Samir Abdelkrim is a Blogger, an Entrepreneur and an Innnovation Consultant. Samir specializes in African startups, Emerging Markets Ecosystems and Diaspora Entrepreneurship. Multicultural, curious, and passionate, he launched StartupBRICS.com in 2013, the 1st French-speaking blog covering the Startup scene in Emerging countries, from Africa to Asia to Russia. Samir has been travelling for 7 months across 15 countries in Africa in order to meet incubators and startups for his new project called TECHAfrique (http://techafrique.co). After meeting hundreds of African startups and dozens of tech hubs, Samir is deeply engaged in the African start-up ecosystem and now creates bridges between Africa, France and MENA. Prior to these current entrepreneurial projects, he worked for over 6 years managing international innovation projects in the MENA region, including in Morocco, Egypt, and Palestine.
Barclay Paul is a 22-year-old entrepreneur who is the Founder/CEO of Impact Africa Industries, a three-year-old company that manufactures affordable sanitary care products for women and children at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid. The company employs 34 staff members and currently distributes within Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Tanzania. He is a Co-Founder of OneProjects, a pan-African organization that seeks to bridge the gap on renewable energy, agriculture, education and leadership for young people across the African continent.
Before founding Impact Africa Industries, he helped found two other start-ups, SkypeScience and Marketplace, which had mixed success. He started his first company at 15 years old. Barclay is an author of the book MarketPlace, which gives start-ups advice on how to navigate the early days of running a company.
He is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and was an Anzisha Prize winner - the African Oscars for young entrepreneurs – in 2013. He is a Spark Fellow, named one of the social entrepreneurs to watch (Under35CEO), a Remarkable25 Under 25 Young African Entrepreneur, and twice one of Forbes’ 30 Most Promising Entrepreneurs under 30 (2014&2015) in Africa, Top 40 under 40 men in Kenya by The Businessdaily, 7 inspiring entrepreneurs to watch globally 2015 by the United Nations Foundation and MTV Voices 20-somethings changing the world. He has a Bachelor degree in Commerce with a major in Finance from the University of Nairobi.
Allon Raiz is regarded both locally and globally as a pioneer and maverick in the business incubation industry. He is the CEO of Raizcorp, the only privately held, unfunded, profitable business incubator on the African continent.
Allon is the co-founder of the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation South Africa and Rural Roots, and sits on the advisory and judging boards of numerous local and international NGOs and entrepreneurial awards. Allon’s passion and focus on the development of entrepreneurs attracted the attention of the World Economic Forum (WEF) which, on 11 March 2008, awarded Allon as a Young Global Leader.
As an accomplished international speaker, Allon was invited to speak at the 2011 WEF Annual Meeting, held in Davos, Switzerland. In 2011, Allon was also invited to become a member of the WEF’s Global Agenda Council on Fostering Entrepreneurship, making him one of 15 recognised global experts in this field. Since 2014, Allon has guest lectured every year at Oxford University, where he is recognised as the Oxford University Saïd Business School’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
Richard Attias, born in 1959 in Morocco, was educated as a Civil Engineer and spent some years in the field of computing and information technology first at IBM then at Econocom, where he occupied the post of general manager in France and Japan. In 1990 he turned to consultancy for business in communication and strategy.
For almost 25 years, Richard Attias has advised his clients, States, governments and international groups on communication strategy, investment, international development and image.
Now the head of Richard Attias & Associates, www.richardattiasandassociates.com founded in 2009, Richard Attias designs and implements platforms for dialogue, information exchange and call for action in the economic, social, sports and political fields.
In recent years this has led to the creation of the New York Forum, the New York Forum Africa and the Doha GOALS Forum in particular.
Prior to this, at the head of Publicis Events Worldwide and Publicis Live, for more than 15 years Richard Attias organised the Davos Forum, all the regional summits of the World Economic Forum, the Clinton Global Initiative and more than 1000 events and initiatives for both the public and private sectors.
In January 2014, the WPP group, the world’s leading communication group took a 30% share in the capital of Richard Attias & Associates.
Kingsley Bangwell is an ASHOKA Fellow, a UNDP Innovation Consultant, an alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy Leadership School of Public Policy- Harvard University, a fellow of Yale University 21st Century Leadership Module, and a Fellow of the Stanford Democracy and Leadership Program, among others. His 2020 dream is to build a world-class youth development with hostel and training facilities in Nigeria.
In 1995, at age 21, he started Youngstars Foundation in a local barber shop in Jos, Nigeria, Plateau state. Now headquartered in Abuja, the enterprise has grown with an additional office in Accra, Ghana. He works to strengthen youth organizations in the areas of democratic governance, entrepreneurship and leadership. Youngstars has directly conducted more than 60 workshops, facilitated more than 500 stepdown workshops and hosted hundreds of radio and television programs. Youngstars conducts the oldest annual youth democracy training program in Nigeria (www.desplay.org). Youngstars has also introduced Nigeria’s first political leadership preparatory program for youth called “Young Aspirants Leadership Fellowship – YALF”. They are currently piloting Nigeria’s first youth online television channel www.youthtvafrica.com.
Ibrahima Cheikh Diong is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Dakar-based pan-African management consulting and commercial facilitation firm, Africa Consulting and Trading (ACT). Mr. Diong also advises the Middle East and Africa Region Department of the Corporate and Investment Banking Unit of BNP Paribas. He served in July 2007 as Minister, Special Adviser to the President of the Republic of Senegal and was appointed in May 2010 as Ambassador at Large and Director General (DG) of the International Cooperation of Senegal. Mr. Diong was appointed in February 2011 as Permanent Secretary of Energy (PSE) of Senegal.
He previously served as the first Chairman of the Board of Senegal Airlines (SAL), in the Africa Department of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and as Regional Coordinator for Africa of the World Bank-managed multi-donor facility, the Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF). Prior to the World Bank Group, he worked for Booz Allen and Hamilton (BAH) where he led the Africa privatization business. Mr. Diong graduated from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University in New York City. He is fluent in English, French, Mandarin Chinese and Wolof.
