H.E Paul Kagame

President of Rwanda

Paul KagameHis Excellency Paul Kagame was sworn in as President of the Republic of Rwanda for a second seven-year term on 6 September 2010 following the country’s elections held on 9 August 2010.

H.E Paul Kagame was born in October 1957 in Rwanda’s Southern Province. He was appointed Vice-President and Minister for Defence in the Government of National Unity on 19 July 1994, and four years later was elected Chairman of the RPF, a partner in the Government of National Unity.

President Kagame has received recognition for his leadership in peace building and reconciliation, development, good governance, promotion of human rights and women’s empowerment and advancement of education and ICT.

He is widely sought after to address regional and international audiences on a range of issues including African development, leadership and the potential of ICT as a dynamic industry as well as an enabler for Africa’s socioeconomic transformation. As president, H.E Paul Kagame has prioritized national development, launching programme to develop Rwanda as a middle income country by 2020. As of 2013, the country is developing strongly on key indicators including health care and education. Annual growth between 2004 and 2010 averaged 8% per year. He identifies Agriculture as a key sector that can enable Africa’s economic transformation. H.E Paul Kagame is married to Jeannette Nyiramongi and they have four children. He is a keen tennis player and football fan.

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina

President, African Development Bank Group

AdesinaDr. Akinwumi Adesina is the 8th elected President of the African Development Bank Group. He took office on September 1, 2015 to serve an initial five-year term.  Dr. Adesina is a distinguished development economist and agricultural development expert with 25 years of international experience.

Prior to his appointment to the Bank, Dr. Adesina served as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development from 2011 to 2015.He was previously Vice-President (Policy and Partnerships) of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

Dr. Adesina was Principal Economist and Social Science Research Coordinator for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Principal Economist and Coordinator of the West Africa Rice Economics Task Force at the West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA) and an Assistant Principal Economist at the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). From 2008 to 2010, Adesina was the President of the African Association of Agricultural Economists. Dr. Adesina has outstanding academic record and has won several international awards

Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana

for Agriculture Minister and Animal Resources (Rwanda)

GerardineH.E Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana is the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources of the Republic of Rwanda. She manages the government policies for Agriculture and livestock sector, modernization for food and nutrition security and economic growth. Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana  is also responsible for policy formulation and work with other Ministries on cross cutting issues that affect the agricultural sector especially land use and management, trade, commerce, infrastructure, gender, and youth employment.

She holds a Masters degree and PhD in plant breeding, genetics, and biotechnology from Michigan State University and had her undergraduate degree in agriculture engineering from the former National University of Rwanda. Prior to joining the Ministry, she worked at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) Kenya overseeing the Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa (BecA) Hub, a shared agriculture research and biosciences platform to increase access to affordable, world-class research facilities. Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana has served on various boards Most of her publications are largely on crop breeding.

Mr. Philip Kiriro

President and Chairman, Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF)

PhilipMr Philip Kiriro is the President and Chairman, Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF) He obtained his MSc in Ruminant Husbandry and Animal Breeding; postgraduate courses in Agricultural Policy, Biochemical Genetics Advocacy and Participatory Development. He is a livestock farmer (dairy and beef) in the Rift Valley province of Kenya.

From 1973-1975, Mr Kiriro was a specialist in agriculture with the Kenyan Government. Between 1976 and 2002, he was a lecturer at Egerton University and held positions in the Agricultural Society of Kenya including Chairman for the Livestock Committee and a Council Member.

Other previous positions he also held were Chairman, Kenya National Farmers Union, Regional President, Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF); Vice-Patron, Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers.

He was a Founding Member, Eastern Africa Famers Federation, a  Member,  of  Pillar II Experts Reference group on Market Access. Mr Kiriro has participated in and presented papers at various regional and international forums representing producers.


H.E. Dr. Martial De-Paul Ikounga

Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, AUC 

MartialExcellency Dr. Martial De-Paul Ikounga is the African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology.

He is a member of the Congolese National Assembly and currently the chairman of the Education, Culture, Science and Technology Commission.

He served in various positions in the Government, including being Secretary of State and Minister of Science and Technology, Minister to the Office of the President, Minister of Education, Minister of High and Technical Education and  Minister for Reconstruction and National Heritage.

Dr. De-Paul Ikounga holds a Doctorate Degree in Engineering and has lectured in General Statistics and Physics. He has also published several articles on these subjects both in French and in English.

