Africa Food Systems Forum has a fully independent Secretariat which is responsible for executing the day-to-day operations of the Forum. Here's our core team:

The core team

Amath Pathe Sene
Managing Director

Pathé is an Agricultural Engineer by training and Climate and Environment Expert. He has over 18 years’ experience in the field of agriculture, green finance & agri value chains development, environment, climate change and sustainable natural resource management, food systems and nutrition security, rural development and poverty reduction; rural infrastructure development; safeguards and de-risking public and private sector investments in sustainable agriculture.

In his professional career, he has occupied various technical, managerial and leadership role both at local, country, regional and global level, working across four regions in the World (Africa, South America, Central Asia and Europe). Prior to joining AGRF, Pathé was the Lead Regional Environment, Climate Specialist for West and Central Africa regional based in Rome and later in Abidjan. He also acted as Director of the IFAD Abidjan sub regional Office, Country Director Cote d’Ivoire, Niger and Liberia.

Before joining IFAD, Pathe was Policy Specialist on sustainable development with UNDP Global Policy Centre on Sustainable Development based Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). He previously worked with both UNDP and UNEP as Regional Program Advisor based in Nairobi (Kenya), providing technical assistance to African Countries on mainstreaming poverty, environment and gender objectives into national development and investment frameworks. Before that, he served as Program Officer and acting Team leader with UNDP Country Office in Mauritania. Pathé’s other previous positions outside the UN include food security program and sub office manager in Afghanistan, consultant with European Union in France and Agricultural Researcher at the Senegalese Agricultural Research Institute. He holds an MSc and post-graduate degree in Rural Societies, Territories, Sustainable Development and Natural Resources Management from Institut Agronomique Mediterraneen de Montpellier, France; a MSc on Agricultural Engineering from Ecole Nationale d'Agriculture de Meknes (Morocco); on Agribusiness, entrepreneurship and Gender from the Centre for International Agricultural Development Cooperation (Israel). Pathé speaks French, English, Portuguese, Wolof and Serer. He is married with three children.

Catherine Ndung'u
Senior Communications & Advocacy Officer

Catherine is a global communication and advocacy specialist with 14 years of experience in developing and implementing complex multistakeholder communications and advocacy strategies. She currently serves as the Senior Communications and Advocacy Officer for Africa's Food Systems Forum (AGRF), leading strategic advocacy and communication, branding and marketing, content management, event management, media relations, and reputational risk management within the AGRF Secretariat. Catherine joined AGRF from Jhpiego, where she was the Head of Communications, providing support to the Ministry of Health in Kenya in developing communication and media engagement strategies. With prior experience in the humanitarian sector and private sector roles in advertising, branding, and marketing, Catherine has worked across various countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Somalia, South Africa, Australia, and the Netherlands. Catherine's leadership in user-centered design and development of compelling media, demand generation, and service delivery information, education, and communication materials earned her recognition as a 120 under 40 champion in global health.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Monash University and a Master's in International Communication Management from The Hague University of Applied Sciences.

Ann Muthoni
Associate Partnership Officer

Ann supports the strategic management and proactive implementation of AGRF, driving components of the work plan and action agenda to deliver on the Forum’s strategy and ensure it continuously strengthens its position as the premier platform for Africa’s agricultural agenda. She is the liaison with relevant internal and external stakeholders in the AGRF Partners Group, and a broader set of potential sponsors, technical partners, and aligned stakeholders to deliver priorities of the AGRF. Ann plays the primary role in building and managing partnerships with AGRF Partners and other stakeholders to maximize their engagement in the and in a way that is well-coordinated.

Anne works with the Managing Director and other team members to ensure thematic platforms are delivering on the multi-year strategic vision and action plans of the Forum and she is responsible in supporting ongoing resource mobilization around the platform to ensure it maximizes its impact and is fully funded. Broadly, Ann supports AGRF partner engagement and management to strengthen the AGRF partnership platform and its impact on the sector, support AGRF partner cultivation and resource mobilization, and responsible for AGRF operations and budget management.

Nadine Umuhoza
Executive Officer

Nadine has an extensive professional experience in the administration role of 9 years mainly in Project Management, procurement and Logistics, Office management, Event management Finance and Human Resources. Prior to joining AGRF, Nadine was the Administration Manager for Inkomoko Business Development where she in charge of implementation the procurement, logistic, admin and office management systems. Before joining Inkomoko Business Group, she was the senior operations officer for USAID Private Sector Driven Agricultural Growth (PSDAG) project implemented by RTI International for a period of 5 years. Prior to that, she also worked for East Africa Exchange as a Business Support Assistant for a period of 2 years. Nadine has an education background in Biology/Biotechnology.

