Toyin Ajibade


Lecturer and researcher in the University of Ilorin Nigeria

Toyin Ajibade, a lecturer and researcher in the University of Ilorin Nigeria, holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics. She has about eight years cognate banking experience spanning over a few commercial banks in Nigeria before further venturing into the academia. An IITA research fellow, her doctoral research was on Price Discovery and Volatility of Selected Food Crop Markets in Nigeria. Her career goal is to be at the forefront of agricultural trade, markets and industrial organization agenda towards regional trade integration and agricultural value chain development in Africa. Toyin has been actively involved in: training of financial institutions on selected agricultural value chains and financial literacy curriculum development for farmers under the Nigeria Competitiveness Project. She is a co-Principal Investigator on a Feed-The-Future Legume Systems Innovation Lab-funded project targeted at Promoting Trade Integration in Africa Regional Legume Markets.With an evolving agricultural revolution in view, Dr. Toyin’s recent drive is fueled by her passion to see agriculture in all its forms metamorphose to a state of pride for the nation and those who practice it.

Katja Becker


President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation)

Katja Becker is the President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). She studied medicine at Heidelberg University, where she also obtained her doctoral degree and habilitation. After a position at the Center for Infectious Diseases, Würzburg University, she accepted a chair in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Giessen University. Education and research led her to Africa, Australia, Switzerland, the UK and the US. Her research interests focus on cellular redox metabolism as a drug target in malaria parasites and cancer cells. Until 2019 she was the coordinator of the DFG Priority Programme 1710, which examines the thiol-based regulation of enzymes, and spokesperson of the LOEWE Center DRUID, which aims to develop novel drugs, vaccines and diagnostics against neglected tropical diseases. Katja Becker is active in multiple scientific advisory boards and served as vice president at Giessen University. From 2014 to 2019, she was vice president of the DFG. Her work has been honoured with the Ludolf Krehl Prize, the Carus Medal, the Rudolf Leuckart Medal and membership in the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

Salome A. Bukachi


Social-medical Anthropologist, Institute of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Prof. Salome A. Bukachi is a social/medical/ anthropologist with over 19 years progressive experience working on infectious diseases with a focus on community knowledge and practices in relation to livestock and zoonotic diseases, including the gender issues therein , health systems and the socio-economic and cultural/behavioural aspects of infectious diseases and development. She works with various stakeholders both local and international in undertaking research and development on anthropological issues. Her main disease focus has been on infectious zoonotic diseases – African trypanosomiasis, Rift Valley fever among others.

Madalitso Magombo Chatsika


Lecturer in Fish Biology and Fisheries Management at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Mrs. Madalitso Magombo Chatsika is a lecturer in Fish Biology and Fisheries Management at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, at the Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries Science where she is involved in teaching, research, consultancy and outreach. She is currently in her final year in her Ph.D. in fisheries and biology management at Michigan State University, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. As part of her PhD research, Madalitso studies the “Effects of climate change on fisheries of the Southeast arm of Lake Malawi" where she incorporated environmental variables like temperature and rainfall into the convectional Surplus Production Models to assess the impact of climate change on fisheries resources.

Annapia Debarry

Annapia Debarry

Research fellow in the Department of Development Geography at the University of Bonn

Annapia Debarry holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cultural Geography from the University of Erlangen, Germany, and a Master of Science degree in Geography from the University of Bonn, Germany. She is currently a research fellow in the Department of Development Geography at the University of Bonn, where her teaching focuses on postcolonial gender geography and feminist political ecology. In her dissertation project she is exploring gendered inequalities and (dis)empowerment processes in the context of agricultural transformations in Northern Ethiopia through an intersectional lens. Previously, she worked as a junior researcher at ZEF (Center for Development Research) for the NutriHAF-Africa project, where her research focused on the role of gender in nutrition-sensitive agriculture in southwestern Ethiopia. She has work and research experience in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Myanmar and Thailand.

Dana Elhassan


Senior Gender Expert at the Agriculture, Human and Social Development Complex of the African Development Bank (AfDB)

Dana Elhassan is a Senior Gender Expert at the Agriculture, Human and Social Development Complex of the African Development Bank (AfDB). Dana manages the inclusive infrastructure initiative targeting agriculture, energy, transport and ICT sectors in Africa in order to realize policies, programmes, built infrastructures as well as employment and representation at all levels which include women and men, girls and boys. Dana has been committed to the development of Africa for the past 10 years, having worked with various developmental and humanitarian agencies in Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Sudan. At the AfDB, Dana has undertaken various special initiatives to catalyze the potential of women entrepreneurs in Africa’s transformation. Most recently, she has developed a $1million fund to finance feasibility studies in the energy value chain for women entrepreneurs. She has been a member of several agriculture project teams

Alessandra Galiè


Senior Gender Scientist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) Kenya

Alessandra Galiè works as a Senior Gender Scientist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) based in Kenya. Her research integrates gender analysis in livestock value chains with a particular focus on animal genetics and women’s empowerment. Before joining ILRI she worked at the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) undertaking gender research in empowerment, seed governance and participatory plant breeding. Alessandra holds a PhD from Wageningen University, Netherlands, and an MA in Social Anthropology of Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Aminata Garba

