Governance & Leadership

Dr. Maria Isabel Andrade

Board Member

Dr. Maria Isabel Andrade, a co-recipient of the 2016 World Food Prize, has 30 years of working experience in Africa.  Her research interests include technology transfer, breeding seed systems and the amelioration of value chains for income-generation. Maria, from Cape Verde, has spent the last 21 years working in Mozambique. The first 10 of these, she served as a regional cassava and sweetpotato agronomist for the Southern Africa Root Crop Research Network, a program run conjointly by the International Potato Center (CIP) and International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA). From 2002-2006 she coordinated a five year IITA/CIP project on Accelerated Multiplication and Distribution of Healthy Planting Materials of the Best High Yielding Varieties of Cassava and Sweetpotato.  Over one million farmers received improved planting material under this project in 98 of the 141 districts of the country with Maria collaborating with 124 partners to achieve this objective.

In 2006, she joined CIP to manage the SASHA Southern Africa Sweetpotato Support Platform bringing together sweetpotato breeders from Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, Madagascar, Mozambique and Angola, with a research emphasis on breeding drought-tolerant sweetpotato varieties. She has released 30 bio-fortified sweetpotato varieties of which 20 are drought tolerant. The Mozambican government recognizes bio-fortified sweetpotato as a food and nutrition security crop. These drought tolerant varieties have reached more than half a million farmers who have adopted them and are making profits selling the roots and vines. Maria is highly skilled in training other breeders, facilitating knowledge sharing and constructing communications platforms to heighten the visibility and impact of sweetpotato in Sub-Saharan Africa to reduce Vitamin A deficiency and improve markets and crop production.

Today, Maria serves as CIP’s country manager in Mozambique, over and above her scientific leadership role. Maria served as the vice president for fund raising for the International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC) global for five years. Key recognitions for her sweetpotato breeding work include: 2016 World Food Prize co-laureate and 2017 Swaminathan Award for Environmental Protection.

Blog Posts

Killing hunger in Africa with sweet potatoes

As a 5-year-old growing up in Cape Verde in sub-Saharan Africa, Maria Isabel Andrade had told her mother that she wanted to grow food and make hunger disappear from her town. Growing up in the Sahel region, Ms. Andrade, a leading agronomist, has today succeeded in accomplishing her childhood dream —with bio-fortified sweet potatoes. She

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AfDB President Adesina calls for technology transfer to farmers

Washington, D.C., US, 6 August 2018 – The President of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi Adesina, has made an urgent call to give farmers across the continent new technologies with the potential to transform agricultural production. Adesina said the technology transfer was needed immediately and that evidence from countries like Nigeria demonstrated that technology

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AGRA Board Member Mohohlo appointed Chancellor of the University of Botswana

President Mokgweetsi Masisi has, acting in accordance with Section 7 of the University of Botswana Act of 2008, appointed Linah Mohohlo as the Chancellor of the University of Botswana for a period of 5 years effective the 19th of July 2018 to 18 June 2023. Linah Mohohlo was the Governor of the Bank of Botswana

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Josette Sheeran

Co-Chair, Finance & Human Resources Committee

Usha Barwale Zehr

Chair, Audit Committee

Judith Rodin

Chair, Nominations and Governance Committee

Joachim von Braun

Co-Chair, Programs Committee

Frank N. J. Braeken

Board Member

Rodger Voorhies

Co-Chair, Programs Committee

Adam Gerstenmier

Chief of Staff & Strategy

Dr Joe DeVries

Vice President, Program Development & Innovation

Sean de Cleene

Vice President, Business Development & Strategic Partnerships

Dr. Lindiwe Majele

Vice President Country Support,
Policy and Delivery

Paul Tikani

Chief Operating Officer

Victoria Sabula

General Counsel & Corporation Secretary

Lilian Nyang’aya

Chief Finance Officer

Boaz Keizire

Head of Policy and Advocacy

Elizabeth Chemengen Titoo

Director Human Resources

Fadel Ndiame

Regional Head, West Africa

Anne Mbaabu

Head of Markets and Harvest Management

Dr George Bigirwa

Regional Head, East and Southern Africa

Dr Richard Jones

Chief of Party, Scaling Seeds and Technologies Partnership (SSTP)

David Maingi

Head of Communications

Daudi Sumba

Head, Monitoring and Evaluation

Dr Paul Greener

CEO, Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF)

Hilary Tororey

Head of Internal Audit

Sylvester Kisonzo

Head of Information and
Communications Technology

Ignatius Mutula

Head of Grants

Caroline Njeru

Head of Procurement

John Wakiumu

Interim Head of Innovative Finance

Dr Rebbie Harawa

Head of Soil Fertility & Fertilizer Systems

AGRA