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Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney TD.

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Minister Coveney holds a B.Sc. in Agriculture and Land Management from The Royal Agriculture College, Gloucestershire. He was also educated at Clongowes Wood College, County Kildare; University College Cork and Gurteen Agricultural College, County Tipperary. Minister Coveney has served as Tánaiste since November 2017, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and Deputy Leader of Fine Gael since June 2017. He previously served as Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government from 2016 to 2017, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine from 2011 to 2016 and Minister for Defence from 2014 to 2016. He served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the South constituency from 2004 to 2007. He was a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee.  Mr. Coveney was the author of the European Parliament's Annual Report on Human Rights in the World for the year 2004 and again for 2006. Minister Coveney has held shadow ministries in the following areas: Drugs and Youth Affairs; Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Transport and the Marine.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD

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Born in Macroom, Co. Cork, Minister Creed was educated at St. Colman's College, Fermoy, De La Salle College, Macroom, at University College Cork and the College of Commerce, Rathmines. He was a member of Cork County Council from 1987 until 2007. He was elected chairman from 2005 to 2006. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 1989 general election and retained his seat until 2002. He was chairman of the Dáil Small Business and Services Committee from 1995–97. He was party spokesperson on Education, Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht (1994), Health (1989–93) and Youth and Sport (1993–94).

After regaining his Dáil seat at the 2007 general election, he was party spokesperson on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (2007–10). At the 2011 general election he topped the poll in the first preference vote and in the 2016 general election he was the first to be elected. He was appointed Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine on 6 May 2016.

HON. Peter Gatirau Munya Cabinet Secretary for Industry, Trade and Cooperatives in the Republic of Kenya

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He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LLB Hons) from the University of Nairobi in 1993. In January 1995, Hon. Peter Munya proceeded to the University of Brussels, Belgium for his Masters Degree in International Law (International Economic Integration Law) under a Belgium Embassy Scholarship. Upon graduation, he proceeded to the University of Georgia, USA, where he graduated with another Masters Degree Law specializing in Public International Law. His article, “The Role of the Organization of African Unity in Conflict Resolution and Dispute Settlement in Africa” was published in the Boston University Law Journal in 1997. In addition, while serving as a lecturer at the Moi University, the Moi University Journal published his article in 2002 under the title, “The Role of the International Court of Justice in Resolving African Disputes: Past, Present and Future Prospects”. He joined elective politics in 2002 and served as a member of Parliament for 10 years from 2002 to 2012. Upon coming into effect of a New Constitutional order in Kenya that established devolved Governments, Hon. Peter Munya contested and was elected the first Governor of Meru County for the period 2013 to 2017. He was appointed as the Cabinet Secretary for East African Community and Regional Development in February 2018.

Caroline Keeling, CEO of Keelings

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Keelings is a 100% Irish-owned family business which started producing fruits and salads on their farm in the 1930’s supplying produce to local Dublin markets. Caroline has a BSc (Chem) & MSc in Food Science which she obtained from University College Dublin (UCD).  Caroline started her career with Green Isle foods, going on to join Keelings as Technical Manager in 1994.  Caroline is Chair of Bord Bia’s Consumer Foods & Ingredients Subsidiary Board, a Bord Bia Board Member,   Chair of the Dublin Action Plan for Jobs Dublin Regional Committee, Member of the Export Trade Council, Ambassador for The Women’s Fund for Ireland, Board Member of the Ifrah Foundation, Board member of National Maternity Hospital Foundation and a Member of the Countess Markievicz Circle.Keelings are focused on growing and sourcing the best fresh produce from around the world. The Company has expanded to its current size with 5 divisions – Keelings Retail, Keelings Fresh, Keelings Market, Keelings International and Keelings Solutions. Keelings launched its branded range of produce into stores in 2010 and since then it has gone from strength to strength. Kantar Worldpanel recently disclosed the Top 100 FMCG brands in Ireland, ranking Keelings at #17 this year.  As well as fresh produce, Keelings has developed produce-specific ERP software solutions, consultancy and management services which focuses on procurement, stock management, warehouse and production planning, as well as sales and quality assurance.