Aminata Garba

Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Africa

Aminata A. Garba is Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Africa. She previously served as the Director General of the Multisector Regulatory Authority of Niger and worked on engineering, management, research and teaching in telecommunications at Orange, the National Institute for Scientific Research (Montreal), the National Center for Scientific Research (France) and McGill University (Montreal).  She also served as a Director at the African Network Information Center, chair of the West African Telecommunication Regulatory Assembly (WATRA), member of the executive board of the African Water Association, member of the consultative committee of the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulation Authority, member of the Experts Group for preparation of the World Telecommunication/ ICT Policy Forum and member of the Steering Committee for the Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence Project. Aminata received the Master and Ph.D. degrees in telecommunications from McGill University. She co-authored several journal articles, conference papers, invention disclosures and patent applications. Her interests include emerging digital technologies, digital infrastructure, technologies and policies. Aminata is a NEF fellow and a fellow of the Global Young Academy.

Nicoline de Haan


Gender Research Coordinator CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Kenya

Nicoline de Haan is an interim director of the CGIAR (a global consortium of 15 agricultural research centers) GENDER Platform and leader of the gender team at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). She has over 20 years of expertise in gender, rural livelihoods, agriculture, and natural resource management. In her present positions she is responsible for leading the collaboration of all 15 centers on gender and leading the work on gender and livestock to ensure equitable development. Before ILRI, she lead the work on gender, poverty and institutions under the CGIAR program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) examining the implications of inequity in access and control over natural resources, and finding options to ensure inclusive benefit sharing. In her previous position at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) she led the global socio-economic team on animal health, where her main responsibility was reducing the impact of animal diseases on the livelihoods of smallholders. She has a master’s in development sociology from Wageningen Agricultural University, and a PhD in rural sociologist from University of Missouri, Colombia.

Katrin Hagemann


Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Kenya

Katrin Hagemann was appointed as the Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Kenya in 2019. A German National, she joined the European External Action Service at its inception in 2011. From 2015-2019, she served as the head of the Political Section of the European Union Delegation to Botswana and SADC. She holds a degree in Astronomy and Physics (Wellesley College), a Master's Degree in Astronomy (Cornell University) and a second Master of Advanced International Studies (University of Vienna/Diplomatic Academy Vienna). She began her career at the German Federal Foreign Office before joining the European Union Council Secretariat in 2006.

Ikmat Olanrewaju Junaid


Senior Lecturer, Institute of Education, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Ikmat Olanrewaju Junaid started her teaching professional career with the Oyo State Teaching Service Commission from 1991 to 2007, before transferring her service to the Institute of Education, University of Ibadan in August, 2007, where she has since been a core academic staff. She has been involved in teaching and training of research students at the postgraduate level in the Institute of Education, University of Ibadan. She is also the human rights and gender focal person for the Pan African University’s Life and Earth Science Institute. She is a training consultant on research, monitoring and evaluation of school effectiveness, open/distance education and pubic examining bodies in Nigeria. She belongs to several learned societies among which are: Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World, Association of Educational Research and Evaluators of Nigeria, Higher Educational Researchers and policy Network.

Annie Kamaka Kyakimwa


Co-founder of Annahgreen RDC.Comp

Training and support center for vulnerable women and girls. Agricultural product production and processing center. Agricultural cooperative.

Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg

Wanjiru Kamau Rutenberg

Director of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD)

Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg is the Director of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD). She is a 2018 Tutu Fellow, has been honored as a Champion of Change by the Obama White House, named one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by New African magazine, recognised as a Ford Foundation Champion of Democracy, awarded a United Nations Intercultural Innovation Award, & named one of Kenya’s Top 40 Women Under Age 40. Dr. Kamau-Rutenberg holds a PhD & Masters degree in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, a Bachelors in Politics and a Doctorate of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) from Whitman College. She serves on the Selection Committee of the Africa Food Prize & is a member of the Malabo-Montpellier Panel, a high-level panel of independent experts supporting African governments & civil society identify & implement policies that enhance agriculture & food security. She also sits on the Board of Twaweza, East Africa’s largest public and policy engagement platform. Prior to AWARD, Dr. Kamau-Rutenberg founded and was Executive Director of Akili Dada, an award-winning leadership incubator that invests in high-achieving young women from under-resourced families, who are passionate about driving change in their communities. Dr. Kamau-Rutenberg was also an assistant professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco & a lecturer in International Relations at the Jesuit Hekima College, a constituent college of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. Her academic research and teaching interests centered on African politics, gender, international relations, ethnicity, and democratisation, and the role of technology in social activism.

Juliet Kariuki


Research Scientist, University of Hohenheim (Germany)

Juliet Kariuki holds a PhD in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Hohenheim where she is currently a scientist. Her work has a strong gender component and focusses on the social and institutional dimensions of natural resource management largely in pastoral areas of eastern Africa.

