AFAP has an international staff that comes to the organization from the public and private sectors. It is united by the goal of creating vibrant and sustainable agriculture inputs and agribusiness markets in Africa.
After graduating from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, Jean-Michel started his business consulting career in the US, focusing on business development and commodities trading, with and for Africa.
Albertina was previously working at FEWS NET, a project related with food security and financed by USAID, as Office Manager, responding for the Administrative area…
President and CEO
Jason Scarpone, currently President and CEO of The African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), is a leading International Development Specialist with 22 years’ experience in designing, implementing and managing economic recovery and development programs for Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasus and the United States. He has specialized in public-private partnerships that link production, policy and marketing, with special attention to post-conflict, post-crisis environments.
Jason has successfully implemented large-scale agricultural and rural development programs with long-lasting positive effects. Scarpone is thoroughly familiar with industry institutions, regulations and compliance. Has managed the proposal development, implementation and reporting of programs funded by donors such as AGRA, BPRM, CIDA, CORDAID, DFID, EAR, ECHO, FAO, IFAD, OFDA, OTI, SV, TACIS/PHARE, UNDP, UNHCR, USAID, USDA, WFP, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, numerous commercial banks and private donor sources, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Jason holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and urban studies from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in labor relations from New York University.
Chief Operations and Compliance Officer
Cecilia Khupe joined AFAP in 2012 as a Programs Director (Africa). Before joining AFAP she worked for USAID as a Senior Regional Program Manager/Agriculture Advisor for over 12 years. Prior to joining USAID she worked for South Africa Breweries Botswana Branch as a Brewery Manager. She also worked for the Ministry of Agriculture Botswana as a Senior Agriculture Economist responsible for all bilateral and multilateral trade arrangements for the Government of Botswana in the Agriculture Sector as well as project planning and management for the Ministry.
Cecilia assisted the Ministry of Agriculture Develop a Food Security Policy that allowed Botswana to move from a self-sufficiency policy. Cecilia has presented food security related papers in workshops, seminars and conferences in the Southern Africa region as well as in East and West Africa countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia; Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal. Cecilia has also represented the regional donor community in the FANRPAN Board.
Cecilia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Accounting from University of Botswana, an honors degree from University of Colorado in Economic Policy and a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics – Marketing and Trade from New Mexico State University, USA.
Pierre Brunache Jr
Chief Agribusiness Officer
Pierre Brunache, Jr., has over 22 years of experience in the following industries: aviation, hi-technology, real estate, and international development with a focus on agro-industry value chain management. Prior to joining the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) as the West Africa Regional Director, he was the Project Director at CNFA Ghana where he managed a cocoa project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Prior to relocating to Ghana from Washington DC, he served as Acting Chief of Party to close a $25 million USAID-funded multi-sector project covering Agriculture, Tourism, and Handicraft in Haiti. Pierre joined CNFA after working as Global Business Director for a Maryland-based management consulting firm. Prior to that, he worked as International Market Entry Program Manager for a Massachusetts-based hi-tech firm with operations in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Pierre holds an MBA from Northeastern University and speaks English, French, Haitian Creole, and Spanish.
Director of Finance
Derek Watson brings four decades of experience as an accounting, finance and human resources executive to AFAP. He is a chartered accountant in South Africa and an expert in the application of the country’s Black Economic Empowerment policies, a program that redresses socio-economic inequalities in South Africa.
In his career, Derek has served as a transformation officer, finance director, controller, accountant and auditor in the private sector in South Africa. He has held positions with companies including the MIB Group, Glenrand MIB Limited, Orbijet and Templeton, Strong, Vignazia & Company, an auditing firm.
Dr. Mshindo M. Msolla
Senior Director Public Private Partnerships and Investments
Dr. Mbette Mshindo Msolla holds a Bsc in General Agriculture (University of Dar-es-salaam, Post Graduate Diploma in Soil Science (Agricultural University of Norway}, Msc and PhD in Agriculture (majoring in Soil Science from Sokoine University of Agriculture).
He has worked in different capacities with the Government (Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Education), Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) as Agricultural Adviser. While working with the Ministry of Agriculture Food Security and Cooperatives, he put the Fertilizer Act of 2009 and its Regulations of 2011 which culminated to the formation of Tanzania Fertilizer Regulatory Authority (TFRA) mandated on issues related to fertilizer trade and quality and he is the Chairman of the Board of TFRA.
