To get an overview of the panelists as a PDF file, please use the following links:
Dr Akinwumi Adesina
President of the African Development Bank
Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina is the President of the African Development Bank Group. He is a distinguished development economist and agricultural development expert with 25 years of international experience. From 2011 to 2015 he served as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. Previously, he worked, among others, as the Vice President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and as Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York. He has received a number of global awards for his leadership and work in agriculture and was named Person of the Year by Forbes Africa magazine in 2013. Adesina holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University (USA).
© Federal Government / Kugler
Head of the Federal Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Tasks
Peter Altmaier is the Head of the Federal Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Tasks since December 2013. From 2012 to 2013 he served as Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. Mr Altmaier acted as President of the Europa-Union Germany from 2005-2011. He worked as a civil servant at the European Commission from 1990 to 1994 and was Secretary-General of the Administrative Commission of the European Communities on Social Security for Migrant Workers from 1993 to 1994. Mr Altmaier is a fully trained lawyer and has been a Member of the German Bundestag since 1994.
President of Welthungerhilfe
Bärbel Dieckmann, president of Welthungerhilfe, was Mayor of Bonn from 1994 to 2009. From 2003 to 2009 she was a member of the executive board of the SPD and from 1999 to 2009, a member of the party executive. Her political work has focused on environmental and development policy as well as youth, family welfare and education policy. She was chairperson of the World Mayors‘ Council on Climate Change and executive president of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, among others. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Development and Peace Foundation and the German Sustainability Award Foundation. She is a member of the advisory board of the Arnold-Bergstraesser-Institute and of DGVN’s presidium.
Tony O. Elumelu
Entrepreneur and Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation
Tony O. Elumelu CON, is an economist, investor, and philanthropist. His investments across Africa are influenced by his philosophy of Africapitalism: the belief that the private sector can lead Africa’s economic renaissance and that investment should create both economic prosperity and social wealth. Mr Elumelu sits on several global public and social sector boards. He is the Chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), with presence in 19 African countries,and the Chairman of Heirs Holdings which is an pan-African proprietary investment company with investments in financial services, power, oil&gas, real estate, healthcare and hospitality. He is also the Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, which has seeded $100 million through the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme, to champion entrepreneurship across Africa over the next 10 years.
Dr Shenggen Fan
Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Shenggen Fan has been director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) since 2009. He is one of the Champions of Target 12.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. He is a member of the Lead Group for the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement appointed by Ban Ki Moon. He advises many national governments on agriculture, food security and nutrition. In 2014, Shenggen Fan received the Hunger Hero Award from the World Food Programme in recognition of his commitment to and leadership in fighting hunger. He received a PhD in applied economics from the University of Minnesota and bachelor’s & master’s degrees from Nanjing Agricultural University in China.
Dr. Louise Fox
Chief Economist of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Dr. Louise Fox is Chief Economist at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Before joining USAID, Dr. Fox served as a Visiting Professor of Development Economic Policy at UC Berkeley, and as a consultant in development economics, specializing in employment. Dr. Fox also had a distinguished career at the World Bank where she advised governments in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe. Her most recent book is Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa, published by the World Bank in 2014. Dr. Fox received a bachelor’s degree in international relations and affairs from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. in economics from Vanderbilt University.
Gilbert F. Houngbo
President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
Gilbert F. Houngbo became the sixth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on 1 April 2017. Prior to his appointment, Houngbo was the Deputy Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO). From 2008 to 2012, he served as Prime Minister of the Republic of Togo. He undertook a number of roles at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) including Chief of Staff, Assistant Secretary-General and Africa Regional Director. Prior to this, he spent a decade working in the private sector. Houngbo has an MBA from the University of Lomé, Togo, and a post-graduate degree in Specialised Accounting from the University of Québec, Canada.
Dr. Mo Ibrahim
Entrepreneur and Founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation
Dr Ibrahim is the Founder and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation which he established in 2006 to support good governance and exceptional leadership on the African continent. Sudanese-born, Dr Ibrahim has a distinguished business career. In 1989 he founded Mobile Systems International (MSI), a world leading cellular consulting and software provider and in 1998, Celtel International, one of Africa’s leading mobile telephone companies which pioneered mobile services in Africa. Dr Ibrahim is also Founding Chairman of Satya Capital Limited, a private equity fund focused on Africa and Chairman of TPG-Satya, a Joint African Investment Alliance.
Dr Agnes M. Kalibata
President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
Dr. Kalibata has been President of AGRA since 2014. She is a former Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda and is widely considered to be one of the most successful Agriculture Ministers in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Kalibata also worked for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Uganda, and various other agricultural development organizations. She serves on various boards including the International Fertilizer Development Corporation, Bioversity International, Africa Risk Capacity, the Malabo-Montpellier Panel, and the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum. She holds a doctorate in Entomology from the University of Massachusetts.
