National Conference on Agricultural Innovations for Food Security in the Post Covid-19 Pandemic Era

THEME: Aggregating Sustainable Innovations for Food Security


Prof. Alex, Casmir Uwadiegwu Akpa, Ag.DG/CEO, NABDA

The Federal Government appointed Prof. Akpa C. U. Alex as the Acting Director-General / CEO of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) on June 1, 2018. A professor of Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Biotechnology, Prof. Akpa is a Fellow of many reputable international organizations including the World Health Organisation (FWHO); Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (FRSTMH); and the Institute of Corporate Administration of Nigeria (FCAI). Most recently, Prof. Akpa was honoured at home by the International Association of Research Scholars and Administrators (IARSA) as a Senior Research Fellow.

Prof. Alex Akpa has four patents granted for his original inventions. He won several international grants, which he used for the development of Medical Biotechnology in Nigeria. In addition, his track record of academic excellence earned him Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) scholarships for B.Sc Hons, M.Sc degrees and the UNDP / World Bank / World Health Organization (WHO-TDR), Geneva, Switzerland for his PhD degree.

Prof. Akpa is a five-time winner of the internationally competed for UNDP / World Bank / World Health Organization, Tropical Diseases Research (WHO-TDR) Training/Operational grants. He has also served as Consultant to several International Agencies and Bodies including the WHO-TDR on Onchocerciasis; UNDP on Infectious Diseases including HIV / AIDS control at Community Level and UNICEF on Childhood Diseases.

Other international consultancies include the Carter Centre / Global 2000 on Operational Research involving the Assessment and Evaluation of the Guinea Worm Eradication Programme in Nigeria and the Rehabilitation of Broken-Down Boreholes in Guinea Worm Endemic Parts of Enugu and Ebonyi States.

Before his appointment as Acting Director-General, Prof. Akpa was a Research Director in the Medical Biotechnology Department in NABDA and the most Senior Director of NABDA. He has also served as Director and Head of the Medical Biotechnology Department in NABDA from 1st June, 2008 to 1st June, 2016.

Dr. Rose Gidado, Director, NABDA/Country Director, OFAB.

Dr. Rose Suniso Maxwell Gidado completed her doctorate degree (PhD) in Industrial Microbiology in 2015. Her research focuses on the development of indigenous ethanol tolerant yeast, for the industrial production of Bioethanol. The research was motivated by the increasing world`s energy & fuel demands which encouraged research for alternative fuel sources such as Bioethanol.

It was also aimed at developing indigenous non-saccharomyces ethanol tolerant yeast with prospects for applications in large industrial production of Bioethanol in Nigeria. In 2001, she accepted a position as Research Assistant in the Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering Laboratory, at Sheda Science and Technology Complex (SHESTCO), Garki, Abuja Nigeria. She later joined the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) in 2002 as a Scientific Officer and grew to the rank of a Deputy Director (Research), 2018.

She has been facilitating research collaborations on biotechnology both at local and international levels. Her notable accomplishments include; launching of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB), Nigeria chapter in 2009 which earned her national recognition as the champion of biotechnology in Nigeria. Rose Suniso Maxwell Gidado on numerous occasions served as invited guest speaker and presented papers on biotechnology at several local and international conferences, trainings and workshops.

Mr. Bram Wits, Agricultural Counselor for West Africa, Netherlands Embassy, Ghana

Agricultural Counselor for West Africa (Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire) Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture Nature and Food Quality, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Accra, Ghana.

Mr. Bram Wits has worked in recent years as a political advisor to the State Secretaries of Agriculture. Wits previously worked at a campaign agency in Amsterdam and the Youth Food Movement. The agricultural counselor has been active for years on the global world food issue.

Mr. Toyosi Ayodele, Founder/CEO, Agrorite Limited

Toyosi is a Pan-African Technology Entrepreneur improving the livelihood of smallholder farmers in Africa with over a decade of extensive experience in agribusiness. He is a graduate of Chemical Engineering from Covenant University and has been trained by the University of Maryland, Airbus Aerospace, German Agency of International Cooperation, YCombinator Startup School and Co-creation Hub Nigeria on business, leadership, innovation, and management.

He is the Founder and CEO at Agrorite, an agricultural tech-enabled company working with smallholder farmers with access to finance, smart farming practices and premium markets.

Agrorite has transformed the lives of over 6,050 farmers spread across 5 countries in Africa.