Jules Kazungu


Managing Director of Regional Research Centre for Integrated Development (RCID) in Rwanda

I have more than 15 years working experience in forest management and training, community forestry, environmental and natural resources management and research in Rwanda. I have an Msc in Agroforestry and Soil Management for fall 2012 from the University of Rwanda. I have been involved with multi-national projects n the areas of forestry, agroforestry and agricultural sector. This expertise has been developed through my senior roles on projects both for government institutions public, private and NGOs. I have involved in the national policy, strategies and field–level technical assistance programs on gender, nutrition, environment, and climate change adaptation and mitigation and renewable energy development. Most recently I have been involved as Independent Consultant for the Technical Assistance Facility (Agri-TAF) program. A program funded by DFID running over four years from January 2016 and supported the Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI). The purpose of Agri-TAF was to provide additional expertise, knowledge and evidence for better policies, plans and programmes in the areas of gender, nutrition, environment, and climate change on the ground.

Linet Kwamboka

kwamboka linet

Founder and CEO of DataScience LTD 

Linet Kwamboka is the Founder and CEO of DataScience LTD – a software engineering company that is focused on building information systems that generate and use data to discover intelligent insights about people, products and services. She was a Mozilla fellow (2017/2018) focusing on data protection and Privacy policies in the East African Region. She has been the Kenya Open Data Initiative Project Coordinator for the Government of Kenya at the Kenya ICT Authority where she also led the Open Government Partnership for the Government of Kenya and has also helped the Government of Somalia build their open data project from concept to portal and support under the Open Government Initiative.
She has worked at the World Bank (World Bank Spot Award recipient) as a GIS and Technology Consultant and the UNDP in the Strengthening Electoral Processes in Kenya. She was a Software Engineering Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh and her background is in computer science, data analysis and Geographical Information Systems. She was recently recognized as one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government, a recognized unsung hero by the American Embassy in Kenya in her efforts to encourage more women into technology and computing, has been a finalist in the Bloomberg award of global open data champions and is a member of the Open Data Institute Global Open Data Leaders’ Network.

Jean Lebel


President, International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

Jean Lebel was appointed president of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) on May 1, 2013. As part of Canada’s foreign affairs and development efforts, IDRC invests in knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve lives and livelihoods in the developing world. Dr Lebel leads IDRC’s contributions to Canada’s international priorities. He is responsible for significant funding partnerships with foreign governments, philanthropic organizations, and the private sector. Dr Lebel previously served as vice-president of the Program and Partnership Branch, overseeing all IDRC programming. Before joining IDRC, he worked in both the academic and private sectors. He holds a PhD in environmental sciences from l’Université du Québec à Montréal and an MScA in occupational health sciences from McGill University. Dr Lebel has served on boards of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research, the Centre for Global Pluralism,‎ the International Economic Forum of the Americas, and the World Economic Forum’s Stewardship Board on Economic Progress. Dr Lebel was also a mentor with the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation (2016-2017).

Agnes Leina


Founder and Executive Director of Il’laramatak Community Concerns

Agnes Leina comes from Northern part of Kenya, Samburu County, inhabited mainly by the Samburu community, a sub-set of the Maasai peoples of Kenya, who are mainly pastoralists clinging strongly to their traditional way of life from of old. She is married with two children. She holds a Master’s Degree in Rural Sociology and Community Development, from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Community Development from Daystar University-Kenya. Agnes as well holds a Post-Graduate Certificate in International Development from the University of Birmingham - United Kingdom. Agnes is the Founder and Executive Director of Il’laramatak Community Concerns (ICC) whose name denotes ‘care-givers’, or pastoralist. ICC is an Indigenous People’s Organization whose main goal is to restore dignity among Indigenous people, with special emphasis on Girls and Women. ICC envisions a society of Indigenous Peoples of Kenya that is free from all forms of discrimination.

Lailà Lokosang


Senior CAADP Advisor (Food and Nutrition Security)

Lailà Lokosang is a national of South Sudan and is currently serving as Senior CAADP Advisor (Food and Nutrition Security). He has served in different professional capacities at both national and international levels, with a career spanning over three decades. A statistician, monitoring and evaluation and management information systems expert, Laila specializes in food security, nutrition and livelihoods risk analysis and surveillance. He holds a Ph.D in Statistics, a Master of Science in Food Security (cum laude), and a Bachelor Science in Statistics and Demography

Margaret Macherera


Senior lecturer at Lupane state University, Zimbabwe

Dr Margaret Macherera is a Senior lecturer at Lupane state University, Zimbabwe. She holds a PhD in Public health from the University of Kwazulu Natal, Republic of South Africa. Margaret is an Environmental Health practitioner by profession and worked with communities in the rural areas for 13 years before joining the academia. He has 15 years experience as a lecturer and a researcher. She headed a department as chairperson for 2 consecutive terms. Margaret is the founding secretary for the NUST Academic Women Researchers. Her research interests are mainly on the integration of indigenous knowledge and modern science. Margaret is also a member of the Gender portfolio in the Africa Academy for Environmental Health.

