Chief Executive, Agrolay
Ada Osakwe is the Chief Executive of Agrolay Ventures, an investment firm dedicated to growing the agricultural and food sector in Africa. Agrolay Ventures is an investor in early-stage agribusiness and food-related businesses including The Nuli Juice Company (www.nulijuice.com), Agroblend Foods (www.agroblends.com), Nature’s Bounty (www.reelfruit.com) and Africa Courier Express (www.ace.ng).
From November 2012 to May 2015, Osakwe served as the Senior Investment Adviser to Akinwumi Adesina, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. In this role, she was responsible for advising the Minister on all agriculture investment-related activities involving private sector investors, and led investment policy and financing initiatives as the Ministry initiated a “Government-enabled, private sector-driven” Agricultural Transformation Agenda. Amongst various initiatives, Osakwe led the development and launch of the US $100 million Fund for Agricultural Financing in Nigeria (FAFIN), an innovative private equity fund dedicated to investing in small and medium agribusiness companies in Nigeria.
Prior to her role at the Ministry, Osakwe was a Vice-President at Kuramo Capital Management, a New York-based private equity firm that manages the US $110 million Kuramo Africa Opportunity Fund, a multi-asset class investment vehicle that invests in high-growth opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Here she led the firm’s investments in Private Equity opportunities, closing two investments in Eastern and Southern Africa. She was a member of the Fund Investment Committee. Osakwe also worked briefly with Actis, a multi-billion dollar Private Equity fund focused on emerging markets investing.
For four years, Osakwe was a Senior Investment Officer at the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), based in Tunisia, where she led multi-disciplinary teams through the evaluation of debt financing and equity investments worth over US $1 billion across the energy and transport sectors in Africa. Prior to this role, she was a Portfolio Manager and Investment Officer in the AfDB Treasury team and a pioneering member of the group that led AfDB’s drive to develop local debt capital markets in Africa. Before the AfDB, Osakwe was an Analyst in the Debt Capital Markets team of BNP Paribas investment bank, London.