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PACA Staff Profiles

Dr. Amare Ayalew

Programme Manager

Dr. Amare Ayalew is the Program Manager of PACA. Dr. Amare has researched the occurrence, epidemiology, and management of aflatoxins and other mycotoxins as well as plant health for over 20 years. Prior to joining PACA, he had served as Associate Professor of Plant Pathology and Head of the School of Plant Sciences at Haramaya University, Ethiopia. He had also led the Crop Protection Section and the Crop Protection Research Program at the same university. He has supervised 54 post-graduate students including 10 PhD graduates. He has published on mycotoxins, plant health and other challenges to agriculture and is author/co-author of over 50 publications including 35 peer reviewed journal articles. Dr. Amare received a PhD (summa cum laude) in plant pathology from the University of Goettingen, Germany, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Haramaya University in Ethiopia. He holds certificates in project management, evidence-based policy making, higher institution leadership, SPS and pest risk analysis, among others. He has been a USDA fellow and visiting professor at Texas A&M University, USA (2008) and had five separate research stays at the Bavarian State Research Center in Munich, Germany, studying mycotoxigenic fungi, mycotoxins, and biorational plant disease control between 1993 and 2012.

Ms. Elizabeth Ogutu

Strategy and Operations Senior Officer

Ms. Liz Ogutu is the Strategy and Operations Senior Officer of PACA. She worked in various senior positions before joining PACA. She was the Regional Manager for Africa at Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) based in Nairobi, Kenya, and prior to that,  spent 5 years at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) as the head of the resource mobilization unit. Prior to ILRI, Liz was the donor relations expert for UNICEF Kenya country office, working on projects and programs on water, environmental sanitation, as well as child participation, health and nutrition. For past 9 years she was supporting agricultural researchers in fundraising; establishing and maintaining strong partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders, maximising cooperation and promoting program objectives and strategic vision. Ms. Ogutu holds a BSc Degree from the Open University (UK) and an MBA from the Heriot Watt University (UK). She supports the PACA Secretariat in strategy and ongoing resource mobilization efforts to implement continental and national aflatoxin mitigation strategies as well as day to day operations of the Secretariat and country programs.



Dr. Martin Kimanya

Technical Advisor

Dr.Martin Kimanya is the PACA Technical Advisor, he holds PhD in Applied Biological Sciences (with specialization in food hazards risk assessment and Human Nutrition). Prior to joining PACA, he worked with the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority from, Dr. Kimanya moved to the Nelson Mandela African Institution for Science and Technology (NM-AIST) where he served as Senior Lecturer and later Associate professor in food and nutrition sciences. He also served as the Dean of the Faculty of Computational and Communication Science and Engineering and as Deputy Vice Chancellor responsible for Planning, Finance and Administration at NM-ASIT. He previously served as part-time lecturer for Food Safety and Food Hygiene Courses at the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, from 2004 to 2012. Dr. Kimanya has been participating in researches on exposure of aflatoxin and fumonisin mycotoxins from maize based foods for over 10 years. Working with researchers based in Belgium and the UK, he discovered that fumonisins and aflatoxins exposures are inversely associated with child growth. His recent research with the Belgian colleagues, found a significant statistical association between aflatoxin M1 exposure through breast milk and poor growth of infants less than 6 months of age. Dr. Kimanya has been collaborating with PACA to formulate aflatoxin mitigation strategy for Tanzania and served as the chair of a Tanzania Steering Committee for mycotoxin control. Dr. Kimanya is a member of several scientific committees; he provides technical advice to PACA


Ms. Wezi Chunga-Sambo

Programme Officer

Ms. Wezi Chunga-Sambo is a Program Officer of PACA. Prior to joining PACA, Wezi was a Regional CAADP Consultant working for CAADP Pillar III at the Africa Centre for Food Security at University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. Wezi’ s background is in contemporary food studies and she holds a Master’s Degree in Food Policy from City University in London, UK. Wezi is currently a PhD candidate in Food Security, Rural Development and Planning at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. Wezi coordinates PACA operations in Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda



