News and Events

Next Agricultural Value Chain Finance Training in Addis Ababa

August 31st, 2017  

Connexus will be conducting its well-respected Agricultural Value Chain Finance Training in Addis Ababa on October 12-13, 2017 at the Sheraton Addis Hotel as part of the African Microfinance Week.* Don’t miss out on this opportunity to gain qualified training from Connexus’ experts, led by President & CEO Anita Campion. Learn about developing commercially attractive financial services that meet the needs of the various actors in the value chain and how a value chain focus can result in market growth and reduced credit risk. Professionals involved in agricultural finance, financial institutions, development organizations, donor agencies and governmental agencies are encouraged to attend.

Learn more about the Agricultural Value Chain Finance Training here.

*In order to take part in the training, participants must also be registered for the African Microfinance Week event.

Cracking the Nut 2017 Publication

August 30th, 2017  

The Cracking the Nut 2017 publication is now available for the public! The conference sought to address many of the issues we face to reinforce food systems to meet the growing demand of urban centers around the world. We are encouraged and inspired by the work and innovations that were on display, and the discussions they generated during the two-day event. The Cracking the Nut team has been hard at work compiling and reviewing the most important takeaways from the conference.

The publication is a conglomeration of the main lessons learned from the conference and emphasizes specific cases of innovative methodologies and implementation practices that were presented. The goal of the publication is for it to be used as both a reference for lessons learned and as a catalyst for future discussions and ideas on this essential topic.

We would like to thank all of the speakers and reviewers who helped refine the publication’s lessons and assisted in its completion.

Go to the Cracking the Nut website to learn more about Cracking the Nut and to see previous years’ conference publications and information.

Scaling and Innovation in Agriculture Webinar

February 20th, 2017  
On February 17, Connexus’ CEO and President Anita Campion took part in a webinar on Scaling and Innovation in Agriculture, hosted by the Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA). The webinar also featured COSA’s president, Daniele Giovannucci and Dr. Tom Reardon, Michigan State University Distinguished Faculty and AAEA Fellow, and one of the world’s foremost thought leaders on agrifood economic development, as well as  the upcoming  Cracking the Nut: Reinforcing Food Systems to Meet Urban Demand conference’s keynote speaker.

As a preview to the issues that will be discussed at Cracking the Nut 2017, the webinar covered a variety of topics, including how to best prepare farmers for increasingly complex requirements within supply chains, the role of finance and business, and how inclusive supply chains can help create stronger linkages and opportunities for businesses and smallholder farmers.

In discussing access to finance, Anita Campion asserted that, “What we have seen consistently is the lack of access to finance continues to be one of the most significant barriers to rural and agricultural development and so ultimately it is an important factor for food security.” She discussed the different creative approaches that have been used in agricultural finance and value chain finance to address the remaining obstacles.

Cracking the Nut is a learning event that has looked at agricultural development through different lens. Initially, the conference focused on looked at financing rural agriculture, but over the years, it has zoomed in on different issues, such as food security, climate change, and this year it will focus on urban demand, and rural-to-urban linkages.

If you missed this very interesting and timely webinar, you can listen to it here. To learn more about this subject, and here about a variety of innovations to improve the sustainability of urban markets and strengthen rural-to-urban links, register today for the Cracking the Nut 2017 conference.


Connexus President and CEO Anita Campion Discusses Food Security and Value Chain Financing in Nigeria

February 20th, 2017  

In October 2016, Connexus President and CEO Anita Campion was a guest on the Nigerian talk show Magnus Kpakol global views Africa (gvA), which discusses Africa’s economic struggles and focuses on the continent’s continuing story of economic development in the context of a global political economy. Ms. Campion spoke with the show’s host, Dr. Magnus Kpakol, about a variety of topics including food security in Africa, value chain financing, the role of microfinance and agriculture in Nigeria.

See below for the video of the interview.



President & CEO Anita Campion Delivers Speech at Central Bank of Nigeria

November 1st, 2016  

In October, President & CEO Anita Campion delivered a speech during the Refined Economic Development (RED) Quarterly Lecture on “The Role of Monetary Policy in Job Creation” in Abuja, Nigeria. The quarterly lecture series are hosted and organized by Economic and Business Strategies (EBS), whose goal is to promote and develop competent and productive initiatives in the area of small enterprises in Nigeria. Ms. Campion spoke about a variety of issues, addressing the current state of the Nigerian job market and economy and the opportunities that agriculture and agribusinesses can provide to Nigerian job seekers.

Agriculture has ample room for growth in Nigeria, especially if supported by good business advisory services. She emphasized the importance of private and public dialogue and partnership when discussing how to create a stable and enabling environment for sustainable jobs, and cited the Central Bank’s 2013 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund as an example of how the government can support the growth of agricultural value chains in Nigeria.

Ms. Campion noted Connexus’ recent work in Ghana providing tripartite financing models to help farmers, processors, and banks create stable lines of credit and secure food supplies to promote growth and reduce risk at all levels of the agricultural value chain. Climate-smart agriculture is an integral part of sustainable growth and provides many investment opportunities, especially when linked to improving technology and innovation. Check out her full speech and the rest of the RED lectures below!

Watch the full RED Lecture below or click here!

Or watch the video segment of Ms. Campion’s speech below:


Cracking the Nut Health Concludes

July 20th, 2016  

Our first Cracking the Nut Health conference on July 18-19, 2016 brought together almost 200 participants from 25 countries to discuss “The Role of Communities in Building Resilient Health Systems.” Participants engaged in a lively and participatory atmosphere on topics including mHealth innovations, the role of frontline health workers, engaging with the private sector, data access and ownership, and many more thought-provoking quandaries in this fast changing world.

From the conference evaluation, several participants indicated that they planned to take many of the best practices presented and apply them to their ongoing work. While the conference provided many insights, as highlighted by Rebecca Kohler of IntraHealth International in this blog post, the discussion will continue beyond the two days in July.