Our People


Dr. Agnes Kalibata

President AGRA

Dr. Kalibata joined AGRA as its President in September 2014. She leads the organization’s efforts with public and private partners to ensure a food secure and prosperous Africa through rapid, inclusive, sustainable agricultural growth, improving the productivity and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers in Africa.

Under Dr. Kalibata’s leadership, AGRA is working to increase the incomes and improve food security for 30 million farming households in 11 African countries by 2021 through targeted investments to strengthen 3 core areas: State capability and policies; input delivery systems in agriculture: and partnerships for inclusive agricultural growth

Prior to joining AGRA, Dr. Kalibata was Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) from 2008 to 2014, where she drove programs that moved her country to food security helping to lift more than a million Rwandans out of poverty.

Dr. Kalibata sits on various boards, councils and commissions including the Global Commission on Adaptation, the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum, the Malabo-Montpellier Panel, the Food and Land Use (FOLU) Coalition, the Architecture for REDD + Transactions (ART), the International Fertilizer Development Corporation (IFDC), Bioversity International, and Africa Risk Capacity, among others.

She has a distinguished record of accomplishment as an agricultural scientist, policy maker and thought leader. She served as the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the 2021 Food Systems Summit, accelerating action to transform food systems around the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. She was also awarded the Yara Prize, now the Africa Food Prize, in 2012, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Liège in 2018, and the National Academy of Sciences’ Public Welfare Medal in 2019 for her work to drive Africa’s agricultural transformation through modern sciences and effective policy thereby improving livelihoods of smallholder farmers. She holds a doctorate in Entomology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Jonathan oversees all AGRA’s technical areas that form the Center of Technical Expertise, spanning policy and state capability; inclusive markets, trade and finance; seed systems (CESSA); sustainable farming and climate change; digitalization; gender, youth and inclusiveness. He also oversees AGRA’s data and analytics team, and its institutional partnerships. His role is to ensure AGRA delivers the impact set out in its AGRA 3.0 Strategy. Jonathan is a development economist specializing in industrial policy implementation. For five years he was Technical Director (Africa) for the Tony Blair Institute where he launched its industrialization, agriculture and human capital development practices while expanding its energy and climate and its centre of government delivery practices across 16 African countries. He spent 8 years serving as an embedded economic advisor in the governments of Liberia, Malawi and Guyana during which time he supported these countries to accelerate their agriculture and agro-processing industries while improving their enabling environment through reforms in sectors like trade facilitation, energy and road infrastructure, and education. He spent the first four years of his career working in the United Kingdom. Jonathan has written extensively on the topic of job creation and industrialization in Africa, publishing with the Global Development Institute, the Tony Blair Institute, the Overseas Development Institute, the Pan- African Review and various media outlets. Jonathan grew up in Malta and read MSc Economics at the University of Warwick. Jonathan has twenty years of work experience, including 9 years working as a long-term embedded advisor inside the governments of Guyana (as an ODI Fellow), Malawi (with Imani Development) and Liberia (with Tony Blair Institute). He spent 5 years as a leader in the Africa Division of the Tony Blair Institute where his work spanned 16 African countries and where he established various sectoral practices including on Agriculture and Food, and on Industrialization. At the Tony Blair Institute he directed the centre of government and delivery practice, its energy and climate practice, its human capital practice and its monitoring, evaluation and learning department. Since summer 2022, he has been a freelance consultant working with various countries in Africa and organizations such as the African Development Bank, Gatsby Africa, the Africa Capacity Building Foundation, the USAID Soybean Innovation Lab, the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation. During this time, he also supported pro-bono, a new not-for-profit called Growth Teams that focuses on implementation support to governments in Africa and India on economic transformation strategies.

Jonathan Said

Vice President,
Center for Technical Expertise, AGRA


Dr. George Bigirwa

Director, CESSA

Dr. Bigirwa, is a Ugandan national and plant pathology expert with a long career in creating and sustaining the links between public research institutions and private seed companies in the African region. Dr. Bigirwa champions AGRA’s partnerships with farmers, farmer organizations, agricultural researchers, national and local governments, businesses and community leaders in the region emphasizes that these linkages are critical to expediting smallholder farmers’ access to new and unique solutions. He is a past Chair of the Maize and Wheat Network for Eastern and Central Africa (ECAMAW) and the East and Central Africa Rice Research Network (ECARRN) and a member of on the Investment Committee for the African Seed Investment Fund. AGRA exists to fulfil the vision that Africa can feed itself and the world, transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive to a business that thrives.

Dr. Jane Ininda

Head of Catalytic Grants and Advisory Services

Dr. Jane Ininda is Head of Catalytic Grants and Advisory services for lead crop research, seed production, and seed certification and regulatory interventions.  Her career in agricultural science and development in Africa spans 30+ years. She has led teams of professional crop breeders in 18 Africa countries who have developed and released 685 resilient crop varieties, more than 450 commercialized by 100+ private seed companies in Africa. She has more than 40 publications as peer reviewed papers, book chapters, blogs and many impact stories in media. Realizing the importance of forming strong alliances and sharing updated information and knowledge among agricultural scientists she founded key networks in crop breeding in Africa. She has also featured the effects of food shortage in a film ‘Silent Killer-the unfinished Campaign against hunger’. Jane holds a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding-Major, from Iowa State University, USA. She is a recipient of the C.R. Weber Award in recognition for outstanding achievement in graduate study in Crop Science at Iowa State University, USA.


Dr. George Bigirwa, Director CESSA & Technical lead on Quality Commercial Seed Production

Dr. Jane Ininda, Head Catalytic Grants and Advisory services, CESSA & Technical lead on EGS and Breeding Variety Release & Maintenance

Dr. Rufaro Madakadze, Lead Capacity Building and Technical Support & Technical lead on Farmer Awareness & Participation

Dr Francis Mwatuni, Lead Analysis & Knowledge Management & Technical lead for National Quality Assurance

Dr. Peter Mbogo, Program Officer, Seed Systems, East & Southern Africa

David Situma, Digital Learning Management Specialist

Samuel Angwenyi, Specialist, Implementation and Liaison

Zuhura Masiga, Documentation and Research Analysis

Judith Tamnai-Naibei, Training Program Coordinator

Boaz Keizire, Technical lead for Policy Legal and Regulatory

Dr. Vine Mutyasira, Technical lead for National Planning & Coordination

Qureish Noordin, Technical lead for Seed Marketing & Distribution