Issam Chleuh is the Founder & CEO at Africa Impact Group. AIG isinfluencing the growth of impact investing in Africa by channeling investmentsin startups, social enterprises and SMEs as the best solution for Africa’sdevelopment. AIG is a multiservice firm specialized in advisory,intermediation, research and BIG DATA.Issam has been featured on Forbes 30 MostPromising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa, CNN Top Entrepreneurs, Youth VillageTop 30 Most Inspirational Young people in Africa, Take Part magazine 10 AmazingMillennials Who Are Saving the World and Young People in International Affairs(YPIA) 2014 Top 35 Africans Under 35. A native of Mali, Issam grew up inMauritania, Guinea, Benin, Morocco, Mali, Republic of Congo, Ghana, Senegal,Saudi Arabia and the USA.Issamhas a Bachelor in Finance from Suffolk University Boston and a Master inAccounting from the University of Notre Dame.
Dominic Barton is the Global Managing Director of McKinsey & Company. In his 27 years with the firm, Dominic has advised clients in a range of industries including banking, consumer goods, high tech and industrial. Prior to his current role, Dominic was based in Shanghai as McKinsey’s Asia Chairman from 2004 to 2009 and led the Korea office from 2000 to 2004. Dominic has authored more than 80 articles and is a co-author, with Roberto Newell and Greg Wilson, of Dangerous Markets: Managing in Financial Crises (Wiley & Sons, 2002) and China Vignettes: An Inside Look at China (Talisman, 2007).
Dominic leads McKinsey’s work on the future of capitalism, long-term value-creation and the role of business leadership in society. This is a set of research initiatives and projects to convene organisations and leaders for constructive action. One such project was a task force on Inclusive Capitalism, which Dominic co-led with Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild. The task force – comprised of business and public leaders in the US and UK – developed approaches for engaging and scaling business actions to address issues that create both social and economic value.
K.O. Adenowo is Managing Director, Co-Head, Financial Institutions Africa for Standard Chartered Bank. He is also a Non-Executive Director of Standard Chartered Bank Sierra Leone. During his 28 years’ experience in banking and consulting, he has served as Managing Director, Origination and Client Corporates for Standard Chartered Bank, West and Central Africa, Deputy Managing Director of Standard Chartered Bank Cameroon and Director in Wholesale Bank in Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria.
He was appointed the first Regional Head of Global Corporates for Standard Chartered Africa where he led the Africa Multinational business. KO was a founding staff of SCB Nigeria and has held other several positions in Standard Chartered Bank Group in the last 15 years. He has worked in Societe Generale Bank Nigeria and Deloitte Nigeria, where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1990. A Chartered Accountant by profession, he was appointed Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Institute Accountants of Nigeria in 2000. He is an alumnus of Said Business School of Oxford University and holds an MBA from International Graduate School of Management, University of Navarra, Barcelona.
Omar Ben Yedder is the Group Publisher and Managing Director of leading publishing group IC Publications. The organization has over 50 years’ experience in publishing magazines, country supplements, industry reports and market intelligence on Africa. It now offers a full suite of communications services.
Having previously been an Associate Vice President in the Equity Finance team at Merrill Lynch, Omar brought a new and dynamic approach to IC Publications. Under his leadership, African Banker magazine, as well as IC Events, was launched. Today the group also carries out communications advisory, media relations and contract publishing.
Omar's work and personal interests include media, development economics, leadership and education. He has chaired the Africa Story Challenge competition, a programme driven by the Africa Media Initiative. He also sits on the board of Brand Africa. Omar studied Economics and Languages at Durham University and also is a Chartered Management Accountant.
Koffi Fabrice Djossou is the Senior Director of Sales for ABS (www.absatellite.com). A young, fast-growing global satellite operator, with an entrepreneurial and creative business approach, ABS is majority owned by the Permira funds that are advised by European Private Equity firm Permira. Koffi has more than 10 years experience in ICT and telecommunication industry. He is the former Africa Liaison Manager for ZACR, a South Africa-based entity that performs the technical and administrative functions of the ZA Central Registry (Internet registry and infrastructure), which includes the administration of the CO.ZA domain name space and also the dotAfrica geographic Top Level Domain.
An IEEE member, Koffi is a telecommunication engineer with a significant knowledge in project management, strategy and policy development.
After winning the El Mashrou3 TV Show, the first reality show for young entrepreneurs in MENA, Yostina shifted her career from pharmaceuticals to her own renewable energy venture.
Egypt's energy crisis and recurring blackouts are placing a huge burden on Egypt’s population, with a negative effect on the economy and hindering investment. Taqa Solutions provides sustainable solutions for turning waste into energy, by creating alternative sources of energy through offering economical solutions for waste management, biomass and landfill gas.
In November 2014, Yostina was invited by the US State Department and Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to speak at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, the world’s largest event to promote entrepreneurship and innovation. She has been mentored by Debra Grippo, VP Bank of America, through the mentee-mentor programme run by the Cherie Blair Foundation, as well as by Amr El Abd, Silatech’s project manager in Egypt and a serial entrepreneur.
Dawood Azami is an award-winning journalist, writer and academic. He has been working as a Senior Broadcast Journalist for the BBC World Service since 1999 in London and served as the BBC World Service Bureau Chief and Editor in Kabul, Afghanistan (2010 and 2011). Dawood is also a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Westminster, London, teaching occasionally on modules called "Globalization, Power and International Governance" and “International Politics of Resources.” He also worked as a Visiting Scholar at the Ohio State University, USA.
Dawood holds a Ph.D. and three Masters degrees and his expertise includes globalisation, geopolitics, international relations, media and biological sciences. He was honoured as a Young Global Leader (YGL) by the World Economic Forum in 2011. In 2012, he was selected as a European Young Leader under 40under40, the first pan-European programme of leadership. And in 2009, he became the youngest person to win the biggest award in the BBC, "Global Reith Award for Outstanding Contribution". Dawood speaks five languages and writes poems and short stories.
