders improve lives. Paul oversees IDinsight’s Africa project portfolio which includes agriculture engagements spanning ten African countries. He is a former McKinsey & Company consultant and Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab Kenya country representative with other prior experience at TechnoServe, TAMTAM – Together Against Malaria, and the World Bank. Paul holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Harvard University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and an MPA in International Development (MPA/ID) from Harvard Kennedy School.
Co-Founder , PULA
Rose Goslinga isn’t your typical insurance salesperson. For the last nine years she’s been part of teams pioneering agriculture insurance, first with the award winning program KilimoSalama, of the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture and now with PULA an micro insurance technology company offering services to over 600,000 smallholder farmers across 8 countries in Africa.
Rose was raised in Tanzania but now calls Nairobi home. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of London and is a Poptech and Mulago Social Innovation Fellow. She has spoken at various forums on the impact and potential of agriculture insurance, including at TED.
Student, Institute of Energy and Environmental Technology (IEET) at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Kenya.
Mr.Philip.M.Githinji is a MSc. candidate (Environmental Legislation & Management – Thesis stage) in the Institute of Energy and Environmental Technology (IEET) at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Kenya. He is a holder of a BSc. degree in Agricultural Engineering from Egerton University, Kenya (2001). From 2002 – 2009, worked in construction of earth dams and agricultural structures and since 2009 (last 9 years) to date has been in conventional bulk water treatment operations & reservoir management working for the municipal water utility, Nairobi City water & Sewerage Company. He is a certified Associate Environmental Impact Assessment & Audit Expert, licensed by Kenya National Environment Management Authority (NEMA). His main Research interests are in Water Treatment, Water supply & sanitation and Environment
Abdullahi Aliyu Ndarubu
Chairman, Secretary General of CropLife Nigeria
Dr. Abdullahi graduated from Federal University of Technology, Minna in 1990 with a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) , Masters in Agronomy from ABU, Zaria (1997), and a Ph.D. in Agronomy from the University of Ilorin (2006). Passed a Senior Management Programme (SMP 28) at Lagos Business School (LBS). He also attended an International Training on Pesticide Research and Development at Hunan Research Institute of Chemical Industry, PR China (2012). He worked for 15 years at the National Cereal Research Institute (NCRI), Badeggi, from 1992 to 2006 (Senior Research Fellow and Head of National Research Programme on Sesame). He has about 20 scientific publications to his credit in both international and local journals and proceedings. He is currently Chairman, Secretary General of CropLife Nigeria. He joined the services of The Candel Company Limited in May 2006 to February 2017 as General Manager (Research & Business Development) and also served as the General Manager (Technical & Regulatory Affairs) within the period. Afterward, he joined the services of Harvestfield Industries Limited in May 2017 as Chief Operating Officer.
CEO of Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF)
Stephen Muchiri has been working in the Agriculture sector for the last 17 years and is a holder of a Msc in Horticulture. He is the CEO of Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF) which is a regional network of national farmer unions, federations and co-operatives in 10 countries. Previously Stephen worked with leading Horticulture export companies in Kenya in senior management as Farms General Manager & as an Outgrowers Manager, he currently sits in boards and committtes of regional and international agriculture organizations. EAFF is currently managing a new strategic plan (2013-2020) whose focus is Enterpreneurship and has a specific interest in use of new ICTs4Ag to aggregate farmers for output and input markets and in so doing has led to the development and deployment of the E-granary which is a mobile platform that helps aggregate virtually farmers for input and output markets and various services such as micro credit, micro insurance and e-extension
Kedera, Chagema John
SPS Advisor for the USAID- East Africa Trade and Investment Hub
ChagemaKedera, PhD, is a Kenyan national with over two decades of experience in Agriculture/trade especially in national and international standards (covering plant protection, food safety, biotechnology, plant variety protection and seed certification).
Kedera currently serves as the SPS Advisor for the USAID- East Africa Trade and Investment Hub and was a Senior Technical Consultant (2014-2017)with the UASID-Kenya Agricultural Value Chain Enterprises on Horticultural Issues.Kedera was a Technical Advisor(2014-2016) for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on the development of a Regional Access to Seed Index for Eastern Africa, Seed counterfeiting, Integrated Seed Systems and, Support to National Seed Trade Associations. He was the Regional Coordinator(2011-2015) with the EU funded COLEACP-EDES Food Safety Programme that aimed at strengthening auto-control capacities in the food value chains and food supervision in African Caribbean and Pacific countries. As part of the coordination work, he served as a trainer on food safety governance, financing of food safety, and development of laboratory business plans in addition to being a facilitator in several technical meetings in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana, Botswana, Mauritius, and Zambia.
Kedera was Deputy Chief of Party (2010-2011) of the USAID-Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Project in charge of policy, standards, value chain coordination, market linkages and market information systems especially for smallholder farmers. This involved supporting small holder farmers to adopt new technologies through field demonstrations to improve on their productivity, training in value addition including post-harvest handling and linking farmers to markets thereby improving their incomes.
Kedera was the founding Managing Director(1997-2010) of the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS). He successfully steered KEPHIS to become a public sector agency respected by the public and private sector in all aspects of its work including conformance with international regulations and standards in plant health, plant variety protection, seed certification and analytical laboratory testing. This involved working consultatively/engaging with the private sector, to create an enabling environment for the researchers, producers, exporters and farmers but within the confines of the law and regulations. While at KEPHIS Kedera chaired the Kenya National Taskforce on Horticulture(2002-2009) a forum for public and private sector stakeholders in the industry. The taskforce provided strategic recommendations to the government and the national associations on issues affecting the industry. He spearheaded Kenya’s active participation in the international standards setting bodies including the IPPC, CODEX, OECD seed schemes, OECD fruits and vegetable schemes, ISTA and UPOV (1998-2010). He was elected Chairperson of both the OECD Annual Seed Schemes meetings and the Commission for Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) 2006-2008.
As research plant pathologist (with plant breeding training) at Kenya Agricultural Research Institute1989-1997), Kedera was involved in plant disease diagnosis, breeding for disease resistance in maize and evaluation of maize varieties in value for cultivation trials. This included research extension liaison on the suitability of the maize varieties in the various agro-ecological zones especial with regards to diseases.
Global Head of Agriculture, Acumen
Noor Ullah is Acumen’s Global Head of Agriculture and has been with Acumen for the last 11 years. Noor is the lead on the design of a new investment initiative that Acumen is setting up to enhance the livelihoods and climate change resilience of 10million smallholder farmers in East and West Africa. Noor was part of the team that spearheaded Acumen’s work in agriculture almost a decade ago. Through the years, Noor has worked with teams across our target regions in South Asia, Africa and Latin America to build out Acumen’s agriculture portfolio which today is the biggest sector exposure for the fund (23 investments, $33M invested, 13 million lives impacted). As Pakistan Portfolio Manager, Noor supported the build out of Acumen’s Pakistan Portfolio across energy, agriculture and water sectors. Prior to joining Acumen, Noor spent 4 years in Operations Management, Business Development and Consulting roles with organizations like the World Bank, Microtech Industries and others.