Dr Sindiso Ndema Ngwenya

Executive Secretary,COMESA
Sindiso Dr Sindiso Ndema Ngwenya, a Zimbabwean,  is the current Secretary General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) following his appointment to that position in May 2008. He is an economist and transportation expert.

Prior to his appointment as the Secretary General of COMESA, he served as the Assistant Secretary General of COMESA in charge of Programmes, from 1998 until 2008. During that period he offered dedicated service for the development of the region’s infrastructure and industry;

He was responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of key COMESA programmes including; The COMESA Free Trade Area, the design of the COMESA External Tariff Structure, Common Tariff Nomenclature (CTN) as well as the institutional and administrative structure for the COMESA Customs Union.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Geography as well as a  Master of Science degree in Transportation and Traffic Planning. Sindiso Ngwenya serves as the Chairman, Board of Governors, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), a policy analysis and      policy dialogue forum, promoting and supporting an Africa that is free hunger and poverty.

Hon Given Lubinda

Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Zambia

Given Given Lubinda is the   Zambian Minister of Agriculture & Livestock. He is a Member of the National Assembly of Zambia for Kabwata Constituency (Lusaka) and the former Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet of Zambia.


He is a professional Agriculturalist/Consultant. Mr. Lubinga holds Certificates in Strategic Planning, Natural Resources Management and Diploma in Agricultural Business Management

Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana

Minister of State in charge of Economic Planning, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Rwanda

Uzziel Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana is the Minister of State in charge of Economic Planning in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN) of Rwanda.

Before joining the MINECOFIN, Dr. Ndagijimana was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, from May 2011to July 2014. Dr. Ndagijimana served at different leadership positions as the Vice Rector of the National University of Rwanda from (2007 – 2011), and as the Rector of School of Finance and Banking in Kigali, Rwanda (2002 -2007).

He is an Economist, with a PhD in Economics (1998) and a MSc. Economics, specializing in International Trade.  He started his career as a Lecturer at the National University of Rwanda in 1999, Faculty of Economics, Social Sciences, and Management, before he moved to leadership positions of the Government Rwanda from 2002.  Dr. Ndagijimana has also served on various Boards and Councils.

Dr. Abebe Haile-Gabriel

Deputy Regional Representative for Africa Food and Agricultural Organization

Abebe Dr. Abebe Haile-Gabriel is the Deputy Regional Representative for Africa working with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).  He has extensive work experience in the agricultural sector, having worked with higher learning institutions in Ethiopia and the African Union Commission in various capacities.

He started his professional career as a member of the faculty teaching, undertaking research in Agricultural Economics at the Alemaya University of Agriculture, Ethiopia.

He holds a B.Sc. (Agricultural Economics), a M.A. (Agricultural and Rural Development), and a Ph.D. (Development Studies). His Ph.D. research focused on the "Development Strategies and the Ethiopian Peasantry: supply response and rural differentiation". His research interests and areas in which he published include economic development and poverty alleviation, entitlement and empowerment, dynamics of rural factor and product markets and technology transfer among others.

Over the last ten and a half years, he worked with the African Union Commission (AUC) with the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture in various capacities that are focused on Agriculture, Rural Economy,  Food Security, Rural Development, Environment, Climate Change, Water and Land Management

Ms. Bongiwe Njobe

FARA High-Level Advocacy Panel

Bongiwe Ms. Bongiwe Njobe is a consultant and a visiting Fellow - with IAD Cornell University. Ithaca NY - USA (from April 2014). She holds an MSc in Agriculture, Vassil Kolarov, University of Bulgaria where she she wrote her thesis on plant breeding.

She has since March 2014 been a member of the High-Level Advocacy Panel for Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D) with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) (from March 2014).

She served two terms as Director General of the National Department of Agriculture advising on and developing agricultural policy as well as driving its implementation.

She also served as an Assistant Director: School of Agriculture and Rural Development  at the University of Pretoria where she lectured on Gender Issues in agriculture.

Her work experience in agriculture includes farm management in Zambia and Tanzania. She has served on the boards of various private sector sector institutions, NGOs and parastatal organizations.  She has published a number of discussion and conference papers. Currently, she serves as chairperson of the South African National Biodiversity Institute and member of other Boards.