Nancy Madigu

Madigu Nancy

Health Research Scientist, Nestle, Kenya

Nancy Madigu, PhD, is a Nutrition, Health and Wellness specialist at Nestle. Her expertise in Community Nutrition is exemplified by her most recent publication in the UN Environment Programme report highlighting the role of private sector in sustainable food systems: Case study of the Farmer Family Nutrition in Kenya. Key findings of the project revealed men were more inclined towards increasing household incomes (food security) while women were more drawn to the nutrition well-being of their families. By training both men and women (couples), desirable outcomes were noted. Her work aroused keen interest from the Ministry of Agriculture (K) that led to the process of using the acquired evidence-based research to roll out a consortium of Public-Private Stakeholder Engagement that encourages the use of the study results in improving nutrition outcomes in community-prioritized interventions.

Yamikani Makwinja


Assistant Forestry Zone Manager,Department of Forestry,Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining

Yamani is a Environmental and Forestry specialist with over 10 years’ experience of working in different development sectors and projects in Malawi. He has worked with government of Malawi (Department of Forestry), Water for People International and Voluntary Overseas Organization (VSO) in different planning and Development portfolios. Among the positions he has worked include Zone Forestry Planning Officer, District Council Director of Planning and Development, Environmental District Officer and District Forestry officer. He also teaches Forestry Economics at Malawi College of Forestry and Wildlife.Yamikani is also an adjunct lecturer of Environmental studies at The Catholic University of Malawi

Sara Mbago-Bhunu


Director of IFAD’s East and Southern Africa Division

Sara Mbago-Bhunu is the Director of IFAD’s East and Southern Africa Division. Mbago-Bhunu brings to IFAD rich work experience spanning more than 20 years in the agriculture sector across Central, East and Southern Africa. She has worked on agriculture policy and sector reviews, value chain development, access to agricultural finance, social enterprise models and the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises in peri-urban and rural areas. She has also led and managed teams in other development organizations in the design of development projects and capacity-building programmes. Prior to joining IFAD, Mbago-Bhunu worked at the World Bank as a Senior Agricultural Economist for the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Congo, based in Kinshasa.

Husna Abdalla Mbarak


Lead in Governance of Natural resource Sub programme at Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Kenya Representation

Husna Abdalla Mbarak works in Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Kenya Representation as the Lead in Governance of Natural resource Sub programme, Land Programme Manager of the Land Governance Programme and the Gender Focal Point. The main focus of her work is around Land Administration, Land Use planning, policy and legal framework, Gender and research around Environment and natural resources. She is a trained Legal, Gender and Development, Natural Resource and Land Governance Tenure expert. Currently pursuing her PhD in Environmental Law” focusing on Gender, Land and Conflict.

Winnie Mburu


Project Assistant, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, Kenya

Ms Winnie Mburu is a project assistant at Gaea Foods Limited, whereby Winnie Implements business operations and establishes policies that promote company vision in the many different projects in the company including black soldier fly farming, a piggery, potato farming farm and a potato processing factory amongst others. She is a financial economist and a chartered Accountant by profession.

Caroline Mulinya


Senior Lecturer of Geography and Director in charge of international relations and Academic linkages at Kaimosi Friends University

Caroline Mulinya holds a PhD in Geography( Climatology and Climate Change from Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, a Masters of Arts in Geography in Climatology from the University of Nairobi(2006) and a Bachelor of Arts in Education( Geography) from Moi University (1999). Currently, a Senior Lecturer of Geography and Director in charge of international relations and Academic linkages at Kaimosi Friends University. Previously, Head of Geography Department and Environmental Sciences at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in Kenya. Previously worked as Research Scientist at The Kenya Industrial Research And Development Institute, Research Assistant at IUCN on Lembus Forest in Eldama Ravine County on issues of socio- economic and indigenous knowledge of the forest .Was honoured to get fellowship from GEF for her Masters studies where she worked on the Conservation of Mount Marsabit in Marsabit County .Has received 2 fellowships from The Netherlands Fellowship Programme(NFP) to train on climate change and forest related issues

Mexford Mulumpwa


Fisheries Research Officer in Department of Fisheries under Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Water Development

I am working with Malawi Government in Department of Fisheries under Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Water Development. This is in the section of Fisheries Research of the Department of Fisheries. I am based at Monkey Bay Fisheries Research Station. I am also a PhD student in Applied Statistics at University of Malawi. My work is about ensuring that our fisheries resources are sustainably exploited. It also involves working with fishing communities as we cannot successfully manage our fisheries resources if we do not work together with fishers and fishing communities. This means putting into consideration catchment areas and the whole fish value chain where necessary improving it. I have so far published 12 papers and book chapters.

Winfred Mulwa


Lecturer department of Physics, Egerton University, Kenya

I am a lecturer department of Physics, Egerton University, Kenya. Specialist in computational physics, having an advanced knowledge in High Performance Computing. A facilitator as well as a website manager in the African School on Electronic Structure Methods and Applications (ASESMA). ASESMA takes place after every two years in Africa and it is organized by the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) – ITALY. My research is in renewable energy, which fall under material science. My present research is on magnetic refrigeration with respect to gender lens. My Current work aims at introducing magnetic refrigeration in North Eastern Kenya where women are the majority in handling camel milk.