Ebenezer Essoka has had more than 30 years of banking experience in Africa. He joined SCB in 1986 and is currently Vice Chairman, Africa. Prior to this appointment, he was Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank, South Africa and Southern Africa.
Ebby holds an MBA in Finance as well as a Diploma in International Business from Seton Hall University South Orange, New Jersey, USA and has also attended senior development programmes at INSEAD, London Business School, Templeton College, Oxford University and Cambridge University. He has served on twelve SCB subsidiary Boards. He is currently Chairman of SCB Cameroon, Chairman of SCB Securities, South Africa and previously Chairman of SCB Côte d’Ivoire and Non Executive Director of 10 others including Nigeria and Pakistan.
Ebby has served on the Presidential Investor’s Advisory Council of Ghana. In South Africa, he has served as Director on the Main Board of the Banking Association; was Vice Chairman of the International Bankers’ Association and Council Member of Business Leadership SA. In addition, he serves on the Global Advisory Council of the London Business School and is a founding member and trustee of the Global Reach Network Foundation – an organisation focused on bridging opportunity gaps for individuals and communities worldwide.
Moratuoa Hlongwa is a Chartered Accountant and Founder of Image Evolution Lesotho, an organisation that aims to address a lack of solid financial, internal control and corporate governance structures in small to medium businesses in Lesotho. The organisation also coaches and consults on personal branding and corporate image.
As an Image Consultant under her business called ‘Moratuoa Speaks’, she personally empowers men and women of all ages to boost their self esteem. She combines health insights obtained from running ultra marathons and discipline from vast accounting experience. She is a Mandela Washington Fellow for Young African Leaders at Yale University and an Audit Committee member of the Central Bank of Lesotho. She is the ambassador of the Young Women in Sports Leadership Development Program, first program in Lesotho which aims to bridge soft skills gap and empower young women to drive social and economic change in their communities through sport.
Amadou Hott has been CEO of FONSIS (Sovereign Wealth Fund of Senegal) since October 2013 and Chairman of the Blaise Diagne International Airport since June 2013. He has previously worked in New York and London as a Market Risk Analyst and Manager; Associate Director of ABN AMRO, London, Energy and Mining sector covering the Africa region; Director Africa for the Millenium Finance Corporation, Dubai; CEO of UBA Capital in Lagos; Founder and CEO of Afribridge Capital in Dubai and co-founder of Dangote Capital in Lagos; and a Special Advisor to President Macky Sall of Senegal for Investments and Finance.
Hott has conducted several investment banking transactions for, or facing, multinational corporations (including Arcelor Mittal, Dangote Group, Virgin Nigeria, France Telecom and Orange), international organizations (African, Western, Chinese and Japanese development banks and agencies) and governments (including DRC, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Gabon and Ethiopia). Hott has Masters Degrees from the Sorbonne University in Paris and New York University.
Saïd Ibrahimi holds a degree in engineering from Ecole Centrale de Paris and a graduate degree in industrial engineering. He currently serves as CEO of the Moroccan Financial Board. Mr. Ibrahimi began his professional career in France in 1986 within the banking industry, taking on various operational responsibilities for BNP Paribas.
He was appointed General Director of the Moroccan Bank for Africa and the Middle East in September 1995. His late Majesty King Hassan II appointed him in as General Director of the “Caisse Nationale de Crédit Agricole” in 1997. During this time, he successfully drove important institutional and financial reform by leading the transition of the state bank into a commercial bank. In September 2003, His Majesty King Mohamed VI appointed him as Treasurer of the Kingdom. He ran a modernization plan aiming to improve the quality and efficiency of the institution’s services. He was also in charge of the public spending control, which he successfully achieved by merging heavy and important administrations. In April 2010, His Majesty King Mohamed VI appointed Mr Ibrahimi as Chief Executive of the Moroccan Financial Board, the body in charge of the institutional promotion and the overall management program of the Casablanca Finance City project. He is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Association for Solidarity.
Rahama Wright is a social entrepreneur working to innovate the shea butter supply chain in West Africa. In 2005, she launched Shea Yeleen International, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation that supports women-owned cooperatives in West Africa, and provides training on quality assurance and micro-enterprise development. With a vision to develop an integrative and sustainable supply chain, Ms. Wright created Shea Yeleen Health and Beauty, LLC in 2012, a for-profit sister organisation. Shea Yeleen markets and distributes high quality skincare products, while providing living wages to cooperative members; the products are distributed through Whole Foods Markets.
A leading voice on African women’s economic and business development, Ms. Wright has participated in the UN Thematic Debate on Entrepreneurship for Development, the Secretary of State Global Diaspora Forum, and the Congressional Black Caucus Conference. In 2014, she completed her first round of private equity investment with the Pan African Investment Company. She currently serves as an advisor to entrepreneurs in the Johns Hopkins University’s Social Innovation Lab. In 2014 she was appointed to President Obama's Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa. Ms. Wright received her BA in International Relations from the State University of New York at Geneseo, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali.
John A. Kufuor launched his political career in 1967, when he became chief legal officer and town clerk for the city of Kumasi. On Jan. 7, 2001, he began his first term as president. His inauguration marked the first peaceful transfer of power between democratically elected governments since Ghanaian independence in 1957. He stepped down from office upon the end of his second term and then served as the chairperson of the African Union in 2007–08.
On two occasions, he chaired the Economic community of West African State and the African Union, and in 2011 was named in the joint winner of the World Food Prize with former Brazilian President Lula da Silva. Currently, he serves as UN Special Envoy and co-chairs the Global Panel on Climate Change and Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition. Also, he was Global Ambassador against Hunger for the UN World Food Program; chairman of the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership; Global Envoy for the Neglected Tropical Diseases Alliance; and Lead Advocate for the Partnership for Child Development.
