AdaOsakwe2017Ada Osakwe


Nigeria

Occupational Information


Job Title: Founder and Chief Executive of Agrolay Ventures

Professional History


Ada is an award-winning food entrepreneur and investor. She founded Agrolay Ventures to support early-stage companies in Africa, focused on the food and technology sectors. Since 2015, the firm has built a portfolio of high-growth investments, including The Nuli Juice Company (‘Nuli’), Nigeria’s fastest-growing farm-to-table beverage producer and fast-casual restaurant chain that utilizes locally grown vegetables and fruits. Ada founded Nuli and serves as the start-up’s Chief Executive.

Ada serves on the Board of Factor[e], a venture building PE firm, the Governing Board of the One Acre Fund, a non-profit that serves small-holder farmers in Africa, and an Advisory Board member of Infinite Foods, Africa's leading plant-based food distributor. From 2012 to 2015, Ada served as the Senior Investment Adviser to Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Nigeria’s former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. Prior to this, she was Vice President at Kuramo Capital, a New York-based private equity firm, and from 2005 to 2009 was a Senior Investment Officer at the African Development Bank (AfDB). Ada also worked briefly with Actis while at business school. She began her career as an Analyst at BNP Paribas investment bank, London.

Ada is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. In 2018 Forbes Afrique listed her as one of the Top 100 Africans contributing to the economic impact on the Continent. In 2016, she was Entrepreneur of the Year and featured on Choiseul 100 Africa list consecutively from 2016 to 2019. She received the ‘Achiever in Agriculture Award and was on the 2014 Forbes 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa list.

Qualifications


MBA from the Kellogg School of Management - Merit-based Scholarship, the Deans Distinguished Service Award, and the Kellogg Leadership Award
MSc in Economics and Finance from the University of Warwick
BSc in Economics (First Class Honours) from the University of Hull.

Program


2014 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow


Additional Tags: Economics, Finance, Agriculture, Rural Development, Investment, Banking 

Featured News

Jackie Chimhanzi
26 December 2021

Today, 26 December 2021, we lost our beloved Patron, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

But even as we mourn the passing of our dear Patron, we celebrate a life of service well lived and the values and ideals he espoused and bequeathed to us - ubuntu, servant leadership, integrity, humility, compassion and courage. We remember a man who was diminutive in stature but larger than life in his boldness, always speaking truth to power when the occasion demanded.

Norman Smit
29 November 2021

2017 Tutu Fellow Mimi Kalinda says that her company, Africa Communications Group, has been acquired by Marco.  The sale to Marco, which purchased a 51% stake, happened in November 2021.  Mimi is delighted with Marco’s investment in ACG, as it means the company she began can expand across other continents and make a bigger contribution to the growth of African economy.

She says ACG is the first African-owned, pan-African communications and strategic reputation management firm handling communication solutions for global clients across the entire continent. It is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with additional offices in Abidjan in Ivory Coast and Nairobi, Kenya.  It also has long-standing partners in Kigali, Rwanda; Harare, Zimbabwe; and Lagos, Nigeria.  There are also additional affiliated offices in 40+ additional countries across the African continent.

Norman Smit
16 November 2021

In March 2020, the African Leadership Institute announced the Associates who had been selected for the 2020 Class of the Tutu Fellowship programme.  As has been the case with previous cohorts, the people selected were exceptional emerging African leaders. AFLI received more than 300 nominees of outstanding quality from 36 African countries, from which the cohort was selected. Before the class could begin, COVID intervened and the programme was deferred until conditions allowed for an in-person convening.

Since that initial announcement of the cohort was made, not all of the candidates were still able to participate in the programme. The names below represent the final cohort who begin the first workshop in the programme in South Africa next week.

Norman Smit
17 August 2021

Back on 22 May 2021, President Samia Suluhu Hassan appointed Elsie Kanza PhD as one of 22 ambassadors for Tanzania. Elsie is a 2008 Tutu Fellow.  On 17 August, she was posted to the Embassy in Washington, DC, as Tanzanian Ambassador. The US Embassy is considered a senior posting in diplomatic circles.  In May, President Hassan made the appointments, but did not at that time name the posts to which the appointees would be stationed. 

The appointments included senior government officials, members of the military, and government and cabinet advisors.  Prior to her appointment, Elsie's most recent position was as the Special Advisor to the President of the World Economic Forum.

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Tutu Fellowship COVID-19 News

Tutu Fellows have been active in addressing the challenges Africa is facing due to the coronavirus pandemic.  We have a new section highlighting some of the work being done by the Fellowship.
 

About AFLI

AFLIICONCROPPED

 

The African Leadership Institute (AFLI) is unique among leadership initiatives in that it focuses on building the capacity and capability of visionary and strategic leadership across the continent. Developing exceptional leaders representing all spheres of society, the Institute’s flagship programme is the prestigious Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship. Offering a multifaceted learning experience and run in partnership with Oxford University, it is awarded annually to 20-25 carefully chosen candidates, nominated from across Africa. Alumni of the African Leadership Institute form a dynamic network of Fellows passionately committed to the continent’s transformation, bridging the divide between nations and ensuring that Africa is set centre-stage in global affairs.

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