Dr. Kanayo Nwanze

Dr. Kanayo Nwanze

Chairman & Chief Executive

About the Chairman & Chief Executive of the Foundation

Dr. Kanayo Felix Nwanze is the Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive of FAYODE. Other Board of Directors are Mr Ayokunle Akinboyede and Ambassador Azuka Uzoka-Emejulu.

Dr Nwanze obtained a BSc in Agricultural Biology from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a Doctorate in Agricultural Entomology from Kansas State University, USA.

Dr Nwanze has over 40 years of professional experience; worked and lived in several countries across three continents in agricultural research for development, rural development and development financing. He served for 10 years (1997-2006) as Director-General at the Africa Rice Centre of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)  and was instrumental in introducing and promoting New Rice for Africa, or NERICA, a high-yield, drought- and pest-resistant variety developed specifically for the African landscape.

He was President (2009-2017) of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations which is dedicated to investing in rural people. He is currently the FAO Special Goodwill Ambassador on Zero Hunger for the Africa Region and sits on the Boards of AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa) and the CGIAR System Management Board.

He was Chairman and member of the Global Agenda Council on Food Security of the World Economic Forum and has served on various executive boards. A member of several scientific associations, Dr Nwanze has published extensively and is author of “A Bucket of Water – Reflections on Sustainable Rural Development”. He is a recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from McGill University, Canada, and the University of Warwick, United Kingdom.

Dr Nwanze is laurate of the inaugural 2016 Africa Food Prize and has received several distinguished honours and awards from governments and international institutions.