About Sense

The Team

Our team consists of economists, researchers and agronomists who benefits from practical experience in business, agriculture, marketing and consulting. This unique combination of characteristics and skills, enable all Sense consultants to provide practical insights and workable solutions to development and business challenges.


Michiel Arnoldus

Managing Director & Lead Economist

The managing director, Michiel Arnoldus, has over 18 years of experience in business and development, in Africa and Europe. Being both African and European he has a passion for African development and can connect the two worlds.


Kerry Kyd

Private Sector Specialist

Kerry has over 15 years of Brand, Marketing and Business Strategy experience in South Africa and in Europe. As a brand consultant, she worked for some of the world’s biggest brands. Her understanding of business, marketing and research helps us to help crack many strategic business, sector and investment challenges. She leads market studies and investment promotion efforts and has experience in a number of sectors from fruit to forestry.


Barry Clausen

Agronomist & Senior Consultant

Barry was born and raised on a farm in South Africa and for eight years managed his own avocado, citrus, and horticulture farm. This wealth of practical farming knowledge has enabled him to become excellent at identifying the right technology & farming practices for each project. His time as a journalist helps him to find out pretty much everything about anything.


Floris van der Pol

Partner Consultant

Floris has over 35 years of experience in agricultural development in West Africa in a wide range of products. More recently he has specialised in technological innovation and processing.


Gaga Nikabadze

Economic Development Consultant

Gaga Nikabadze is an economic development consultant with 12+ years of experience who specialises in the development of the agricultural sector, impact investment and access to finance systems development.

Gaga has an in-depth practical and theoretical understanding of the agribusiness sector in developing countries and has worked in more than 10 countries in 20 value chains. His expertise includes agribusiness impact investment and agribusiness trade.


Benn Michiels

Project Manager – Dry More

Benn is an energetic, creative spirit who combines guts and common sense in just the right doses. As a military pilot, Benn thought outside the box, made a career switch and specialised in optimising food companies and work processes. Benn has been working in Africa for more than 10 years and also has experience in Asia and other countries worldwide.

Value chains, agriculture, food (meat, nuts, vegetables, fruit, dairy products, palm oil, chocolate), metal, chemical & energy and optimising people in these sectors are his specialties.

Technical support on all levels and investment projects form part of Benn’s skills.  


Sue Wessels

PA/Office Manager

Sue provides a full admin/pa function to the office.  Having worked in the corporate environment for the past 35 years her key skills lay in office/HR administration, event management and training coordination/facilitation.

Our Passion

At Sense we share a few important characteristics.

We have a passion for development in Africa

We understand business

We're able to work with multinationals, African and Western SMEs, informal traders, small farmers, governments, NGOs, etc.

We do not believe in giving things away for free

We have a natural distrust when we hear stereotypical answers and solutions such as ‘let's cut out the traders'

We understand that each actor in the value chain needs a strong economic incentive to go along with the development plan

We like to dig deep to get to the root issues and offer new insights

We like thinking differently and looking at a problem from different angles

We want to transfer skills to local people

We believe in sharing information and knowledge and working together

We value adult relationships, face the facts and make the hard choices as partners


Where We Work

Sense has worked in several African countries, building strong networks with local consultants. As a result, we’re able to work in many sectors and different types of specialised projects across sub-Saharan Africa.

West Africa

West Africa

Our team has strong roots in Agri-processing in West Africa. We pride ourselves on being able to deliver a bilingual team for work in Francophone West Africa, which makes fieldwork and business support efficient and insightful.

East Africa

East Africa

Over the years we’ve delivered sector and business support in several East African countries. Our experience includes access to finance, value chain analysis and supply chain strategies in both the private and public sector.



At times we’ve been called on to deliver projects outside of Africa. Over the years we’ve worked in the fruit sector in India and in South America in chocolates.

"We work in a number of African countries and beyond, but with a special focus on West Africa as we have unique language skills for that region."


South Africa








Burkina Faso






Featured Projects

West Africa

West Africa

Multi-Year Dairy Supply Chain Project - Senegal - IFC

Cashew Benchmarking Project - Multi-country - GiZ

Fruit Sector Business Support - Ivory Coast

Market Study Fruit Sector in EU, USA, Gulf States

Value Chain Selection & Business Case Development - Ghana - IFC

Investment Promotion - Ghana, Ivory Coast - Ministry Of Foreign Affairs NL

Rice Multi-Country Benchmarking Study - GiZ

Agricultural Finance Nigeria (Cassava, Maize, Potato, Rice)

West Africa

East & South Africa

Business Plan Development for Long Life Milk Plant - Tanga Fresh

Potato Processings, Marketing and mechanisation Study - Kenya

Investment Promotion Strategy ZVDA - Mozambique - Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Wageningen University

Access to Finance Business Case development for Multiple Value Chains - Zambia - GiZ