Board of Directors

  • William Kwende, Chairman

Mr. Kwende was born in Burkina Faso and is a descendant of the royal family in what is now the capital of Benin. He has acquired many years of experience in project development and process management, including over 10 years with the UN International Organization on Migration. Stationed in Geneva, Switzerland and later Manila, Philippines, he worked on special projects throughout Africa and Asia. He has had extensive work experience under challenging circumstances in Sierra Leone, Senegal, Congo, Cambodia and other developing countries. Mr. Kwende’s specialties in setting up remote communications and supporting infrastructure have been particularly helpful to the relatively smooth deployment of Agritech’s work plan in far flung areas. He seamlessly integrates with the highest levels in Government and the lowest levels in the Community. Educated in France and the United States, at Georgetown and GWU, where he earned a degree in computer engineering, he is fluent in both French and English.

  • Brice Bayala, Director

Colonel Bayala was born in what is today the Ivory Coast. He completed his degrees in Aeronautical Engineering and Electronics at the Royal Air Academy in Morocco. Since 1999 he has served as the second highest ranking officer in the Armed Forces of Burkina Faso. Under Col. Bayala, the Air Force has been tasked not only with national defense, but also with medical evacuation missions, cloud seeding and climate change, and opening up of the country. Col. Bayala headed the peace-keeping force in Burundi in 1994 and has led working groups to Indonesia, Brazil, France, Niger, Taiwan, Russia, Libya, and the USA.

He also led the African delegation to Thailand in 1999 for a conference on artificial climate change and control. Col. Bayala has been awarded the highest military and civilian honors, including the French Légion d’honneur.

  • Richard Ondrik, Director

Mr. Ondrik is an energy economist with over 30 years of project development experience in the energy, infrastructure, and utility sectors. In 1980, he helped pioneer the entry of American companies into China’s oil and gas sector; and later managed an infrastructure portfolio in excess of US$1 billion for a major multilateral financial institution. Mr. Ondrik is the Chairman of Africa Renewable Energy Systems, Inc. and a Director of Global Infrastructure and Investment (Asia), Ltd. He is currently heading Agritech’s effort to define renewable energy on-grid and off-grid projects that can be undertaken in cooperation with strategic investors in that field.

  • Makido Ouedraogo, Director

Professor Makido is a Burkinabe native but received his Doctorate in France and did post-graduate research work in the US. He started agronomic experimentation in Burkina Faso in the mid-1970’s and in 1982 became a Research Collaborator in the Institut des Sciences Végétales in France. In the 1980s he started experiments with Jatropha plants and the use of Jatropha oil, and has since published numerous research papers on Jatropha. He has also conducted research on other oil plants, such as cotton. In 1991, he was appointed Senior Lecturer at the University of Ouagadougou, a position he still holds, and enjoys teaching undergraduate & graduate students, as well as giving practical training to farmers out in the field.

  • George Sycip, Vice-Chairman & Director

Mr. Sycip was born in the Philippines and educated in the US and Spain. After a career in banking and finance in New York and California, he started his own company over 20 years ago to engage in project development and advisory work, mainly of a cross-border nature. He serves on several corporate boards with companies that have now grown to employ 15,000 people. Additionally, he is a Trustee of the International Institute for Rural
Reconstruction, which is active in Africa and Asia, and also served as Social Services Commissioner for the City & County of San Francisco during the 1980s. For most of the past 16 years, he has been on the Advisory Board of Stanford University’s Institute for International Studies, which does cutting edge research into food, energy and environmental issues.