Professor Etienne Ehilé

Secretary General, Association Of African Universities

EtienneProfessor Etienne Ehilé is an Ivorian National and a renowned physiologist.  He assumed office as the Secretary-General of the AAU after he has been an active member of the AAU Governing Board since 2005.

He graduated from the faculty of science at the University of Abidjan in 1974, where he obtained his MPhil degree. Then moved to the University of Aix Marseille III (France) where he prepared and defended his Doctorate Degree (PhD) in Neurophysiology passing out with  highest honours in 1978.

 Prof Ehilé has  held numerous management and administrative functions in addition to his teaching and research assignments at both national and international levels.

Dr. Nteranya E. Sanginga

Director General, IITA

NteranyaDr. Nteranya E. Sanginga is the Director General (DG) of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).  He served in various capacities at IITA before assuming his current position.

Dr Sanginga a Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) national, has more than 21 years of experience in agricultural research and development, particularly in the fields of applied microbial ecology, plant nutrition, and integrated natural resources management in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia He also has extensive skills in developing partnerships and institutional linkages and institution building.

He has also played a major role in the creation of the Consortium for Improving Agriculture-based Livelihood in Central Africa (CIALCA) that includes three international research centers (IITA, CIAT-TSBF, and Bioversity), university partners in Belgium, national research and development partners in DRC, Burundi, and Rwanda.

His career has also focused on building the capacity of young scientists in Africa. He has trained PhD candidates at the National University of Congo, School of Agriculture and University of Zimbabwe, who now hold leadership Positions in their countries.


Dr Harold Roy-Macauley

Director General, Africa Rice Centre

Harold Dr Harold Roy-Macauley, a Sierra Leonean national, was appointed as the Director General of the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) at an Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of AfricaRice held on 6 February 2015, in Kampala Uganda.

He has nearly 30 years of experience in agricultural research with extensive leadership and management expertise. Before joining AfricaRice, he was the Executive Director of the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD)

He obtained his PhD degree in tropical plant biology in 1993 from the Université Denis Diderot, France, his MSc in tropical plant biology in 1988 from the Université de Pierre et Marie Curie, France, and his Bsc with Honors in Botany in 1982 from the University of Sierra Leone.

He has consulted for numerous international and bilateral organizations on bio-safety and biotechnology and was the Managing Director for the Regional    Center for Improving Adaptation to Drought (CERAAS) in Senegal, a research and training center of CORAF/WECARD.

Dr. Jimmy Smith

Director General, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

JimmyDr. Jimmy Smith was appointed Director General of ILRI in April 2011.

Before joining ILRI, Dr. Smith  spent five years at the World Bank in Washington, D. C., leading the Global Livestock Portfolio. Jimmy has also held senior positions at the Canadian International Development Agency and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute.

Earlier in his career, Jimmy Smith spent 10 years (1991-2001) at ILRI and its predecessor, the International Livestock Centre for Africa, working to improve smallholder livestock farming. He led the CGIAR System-wide Livestock Programme for three years.

Jimmy graduated from the University of Illinois, at Urban-Champaign, United States, where he completed his PhD in animal sciences.

Dr. Alioune Fall

Dr. Alioune Fall,  Director General, ISRA, Senegal



Dr. Alioune Fall is the Director General of the Senegalese Institute of Agricultural Research (ISRA), Senegal.



He is an agricultural engineer, and holds a PhD in agricultural technology. He was previously the Scientific Director of the Institute.

Ms. Elizabeth Atangana

President, Pan-African Organization of farmers and producers

Elizabeth Ms. Elizabeth Atangana is a farmer who is actively involved in the creation of associations, professional organizations and agricultural producers since 1979.

These include the platforms Sub Regional Peasant Organizations of Central African Republic (PROPAC) and the platform Pan African Peasant Organizations (PAFO),

she was particularly active and engaged in the construction of the peasant movement at the regional and continental levels. During the period, 1998-2005, she was actively involved in the consultation process of National Platforms of Peasant Organizations of Central Africa.

Ms. Atangana was elected first president of the Pan-African Organization of farmers and producers

Ms. Ténemba Anna Samaké

CEO, Mobile Business Clinic (MBC) Africa

TenembaTénemba Anna Samaké is the CEO of  the Mobile Business Clinic (MBC), an affordable and convenient management training program for CEOs and managers in small medium sized agribusinesses across Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.

The Mobile Business Clinic has been in operation since October 2015.

