Ben started out his software career by helping to bring a software-as-a-service product to market, while building bespoke software for multiple large businesses and small start ups, gaining him years of valuable experience in the whole product development lifecycle. He’s always had a passion for technology, stemming from his start in technical theatre at the age of 12. His first software project was an app to manage technical theatre equipment and performance schedules at his school, which is still in use today. An avid traveller, you can often find Ben exploring the streets of Europe.
Head of Customer Success
Bruce Kisitu is a project manager and development specialist with over 14 years experience as a consultant to a range of public- and private-sector organizations across sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2014, he has offered business development services through the Gutsinda Development Group, which managed the rollout of a village enterprise advisor model using mobile technology to deliver agricultural information on best practices. Previously, Bruce worked in various roles as a consultant, facilitator and trainer for the Uganda Management Institute, the East African Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities, the USAID Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation Cocoalink Plus Project, the Grameen Foundation and for the International Fertilizer Development Centre. Bruce earned his PhD in Public Governance and Management at North-West University, South Africa.
Head of Business Development – East Africa
Charles Kariuki is a Business Growth Specialist, his business acumen has been shaped and sharpened over the past 18 years in diverse, sales, marketing, business development and operational roles, both as an intrapreneur and entrepreneur in B2G, B2B and B2C markets across the region for start-ups, early stage, fast growing & mature organisations.
Prior to joining iSDA, he served in various capacities across different INGOs (Bountifield) & Social Enterprises (Village Industrial Power, SunnyMoney Global & The African Management Institute) addressing needs in the communities such as Post Harvest Loss Management, Energy Access- Renewable Energy & Capacity Building.
He has also been a Commercial farmer at some point and through that experience he got to learn of the numerous challenges Small Holder Farmers (SHFs) face in Sub Saharan Africa and the need to have them solved one step at a time. He therefore hopes in the lifetime of his career to impact the lives of millions of SHFs across Africa and raise their standards of living, taking their farming beyond subsistence.
He holds a BSc. Information Systems & Technology (USIU-Africa).
A programmer, entrepreneur and lapsed mathematician who is passionate about building technology teams and using software to make things people want. Before joining iSDA he led a software consultancy focused on helping startups launch their first products, created a software-as-a-service product and took it to market. He also consulted with a wide range of organisations as a “virtual CTO”, managed IT and digital marketing for an international NGO, and founded an e-commerce business. Jamie read the Mathematical Tripos at the University of Cambridge.
Following an early career in agritech R&D in Europe and Africa, Jonathan focussed increasingly on agribusiness development first in India, then Mexico and most recently in Africa. Jonathan is passionate about harnessing science, entrepreneurship and venture capital in the service of smallholders across the Global South. Jonathan earned an Executive MBA from the London Business School, a PhD in Plant Biotechnology from the John Innes Centre, and a BSc in Agricultural Botany from the University of Reading.
Julius Kwesiga is an agronomist with over 10 years of successful experience in smallholder farming systems. Julius has explicit scientific and practical knowledge of annual and perennial crops agronomy. He is passionate about sustainable agriculture. Julius is a recipient of 2009 young achievers award of vocational skills in Agriculture. Before joining iSDA, he worked as the Client Development Officer with the Consortium for enhancing University Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development (CURAD), and as the Extension Specialist with Grameen foundation. Julius holds a BSc in Agriculture, and MSc in Crop science both from Makerere University and earned his PhD in Agricultural sciences from the University Bonn.
Keith has over 40 years’ experience in agricultural research and development, including 31 years with World Agroforestry (ICRAF) based in Nairobi, where he led research in sustainable land and soil management. He has pioneered global developments in soil-plant spectroscopy and in 2021 was awarded the Deep Dive Groundbreaker prize of Foodshot 1 – Innovating Soil 3.
Prior to joining ICRAF, Keith developed agronomic recommendations for Southern Darfur in the Sudan as part of an integrated rural development project; dryland cropping systems in rice-based systems at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines; agronomic recommendations for Mediterranean areas at the International Centre for Research in the Dry Areas in Syria; and tillage systems for the drylands of Swaziland under the national agricultural system. Keith holds a BSc in Soil Science and PhD in Agricultural Botany from the University of Reading, UK and holds an Honorary Scientist position at Rothamsted Research in the UK.
Lead Data Scientist
Matt launched his career conducting academic research on methods for improving crop photosynthesis in response to environmental changes. After moving to the private sector, he began working as a data scientist and software developer for an agri-tech startup, where he helped build a digital platform to remedy challenges in the UK agri-food industry. His professional interests currently centre on using science and software engineering to improve livelihoods. A keen traveller, Matt has been on two long-term trips, most recently exploring the wilds of Central Asia and hiking to Mount Everest base camp. Matt holds a PhD degree in Plant Sciences from the University of Manchester.
Head of Operations
Monica is a highly experienced, client-focused programme and operations manager. After 18 years working in the built environment, she brings a wealth of knowledge related to placing products with clients and providing a training environment to ensure end-users are familiar with all operational requirements. This has included start-ups throughout China and Hong Kong. She manages the day-to-day operations activities of iSDA and co-ordinating partners in several countries. She has a strong track record in the multi-phased implementation of software and enterprise tools through the entire project life cycle.
Patrick Bwibo Wanyama
Patrick’s six years of experience as a field technician includes work for Agrocares on mobile and wet chemistry testing, as well as support for farmers in collecting soil samples and interpreting recommendations. In his current role at iSDA, Patrick is responsible for training VEAs, field officers and farmers on the use of handheld soil scanners and other mobile data collection tools.
Head of Business Development – South Africa
Paul has over 20 years of agribusiness experience, working with agrochemical manufacturers in Southern Africa, East Africa, and Europe. He brings an entrepreneurial business perspective to sustainable development. He has a passion for providing small holder farmers access to world class inputs and agronomy tools. Paul holds a BSc (Hons) in Botany from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, plus AVCASA.
With a background in marketing, media and intellectual property management, Peter transitioned from the private sector to consult on market development for CAS-IP, the CGIAR system office responsible for IP. In this capacity he advised member organizations on projects ranging from cacao conservation in Ecuador to establishing a seed alliance in West Africa. He then consulted for IFDC on projects across a dozen African countries, focusing on branding, media and agridealer development. Peter brings a wide range of skills and experience to iSDA, where his focus is on developing and testing solutions to last-mile delivery in the small farm sector.
Finance and Due Diligence Advisor
Robert has a wealth of experience in the agribusiness, energy and financial services sectors in Canada and across a number of African nations. He has provided consulting services to international development programs funded by the USAID, UK AID, GIZ, the World Bank, SIDA and the Rockefeller Foundation. His work has included investment facilitation for SMEs, structured trade of staple foods and inclusive business models in the agriculture sector in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique. At the Bank of Canada, he was part of the team responsible for the Annual Debt Strategy and a C$35 billion treasury bill and bond debt portfolio. A Certified Public Accountant, Robert holds an MBA from Canada’s McGill University.