Debisi Araba is a public policy and strategy specialist, currently managing AGRF, the premier catalytic, multi-partner platform for food and agriculture transformation in Africa. Araba is also a member of the Malabo Montpellier Panel, which strives to secure food and nutritional security in Africa. Previously, Araba was the Africa Director at the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (ICTA), where he led strategy and business development for the continent. He also served as a Senior Advisor to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Nigeria.
The Africa Europe Foundation is a consortium entity founded by a leading European think-tank, Friends of Europe, and a leading African Foundation, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, in partnership with the African Climate Foundation and the ONE Campaign and with a multitude of stakeholders from civil society, business, policymaking and the youth sector across Africa and Europe.
Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Groups – Our sectoral focus
The Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Groups are mandated to build a commonality of purpose from the complexity of sometimes diverging perspectives and approaches across priority domains of partnership; enlarge the Africa-Europe partnership to new and diverse actors; unlock dormant opportunities; leverage joint partnership action; open up space for fresh policy thinking, strategic foresight and a holistic rethink of critical sectors for multilateral cooperation; and reinforce Africa-EU on the international stage.
The Strategy Groups will focus on priority sectors that are central to Africa-Europe cooperation and critical in both the COVID context and in the face of the ongoing climate emergency. We recognise the interconnections across priority sectors and will work to break down silos and promote cross-sector initiatives.
The Strategy Groups will focus on the following priority sectors:
- Agriculture & Sustainable Food Systems
- Energy & Green Transformation
- Transport & Connectivity
The Strategy Groups are supported by the High-Level Group of Personalities who provides political and strategic orientations for the Africa Europe Foundation.
Our cross-cutting themes
In promoting a whole-of-society approach we highlight the importance of embedding cross-cutting themes which are pivotal to taking the Africa-Europe partnership to the next level of impact:
Climate Change; Youth; Gender; Education; Mobility; Involvement of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES); and Governance.
The research partners affiliated to the Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Groups include IPEMED (Mediterranean World Economic Foresight Institute), the Policy Center for the New South (PCNS), the Next Einstein Forum and FERDI (Fondation pour les Études et Recherches sur le Développement International).
The preparation of the Africa Europe Foundation has been supported by the European Commission and in association with the African Union Commission through the “Debating Africa-EU” series.
The announcement of the Africa Europe Foundation is a call to involve diverse organisations, youth and civil society networks, think-tanks, foundations and institutions working on the Africa-Europe partnership.
Paul Walton — Director
Julie Bolle — Project Operations Director
Tom Arnold is an active member of the Champions Network for the 2021 Food Systems Summit, the Global Panel for Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, the Board of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and the Malabo Montpellier Panel. Arnold previously served as the Chair of the European Commission Task Force on Rural Africa. He was also an Administrator with the EU Commission for ten years, serving in Brussels and Africa. Arnold is currently the Chair of the Irish 2030 Agri-Food Strategy Committee.
Ousmane Badiane, Distinguished Fellow of the African Association of Agricultural Economists, recipient of the Africa Food Prize in 2015 and member of the World Academy of Sciences, is the founder and Executive Chairperson of AKADEMIYA2063. He has over 30 years of experience, as academic and a practitioner, in international development. As the Director for Africa at the International Food Policy Research Institute, he was instrumental in developing and guiding the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). As Lead Specialist for Food and Agricultural Policy at the World Bank, he served as advisor to the Vice President for Africa and originated projects with funding ranging from US$5 million to US$150 million. Between research and development finance, Dr. Badiane taught Economics of Development in Africa at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies for many years.
Bagoré is an entrepreneur. After his baccalaureate in Senegal, he went to Belgium to study veterinary medicine. He worked as veterinarian in Europe for two years after which he spent one year working in a Mauritanian NGO. In 2006, he founded “La Laiterie du Berger” with the purpose to build up the Senegalese dairy value chain, and link traditional milk producers with the cities’ growing demand for dairy products. In 10 years, the company became the second largest player in fresh dairy products, and the first certified B Corp in Sénégal. Bagoré considers social entrepreneurship as a new efficient tool to face social and economic development challenges in a sustainable way, in Africa.
Brian Bosire is a Kenyan innovator, thinker, and entrepreneur with a passion for emerging technologies. With a special focus on agriculture, water and sanitiation, his goal is to use tech solve the most pressing challenges in Africa. He founded UjuziKilimo to develop data-driven technologies to help African farmers practise precision farming and access quality, actionable data for improved productivity. He is also the founder of Hydrologistics Africa (HydroIQ), which improves water distribution and consumption using sensors and data analytics. Bosire has won numerous global awards and recognitions for his contributions to digital technologies in Africa including Africa Pioneer in Agritech by Forbes.
Carolin Callenius is a strong leader with a deep commitment to pro-poor contexts of food systems. In her work, she promotes and supports collaborative research projects on global food and nutrition security. She has extensive experience in the area of sustainable development policies and development cooperation related to sustainable agriculture, food systems and food governance. She serves in the board of directors of Agrinatura, a network of European universities and research organisations on agricultural research for development. She is also a member of the think tank of the EU project Fit4Food2030 and leads a task in the EU Project LEAP4NSSA.
