Speakers Profile

Andrew Bennett, – Executive Director of the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, CMG, DSc, MSc, DTA, FRSA

Andrew is currently the President of the Tropical Agricultural Association (UK), and Trustee of the Centre for International Forestry Research, Global Crop Diversity Trust and the Doyle Foundation. Formerly Director: Rural Livelihoods and Environment at DFID, he has over 40 years experience in rural research and development, having lived and worked in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Pacific and the Caribbean.

Juliette M. Tuakli, MD MPH,

With over 25 years of experience in the field of public health and clinical pediatrics, Dr Tuakli has worked in Reproductive and Child Healthcare and Clinical HIV Service Delivery in Ghana, Zambia, Kenya, Rwanda, the US and UK. Dr Tuakli served as Northeast Regional Pediatric consultant to the US Department of Health and Human Services for 9 years, advising on the care of immigrants and HIV+ women and children of African descent. More recently, as Deputy Director of Family Health International’s START program in Ghana, she conducted operations research, program development and analysis, including procurement and distribution systems for HAART. She has been involved in Clinical HIV/AIDS and PMTCT technical assistance in Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda. In 2004 Dr Tuakli was selected to participate in the National Review of Ghana’s HIV/AIDS Response. She advises UNFPA on its program with Ghana’s traditional leadership and HIV issues. She has helped develop child health policies for the governments of USA, Ghana, Rwanda and Kenya, working with UNICEF, World Bank and other on care of Orphans, Vulnerable Children, PMTCT and developmental pediatric issues.

Dr Zelalem Kebede, Regional Director of London & Southeast for CEMVO/EMF,

As Director of the Regional Office for London & Southeast Dr Zelalem is responsible for the management of CEMVO’s biggest regional office and runs a large number of projects and programmes. He is responsible for setting a new direction for the London Regional Office which involve raising the profile of the work currently being carried out within the region, providing management of grants programmes including the core grants programme and working closely with the Capacity Building team in developing the minority ethnic voluntary sector. The public face of CEMVO and responsible for developing links with minority ethnic voluntary and community organizations, local authorities, local Learning and Skills Councils, Regional Development Agencies, Government Office and other partners and stakeholders He is also responsible for raising financial and other resources to underpin the work in the region.

Dr Zalalem trained and qualified as a medical doctor in the USSR prior to coming to the United Kingdom nine years ago.

Mrs. Olayinka Fayomi, CEO, Foreign Investment Network

Mrs. Yinka Fayomi Holds a B.Sc [Hons] in Economics and MBA in Business Administration. She has attended several oversea trainings on investment promotion in different countries of the world visiting over 40 countries on study trips on best practices on attracting foreign direct investment to developing nations. She has attended several trainings and workshops organized by World Bank, DFID,MIGA ,UNCTAD, UNICEF, WTO etc.

Mrs. Fayomi Worked with Nigeria Investment Promotion Council [NIPC] as a pioneer staff where she spearheaded and led several trade delegations to various countries on investment promotion and rose to be a director. She is a Consultant to a number of African governments and Financial Times on Africa projects, where several projects that border on inward investment have been concluded.

She has attended well over 20 international conferences and seminars where she featured prominently as a resource person. She has spoken severally on issues that border on cross border investment and women empowerment as she also runs an NGO on women empowerment.

Chief Executive Officer of the foremost authoritative investment journal called FIN Magazine. FIN Magazine, which is a strategic marketer for FDI, is published in the United Kingdom and circulated all around Africa, UK, Canada, USA etc.

She was recently appointed the Governor of Brent Council in London United Kingdom.

Van Elzakker, Boudewijn Jozef (Bo), Programme Director of the Export Promotion of Organic Products from Africa programme, operating in Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia

A specialist in organic agriculture in all its aspects: producer organisation, primary production, extension/PTD, processing, marketing, conversion & business planning, product chain management, quality assurance and financing, Mr Van Elzakker is member of the board of the Agro Eco foundation, since 1990, currently chairman. Director/owner (50%) of Agro Eco Consultancy BV, since April 1998

He has a B.Sc. in Tropical Agriculture, National College for Tropical subtropical Agriculture in Deventer, The Netherlands, January 1983 and a Diploma in Rural Engineering, College for Forestry and Rural Engineering, Velp, the Netherlands, August 1975.

He is also the President of the Board of Directors of the International Organic Accreditation Service Inc. (IOAS), Jamestown, North Dakota, USA, since 1999 and Member, Accreditation Committee of the Marine Stewardship Council, London, UK since 2003.

David Mwanaka, Director Mwanaka Fresh Farm Foods.

Born in Zimbabwe in 1966, David worked as a journalist in Zimbabwe and is also an award-winning writer. He came to England in 1991 and unable to secure a job in journalism ended up doing odd jobs to support his family.

Having been born in Zimbabwe where white maize is a staple food, He was surprised to find out that it was not available in Britain. It was neither grown nor sold in shops. He missed eating white maize so much such that He always asked people to bring me some when they were coming from Zimbabwe. The problem was that by the time the maize got to Britain it was not fresh anymore. His only hope was that a local white farmer would grow the crop and He would buy it off them. Years went by and David realised that it might never happen. It was then that He decided to carry out trials of growing white maize in his back garden in Tottenham where He used to live. After more than six years of trials, He started growing it commercially four years ago.

David runs a family business on about twenty acres of land in London, Enfield. They also have another twenty acres in Salisbury. As of next year they would be renting more than 40 acres in Enfield. The market has been growing year by year that is why each year they increase their acreage. At first their market was predominantly Zimbabwean and Southern African but at the moment they are reaching out to everyone.

They grow white maize, pumpkins and several other exotic tropical crops. They have been on BBC TV news and radio several times and have also been featured in many national newspapers and magazines.

David is married to Brenda and they have 3 children.

Timothy O. Williams, Head of Enterprise and Agriculture Section in the Special Advisory Services Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat

An agricultural economist with over 20 years experience in policy analysis and policy advisory work focused on enhancing agro-enterprise development and livelihoods of smallholder farmers. Prior to taking up his current assignment, he was Research Team Leader and Regional Representative, West Africa, of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), one of the 15 centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

He holds a doctorate degree from the University of Oxford, UK. He was a past recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation Social Science Research Fellowship and Robert S. McNamara Fellowship. His professional work has covered research studies and projects in Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan and Zimbabwe on production, marketing and trade and resource management problems confronting smallholder farmers and SMEs in these countries. From 2003-2006, he was a member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel to the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Areas of Competence

  • Agricultural policy and institutional analysis
  • Agro-enterprise development and promotion
  • Regional and international trade analysis
  • Project planning, implementation and evaluation