2014 Tutu Fellow Ada Osakwe has been appointed to the board of AECF - the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund.  AECF is a non-profit development organization that supports innovative enterprises in the agribusiness and renewable energy sectors to reduce rural poverty, promote resilient communities, and create jobs. 

The role is a good fit for Ada, who is the Founder and Chief Executive of Agrolay Ventures, which supports early-stage companies in Africa in the food and technology sectors.

AECF acts as a private sector catalyst by commercialising new ideas, business models, and technologies to increase agricultural productivity and improve farmer incomes. It expands clean energy access and helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while improving resilience to the effects of climate change.  The organisation finances high-risk businesses that struggle to access commercial funding and works in markets, fragile contexts, and high-risk economies where few mainstream financing institutions dare to go. 

AECF reports that in the past 15 years, it has supported 425 businesses in 26 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The impact has reached 31 million lives and created more than 29,000 direct jobs, while obtaining US $808 million in matching funds.

Ada says she's thrilled to join the board of the world’s largest challenge fund. She says it catalyses game-changing ideas led by inspiring entrepreneurs across agriculture and energy sectors in Africa.  She says that the work it is doing is more important than ever with one in five Africans starting a new business and with even more planning to do so within five years.  As such, the role it plays is critical for the future of Africa, given the importance of funding and business development support to young entrepreneurs.

Read AECF's announcement of Ada's appointment to the board at their website.

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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.