Friday, April 13, 2012

Appointment of African Entrepreneur for a Green Revolution in Africa

Jane Karuku

Appointment of an African entrepreneur at the head of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)

NAIROBI, April 13 2012/African Press Organization (APO) / - Kofi Annan, who chairs the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), today announced the appointment of a renowned Kenyan entrepreneur, Jane Karuku, as President of the organization.



Ms. Karuku was selected after a rigorous international selection process. She joined AGRA after leaving Telkom Kenya, a France Telecom subsidiary Orange, where she held the position of assistant director general. She replaces Dr. Namanga Ngongi, who is retiring after five years as the first president of AGRA.

"Hundreds of thousands of poor rural households in Africa have benefited from actions taken by AGRA and, under the direction of Ms. Karuku, this organization will continue this great work to pave the road to prosperity for African farmers and ensure their food security, "said Annan.

Ms. Karuku's career spans over 20 years, most of those years having been spent in the agricultural sector. She has held leadership positions in a number of successful international companies, including Farmers Choice and Cadbury Limited where she held the position of General Manager responsible for 14 countries in East and Central Africa. Ms. Karuku was educated at the University of Nairobi and holds an MBA from National University of California.

"Agriculture in the form of small farms is a way of life in Africa, strewn with challenges but also great opportunities. I am very excited and very proud to play a role in this process of transforming the lives of millions of small farmers, and I look forward towards the day when we can sit back and pay tribute to this process of transformation, real "gift" to the African people and future generations, "said Ms. Karuku.

Annan also praised the outstanding work done by Dr. Namanga Ngongi in establishing AGRA as a major African agricultural organization.

"I want to thank Dr. Namanga Ngongi for his role in the development of AGRA in an efficient organization and recognized worldwide. Under his leadership, AGRA has achieved significant results and is already on track to achieve its mission as a catalyst for a Green Revolution in Africa. "

AGRA was founded in 2007, with funding and technical support provided initially by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In these initial financings were added those of other international foundations, donor agencies, multilateral financial institutions, corporate donors and banks. AGRA and its funding partners are working closely with governments, agricultural organizations and smallholder farmers in African countries through a unique alliance to develop and maintain a green revolution in Africa.

Since its inception, AGRA has worked to develop the economic empowerment of smallholder farmers in Africa and to improve their food security. She has contributed to efforts to address the major challenges facing African agriculture faces.

Among the main achievements to date include the development of strategies to transform the main African countries breadbasket capable of feeding the entire African continent. AGRA, which also supports higher education programs of the next generation of plant biologists and agronomists, has sponsored nearly a hundred students in master's and doctorate from several African universities. AGRA also supported the establishment and strengthening of 60 new African seed companies locally, she was involved in developing markets in Africa and is working with farmers' associations to ensure that small farmers comply quality standards and effectively manage contractual agreements with major buyers. Closely with several major financial partners, AGRA has established risk sharing arrangements that can make available to small farmers and food SMEs millions of dollars in soft loans.

Distributed by the African Press Organization On behalf of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

For more information, contact:

Sylvia Mwichuli

Director, Communications and Public Affairs

Tel. : +254.20.3750.000

Mobile: +254,736,880,620

Source: Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)

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