This is a profile image of Amandla Ooko-Ombaka

Amandla Ooko-Ombaka


Works globally with food companies to better and more sustainably serve their farmers and consumers, and with governments to develop their food systems

Amandla is a partner in McKinsey’s Seattle office, and has been with the firm for almost a decade. She leads our global food security initiative and works across food systems in our Agriculture, Consumer Packaged Goods and Sustainability practices. She also plays a pivotal role within The African Agricultural Transformation Initiative (AATI), an innovative partnership to drive inclusive agricultural transformation in Africa. 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, digital design, and sustainability topics focused on integrated land use management.

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

  • leading analytics on integrated land use management focused on supply chain resilience, transition opportunities and environmental stewardship for food, fuel and nature capital players to 2030, including focus on North America, Latin America and Africa
  • 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 multi-year effort with a European food company with several assets across 15+ countries in West Africa and Europe, including a five-year organic and inorganic growth strategy anchored in sustainability aspiration, and route-to-market implementation
  • developing a 5-year private sector engagement strategy for a Pan-African, trade-focused institution, with a focus on agriculture, auto, pharmaceuticals, logistics and digital to create almost a million jobs
  • 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
  • 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 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 has co-authored several leading McKinsey articles on integrated land use management, and agriculture in Africa featured in various media—including, BBC, Business Daily, CNBC, and CNN—and regularly moderates main-stage sessions at high-level forums on food systems and development, including the African Food Systems Summit (AFS), COP28, and the Tana Forum. Amandla has been recognized on several 100 Most Influential lists including most recently in the New African - “Change Maker”, and Avance Media “Young African” (2022).

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 and the African Leadership Network.

She currently chairs the Leadership Council at the Center for African Studies at Harvard University, and sits on several boards including the award-winning FreshLife, part of the Sanergy Collective which includes Regen Organics. She is a Kenyan national with experience living and traveling to more than 50 countries on over five continents.

Published work

Striking the balance: Catalyzing a sustainable land-use transition,” McKinsey & Company, November 2023

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


Harvard Business School

Harvard Kennedy School
MPA, international development

Yale University
BA, economics, international studies