He is a seasoned football coach with elite clubs and has also been the Tanzania National Football coach for five years.
Dr Maria Wanzala
Chief Policy Officer
Dr. Maria Wanzala-Mlobela is an agricultural economist with over 10 years’ experience working on African agricultural policy and market development issues. Dr. Wanzala has a Ph.D in agricultural economics from Michigan State University in the United States of America. She worked for the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) for 14 years and was seconded to the African Union’s New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) as the Senior Fertilizer Policy Specialist during her tenure at IFDC. Her area of specialization is analyzing the functioning of fertilizer markets, the constraints affecting their performance, and formulation of policies and programs to address these constraints and improve market performance. In her current position at AFAP Dr. Wanzala is responsible for the development and implementation of AFAP policy initiatives for policy and regulatory improvement facilitation in order to create a more enabling environment for the increased commercial supply of fertilizer in sub-Saharan Africa. This entails: proposal development; fundraising; program design and implementation; policy research and analysis; provision of policy services to the private sector, national governments, and regional bodies; and technical backstopping.
Senior Fertilizer Specialist – Marketing
Paul Makepeace has 35 years of experience in agricultural and agribusiness development with the private sector, NGOs and research centers in both developed and developing economies.
Extensive experience in sub-Saharan Africa business development, strategic planning, problem solving, program management, market development, business analysis, design and implementation of subsidy programs.
Broad fertilizer and other industry experience: manufacture, distribution, business development, product development, marketing and sales management and exports.
Many years of technical/managerial experience within and for organizations providing development services to fertilizer manufacturers and distributors, technology innovation companies, ethanol manufacturers, and commodity associations. Senior Management experience in both private sector organizations and public sector research and extension organizations.
Owned and managed cross-section of development companies. Paul is an Australian national.
Senior Project Manager
Tim Durgan has more than 35 years of agricultural business and international project management experience. He started his career in the US fertilizer industry as a marketing and sales director at both the retail and wholesale distributor levels. For the past 25 years he has been a resident of East and Southern Africa where he has managed several agricultural development projects, along with providing consulting services to private firms, NGO’s and government entities within Africa. His areas of experience and expertise are in agribusiness related to input supply and commodity output marketing, project and trade finance, crop and livestock value chain expansion, and agricultural policy. He has managed value chain projects in Kenya, Zambia and Ethiopia, focused on expanding productivity and market opportunities for smallholder producers. For AFAP he has recently worked on numerous private and public investments in fertilizer warehousing distribution, and blending throughout the continent.
He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Crop and Soil Sciences (Agribusiness Emphasis) from Michigan State University, where he also did graduate work in Agricultural Economics.
He has served on numerous industry association and private company board of directors in both the US and Africa.
Mozambique Country Director
Sergio Ussaca brings more than 16 years of experience as a manager and agricultural specialist in Mozambique to AFAP’s Maputo office.
Before joining AFAP, Ussaca served as a senior policy advisor for private sector development and agribusiness at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Maputo. Before taking that position, Ussaca worked with NGOs in the region including CNFA and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture. Much of his career has centered on work in the Nacala and Beira corridors. He also has extensive experience in Nampula.
Ussaca earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the Catholic University of Mozambique and a diploma in agriculture production and livestock from the Agricultural College of Boane. In addition, he has training in conservation farming, micro-finance, and local seed multiplication techniques.
Francophone Regional Manager – West and Central Africa
A strong believer that development in Africa will come through the ability of the continent to attract foreign investment and qualified human capital.
After graduating from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, Jean-Michel started his business consulting career in the US, focusing on business development and commodities trading, with and for Africa. He returned to the continent in 2005.
Before joining AFAP, as the Francophone Regional Manager for West and Central Africa in April 2017, he was a founding partner and the Executive Director of NS Conseils, a business consulting and development firm registered in Cote d’Ivoire, linking foreign expertise and capitals, to the continent development goals. Within NS Conseils, he has developed business opportunities for his clients in many African countries, such as Cameroon (his home country), but also Benin, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, and South Africa.
