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Amandla Ooko-Ombaka

Associate Partner, Nairobi
Works across Africa and globally with governments to develop their agriculture sectors, and with private sector agricultural input and food companies to better serve their farmers and consumers

About Amandla

Amandla is an associate partner in McKinsey’s Nairobi office, and has been with the firm for over seven years. She is a leader in our Africa Agriculture and Consumer Packaged Goods Practices, and plays a pivotal role within the McKinsey Center for Agricultural Transformation. She began her career at the firm as a summer analyst in our Minneapolis Office, and was an early transfer into our Nigeria office.

An economist by training with a “public sector heart and a private sector mind,” Amandla has served agriculture and food clients in more than 15 countries across Africa, Europe, and the United States with a focus on strategy and implementation—including growth, market entry, route-to-market, and digital design topics.

Examples of Amandla’s recent client work include the following:

  • designing the strategic effort for a regional digital food balance sheet covering ten countries and three commodities in East and Southern Africa, supporting an agriculture-focused development partner
  • leading growth strategy for a major European remote sensing imagery (RSI) ag-tech company investing in cutting edge RSI agriculture applications
  • driving route-to-market strategy for a US agricultural inputs manufacturer seeking to double revenues in Africa, with digital supply chain innovations and agro-dealer financing in five African countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Zambia
  • leading growth strategy and route-to-market implementation for a European food retailer, seeking organic and inorganic growth opportunities in core product categories across ten African countries including Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal
  • helping set up a COVID-19 nerve center for the ministry of agriculture for an African government focused on rapid-response analysis and interventions to support the food security of more than ten million people
  • designing a two-year agriculture digital strategy for an African government that identified seven priority digital use cases—including e-incentives for small-scale farmers, land optimization models. Co-led the build of a minimal viable product (MVP) of one use case—a digital food balance sheet
  • designing a ten-year national agriculture sector strategy and five-year investment plan for an African government identifying nine flagships with an ambition to increase agricultural GDP by around $4.6 billion, raise incomes by 35 percent, and directly impact 3.3 million farmers across the country

Amandla co-authored McKinsey’s acclaimed series on the Economic Impact of COVID-19 in Africa, is featured in various media—including BBC, Africa.com, and Business Daily—and regularly moderates main-stage sessions at high-level continental fora on agriculture and development, including the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) and the Tana Forum.

Before joining McKinsey, Amandla served as a lecturer in economics at Strathmore University, and as strategy advisor to several global S&P and FTSE companies, governments and startups including: the Kerry Group, GenPact, the Government of Rwanda, the African Leadership Network, and Mums Village. She is currently a Leadership Council member at the Center for African Studies at Harvard University. She is a Kenyan national with experience living and traveling to more than 50 countries on over five continents.

Published work

How digital tools can help transform African agri food systems,” McKinsey & Company, January 2021

Reopening and reimagining Africa,” McKinsey & Company, May 2020

Finding Africa’s path: Shaping bold solutions to save lives and livelihoods in the COVID-19 crisis,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

Tackling COVID-19 in Africa,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

Winning in Africa’s agricultural market,” McKinsey & Company, February 2019

Past Experience

Strathmore University
Adjunct lecturer

African Leadership Network
Advisor to the CEO

Education

Harvard Business School
MBA

Harvard Kennedy School
MPA, international development

Yale University
BA, economics, international studies