Kwame Abrokwa is the Managing Director and Founder of Avinture Group, a boutique Africa-focused investment advisory and business development firm based in Accra, Ghana. Avinture provides financial and strategic advice including capital raising, corporate and project finance, and cross-border market access to corporations, SMEs, financial institutions, and public entities.
Prior to founding Avinture, Kwame worked as an investment associate in the sub-Saharan Africa department of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, covering investments and advisory services in various sectors and countries. He also served as IFC country assistant, helping to facilitate key strategic initiatives of the World Bank in Ghana and Liberia. Kwame is an active mentor and advisor to Sponsors For Educational Opportunity (SEO) Africa, a non-profit educational and career internship organisation. He is a non-executive director of PNA Express Ghana Limited. Kwame graduated from Vassar College in New York with a B.A. in Economics.
Hamet started his career in London in 2003 working for Koch Supply and Trading, and then EDF Trading in risk management, followed by physical and derivatives commodity trading. In 2008, he joined Goldman Sachs where he was responsible for overseeing their efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa. Hamet has extensive experience working with most governments, financial institutions and corporates in Sub-Saharan Africa. Whilst at Goldman Sachs, Hamet was involved in major deals such as the Ghana Ministry of Finance oil hedging program, and other risk management and debt restructuring mandates.
From March 2012 to February 2014, he held the position of Director at VTB Capital, and started their expansion into Sub-Saharan Africa. He led the team that closed the USD1bn financing deal to the Republic of Angola in August 2012, and the USD350m and USD118m issues to the Republic of Mozambique in 2013. In February 2014, Hamet founded Emerging Africa Investment Partners to support the booming sectors in Sub-Sahara Africa.
Hamet is currently on the board of: Inspirational You (empowering young minorities); Afromania group, (e-commerce in francophone Africa); and Bullion Holdings (a Ghana-based investment boutique). He has a Masters in Finance from Ecole Superieur de Gestion Paris, and an MBA from the Wharton School.
Musabbeh is the Chief Executive Officer of Mubadala Petroleum, responsible for developing and managing Mubadala’s portfolio of oil and gas-related businesses at all stages of the upstream value chain. Musabbeh joined Mubadala Petroleum in 2013 after spending 16 years working with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, where he rose to the position of Geoscience Team Leader, responsible for preparing and implementing the company’s exploration strategy, and subsequently became Manager of the Exploration Division.
Musabbeh has been an active participant in a number of professional bodies and event-related executive committees, and served as a Board Advisory Committee member for the National Drilling Company and is currently an Executive Committee member of various newly established joint ventures in Abu Dhabi.
Cedric Atangana, 23, is a socialtechnopreneur from Cameroon. He is the CEO & cofounder of INFINITY SPACE, a tech startup born in Cameroon building an ebusiness ecosystem for Africa that includes an ecommerce Marketplace w ww.weshopup.com and WeCashUp, a mobile payment platform to enable Africans without bank accounts to buy online using their mobile.
Trained as an industrial engineer computer technologist specialising in robotics and Lean production, he is passionate about innovation in all fields. He feels ready to tear down walls, build bridges, cross mountains and start fires to reach his goals. Atangana says he is not afraid to start from scratch and feels that positive thinkers see the invisible, feel the intangible and achieve the impossible. His live-by words are: design, creativity and disruptive innovation.
Ruben is an accomplished entrepreneur and investment advisor, with a passion for developing and launching major initiatives that blend successful global brands, companies, and ideas with the significant opportunities for socioeconomic development and growth in Ghana and other parts of Africa. Through working at the highest level with global companies, major international businesses, and governments, Ruben has driven the launch of several groundbreaking initiatives in Ghana, including:
The first major retail franchising and distribution business (GRACEFIELD GHANA LIMITED), a business for which he currently serves as chairman.
The first dedicated Container Terminal (MERIDIAN PORT SERVICES LIMITED), where he previously served as the first chairman.
Dr Ruben was formerly a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School and he formed part of the team that established the Executive MBA Program at the University of Ghana Business School, Legon.
Ruben is a Co-founder and President of West Africa Luxury Brands Ltd (WALB), a company that pioneered shops at Ghana-Togo and Ghana‐Cote D’Ivoire borders. WALB is currently acquiring rights for various luxury brands that wish to locate in Ghana, whilst advising some prestigious brands on their West Africa strategy.
Charlotte has more than 19 years of experience in financial asset management and environmental and infrastructure financing. Prior to founding GreenWish Partners in 2010, she was Managing Director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management and led their French and Swiss business. Her vast experience spans multiple domains of investment management including business strategy, team management, project structuring and management as well as capital raising across different asset classes such as infrastructure, private equity, cleantech venture capital, agriforestry and real estate.
She has a long track record of transactions with international investors such as pension funds, sovereign funds, insurance companies, corporates, funds and family offices all over the world. Charlotte holds an MBA from ESSEC Business School in Paris.
Miguel joined Citigroup in 2010 as Corporate and Investment Banking Head for Portugal. Since mid-2012 he has also been the head of Investment Banking for Africa (excl. Egypt and South Africa). In this capacity, Miguel and his team have executed several transactions in North, West and East Africa in the Equity, Debt and M&A space. Citi has been recently named by Euromoney as the 2015 Africa Investment Bank of the Year as well as Africa’s Equity Capital Markets House of the Year.
Prior to working at Citigroup, Miguel was a Senior Country Advisor in Bank of America Merrill Lynch and an Executive Director in Goldman Sachs. Miguel has an MBA in Finance from City University (Cass) Business School, and an Economics degree from Universidade Nova de Lisboa. He has spent most of his more than 25 years in investment banking executing equity capital markets and M&A transactions in Europe, Latin America and Africa. In the last 12 months he has been a regular contributor to CNBC Africa, Bloomberg TV and CNBC Europe on investment in Africa-related discussions.
Mossadeck Bally is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of the Azalaï Hotels Group, a leading private hotel chain group in the West African Region. Born in Niger to Malian parents with a long tradition in commerce and trading, Mr. Bally was raised in Niger and Mali, where he received his early education. He studied abroad, notably in France and in the United States where he improved his business knowledge by obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco, in California.
