Axel Kadja

Country Manager, TechnoServe

Axel Kadja, based on the reading of Eric Ries’ book Lean Start Up, founded in 2020 Intellinvest, an initiative aiming at improving problem solving skills of Ivorian Bachelor and Master students. At the professional level, Axel joined TechnoServe in May 2018 as Country Manager for Côte d’Ivoire where he has been supporting various agricultural value chain projects (cocoa, cashew, shea nut) added to several urban entrepreneurship initiatives.

Prior to joining TechnoServe, Axel worked for five years with Cargill in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. In Côte d’Ivoire, Axel led the company’s sustainable sourcing strategy, focusing on access to finance for cooperatives and cocoa trade digitalization. He launched the Coop Academy project, a Mini EMBA for cocoa cooperative managers in addition to the joint IFC-Cargill truck leasing project, Doni Doni, the first financing scheme between the Ivorian banking sector and a large portfolio of 80 cocoa cooperatives. This project was awarded at the Food and Ingredient Europe forum in Paris in December 2015. In Ghana, Axel contributed to the set-up of the first digital cocoa purchasing scheme in the country. The scheme currently facilitates daily e-payment transactions between Cargill and 25,000 farmers. Prior to Cargill, Axel was Country Manager for the European Institute for Cooperation & Development-Ivory Coast where, between 2005 to 2012, he contributed to the set-up of a Family Farm Schools network that still exists today.

Axel is a Kellogg EMBA graduate. A father of 3 children, Axel regularly practices table tennis, swimming, biking, and running (while listening NPR Hidden Brain Podcasts) and is currently enrolled in a comedy class. His main sources of inspiration are Herb Kelleher, Greg Page (ex-Cargill CEO), and Jack Ma.