Mr Mohamed Béavogui, Director-General and United Nations Assistant Secretary General (ASG)

Mr Mohamed Béavogui, an expert in Agricultural Finance, was elected as the first African General Manager of the African Risk Capacity in January 2015 during the 3rd annual Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In September 2015, he took over from interim Director-General, Dr. Richard Wilcox.

Mr Béavogui has over 25 years of international experience in development, and previous to his appointment with ARC was the Director of Partnerships and Resource Mobilization and Senior Advisor to the President of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

He joined IFAD in 2001 as Director of Programs for West and Central Africa and was responsible for delivering the lending and grant program, and managing a large portfolio of projects.

Prior to joining IFAD, he worked for 7 years with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in New York as a Senior Project Management Officer and subsequently as Regional Director for West and Central Africa. Earlier, he worked at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Burundi as Chief Technical Adviser and in Rome. Before this, Mr Béavogui worked in the African Regional Centre for Engineering Design and Manufacturing (ARCEDEM) in Nigeria, and for the Government of Guinea.

He is a member of several panels working on regional and global issues related to food security and rural development, and the recipient of several honours and awards.

Mr Béavogui holds a Master’s degree in Engineering from Saint Petersburg Polytechnic, a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from G.A Nasser University, and undertook Executive Management Training at Harvard Kennedy School.

Dr Joanna Syroka, Director of Research and Development image002

Dr Joanna Syroka has been with ARC since inception and oversaw the overall work programme during the ARC design phase. She is currently the ARC Secretariat’s Director of Research & Development and leads the research and development work for the ARC Agency, including the development of new insurance products, further development of Africa RiskView for drought and the design and deployment of new initiatives, such as the Extreme Climate Facility.

In 2004, Joanna began working with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), and in 2006 played a leading role in pioneering WFP’s humanitarian weather derivative project for Ethiopia.

Joanna also worked as a consultant with the World Bank’s Commodity Risk Management Group where she led the efforts to develop tailored weather and commodity risk management products for agricultural applications in Africa, Asia, and Central and Latin America. Most notably, her work in India with Mumbai-based insurance company ICICI Lombard and Hyderabad-based micro-finance institution BASIX led to pioneering transactions that laid the foundation for one of the fastest growing weather risk markets in the world. In Malawi, she worked with the World Bank Treasury to expand its product line to include sovereign-level weather derivative products for client countries.

Prior to her work with the World Bank and WFP, Joanna worked as a derivatives analyst for Centrica Plc, one of the UK’s largest utility companies, where she was responsible for developing quantitative weather and gas risk management strategies for Centrica’s trading and hedging operations.

A UK national, Joanna holds a degree in Physics and PhD in Atmospheric Physics from Imperial College in London.

Mr Robert Kwame deGraft Agyarko, Lead Advisor, Outbreaks & Epidemics (O&E)Robert-Agyarko-03-Rikki-Hibbert-Photography

Mr Robert Agyarko joined ARC in 2016 from the World Health Organization’s Health Security and Emergencies Programme in the Africa Regional Office where he worked as the focal person for Strategic Planning, Resource Mobilization and Partnerships. Robert will manage the outbreaks and epidemics research and development program, including the critical outreach and relationship-building with ARC Member States and key partners.

He has 18 years of international experience working in development and public health, including management and coordination roles in national and international organisations. These include, in addition to the above: working for WHO on the Impact of HIV/AIDS on older persons (1999-2003, based in Geneva), coordinator in WHO AFRO’s Regional Malaria technical support team (2003-2007, based in Zimbabwe); portfolio manager for South Africa and Namibia (2007-2009, based in Geneva) at the Global Fund; West and Central Africa Malaria Advisor (2009-2010, based in Dakar) at UNICEF. He also has high-level advocacy experience with the African Leaders Malaria Alliance Secretariat (2010-2012). In 2015 he served as the Technical Advisor to the Incident Commander and Coordinator of the Ghana Public Health Emergency Operations Center.