Mr. Bally commenced his foray into the African hospitality industry with an initial focus on his home country, Mali. In 1994 he established the special purpose vehicle “Société Malienne de Promotion Hôtelière (SMPH)” to effect the acquisition of the first hotel of the future Azalaï Hotels Group through the state privatisation of the renowned “Grand Hôtel de Bamako”. Building on the strong reputation, service quality and management of his first hotel, he built the Salam Hotel in 2000, and entered into a management agreement for Hotel Nord Sud, both based in Bamako.
José Manuel Barroso was President of the European Commission (2004 to 2014). Before he was Prime Minister of Portugal, where he spent 12 years in Government, including as Foreign Affairs and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister (1987 to 1995). His academic appointments include a visiting professorship at Georgetown University, Washington DC (1997 to 1999).
He is currently Visiting Professor at Princeton University, at Geneva (Graduate Institute and University) and Lisbon (Catholic University). He has a Law degree from the Lisbon University, a Masters degree in Political Science from the University of Geneva and a Masters in European Studies from the University Institute in European Studies, Geneva.
After graduating from INT Paris, Neila worked for three years as a consultant in France in the fields of business intelligence and CRM with major French groups such as Saint-Gobain, Renault and LVMH. She created the Tunisian subsidiary of Business & Decision in 2000 to support the development of the group internationally as a result of its listing on Euronext Paris, taking responsibility for the Middle East & Africa region in 2005.
She leads a team of more than 250 people, as well as the strategic and operational international marketing, business development, change management and relationship with large customers in Tunisia and abroad in France, Belgium, USA, UK, Spain, Switzerland and the Middle East and Africa.
Mamadou Biteye is the Rockefeller Foundation Africa Regional Office Managing Director. In this role, Biteye oversees the Foundation’s work across Africa, which includes initiatives such as Digital Jobs Africa, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, Transforming Health Systems, Informal Workers’ Health, Food Waste and Spoilage, among others. He joined the Foundation’s Nairobi-based Regional Office from Oxfam Great Britain, West Africa Regional Center, where he was the Regional Director and responsible for strategic program leadership and overall management of the West Africa region, including eight country offices.
Biteye brings with him decades of experience and expertise in the development sector in Africa. An agricultural economist by training, he has more than 20 years’ experience in strategic leadership, human resources management, financial management, program development and implementation, public policy analysis, advocacy and campaigning and community participatory development.
Some noteworthy achievements from his career include co-designing a micro-finance programme with Oxfam that is today improving the lives of over 500, 000 women in Mali and Senegal; Mamadou also played a key role in the development of some policy processes in West Africa such as the ECOWAS’ Convention on Small Arms, and the ECOWAS’ regional mining directives. He was recently awarded an honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, OBE for his work done under Oxfam.
Tiguidanke Camara, a former model turned mining entrepreneur, is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tigui Mining Group (TMG) and Camara Diamond & Gold Trading Network (CDGTN). She is one of the youngest women mining executives and one of the few women mine owners in Africa. A visionary and proactive businesswoman, she uses her entrepreneurial background to pursue her objective of creating a conglomerate of natural resources and innovative technology companies.
Ms. Camara firmly believes in the growing mineral resources industry as a main driver of economic development, especially those of African countries. She leverages her relationships with local communities, governments, and investors to promote sustainable business ventures as well as the next generation of women in the mining industry. Ms. Camara uses her knowledge and connections to identify economically viable opportunities and translates them into reality. Ms.Camara is an active advocate of women's presence and role in the development of the mining industry. A member of Women In Mining International (WIM), she co-founded Women in Mining Guinée (WIM Guinée).
Melissa Cook is the Founder and Managing Director of African Sunrise Partners LLC, a research and advisory firm. Ms. Cook is a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa. The PAC-DBIA includes fifteen senior executives, investors, and experts who advise President Obama on how to expand US corporate and investment activity on the continent.
Ms. Cook has more than 25 years of global research experience at Drexel Burnham Lambert, Prudential Securities, and CLSA/Crédit Agricole. At CLSA, Ms. Cook was the Head of AsiaUSA Strategy, where she analysed the impact of China’s rise on global markets and China’s strategy for developing new markets. She was a Managing Director and Head of Global Research at Lazard Asset Management. Ms. Cook has an A.B. degree in History from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. in Finance from the Stern School of Business at New York University. She is a CFA charterholder.
In 2011, Daniel joined Grégori International as Business Development Director in order to build the African development of the company. He builds tailored solution for clients who hope to build golf course projects, natural pitches for football or landscaping works. In order to optimise public or private institution investments, he prioritises sustainability, long lasting construction and easy maintenance. In Gabon, Daniel was involved in renovating Stade de l’Amitié Football pitch and the golf project.
A graduate of l’Ecole Nationale du Paysage de Versailles and Bordeaux Business School, Daniel has a technical and commercial background. His global and transversal approach, as a landscape architect and marketing developer, brings a comprehensive approach for each project. Previously Daniel spent 12 years in the industry as Export Manager for Alstom Transport and Safran. Grégori International is a French family run company, operating only on the international level and specialized in turnkey construction of major sport facilities (design and construction) for golf courses, football pitches with natural grass (more than 50 pitches worldwide), landscaping and equestrian race tracks.
Isabella joined FKS Capital as Head of Infrastructure in April 2015 with 18 years experience in Emerging Markets, notably as a Managing Director at Renaissance Capital, running its Solutions Business for Africa. Her previous experience includes two years as a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, where she ran the CEEMEA Credit Structuring business and 10 years at J.P. Morgan, where she held several positions, including as an Executive Director responsible for its Emerging Markets Structuring business.
Isabella holds an LL.B. from the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, an LL.M. from New York University and a Graduate Degree in Accounting from Fundacao Getulio Vargas.