His skill set ranges from Infrastructure, Agriculture, to Telco and Aviation, enhanced by an MBA in Finance and Economics in 2011.
A fierce and determined negotiator, he has contributed to attract investments over a Billion US Dollars to the continent.
During his career, Jean-Michel has developed an understanding of many African countries political contexts, built strong relationships with governments and economic partners, supported by a deep knowledge of the diverse cultures and people of the continent. He has the mastery of adapting the value proposition to fit man, culture, and sensitivities.
Conscious of the critical need to contribute to the emergence on the continent, Jean-Michel also coached African entrepreneurs.
A devoted husband and father, he enjoys spending time with his family. He still loves to think of himself as an athlete, regularly playing Golf and Basket-Ball since his high-school days.
Sheila Komen Keino
Malawi Director of Programmes
Sheila is AFAP’s Malawi Director of Programmes, based in Lilongwe Malawi. She is charged with leading, directing and managing all aspects of AFAP’s work in Malawi. Prior to her current posting, she was Programmes Development Specialist for AFAP based in Johannesburg, South Africa, backstopping all AFAP country programs. Sheila joined AFAP at inception in 2012.
Sheila has been active in the workforce for the last 20 years, and has covered programmatic operations in 18 African countries mainly in Agricultural Development, thus has extensive understanding of Africa’s dynamic Agricultural sector. She has also worked in the banking and humanitarian sectors. Prior to working for AFAP, Sheila worked for a number of institutions including The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and Citigroup. Sheila is a Master of Arts candidate in Rural Sociology and Community Development and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree both from the University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Sheila is a proud mother of two boys.
Ghana Country Manager
Isaac Kwadwo Asare brings over 12 years of private and public sector experience, more specifically in developing the agro-input supply chain. Prior to joining AFAP, Isaac worked for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) as the Ghana Country Coordinator under the Scaling Seeds and Technologies Partnership (SSTP) program.
As an Agro-dealer Development Specialist, he has worked in countries such as Ghana, Nigeria and Liberia for the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC). He was the Project Manager for the AGRA-funded project, Ghana Agro Dealer Development (GADD) Project.
Isaac has extensive knowledge in managing donor-funded programs as well as handling M&E related activities, networking with value chain actors and experience in agro-dealer development issues more specifically in West Africa. Isaac is passionate about the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as a tool to link value chain actors with the aim of improving access to quality services through enhanced flow of information among them.
He holds Masters of Philosophy in Sociology and Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Technology. As the AFAP Ghana country manager he provides strategic input, direction and management to AFAP and its key partners on fertilizer industry development issues.
Country Manager – AFAP Tanzania
David J. Kijazi joined AFAP in 2013 as a consultant and he is currently the country manager for Tanzania.
He has over 6 years experience in project management, strategic planning, participatory monitoring and evaluation, project design and proposal writing. He has provided professional services to several development organizations/projects in Tanzania on research, baseline surveys, needs assessment, agribusiness value chains development, market studies and Public Private Partnerships (PPP). Additionally, he has significant experience on capacity building to agro dealers and farmers’ organizations.
David holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Liverpool John Moores University (UK) and BSc Economics (Policy and Planning) from Mzumbe University in Tanzania.
Binta Ceesay Etim
Senior Business Development Manager West Africa
Binta is innovative thinker with strong and practical experience in analytical and strategic roles within the private sector and economic development spheres including food security, policy analysis, agribusiness value chain development, access to finance, gender mainstreaming, land rights, and climate change.
Prior to joining AFAP, Binta served as the lead analyst and co- author on food rights policy campaigns aimed at improving Ghana’s agricultural policies by delivering targeted and effective policy recommendations to ensure a demand driven, responsive support to small holder farmers. Binta implemented various multi-million dollar USAID Agro Enterprise Development Programs in West Africa. She served as a member of the CSO technical advice team to the World Bank Group on gender mainstreaming.
In her current role, Binta provides technical assistance to private & public sector and key stakeholders in the fertilizer and agribusiness value chains to facilitate business advisory services, leverage access to finance, and promote business to business linkages and trade investments within the Anglophone West Africa region.
Binta speaks fluent Mandingo, Wolof, Aku, and Intermediate French. She received her Master’s from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, and Bachelor’s from Michigan State University.
