In late March of this year, Paul Van Apeldoorn became the Board Chairperson of ADC. He currently works with Rabobank Wholesale & Rural Department and has previous experience in Uganda, having worked with dfcu as Executive Director and Chief Transformation Officer. Additionally, he was one of the initial Board members of ADC when it was established by Rabo Foundation and dfcu Limited in 2017 to foster agribusiness bankability.
While on his visit, he engaged with key stakeholders to gather insights on our interventions and met with the ADC team to gain a deeper understanding of our processes and capabilities. By physically connecting with our team and experiencing their work environment, he was able to encourage them to leverage our strengths – which stem from our founders, ownership structure, and collective industry experience – to maximize our potential.
During his visit, we had a chance to sit down with him.
Congratulations on your new position as the Board Chairperson of the Agribusiness Development Centre ADC! Please introduce yourself and share with us a little bit about your background and experience.
Thank you! My name is Paul Van Apeldoorn, and I work with Rabobank Wholesale & Rural Department. I am familiar with 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 ADC 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 ADC towards being the preferred Business Development Services Partner in promoting Agricultural Transformation in Uganda?
Last year, ADC launched her Strategic Plan under the Stewardship of my predecessor, Ms. Madelon Pfeiffer (the Chair of ADC then), and two key strategic objectives to be highlighted here are:
- Sustaining ADC’s operations both at institutional and partner level
- Growing ADC’s 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 Workplan, 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 ADC. More importantly, it allows me to touch base with the team physically, better appreciate 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.