Ms. Winta Sintayehu

Programme Officer

Ms. Winta Sintayehu is a Program Officer of PACA. Winta has a background in International relations and public policy. She holds a Masters’ Degree in International Relations with emphasis on Human Security and Environmental Policy. Prior to joining PACA, she co-founded and worked in a non- profit organization in policy and advocacy for education and educational benefits for immigrant families in the State of Nevada, USA. Winta worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant instructing and assisting in the fields of international relations, public policy, globalization and environmental policy at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Winta was also involved in projects such as Improving Productivity and Market Success of Ethiopian Farmers (IPMS), under the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture, to develop policy recommendations for effective and efficient information delivery to farmers in order to improve productivity and market success. Winta coordinates PACA operations in Nigeria, Senegal and The Gambia.

Ms. Peace Mutuwa

Knowledge Manager

Ms. Peace Mutuwa is the PACA Knowledge Manager. Prior to joining PACA, she worked with the Peace and Security Department of the African Union Commission as a database specialist. Earlier, she was the Management Information Systems (MIS) Specialist with the UNDP country office in Kampala, attached to Uganda Amnesty Commission. Ms. Mutuwa served in the capacities of Assistant Lecturer and Program Coordinator at Makerere University. Ms. Mutuwa has MSc. and PGD in Computer Science, and Bachelor’s Degree in Library and Information Science, all from Makerere University, a Masters in ICT Leadership and Knowledge Society, and graduate Diploma in ICT and Knowledge Society from University of Mauritius and Dublin City University, respectively. Ms Mutuwa supports the PACA Secretariat in running the Africa Aflatoxin Information Management System (AfricaAIMS) and the overall Knowledge Management function of PACA.

Mr. Ibrahim Gariba

Communication Officer

Mr. Ibrahim Gariba is the PACA Senior Communication Officer. Before joining PACA, he worked as a communications’ consultant for the department of Social Affairs of UNICEF Ghana attached to the Department of Social Development (DSD). Prior to that, Mr. Gariba worked as a communication consultant for international organizations in Ghana like CIDA, UNESCO, World Bank, UNDP and SNV. Mr. Gariba has MA in Communication Studies and BA in History from the School of Communication Studies-University of Ghana and University of Cape Coast respectively. In addition, he has Diploma in Journalism from the Ghana Institute of Journalism.He supports PACA in the development and implementation of communication strategy for PACA Secretariat and pilot countries.

Ms. Mahlet Sileshi

Administrative Assistant

Ms. Mahlet Sileshi is an Administrative Assistant for the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) based at the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She has a background in Marketing from Pune University in India. Mahlet has more than 10 years’ experience as an administrative assistant in various institutions including the United States Embassy in Ethiopia.



Ms. Naffie Ndey Ceesayu

PACA Country Officer,  The Gambia

Ms. Naffie Ndey Ceesay is the PACA Country Officer in the Gambia. She has more than a decade experience in the public sector. She holds a MSc in Development Studies from the School of Oriental & African Studies [SOAS] in London United Kingdom and a B.A in Economics from the University of Hartford in Connecticut United States of America. Prior to joining PACA, She worked for the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration & Employment in the capacity of Acting Director for Investment and Industry until 2015. She also served as a principal economist engaged in the establishment of the Gambia Investment & Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA) as well as the development of the pre-requisite GIEPA Act 2010. She was also directly involved in the successful conclusion of Gambia’s first Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMW) Policy document. She was a member of the tripartite team that successfully established the Gambia Government-Commonwealth Agro processing pilot project – Banjulunding Women’s Processing Plant. In addition, Ms Ceesay has undertaken a number of consultancies for regional and international organisations dealing with Trade, Gender and Renewable Energy. She is hosted by the Food Safety and Quality Authority (FSQA) of the Gambia in Banjul.

