We are pleased to announce that Dr. Adebisi (Debisi) Araba will join the AGRF team effective May 4th, 2020 as the Managing Director for AGRF.
As Managing Director, Debisi will be responsible for driving AGRF’s strategic growth and running the day to day business of its Secretariat as an independent, panAfrican, and multi-partner Forum.
He will continue to build on the great momentum already underway to take the AGRF a notch higher in its vision and impact, by advancing and stewarding its multi-year strategy as agreed with AGRA leadership and the AGRF Partners. Under Debisi’s leadership, we expect to strengthen AGRF’s year-round business lines to advance the continental agenda through its 10 thematic platforms, advocacy and communications to amplify key knowledge and ideas related to AGRF’s vision, and direct engagement with other key regional and global moments and the Africa Food Prize platform.
He will also lead the Secretariat team to continue to drive the annual AGRF Summit as the pinnacle moment each year for advancing the continental agenda for African agriculture and food systems aligned to the goals laid out in the Malabo Declaration and SDGs.
Debisi will take over the AGRF Managing Director role from Mr. Adam Gerstenmier, who is departing at the same time due to emerging engagements on the 2021 Food Systems Summit. Gerstenmier will stay involved with AGRF in an independent capacity through the end of the year in order to help ensure a smooth transition.
Debisi will be based in Kigali, Rwanda with the long-term Secretariat of the AGRF, but will also spend significant time in Nairobi with other members of his team and as a member of the AGRA Executive Committee, reporting directly to the AGRA President.
Debisi joins the AGRF Secretariat in AGRA from the CGIAR system, where he has served for the past four years as the Africa Region Director at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).
At CIAT, he helped lead the institution’s mission to increase prosperity and improve human nutrition in Africa through research-based solutions in agriculture and the environment.
Prior to CIAT, he held other roles as the Senior Manager, African policy engagement, with the CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), and as the Senior Technical Adviser on Environmental Policy to the Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
In addition to his institutional roles, he is a recognized thought leader across the African agricultural sector. He serves as a member of the Montpellier Malabo Panel of experts working together to enhance African and European government support of national and regional agricultural development and food security priorities in Africa.
He has also served as a member of the Advisory Committee of the African Leaders for Nutrition and as a member of the New Vision for Agriculture Transformation Leaders Network of the World Economic Forum.
Debisi holds a Doctorate degree from the Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London, a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, a Masters in Clean Technology from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, and a Bachelors degree in Physical Geography from the University of Ibadan.