Agrorite got selected by Airbus Aerospace to participate in the 3rd edition Africa4Future Acceleration programme, listed as an innovative tech startup by Startup Istanbul, Turkey; UK Go Global 2020 Cohort; listed by the Dubai Chambers of Commerce and recognized by SDGs as one of the most promising Startups in Africa.

Toyosi is a recipient of the NYSC Presidential Honors Award for the federal republic of Nigeria, a distinguished member of UK International Tech Hub, a global juror for Entrep and 5G Citizens International Congress and an Advisor to Youth in Commercial Agriculture in Ekiti State.

Ayodeji Balogun, CEO, AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited

Mr. Ayodeji Balogun is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited where he is leading a team of experts leveraging technology, innovative finance, and inclusive agriculture to connect agriSMEs and smallholder farmers to commodity and financial markets. He holds an MBA from Lagos Business School; Global CEO – Africa from IESE Business School and a certificate in Creative Leadership from the THNK School of Creative Leadership.

Ayodeji has almost twenty years’ experience trading across West Africa as well as in building and scaling businesses across Sub-Saharan Africa. He serves on several capital market boards and works with several institutions on food security and financing agriculture.

Dr. Kenton Dashiell, Deputy Director-General, Partnerships for Delivery, IITA

Kenton Dashiell is the Deputy Director-General for Partnerships for Delivery, IITA. Dr Dashiell received degrees from Purdue University, Oklahoma State University, and the University of Florida in Agronomy and Crop Breeding.

He was the Soybean Breeder for IITA based in Ibadan, Nigeria from 1983 to 2001. While at IITA he worked with several partners in the national agricultural research systems and other IITA scientists to develop soybean varieties with promiscuous nodulation, high grain and fodder yields, good resistance to pod shattering and several diseases. Some of these varieties were tested and released in several African countries and are now being grown by smallholder farmers. He was the Leader of the Grain Legume Improvement Program at IITA for many years and managed soybean and cowpea projects in several African countries. Before leaving IITA in 2001 he was the Director of the Crop Improvement Division.

Before joining IITA in 2012 he was the Leader of the N2Africa Project-based with CIAT-Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility in Nairobi, Kenya. This project is working with partners in eight African countries to increase the productivity and nitrogen fixation of grain legumes. He was the Location Coordinator and Research Leader for the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory at the USDA-ARS in Brookings, South Dakota, for 6 years and the groundnut breeder at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, for 3 years.

At present his biggest interests include moving technologies that increase crop yields in farmers’ fields and improving the health and nutrition of African families from the labs and research fields to the end-users and building the capacity of the next generation of agricultural scientists, technicians, extension agents, and farmers. He is always looking for new partners for IITA in the areas of agriculture, food, nutrition, and health.

Dr. Rufus Ebegba, DG/CEO, NBMA

Rufus Eseoghene Ebegba (Ph.D) is the Pioneer Chairman of the African Union Biosafety Regulators Forum, Pioneer Chairman of the Steering Committee of the West African Biosafety Regulators Forum and Pioneer Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA).

As the DG/CEO of NBMA, he is responsible for the provision of regulatory framework, institutional and administrative mechanisms for safety measures in the application of modern biotechnology, emerging modem biotechnology and the products thereof in Nigeria, with the view to preventing any adverse effect on human health and biodiversity. His activities in this regard have elevated him and indeed Nigeria to leadership positions internationally in the areas of biosafety and biodiversity conservation.

He has over 30 years of working experience in the areas of Administration, Biosafety Management, Biodiversity Conservation, Biotechnology and sustainable utilization of renewable natural resources. He has a Ph.D in Biodiversity, M.Sc. in Environmental Biology and B.Sc. Biodiversity.

Ebegba has received numerous awards for hard work and service to humanity.

Dave Baro-Thomas


Dave Baro-Thomas, Editor-in-Chief, Agrobusiness Times/Executive Director, Partner and Co-founder, Zemeef Communications Limited.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Benin and a Masters in Media and Communication from the School of Media and Communication, a sister school of Lagos Business School both of the prestigious Pan Atlantic University.

With over two decades of experience spanning Banking, ICT and the Media, he is an author, producer/director, scriptwriter, corporate compere (MC), newspaper columnist, voice-over artist, a content specialist with a strong flair for marketing and research.

Meeting ID89143774183
TopicNational Conference on Agricultural Innovations for Food Security In the Post Covid-19 Era
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Start TimeThursday Sep 3, 2020 11:00 AM
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