With more than 14 years experience in media communication and Marketing, and a thorough understanding of the Central and West African Market, Bony has established ACMAR MEDIA Group as the leading media agency in the region. He was named one of the 100 African leaders of tomorrow by the Choiseul Institute.
Bony has an MBA in media communications and strategic marketing, and was founder and group president of AMG Central and West Africa. He is bilingual in English and French.
Karine de La Guéronnière is the founder and the CEO of AKFA, African Key For Action.
Expert in industriel projects in agriculture and water businesses. She advises African Governments, International funds and CEOs… (Ronald Lauder - RWL Water, Mustapha Terrab - OCP…)
Prior to create AKFA she served as Vice Presidente at Roullier Groupe (agro Industriel company- 4 billons Euros) responsible for industrial relations and international affairs and développment in Africa. She is particularly recognised in Western Africa where she is actively developing business streams relating to mining, industrial and agricultural projects. For more than 7 years, at the heart of the challenges associated with the raw materials problem in Africa she supports investments that create social and economic wealth there.
Karine holds a degree in Marketing and obtained a Masters from the Institut Supérieur de Communication in Paris in 1992. She began her career with DDB France before joining Publicis, which entrusted her with the management of a Business Unit in Rennes. She shares her time between Africa, France and the USA.
Amadou Diallo is CEO of DHL Freight and a member of the DHL Global Forwarding, Freight Management Board. Based in Bonn, he is responsible for the performance and long-term strategic development of the unit, a role he is well placed to perform with his experience in freight operations and international leadership. Mr. Diallo was previously CEO of Africa and South Asia Pacific for DHL Global Forwarding.
Mr. Diallo has more than 20 years of experience in the tourism, banking, express and logistics industries. He was appointed to head the South Asia Pacific region in June 2008, prior to which he was CFO of DP-DHL Logistics Divisions and Managing Director for the integration of Exel and DHL. Renowned for his expertise and forward-thinking approach towards corporate integrations, Mr. Diallo played a lead role in shaping the development and structure of the DHL Logistics Division through the Exel integration, which remains the largest corporate integration in the transportation and logistics industry to date.
The founder of the first Business School in West Africa, Amadou Diaw, 54, is an economist, specialising in management control. Today he heads up a leading education body, ISM Group, with 17,000 alumni, 5,000 students, 12 campuses and five high schools of excellence
Amadou began his career in Paris, as management controller of GMF. On his return to Senegal, he was appointed Executive Director of the National Confederation of Employers (CNES). Through his knowledge of the African private sector in general, and of Senegal in particular, allows Amadou to better assess the needs for capacity building on the continent. This led to the creation of ISM in 1992. Soon, the Group became the leading business school in Francophone Africa. Amadou is President of the Conference of Grandes Ecoles of Senegal (CGE), and a member of the main representative bodies of higher education in Africa.
Born in South Africa, Tebogo Ditshego is the Group CEO of private equity firm Ditshego Investment Group and also the CEO of public relations agency Ditshego Media. He was listed as one of Forbes Magazine’s top 30 African Entrepreneurs under the age of 30 in 2014. In 2015 he was listed as one of Fast Company Magazine’s top 100 most creative people in business in South Africa and abroad.
He is the founder of South Africa’s most followed reading initiative @ReadAbookSA; this project falls under the South African Reading Foundation of which Tebogo Ditshego is the Founder and Chairperson. In June 2015 he was appointed by Krugersdorp, Kagiso based radio station Mogale FM as a board member to spearhead their marketing operation.
In 2014 he completed the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and he was also named as one of the top 200 Young South Africans by the Mail and Guardian. In the same year, he was a guest panellist for Investec Bank’s Junior Innovators Entrepreurship competition. He’s currently a guest judge for the Chivas Regal SA “win the right way” social entrepreneurship competition.
Currently serving as the Deputy Director of the United Nations Office for South - South Cooperation (UNOSSC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Inyang Ebong-Harstrup began her career in 1988 with UNDP as a Canadian Junior Professional Officer (JPO) serving in Tanzania. Ms. Ebong-Harstrup was then assigned to the UNDP Country office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as a Programme Officer for three years. Following this, she was Policy Advisor in UNDP HQ, New York, for five years and worked in the Bureau for Policy Development (BDP) and the Operations Support Group Office (OSG). In October 1999, she returned to UNDP Tanzania as Deputy Resident Representative (programme) and also acted as the UNDP Resident Representative a.i. In August 2002 she took up her first appointment as UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative (RC/RR) in Trinidad and Tobago, and she also served as RC/RR for Suriname, Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.
Ms.Ebong-Harstrup returned to UNDP HQ in January 2007 to take up her assignment as Associate Director, UN Development Operations Coordination Office (UNDOCO/UNDP) before taking up her current assignment as Deputy Director UNOSSC.
Jean-Louis EKRA has been President and Chairman of the Board of Afreximbank since January 2005 after successive positions of Executive Vice-President and Senior EVP of the Bank. Under his leadership, the Bank was assigned an investment grade credit rating by three international agencies (Fitch, Moody’s and S&P) and won many awards and prizes for excellence by various reputable organisations. He was re-appointed by Shareholders as President and Chairman of the Board for a second term in July 2010.
Before Afreximbank, he held other senior positions: Vice-President, Citibank NA; Managing Director, Société Ivoirienne de la Poste et de l’Epargne, Côte d’Ivoire; Country Manager, (UEMOA) region at Meridien BIAO, Côte d’Ivoire and Partner at DKS Investment, a financial advisory firm in Jersey. He was also Honorary President of the Global Network of Exim Banks and Development Finance Institutions (G-NEXID). He holds a MBA from Stern School of Business – New York University (NYU) and a Maîtrise en Sciences Economiques from University of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. In 2011, Mr. EKRA was listed among the 100 most influential people of Africa by New African and received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from African Banker in 2013.