Catherine Mungai


Partnerships and Policy Engagement Specialist for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) in East Africa

Catherine Mungai is the Partnerships and Policy Engagement Specialist for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) in East Africa based at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, Kenya. Her work focuses on expanding learning partnerships and supporting science-policy engagement processes in CCAFS focus countries in East Africa and also at the global level on integrating gender, climate change and agriculture policies. Catherine is a member of the African Group of Negotiators Expert Support (AGNES) gender group. She is also in the Technical Working Group supporting Gender Mainstreaming of Kenya’s Nationally Determined Contributions under the Climate Change Directorate at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Catherine also offers technical support on the knowledge sharing platform known as the Climate and Agriculture Network for Africa (CANA) which seeks to promote dialogue between youth, policy makers and scientists on food security, agriculture and climate change matters.

Beatrice Muriithi


Agricultural Economist at International Centre of Insect and Pest Ecology (ICIPE)

Beatrice W. Muriithi is a Agricultural Economist at International Centre of Insect and Pest Ecology (ICIPE), where she works with the Social Science and Impact Assessment Unit. She has over ten years of experience in agricultural development in Eat Africa. Her research interests cover a wide range quantitative and qualitative social science aspects including adoption and impact of agricultural technologies on livelihood outcomes, resource management research, gender analysis, poverty dynamics, institutions and policies. Through a gender lens, her current research focuses adoption and impact of integrated pest management(IPM), and livestock health management tools including beekeeping and related ecosystem services. She has authored and co-authored several journal articles and book chapters in her wide research domain. She holds PhD in Development Economics from the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Germany and BSc and MSc in Agricultural Economics, both from Egerton University, Kenya.

Grace Nanyonjo


Gender specialist with the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO)

Ms. Grace Nanyonjo holds a Master’s Degree in Gender and a Bachelors of Science in Horticulture of Makerere University. She possesses a certificate in Implementation, Analysis and Interpretation of Project-Level Women Empowerment Agricultural Index (PRO-WEAI) from IFPRI. Grace is a fellow under the Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) project implemented by Cornel and Makerere Universities. Currently, she is working with the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) as a Gender specialist. Presently, she is engaged with the “Precooked bean” project under Cultivate Africa’s future phase 2 funded by IDRC aimed at scaling up supply of precooked beans for food and nutrition security by leveraging on a public-private partnership with digital payment as a pilot model. During phase 1 of the project, Grace worked diligently with the project implementing team to increase women’s income and participation in marketing, though control over the latter still constrains efforts to women empowerment. She also provides support to the Nutrifish project funded by IDRC on implementation of the PRO-WEAI qualitative studies. Grace is dedicated and passionate about improving the livelihoods of vulnerable communities precisely rural women and youth who are less privileged. Ultimately, she is devoted to attaining equality and transforming agricultural systems through financial inclusive interventions.

Dorothy Ngila


Project specialist in the Strategy, Planning and Partnerships business unit at South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF)

Dorothy Ngila advances her career at South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) as a project specialist in the Strategy, Planning and Partnerships business unit. Her core responsibility is to coordinate the NRF’s contribution to the multi-stakeholder and multi-agency capacity strengthening programme, the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) in sub-Saharan Africa, which serves 15 public science granting councils in East, West and Southern Africa. She is chair of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) South African National Chapter; and serves on the Global Research Council (GRC) Gender Working Group, both advancing conversations and actions promoting the equality and status of women in reseach. Prior to joining the NRF, she served in various capacities within the international partnerships programme of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). Ms Ngila possesses a Masters degree in Geography and Environmental Management from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa and a Bachelor of Arts (Public Administration and Environmental Sciences) from the University of Botswana. She is currently studying towards a PhD in Science and Technology Studies at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

Jemimah Njuki


Senior Program Specialist at Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

Dr Jemimah Njuki is a Senior Program Specialist at Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) where she develops and manages projects on the empowerment of women and girls working in agriculture and on agriculture and food security. She chairs the Steering Committee of the African Women in Agriculture Research and Development, a program empowering women researchers to develop their scientific and leadership skills. She is also an advisor to the UN Women Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa and Aspen New Voices Fellow. For the last 18 years she has carried out gender research, managed women’s economic empowerment programs in Africa and Asia, trained researchers, NGO staff and extension officers on how to integrate gender in their work and to work with women smallholder farmers.

Marian Nkansah


Senior Lecturer, Department of Chemistry at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi-Ghana

Dr. Nkansah obtained her PhD in 2012 from the University of Bergen (Norway) and returned to the Department of Chemistry at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi-Ghana where she was previously hired as a lecturer in 2007.  She was promoted to the rank of Senior Lecturer in 2013. Her research interests span a wide range of fields including finding solutions to environmental problems associated with levels and fate of toxic substances like heavy/trace metals, persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in food, water, soil, rocks, sediments and other environmental samples and the interaction of these pollutants with each other in the environment. She is currently the Warden of Africa Hall of residence at KNUST and a member of the KNUST Strategic Plan Implementation Oversight committee (SPIOC). She is a co-founder if Gaudete Institute an NGO for the underserved in the society.

