Press Release: AGRA bolsters Board with six new members
Nairobi: March 28 2022 – AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa) has today announced the appointment of six new members to its Board, bolstering the organisation even further to accomplish its mission as it prepares a strategy that is focused on advancing the 2030 agenda in Africa.
The new Board members are: Ms. Ada Osakwe, an agriprenuer with experience in private equity, investments and government; Ms. Binta Touré Ndoye, who has had a distinguished career in banking; Ambassador David Lane, a diplomat with deep experience promoting policy reforms in food security and development; Ms. Delphine Traoré Maidou, a global leader with expertise in strategy and risk management; Ms. Mallika Srinivasan, with rich experience in manufacture of farm machinery; and Dr. Roy Steiner, who is leading efforts to enhance access to nourishing food across the world.
The appointments, effective immediately, are meant to strengthen AGRA’s role as an African institution that is committed to advancing inclusive agriculture and food systems transformation.
AGRA’s Board bears the overarching responsibility to its stakeholders, employees and the public good. It provides strategic guidance to the organisation, maintains independent oversight of activities and ensures effective governance at all levels.
Commenting on the appointments, AGRA’s Board Chair, H.E Hailemariam Dessalegn said: “I am delighted to welcome six new independent members to the Board. Each member’s unique expertise and track record in driving value will be critical for AGRA as we head towards our 2030 strategic period where we want to accelerate agricultural and food system transformation in Africa particularly, the local SMES, the smallholder farmers and the communities they serve. I look forward to working with them”.
Brief profiles of the new board members:
Ms. Ada Osakwe
Her career in private equity and investments and experience working in government, as Founder and CEO of Agrolay Ventures and as Founder of Nuli Juice brings invaluable insights to the Board from the perspective of a female African entrepreneur in the agricultural value chain. This is exciting for AGRA as we push for systemic interventions that result in transformation in our countries. Her role as Generation Africa Ambassador and on the AfDB’s President’s Advisory Group on ‘Jobs for Africa’s Youth’ makes her greatly placed to effectively contribute and provide learnings on how AGRA can continuously make agriculture a viable economic enterprise for our youth.
Ms. Binta Touré Ndoye
Her distinguished banking career in one of AGRA’s focus countries and her great work as CEO of Oragroup Bank will give AGRA an opportunity to lean on for critical learnings. As CEO of Oragroup, she steered the bank’s growth of SMEs through digitalization. This presents a fantastic learning opportunity for AGRA as we are keen to double down on digitization and private sector partnerships in pushing our mission for agricultural transformation on the continent.
Ambassador David Lane
He has had a distinguished career in leadership of government and global non-profit organizations for more than 20 years and he is the President of The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands since September 2016. Before that, he served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies (FAO, WFP & IFAD) in Rome, promoting policy reforms in the areas of food security and development. He served in both President Clinton’s and President Obama’s Administrations and was President and CEO of the ONE Campaign, a global advocacy organization focused on global health, economic development, and effective governance. Before that, he served in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leading its public policy and advocacy efforts.
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a thinktank and publisher, and serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Stimson Center, a nonpartisan policy research center.He brings his strategic thought leadership to the Board.
Ms. Delphine Traoré Maidou
Her distinguished career as a global leader with expertise in strategy and risk management and serving on the Board of Allianz, makes her an invaluable resource we will lean on for guidance. With the ever-present threat of climate change, AGRA is keen to get climate adaptation and resilience right in our new Strategy and we believe her insights will help us de-risk these areas for our farmers and exponentially increase the farmers’ yields and livelihoods.
Ms. Mallika Srinivasan
She has had an exemplary career over the last 25 years in establishing Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited (TAFE) a key player in the agriculture value chain through its mass manufacture of tractors and farm machinery. In AGRA’s work over the last decade one of the things we have been seeking to strengthen in the value chain are the input systems which include not only seeds and fertilizers but also mechanization. Her role on the Boards of AGCO Corporation (USA), TATA Steel Limited, U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) and as the Chairperson of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) in India among many other board memberships, will be invaluable in providing thought leadership to the AGRA Board. Mallika sits on several boards, and is presently the Chairman and Managing Director of Tractors and Farms Equipment Ltd (TAFE). She brings in invaluable lessons from her work in India and her deep understanding of the sector.
Dr. Roy Steiner
Roy Steiner, PhD, is the Senior Vice President for the Food Initiative at The Rockefeller Foundation, where he leads a team focused on creating access to nourishing food for millions of people in the U.S. and around the world, supporting scientific advances in human nutrition and sustainable food production, and carrying forward the Foundation’s enduring commitment to a sustainable Green Revolution in Africa. Roy joined The Rockefeller Foundation from the Omidyar Network, where he served as Director of the Intellectual Capital team since 2015, focused on helping Omidyar achieve its strategic objectives at all levels including in the agriculture space. He dedicated nearly a decade of his career to leadership positions at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he was a founding member of the Agricultural Development Initiative and was instrumental in working on AGRA’s formation with The Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Roy has previously served on the AGRA Board and is now rejoining the AGRA Board as a full board member.
Established in 2006, AGRA is an African-led and Africa-based institution that puts smallholder farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economy by transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive into farming as a business that thrives. Together with our partners, we catalyze and sustain an inclusive agricultural transformation to increase incomes and improve food security in 11 countries.