Mr. Engida has spent the last 20 years leading and managing international organizations advancing the cause of poverty eradication, peace building and, sustainable developments. He has extensively worked on rural and agricultural developments, water and climate challenges, education, sciences, technology and innovation, intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity, communication and information with emphasis on freedom of expression and the free flow information on and offline as well as good governance.
He brings to the international public service a broad range of leadership and management skills from his academic background and rich experiences in the private sector. He is a specialist in change management, good governance and transformative leadership in diverse international setting. Mr. Engida has conferred with political leaders, policy makers, international, regional and national NGOs, the private sector, academia and civil society.
Mr. Engida joined UNESCO as Deputy Assistant Director-General for Administration and Comptroller in June 2004. He has served as Deputy Director-General since July 2010, and from January 2014, has taken on the added responsibility of managing the Communication and Information Programme of UNESCO. He also serves in a number of not-for profit international boards.
Born in Dabou, Côte d’Ivoire, Mr Essis was appointed Director General of the Investment Promotion Centre in Côte d' Ivoire (CEPICI) in October 2011 by Decree N°. 2011-279. He is also President of International Network of Francophones Investments Promotion of Agencies (RIAFPI). Finally, Mr. Essis was appointed representative of Sub-Saharan Africa and Member of the Management Committee of WAIPA (World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies) in 2015.
After graduating from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce d’Abidjan (ESCA), Mr. Essis began his career at Arthur Andersen, before becoming Chief Operating Officer of Ivoiral IPS Group - CI in Abidjan. He then joined Palm Industry in Abidjan as Financial Management Director. After a time as Deputy Director General Cosmivoire - Sifca Group in Abidjan, he became Director of Research and Development for the holding company, Siparal. He was appointed CEO of the Coca Cola bottling plant of ECCBC Group in Guinea, then Regional Managing Director Guinea, Gambia & Bissau. He set up Amsey's International Consulting (AIC) in Paris and Abidjan, and was Associate Director, before being appointed General Manager of CEPICI.
After ten years of international experience with Bouygues and Matra in the 1980’s, Patrice Fonlladosa began developing his expertise within the Veoliagroup in 1994. From 1994 to 2003, he was a member the Executive Committee of the Transportation Division and played a key role in the international development along with Antoine Frérot. Then, in 2003, he was appointed Senior Executive Vice President and member of the Executive Committee at Veolia Water and in 2010 he joined Veolia Group’s holding.
Among his recent missions he has been President and CEO of Veolia Africa and Veolia Middle East, including the water, sanitation and electricity concession contracts in Gabon, Niger and Morocco and also in Namibia and Ghana, and in many countries of the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, etc.).
He successfully led the opening of Veolia Africa and Veolia Middle East’s equity to first ranked minority shareholders (IFC-World Bank and Proparco-AFD Group to 20% of contribution for 7 years), as well as the Group’s first joint venture (Azaliya) with the UAE development company Mubadala in 2008 for MENA. Within a few years, he managed to expand the group’s presence to 7 additional countries by winning numerous contracts (Concessions, BOT, Performance, etc.) mainly in the Middle East where he extended the desalination plant of Oman Sur for instance. Recently, he successfully managed the alliance of Veolia Group in Saudi Arabia with GIHC Group held by Sheikh Baker Binladen, and the first sustainable industrial implementation in Ghana. In June 2015, he signed a performance contract to provide electricity management services to Electricité de Guinée (EDG).
Furthermore, he has been strengthening the relationships of the Group with financial backers and running the Strategic Partnerships Unit (Ex: Qatari Diar) by liaising with Antoine Frérot, Chairman and CEO.
In July 2013, he was appointed President and CEO of Veolia’s business activities in Africa and the Middle East, with the goal of making of Africa and the Middle East one of the Group’s most significant zones of growth within the Group as part of the 2015-2020 Plan.
Patrice Fonlladosa is a French citizen who graduated in 1981 from the Institut Français de Gestion. He lives in Paris and has four children.
Eleni Giokos is a freelance financial journalist in South Africa. She was formerly senior anchor for Bloomberg TV Africa and anchored the global show African Business Weekly for Bloomberg International. Giokos also hosted Leading Africa, featuring exclusive interviews with African Heads of State such as President John Dramani Mahama, President Macky Sall and President Mohammed Marzouki.
Giokos was formerly an anchor at 24-hour news channel, eNCA. She broke the Oscar Pistorius story, staying on air for seven hours as the story developed. She has been in the industry for 10 years in radio, print and broadcast media. She gained extensive experience at CNBC Africa spending 5 years covering capital ad equity markets.
As a broadcaster and a published journalist at the Mail and Guardian newspaper, she has gone head to head with some of the biggest global and local names. She has interviewed President Jacob Zuma, IMF MD Christine Lagarde, former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Giokos is an International Monetary Fund Fellow and has a Honours Degree in Journalism from The University of Witwatersrand.
Nik Gowing was a main news presenter for the BBC’s international 24-hour news channel BBC World News 1996-2014. He presented The Hub with Nik Gowing, BBC World Debates, Dateline London , plus location coverage of major global stories. For 18 years he worked at ITN where he was bureau chief in Rome and Warsaw, and Diplomatic Editor for Channel Four News (1988-1996). He has been a member of the councils of Chatham House, the Royal United Services Institute, and the Overseas Development Institute, the board of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy including vice chair, and the advisory council at Wilton Park.
Nik has extensive reporting experience over three decades in diplomacy, defence and international security. He also has a much sought-after analytical expertise on the failures to manage information in the new transparent environments of conflicts, crises, emergencies and times of tension. In 2014 Nik was appointed a Visiting Professor at Kings College, London in the School of Social Science and Public Policy and he is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Geo-Economics.
Jean-Jacques Guilbaud graduated in sociology and public law. He joined Total in 1981 as a legal advisor specialising in labour law. In 1985, he was appointed Industrial Relations Manager and in 1991, Real Estate Asset Manager. He served as Deputy General Manager of the Normandy refinery from 1994 to 1996 and Vice President Human Resources from 1996 to 1998.