Adekemi A. Obisesan


Research Scientist, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria

Dr. Adekemi A. Obisesan is a lecturer in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. She is a member of International Association of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. She holds a Ph.D in Agricultural Economics from University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Her research interests are in the areas of Welfare economics, Agricultural & Rural development and Gender issues.

Daniel Olago

Daniel Olago

Associate Professor at the Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation, and the Department of Geology, University of Nairobi

Daniel Olago is Associate Professor at the Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation, and the Department of Geology, University of Nairobi. His current research interests focus on the interactions of groundwater, surface water, climate, environment and human linkages with a special focus on eastern Africa. He has been involved in capacity strengthening in local, regional and international contexts for a diverse range of stakeholders, from grassroots, through management to policy-making groups and government agencies. Daniel is Chairman, Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) Water Programme Steering Committee; Member, International Lake Environment Committee (ILEC); Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences; Fellow of the Geological Society of Kenya; Member, Kenya National Academy of Sciences. He is presently running projects that centre around (ground)water security in relation to climate change, sustainable cities, and development corridor programmes, as well as on the palaeoclimatology of the East African region.

Alice Atieno Oluoko-Odingo

Alice Oluoko Odingo

Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Nairobi

Alice Odingo is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Nairobi, with 15 years of experience in teaching and research on Environmental issues. She holds a PhD in Agricultural Geography from the University of Nairobi and has published in agriculture and food security, poverty and livelihoods, climate change, Energy, Gender and disaster risk reduction, Ecosystem management, Corruption as well as health. Alice is the Chairperson, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), Gender Committee and the National Coordinator of the United Nation’s University and Partner Universities Programme on Education for Sustainable Development in Africa (ESDA), Next Generation Researchers Team (NGR). A Team Leader on Research on Peri-Urban Crop and Livestock Farming for Food Security and Livelihood Sustainability, and Gender Analysis of the Mara Conservancies. Alice was the Chairperson, Women and Climate Change Project in Kenya (2009-2012) and an Environment Judge- National Environment Trust Fund (NETFUND). Alice has served as Project Officer, Gender Focal Point- at the IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC), Nairobi and a Board member, Association of Women’s Rights in Development (AWID). She is currently, one of the Soroptimist International UN Environment Representatives in Nairobi.

Charity Osei-Amponsah

CharityOsei Amponsah

Researcher at the International Water Management Institute, West Africa Office in Ghana

Charity Osei-Amponsah is a Researcher at the International Water Management Institute, West Africa Office in Ghana. She currently leads the EU funded Resilience against Climate Change-Social Transformation Research and Policy Advocacy project. Her mandate includes evidence-based gender research focusing on key constraints to positive transformation, and the means to enhance equality and expand economic opportunities for rural women and young people. Charity has a PhD and Postdoc from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, and is an AfricaLics Postdoc visiting Fellow with the Department of Business and Management, Aalborg University, Copenhagen Campus, Denmark.

Philip Erick Otieno


Executive Director of Advocates for Social Change Kenya (ADSOCK) formerly Men for Gender Equality Now (MEGEN)

Philip Erick Otieno is a Human Rights Activist, Trainer and a Self- Defense, Assertiveness & Boundaries Setting Instructor. I’m currently serving as the Executive Director of Advocates for Social Change Kenya (ADSOCK) formerly Men for Gender Equality Now (MEGEN). I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Gender Development from the University of Nairobi. For the past 18 years, I have been involved in capacity building, community mobilisation, awareness creation and advocacy initiatives in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, Zambia, Sierra Leone and Botswana on Human Rights issues and promotion of egalitarian, non-abusive models of masculinities to improve the lives of women, men and children with an aim of contributing to a more just society. I have participated including making presentations in a number of global gatherings and conferences on gender and development with a special focus on engaging with men and boys in Gender Transformative Approaches (GTA) and Gender Accommodative Approaches (GAA).

Elizabeth Pollitzer

Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer Director, Portia Ltd, UK; founder, Gender Summit

Elizabeth Pollitzer, (PhD (InfSc), BSc (Bio/Phys)) is the founder and  director of Portia, which set up the Gender Summit in 2011 and has co-convened  each summit since then.  She is expert evaluator and adviser for the European  Commission, and is involved in several EU projects.  Elizabeth Pollitzer PhD is founder and Director of Portia, an organization devoted to improving gender equality in STEM and promoting the inclusion of the gender dimension in STEM. She has 20 years’ experience teaching and researching in the Departments of Computing and Management at Imperial College, University of London. Her original training was in Biophysics. She now applies this scientific background to her work as director of Portia. Portia was the coordinator of the genSET project, the Gender Summits were established as part of the genSET project.