Prof Xiaoyun Li
Dean of the College of Humanities and Development Studies, at China Agricultural University in Beijing
Prof Li Xiaoyun is founding Dean of the College of Humanities and Development Studies at China Agricultural University, and Director of OECD/China-DAC Study Group. He holds a PhD in agricultural sciences from Beijing Agricultural University and a PhD in development sociology in the Netherlands. His work covers development intervention, gender and development, poverty reduction, climate change, international development aid, China’s foreign aid, Africa’s agricultural development. He received many awards, like China Poverty Reduction Award, China’s philanthropic Thinker 2015, and China’s Social Responsible Award 2016.
Dr Friedrich Kitschelt
State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
Dr Friedrich Kitschelt was appointed State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in January 2014. Before he held various senior Management positions within the BMZ. He also served in the German Diplomatic Service for a number of years and worked at the Federal Chancellery. He is also Chairman of the Board of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GiZ) and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the German Institute for Development Studies (DIE) and member of the Board of Trustees of the International Foundation for Development and Peace. He studied sociology, law and national economics and holds a PhD from the University of Bielefeld.
Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki
CEO of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)
Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki from the Republic of Niger is the CEO of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordinating Agency. From 1997 to 2000, he was Prime Minister of Niger. In August 2000, he founded the Public Policy Analysis Circle, a thinktank focusing on health and education policy. Dr Mayaki serves on the High Level Panel on the Future of the Development Assistance Committee, as a member of the Lead Group of the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement and as an Independent Team Advisor on the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Dialogue on the longer-term positioning of the UN development system in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
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Dr Gerd Müller
Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development
Dr Gerd Müller was a member of the European Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary of the CDU/CSU group there from 1989 to 1994. He has been a Member of the German Parliament (Bundestag) since 1994. From 2005 to 2013, Dr Müller was Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, during which time he was responsible among other things for international relations, development projects and world food issues. On 17 December 2013, he was appointed Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development. Gerd Müller was born in Krumbach in the German region of Swabia in 1955. He is married and has two children, and has a master's degree in Business Education.
Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development
Thomas Silberhorn was appointed Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development in February 2014. Prior to this, he was Deputy Chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Parliament (Bundestag). The focus of his work is on core development issues for the future: human rights, good governance, education, health, poverty reduction, water supply and sanitation, energy and resources. He also concerns himself with globalisation and trade issues and the new agenda for United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Thomas Silberhorn has been a Member of the German Bundestag since 2002, representing the constituency of Bamberg-Forchheim.
Prof Klaus Töpfer
Former Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Klaus Töpfer was founding Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) based in Potsdam. He is the former Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Klaus Töpfer is a member of the CDU party in Germany. He was Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety from 1987 to 1994 and Federal Minister for Regional Planning, Housing and Urban Development from 1994 –1998. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Federal Cross of Merit and the German Sustainability Award for his lifetime achievement in the field of sustainability. In 2012 he has been inducted in the ‘Kyoto Earth Hall of Fame’.
Prof Dr Joachim von Braun
Director of the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn
Joachim von Braun is since 2009 Professor for Economic and Technological Change and a Director of the Center for Development Research at the University of Bonn. He previously served for seven years as Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington, DC. von Braun is Chair of the Bio economy Council of the Federal German Government. He is member of the national academy for engineering, the African Academy of Science, the Vatican Academy. His research focuses on poverty, food and nutrition, employment, trade, sustainability.
Dr Till Wahnbaeck
CEO of Welthungerhilfe
Till Wahnbaeck, who holds a Doctorate in history, is the Chief Executive Officer at Welthungerhilfe. Until 2015, he was Managing Director of the publishing company ‘Graefe und Unzer’. Furthermore, Till Wahnbaeck is a member of the supervisory board of the ‘Aid by Trade’ Foundation and member of the ‘Board of Trustees’ of the ‘Start Network’.
Member of the German Parliament and Chairwoman of the Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development
Since 2009, Dagmar G. Wöhrl is Chairwoman of the Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development. From 2005 to 2009 she was Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Economics and Technology and from 2002 to 2005 Spokesperson for Economic Policy of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group. Dagmar G. Wöhrl is Chairwoman of the Expert Committee on Development Politics of the CSU Working Group on Foreign and Security Affairs, Member of the Board of Trustees at the consortium Aktion Deutschland Hilft and at the TUI Care Foundation, Member of the German Committee for UNICEF, and with her own foundation, the Emanuel Wöhrl Foundation, she helps children in developing countries.
Prof Muhammad Yunus
Founder of the Grameen Bank and Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 2006
Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus is the father of both social business and microcredit, the founder of Grameen Bank, and of more than 50 other companies in Bangladesh. He created a banking system to lend money to the poorest, especially women, without collateral. This system became known as microcredit and spread all over the world. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work for helping poor to get out of poverty in a sustainable way. For his constant innovation and enterprise, the Fortune Magazine named Professor Yunus in March 2012 as “one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time.