AfDB appoints Atsuko TODA as acting Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development

AFRICA – The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has announced the appointment of Ms. Atsuko TODA as Acting Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, effective 16 March 2021.

She takes over the position from Wambui Gichuri who was also appointed on acting capacity from 5th July 2020.

The position was left vacant following the resignation of Dr Jennifer Blanke on purely family reasons, intending to rejoin her family in Switzerland after a very fulfilling time at the bank.

Atsuko, a Japanese citizen, is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience with international institutions.

Atsuko joined the Bank in December 2016 as Director of the Agriculture, Finance and Rural Infrastructure Development Department.

In her current function, she is responsible for the bank’s investments in private sector agribusiness companies, mainstreaming disaster risk finance, and development of Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) across the African Continent.

“I look forward to operationalizing the President’s vision of One Bank, working with the Regions, and accelerating delivery to our clients, the Regional Member Countries.”

Ms. Atsuko TODA

Atsuko brings to this new role extensive working experience in development finance and rural development accumulated both in Asia and Africa.

She held management positions in diverse cultural working environments and was able to build client-oriented, highly motivated, performance driven teams in autonomous offices and headquarters.

Commenting on the appointment, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group said, “I am very pleased to appoint Atsuko as Acting Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development.

“With her track record and extensive experience in Africa and Asia, I am confident that Atsuko will provide the leadership needed to drive and accelerate the implementation of our operations.”

Before joining the Bank, Atsuko worked at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), on rural development projects in Asia and Africa and between 2004 and 2012, she held several positions in different emerging countries of Asia including Vietnam, Laos, Nepal.

In 2012, Atsuko moved to Africa as the IFAD Country Director for the Nigeria country programme.

Having managed a portfolio of rural development and value chain projects, Atsuko has a personal commitment to innovation in projects and investments that reach people.

“The work of AHVP includes Feed Africa and Improving the Livelihoods of Africans, which interfaces with all parts of the Bank.

“I look forward to operationalizing the President’s vision of One Bank, working with the Regions, and accelerating delivery to our clients, the Regional Member Countries,” said Atsuko.

Atsuko holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the International Christian University, Japan; a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Doshisha University, Japan and a Diploma in Developmental Studies from Cambridge University, United Kingdom.

Some of the recent initiative undertaken by the regional bank to bolster the agriculture value chain include granting the Government of South Sudan to establish agricultural markets under the Agricultural Markets, Value Addition and Trade Development (AMVAT) project carried out in partnership with FAO.

Also, the institution has partnered with World Agroforestry – ICRAF, to undertake a climate resilient cocoa farming project in two Ivorian smallholder farmers’ communities located in Soubre and Vavoua, currently grappling with declining yields caused by climate change and worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Burundi, it has granted the country US$20.55 million to support farmers affected by climate change phenomenon.

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