Regional Business Development Manager – East and Southern Africa and Project Manager for African Fertilizer Volunteer’s Program (AFVP)
Sandra joined AFAP in 2014 with over 18 years of program/project management expertise in the area of sustainable development and international economic development cooperation in the private and third sectors. Worked on initiatives primarily focusing on providing advisory services and capacity building in entrepreneurship development, business development services, marketing and communications, resource mobilization, inclusive growth, job creation, partnership brokerage, investment, trade and export promotion and facilitation, SMME development working across sectors (agriculture and food security; regional integration and infrastructure; climate change and natural resources management).
Sandra holds a B.A. Honours Degree in International Relations and a post graduate certificate from Staffordshire University in the United Kingdom, and holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the European University and speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish and French.
Programme Manager: Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)
Njabulo Mazibuko serves AFAP as a Programme Manager: Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E). He has a BSc Agriculture from the University of Swaziland, MSc from University of Natal and Mphil in Economic Policy from the University of Stellenbosch.
Before joining AFAP, he worked as an Agronomist for a large estate in Swaziland.
Policy Research Associate
Killian Banda is a Policy Research Associate at AFAP where he has managed and implemented a number of policy related projects since he joined in May 2015. He is an Agricultural Economist with experience in agricultural policy, agribusiness development, value chain management and inclusive market development. He draws his experience from working in both public and private sectors as well as non-governmental organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, Killian has implemented agricultural projects in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana and Burkina Faso.
Prior to joining AFAP, Killian worked for AFRICRES as a Project Manager and Researcher where he successfully profiled Farmer Organisations in eight Sub-Saharan Africa. He also managed land reform projects in South Africa while working as a Business Development and Research Manager with Agridelight Training and Consulting.
Killian holds a BSc (Honours) and an MSc in Agricultural Economics from the University of Zimbabwe and Pretoria respectively.
Executive Manager, Office of the President & CEO
Maureen Banda brings more than a decade of experience as an executive assistant to her job at AFAP. For more than 10 years, Banda was the personal assistant to the director of SLR Consulting Engineers in Johannesburg. In this position she handled correspondence, meeting arranging, travel arrangements, schedules and a budget. In 2007, Banda studied PC Engineering and Computer Information Systems at the University of South Africa.
Maureen is pursuing studies in Bcom Business Logistics Management from the University of Johannesburg.
Administrative Assistant at AFAP Mozambique Office
Albertina Menete holds a BA Honours on Management and Business Administration.
Albertina was previously working at FEWS NET, a project related with food security and financed by USAID, as Office Manager, responding for the Administrative area, Human resources and as accountant (doing budgets, reports, salaries processing) during six years.
Worked in the banking sector, at Millenniumbim, during seven years. For two years I have worked in a Private banking window of Millenniumbim where I was exposed to the operational area and I have deepened my experience on commercial services trough dealing with the Banks business clients. My bank carrier ended as Deputy Branch Manager where the key responsibilities was oversight and coordination of bank operations on the counters and replace the Branch Manager on his absence and also on assiduity staff control.
Albertina’s first professional experience was as air stewardess at Mozambique Airlines during nine years for domestic, regional and international flights.
AFAP Office Administrator, Tanzania
Happy Lyaruu, has over 7 years of experience in working with the local and international organisations projects in the areas of administration and research. Prior to joining the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), she worked with the College of Business and Management (CBM), Amend, Akiba Commercial Bank (ACB), World Wild for Nature (WWF), Research and Education for Democracy in Tanzania (REDET) and Eastern and Southern African Universities Research Program (ESAURP).
Happy holds a bachelor degree of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy, Master of Arts in Community Development from University of Dar es Salaam, main campus. Currently, Happy is pursuing a PhD in Community Development majoring in agriculture from the University of Dar es Salaam, main campus.
Receptionist and Accounts Assistant
Before joining AFAP, Naomi Nimigisha worked as an administrative assistant at the NEPAD Business Foundation. In this position, she held administrative, event planning and receptionist duties. Naomi has also worked for herself as an events planner, providing services for individuals and organizations.
Naomi is working on her bachelor’s degree in commerce accounting at the University of Johannesburg. She has taken a short course in events management at the University of Pretoria.