Trade-Based Solutions to Food Insecurity
Despite the potential for intra-regional trade of grains to improve food security in sub-Saharan Africa, in practice, these commercial transactions have been fraught with logistics challenges and non-tariff barriers. USAID's Trade and Investment Hubs are working to overcome these issues in coordination with government and private sector actors working in partnership with the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC).
On January 31, Microlinks and Agrilinks held a webinar revealing how the Hubs and EAGC facilitated these deals in Addis Ababa, Lusaka, and Kigali. Speakers focused on the lessons learned, results achieved, and challenges still ahead.
Gerald Makau Masila has been the Executive Director and CEO of EAGC since 2011.
The aim of EAGC is to support structured grain trade in the Eastern Africa region. Under Mr. Masila’s leadership, the organization has grown and its operation now spans over 10 countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, the DRC, Zambia, Malawi, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. Mr. Masila has over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, distribution, commodity trading, and fast-moving consumer goods management, having worked in sectors including tobacco, dairy, coffee, and wine. Mr. Masila has worked for the British American Tobacco, New Kenya Cooperative Creameries, and Acumen Business Consultants. He holds a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics and bachelor’s degree in Marketing, both from Egerton University, Kenya. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Project Planning and Management at the University of Nairobi.
Tshililo Ramabulana is the Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub Agribusiness Trade Director.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Ramabulana served as the National Agricultural Marketing Council Chief Executive Officer. Over the past fifteen years, he has developed extensive expertise in agricultural food chains analysis and development, agricultural market development, smallholder market access, farmer training, and institutional development. He has worked to provide financial and institutional support to over 17 commercial agricultural industry organizations representing over 70 percent of South African primary agricultural production and 14 agricultural trusts with over $20 million in assets. He serves in numerous boards, including being non-executive chairman of OBP. Mr. Ramabulana has an MBA from UNISA SBL, South Africa.
Scott Cameron is the Chief of the USAID/Kenya and East Africa Of
fice of Regional Economic Integration, which is the largest regional program & technical services unit in USAID/Kenya and East Africa leading implementation of two regional Initiatives, Trade Africa and Feed the Future.
Prior to Kenya, Scott was in USAID/Kosovo where he spent three years as the Director of the Economic Growth Office. He was responsible for the development and management of the $130 million economic growth portfolio consisting of agriculture, business policy reform, development credit, basic, and higher education, energy, and natural resource management programming.
Yohannes Assefa serves as Director of Agriculture and Agribusiness for the East Africa Trade and Inves
tment Hub. Mr. Assefa is an international development professional specializing in structured trade, agriculture market development, and international trade policy. Mr. Assefa serves as the Director of Stalwart Management Consulting Ltd., where he leads the structured trade and agricultural markets advisory practice groups of the firm. Prior to his position there, Mr. Assefa also served as the Chief of Party of the USAID-funded World Trade Organization (WTO) Accession Plus Project in Ethiopia. Mr. Assefa served as an Adjunct Professor of Law in 2012 at the Addis Ababa University Faculty of Law and currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of International Business at The George Washington University. He holds a Juris Doctorate from Northeastern University School of Law.