Kennedy Kiendi
Junior Consultant

Kennedy is a dedicated and skilled AGRF Junior Consultant. He has demonstrated exceptional organizational and multitasking abilities specializing in administrative support, and stakeholder engagement. Kennedy also Supports AGRF in coordinating events, conferences, and workshops. His strong organizational skills, coupled with a proactive approach to problem-solving, have consistently facilitated smooth operations and improved workflow. Kennedy is driven by a passion for continuous improvement and consistently looks for ways to improve procedures and put best practices into practice. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Kennedy possesses a bachelor’s degree in economics.

Thematic Leads

Below are out thematic platform leads:

Our Thematic Leads

Boaz Blackie Keizire
Policy, Advocacy & Food Systems AGRA Food Systems and Nutrition Thematic Lead

Boaz Blackie Keizire is the Head of Policy and Advocacy at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He holds an MSc in Agricultural Economics from Makerere University, Uganda, a BSc in Economics from the same university, and a Diploma in Fisheries Policy, Planning and Management from United Nations University, Iceland. Boaz has over 15 years of working in the areas of Agriculture and Natural Resource Policy, Planning and Analysis, and Rural Development. Prior to joining AGRA, he was working as a Head of, Division of Agriculture and Food Security and Team Leader of a Pan African Agricultural Reform Program, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) at the African Union Commission (AUC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Earlier to this, Boaz was a Senior Advisor on CAADP at the AUC and before as a Head of Agriculture and Natural Resource Planning, at the National Planning Authority in Uganda and previously a Principal Economist and a CAADP Lead Person in Uganda.

Boaz has used national skills and experiences to translate and influence actions at the continental level. His work has raised the profile of the African Union Commission in placing the institution as a leader in advancing political and policy agenda to mobilize the global community and African Member States towards Agricultural transformation through CAADP. Specifically, Boaz has been instrumenting and using country-specific models and examples to change the quality of leadership of CAADP provided by the African Union Commission. Boaz has written and published papers for ACODE, UNEP, FAO, and UNDP among others. He is a Research Associate with Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)-an Environment and Policy Research Think Tank in Uganda- and also was a part-time Lecturer of Fisheries Economics in the Zoology Department, at Makerere University.

Dr. Apollos Nwafor
Vice President, Policy, and State Capability at AGRA Policy and State Capability Thematic Lead

Apollos Nwafor, PhD is the Vice President, Policy, and State Capability division in AGRA. Apollos is a highly skilled and passionate international development professional with vast experience in the development and implementation of Pan-African strategies across Africa including leading and managing programmes covering education, extractives, public health, agriculture, water and sanitation, electoral reforms, public finance reforms, capacity strengthening for governments and civil society as well as managing multi-country grants, providing strategic policy support and advice to governments and civil society.

With an in-depth understanding and passion for agriculture and agricultural development, Apollos has worked with the African Union, implementing agricultural programmes with smallholder farmers and sustainable development. He has a firm grasp of the necessity of building relationships at strategic and political levels, forming partnerships with key senior government leaders, commissioners for rural agriculture, and technical experts. Additionally, he served as WaterAid’s liaison and Adviser to the President of Liberia as Africa’s Goodwill Ambassador for WASH in Africa.

Nixon M. Gecheo
Senior Program Officer – Digital Systems & Solutions for Agriculture Agtech and Digitalization Thematic Lead

Nixon Mageka Gecheo is a technology, data, and public policy expert with a multidisciplinary skill set and over 15 years of experience in developing, and implementing development projects, for both governments and international organizations, focusing on the use of emerging technologies to address developmental challenges in agriculture. He has a demonstrated history of working in the field of digital agriculture strategies and digital innovation capabilities in developing countries. Nixon holds a Masters in Communication Management, majoring in ICT Policy and Management offered through the Kigali Institute of Science, Technology and Management (KIST) and the United Kingdom Telecommunications Academy (UKTA). He is also a graduate of a BSc in Information Technology from Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology.