Robert holds a Master’s degree in Development Studies from the University of Sussex, and undertook certificate courses in epidemiology and bio-statistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Ms Erin Tressler, Programme DirectorErin-Tressler-01-Rikki-Hibbert-Photography-cowboy

Ms Erin Tressler has consulted for the ARC since 2011 on risk transfer and operations and is currently the ARC Secretariat’s Programme Director.  In this role she leads the in-country work with ARC Member States including country engagement activities, contingency planning work, and risk transfer activities.Erin has been working in risk management since 2001 and has worked in Latin America, India, and Africa. She has extensive experience in price and weather risk management and has worked on projects related to risk management spanning a wide range of clients including work on household level risk management to agriculture, risk management advising for agribusinesses and agricultural finance, and risk management strategy for governments.  She has a particular interest in working with clients to understand and quantify risk as well as knowledge transfer on risk quantification and innovative risk management instruments.

A national of the United States, Erin holds both BA in International Relations and MA in Sociology both from Stanford University in California, USA.

Ms Lucy Nyirenda, Head of Government Services for East and Southern Africa

Ms Lucy Nyirenda joined the African Risk Capacity in June 2012 and is currently the Head of Government Services for East and Southern Africa. In this capacity, she is responsible for daily operations of the Agency and for managing the in-country processes for several ARC member states.

Prior to joining ARC, Lucy worked for the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security of the Government of Malawi as an Economist in the Risk Management section, where she took a leading role in implementation of market based risk management instruments, such as Index Based Crop Insurance programs, Macro Derivatives programs as well as the Micro Weather Index Insurance program. She also has experience in agribusiness development and micro-finance.

Lucy holds a BSc in Agricultural Economics from the College of Agriculture, University of Malawi, and an MSc in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Ms Assia Sidibe, Head of Government Services for West and Central AfricaAssia Sibide 01i Rikki Hibbert Photography

Ms Assia Sidibe joined the ARC team in 2014 and currently serves as the Head of Government Services for West and Central Africa, in which she is responsible for managing the in-country processes for nations in those regions.

Prior to joining the ARC Agency, she was an Investment Officer at the French Development Agency in Johannesburg, where she worked on capacity building and municipal infrastructure financing. She has also worked for KPMG’s Audit and Advisory in Paris, where she was a consultant and an auditor in the insurance department.

A native of Mali, Assia holds a BSc in International Business from the École supérieure du commerce extérieur of Paris-La Defense and a Master’s Degree in Finance and Strategy from Sciences Po Paris. Assia is a native French speaker and is fluent in English.

Mr Babatunde Iyanda, Country Engagement Manager 

Mr Babatunde Iyanda joined the ARC team in 2014 and currently serves as a Country Engagement Manager. In this capacity, he is responsible for managing the in-country processes in several ARC member states.

Prior to joining the ARC Agency, he was a Youth Volunteer at the Agriculture Officer of the African Union Commission Headquarters in Addis Ababa, where he worked on the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and various policy issues of the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture. While undertaking his Master’s thesis, he also worked as a graduate research fellow with FAO’s Sub-Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa based in Addis Ababa.

Babatunde holds a BA in Business Administration with distinction from New Generation University College and an MSc in Food Security Studies from Addis Ababa University. A native of the Yoruba speaking ethnic group in Nigeria, he is also fluent in English.

Mr Pierre Nikiema, Country Engagement Officer

Mr Delwende Pierre Anselme Nikiema (Pierre) joined ARC in April 2016 and acts as the liaison and coordinator of ARC country operations in Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea and Niger.

Prior to joining ARC, Pierre worked as a Consultant for Grupo Gallium oil and gas consulting firm, as a Tax Analyst for K&R-PTS and as a Financial Analyst at Occidental Petroleum OXY in Houston for a number of years. In 2015 he moved back to Burkina Faso to take on the position of Special Advisor to the President of the National Assembly.