She has developed an extensive network of partners that support Micros, Small and Medium Enterprises in accessing to financing, through product development, funding schemes and network building.

Ms. Samake’ is the pioneer of Angel Investment in Mali and Ghana, as she contributed in the creation of two Angel Investors’ clubs in Mali and an all ladies angel network in Ghana (Africa Lady Angels).

She holds a MBA from Quebec University in Montreal and has a Master’s Degree in Private Law from National Administration School, Mali. She is candidate for a Doctorate in Business Administration. She speaks fluent French and English and understands Spanish.

Dr Chiji Ojukwu

Director, Agriculture and Agro-industry Department, AFDB

Chiji Dr Chiji Ojukwu is the Director, Agriculture and Agro-industry Department of the African Development Bank.

From January 2011 to October 2013, he was Regional Director, at the Bank with responsibilities for policy and programming in six countries: Angola, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe and Zambia.

Earlier, he was Manager, North, East and South Regions in the Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department (2007 – 2010). He also held positions of senior, principal and chief agricultural economist from 1997 to 2007. He has taught and written many papers in the area of project analysis.

Dr Chiji Ojukwu is from Nigeria and holds a Ph.D. and a Master's Degree in Development Economics and Project Planning from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture (agricultural economics) from the Obafemi Awolowo University,  Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

Dr. Willem Janssen

World Bank

WillemDr. Willem Janssen  is the Lead Agricultural Specialist in the Latin America and Caribbean region of the World Bank.  He was the team lead in the region’s response to climate change in the agriculture sector. 

Dr. Janssen is  currently piloting mechanisms for South-South collaboration involving areas such as the Africa-Brazil Agricultural Innovation Marketplace and has made significant contribution to the theory and practice of agricultural innovation systems.

He also supports the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program and the World Bank portfolio on agricultural innovation on the African continent.

He holds Msc  and PhD from Wageningen Agricultural University(Netherlands)  Where he majored in agricultural economics and agricultural marketing with minors in business administration and development economics.  He has worked in more than 40 developing countries.

Dr. Michel Eddi

President of CIRAD

Michel Dr. Michel Eddi was appointed President of the Board of Trustees of CIRAD, the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development, on 20 March 2013.

He is a graduate of the École nationale supérieure de chimie de Lille (1974) and the École nationale supérieure d'électrotechnique et de génie physique at the Institut national polytechnique de Grenoble (1975). He is also a former student of the École nationale d’administration (Michel de Montaigne class of 1988).

He Holds a PhD in engineering by the University of Provence (Aix-Marseille-I) in 1980.

Dr. Eddi has spent his entire career in public service.

In 1993, he joined CIRAD, initially as Deputy Director of Research until 1996, when he was appointed Secretary General, serving in that position from 1996 to 2001.

Jeff Koinange

Host, Jeff Koinange LIVE #JKL Talk Show on Kenya’s Television Network, KTN

 JK Swag Pose2Jeff Koinange is currently host of the popular and controversial Talk Show, Jeff Koinange LIVE #JKL broadcast on Kenya’s Television Network, KTN.

Mostly known as a journalist, broadcaster and television news anchor. Jeff is also a great negotiator, a skilled motivator, excellent showman and gifted presenter. Most people try to fit Jeff into molds but rarely succeed in capturing his essence. Jeff’s genius for reporting and keen understanding of his subject’s overshadow all his flaws, making him one of the most successful reporter’s to originate from Africa. Jeff makes interviewing look effortless but the subject is always treated with integrity and credibility.

He is the first black African journalist to be prominently featured on international network television and at CNN, Jeff cemented his reputation as one of the most accomplished journalists of our time.

Perseverance is the hallmark of Jeff Koinange’s career, impartiality and level-headedness is what makes the audience truly… Sit back! ... through many memorable interviews to his jaunty refrain All Kenyan! All the Time!

Jeff is also a keen and energetic Master of Ceremonies and has hosted numerous Bilateral and Multilateral events for the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Health Organization (WHO), The Economic Commission of Africa (ECA), the East African Community (EAC), the African Union (AU) and various United Nations (UN) Organization agencies.

Jeff’s consummate skills have been recognized internationally with numerous awards. He is the first African to win an Emmy/ First African to win a Peabody Vernon Jarrett, Prix Bayeux etc.

Jeff holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism from New York University.

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