Dr. Hoda Galal Yassa, CEO of H-Yassa Group

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Dr. Yassa is CEO of H-Yassa Group which has thousands of employees and includes the following companies: TCL Factories which provides environmentally friendly industrial detergents and sanitizer with bases in Suez, Dubai and St. Petersburg; Rampex Company which provides hotel, hospital and airport supplies and furniture; and TCL Coating Factory which provides environmental long-lasting paints. Dr. Yassa is the Chair of the Business Women Association for Development in Egypt which promotes the role of women and their positive contribution to enhancing the economy and achieving sustainable development. She is President of the Arab Women Investors Union which has become the main portal for many investments in Egypt and the Arab world, achieved through joint ventures of Arab businesswomen. Dr. Yassa is Head of the Industrial Investors Syndicate in Suez; a member of the Egyptian Council for External Affairs; a Board member and Head of the Committee for International Cooperation in 10th of Ramadan Investors Association; a member of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Egypt; and a Board member of Capital Gas Company.

Francis Grogan, Co-Founder and C.E.O. of Zambeef Products Plc

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Francis Grogan is a native of County Limerick. Francis graduated from University College Dublin with a BSc. in Agriculture in 1985 and has worked in Zambia since 1991. In 1994 Francis co-founded Zambeef and has grown the company from its original workforce of 40 employees and one retail outlet in Lusaka to one of the largest employers in Zambia with 7,500 full time employees. Zambeef is a fully integrated cold chain foods and retail business with operations in Zambia, Nigeria and Ghana. Zambeef Products Plc is dual listed on the Lusaka Stock Exchange in Zambia and on the Alternative Investment Market in London. Zambeef’s activities include the production, processing, distribution and retailing of beef, pork, chicken, dairy products, stock feeds, edible oils, day old chicks and wheat products. It is also the largest producer of grains in Zambia, producing over 120,000 mt of wheat, soya and maize annually. Zambeef is now one of the fastest growing retailers in Sub-Saharan- Africa with 91 owned outlets and 35 outlets operated under a concessionary agreement with Africa Supermarkets Ltd (trading as Shoprite). Zambeef Products Plc also has a subsidiary company in Nigeria where it operates the in-store butcheries for Africa Supermarkets Ltd. and in Ghana where it operates the in-store butcheries for Africa Supermarkets Ltd.

Caoilfhionn van der Walt, Partner at Regan van Rooy

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Caoilfhionn is an international tax partner at Regan van Rooy, a boutique tax and structuring firm which focuses on inbound African investment.  Caoilfhionn is a Chartered Accountant; she spent the first half of her career within the international tax teams of Arthur Andersen and Deloitte in London, and thereafter moved to South Africa where she was the head of international tax for the Sasol group for nine years.  Caoilfhionn has been a partner at Regan van Rooy since 2017 and is also a part-time lecturer in international tax at the University of Johannesburg, and a member of the international tax working group of the SA Institute of Tax Practitioners.

​Kunyalala Maphisa, CEO, Sub-Saharan Concessions

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Kunyalala is an entrepreneur, a social activist and has served on a number of Boards of companies and Non Profit Organizations. She co-founded Brighton Wealth Subsaharan a South African based investment and advisory firm with a diverse investment portfolio. She was previously Managing Director of Subsaharan Concessions as South African, a large-scale project development company operating on the African continent. She has served as President of the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa,the largest association of professional and businesswomen in South Africa and on the Council for Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), and as a member of the African Businesswomen’s Network Think Tank amongst others.

She works with various not for- profit organisations building capacity and assisting with fund raising. She has previously served in various senior executive positions in investment banking including serving with Ernst & Young South Africa in the firm’s Accounts and Markets Unit where she was Head of Emerging Markets before joining the corporate finance division. Maphisa is an attorney by profession having specialised in Mergers and Acquisitions and Competition Law. She holds a Master of Laws and a Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of Cape Town (UCT). She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (BA), in Public Policy and Industrial Relations also from UCT. She has occasionally represented South African business at various international meetings, and forums including United Nations, SADC meetings and at regional African Union (AU) meetings in various African countries. She continues to write and comment on transformation issues and has presented papers at various national and international conferences. Maphisa is an Alumni and Fellow of the Desmond Tutu Fellowship, through the African Leadership Institute at Oxford University, and a member of various bodies globally, including the Crans Montana Forum as a Young Global Leader.

Frank Matsaert, CEO TradeMark East Africa.

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Frank has over 20 years of experience as a senior private sector development specialist with an extensive track record in strategy, programme delivery and management in fourteen countries in Africa and six in Asia. Frank has been the Chief Executive Officer of TradeMark East Africa since October 2010 and prior to this was a private sector adviser for DFID and Country Director for Care. Frank started his career in the financial sector, as an International Fund Manager and Investment Analyst in the UK. Over the years Frank has designed and overseen over 40 major innovative and successful programmes totalling over $1 billion in the fields of trade, financial sector development, privatisation, investment climate reform, market development and skills development. Frank holds two Masters degrees in Economics and Archaeology, and is an IMRO certified Fund Manager.

