The Malabo Montpellier Panel is a group of leading African and European experts from the fields of agriculture, ecology, nutrition, public policy and global development. The Panel is jointly hosted by the West and Central Africa Office of the International Food Policy Research Institute, the University of Bonn and Imperial College London and is co-chaired by Dr. Ousmane Badiane (Africa Director, International Food Policy Research Institute) and Professor Joachim von Braun (Director, Center for Development Research, University of Bonn).
The core mission of the Panel is to support evidence-based dialogue at the highest level and guide policy choices to accelerate progress towards the ambitious goals under the Malabo Declaration and the global development agenda.
The Panel builds on the earlier “Montpellier Panel” and now puts greater emphasis on African initiatives, such as the recently expanded Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) under the Malabo Declaration. The Panel works with African governments and civil society initiatives to provide support and evidence-based research that facilitates the identification and implementation of policies that enhance agriculture, food and nutrition security.
The Malabo Montpellier Panel is the only Africa-based high-level panel of independent experts dedicated to solely work on agricultural development and food and nutrition security in Africa. It adds value to agricultural development in Africa through its high-quality research, and by creating a space for decision makers at the highest level to access the latest technical evidence in key strategic development areas and to reflect on the implication for the design and implementation of country policies and programs. Panel members serve in their personal capacity and work pro bono.
The Malabo Montpellier Forum, which is organized by the Panel, gathers leading decision makers to dialogue and exchange on the evidence presented in special reports prepared by the Panel on issues of strategic importance for attainment of the CAADP and global development goals. The Forum serves as a platform to bring research into use through at cross-country or continental levels. The latest evidence, researched by a team of highly reputable experts, informs and guides the dialogue between the members of the Panel and leading decision makers, thereby reaching more countries at the highest levels. By inviting non-state actors (NGOs and the private sector) to participate in those discussions, the Malabo Montpellier Panel creates a space for leaders to exchange directly with those actors on issues of strategic importance in a context that is free from country level pressures.
The Panel, by producing easily accessible and readable research reports for senior policy makers and other stakeholders, fills an important gap. In particular, the Panel provides expert knowledge and guidance for policy - based on careful analysis of literature, scientific evidence and practical experience from on the ground. The Panel’s strong emphasis on evidence-based analysis, mutual learning and exchange at the highest levels positions itself as an important actor in support of agricultural transformation and economic development efforts in Africa.
Ousmane Badiane is the Africa Director for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). He oversees the Institute’s two regional offices for West and Central Africa in Dakar and Eastern and Southern Africa in Addis Ababa. He coordinates IFPRI’s work program in the areas of food policy research, capacity strengthening, and policy communications in Africa. Ousmane Badiane received a Master’s Degree and PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Kiel in Germany. He is the Chair of The African Agricultural Technology Foundation Board of Trustees. He has also been awarded a Doctoral Degree Honoris Causa from the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa and is distinguished Fellow of the African Association of Agricultural Economics in 2010 in Kenya. Ousmane Badiane is the 2015 laureate of the Yara Prize.
Joachim von Braun
Joachim von Braun is the Director of The Center for Development Research (ZEF), at the University of Bonn. He is an agricultural economist, and holds a Doctoral degree from the University of Gӧttingen, Germany. His published research addresses international development economics including science and technology, policy issues of trade and aid, poverty and famine and health, and nutrition. He serves on boards of publishers of journals, as well as international advisory bodies of research and policy organizations. From 2000 to 2003 he was President of the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE). Joachim von Braun is member of the Academy of Science of North-Rhine Westphalia, German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech), and Pontifical Academy of Sciences of the Vatican. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and holds an honorary Doctoral degree from the University of Hohenheim and was awarded the Bertebos Prize of the Swedish Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Agnes M. Kalibata
Agnes Kalibata is the President of The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). She leads the organization’s efforts with public and private partners to ensure a food secure and prosperous Africa through rapid, sustainable agricultural growth, improving the productivity and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers. She has been a member of the IFDC Board of Directors since 2008, chairs the board’s Africa Committee and is a member of the Executive and Audit Committees. She served as Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) from 2008 to 2014 and has chaired the Board of the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry (ISAE) and the National Clinical Research Center of Rwanda. She is a member of the Strategic Advisory Council for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
In 2012 she received the Yara Prize for her leadership in the transformation of food security and agricultural development in Rwanda. She holds a doctorate in Entomology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Debisi Araba is an environmental policy and strategy specialist. He is the Regional Director for Africa at the CGIAR’s International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). He was previously the Technical Adviser on Environmental Policy to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Nigeria and the team leader of the Environment and Climate Change Unit in the Ministry. He holds a MSc in Clean Technology from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, a Doctorate degree from Imperial College London and most recently he completed a Master of Public Administration at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.
