Director General & CEO, International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE)
Dr. Segenet Kelemu is the Director General of the International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) Nairobi, Kenya. She is the fourth Chief Executive Officer, and the first woman to lead icipe. Dr. Kelemu (a native of Ethiopia) is a molecular plant pathologist with emphasis on elucidation of molecular determinants of host-pathogen interactions, development of novel plant disease control strategies including genetic engineering, biopesticides, pathogen population genetics and dynamics, endophytic microbes and their role in plant development. She has experienced the challenges and successes associated with African agriculture first-hand, from tending the field to directing a world-class laboratories.
Dr. Jennifer Riria
Group CEO, Kenya Women Holding
Dr. Jennifer Riria is the Group CEO of Kenya Women Holding. She is distinguished as Microfinance Banker and Practitioner, Researcher and Gender Specialist. She has led KWFT for over two decades, and, propelled it from unprofitable NGO to a medium sized Bank, serving low income women and their families. KWFT has served over 3 million women and disbursed over US$ 2.3 billion over a period of 20 years. She has served in many other leadership roles for which she has been recognized locally and internationally. To mention a few of these - In 2006 she was awarded the Moran of the burning spear by Kenya Government for her role in Development. In 2011 she was also recognized by the Marketing Society of Kenya and awarded ?Warrior? status Award. In addition she is a distinguished Champion of Democracy and was awarded ?Champion of Democracy? by the Ford Foundation in 2012 for her role both as a leader of the TUVUKE Initiative and Group CEO of Kenya Women Finance Trust. In 2014 she was awarded the Ernst & Young (EY) Entrepreneur of the year, East Africa 2013, and subsequently, the EY, Global Entrepreneur of the year Award 2014, and, got admitted to the global Hall of fame. She is an institutional builder who focuses on institutions that empower, positions and advocate for the majority, and especially low income women and their families. For this reason she was awarded The ?Most Outstanding Businesswoman of the year Award? by the Africa Economy Builders in April, 2015. In July 2015 she received 6 other awards from the CEO Global as Africa most influential women in business and Government, among them was the ?Africa Life time achiever? and ?Continental lifetime achiever?. Her leadership engagements include WWB (Chair), Jabali Microserve (Chair), Member of the Global Leadership Council of Women and Girls Lead Global, TUVUKE Initiative for Peaceful and fair electoral process in Kenya (Chair), A life Board member of Association of Microfinance institutions in Kenya, among others. In the past she played a major role in the reconstruction and re-positioning of NHIF, AMFI (Chair), Post Bank, National Bank and Institutions of Higher learning. Dr. Riria is a transformative leader who strives for results. Working with and touching people?s lives with what she does is her passion. She has just launched THE JENNIFER RIRIA FOUNDATION to enhance her quest for touching lives.
Dr. Jemimah Micere Njuki
Senior Program Specialist, Canada?s International Development Research Centre
Dr Jemimah Njuki is Senior Program Specialist at Canada?s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) where she develops and manages projects on the empowerment of women and girls working in agriculture. She chairs the Steering Committee of the African Women in Agriculture Research and Development, a program empowering women researchers to develop their scientific and leadership skills. She is also an advisor to the UN Women Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa.
For the last 18 years she has carried out gender research, managed women?s economic empowerment programs in Africa and Asia, trained researchers, NGO staff and extension officers on how to integrate gender in their work and to work with women smallholder farmers. She has worked in various countries including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana, the Gambia, Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo, India, Bangladesh, Canada and the US.
From 2003 to 2009, she worked at the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture linking smallholder farmers to markets, training men and women on good agricultural practices and working with men to support women?s empowerment through community dialogue and engaging male champions of change. During this time, she trained over 500 researchers, practitioners and extension agents on approaches for empowering women smallholder producers. In 2009, she started the first ever gender research program at the International Livestock Research Institute in recognition of the role that livestock plays as an asset for women. In 2012, the started and managed the Women in Agriculture Program at CARE USA working with over 50,000 smallholder women farmers in Africa and Asia.
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