Governance & Leadership
Co-Chair, Programs Committee
Rodger Voorhies is Managing Director of the Agricultural Development, Financial Services for the Poor, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene teams within the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In this role, Rodger leads the foundation’s efforts to alleviate hunger and poverty for millions of farming families in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia by increasing agricultural productivity in a sustainable way; make high quality digital financial services widely accessible to people living in the poorest parts of the world; and bring groundbreaking innovations in sanitation technology and new ways to deliver sanitation products and services to people in the developing world.
Rodger lived for nearly 20 years in emerging markets. He worked extensively in Africa and Eastern Europe to establish and grow successful and sustainable microfinance organizations with client-driven organizational cultures that delivered innovative financial services to poor households and communities. He served most recently as the CEO of Opportunity Bank of Serbia where he managed the bank through a successful turnaround, using data to reach small holder farmers. He also founded Opportunity Bank of Malawi, the first commercial microfinance bank in Malawi and grew it to become one of the largest providers of financial services in the country using alternative delivery channels (e.g., biometric smart cards, mobile banking). Today, nearly one out of every five Malawi families has a relationship with the bank.
Seeds, Not Diamonds, Will Make Africa Great
As I settle back in my homeland Nigeria since retiring as the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in March this year, I am reminded of a local saying that when you go to the stream to fetch water, your bucket will only be filled with the water that is yours. No one can
Taking stock of our capacity building efforts in Africa
The Improved Masters in Cultivar Development for Africa (IMCDA) programme, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation(BMGF) through the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), is held its fourth Joint Partners Meeting in Durban from 11th-13th of July bringing together local and international universities, national research stations, CGIAR centers, and students involved in the programme to
Opinion: Agricultural extension as a crucial support to development
The Sustainable Development Goals position agriculture at the forefront of addressing rural poverty, hunger and livelihoods. Evidence suggests that gains in agriculture have a significantly greater return on investment when targeting poverty and hunger, often up to five times more than investment in other sectors. As a result, donors, such as the World Bank, the European Commission, the United States