He was appointed Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Communications and member of the Management Committee in April 1998. He was appointed Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Communications of TotalFina in 1999, of TotalFinaElf in 2000 and of Total in 2003. He has been Chief Administrative Officer since 2008 and a member of the Executive Committee since February 2007.
Ivor Ichikowitz is an industrialist and philanthropist. He is a life-long proponent of Africa and its people and his interests stretch from local community initiatives to international trade and development. Over the last two decades he has been an active investor, employer and industrialist building numerous successful businesses across the continent.
He believes that innovation is the key to Africa’s future growth. As a result his core businesses are within the high value manufacturing and technology sectors. It is investment in these and other heavy industries like mining and energy that positions Ivor at the vanguard of Africa’s re-industrialisation. Over the last 20 years he has built successful businesses across oil and gas, defence and aerospace manufacturing, property, retail, tourism, mining, agriculture and sustainable development across Africa.
Ivor is the Executive Chairman of the Paramount Group, which he founded in 1994. Under his leadership the business has grown into Africa’s largest privately owned defence and aerospace business. As Executive Chairman of private equity group TransAfrica Capital Limited, he directs investments in scientific research and development projects. He founded the Ichikowitz Family Foundation, which supports educational and developmental programmes that empower Africa's young people to seize the new century's opportunities.
Thebe Ikalafeng is arguably the foremost global African brand and reputation architect, advisor and author. Named one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by New African Magazine, he has been to more than 50 countries across Africa and the world and worked on over 100 brands, gaining an invaluable and incomparable perspective and knowledge on building brands and reputations. He is the founder of the award-winning brand and reputation firm, Brand Leadership Group, and a non-executive director of Mercantile Bank Holdings, Brand South Africa, WorldWideFund for Nature (WWF) and South African Tourism.
He is founder of the Brand Africa and Public Sector Excellence initiatives. Ikalafeng holds BSc and MBA degrees from Marquette University (USA), completed executive education at Wits Business School and Harvard Business School, and a qualified Chartered Marketer (SA). Ikalafeng is widely recognized and respected in Africa and the world, and has been featured in global and Africa media such as CNN, BBC, CNBC Africa, African Business and New African and quoted globally in matters related to branding, reputation & Africa. www.ikalafeng.com.
In his current role as Vice President for Africa, Daniel Jaeger is responsible for Alcatel-Lucent’s business and operations in the biggest part of Africa. Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Alcatel-Lucent’s main office for the region, Daniel leads an organization serving customers across the continent.
Prior to his current assignment, Daniel held various positions within Alcatel and Alcatel-Lucent, during which he was based in Austria, Russia, Kazakhstan, Belgium and Egypt. Among others, he was in charge of the company’s business in Central Asia and later leading the Fixed Access Division for Central and Eastern Europe.
Daniel has more than 12 years experience in international business in various leadership roles, covering sales, business development and operations. He holds a Masters degree in International Business Administration from the University of Vienna.
Named by Forbes as one of Africa’s 30 best entrepreneurs under 30, Chude Jideonwo is Managing Partner of Red Media Africa (RED), which owns the continent's largest portfolio of youth media brands. RED's brands include Y! Africa and YNaija.com, and Chude has consulted for global brands including Microsoft, Google, the British Council and the United States Government.
RED has also successfully managed the campaign communication for two consecutive Nigerian Presidents. Through Statecraft Inc, RED's governance communication company, he led on the communication for the Muhammadu Buhari campaign in 2015. The digitally-driven movement upset a 16-year monopoly by the previous ruling party.
A lawyer and award-winning journalist, he has a Masters Degree in Media and Communication from the Pan-African University. He is a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum, a member of the African Leadership Network and sits on the boards of the Oando Foundation and Micosoft4Afrika.
In May 2014, his latest book, Are We The Turning Point Generation? was published by Farafina. In October 2014, he was announced winner of the CNBC All Africa Young Business Leader of the Year.
Mr Stephen Karangizi has been the Director of the African Legal Support Facility since October 2011. The African Legal Support Facility, hosted by the African Development Bank, was established to support African Countries in negotiating complex commercial contracts and in assisting them with creditor litigation. Mr Karangizi is a lawyer with extensive experience in International Commercial and Trade Law. He was Deputy Secretary General (Programmes) of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) from 2008 to 2011 and the Legal Advisor for COMESA from 1997 to 2008.
Over a 34-year career as a lawyer, he also served as a Legal Advisor for the Governments of Uganda, Antigua and Barbuda (West Indies) and Zimbabwe. He holds an LLB (Honours) and LLM degrees. He is enrolled as a Legal Practitioner of the High Court of Zimbabwe and an Advocate of the High Court of Uganda. He also served as Chairman the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in 2006. He has also been a visiting Resource Person to many Regional and International Capacity Building Centres on different legal issues and has authored many publications in the legal field.
Aisha Karanja is the Executive Director the Green Belt Movement (GBM). Aisha joined the Organisation in 2013 and was appointed as the Executive Director in June 2014 after serving as the Executive Director for six months. Prior to joining the Green Belt Movement she worked in senior management positions since 2007 and has served in both not–for-profit and corporate organizations. A seasoned administrator and human resource management professional, she has a dynamic combination of practical management skills and innovative thinking, as well as strong experience in operational leadership, strategic development and team building.
Aisha holds a Masters degree in Community Development and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political science, economics and sociology both from Agra University, India. She also holds a Post-graduate diploma (PGD) in journalism and mass communications. As GBM Executive Director she is leading her team to empower communities on watershed management, climate adaption and mitigation, and gender equality, while continuing to carve out space for women's voices to be heard and valued, keeping alive the legacy of Professor Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the Green Belt Movement.
Alan Kasujja is widely regarded as one of Africa’s most prominent journalists. At the moment, he presents Newsday - the BBC World Service’s award-winning flagship news programme. It is considered the biggest programme of its kind in the world with tens of millions of listeners across the globe.
Alan has also reported for the UK’s most influential breakfast programme, