AdaOsakwe2017Ada Osakwe


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.  Along with outher board appointments, in 2022, she joined the board of AGRA - the Alliance for a Green Africa.

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.


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.


2014 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow

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


About AFLI




The African Leadership Institute (AFLI) 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.