A native of Burkina Faso and resident in United States, Pierre holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration from the University of Houston Texas and a MBA from the Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas. A native French speaker Pierre is also fluent in English.

Mr  Timothy Gotora, Country Engagement Manager 

Mr Timothy Gotora joined the ARC team in July 2016, with over 12 years working experience in environment and sustainable development sector, specializing in climate change and variability resilience, adaptation and mitigation planning and programming. As a Country Engagement Manager, Timothy manages the in-country processes for several ARC member states.

Immediately prior to joining the ARC project, Timothy served as Programme Officer SADC Secretariat, providing policy and technical planning and coordination services to the 15-nation SADC Regional Economic Community on climate change issues. He has also worked in related capacities with the Adam Smith International’s Vuna Africa Project, UNDP Zimbabwe, SNV REDD+ Energy and Agriculture Programme, SNV Zimbabwe, Soil and More International BV, Plan International Zimbabwe, and the Environmental Management Agency of Zimbabwe among others.

Timothy holds an M.Sc. in Climate Studies from Wageningen UR in the Netherlands and a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences from Midlands State University in Zimbabwe. He is a Zimbabwean and fluent in English and Shona.

Ms  Tuga Alaskary, Country Engagement Manager Tuga Alaskary 03 Rikki Hibbert Photography 2

Ms Tuga Alaskary joined the ARC team in 2010 and currently serves as a Country Engagement Manager. In this capacity, she is responsible for managing the in-country processes for several ARC member states.

Prior to joining the ARC project, she was a Liaison Officer at the Office of the Prime Minister of Iraq where she took a leading role in drafting a civil service reform programme in collaboration with the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq. She has also worked for various NGOs, the United Kingdom’s civil service and in academic institutions in London and Baghdad.

A British and Iraqi national, Tuga has a B.A. honours degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Essex and an MSc in Development Studies from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. She is a native English and Arabic speaker.

Mr Papa Zoumana Diarra, Chief of Operational Planning 

Mr Papa Zoumana Diarra joined the African Risk Capacity project in June 2012 as the Contingency Planning and Operations Officer. He contributes to the development of contingency plans as well as monitoring and reporting for all African countries that are consider participating in the ARC risk pool.

Papa Zoumana joined WFP in January 2008 as a Food Security Nutrition Programme Officer at the Senegal Country Office where he implemented and monitored community-based food security and nutrition activities as well as relevant capacity building initiatives. Between 2010 and 2012, he served as the Head of Provincial Offices in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Prior to joining WFP, Papa Zoumana worked with various INGO’s, including CIRAD-Fôret, Vétérinaires Sans Frontières, Afrique Verte Sahel and Solidarités International in Afghanistan, France, Madagascar, Mali and Sudan.

A citizen of Mali and France, Papa Zoumana holds an Agricultural Engineer Diploma from La Universidad Marta Abreu de Las Villas, and a dual Masters Degree in Rural Development and in Food Policy from University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. Papa is a native speaker of Malinké, and is fluent in French, Spanish and English.

Mr Balthazar de Brouwer, In-Country Technical Team Manager and Food Security Analyst

Ms Federica Carfagna, Technical Team Manager & Vulnerability Analyst  image014

Ms Federica Carfagna has worked on the African Risk Capacity project as a vulnerability analyst since September 2009 and is now the manager of the ARC Secretariat’s Technical Team. A statistician by training, she is one of the main authors of the methodology by which the Africa RiskView software, the technical engine of ARC, calculates food security-vulnerable and drought-affected populations.

Prior to joining ARC, she worked as data analyst for WFP, UN Headquarters in New York, IFAD, and Rome City Hall.

A native of Rome, Italy, Federica has a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Statistics and Economics from the University of Rome, “La Sapienza”, including a one-year exchange programme at the Cass Business School in London. Federica is a native Italian speaker, and is fluent in English and French and conversational in Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.