Olivier de Schutter served as UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food from and was elected to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Olivier was awarded Belgium’s top scientific award, the Prix Francqui, for his contribution to the advancement of EU law, the theory of governance, and human rights law. Previously, he chaired the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights, a high-level group of experts which advised the European Union institutions on fundamental rights issues, acted on a number of occasions as expert for the Council of Europe and for the European Union and served as General Secretary of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH). Olivier is also a Professor at UCLouvain and at Sciences Po Paris. He has also taught at the College of Europe in Natolin, as a Member of the Global Law School Faculty at New York University and as Visiting Professor at Columbia University.
Ntiokam Divine recognises the importance of youth in building a resilient, sustainable and prosperous agricultural sector in Africa. This passion drove him to start CSAYN, of which he is now the Managing Director. Alongside this role, Divine was elected as the African Continental Vice-President of Youth in Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture Incubation Network in 2018. In addition, he was nominated as one of the Food and Land Use (FOLU) Coalition International Ambassadors in 2018 and a Food System Champion by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the 2021 Food System Summit.
A Belgian national, Emile Frison has spent his entire career in international agricultural research for development, including six years in Africa in Nigeria and Mauritania. He is now a member of IPES-Food, where he was lead author of its “From Uniformity to Diversity: a paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems” report. He is also the Chair of the Board of Directors of Ecoagriculture Partners and a member of the Mission Board on Soil Health and Food of the European Commission.
Marion Guillou is a French scientist specialised in global food security. She currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the French Agricultural, Veterinary and Forestry Institute. She also has a variety of national and international responsibilities, especially in relation to food security, climate, research and skills training. Guillou is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and member of the French High Council on Climate (HCC), among others.
Gilbert F. Houngbo became the sixth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). IFAD aims to increase the incomes of 20 million poor small-scale food producers, 50 per cent of whom are women, by 20 per cent. Houngbo is also Chair of UN-Water, which coordinates the efforts of over 30 UN entities and international organizations working on water and sanitation issues. Houngbo has more than 30 years’ experience in the public, multilateral and private sectors including as Deputy Director-General of the International Labour Organization; Prime Minister of the Togolese Republic, and a number of executive-level positions at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), including Director of Finances, Chief of Staff, and Assistant Secretary-General. He spent a decade in the private sector, including at Price Waterhouse, Canada.
Nnaemeka Ikegwuonou founded Smallholders Foundation in 2003, to inform, educate and improve the livelihood of rural small farmers, using educational radio programmes and practical field demonstrations. Ikegwuonou’s for-profit company ColdHubs designs, installs, and operates solar-powered walk-in cold rooms in farms and outdoor food markets, for smallholder farmers, retailers and wholesalers. He is Nigeria’s most prominent young agriculturist, an Ashoka Fellow, Future Awards Nigeria’s Young Person of the Year 2011, and 2013 Laureate of the prestigious Yara Prize for Green Revolution in Africa, among others.
Chris Isaac is an investor and entrepreneur, who has been working in development finance in Africa for the past two decades. At AgDevCo, he has raised over $250mn in funding and made over 50 investments in African farming and food processing businesses. Isaac also sits on the boards of a number of AgDevCo’s investees. Before co-founding AgDevCo, he worked at InfraCo Africa, developing private infrastructure projects, and as an economic advisor in the Namibian Ministry of Finance. He started his career as a corporate finance specialist in London.
Muhammadou Kah is a member of the Malabo Montpellier Panel and provides thought leadership and expertise in Ag Tech, Digitalization, Digital platforms and services for smart Agriculture, application of emerging technologies, knowledge management and digital supply chains for Agriculture. He is the outgoing Vice President of Academic Affairs / Provost and Professor of Information Technology and Computing at the American University of Nigeria. Prof. Kah also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Zenith Bank- The Gambia and Chairman of the Africa & Consulting Trading Group (ACT), Dakar, Senegal and a Board Member of The African University of Science & Technology (AUST), Abuja, Nigeria. Prof. Kah had an extensive academic career and is the recipient of multiple awards.
Janet Maro has a strong passion for sustainable agriculture and rural micro-financing, and this is well reflected in her work as the Co-Founder and CEO of Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT). SAT’s vision is to reduce social and environmental problems and to provide sustainable food for the fast-growing global population. Maro is also a Board Member of Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM) where she advises on the strategic direction of the organisation.
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Friends of Europe
The think tank for a more inclusive, sustainable and forward-thinking Europe. Friends of Europe is Brussels' most innovative think-tank, and for two decades has been showcasing new ideas on Europe's future while challenging outdated ones.
Mo Ibrahim Foundation
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation (MIF) is an African foundation, established in 2006 with one focus: the critical importance of governance and leadership in Africa. It is our conviction that governance and leadership lie at the heart of any tangible and shared improvement in the quality of life of African citizens.
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