Nixon most recently served as a member of the Universal Service Advisory Council of the Communication Authority of Kenya, advising on the use of the Universal Service Fund in Spreading ICTs to the underserved and un-served areas of the Republic of Kenya. Nixon worked as a lead e-agriculture consultant for the United Nation ITU/FAO on the development of national e-Agriculture policy and strategy for the republic of Benin that included a broad and meaningful engagement across, government, policy, and tech sector communities. He has previously advised the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries on ICT uptake in agriculture. He has also provided strategic, program design, and technical consulting to organizations like ITU and GIZ. Nixon has also worked as ICT4Agri with Techno-serve East Africa. Prior to being a consultant, Nixon worked as a Chief ICT officer for the Commission on Administrative Justice also known as the Ombudsman.

Daniel Njiwa
Head, Regional Food Trade at Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa Regional Trade Lead

Daniel is Head of Regional Food Trade & Resilience under Policy & State Capability Division, and based in Nairobi, Kenya. Prior to joining AGRA, Daniel played leadership roles in the formulation and implementation of country and regional CAADP investment programs and agriculture trade related projects in over 12 countries of the Eastern and Southern Africa sub- region.

Daniel, a Malawian national, brings over 20 years’ experience working and collaborating with key Regional Economic Communities such as COMESA, EAC, SADC and donor agencies such as UKAID, EU, World Bank among others. He has also consulted for international agencies including the World Trade Organization (WTO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and International Water Management Institute (IWMI). His recent experience implementing the Food Trade for East and Southern Africa program and the Regional Food Security and Risk Management project has shaped Daniel into one of the leading practitioners of inclusive growth and development through agriculture trade in the region. He has spearheaded public-private investments and critical policy reforms in regional food trade initiatives affording wide participation of small businesses and farmers in regional agriculture value chains boosting incomes and food security. Daniel is a double holder of Master of Science degrees in International Business Administration and Agriculture Economics obtained from University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and University of Malawi respectively. He brings along a network of actors, government officials, development partners and private sector at both national and regional levels in his quest to drive the regional food trade initiative as a key ingredient for agriculture transformation at the continental level.

Sabdiyo Dido
Head of Gender and Inclusiveness at Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Women in Agriculture thematic Lead

Sabdiyo Dido Bashuna is the Director for Youth Employment, Gender, and Inclusiveness at AGRA. With over 20 years of experience in international development spanning across several continents, she is a thought leader on inclusive agrifood sector transformation, inclusive value chains, and market systems, with a special lens on youth employment, gender, and intentional programming around other economically excluded groups. Sabdiyo is a senior professional credited with crafting innovative agrifood strategies and Programmes, advocating for equitable access to opportunities and benefits for women and youth in agriculture and agri-food systems.

Notable initiatives credited to her are AGRAs signature Value4Her, a continental Women Agri-entrepreneurship development initiative aimed at bringing more women into the agricultural labour market, and Opportunities for Youth employment, a flagship youth in agrifood Systems initiative aimed at attracting youth into agribusiness and supporting them to grow their agri-enterprises into viable businesses. She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, specializing in Agribusiness strategy, and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Agriculture Economics

Dickson Naftali
Head, Generation Africa

Dickson Naftali is the Head of Generation Africa - a partnership initiative under Africa Food Systems Forum (AGRF) building a stronger ecosystem to inspire and support young entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector, while onboarding young Agripreneurs to food systems, mentoring the high potential ones and linking them to support services. The initiative is hosted at AGRA and supported by 10 strategic partners.

Dickson is a market development specialist with over 20 years of relevant experience. In his previous role as Head of Program, KCB Mobi Grow - a MasterCard Foundation and KCB Group partnership program, he managed to onboard over 500K new customers previously excluded and referred to as risky. Prior to this, he spent 7 years at Techno Serve handling different roles, with the last one being a Portfolio Lead charged with giving strategic leadership and guidance to a number of Agribusiness Programs, that empowered youth-led MSMEs and smallholder farmers.

Mumbi Maina
Agribusiness Dealroom Lead at AGRA

An experienced professional in agriculture development, Mumbi has 14 years of experience working with governments and the private sector across sub-Saharan Africa. Her role involves promoting Africa as an investment destination and facilitating public and private investment transactions and partnerships. Prior to this role, she was the Regional Grants Officer, designing and overseeing the implementation of interventions at a country level, but also working closely with regional mandates – the African Union, NEPAD-AUDA, and the Regional Economic Communities. Mumbi’s passion lies in identifying growth opportunities in food and agribusiness, connecting actors, sharing key insights into the agricultural sector, and building lasting public and private partnerships. She maintains active relationships with a broad network of investors and businesses in Africa. Mumbi holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance.

