African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership
The Board of Trustees and Senior Leadership
AFAP Board of Trustees Namanga Ngongi, chairman of the African Fertilizer and
Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) board of trustees Namanga Ngongi is the founding chairman of the AFAP board of trustees, a single honor in an illustrious career that has included major contributions to agricultural development and international diplomacy. Until April 2012, he was the president of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), a job he took after decades of service to the United Nations. Ngongi joined the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) as head of the East and Southern Africa service and later served the WFP as deputy executive director. He was appointed undersecretary-general and special representative for the Democratic Republic of Congo, a role that required him to manage peacekeeping operations, organize peace negotiations, and oversee delivery of humanitarian aide. Ngongi started his career as an agricultural extension officer in Cameroon, where he owns a farm. He earned agricultural degrees from California State and Cornell Universities.
Chief Togbe Afede XIV, chief the Asogli State and
president of the Volta Region House of Chiefs His Royal Highness Chief Togbe Afede XIV is the president and paramount chief, or Agbogbomefia, of Asogli in Ghana. He has held the position since 2003. Known as James Akpo before elevation to the position of traditional regional ruler, Chief Afede is founder and CEO of Strategic Initiatives and the SAS Finance Group. He has more than 18 years of experience as an investment banker and entrepreneur. Chief Afede XIV earned degrees from the University of Ghana and the Yale University School of Management in the United States. He has taught at the University of Ghana Business School and has received many national and international awards including Liberia’s Golden Image Award in 2011 for peace development initiatives. He has also served as a member of the President of Ghana’s Economic Advisory Council under the late President John Atta Mills.
Photo by: Akim Mbeche
he African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) was created to unite the expertise and dedication of the public and private sectors to create competitive and sustainable fertilizer markets for African smallholder farmers. It is overseen by a seven-member board of trustees with decades of experience. It is guided by senior leadership dedicated to African agricultural development.
Abdirahman D. Beileh, head of the African Development Bank’s Department of Agriculture and Agro-Industry Abdirahman D. Beileh began his career at the African Development Bank (AfDB) as a finance officer and has served the bank as an economist, manager and director in departments including agriculture and rural development, operations policies and procedures, and water. He is currently in charge of the AfDB’s Department of Agriculture and Agro-Industry, overseeing about 135 projects, staff of more than 100, and investments of about $3.5 billion. He also supervises special funds including a $200 million Congo Basin Forest Fund. Beileh holds a bachelor’s degree, a MBA and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. He has taught economics, finance and statistics at universities in the United States and Saudi Arabia. He speaks English, Arabic and French.
Patrick Heffer, director of the International Fertilizer Industry
Association’s (IFA) agriculture service In his role as director of the agriculture service, Patrick Heffer coordinates the activities of IFA’s agriculture committee and its Africa Forum. His duties focus on world fertilizer demand, development of fertilizer demand, forecasts and the promotion of efficient and responsible fertilizer use. He also oversees IFA’s innovation and research initiative. Before joining IFA, Heffer worked with the International Seed Trade Federation and the International Association of Plant Breeders. He has also held critical positions with the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the French seed organization GNIS, and at the Hassan II Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary Sciences in Morocco. Heffer earned degrees in genetics and plant breeding and agronomy from Paris XI – Orsay University and the French École Nationale Supérieure d’Horticulture.
Dinnah Kapiza, agro-dealer in Mponela, Malawi Dinnah Kapiza owns and operates a successful agro-dealer business in her native Mponela, Malawi. Trained as a teacher, she
went into business following the death of her husband and found her way into the agricultural sector. Starting from scratch in 2002, Kapiza has grown her business. She operates multiple stores, delivery trucks, a warehouse and employs a large staff during the height of the agricultural buying season. Kapiza serves as a board member of Rural Market Development Trust (RUMARK) and is president of its 200-member agro-dealer association. She manages RUMARK’s demonstration plots, showcasing improved seeds and fertilizers to local farmers. She has also organized associations of women smallholder farmers in her area. She is the mother of 10.
Jane Karuku, president of Alliance for a Green Revolution
in Africa (AGRA) Jane Karuku, president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), has nearly two decades of management experience. Before joining AGRA in April 2012, Karuku served as deputy chief executive and secretary general of Telkom Kenya, where she was credited with transforming the company. Before joining Telkom Kenya, she was managing director in East and Central Africa for Cadbury. She was responsible for operations in 14 countries and oversaw the growth of the company. Karuku’s experience with the agricultural sector includes work with Farmer’s Choice and Kenya Cooperative Creameries. Karuku serves in advisory roles in Barclays Kenya, Junior Achievement Kenya and the United States International University in Nairobi. She earned degrees from the University of Nairobi and the National University of California.
Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, the African Union’s
commissioner for rural economy and agriculture As commissioner for rural economy and agriculture, Rhoda Peace Tumusiime oversees the agricultural sector including crop agriculture, environment, climate change, rural development and disaster risk reduction for the African Union (AU). She works closely with pan-African institutions and development agencies to support AU states. She is credited with increasing AU country involvement with the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and has spearheaded preparations for African climate change and disaster risk reduction strategies. Before joining the AU, she held positions with the Ugandan government including commissioner for agriculture planning and commissioner for women and development. She earned degrees in agricultural economics, economics, and planning and managing rural development from the University of Manchester and Makerere University. She serves as a member of the high-level advisory panel for the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the governing board of the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) and is chairwoman of the African Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM).
AFAP Senior Leadership Jason Scarpone, president and CEO of the African Fertilizer
and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) For the past two years, Jason Scarpone has dedicated his career to founding AFAP. He comes to the task after more than 18 years of experience designing, implementing and managing recovery and development programs in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. Much of his work has focused on engaging the private sector in bolstering agricultural markets and fostering economic growth. Scarpone has held senior positions with organizations including CNFA, the East-West Management Institute and the International Rescue Committee (IRC). He holds degrees in labor relations and international development and sociology and urban studies from Northwestern University and New York University.
Richard Mlomboji Mkandawire, vice president of the
African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) For eight years, Richard Mkandawire was part of the leadership that drove the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), an innovative framework for agricultural development established by African nations and leaders. CAADP began as part of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to eliminate hunger and reduce poverty by growing agriculture. Mkandawire has received awards for his work on CAADP including the Drivers of Change Award and an honorary doctorate from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Mkandawire came to CAADP and AFAP with decades of experience as a socio-economist and rural development expert. He earned degrees from the University of Malawi, the University of Missouri and the University of East Anglia. He has taught at multiple universities and is currently an extra-ordinary professor at the University of Pretoria.
Cecilia Khupe, director of programs for the African Fertilizer
and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) Before joining AFAP, Cecilia Khupe was the senior regional agriculture programme manager and advisor for the Southern Africa regional office of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). She has also held positions with Botswana’s Ministry of Agriculture. Khupe has experience in the private sector overseeing operations of Botswana Breweries. She has worked in countries including Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique. Khupe earned degrees in agricultural economics and economics and accounting from the University of Botswana and New Mexico State University.
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