Eastern, Southern and Central Africa

MEDA’s Eastern, Southern and Central Africa Programs are currently working in these countries:Countries of Interest in this Region: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

MEDA Staff - Eastern, Southern and Central Africa Programs

ALLISON NAFZIGER, Project Coordinator / Junior Consultant

Role at MEDA - Allison is the Coordinator for MEDA’s Eastern, Southern and Central Africa (ESCA) team. She provides technical support for the Agricultural Transformation through Stronger Vocational Education project in Ethiopia, the Strengthening Small Business Value Chains and Enabling Growth through Investment and Enterprise projects in Tanzania, and the Invest East Africa project.

Experience ‒ Allison holds a Master of Arts in International Development and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Eastern University. Her previous experience with MEDA was serving as the Coordinator for MEDA’s Strategic Engagement team. Before joining MEDA, she served as a Microfinance Intern for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in El Salvador and as the Giving Projects Coordinator at MCC’s headquarters in Akron, PA. She also volunteered with Medical Ministry International in the Dominican Republic and studied Spanish in Argentina, Peru, and Guatemala.

Languages - Allison is fluent in English, proficient in Spanish and currently learning French.

ASHLEA WEBBER, Project Manager

Role at MEDA - Ashlea is a Project Manager for MEDA's Eastern, Southern and Central Africa (ESCA) projects. She manages aspects of the Strengthening Small Business Value Chains project and Masava project, both in Tanzania. She also aids in management and provides technical skills on the Agricultural Transformation through Stronger Vocational Education project in Ethiopia.

Experience - Ashlea holds a Master of Development Practice degree from the University of Waterloo and Bachelor of Social Sciences degrees in both Economics and International Economics and Development from the University of Ottawa. Ashlea's international work experience includes conducting her Master's research in Kisumu, Kenya for Millennium Cities Initiative as well as working as a Gender & HIV/AIDS Program Assistant for REFORD in Nkando, Malawi. Ashlea was also an International Development Management Fellow for the Aga Khan Foundation Canada where she was employed as a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for the Coastal Rural Support Program in Pemba, Mozambique. Prior to these international experiences, Ashlea worked with the Canadian Red Cross Society where she began as a Program Assistant for Haiti Shelter and Reconstruction and later became a Program Associate for all of the Haiti Program Operations.


Role at MEDA - In this role she is responsible for supporting a number of projects, including the ATTSVE project in Ethiopia and the EPTPSD project in Kenya.

Experience - Catherine first joined MEDA in 2013 to support on MEDA’s TechnoLinks project, focused on utilizing technology to improve access to financial services in Nicaragua. She moved into a Project Coordinator position with MEDA’s Private Sector Development department before joining the Agriculture team as a Project Manager. Prior to joining MEDA Catherine was the Director of Programming for the Rural Education Institute of Mexico, a non-profit based in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico focused on increasing access to education for rural children and youth. Catherine has also worked as an independent consultant in the microfinance sector with MEDA partner MiCredito. Catherine holds a Master's Degree in Political Science from the University of Toronto, a Post-Graduate Certificate in International Development from Humber College and a Bachelors Degree from McMaster University. She is currently working on a Certificate in Business Administration at McMaster University.

Languages - Catherine speaks fluent English and Spanish.

DAVID EAGLE, Associate Director

Role at MEDA ‒ As Associate Director, David leads and manages a team of international development professionals and projects across MEDA’s core technical areas of market systems, financial services, investment and vulnerable populations. Overall, this team is responsible for developing and managing a portfolio of economic development projects in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. David also directly manages projects and provides technical expertise in agribusiness and seed systems in Tanzania and Uganda.

Experience ‒ Most recently, David led the MEDA Health project that aims to reduce Vitamin A deficiency in Northern Tanzania through the fortification of unrefined sunflower oil with Vitamin A. David has also worked as a consultant on MEDA’s agriculture project that is facilitating new market-based supply chains for certified cassava seed systems in Tanzania. Prior to joining MEDA, David spent 14 years in a private sector business focused on technology and financial services industries in the roles of strategic planning, marketing, implementation consulting and project management. David holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University, a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of British Columbia and a Masters in Peace & Conflict Studies from Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo.

FIONA MACKENZIE, Senior Project Manager

Role at MEDA ‒ As a Senior Project Manager, Fiona is responsible for managing long-term projects and partnerships within MEDA's Eastern, Southern, and Central Africa Programs. This includes conducting new business development, and delivering value chain and market analysis consulting services. Fiona’s work is currently focused on long-term contracts in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya with Canadian and American partners and donors. Her current portfolio of projects work with entrepreneurs, business owners, and youth to build skills and link producers to sustainable service providers and markets across various sectors.

