The WiA awards recognises talents, rewards resilience and celebrates growth.
The Awards support through mentorship and market linkages.
We are eager to make women in agribusiness thrive.
The Women in Agribusiness Awards aim to highlight the achievements of exceptional women in the agribusiness fraternity who have risen above the limit to lead the way for others to emulate.
While profit is certainly a sign of agribusiness success, there are many other aspects of measuring this success too and we have identified these aspects such as leadership, resilience, innovation, sustainability and best business practices that usually go unnoticed. The awards also look at solutions that have not only improved the company landscape but have helped achieve business success.
Women-led agribusinesses are the unsung heroes of the African economy. They provide much needed employment and innovation in a wide range of business sectors and industries.
The Awarding Board
Richard Kwasi Bannor is an Agribusiness Scientist and an Associate Professor of Agribusiness Marketing at the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Department of Agribusiness Management and Consumer Studies. Bannor has extensive experience in agribusiness research evidence in over 80 research publications in international peer-review journals focusing on agribusiness marketing, business management and applied agriculture. He has been part of teams that have won several research grants ranging between $300,000 to $3 million and has an Australian Patent on A Self-Controlled Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System for Farming Applications. For over ten years, he has researched the development and sustaining of Agribusiness MSMEs in Africa, Asia and Europe, mainly in Agribusiness Marketing, Value and Supply Chains and Agribusiness Technology Adoption. Bannor has undertaken several consultancy services in agribusiness for International Organisations and NGOs involved in agribusiness developmental projects. Bannor has also been involved in several developmental and research projects to develop and sustain agribusinesses. Moreover, he has accumulated extensive experience working with actors of various agricultural commodity value chains in international trade and business as an exporter of agricultural and non-timber forest products and an agricultural policy implementing agent with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana.
Prof. Richard Kwasi Bannor
Yaganoma Baatuolkuu is passionate about positive socio-economic development for marginalized communities, cultural preservation, and the creative industries. She is the founder and managing director of Wanjo Africa Ltd., a food processing company using African indigenous wild crops to create products for the urban palate, while empowering rural women to a better socio-economic livelihood. She is currently mentor with the Ahaspora Network which seeks to mentor high school and university graduates in various fields of endeavour. She is also mentors young women from Liberia on a USAID mentoring programme on professional growth and leadership skills. She was the Country Director of the Purdue Peace Project, a conflict mitigation project funded by the Purdue University in Indiana, USA. She coordinated four local peace committees in four communities in two regions on conflict mitigation using the bottom up approach enabling community members to find solutions to their own conflict resolutions. She has extensive experience within client and customer relations, youth and women empowerment and the creative industries. She was a former lecturer at Radford University College, teaching African Art and Culture and History of Costume at the Fashion Department. She has worked with diverse local communities engaging them in local governance while disseminating central government policies within contexts that can be easily understood by rural folk using the bottom up approach for solutions within the communities. Yaganoma holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Ghana and a MLitt in Managing Creative Industries from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. In 2016 she became the third cohort of the Mandela Washington Fellowship of the Young African Leadership Initiative a flagship program of former President Barack Obama, under the Entrepreneurship Track. In 2018 she joined the second cohort of the Vodafone China European International Business School (CEIBS) SMS Business Solutions; an eight week course on managing an SME in Ghana while creating a global brand. She recently received her Diplôme d'Etudes en Langue Française B1 proficiency. She is currently the project coordinator for Babykaafo, a start-up working on mother and child care. Ms Baatuolkuu is a mother of two little angels.
Dr Jesca Mhoja Nkwabi is an award-winning businesswoman, serial entrepreneur and an education, research, and business consultant. She serves as the CEO of KOM group of companies and is also the Director of KOM Food Products. She is the Chairperson of Young Women Entrepreneurs in Tanzania and the Vice President of FortyUnder40 Africa Alumni Community. She is also a strong research professional with a master’s degree focused in International business and finance from De Montfort University and a Doctorate in business administration from the University of the West of Scotland. Dr.Jesca has over 7 publications in areas of food and agro processing, small medium enterprises, and supply chain management.
