2012 Globalizer: Rural Innovation and Farming Strategy Thought Partners - Nairobi

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Source: Ashoka

Adrian Mukhebi


Ashoka Fellow Adrian Mukhebi is the Chairman and Founder of the Kenya Agricultural Commodity Exchange Limited (KACE). KACE develops and harnesses the power of modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for linking poor smallholder farmers and small-scale agribusinesses to markets. The KACE model has been adopted or adapted in several countries in Africa, including Malawi, Zambia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Ghana in West Africa. Mukhebi is also a professor of Agricultural Economics at Bondo University.



Alain De Cat


Alain De Cat is the CEO of Siemens Limited Nigeria, as well as the Sector Cluster Lead, Energy Africa He has worked with Siemens since 1999 and has been responsible for various strategic roles within the company. With over 20 years of working experience, Alain De Cat is a seasoned energy professional who has worked on several landmark projects across Europe and Africa.



Aleke Dondo


Aleke Dondo is the Managing Director of K-Rep Development Agency, a non-profit microfinance institution that services the needs of rural small-scale farmers and microentrepreneurs. He has over 15 years of hands-on experience in microfinance and small enterprise development, and has carried out over 30 studies in the fields of small enterprise and microfinance development. Dondo has served on the boards of organizations involved in development work including Kenya Gatsby Trust and Kenya Community Development Foundation (Vice-Chairman).



Alexander Döll


Alexander Döll, General Manager for Hill+Knowlton Strategies East Africa Ltd., has broad experience in corporate, internal and change communications, as well as in corporate social responsibility, including sustainability. Before joining Hill+Knowlton Strategies in 2007, Alexander worked at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and a full-service communications consultancy firm in The Hague. In 2002 he joined the Schiphol Group, where he was eventually responsible for the Communication Team of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, overseeing communications, branding, sponsorships, donations and public relations, and corporate social responsibility for the airport operator.


Biju Mohandas


Biju Mohandas focuses on investments in health at the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Prior to the IFC, he was the Director of Acumen Fund in East Africa and in that role managed Acumen’s portfolio of investments in the region (including leading the sourcing, diligence and completion of new investments) and was responsible for all investor relations and business development activities. Mohandas has worked in multiple emerging economies, investing in and sitting on the boards of several fast-growing enterprises across sectors including manufacturing, healthcare, renewable energy and agribusiness.  



Bill Carter

 Bill Carter is Director of Ashoka Africa. He served on Ashoka's International Board for twenty-nine years, focusing on strategy development, and is a founding member of the Board. In that capacity, he interviewed many hundreds of candidates to become Ashoka Fellows. In 2009 Bill stepped down from the Board so he could serve as a member of the Ashoka staff. In his current role, Bill guide’s Ashoka’s overall strategy in Africa, oversees the selection of African Fellows, and helps develop and launch new initiatives including a groundbreaking initiative to identify, support, and connect Changemaker Schools across the continent. As a senior civil servant at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Bill led the Agency's effort to create the Federal Government's first approved Agency Performance Management and Incentive System under the Civil Service Reform Act. Prior to serving at EPA, Bill was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where his assignments were in the fields of education, economic development, insurance and housing. Bill has a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.


Catherine Watson


After graduating from university, by which time she could speak five languages, Catherine Watson worked with The World Bank on environmental issues. From 1986 to 1993 she worked as a freelance journalist for the BBC in East Africa. Catherine started the Straight Talk newspaper, which pioneered the idea of providing adolescents in Uganda with frank information about sexuality and HIV/Aids. She was elected as an Ashoka Fellow in 2006 and is currently based in Kenya where she is focused on environmental issues as a widely published journalist.



Charles Ocici


Charles Ocici is the Executive Director of Enterprise Uganda. Established under the UNDP Enterprise Africa regional initiative, Enterprise Uganda is tasked with supporting the government in realizing its objective of promoting the development of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to become the main vehicle to enhance economic growth. In his former work with the credit department at Uganda Commercial Bank and PTA Kenya, Ocici gained a valuable understanding of what makes businesses tick.



Christie Peacock


Dr. Christie Peacock is an Ashoka Fellow and the founder and chairman of Sidai Africa Ltd, a rapidly growing nationwide network of agro-vet dealers. Previously, she conceived successfully implemented East Africa’s first and only regional goat farming development project, which helped lift 2,000 families out of poverty by 1994 and increased their incomes by between 15-30%. Christie became FARM-Africa’s Chief Executive Officer in 1999. She initiated FARM-Africa’s international policy work and engaged strategically with the African Union, NEPAD, DFID and African governments to raise awareness of the need to invest in smallholder farmers.



Christine Weyrich


Christine Weyrich is a project manager in the area of Basic Needs and Social Entrepreneurship at the Siemens Foundation. She is mainly responsible for water and energy projects that provide decentralized access to electricity and potable water, based on close collaborations with local and international partners. The regional focus of her activities is Sub-Saharan Africa. Before joining the foundation she worked in the Corporate Citizenship department of Siemens AG in Munich, Germany, and managed the company’s worldwide program for charitable activities and donations.



Mwalimu Musheshe


When Mwalimu Musheshe was a university student during the eighties, he was active in opposing the existing regime, for which he was tortured and imprisoned for a year. In 1984, he began working for the Uganda Food and Peace Project. Over the last decade, he has changed how academics, policy-makers, and business people approach rural development issues in Uganda. Musheshe was the chairman of Uganda’s National Agricultural Advisory Services (Naads) board of directors. A Senior Ashoka Fellow, he serves on the boards of national development associations, and is one of the few people who continuously challenge policy makers to think outside the box in introducing effective measures to combat rural poverty in Uganda.


Marco Janezic


Marco Janezic is founder and partner at Blue Ribbon Partners, a consultancy focusing on strategy, investment and corporate finance advisory. Within Blue Ribbon Partners he looks after new business development and strategy. He has expertise in project management, business planning, fundraising, buy-out structuring and strategic re-positioning. He previously worked in investment banking and management consulting for companies such as Barkawi & Partners GmbH, Munich (Founding Member and Vice President) where he focused on strategy and finance consulting. He holds a masters degree in “physics and philosophy” from the University of Oxford.


Marij Colyrut


Marij comes from a big Belgian entrepreneurial family, and has been influenced by the way her family has run their business, giving a central role to the people involved, taking Human Resource Management very seriously. She herself holds a Masters Degree in Molecular Biotechnology and calls Nigeria, Iceland and Belgium her home. In recent years, she shifted her focus towards personal development, leadership and impact investment.



Nagesh Karuturi


Nagesh Karuturi has been involved in key leadership roles in global strategy planning and execution across key markets in Africa, Asia and Europe. He has held positions as CEO of Karuturi Ltd in Africa & Europe, as Country Manager for Hewlett Packard, and as Regional Manager for Xerox Corporation in South Asia. Further, he chaired and implemented initiatives in the social sector covering underprivileged children, unemployed youth, healthcare, water and environment-related projects in developing countries.