Congratulations on your new position as the board chairperson of the Agribusiness Development Centre. Could you introduce yourself and share with us a little bit on your background and experience?
Thank you. My name is Paul Van Apeldoorn and I work with Rabobank Wholesale & Rural Department. I am not new to Uganda, having worked with dfcu as executive director and chief transformation officer some years ago.
I was also one of the inaugural board members of Agribusiness Development Centre when it was founded by Rabo Foundation and dfcu Limited in 2017 for the purposes of promoting agribusiness bankability.
What strategies do you envision could steer Agribusiness Development Centre towards being the preferred business development services partner in promoting agricultural transformation in Uganda?
Last year, Agribusiness Development Centre launched its strategic plan under the stewardship of my predecessor, Madelon Pfeiffer, the chairperson of Agribusiness Development Centre then, and two key strategic objectives to be highlighted here are:
- Sustaining Agribusiness Development Centre operations both at institutional and partner level
- Growing Agribusiness Development Centre business innovatively as the only way to scale operations. Of course, the above two require opening up to more collaborative approaches than we had in the past and we have to date worked to bring over four such partnerships on board.
How do you plan to engage with key stakeholders?
I have already commenced engaging key stakeholders through a series of meetings, but also within our annual work plan, we have scheduled events that my colleagues and or myself shall attend in collaboration with partnerships made and prospected.
Finally, what message would you like to send to the team at Agribusiness Development Centre?
My visit allows me to get a good appreciation of our interventions, how we go about them and the potential we have as team Agribusiness Development Centre.
More importantly, it gives me an opportunity to physically touch base with the team, appreciate better their working environment and encourage them to leverage our key strengths by nature of our founders/structural ownership and combined experience. in the sector, to fulfil our potential.
Agribusiness Development Centre was founded by Rabo Foundation and dfcu Limited in 2017 to promote agribusiness bankability.