Pamela Anyoti Peronaci 

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Ms. Pamela Anyoti Peronaci is a Ugandan with Italian citizenship. Founding Partner of Sunshine Agro Products - and Owner and CEO of Asante Mama signature brand, which won the 2017 Eco Excellence Awards in the US as ‘Most Socially Responsible’ Brand.  She is an Agricultural Economist, who earned her MSc from the University of London, Wye College – and Social Entrepreneur with about 20 years of experience in both Agricultural Policy and International Trade. She worked for several years in FAO Development Cooperation Department in Rome before establishing her own Social Enterprise in Uganda. She is also active in Civil Society, heading a development NGO International Friendship for Development.

 

Charles O. Boamah, Senior Vice President, African Development Bank Group

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Charles O. Boamah is the Senior Vice President of the African Development Bank Group. Prior to his appointment to this role in April 2017, Charles was for six years the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the AfDB. Charles also served as Acting First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the AfDB for the first five months of 2016. A people-centered and results-oriented leader, Charles Boamah has led or championed several major change initiatives at the Bank, including reorganizations, re-engineering of business process for greater efficiency and increased decentralization of the Bank's activities. Charles Boamah has also successfully led major resource mobilization drives for the Bank, including the most recent replenishment of the African Development Fund. Charles Boamah also led the task force for the establishment of Africa50, an innovative vehicle for accelerated infrastructure delivery in Africa.  Charles currently chairs the Governing Council of the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) and the Steering Committee of the African Financial Markets Initiative. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Africa50 and also on the Board of Governors of the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development (PTA ) Bank. Charles has also previously served on the Board of Directors of the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank), the Audit Advisory Committee of UNICEF and a couple of Global Action Committees of the World Economic Forum. Prior to joining the AfDB in 1996, Charles worked for 11 years at First Interstate Bank (merged with Wells Fargo Bank). Prior to First Interstate Bank, Charles worked for over 5 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers (then Coopers & Lybrand) in Accra and Los Angeles. Charles holds a B.Sc. (First Class) in Business Administration from the University of Ghana, Legon and an MBA in Finance from UCLA on an AFGRAD Fellowship. Charles is also Certified Public Accountant (CPA) from the State of California.

David Butler, ​Director, Sustainable Food Systems Ireland

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David Butler has more than 25 years of experience in the delivery of publicly-funded developmental services and projects in the fields of agri-food, SME development, investment promotion and new market development. Over the last eight years he has specialised in agri-food and natural resources, including managing Ireland's inward investment programme in food manufacturing with Enterprise Ireland. He has also worked in enterprise development with the same organisation and was Commercial Counsellor at the Embassy of Ireland in Budapest, Hungary between 2005 and 2010. He currently leads Sustainable Food Systems Ireland, a government-owned consultancy and training initiative that delivers technical assistance projects around the world to strengthen agriculture and food value chains, including food safety, productivity and enterprise development. In Africa, SFSI has worked on Irish Aid, EU and FAO-funded projects. David has a BComm and Master of Business Studies Degrees from University College Dublin.

Daniel Hulls, CEO, AgDevCO

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Daniel is the CEO of AgDevCo, a UK-based investor focused on building African agribusiness for impact.  Daniel is an experienced investor and senior manager who has been with AgDevCo since 2011.  He has strong ties with Africa having been born in Tanzania and having worked across the continent since 2001.  Daniel was the founding director of CEPA (a UK-based finance and economics consultancy) and was Managing Director until 2009. Prior to that, he worked for N M Rothschild in project finance and asset sales; and at the UK Treasury. Daniel has a BA in History and Economics from Oxford University and an MSc in Economics from University College London.  He was a non-executive Director and Chair of the finance and audit committee at Community Housing Group. He is a trustee of the Kirkhouse Trust a Scottish charity that funds modern breeding techniques to improve legumes across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Claudia Saumell is Africa Markets Manager for Bord Bia.

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​Claudia Saumell is Africa Markets Manager for Bord Bia. A graduate in Business and management from the University of Barcelona, Claudia has spent  her entire career in internationalisation roles in the food sector. She was responsible for International Trade with several private sector companies in both Spain and Ireland before moving to the public sector in 1997 where she established and ran the An Bord Iascaigh Mhara  office in Madrid. In 2009 Claudia moved to Bord Bia where she continued her activities in assisting Irish Food And Drink companies to increase export reach in Spain, and took on the role of Africa Manager in 2013. Currently based in Dublin, Claudia is now responsible for the development and implementation of the Africa strategy that Bord Bia has put in place to maximize the Irish food industry's growth across the region.