Mr Federico Doehnert, Early Warning and Risk Analyst 

Mr Federico Doehnert joined the ARC Secretariat Technical Team in February 2014 as an Early Warning and Risk Analyst. In this capacity, he is responsible for the monthly Africa RiskView bulletin and for the coordination with WFP Country Offices and Technical Units. He provides support to the customisation of Africa RiskView and in-country trainings on the software.

Prior to joining ARC, he worked in the Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) Unit of WFP Somalia, as well as the WFP Liaison Office in Berlin.

Federico is a German and Italian citizen and holds an MA from King’s College in London, as well as a French-German double postgraduate Diploma from IEP Lille and the University of Muenster. A native German and Italian speaker, he is fluent in English and French and conversational in Spanish.

Mr Guy Oswald Obama, Risk Analyst image013

Mr Guy Oswald Obama joined ARC in May 2015 as a Risk Analyst. His role includes supporting the Technical Team on all matters relating to the customization, the development, upgrade and update of Africa RiskView, preparation for participation in the insurance pool, designing and conducting Africa RiskView country and regional trainings, preparing training materials and support documentation; contributing to the design and development of new methodologies for the expansion of Africa RiskView to new risks including flood and cyclone and support the in-country work required to ground-truth and calibrate new models.

Ms Ekhosuehi Iyahen, Director a.i. Policy & Technical Services 

Ms Ekhosuehi Iyahen is the Director for Policy & Technical Services a.i. for the African Risk Capacity Agency Secretariat. She has more than 11 years of diverse experience in range of finance and private and public sector areas, having focused on developing risk insurance pools and funds for sovereigns in developing countries since the mid-2000s.

Her specific areas of focus have included Disaster Risk Management and Financing, Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, Reinsurance and Alternative Risk Transfer Mechanisms, Environmental Sustainability, Policy and Regulation, Catastrophe Hazard/Risk Modelling.

Prior to joining ARC, Ekhosuehi was involved in managing and supervising the technical and day-to-day operational aspects of the World Bank-sponsored Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) where she managed the renewal and claims administration process for 16 member countries over a period of approximately 5 years.

She currently sits on several advisory panels and serves as a technical expert for a number of international development agencies and governments on issues related to climate risk, parametric insurance, and loss and damage. Ekhosuehi is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and is a citizen of both Nigeria and Barbados.

Ms Jesca Muyingo, Senior Communications Advisor Jesca-Muyingo-02-Rikki-Hibbert-Photography

Jesca Muyingo joined ARC in late 2016 as Senior Advisor, bringing with her almost twenty years of experience in disaster assistance and communications.

Having started her career in 1996 as television news reporter and anchor, she has since alternated between broadcasting and disaster assistance. From 2002 she held various roles of increasing responsibilities in dealing with emergency food aid while working for the United Nations World Food Programme.

Immediately prior to joining ARC in 2016, Jesca spent five years in Liberia, leading the UN’s radio, the country’s only nationwide and 24h broadcaster and most trusted source of information during a time of multiple crises related to elections, cross-border violence and eventually the Ebola outbreaks.

Jesca holds a Master’s degree in International Studies & Diplomacy from the School of Oriental & African Studies, London, and has completed various courses in crisis management, languages and public health & epidemiology at the universities of Helsinki, Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Sorbonne. She is currently also a candidate for Master in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Ms Barbara Fang, Digital Media Strategist

Ms Barbara Fang joined the ARC communications team in early 2017 as a digital communications strategist. She is responsible optimizing the online presence of ARC through website content creation, social media engagement, and digital asset development.

Prior to joining ARC, she worked on the WFP Corporate Ambassadors Programme to utilize the public influence of WFP Goodwill Ambassadors and Celebrity Partners to advocate and fundraise for WFP operations, and she worked with the UNDP Office of Online Communications to streamline the UNDP aid transparency portal and update blogs and success stories on the global website.