Tom Arnold is the Director General for the Institute for International and European Affairs in Dublin and Special Hunger Representative for Concern Worldwide. He is a member of the International Food Policy Research Institute’s (IFPRI) advisory Board and also a Director at Governor the Irish Times, Ireland’s leading newspaper. Tom Arnold is a graduate in Agricultural Economics from University College Dublin and holds a Masters Degrees from the Catholic University of Louvain and Trinity College Dublin. He received honorary doctorates from the National University of Ireland in 2009 and University College Dublin in 2010, and a People of the Year Award in Ireland in 2013.
Noble Banadda is Professor and Chair of the Department of Agricultural and Bio Systems Engineering at Makerere University in Uganda. He earned his Doctorate degree in chemical engineering at Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven, Belgium. He also followed postdoctoral professional training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 2013, he was inaugurated as the youngest fellow of Uganda National Academy of Sciences and in 2015, was honored as young scientist at the World Economic Forum in Dalian, China. He is currently the interim president of the Uganda Young Academy. He was also named a Fellow of the Global Young Academy in 2013.
Patrick Caron is Director of Research and Strategy at the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD). Since 2015 he also serves as Chair of the Steering Committee of the FAO High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition. He specializes in family farming, agrarian and animal production systems, and territorial development and has coordinated numerous scientific projects in Brazil and Botswana. He has also been Director of Research of CIRAD’s Territories, Environment and People Department and Scientific Director of its Environment and Societies Department. Patrick Caron holds doctorates in veterinary science and geography.
Gebisa Ejeta currently holds the position of Distinguished Professor of Plant Breeding & Genetics and International Agriculture at Purdue University. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, of the Crop Science Society of America, and of the American Society of Agronomy. He graduated from Purdue University earning a Masters and a PhD in Plant Breeding & Genetics. In 2011 he was appointed by President Obama to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) and appointed US Government Presidential Science Envoy and Special Advisor to the USAID Administrator. The same year he received the Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award from the Society of Ethiopians in Diaspora. He is a Henry Bennett Fellow from the School of International Studies, Oklahoma State University. In 2009 he was awarded the World Food Prize.
Karim El Aynaoui
Karim El Aynaoui is currently Managing Director of OCP Policy Center, a think tank based in Rabat. He also serves as advisor to the CEO and Chairman of OCP Group, a global leader in the phosphate sector. Previously he was the director of economics and international relations at Bank Al-Maghrib, where he provided strategic leadership in defining and supporting monetary policy analysis and strategy. He was also in charge of the Statistical and International Relations Divisions of Bank Al-Maghrib. Prior to this Mr. El Aynaoui spent eight years at the World Bank as an economist. He is a member of the Strategic Advisory Board of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) and a member of the COP22 Scientific Committee. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Bordeaux, where he taught for three years courses in statistics and economics.
Lisa Sennerby Forsse is President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry and board member of the World Agroforestry Center. Her academic fields cover a range of forest and agricultural related issues, including plant physiology, agroforestry and silviculture as well as the environmental aspects of land use, and the utilization of bioenergy from trees. She has sat on numerous high-level advisory committees for the European Union, the Swedish government and other institutions, nationally and internationally.
She holds a PhD in plant biology from Stockholm University and Adjunct Professorship in Forestry from the University of Toronto. She received the Royal Gold Medal from the King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf for Outstanding Achievements in Agricultural Sciences in 2010 and was awarded an honorary doctor from the Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen in 2013 and the University of British Columbia, Canada in 2014.