Experience ‒ Fiona brings substantial experience to MEDA working with value chains in West and East Africa. Prior to joining MEDA, Fiona consulted to MEDA programming in Ethiopia – particularly in new business development and on projects working within the handwoven textile sector. Prior to MEDA, Fiona spent three years working in the private and non-profit sectors in Ghana. Fiona obtained a BBA with a double major in Finance and Management from Mount Saint Vincent University, and she is currently working on her MA in International Development from the Saint Mary's University. Fiona’s MA research focuses on the effects of non-renewable resource management on social and economic growth.

Languages ‒ Fiona is fluent in English, and has a proficient level of French and Spanish.

GOODLUCK MOSHA, Field Project Manager, Tanzania

Role at MEDA - In his role as Field Project Manager, Goodluck leads a team of field staff on MEDA’s ENGINE project in Tanzania. He is responsible for ensuring the effective implementation of project strategies, adjusting course as needed based on interim performance, to achieve life-of-project performance targets. This includes successful management of relationships with host governments, donor agencies, the business community, project implementation partners and subcontractors.

LILIA TVERDUN, Field Project Manager, Tanzania

Role at MEDA: In her role as Field Project Manager, Lilia is responsible for overseeing the Strengthening Small Business Value Chains (SSBVC) project. This includes management of field staff, and assuming accountability of project results while managing successful relationships with host governments, donor agencies, the business community, project implementation partners and subcontractors.

Experience: Lilia has over 20 years of direct experience in inclusive economic growth, governance, public finance management, SME support and coaching, institutional capacity building and gender advisory services. In addition, she has more than 12 years of senior management experience managing several large scale economic development programs, including work experience in Tanzania, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Montenegro, Russia and Moldova. Lilia earned her Master’s in Business Education with specialization in business training and organizational development from New York University. She also holds a PhD in Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies in Moldovan and an MBA in Leadership and Sustainability from the University of Cumbria, UK.

Languages: English

LLOYD McCORMICK, Field Project Manager, Kenya

Role at MEDA - Lloyd has 20 plus years’ experience in international development in both North American and Country Field Director roles. He is a strong, collaborative manager and is responsible for in-country oversight and management of MEDA’s MSAWA project in Nairobi, Kenya.

Experience - Lloyd has experience working in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Romania, The Gambia, Sierra Leone and Liberia.   In addition, he has a background in microenterprise development, micro-credit and business management and experience with donors such as UN, USAID, and MasterCard Foundation. He has previously done work for ChildFund International, restructuring their West Africa National Offices.

Languages - English

MIKE SARCO, Senior Project Manager

Role at MEDA - In his role as Sr. Project Manager, Mike is responsible for providing management, technical and consulting services to MEDA projects and to a wide range of clients in the Eastern, Southern, and Central Africa region.

Experience - Mike has over 35 years of work experience in rural development entrepreneurial, NGO, Government and Private Sector positions. For fifteen years he has performed various project advisory roles in Uganda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, Liberia and DRC. In post-conflict economies he brought various groups together to address health service delivery issues in Liberia and DRC by working with Private Sector Mining Concerns, the government Ministry of Health and International Donors. These led to Primary and Secondary Health care provision in area's previously not served by either for many years. Mike has worked with small holders in Uganda and Mexico to increase sales and prepare them for export markets. In Zambia he worked with groups using Aleo Vera extracts for medicinal purposes and the residue from extract production to decrease flock loss in commercially grown poultry and Cattle. In 1989 he started a Fresh Herbs production facility that grew from a start-up to sales of USD 2.4 million annually by 1996, and currently has sales over 25 million dollars annually. He brings a practical and innovative approach to assisting the rural poor find profitable solutions to difficult problems in challenging environments. He holds a BA from Eastern Mennonite University and an MBA from James Madison University. Prior to his position as Field Project Manager in Kenya, Mike was a Senior Project with MEDA’s Business of Health department.

Languages - English

NADIRA SALEH, Project Manager

Role at MEDA - As a Project Manager, Nadira is responsible for managing long-term project's on the Eastern, Southern and Central Africa team. She is currently managing MEDA's Masava Project, which aims to address Vitamin A deficiency in rural Tanzania by enabling private sector small and medium enterprise (SME) sunflower oil processors to fortify unrefined sunflower oil with Vitamin A.