She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English writing, political science, and economics from the University of Pittsburgh, and she holds a joint Master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Freiburg and FLACSO Buenos Aires. Barbara is a native of New York City, fluent in English and Cantonese, and conversational in Italian.

Mr Aboubacar Diaby, Monitoring & Evaluation OfficerAboubacar-Diaby-01-Rikki-Hibbert-Photography

Mr Aboubacar Diaby joined ARC in late 2016, bringing with him more than 12 years experience in Monitoring and Evaluation of development programs with particular focus on agriculture, food security and natural resources management. Abou has developed and managed the M&E systems for development projects funded by USAID and AFD (French Development Agency), and worked as Monitoring and Evaluation officer for World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and Société Française d’Etude et de Conseil (SOFRECO) in Guinea.

Immediately prior to joining ARC, he was Senior Program Officer, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), a multi-donor funded organization operating in 18 African countries where he spearheaded the design and implementation of the M&E policies and strategy with a focus on evaluations, economic analysis and household surveys. With AGRA, he contributed to building partnerships and professional linkages with both African-based and external research institutions in M&E and impact evaluation.

Aboubacar holds a Ph.D in Economics from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, a MSc in Agroeconomics and a BSc in General Agronomy from Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II (Morocco). He is also a member of African Evaluation Association (AfrEA), African Finance and Economic Association (AFEA), African Growth and Development Policy Modeling Consortium (AGRODEP), and American Economic Association (AEA). Aboubacar is a native of Guinea and a native French speaker and fluent in English.

Ms Erica Hovani, Legal Counsel & Secretary to the Board image004

Ms Erica Hovani is Legal Counsel to the African Risk Capacity, and Secretary to the ARC Agency Board of Directors.

She joined the African Risk Capacity in November 2011 and has worked on the design of the legal structures and organization of the ARC entities, including the conceptualization and drafting of the ARC Establishment Agreement, agreements with member countries, and policies for approval by the ARC Governing Board and Conference of the Parties.


Ms Joelle Abi Harb, Legal Officer  Joelle Abi Harb

Ms Abi Harb joined ARC in May 2014, assisting in the design of the Agency’s legal structures and organizations of the ARC entities, including the conceptualization and drafting of agreements with countries and partner organizations, and policies for approval by the Governing Board and the Conference of the Parties.

Prior to joining ARC, Ms Abi Harb worked as a Legal Consultant for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Jordan, providing advice on the interpretation of the Agency’s regulatory framework in relation to grievances and other human resources’ issues in light of past practice and jurisprudence. During her time at UNRWA, Joelle also worked as a Consultant to the Judge of the UNRWA Dispute Tribunal, reviewing misconduct case files, and providing legal advice on best course of actions.

A native of Lebanon and member of Beirut Bar Association, Joelle holds a BSc of General Law and a Masters of Private Law from Saint-Joseph University, Lebanon as well as a Masters in International Legal Administration from the University of Paris II – Pantheon Assas. Joelle is a native French and Arabic speaker and is fluent in English. 

Mr Frank Rijnders, Consultant, Resource Management Frank-Rijnders-01-Rikki-Hibbert-Photography

Frank is an economist and certified public accountant and has more than 15 years international development experience with international NGOs and donors. He joined the ARC team in 2016 and currently serves as a Finance Officer.

Prior to joining the ARC Agency, he worked at the European Union Delegations to Pakistan, Mozambique, Georgia and Malawi for more than 10 years. Frank’s other work experience includes Royal Netherlands Embassy in Guatemala, Médecins Sans Frontières (Sudan) and Acción Contra el Hambre (Malawi and Georgia). He has been active both at the development as well as the financial management sides of development cooperation.

Frank holds a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and is registered at The Royal Netherlands Institute of Chartered Accountants. He is a native Dutch speaker and is fluent in English and Spanish and conversational in the Portuguese language.