Ylann Schemm


Director of the Elsevier Foundation

Ylann Schemm drives the Elsevier Foundation’s programmatic focus on advancing diversity in science, building research capacity in developing countries, global health and embedding technology for development across the portfolio. For over a decade, Ylann ran the Foundation’s New Scholars program which supports projects to help early- to mid-career women scientists balance family responsibilities with demanding academic careers and addressed the attrition rate of talented women scientists.  She currently also serves as Director of External Partnerships within Elsevier's Global Communications group, developing in depth corporate collaborations focusing on technology and the SDGs and co-chairs the communications group for Research4Life, a UN-pan publisher access program working to bridge the digital divide.  Ylann is both American and Dutch and holds an MA in Film & Television Studies from the University of Amsterdam and a BA, magna cum laude in English from Amherst College.

Isabella Schmidt


Regional Gender Statistics Advisor for East and Southern Africa for UN Women

Isabella Schmidt is currently the Regional Gender Statistics Advisor for East and Southern Africa for UN Women. Currently her primary responsibilities center around increasing the availability and use of quality gender statistics in the region. She does this by providing technical statistical support and capacity building to UN Women Country offices and their stakeholders and by supporting existing regional institutions working in the area of gender statistics. Prior to joining UN Women, Isabella served as the Chief Director, Social Statistics, at Statistics South Africa for 10 years. Her primary responsibility was to oversee the production and promote the use of Social Statistics in South Africa. This included all statistics produced on gender, marginalized groups, education, governance, public safety and justice, housing & service delivery, tourism, transport.

Leesa Shrader


Program Director of the AgriFin Accelerate (AFA) and AgriFin Digital Farmer (ADF) Programs at Mercy Corps

Leesa is the Program Director of the AgriFin Accelerate (AFA) and AgriFin Digital Farmer (ADF) Programs at Mercy Corps. AFA is a 6-year, $24 million program funded by the MasterCard Foundation, while ADF is a 2-year $5 million program funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to expand smallholder farmer access to technology-enabled financial and information services across Africa. Ms. Shrader joins AgriFin from CGAP, where she served as the Senior Digital Financial Services Expert for Asia. She has over 20 years global experience working in financial inclusion with leading banks, mobile network operators and institutions such as CGAP, the World Bank, GiZ, KfW and Women’s World Banking. She has significant expertise in digital financial inclusion, as well as agricultural finance, wholesale and retail microbanking, market research and product development, ratings and technical assistance. With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ms. Shrader worked to build innovative commercial banking technology platforms utilizing branchless and mobile phone channels to serve low income markets in Indonesia and the Philippines. She has worked on mobile and development deployments in 16 countries around the world, including Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia. Ms. Shrader holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University and is based in Nairobi with her family, leading programming across Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zambia.

Lisa Stadelbauer


High Commissioner to the Republic of Kenya and Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme and to the United Nations Environment Programme

Lisa Stadelbauer (BA [Administrative and Commercial Studies], University of Western Ontario, 1988) joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1990. Her first assignment abroad was in 1992 to Tel Aviv, and she later served in Hanoi as counsellor and then in Oslo as counsellor and consul. From 2011 to 2015, she served as Ambassador to Zimbabwe and Angola, and High Commissioner in Botswana. In Ottawa, she has served in a number of functions, including Director of the Eastern and Southern Africa Division, Deputy to Canada’s Africa Personal Representative to the G8 and, from 2015 to 2017, Director General of the Pan-Africa Bureau. Her most recent assignment was in the Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat of the Privy Council Office. Ms. Stadelbauer was appointed Canada’s High Commissioner to Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Canada’s Representative to UN Environment and UN-Habitat in October 2018, and she presented her credentials as Ambassador to Somalia in June 2019 and to Burundi in July 2019.

Susan Steffen


Senior Director of the Pan-Africa and Regional Development division at Global Affairs Canada

Susan Steffen is Senior Director of the Pan-Africa and Regional Development division at Global Affairs Canada. Her team, which includes colleagues serving from Addis, Nairobi, Abidjan and Pretoria, leverages a variety of programming mechanisms through Canadian, multilateral and international partners. Her Program is currently supporting over 25 projects, anchored in regional solutions that address transboundary issues as they relate to issues such as the empowerment of women and girls, trade integration, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and food security. With an academic background in law and economics, Susan has held a variety of senior posts at Global Affairs Canada and previously at the Canadian International Development Agency. These include contributions as Head of Aid in Tanzania, and leading various teams in key divisions such as Operations, Planning, Strategic Coordination and Human Resources.

Mary Thompson-Hall


Senior Program Specialist at START

As a Senior Program Specialist at START, Mary Thompson-Hall served as a Co-Principal Investigator and West Africa Team Lead on the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) project, part of the broader Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA) until 2018. Currently she is working on a diverse portfolio that includes work on renewable energy in North and Sub-Saharan Africa, gender, generating greater impact from research, communications and proposal development. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in geography from the University of South Carolina where her research focused on intersections of conservation and development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Previously, Mary worked with World Bank and African Development Bank experts on participatory adaptation fieldwork for the Zambian Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR), and also co-authored a USAID commissioned report on gender and climate change adaptation. Prior to beginning her work at START, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Basque Center for Climate Change (BC3) in Bilbao, Spain on topics relating to agricultural biodiversity and climate change adaptation.

