Dr. Agnes Kalibata

President. Former, Special Envoy for 2021 Food Systems Summit

Dr. Kalibata has since 2014 been AGRA’s president, where she leads the efforts towards a food secure and prosperous Africa through inclusive, sustainable agricultural transformation, which improves the productivity and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers in Africa. She previously served as Rwanda’s Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources, driving programs that moved her country to food security and helping lift more than 1 million Rwandans out of poverty. She has a distinguished record of accomplishments as an agricultural scientist, policy maker and thought leader. She sits on various panels, boards, councils and commissions. She is recognized worldwide as a leader in agricultural transformation and has won numerous awards for her contribution in making Africa food-secure.

Aggie Asiimwe Konde

Vice President, Program Innovation & Delivery

Aggie is the Vice President of Program Innovation and Delivery at AGRA, where she leads a specialized team of scientists across 11 AGRA countries in East, West and Southern Africa. She is in charge of the strategic role of portfolio design and development, implementation and monitoring for the achievement of agricultural transformation by 2030.  She oversees strategic partnership selections that provide opportunities and solutions for new learning and technology transfer. She has previously led the design and implementation of multiple interventions across two growth industries (Aquaculture; Textiles & Apparel), creating over 800 jobs and crowding in further interventions from multiple private and public sector actors.

Vanessa Adams

Vice President Strategic Partnerships and Chief of Party

Vanessa is the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at AGRA, and Chief of Party of the $500m Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Innovation in Africa (PIATA). She is a proven leader with strong private sector, investment facilitation and project management experience. Vanessa has over 25 years of professional experience, including with Fortune 500 companies in the US, and 18 years working in 28 African countries with governments, businesses and farmer cooperatives to increase productivity, meet buyer specifications, access finance, and compete in international markets. She has previously led $70+ million projects with multi-cultural teams, facilitated over $300 million in exports, and catalyzed over $70 million in investments and over $140 million in credit. 

Lilian Nyang’aya

Chief Finance Officer

Lilian is AGRA’s Chief Finance Officer, AGRA. She has over 20 years’ experience in the Not-For-Profit and the NGO sectors, where she manages and coordinates the work of the Finance and Operations units by providing financial oversight of the country offices, setting up and enforcing the risk management and control framework, and leading the planning and budgeting processes. She has worked in East, Central and the Horn of Africa, and further beyond, in Belgium.

Annette Kahama

General Counsel & Corporation Secretary

A corporate lawyer with 14 years’ experience, Annette is AGRA’s General Counsel and Corporation Secretary. As an in-house lawyer, she oversees AGRA’s legal operations and provides governance advice and counsel to the Management and Board of Directors. She also leads a team in ensuring the integrity of the governance framework of AGRA and its compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements in AGRA’s 11 focus countries is upheld. 

Fahreen Chudasama

Head, Development Cooperation

Fahreen is the head of Development Cooperation overseeing resource mobilization at AGRA. She has over 15 years of experience working in the humanitarian and development sector supporting leading international NGOs in securing new business development for their portfolios in Africa. She has a passion for lifting lives out of poverty and for supporting women’s economic empowerment initiatives. Fahreen’s key areas of expertise include strategy development, donor mapping and trends analysis, strategic partnership development, competitive and commercial bidding, compliance and donor contract management, training and skill building for effective resource mobilization.

Jane Ininda

Head, Seed Research & Systems Development

Dr. Ininda leads AGRA’s Seed Research and Systems Development unit, where she is in charge of crop research, seed production, and seed certification and regulatory interventions. Her career in agricultural science and development in Africa spans 30+ years. She has previously led professional crop breeders in 18 Africa countries in developing and releasing 685 resilient crop varieties, more than 450 of which have been commercialized by 100+ private seed companies in Africa. She has more than 40 publications as peer reviewed papers, book chapters, blogs and many impact stories. She has also founded key networks in crop breeding in Africa, to support the development of strong alliances and sharing of updated information and knowledge among agricultural scientists.

Jennifer Baarn

Head of Partnerships

Jennifer is the Acting Managing Director of the AGRF, and Head of Partnerships at AGRA. She is an experienced professional in the development and facilitation of international Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), with a particular focus on agriculture. She has previously worked as the Deputy CEO of the Southern Agriculture Growth Corridor (SAGCOT) Centre Ltd in Tanzania, where she was responsible for communication, operation and events, and the management and facilitation of partners. Earlier she was an Associate Director at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, where she helped develop the WEF’s New Vision for Agriculture initiative. She has experience in identifying growth opportunities in food and agribusiness and developing key insights into the agricultural sector worldwide.

Juliette Lampoh-Argoh

Ghana Country Manager

Juliette is AGRA’s Ghana Country Manager. She has 23 years’ experience in a wide range of sectors including local economic development, sustainable livelihoods, microfinance, value chains development, governance, WASH, and disaster risk reduction and response. She has successfully managed funding and donor relations with many international organizations. At AGRA, Ghana, she provides strategic leadership and management in the development of programs that link smallholder farmers to markets, enhancing access to appropriate financial services for farmers and rural micro-entrepreneurs, and promoting inclusive Economic Governance, with a focus on Women Economic Empowerment.

Sophie Chitedze

Malawi Country Manager

Sophie is AGRA’s Country Manager for Malawi, where she successfully set up a new Country Office in less than one year to drive the organization’s strategy to transform agriculture in the country. She is an International Development and Inclusive Finance expert, with more than 20 years’ experience in international development and agriculture, having worked in 18 Sub-Sahara African countries. Sophie has an extensive track record in driving local and government institutional capacity building and policy work, multi-stakeholder partnerships, delivery of last mile renewable energy and agricultural input technologies, gender transformative approaches, inclusive finance, food security, nutrition, private-sector-led extension, soil and fertilizer health solutions.

Hedwig Siewertsen

Head, Inclusive Finance

Hedwig is the head of Inclusive Finance at AGRA, where she is responsible for designing and implementing the organization’s Inclusive Finance strategy. Her leadership has led to the design and development of blended finance instruments, value chain finance and digital finance products, to make financial services systems work for agricultural SMEs and smallholder farmers that are active in food crops in 11 African countries. She has previously led a $100 million impact fund that invests in SMEs in the East Africa, and has vast experience in entrepreneurship development and financial services delivery to MSMEs in emerging markets, including in 25 African countries.

Sabdiyo Dido Bashuna

Head, Gender & Inclusiveness

Sabdiyo is the Head of Gender and Inclusiveness at AGRA. She is a senior agriculture strategist, programs director and global team leader, with a demonstrated track record working with inclusive sustainable agriculture, market-based solutions, value chains, gender and women’s economic empowerment, youth employment, agri-entrepreneurship SME development amongst others. Her 20+ years’ experience in global agriculture sector, spans across multiple geographies in Africa, Asia and Europe, where she has led many international organisations. She is a thought leader on gender and youth in agriculture, providing intellectual leadership in strategic processes, program design and resource mobilization.

Rebecca Weaver

Acting Head of Communications

Rebecca is AGRA’s acting Head of Communications, overseeing both internal and external communications and messaging. She has over 15 years of experience in communications and finance in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Africa, where she is recognized for leading the development of highly-effective communication strategies. She is passionate about elevating the voices of the most vulnerable and using innovation to improve livelihoods. Prior to joining AGRA, Rebecca worked as USAID’s director of communications in West Africa, and as a communications specialist in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.