Mr. Mphatso Dakamau

PACA Country Officer, Malawi

Mr. Mphatso Dakamau is the PACA Country Officer for Malawi. Before joining PACA, he served in different senior positions in organizations such as the African Institute of Corporate Citizenship, Farmers Union of Malawi and Opportunity International Bank of Malawi. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Malawi. Mr. Dakamau is hosted by the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade in Lilongwe.



Ms. Stella Denloye

PACA Country Officer, NigeriaHome

Ms. Stella Denloye is the PACA Country Officer for Nigeria. Before joining PACA She has worked in the public sector for 35 years, she served the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) of Nigeria in various capacities including Director of Laboratory services. Ms. Denloye has extensive experience in laboratory quality control of food, pharmaceuticals and chemicals. In 2013, she led the first team of laboratory staff towards realizing ISO 170225 laboratory accreditation of the mycotoxin and pesticide residues laboratory units of NAFDAC Central Laboratory. As the Director of Laboratory Services, she managed seven (7) laboratories in different parts of Nigeria. Mrs. Denloye is hosted by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Abuja.



Mr. Magatte Ndoye

PACA Country Officer, Senegal

Mr. Magatte Ndoye is the PACA Country Officer for Senegal. He has been an official of the Senegalese government for more than three decades. Mr. Ndoye served in various capacities within the government of Senegal specifically ministry of trade, informal sector, consumer affairs, and promotion of local products and SMEs. Mr. Ndoye was the Secretary General of the Foreign Trade Center of Senegal, Head of Office in charge of the Arab and Islamic financing of the Directorate of Debt and Investments of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. He was also the director of a program on crop intensification for chemical industries of Senegal. Mr. Ndoye is hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture in Dakar.


Dr. Happy Magoha

PACA Country Officer, Tanzania

Dr. Happy Magoha, is the PACA Country Officer for Tanzania. She holds PhD in Applied Biological Sciences obtained in 2014 from Ghent University in Belgium, Master’s degree in Applied Sciences from the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand and Bachelor’s degree is Food Science and Technology obtained from Sokoine University of Agriculture (Morogoro). She is a biological scientist who has worked on mycotoxin exposure assessment in infants under six months of age. Dr. Magoha has been working as a lecturer in Food and Nutrition Department at the Open University of Tanzania for the past eleven years. She was also involved in various works including situational and laboratory analysis of mycotoxin and its effects in Tanzania. She has also been involved in various consultancy works including one commissioned by the Abt Associates Inc on aflatoxin country assessment for Tanzania which took place in 2012. She has published several peer reviewed papers in international journals and made presentations in several scientific conferences Dr. Magoha is hosted by the Tanzania Food and Drug Authority, Ministry of Health in Dar es Salaam.


Ms. Grace Akao

PACA country Officer, Uganda

Ms. Grace Akao is the PACA country Officer for Uganda. Prior to joining PACA she served in the following capacities: Plant Health Officer, African Union - Inter-Africa Phyotosanitary Council (AU-IAPSC), Cameroun; Senior Scientists Seed Technology-Government of Rwanda, Kigali; and Agricultural Inspector/Officer positions within the Agriculture Ministry, Government of Uganda. She holds a Master’s and Bachelor’s of Science Degrees in Agriculture of Makerere University, Uganda, and a Diploma in Seed Technology of DGISP Copenhagen, Denmark. She successfully coordinated the Phytosanitary component of EU-Funded-AUC Program under the AU-IAPSC that enhanced the effective participation of African member-states in the IPPC’s Standards Setting process. Earlier, Grace helped the Rwandan Government develop capacity of seed value chain actors, promoting partnerships and synergies among research, extension, private sector including farmers. She had earlier on implemented the Plant Protection legislation of Uganda under the National Plant Protection Organization and supported the process of harmonization of seed regulations in the East African region. . She is hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries in Kampala.