Kathryn Toure


Regional Director, Eastern and Southern Africa, for Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

Dr. Kathryn Toure is Regional Director, Eastern and Southern Africa, for Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), based in Nairobi. She has lead innovations in the education sector and in relation to digital technologies. Her doctoral studies in education through the University of Montreal focused on the Pedagogical Appropriation of Technologies by African Educators. Her commitments to women’s empowerment, diversity and inclusion, and shifting narratives have been integral to her work with youth, elders, educators, researchers, refugees, and policymakers.

Hale Ann Tufan


Co-Director of the Gender Responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) project, Associate Director for Gender for International Programs, and International Adjunct Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics at Cornell University

Hale Ann Tufan is the co-Director of the Gender Responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) project, Associate Director for Gender for International Programs, and International Adjunct Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics at Cornell University. She has a multidisciplinary background spanning Ph.D.-level research in molecular plant pathogen interactions, plant breeding with CIMMYT, international agricultural research for development program management, and gender capacity and strategy development across SSA. Her work focuses on building gender responsive agricultural research systems, through curriculum development and training delivery for GREAT, and leading research on priority setting, market research, gender research and on-farm testing for the Nextgen Cassava project and gender, quality trait preference profiling, and participatory processing evaluation for the RTBfoods project. She completed her PhD in molecular biology from the John Innes Centre, UK.

Eliane Ubalijoro


Professor of Practice, McGill University & Deputy Executive Director (Programmes) at Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) Secretariat

Dr. Eliane Ubalijoro is the Deputy Executive Director (Programmes) at Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) Secretariat. She is a Professor of Practice at McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development. She is a member of Rwanda’s National Science and Technology Council, Presidential Advisory Council, a board member of the International Leadership Association and member of the board of trustees of WWF International. She is a member of the International Digital Monetary Council. A former scientific director in a biotechnology company, she has co-lead Bill and Melinda Gates Grand Challenges Exploration grants. Eliane has facilitated leadership modules in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Emerging Leaders’ Dialogues program. She has consulted in Haiti and Africa on economic green growth pathways. Eliane gave a TEDx talk on Reimaging the World from Scarcity to Prosperity. Eliane is the chair of the Scientific Program Committee for the Next Einstein Forum 2020.

Florence Muringi Wambugu


Founder, Director and Chief Executive Officer of Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International (AHBFI)

Dr. Florence Muringi Wambugu, a renowned agricultural plant pathologist with specialization in virology and genetic engineering is the Founder, Director and Chief Executive Officer of Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International (AHBFI) from 2002 to the present. AHBFI is a nonprofit foundation with offices in Nairobi, Kenya; Johannesburg, South Africa; Lusaka Zambia and Washington, D.C. Dr. Wambugu, who has over 35 years’ experience in agricultural crop research has a BSc Botany, University of Nairobi; MSc in Plant Pathology, North Dakota State University; PhD in Plant virology, Biotechnology, University of Bath, England; a Post-Doctoral Research Associate – Biotechnology, Plant Science Monsanto, St. Louis, USA and Doctor of Science (DSc), University of Bath, England.

Miyoko O. Watanabe


Deputy Executive Directorior, Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST); Director, Office for Diversity and Inclusion, JST, Japan; Chair, Gender Summit 10 Asia-Pacific

Miyoko O. Watanabe is Deputy Executive Director at Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). She is also the agency’s Director of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, and Director-General of the Center for Science Commnication. Dr Watanabe is a member of the Science Council of Japan and chair of the council’s Committee on Comprehensive Synthetic Engineering in Science. She is also a member of the Science and Technology Council at Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan, as well as a Member of Specialist Committee on Formulating the Fourth Basic Plan for Gender Equality in the Council for Gender Equality of the Japanese Cabinet Office. She worked in various roles for Toshiba since 1979.

Patricia Zoundi Yao


Founder, Canaan land, Cote d’Ivoire

Married and mother of 3 children, Patricia Zoundi Yao was born on 3 March 1976 in Aboisso. It was as a child that she took her first steps in the entrepreneurial sphere alongside her late mother who used to sell her goods in the villages.  Although she got a master's degree in business law from the Faculty of Law and Political Science of the University of Ouagadougou, Patricia faced scarcity of jobs. After working with her family and a failed attempt to set up her own money transfer business, she spotted a priority target: the rural world. In 2010, QuickCash was founded. It aims to make money transfer accessible to all social strata of the population, especially in rural areas and is present throughout Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Niger and Togo. Patricia now works on her new startup, Canaan Land.  Patricia has received many awards such as Knight of the National Order and Merit of Burkina Faso. She also followed training courses in management, social dialogue and mediation. She frequently intervenes on societal and economic issues to share her experience with women, and was recently appointed eTrade for Women Advocate by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.