Tom Opapa

Director of Global Institutional Partnerships

Nairobi, Kenya

Since 2015, Tom has led the Global Institutional Partnership (GIP) team where he oversees partnerships engagements across sub-Saharan Africa to bring KickStart’s impacts to scale. He develops markets for KickStart’s products and services, and has successfully led negotiations for partnerships that have reached thousands of farming families including grassroots organizations, INGO’s, governments, and UN agencies to promote the successful utilization of our irrigation technologies. Notable achievements include negotiating within tough economic regimes to appoint private sector distributors in both Zimbabwe and Ethiopia, who have since imported thousands of pumps into their countries; leading a partnership deal with Kano state government in Nigeria; and also leading the GIP team to adopt strategic focus with greater impact outcomes. Tom brings to KickStart a wealth of knowledge in fast moving consumer goods in export sales, previously working as the Head of Export Sales at New KCC, a dairy company in Kenya for 5 years, and as the Sales Development Manager with SC Johnson East Africa for 9 years.

Tom received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics (1993) and Master of Science in Agricultural Business Management (1995) from Agra State University in India. He also received an MBA from Eastern and Southern Africa Management Institute (2010) and post graduate diploma from the Association of International Business Executives. Tom is also a member of the Marketing Society of Kenya.

Why KickStart?

“I love what I do at Kickstart because it makes a practical difference, brings hope, and inspires greater purpose for rural farming families across the continent. Knowing that the work I do enables children to have a decent meal, go to school, and change their destiny, inspires me every day. It certainly makes me proud to be part of the solution to what I believe is the most pressing challenge for Africa – fighting poverty. In doing what I do, my 10-year-old daughter, Genevieve, is my hero. She knows and understands that poverty is a critical issue, and she often asks me how many people I have helped to dissolve their circumstances and shift into prosperity. Genevieve is a source of encouragement and provides me with inner motivation to excel in my role.”