Dr. Djimé ADOUM is the current Executive Secretary of CILSS, an organization covering thirteen countries of the Sahel and West Africa. He has more than 25 years of professional experience in international development and he has been head of CILSS since June 2013. Within less than two years of taking office, he has succeeded in attracting new technical and financial partners such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank. These partners have invested huge amounts of money in livestock and irrigation. He has also succeeded in increasing the contribution of USAID and the EU in financing resilience, food security and climate change mitigation strategies. His favorite topic remains the modernization of the production and processing sectors to create wealth and employment for youth and women.
Dr. Adoum has traveled throughout sub-Saharan Africa where he has conducted development, strategy design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation activities in countries ranging from South Africa to Egypt.
He worked for state and multi-national organizations such as CARE, the World Bank, USAID and USDA, where he served as an agronomist and project manager, chief consultant, head of the monitoring and evaluation division, and development strategy expert.
Dr. ADOUM is a specialist in sectoral strategies, and an expert in design, programming, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. He has worked in Egypt, Cameroon, Chad, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa and the USA.
He was called by President Idriss Deby ITNO to serve as Technical Advisor for Rural Development from March 2010 to August 2011, overseeing the key ministries of Agriculture and Livestock. Appointed Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation in August 2011, he served in this function until January 2013. He served for 18 months and brought a new dynamic in redefining the strategies to transform agriculture in a way that it responds significantly to the social and economic development of Chad. He also served as Coordinating Minister of CILSS. Dr. ADOUM holds a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Agronomy and Plant Physiology and Agro-dissemination.
Dr. Ousmane Badiane, Distinguished Fellow of the African Association of Agricultural Economists, and recipient of the Africa Food Prize in 2015, is the founder and Executive President of AKADEMIYA2063. He has over 30 years of experience in international development both as an academic and a practitioner. In his most recent tenure as the Director for Africa at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), he oversaw the institute’s two regional offices for West and Central Africa in Dakar and Eastern and Southern Africa in Addis Ababa. For most of the last 20 years, he coordinated the institute’s work program in the areas of food policy research, capacity strengthening, and policy communication as well as its partnership with African institutions dealing with the above areas.
As an Advisor to the NEPAD Secretariat from 2004 to 2007, he was instrumental in developing and guiding the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP). In partnership with AUC, NPCA and the Regional Economic Communities, he mobilized and trained a critical mass of experts to provide the necessary data and analytical support to countries for the design and implementation of national investment plans.
Before his second tenure at IFPRI, which he entered for the first time in 1989, Dr. Badiane, a national of Senegal, was Lead Specialist for Food and Agricultural Policy of the Africa Department at the World Bank from January 1998 to August 2008. In addition to his role as advisor to the Vice President for the Africa region, he developed projects with an investment volume ranging from US$5 million to US$150 million.
Dr. Badiane has dealt with growth and economic development issues in Africa from a variety of angles. In addition to conducting research on development at IFPRI and financing development projects at the World Bank, he also taught Economics of Development in Africa, as adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies from 1993 to 2003.
Dr. Badiane received a master’s degree and PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Kiel in Germany. He is also recipient of a Doctoral Degree Honoris Causa from the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa.
Ertharin Cousin is a distinguished fellow of global agriculture at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. She previously served as executive director of the World Food Programme from 2012 until 2017. In this role, Cousin led the world’s largest humanitarian organization with 14,000 staff serving 80 million vulnerable people across 75 countries.
Cousin possesses more than 30 years of national and international nonprofit, government, and corporate leadership experience. She maintains relationships with global government, business, and community leaders. She has published numerous articles regarding agriculture, food security, and nutrition.
Cousin is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago; the University of Georgia Law School, and the University of Chicago Executive Management Finance for Non-Financial Executives program. Cousin has received honorary doctorate degrees from universities around the globe. She has been listed numerous times on the Forbes “100 Most Powerful Women” list, as the Fortune “Most Powerful Woman in Food and Drink,” on TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” list, and as one of the “500 Most Powerful People on the Planet” by Foreign Policy magazine.
Paul Engel seeks to contribute to strengthening multi-stakeholder cooperation for sustainable and inclusive development, with a particular focus on agricultural and rural sector transformation. He advises on the design, implementation and evaluation of multi-stakeholder processes, public/private/NGO partnerships and agricultural investment programs; he specialises in policy-oriented research and theory-based evaluation and, develops practical approaches and tools to support (evaluation of) multi-stakeholder initiatives.
After long-term fieldwork in Africa and Latin America, at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, Paul Engel directed international research on facilitating innovation by small and medium size (agricultural) enterprises and the role research, advisory services and policy may play to enable it. With his team he developed RAAKS, a practical approach to understanding and strengthening bottom-up transformation processes. A published author (English, Spanish), he taught at Wageningen University, Netherlands, and the University of Concepción, Chile. Since 2012, his research includes a focus on how to engender community resilience in the face of disasters and climate change.
From 2001 to 2015 Paul was the Director of the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), an independent foundation that works at improving international co-operation and relations between the EU, its member states and the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Since 2016, he is Chair of the Board of Both Ends, an international NGO. He was Chair/co-founder of the Dutch Food and Business Knowledge Forum. He holds an MSc in Irrigation Agronomy and a PhD (cum laude) in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences from Wageningen University.
Vickson Ncube is versatile Chief Executive Officer with extensive experience in leadership. A fellow of the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (FZICA) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), he gained his leadership experience as Chief Executive Officer of the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA), Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Central and Southern African Federation of Accountants – ECSAFA and Chief Executive Officer of the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA).
Prior to joining ZICA he worked as Regional manager for African Life Financial Services Limited (Aflife). He worked in the following leadership positions at the Zambia State Insurance Corporation Limited (ZSIC):- Director of the Life and Pensions Division, Director of Finance, and Director of Internal Audit. He held other positions at ZSIC.
He holds a Zambia Diploma in Accountancy from the Evelyn Hone College for Applied Arts and Commerce and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
A Pan – Africanist and firm believer in the African Union Agenda 2063 – The Africa we want – an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizen and representing a dynamic force in the international arena, he describes himself as an African who travels on a Zambian passport.