Ruvimbo Mabeza-Chimedza holds a PhD and MSc in Agricultural Economics as well as an M.A. in International Development. She taught in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension at the University of Zimbabwe for over twenty years. As part of her research and outreach work while at the University, she worked with rural communities in rural finance, food security, participatory project planning and implementation, improving smallholder farmers’ access to agricultural services and building capacity in farmers’ groups. She also undertook a lot of consultancy work in project evaluations, needs assessments and capacity building of women’s groups and other related areas. She carried out consultancy assignments for such organisations as the World Bank, DFID, UNDP, FAO, ILO, UNIFEM, CAFOD, CARE, Tearfund, Oxfam, Kellogg Foundation, DANIDA and HIVOS. Ruvimbo sits on several boards of development agencies , trusts and private sector companies.. She was the winner of the World Bank Group-IMF Africa Forum 2000 award for outstanding contribution to Africa in Promoting Gender Equality.
Susanna Makombe holds a MSc.Agricultural Economics, University of East Anglia, School of Development Studies, UK, BSc. (Hons) Agricultural
EconomicsUniversity of Zimbabwe and a Diploma in Banking, Institute of Bankers Zimbabwe, she is Founder and Promoter of the YoungVine Micro Bank targeted at micro-lending for women entrepreneurs. She co-founded Quantum Oil, a company importing fuel, with offices in Zimbabwe and South Africa. She co-Founded and was Director for Projects with Celebration Health and Wellness Centre. She was Regional Manager – Southern Africa with Oikocredit-EDCS. Financing, monitoring and evaluation of projects in Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe. She was National projects Officer (Agriculture & Rural Development), Susanna Makombe
European Union. She has strong analytical skills, developed through experience in agriculture, banking, energy, health, retail, Trustee/Executive Director manufacturing, training, gender issues, capacity building and consulting sectors.