Experience - Nadira has significant experience in academic research, specifically in nutrition. Nadira has worked for African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) in Nairobi, Kenya, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa and has consulted for Action Against Hunger (Paris), Catholic Relief Services and Tufts University (Burkina Faso). Nadira earned her Masters of Science specializing in International Food Policy and Economics at Tufts University in Boston and her B.Sc in Health Sciences at McMaster University.

Languages - Nadira speaks fluent English and French as well as basic understanding of Hindi, Urdu and Swahili.

NIKESH GHIMIRE, Technical Director, Financial Services

Role at MEDA: Nikesh provides financial services expertise, management, technical and consulting services to various MEDA projects across all regions of programming. He is responsible for providing technical leadership on current projects and also contributes to new business development including cultivating, managing and sustaining donor relationships. In addition, Nikesh develops annual plans, budgets and strategy and directly manages a large scale project in Kenya.

Experience: Nikesh has experience in leadership roles within the financial services industry specializing in SMEs, channel innovations, project management, marketing and strategic planning. He was previously a Senior Advisor, Financial Channel Innovations at Louis Berger and also held various management positions at Laxmi Bank Limited in Nepal. Nikesh studied at the Kathmandu University School of Management in Nepal where he obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration.

Languages: English

RACHEL HESS, Senior Director, Eastern, Southern and Central Africa Programs

Role at MEDA - As Senior Director, Rachel leads MEDA's ESCA program,

  • supporting a team of development professionals to implement projects that facilitate sustained change
  • developing program strategy
  • coordinating new business development

Across the region, MEDA delivers business solutions to poverty by drawing on expertise in market systems development, empowerment of women through economic advancement, integration of youth into employment and business, inclusive financial systems development, investment and blended finance.

Experience - Rachel has extensive experience with programs designed to reduce poverty through inclusive economic development, both internationally and in North America. With MEDA she has managed programs focused on assisting women to improve production and business skills to more effectively participate in viable market systems. Her specialities include market systems analysis to identify opportunities for greater inclusion of women and other marginalized groups and monitoring of market-based interventions. She has conducted project evaluation, market analysis and project design assignments in a range of international settings and has lived in Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Tanzania. She has also directed a Women’s Business Center committed to assisting women to start and grow businesses in south central Pennsylvania. Rachel has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Virginia.

Language - English

SARA ORLEANS-POBEE, Senior Project Manager

Role at MEDA: Sara provides a high level of technical and business expertise in market solutions, investment, vulnerable populations, financial services, blended finance, SME financial services and private sector industry specific experience. She manages projects and maintains client relationships while delivering both internal and external consulting services.

Experience: Sara has over 18 years of experience working within the Finance/Financial Services industry in North America and Africa. She earned her MBA (Finance) from Schulich School of Business, York University and a B.Sc. Business Administration (Banking and Finance) from University of Ghana. Previously, Sara was the Head of Corporate Finance at Fidelity Bank in Ghana.

Languages: English

STEPHEN MAGIGE, Field Project Manager, Tanzania

Role at MEDA ‒ As a Field Project Manager, Stephen’s responsibilities is to direct the project to make sure that the overall objectives of the project is realised.

Experience ‒ Stephen has over 15 years’ experience in managing agriculture and livelihood projects, started his carrier in Microfinance as a District Microfinance Supervisors with the Rural Financial Services Programme (RFSP), Microfinance Advisor with the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), National Technical Advisor with the Belgium Technical Corporation (BTC) , Country Programme Manager with Catholic Relief Services(CRS)-Great Lakes Cassava Initiatives Project and currently with MEDA-Cassava Project. Stephen has accumulated vast experience in in project formulations, management, implementation, Monitoring and Evaluations, agriculture value chain assessment and upgrading interventions for various sub sectors, offering a wide range of Business Development Services to different segment of the chain. Stephen has a Bachelor in Agriculture General from Sokoine University of Agriculture and a Master in Business Administration from the University of Dar Es Salaam.

THOMAS McCORMACK, Country Project Manager, Ethiopia

Role at MEDA - In his role as Country Project Manager, Tom overseas and manages MEDA’s Value Chains for Economic Growth Ethiopia (VCEGE) project in the field. Tom has worked in various international positions based in Malawi, Tajikistan, Sudan, Mali, Kazakhstan, Rwanda, and Afghanistan.

Experience - Tom earned a Bachelor of Arts in Human Geography from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master of Public Administration, International Development, from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California, USA. He previously had a long career working for Save the Children as well as Mercy Corps International.

Languages - English