Dr. Jesca Mhoja Nkwabi
Oluwanike Abiola-Olagunju is a Doctor of Animal Science from the prestigious University of Ibadan with special interests in Animal nutrition and biotechnology. She is a lecturer at the Department of Microbiology, Leadcity University, Ibadan and she is also the University's farm director. Oluwanike is a co-author of an agricultural book; "Agriculture, Society and Biotechnology"; which is used in the teaching of Agriculture in the University. She has attended several academic conferences, trainings, and workshops both locally and internationally. She also has several publications in highly revered Academic journals. She is a member of academic and Agricultural related bodies such as: 1. Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS) as a registered Animal Scientist 2. Member American Society of Microbiology (ASM) 3. Member Animal Science Association of Nigeria (ASAN) 4. Member Agricultural Development Farmers Association Oyo State Branch. Dr. Oluwanike Abiola-Olagunju is the CEO, Dafteck ventures which she founded about 20yrs ago. Its driving force is its passionate interest in broiler and egg production. Smallholder broiler farmers around her latch on to her tenacity in value addition to help them off take their produce and push into the market through her outlets. During the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, she took special interest in organic animal rearing as well as home gardening and urban farming of vegetable such as cabbage, sweetcorn, cucumber and leafy vegetables. She also became a coach and mentor to women around her who are passionate about natural healthy nutrition and lifestyle. Dr. Oluwanike loves herbs and spices and in her spare time enjoys experimenting with these different herbs and spices to create potent solutions that aid sound health and longevity.
Dr. Oluwanike Abiola-Olagunju
Edna Kalima is a Programme Officer for the Gender Climate Change and Agriculture Support Programme (GCCASP) at AUDA-NEPAD. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education; Post Graduate Diplomas in Agriculture – Food Security and Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Agriculture (Food Security). Her areas of work are around Agriculture and Agribusiness, Food and Nutrition Security, Gender, Environment and Climate Change. The current work she does is to support women smallholder farmers to better cope with the adverse effects of Climate Change. She also works with women in Agribusiness through the organization of the Conference of Women in Agribusiness.
Lynda Banja is a lawyer, social-entrepreneur, global mentor, an accomplished facilitator, pro-bono advocate, consultant a seasoned and most sort after trainer on Gender topics with experience in Corporate Governance, Commercial Law, Compliance, IP, Gender & Inclusion, GBV -SRHR with over thirteen years’ experience in diverse sector of the economy from FMCG – Human & Animal Nutrition, Corporate Commercial, Gender Human Rights matters Currently the Managing Partner of Banja & Co. Ms. Banja is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, Member – Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Accredited Mediator – Strathmore Law School and is pursuing her Masters of Law (LLM) at the University of Nairobi. Banja is passionate on matters - governance and currently serves in various committees and Boards including East Africa Law Society – Business & Human Rights Committee, Every Woman’s Treaty - Global Coalition Working Group Committee Member, Africa Women Leadership Network. Recognized for her achievement she is the recipient of the World Pulse Changemakers Lab, Teaching Human Rights Fellow, African ChangeMakers Fellow – 2020. Ms. Banja has also contributed by way of written articles on Gender and Governance.
Nelisa Grace Zaza-Lasini is an Agribusiness instructor with 20 years of experience, expertise in agricultural education and training in the higher education system, as well as general management abilities, administration, project management, and staff management. She is an outstanding motivator and problem solver with strong communication and interpersonal skills, as well as a strong desire to excel in teaching and training, research, outreach programs, and Agribusiness curriculum development. She is very enthusiastic about working with farmers on development, capacity building, and training. Outreach program that travels to schools and communities to provide agricultural training and demonstrations. Using platforms like the Imvotho Bubomi Learning Network (IBLN), farmers, academics, development practitioners, government officials, and college and university students can share information. Connecting farmers to markets by facilitating training for farmers to satisfy required criteria for Boxer Retail Stores, with the help of the National Agricultural Marketing Council posting our articles. Adjudicator for the Amathole District Women Entrepreneur Award from 2017 through 2019 and 2023. A consultant on an Entrepreneurship Incubation program for agriculture graduates began in 2023.A curriculum developer for the Forestry 21 project, an international program, consultant for Forestry 21's Forestry Student Challenge project. Fort Cox Amathole Farmers Mentorship Programme coordinator. Mentor for the Eastern Cape Development Cooperation Imvaba Cooperation Project. Agribusiness training for Grade 12 Eastern Cape educators and extension officers. Teaching Agribusiness courses at Fort Cox College of Agriculture and Forestry in South Africa's Eastern Cape Province.
Nelisa Grace Zaza-Lasini