Our team’s diverse background as analysts, advisors and project managers—for multiple public and private sector organizations—allows us to offer clients a broad range of experience and understanding of the complex issues involved in working in developing country contexts. Our commitment is to bring a commercial and customized approach to projects and problems in a way that responds to our clients’ needs.
Anita is an economist with 30 years of experience in international and US finance and private sector development. She is a Rural and Agricultural Finance expert and has led Connexus since its inception in 2007. Anita has overseen several USAID-funded projects, including Connexus’ work on USAID/Ghana FinGAP and USAID/Rwanda’s Private Sector Driven Agricultural Growth project and Huguka Dukore (Youth Development project). In Senegal, she led a team to conduct market research on small and medium enterprise (SME) finance. Previously, she managed the Financial Sector portfolio for Chemonics International, overseeing projects related to SME finance, insurance, leasing and investment funds, as well as regulation and supervision of microfinance institutions. As executive director, Anita transformed the MicroFinance Network into a leading policy institution by developing and promoting microfinance best practices. In Mali, she was the Associate Program Director for Peace Corps’ Small Enterprise Development program, supporting 60 volunteers who provided technical assistance to businesses and microfinance institutions. Anita has designed and led participatory trainings in English, Spanish and French.
Alby is a Project Associate at Connexus Corporation, contributing to logistical and administrative support for current and potential projects and consultants. Before joining Connexus, Alby worked for UCP Wheels for Humanity, where she was responsible for the organization’s fundraising activities. She also worked as their Administrative Assistant, where she fielded staff and assisted with home and field office logistics. Her interest in development stemmed from her service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso, where she served as an Early Childhood Education Specialist also taking on Agricultural Projects within her community. She received her Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies and Sociology from UCLA, and is currently working on a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Non-Profit Management from Cal State, Northridge. Alby is fluent in Spanish and has a working knowledge of French.
Alice Kalufyanya-Mwila is a Communications Specialist at Connexus, supporting the USAID/Zambia Accountable Governance for Improved Service Delivery (AGIS) project. Prior to joining Connexus, Alice served at a leading Zambian independent school, Chengelo, where she coordinated and implemented multiple marketing communications projects. She also worked as a Senior Consultant at the Zambian award-winning PR agency, Cutting Edge, catering to a complex client base that included the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, African Development Bank, United Nations Foundation, European Union Delegation to Zambia and COMESA, British Airways, Coca-Cola and the Duke of Edinburgh International Award for Young People. Alice holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Management from Edith Cowan University, a Certificate in Diplomacy, Protocol and Public Relations from the Zambia Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies, and a Certificate in Crisis Communications from Fleishman-Hillard. In 2015, she was recognized as Emerging Public Relations Practitioner of the Year by the Zambia Public Relations Association.
Mr. Augustin Sebakambwe supports the USAID/Rwanda Huguka Dukore Project as a Finance and Agribusiness Specialist. He has actively supported Rwanda smallholder farmers to access finance and markets as well as to build their business mindset and capacity for more than ten years. Prior to joining the Huguka Dukore project, Mr. Sebakambwe served as the Ngoma 22 Project Coordinator on SPIU RSSP-LWH projects funded by the World Bank and was an Assistant Lecturer from the Independent University of Lay Adventist of Kigali. Prior to the SPIU RSSP-LWH projects, Mr.Sebakambwe was the Agribusiness and Financial Services Specialist in Gasabo District and previously worked as a Loan and Rural Finance Officer for UNGUKA Bank Ltd. He has worked closely with the public sector, local and international organizations, private sector financial institutions, agro-dealers, traders and buyers. Augustin holds a Masters of Science in Agricultural Economics from Wageningen University in the Netherlands and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics Sciences from Kigali Independent University, Rwanda.
Bakary Sanyang is a finance and enterprise specialist with nearly a decade of experience in small and medium-scale enterprise financing and analysis. He currently serves as a Finance Specialist for Connexus on the USDA LIFFT Cashew Project in The Gambia, where he manages Connexus’ activities related to access to finance in the cashew value chain. He has wide knowledge of the financial sector in The Gambia and has built strong connections with a variety of actors in the field. Previously, Bakary was an Account Officer and Relationship Manager at Guaranty Trust Bank Gambia, where he provided financial advisory services and analysis, in addition to monitoring and evaluating project and portfolio implementation.