Ms Bronwyn Cousins, Project Management Advisor image019

Ms Bronwyn Cousins began working with the ARC team from its inception in 2009 until 2013 as a Project Manager where she coordinated financial and human resources. She worked with the Africa RiskView technical team, liaised with Legal and Procurement on contractual issues and was the ARC IT focal point. Bronwyn returned to the ARC team in 2015 as Project Management Advisor.

Previous to joining ARC in 2009,  Bronwyn was a Policy Officer working in the Risk Reduction and Disaster Mitigation unit of the Policy, Planning and Strategy division at the UN World Food Programme. She was part of the core team managing the programme of work of the Gates Foundation funded IFAD/WFP Weather Risk Management Facility. Bronwyn also worked on the WFP Weather Risk Management Pilot in Ethiopia from its inception in 2005. Prior to this, Bronwyn was on the Working Capital Financing Facility team, where she was primarily responsible for the financial analysis of Western and Southern Africa and Sudan on behalf the WFP Credit Committee. Bronwyn was also part of the Business Process Review of WFP in 2003/4 and established the WFP Emergency Preparedness website in 2001.

Bronwyn is a native of South Africa and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Psychology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. Bronwyn is based in Geneva.

Ms Annie Kyanza, Executive Assistant Annie Kyanza 01i Rikki Hibbert Photography

Annie joined African Risk Capacity in April 2016, as Executive Assistant, bringing over ten years of experience in providing administrative and operational support services at international organizations.

Annie started her career as an Intern at the UN OCHA, where amongst other tasks she was part of a team of consultants/researchers in charge of the writing of the 1st report on the humanitarian situation of the Democratic Republic of Congo, after the conflicts the country faced between 1997 and 2001.

Prior to joining ARC, Annie worked for Positive Planet (formerly Planet Finance) where she was responsible for the management of budget, human resources, finances, general administration, and project administration. Before that, Annie occupied different administrative positions within the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office, OCHA and FAO in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.

A national from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Annie holds a Bachelor Honours degree in Economics, majoring in Financial Management from the Universite Libre de Kinshasa; as well as a Master degree in Business Administration from the Management College of Southern Africa.

Ms Memory Haripo, Travel Assistant
Ms Memory Haripo joined ARC in November 2014 as a Travel Assistant.Prior to joining ARC, Memory worked as an Administrative Assistant at the Finance Department of the European Union Delegation to South Africa. She was also a Personal Assistant to the Registrar at Midlands State University in Zimbabwe before moving to the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre in Harare to work in the same capacity under the Finance and Human Resources Director.Memory holds a Higher National Diploma in Office Management and currently studying towards a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Governance and Development from the University of South Africa (UNISA).  Memory is a fluent English and Shona Speaker.
Ms Ropafadzo Makusha, Programme Assistant 

Ms Ropafadzo Makusha-Majonga joined the African Risk Capacity in August 2011. She is in charge of support to the Johannesburg ARC staff and to the Agency board.

Prior to joining ARC, Ropa worked at UNHCR and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as a Database Administrator.

Ropa holds an Honors BSc degree from National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe, as well as a post-graduate diploma in Development Studies from the University of South Africa (UNISA), and currently working on her Masters in Knowledge Management with the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Ropafadzo is fluent in English and Shona.

Mr David Mawala, Executive Driver David-Mawala-01-Rikki-Hibbert-Photography

David joined ARC in November 2015 as Executive Driver to the Director-General and visiting dignitaries. David also supports with protocol issues.

Having first joined the UN family in 2007, David has served as driver at UNHCR, WHO, UNAIDS, UN-OCHA, UNICEF and, currently, with ARC. Previously, he also served as driver at the Embassies of Egypt and Ireland to South Africa.

David is a native of South Africa and hails from Pretoria, Gauteng Province.