Practice Manager, Africa Region, Agriculture, and Food Global Practice, The World Bank
Shobha Shetty is currently a Practice Manager in the Food & Agriculture Global Practice of the World Bank covering Eastern and Southern Africa. She oversees a portfolio of agriculture and rural development projects and analytic work of over US $2 billion. From 2012-2018, she served in a similar position in the South Asia region based in the World Bank office in New Delhi. Her current work and interests span agribusiness development, women’s economic empowerment, disruptive technology, nutrition-sensitive agriculture, urban food systems, rural youth employment, and climate resilience. In 2015 she was a Visiting Fellow at the Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative (TCi) at Cornell University, New York. She has previously worked in the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Tunisia, Syria, Saudi Arabia on a wide range of issues of agriculture and rural development. Shobha has a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Anna University, India. She earned her Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University, USA.
CEO & Co-Founder, Twiga Foods, Kenya
Peter Njonjo, the co-founder, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Twiga Foods Limited. A native of Kenya, Peter holds an MBA in Strategic Management, an undergraduate degree in International Business Administration from the United States International University in Kenya, and an Executive Leadership Program from Harvard Business School. Peter is also a Certified Public Accountant and spent 21 years with the Coca-Cola company, with his last role being President of the West and Central Africa Business Unit, made up of 33 countries, based in Lagos, Nigeria. Njonjo was President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Kenya, a director of the American Business Council in Nigeria, and has been voted among the top 100 young leaders in Africa by Forbes Afrique and ‘Top 40 under 40’ by The Business Daily in Kenya. He currently serves on the Global Board of Junior Achievement and is the Vice-Chair of the COVID Advisory Board to the ICT Ministry in Kenya.
Senior Investment Officer, Regional Head, Africa Venture Capital, International, Finance Corporation (IFC)
Wale Ayeni leads the Africa focus of IFC's Venture Capital practice - the International Finance Organization is part of the World Bank Group. The IFC's Venture capital team invests in technology companies in frontier markets. Wale has a global technology experience spanning several roles including Venture Capital, Investment Banking, Corporate Development, and Microprocessor & ASIC chip design. Prior to the IFC, Wale led venture capital early-stage investments in disruptive startups across various technology sectors for Orange in Silicon Valley with representative investments in the US including PayJoy(FinTech), Veniam(Mesh Networks), Chain (Blockchain), WEVR (Virtual Reality). He also led transactions on behalf of EchoVC (an early-stage Pan African tech fund) in Hotels.ng, and Printivo. Wale started his finance career with J.P. Morgan’s Technology Investment Banking group in San Francisco where he successfully executed over $12B worth of closed transactions spanning mergers & acquisitions to IPOs for large-cap technology clients including Facebook, Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard, Intel Corp., AMD, Shutterfly, etc. Wale started his career as an Engineer, and in his previous technology career, Wale was a microprocessor design Engineer with Intel Corp., where he led critical aspects of Intel's "CSI" chip architecture - the biggest micro-architecture change in Intel's history. He also led aspects of the very first "Snapdragon" chipsets working at Qualcomm Inc.’s chip design center enabling the initial smartphone designs. Wale has an MBA from Dartmouth College and his Bachelor’s degree with a distinguished “Red diploma” from Moscow University. He is a Kauffman Venture Capital Fellow and a recipient of the top global 100 Rising Stars award in Corporate Venture.
Global Lead, Agribusiness, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank
Christopher Brett was appointed as the Lead Agribusiness Specialist with the World Bank in November 2016 and joined the Agriculture and Food Global Agricultural Practice, based in Washington DC. He has a Master’s Degree in Management for Agricultural Development from Cranfield University in the United Kingdom. He has more than thirty years’ experience of working within the public-private and voluntary sectors in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Before working with the World Bank, he worked for 9 years as the Global Head of Sustainability for a large multi-national agricultural supply chain management company. As part of the senior management team, Chris supported the company’s transition from a trading-based company to a global agri-business supply chain management company.
Global Lead, Data-driven and Digital Agriculture, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank
Parmesh Shah is the Global Lead for Data-Driven Digital Agriculture at the World Bank. He provides leadership to Bank’s work in these areas and supports the development of global knowledge and learning in these areas to offer solutions to clients and other development partners. His current areas of interest are economic and social organizations and networks of the poor, making markets and public services work for the poor, social entrepreneurship, digital and data-based innovations in agriculture and rural development, promotion of on-farm and off-farm jobs, and public-private and people partnerships for rural poverty reduction. He is currently involved in developing a regional program on scaling up digital agriculture in the Africa region, involving setting up ecosystems for entrepreneurship and incubation. He holds a D Phil in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and a B Tech degree in Agricultural Engineering from Pantnagar in India.