Barbara supports the USAID Private Sector Driven Agricultural Growth Project in Rwanda as the Investment Specialist. She has six years of experience in value chain development, investment analysis and agricultural market linkages. Previously Barbara worked with Kinazi Cassava Plant as the Director in Charge of Agribusiness where she linked cassava farmers to the factory. She also worked with Rural Sector support Project (SPIU RSSP/LWH) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources as the Rice Commodity Chain Specialist where she supported rice cooperatives and rice millers in investment analysis, capital budgeting, market linkages and linkages to financial support. Prior to pursuing her Masters degree she worked with Technoserve, East African Coffee initiative as a Business Advisor. Barbara holds a Masters degree in Agriculture Economics from University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore and Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Makerere University, Kampala.
Dominic has 10 years of experience in financial services, training, business planning, market research, product development, risk management and value chain finance. He currently serves as the Agri-Finance Training Technical Specialist for the USAID program, Financing Ghanaian Agricultural Project (FinGAP). Previously, he was the lead consultant for the development of a youth inclusive financial services product under the YouthSave program for HFC Bank/Boafo Microfinance Ltd. He also assisted in the design and development of three innovative financing products under the Agriculture Credit Program Consultant (ACPC) component of the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA). Dominic is a skilled trainer and has facilitated numerous trainings on financial performance indicators, loan portfolio management, financial statements analysis, sustainability and outreach and value chain finance. He holds a Master’s Degree in Financial Management from Middlesex University Business School in London, UK.
Falilou Kane is an international development and senior housing finance specialist. He has worked for more than 30 years in corporate banking and finance and has extensive experience in project management related to rural and agricultural market development and access to finance. Falilou currently serves as the Senior Finance Specialist for the USDA Linking Infrastructure, Finance and Farms to Cashew project. He has a deep understanding of the West and Central Africa banking industry and his skill-set combines consulting, international development, banking and finance in a domestic and international context.
Jacques currently serves as Finance Specialist for Connexus’ support to the USAID Private Sector Driven Agricultural Growth (PSDAG) project in Rwanda. He has seven years of experience working in rural finance, especially in the microfinance sector, and has extensive knowledge in credit and risk administration and management. He previously worked as a Branch Manager at a microfinance institution and as a consultant for Rwanda’s Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), providing technical assistance on a MINAGRI project to savings and credit cooperatives on agricultural lending and helping them to develop new products, manage their portfolio and develop credit and savings policies. He is also a Board Member of the Institute of Rural Development Research. Jacques holds a Master’s degree in Project Management from Azteca University and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics from the University of Rwanda. He is fluent in French, English and Kinyarwanda.
Laura is an economist by training with 20 years of experience providing technical assistance and support to small businesses. She has experience working on youth and extending financial services to them in Africa. Prior to serving as Connexus’s Operations Manager, Laura spent 10 years as an Economist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC, working on pesticide and agricultural issues. Most recently, she was President of Shenandoah Brewing Company, a small, family-owned and operated microbrewery in Alexandria, VA.
Medicke Ndiaye is a development and training specialist with over 20 years of experience working in finance and entrepreneurial training, with extensive experience in management and community-based organization related to rural and finance development. He serves as a Finance & Development Specialist for Connexus on the USDA LIFFT Cashew Project in Senegal. His work with domestic organizations and USAID has taken him across southern Senegal and given him a deep understanding of the needs of micro and small enterprises in the region.
Melissa is a Gender and Agricultural Finance Specialist with almost 10 years of working in agribusiness development and access to finance. A Project Manager, she oversees several projects for Connexus, including the USAID/Rwanda Huguka Dukore youth project, as well as the LIFFT-Cashew project among others. She has designed and delivered several trainings and technical assistance, including on “Agricultural Value Chain Finance” and “Developing Youth-appropriate Financial Services” for Rwandan financial institutions. She also designed a successful training for the USAID Financing Ghanaian Agriculture Project on “Gender and Financial Inclusion,” which led several financial institutions to adapt product to address gender concerns and expanded outreach to female agribusiness owners. Previously, for the SEEP Network, she conducted organizational assessments of microfinance associations and MFI’s use of client protection. She has a MSc with Distinction in Gender, Development and Globalisation from the London School of Economics and Politics, and a BA in Global Studies and Economics from North Central College in the US. Melissa is fluent in Spanish and has a basic knowledge of French.
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