Sheryl Hendriks is Director of the Institute for Food Nutrition and Well-being at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, where she leads the University’s research and postgraduate programme on food security. Her research covers food security measurement, agricultural growth, sustainable livelihoods, household coping strategies and understanding vulnerability. She has served on the founding and second United Nations Committee for World Security (CFS) High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE). She led the drafting of the CAADP Framework for Africa Food Security, the technical review of the first national food security and nutrition investment plan (Rwanda) and the review of the West African Regional Investment Plan and ten West African country investment plans for agriculture and food security. She holds a PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Natal.
Muhammadou M.O. Kah
Muhammadou M.O. Kah is Rector (Vice President) For Technology & Innovations and Founding Dean and Professor of Information Technology and Communications for the School of Information Technology & Engineering at ADA University in Baku, Azerbaijan. He is currently the Vice Chairman of the Association for Information Systems Special Interest Group on ICT and Global Development.
In 2016, the University of The Gambia awarded him a Doctor of Science (Honoris
Causa) and in 2015, he was honored with an appointment as a Fellow of the Cambridge Judge Business School, in the UK. He also is the recipient of the 2014 President of The Republic of The Gambia National Leadership Award. He completed his BSc, MSc and Ph.D. at the Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ and also holds an MSc in Financial Engineering from The George Washington University.
Nachilala Nkombo is the Interim Africa Executive Director for the ONE Campaign. She has extensive experience in international development, including senior leadership experience on strategy and high level government engagement, in several African countries and in the United States. Her work focuses on debt relief, aid effectiveness, agriculture, land reform, leadership development, public sector budgets and public finance, gender, trade policy reform, and open governance. In 2014, during the Africa Union Year of Agriculture, she led a successful pan-African campaign called Do Agric, it pays which secured re-commitments from several African states to increase their public agriculture investments necessary to unlock the agriculture opportunity for small holder African farmers. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Zambia and a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of Potsdam in Germany.
Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg is the Director of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD). The organization serves as a catalyst for innovations contributing to the prosperity and wellbeing of African smallholder farmers. Dr. Kamau-Rutenberg has received widespread recognition for her work investing in women, including being honored as a White House Champion of Change, named one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by New African magazine, recognized as a Ford Foundation Champion of Democracy, and named one of Kenya’s Top 40 Women Under Age 40 among others. Kamau-Rutenberg holds a PhD and a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, and a Bachelor degree in Politics from Whitman College in Washington.
Ishmael Sunga is the Chief Executive Officer of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU). He holds a degree in Economics from the University of Zimbabwe, and a Master's degree in Strategic Management from the University of Derby, UK. He has extensive experience in rural and agricultural development, small enterprise development, development planning and management, and organizational development. Since joining SACAU as its CEO in 2005, SACAU has become the main voice of farmers in southern Africa on regional, continental and global matters, and is recognized as the main policy dialogue partner for SADC, COMESA and CAADP/NEPAD on matters relating to agricultural development in the region.
H.E. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace
H.E. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace is the outgoing Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture at the African Union Commission (AUC). She holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Agricultural Economics, a Master’s Degree in Economics, Planning and Managing Rural Development, and a Diploma in Women and Development. Her portfolio as AU Commissioner covered multiple ministerial sectors ranging from crop agriculture, livestock, fisheries, forestry, land, water, environment, climate change, climate services, disaster risk reduction to rural development. Food and nutrition security remain central in her schedule. Her expertise and experience as well as commitment have won her a number of key positions on regional and international organizations, such as membership of the High-level Advisory Panel of UNISDR, Advisory Board of Expo 2015, Governing Board of the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC), Chair of the Governing Council of the African Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM), and Chair of the Alive Platform for livestock development in Africa, among others.
Sir Gordon Conway is Professor of International Development at Imperial College London. He was previously Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Department for International Development, President of The Rockefeller Foundation and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex. He holds a PhD in Systems Ecology from the University of California, and a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from the University College of Wales. He was also the Chair of the Montpellier Panel between 2010 and 2016. Sir Gordon is a fellow of several universities among which the Universities of Wales, Sussex, Brighton, and of the West Indies. He is a Fellow of the America and World Academy of Arts and Science, and recipient of the Leadership in Science Public Service Award. In 2002 he was named distinguished Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science by the University of Sussex.