This was the first of the webinar series which runs every last Wednesday of the month until 2024. It is also the first of three sessions focused on ‘Stronger, Greener and Fairer Recovery’ and it concentrates on the investment response.

The panel focused on challenging some of the more persistent narratives around investment and agri-finance and global development, exploring how we can build more effective support for these, post-pandemic. The session featured two recent CASA reports:

Date and time 

The panel discussion took place on Wednesday 28 October 2020 – 12:00-13:00 GMT. The panel discussion lasted 60 minutes, each of the panellists had 8-10 minutes to present their perspective. 


Speaker Comment 
Welcome by Nick Ishmael-Perkins CASA Introduction to CASA and the Agribusiness Breakthrough Webinar Series 
Michael Shaw  Wellspring Presentation of key findings and recommendations from “The development impact of concessional finance to agri-business: a rapid evidence review” 
Prof Thomas Jayne  Michigan State University Presentation of key findings and recommendations from “Bridging demand and supply of private investment capital for small and medium agribusinesses” 
Dr Ousmane Badiane  Malabo Montpellier Panel Presentation of perspective on regional vision for an enabling environment in Africa 
Nick Ishmael-Perkins  CASA Questions from the audience 
Wrap-up of key takeaways 

Speaker Biographies 

Michael Shaw (Panellist) 

Michael is the lead researcher of ‘The development impact of concessional finance to agri-business: a rapid evidence review’. 

Michael leads a 20-person team of staff, consultants and associates who work alongside private, public and third-sector development and impact investment partners to provide project development services, programme design, strategic advice, management consulting, management training and investment advisory. 

Since 2009 Michael has led Wellspring in carrying out more than 65 projects with a range of clients in the agricultural sector. These include DFID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UN, Gatsby Africa, Wood Family Trust, AgDevCo, CDC Group, Innovate UK, Acumen Fund, AGRA, DAI, ACDI/VOCA, Food Trade East and Southern Africa (FTESA), Msingi Fund and a range of private sector companies and philanthropic organisations investing and supporting agricultural markets. During this time he has lived in Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania and the UK. 

Previously, Michael has been executive director of AgDevCo, a social impact investor and project developer working in the African agriculture sector, supporting small and medium-sized enterprises involved in farming, agri-processing and logistics, with the aim of creating jobs and income-earning opportunities for African farmers. 

He has also been Interim CEO of CIELivestock, working with 12 of the UK’s leading livestock research institutions and a large network of industry partners spanning the UK food supply chain. During Michael’s tenure, the partnership, together with the UK government’s innovation agency Innovate UK, invested close to £70 million in facilities and equipment to improve the UK’s capacity for livestock-related research. 

Prof Thomas Jayne (Panellist) 

Thom is the lead researcher of ‘Bridging demand and supply of private investment capital for small and medium agribusinesses’. 

Thom Jayne is University foundation professor of agricultural, food, and resource economics at Michigan State University. He is a Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and a distinguished fellow of the African Association of Agricultural Economists. 

His works span numerous topics, including food marketing and price policies, changes in land use patterns, sustainable intensification, employment, and rural transformation. He has mentored dozens of young African professionals and played a major role in building MSU’s partnerships with African agricultural policy research institutes. 

Thom is adjunct professor at the Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute in Lusaka, Zambia, a board member of the Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes in Eastern and Southern Africa, and was a founding co-director of the Alliance for African Partnership at Michigan State University. 

In 2017, he became the flagship co-Leader of the CGIAR Policies, institutions and markets research program on economy-wide factors affecting agricultural growth and rural transformation. In 2019, Jayne is seconded to the African Development Bank, serving as special advisor to the president. 

Over the past decade, he has received six research excellence awards, including the 2009 Outstanding Article Award in Agricultural Economics and the 2017 AAEA Bruce Gardner Memorial Prize for Applied Policy Analysis. 

Dr Ousmane Badiane (Panellist) 

Dr Ousmane Badiane, distinguished fellow of the African Association of Agricultural Economists, recipient of the Africa Food Prize in 2015 and member of the World Academy of Sciences, is the founder and executive chairperson of AKADEMIYA2063. He is a panel member of the Malabo Montpellier Panel, a sister programme of CASA which aims to guide policy choices that accelerate progress towards food security and improved nutrition in Africa. 

Dr Badiane has over 30 years of experience, as academic and a practitioner, in international development. As the director for Africa at the International Food Policy Research Institute, he was instrumental in developing and guiding the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme. 

As lead specialist for food and agricultural policy at the World Bank, he served as advisor to the vice president for Africa and originated projects with funding ranging from US$5 million to US$150 million. Between research and development finance, Dr Badiane taught economics of development in Africa at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies for many years. 

Dr Badiane received PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Kiel in Germany. He is also recipient of a doctorate honoris causa from the University of KwaZulu Natal. 

Nick Ishmael-Perkins (Moderator) 

Nick is a journalist with over 20 years of experience in media development and community mobilization across the global South working in French and English. He has delivered award winning results on dozens of projects, managing media networks and leading multi-country, multi-stakeholder teams. In the last ten years his work has been focused on senior management level communication in multinational institutions working at the interface of global development and research. 

Nick works as CASA’s communication and learning lead. He is also CABI’s lead technical advisor for development communication and extension – the role supports strategy, learning and capacity development for research uptake amongst stakeholders in farming communities, line ministries and CABI member states. 

View the video and the main takeaways from this session.

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