Nneka Eze is a Partner and leads Dalberg’s work in Nigeria. She is a specialist in access to finance and inclusive growth and has worked with private corporations, state governments, and foundations on market analysis, strategic planning, investment planning, and performance transformation. Her work with developing country governments and agencies has focused on institutional development and strategy. She has deep experience across the sectors driving the Nigeria economy. With Dalberg, Nneka has lived in Kenya, Senegal, and Nigeria, and worked across sub-Saharan Africa. For the Office of the Vice President, Nigeria, Nneka led a team that engaged over 150 stakeholders on the key economic sectors to deliver a job creation strategy, specifically including identifying challenges and opportunities on SME finance and youth financial inclusion.
Dr ChiChi Aniagolu is the Country Director of Technoserve, a non-profit organization dedicated to business solutions for poverty. TechnoServe has been active in Nigeria since the 1990s, working with smallholder farmers, cooperatives, suppliers and processors to strategically develop competitive industries around key crops and important agricultural sectors for economic growth and food security. We also support the diversification of the Nigerian economy through entrepreneurship programs that empower young men and women to create thriving businesses. Prior to Technoserve she was Country Director for WaterAid, Girl Effect and Oxfam. She has a PhD in Sociology from University College Cork in Ireland
Ayodeji Balogun is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited where he is leading a team of experts leveraging technology, innovative finance, and inclusive agriculture to connect agriSMEs and smallholder farmers to commodity and financial markets. He holds an MBA from Lagos Business School; Global CEO – Africa from IESE Business School and a certificate in Creative Leadership from the THNK School of Creative Leadership. Ayodeji has almost twenty years’ experience trading across West Africa as well as in building and scaling businesses across Sub-Saharan Africa. He serves on several capital market boards and works with several institutions on food security and financing agriculture
Sieka is the Deputy Program Director for Mercy Corps AgriFin and directs all programming in Nigeria. Before joining AgriFin Sieka served as Technical Advisor with IFC managing their Airtel Money Uganda accelerator program since August 2014. With over 20 years’ experience spanning from social entrepreneurship to telecommunications, he specializes in digital usage and adoption. His extensive experience ranges from the launch of mobile payments services to commercialization and usage expansion.
Justine has spent much of her career helping business leaders and governments find solutions to the global challenges of climate change and sustainable development. She has provided advisory services for a number of global institutions and governments across Europe, Africa, India, Indonesia and Latin America. Her areas of focus includes sustainable development in emerging economies, climate change mitigation/adaptation strategies, climate finance, economic valuation and market based instruments for managing natural resource assets. She is currently the Deputy CEO & Director of Market Development at the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), an investor focused not for profit working to mobilize debt capital markets for climate change solutions.
Dr. Lava Kumar is the Head of the Germplasm Health and Virology at IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria. He has over 23 years of international experience in agricultural and allied fields. He is working with IITA since 2007, and prior to that he was working at ICRISAT, another international agricultural research center of CGIAR located in India. His research program is focused on finding solutions to plant viral diseases of important food crops in Africa. His program applies a range of modern technologies including ICTs for disease control and improve on farm productivity. He is the leader of 'Seed Tracker' project of IITA, which is a digital innovation for main streaming seed systems and value chain integration for improved access to markets.
Dr. Martin Fregene is Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industry at the African Development Bank. He is a plant geneticist and molecular breeder with 25 years of experience in genetics and breeding of cassava. Dr. Fregene developed the first molecular genetic map of cassava and started the first cassava molecular breeding program to accelerate development of improved cassava varieties for various agro-ecologies of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. He began his career at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1991 as a cassava breeder. While at IITA, he was a recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation post-doctoral fellowship on genetic mapping (1993 – 1996) that took him to the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia. After CIAT he joined the BioCassava Plus project at the Danforth Center, a multi-national development program funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he rose to the position of Director of the project.
Michael Famoroti leads the data & research team at Stears. He is an Economist who spent the last few years researching the Nigerian economy and identifying data gaps in the market as the Chief Economist at Vetiva Capital, a leading Investment Bank in Nigeria. Michael is the author of numerous industry and sector reports on the Nigerian economy. His economic work has been published in The Brookings Institute, Capital Markets in Africa, and BusinessDay Nigeria, and he has edited two economic books, “Pathways to Shared Prosperity in Nigeria” (2016) and “The Art of Central Banking in Nigeria”, (2016) both authored by Dr Temitope Oshikoya, one of Nigeria’s leading economists. He holds a BSc and MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics.
