Full Name
Ms Vanessa Adams
Job Title
CEO and Founder, Level 4 International
Level4 International
Speaker Bio
Vanessa Adams, Vice President Strategic Partnerships at AGRA, and Chief of Party of the Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Innovation in Africa (PIATA) is a proven leader with strong private sector, investment facilitation and project management experience. PIATA is a 5-year $500M USD strategic partnership to improve the livelihoods of 30 million smallholder African farmers and agricultural actors in 11 priority countries including: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. AGRA is driving an inclusive agricultural transformation across value chains to leverage agricultural investments and building sustainable systems that will transition agriculture from subsistence to highly productive inclusive agriculture, increasing incomes of nearly 8 million smallholder households.

Vanessa Adams has over 25 years of professional experience, including with Fortune 500 companies.in the US. She has 18 years’ experience working in 28 African countries with governments, businesses and farmer cooperatives to increase productivity, meet buyer specifications, access finance, and compete in international markets. She partners with governments, donors and businesses to develop and implement strategies which increase productivity and international trade, expand investments, improve business environments, access financial services as well as reduce constraints to economic growth.

Previously, Vanessa led $70+ million USD projects with multi-cultural teams, facilitated over $300 million in exports from Africa, and catalyzed over $70 million in investments as well as over $140 million in credit. She contributed to the foundation of three pan-African NGOs including the African Cashew Alliance, Borderless Alliance, and Global Shea Alliance, as well as initiating the Women in Agribusiness Leadership Network in Ethiopia.

Ms. Adams has worked in 42 countries, integrating over twelve agricultural and consumer goods value chains into regional and global markets. She is fluent in English, French and speaks conversational German and Bambara. Vanessa holds an executive MBA from INSEAD.