A renowned African business leader from Kenya, Karuku was selected after an extensive international search process. She joins AGRA from Telkom Kenya a subsidiary of France Telecom-Orange where she was deputy chief executive. Karuku takes over from Dr Namanga Ngongi who is retiring after five years as the first president of AGRA.
“Hundreds of thousands of poor rural households in Africa have already benefited from AGRA’s work and under Ms Karuku’s leadership we can look forward to continued success in moving African farmers along a path to prosperity and ensuring food security,” said Annan.
Karuku’s career has spanned over 20 years, most of which has been spent in the agricultural sector. She has held several senior positions including managing director of Cadbury Limited where she was responsibile for 14 countries in the East and Central African region.
“Smallholder farming is a way of life in Africa, full of challenges and equally full of huge opportunities,” said Karuku. “I am very excited and feel privileged to be part of the journey to transform the lives of millions of smallholder farmers, and look forward to when we can look back and celebrate this transformation as a ‘gift’ to the people of Africa and its future generations.”
Annan also acknowledged the work done by Ngongi in establishing AGRA as a leading African agricultural organisation.
“I would like to thank Dr Namanga Ngongi for his role in building AGRA into a widely recognised and effective organisation,” said Annan. “Under his leadership, AGRA has made significant achievements and is already firmly on track to achieve its mission of catalysing the achievement of a green revolution in Africa.”
Since its formation in 2007, AGRA has been working to enhance the economic empowerment of African smallholder farmers and improving food security and has contributed towards efforts to address critical challenges affecting agriculture in Africa.