Ade Adefeko is a commercial diplomat, visionary leader and a global executive. His lifelong ambition has always been to contribute to humanity and to development of mankind in his spheres of influence which spans Agriculture and Trade, Policy Formulation, Investments and Finance and Creative Arts and sports. He currently serves as Vice President – Corporate & Government Relations and is in charge of External Communication and Stakeholder Management at OLAM NIGERIA, the largest Agribusiness and food company in Nigeria and a subsidiary of OLAM international of Singapore the parent company with a presence in 65 countries 25 of which are in Africa.
Yohannes Assefa is one of the leading experts on structured trade in Africa. He started his career as a securities lawyer in the United States where he worked in the equities and commodities markets. Mr. Assefa has worked in 13 Sub-Saharan African countries in establishing agricultural commodities exchanges and various types of structured trading mechanisms. Mr. Assefa is the principle Director at Stalwart Management Consultancy Services Ltd., a U.S.-based consulting firm focusing on the development of financial and agricultural markets in developing countries. At Stalwart, Mr. Assefa led the firm’s advisory work on structured trade, market policy, legal and regulatory work and advised various private and public sector clients around Africa, including the World Bank (including the IFC), UNCTAD, UNDP, USAID, DFID, IOM, AGRA, Bank of Tanzania and others on the development of agricultural policy and markets across Africa. Mr. Assefa was part of the team that established the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) and has worked on commodity exchange and warehouse receipt projects in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Mali.
Dr. Adeojo is the Co-founder/Managing Director at SMEFUNDS Capital Limited. Dr. Adeojo led the consortium that set up the $100million Nigeria-Green Energy Fund programme that is backed by the African Guarantee Fund. He has professional experience spanning over 13 years in Nigeria banking system covering project finance, corporate finance, SME banking, financial inclusion, audit and strategy planning. On need basis, he advises several multi-lateral development institutions on climate finance matters in line with the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of different West African countries under the Paris Agreement for Climate Change.
DR. ABDULKADIR MU’AZU is from Mayere Village, Kaduna Sate, Nigeria. He studied Medicine at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and also trained as a Specialist Sports Medicine Physician at the Prestigious Australian Institute of Sports and University of Canberra between 1994 and 1995. He contributed to Policy Development that promote physical activity amongst citizens for the promotion of health and prevention of non- communicable diseases, National Anti-Doping Policy, Promotion of National Safe Sports Participation, He worked with UNESCO on the use sport to promote Sustainable Development and Peace within the frameworks of the 2030 Development Agenda.
Segun Adaju, the Founder and Chief Energizing Officer of Consistent Energy Limited is an international expert in the field of renewable energy and President, Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN). He is a graduate of the University of Lagos and a holder of BSc (Economics) and MBA degrees with over two decades of banking experience in reputable financial institutions in Nigeria. He has also acquired professional training in the field of renewable energy at Renewable Energy Academy (RENAC) Berlin Germany, Euromoney Financial Training London, Development Bank of Southern Africa Cape Town, ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) Togo Lome, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Abu Dhabi and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).
Chidinma Lawanson is the Country Head – Nigeria for Mastercard Foundation. Based in Lagos, Chidinma oversees the implementation of the Foundation’s thrust and manages the public and private sector engagement within Nigeria. Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. Through its Young Africa Works strategy and Canadian EleV program, the Foundation works with partners to ensure that millions of young people, especially young women, access quality education, financial services and dignified work. Chidinma has more than 24 years experience, spanning the commercial banking and development finance sector, with a clear and deep commitment to promoting financial inclusion and tackling youth unemployment in Nigeria and across sub-Saharan Africa. As a Financial Sector Consultant; CEO of EFInA - Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (a development finance institution funded by the DFID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and senior banker, she focused on MSME banking, agri-finance for smallholder farmers, women-owned businesses; retail and mass market and other services and financial products for low income groups.
Engr Olusegun A.I. Falade is a registered member of Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN). His career has spanned a period of about 35 years from when he graduated from the University of Ibadan with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in the year 1984. He has held various management positions ranging from Engineering, Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Construction and Agro Allied industries. He is currently the General Manager, Golden Agri-Inputs, an Agro-Allied Business of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc. (FMN). In this role he manages the Fertilizer business and the Agri inputs which includes seeds and Ago chemicals.
