George inspecting the growth of a cotton plant in Northern Cameroon.

Meet George Meka Abessolo, our Director of Africa Business Development

George Meka Abessolo knew from a young age that he was called to work with the land.

Growing up as the grandson of a large cocoa and coffee farmer in South Cameroon, George spent holidays traipsing his grandparents’ farm, helping to harvest, dry, bag, and store coffee and cocoa beans. While as a child he initially feigned disinterest in the tasks, George said he quickly grew to develop a secret passion for farming.

“As I worked on my grandparents’ farm, I did not realize right away that the fun I was having would nurture a passion to be part of the “green revolution”, which was a government initiative popular during the time of my youth,” he said. “It became clear soon that my professional steps would involve supporting agricultural development.”

After receiving his degrees in Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Engineering from the University of Maryland, George spent time working with companies like IBM, Deloitte, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and the United Nations, before returning to Africa to work with the Africa Development Bank. and the Ministry of Agriculture in Cameroon. He said his commitment to and love for working in agriculture has only grown stronger throughout his career.

“Agriculture is the cornerstone for the life of human beings, as it provides food, health, and income,” he said. “For me, personally, working with the land has given me valuable life lessons. First, when you plant a seed in the ground, you have to wait few days or weeks for it to germinate; this has taught me to be patient and have faith in my endeavors. Second, one has to water and fertilize the plant repeatedly until it produces juicy fruits and that has made me to persevere and stay focus on the tasks to accomplish. Lastly, harvesting the fruits has taught me that working hard and smart will always reap the rewards.”

In addition to the personal lessons, however, George cites the real-world challenges our planet faces as additional motivation. “There are 800 million people in our world who do not have access to food to live a healthy and prosperous life,” he said. “On top of that, 1.3 billion tons of food, that is produced and processed, is wasted every year. I am driven to resolve these issues and the challenges of food insecurity, and seize the opportunities that the World Food Bank has developed around new food production technologies, lower transportation costs, and easy access to financing for farmers. At the World Food Bank, we have a very ambitious vision that I fully believe in.”

In his role as Director of Africa Business Development, George says his goals are to link agricultural value chain integration opportunities in Africa to smallholder farmers, with a focus on women, through the World Food Bank blended capital and social impact investment platform, in order to improve both the quality and quantity of smallholder farmer production while increasing their incomes.

Our investment model, the increase of food production, the improvement of food quality, and the purchase contracts offered within an integrated value chain will improve the revenues of the smallholder farmers, reduce poverty, and significantly improve their access to nutrition and family education,” said George.

To learn more about George, visit our Staff Page.