Tilahun Amede (Ph.D.)
Principal Scientist and Head of the Sustainable Farming Program at Africa AGRA Resilience and Adaptation thematic Lead

Dr. Tilahun Amede is currently the Head of the Climate, Resilience, Soil Health, Extension, and Agrodealers program at AGRA. He has been reforming and institutionalizing integrated, regenerative, and circular soil and landscape management systems in Africa, currently aiding 11 countries in Eastern, Southern, and West Africa. He spent eight years working for ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for Semiarid Tropics) as a Country Director and Principal Scientist in Mozambique and Ethiopia before joining AGRA. Before joining ICRISAT, Tilahun was a Senior Scientist (2006-2008) and Nile Basin Leader (2009-2011), at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) as a joint appointee project manager, guiding teams developing integrated water management solutions, improving Livestock water productivity, and reducing land degradation in 11 Nile basin countries. Tilahun created farming system-based niche identification for the adoption of dryland technologies and practices in small-scale farming in Eastern, Western, and Southern Africa for the past 25+ years, with a focus on Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso. Both Hawassa University and Addis Abeba University employed him as an adjunct associate professor. From the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany, Tilahun earned a Ph.D. in plant nutrition in 1997. He authored more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific articles, the majority of which were published in high-impact journals with a focus on agronomy, soil fertility, drought physiology, legume intensification, biofortification, and integrated watershed management.

He has been serving as Associate Editor of "Nature- Sustainable Agriculture," Associate and Guest Editor for other major publishing companies, and recipient of numerous national and international honours, he is also a member of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences, winner of the 2017 ICRISAT Global Award for Best Partnerships, and featured scientist in the "Nourishing the Planet" weekly, New York. (Nov 2012); international award as a ‘Fellow of the International Society for Biological Science’ (2011); Member of the New York Academy of Sciences (since 2003); Man of the Week by Global Mountain Forum, Kathmandu (2007); Bibliography included in ‘Marquis Who is Who in Science and Engineering in the World’. Tilahun has been serving in various national task forces and led assignments and advised more than 20 PhD and MSc students.

Jane Ininda
2023 Input Thematic Lead

Dr. Jane Ininda is Head of Seed Research and Systems Development at AGRA and leads crop research, seed production, and seed certification and regulatory interventions. Her career in agricultural science and development in Africa spans 30+ years. She has led teams of professional crop breeders in 18 African countries who have developed and released 685 resilient and climate-smart crop varieties. More than 450 of those varieties have been commercialized by 100+ private seed companies in Africa. She has more than 40 publications as peer-reviewed papers and book chapters. This is in addition to blogs, media articles, and many impact stories. Realizing the importance of forming strong alliances and sharing updated information and knowledge among agricultural scientists she has propelled several networks in crop breeding for Africa. She has also featured the effects of food shortage in the film ‘Silent Killer-the Unfinished Campaign against Hunger’. Jane holds a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding-Major, from Iowa State University, USA. She is a recipient of the C.R. Weber Award in recognition of outstanding achievement in graduate study in Crop Science at Iowa State University, USA.

Nega Wubeneh
Interim Head of Market and Post-Harvest and Advisor to the VP of Program Innovation and Delivery at AGRA Rural and Market Development Lead

Nega Wubeneh joined AGRA in 2009 as a policy Program Officer for Market and Regional Trade. He has held different roles in AGRA including Country Manager for Ethiopia, and Senior Strategy Officer. He has extensive experience in Program Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, Quantitative Policy Analysis, and Policy Advocacy. Nega served as a Senior Director at the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) on secondment from AGRA. He managed the system programs (Markets, Cooperatives, Seeds, Soil Health, Household Irrigation, Mechanization, Research and Extension, and Rural Finance) developing solutions for systemic bottlenecks in the agricultural sector. Prior to joining AGRA, he was an Agricultural Research Officer at the CGIAR Science Council Secretariat at United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), working on ex-post impact assessment and monitoring and evaluation of international agricultural research. He also served as a Senior Research Assistant in the Livestock Policy Analysis Program of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). Nega has a BSc in Statistics and BA in Economics from Addis Ababa University and MSc and Ph.D. (ABD) in International Development and Policy from Purdue University, United States.