Kola is the Managing Director of Babban Gona. Babban Gona is an award winning, high impact, financially sustainable and highly scalable social enterprise, part-owned by the farmers we serve. Babban Gona, was created to specifically attract youth to agriculture and away from the looming instability of extremist groups. We accomplish this by franchising thousands of mini maize and rice farmer cooperatives across Northern Nigeria, dramatically increasing the profitability of the smallholder members 2.8 to 3.5 times above the national average. This dramatic increase in net income is accomplished by delivering an integrated holistic package of training, farm inputs and marketing services, on credit. Babban Gona has been able to deliver this credit while maintaining one of the highest repayment rates in the world, currently above 99.99%, leveraging our comprehensive 8levels of risk mitigation.
Mr. Jude Uzonwanne is the founder and Managing Director of TUG Capital Partners. TUG is an Africa focused principal investor and advisor that is differentiated by its risk appetite and operational involvement. TUG co-invests alongside industry partners to unlock the profit and job creation potential of specific transactions and projects. Priority investment sectors include agribusiness, logistics, transport healthcare, financial systems, security and government services. With deep experience across multiple African countries as an investor, adviser, and operator, Jude is focused on deploying and scaling the TUG platform to accelerate wealth creation across Africa. Prior to founding TUG, Jude’s professional history included advising the Central Bank of Nigeria on the set-up of Nirsal Plc, leading the Africa strategy team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and supporting various African and global clients while at 3 consulting firms (Monitor Deloitte, Bain & Company, and EY-Parthenon). Jude’s expertise lies in the formulation of corporate strategy, and its execution via organic and inorganic means.
Tayo Aduloju is the Senior Fellow, Public Policy and Strategy Management/COO at the Nigerian Economic Summit Group; Okun Model Economic Fellow; and Co-Chair (Non-State Actor) Open Government Nigeria. Most sought after for his competences and capabilities in translating Political Agendas into Robust Government Policies and Strategies and then, converting these policies and strategies into massive, measurable and tangible public impact. Dr Tayo Aduloju is a Policy Entrepreneur, Educator, Strategist, Scholar, 4IR Explorer and Advocate.
Before joining the NESG, he had served as National Development Advisor on Sustainable Development Goals, Deputy Managing Partner, Workforce Group, Executive Director Public Sector Practice at the Institute of Workforce Development and Senior Special Advisor on Maritime Policy and Strategy, IFC Advisor on Microfinance and Enterprise Development, Technical Advisor on National Communications Agenda 2010-2020, Strategy Advisor of ICT Sector Development Strategy 2011-2015 and Technical Assistance Facility Lead on National Investment Promotion Strategy 2014-2019. His multi-sectoral consulting and advisory experience cuts across Agriculture, Aviation, Agriculture, Banking and Finance, Economic and Fiscal Development, Healthcare, Human Resources, Governance Performance Management, Impact Monitoring and Reporting, Investment Promotion, Microfinance, Maritime Development, Transport Policy, Job Creation and Labour, Defence, Public Procurement, National Security and Public Service Reforms.
Ezra Odondi Anyango, is Senior Programme Officer - Blended Finance – at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). An expert on financial inclusion and governance issues, Ezra has 30 years’ experience in management, consulting, governance and regulation - an experience spanning across Eastern, Southern and Western Africa.
Ezra worked with CARE International for ten years (eastern and southern Africa) and launched three Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) that have become regulated MFIs in Zambia and Kenya). He spent seven years with Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI) in eastern and Western Africa of which two years as Chief of Party for a USAID project Micro Private Enterprise Development (MicroPED in Kenya assisting banks and MFIs to scale down and offer microfinance services and five years in Tanzania as part of restructuring team for the National Microfinance Bank (NMB) in readiness for privatization. He was later also part of the DAI /International Finance Corporation (IFC) consulting team at Liberian Bank of Industrialization and Development (LBDI) and then moved on to become the Managing Director of the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) Malawi which is an affiliate of FINCA International a non-profit network of community-focused credit and savings associations employing the ‘Village Banking’ method of microfinance focusing on women.
Dr. Apollos Nwafor, PhD is the Vice President, Policy and State Capability division in AGRA. Dr. Apollos is a Nigerian citizen who holds a PHD in Public Policy and Administration (Law and Policy) from Walden University-USA, a Masters in Public Policy and Management from (SOAS) University of London-UK and a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc. Ed) Political Science from the University of Nigeria. He has extensive experience across Africa ensuring the development and implementation of Pan-African strategies including leading and managing programmes covering education, extractives, public health, agriculture, water and sanitation, electoral reforms, public finance reforms, capacity strengthening for governments and civil society as well as managing multi-country grants, providing strategic policy support and advice to governments and civil society.