Aspuna Teams

Our People

Aspuna Group Ltd

Maria-Yassin Jah, Co-Founder, CEO, Aspuna Group Ltd.

Maria-Yassin Jah, Co-Founder, CEO, Aspuna Group Ltd.

Prior to co-founding the Aspuna Group, Maria-Yassin was a senior market strategist with E.ON Global Commodities, at the time Europe's largest physical commodity trader. Before joining EGC as an in-house market expert Maria-Yassin had been in market analytics for a number of years – working as an external analyst at Platts, a S&P Global business. Maria-Yassin holds an Executive MBA from the University of Cambridge, an MSc from the London School of Economics and a BA from the School of Oriental and African Studies. She is a citizen of Gambia and Germany.

Dr Luis Prazeres, Co-Founder, COO, Aspuna Group Ltd.

Dr Luis Prazeres, Co-Founder, COO, Aspuna Group Ltd.

An engineer, Dr Prazeres has a background in commodities and manufacturing. Before setting up Aspuna, Dr Prazeres worked as a director for one of the big-four consultancy firms, as well as the head of commodities for a number of boutique consultancies  in London. Prior to that Luis worked for JP Morgan’s commodities trading division, also in London and in manufacturing in Portugal. Dr Prazeres holds an Executive MBA from the University of Cambridge (UK) and a PhD and Master in Engineering from the University of Strathclyde (UK).

Patrick Fernandes, CFO, Aspuna Group Ltd.

Patrick is currently chief financial officer at Aspuna Group, where he works closely with the financial models of the company. He has assumed a variety of roles including derivatives analyst at Citi Group and financial markets strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Patrick has completed a Computer Science Degree, a Financial Trading and Investments Masters Degree and is currently studying towards a MBA at University of Cambridge.

Cobi-Jane Akinrele: Founder, The Aké Collective/ Head of E-Commerce & Marketing, Aspuna Group Ltd.

Cobi-Jane Akinrele: Founder, The Aké Collective/ Head of E-Commerce & Marketing, Aspuna Group Ltd.

Cobi, the founder of our partner organisation, The Aké Collective, leads on e-commerce and marketing for Aspuna Group. The Aké Collectivea community of around 400 farmers from North-East Nigeria, is locking in the value of their harvests at source, meaning, they get to benefit from most of the profit their hard work accumulates.

In collaboration with Aspuna Group, Aké curates, procures, and sells, retail-ready superfoods where farmers are not only paid well but fairly. While the Collective offers a number of foods sourced from Northern Nigeria, Aké also exclusively supports Aspuna Group with the marketing and logistics of their wholesale products from other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. 

 

Aspuna Gambia Ltd

Mr. Amadou Jah, Co-founder, Country Director, CEO, Aspuna Gambia Ltd.

Mr. Amadou Jah, Co-founder, Country Director, CEO, Aspuna Gambia Ltd.

Amadou Jah is a co-founder and CEO and country director of Aspuna Gambia Ltd. Mr Jah is in charge of government relations as well as the management of our ecosystem and its stakeholders from the public and private sectors. He manages our partnerships with the country’s farmer associations and oversees the expansion of our operations. Before joining Aspuna Group Ltd, Mr Jah studied business administration at the University of Frankfurt (Germany) after which he worked for Swiss Air and Sony Music before returning to Gambia to set up his translation and education businesses. In 2015, he joined the Aspuna Gambia subsidiary as country director and minority shareholder.

Tijan Ceesay, COO, Aspuna Gambia Ltd.

Tijan Ceesay, COO, Aspuna Gambia Ltd.

Tijan Ceesay joined us after a time abroad in several European countries. Mr Ceesay is in charge of factory operations and Aspuna’s supply chain across our expanding portfolio of cassava, tomato, and mango. He oversees Aspuna’s existing and growing network of Gambian small holder farmers, establishing strong and fair partnerships with those communities. Prior to joining Aspuna Mr Ceesay was managing the import and export of consumer products into The Gambia where he gained critical skills in logistics.

Aspuna Tanzania

Victor Kabegu, CEO, Aspuna Tanzania.

Victor Kabegu, CEO, Aspuna Tanzania.

Victor is a bio-technologist by background and qualified as a marketer with STEP in Germany. Before joining Aspuna Victor was the CEO and co-founder of JV Biotech Enterprises Company Limited. He helped the company to build its operation and production site as well as establishing effective sales channels for its products locally and international.  Victor has 5+ years of experience in the creation and management of a cassava value chain. Victor is also the General Secretary of the Tanzania Cassava Producers and Processors (TACAPPA) association.

Jacob Tito, COO, Aspuna Tanzania.

Jacob Tito, COO, Aspuna Tanzania.

Jacob Tito has a degree in Biotechnology from University of Dar es Salaam. Prior to joining Aspuna, Jacob was the co-founder and managing director of JV Biotech Enterprises Company Limited, an agro-processing company focussed on cassava-based products, such as starch, bio-fertiliser, and animal feed. Jacob was instrumental in JV Biotech Enterprise Company winning several internationally recognised awards sponsored by ILO, NEEC, and the Innovation Support Fund sponsored by HDIF and COSTECH.

Aspuna Nigeria

Anthony Ajose, Chairman, Aspuna Nigeria.

Anthony Ajose, Chairman, Aspuna Nigeria.

Anthony Ajose MSc, MBA brings 15 years broad experience as an economist and strategy consultant commercialising innovative solutions in the human development field. Anthony has experience in the NHS as a former regional director / head of service at the World Health Organisation, and of strategy consulting with a big four firm. He has also consulted for the Nigerian government, advising the Senate on universal health coverage. 

Serving on the board of Aspuna, Anthony brings policy insights, innovative financing, and local subject matter expertise. He received his master’s degrees from UCL and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in addition to an Executive MBA from the University of Cambridge.

Mr Abdulhakeen Alao Tijjani, CEO, Aspuna Nigeria.

Mr Abdulhakeen Alao Tijjani, CEO, Aspuna Nigeria.

Mr Abdulhakeem Alao Tijjani holds a  BSc in Botany and a MBA (Agribusiness). He was the Chairman/CEO of Hakams Investment Limited from 1997 to 2010 and founded Atland Foods in 2019.

Ms Khaulat Ayomide Abdulhakeem, Product Manager, Aspuna Nigeria.

Ms Khaulat Ayomide Abdulhakeem, Product Manager, Aspuna Nigeria.

Khaulat is a product manager and board member of Aspuna Nigeria. As a machine learning researcher, public speaker and founder of AI Abeokuta, a Nigerian artificial intelligence community, Khaulat bings a wealth of experience, expertise and energy to the growing team.
Oluwafemi Ajose, Head of Marketing, Sales & Operations, Aspuna Nigeria.

Oluwafemi Ajose, Head of Marketing, Sales & Operations, Aspuna Nigeria.

Oluwafemi (Femi) Ajose is a seasoned professional with extensive experience in international trade and development, business operations, strategic marketing and project management. Having worked and consulted for multiple private and public sector organisations, including on-the-ground business experience in Nigeria, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, Oluwafemi brings a deep international perspective to the team. 

Oluwafemi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Wales and a Master’s degree in International Business and Marketing from London Metropolitan University. He has an MBA and several professional courses in view.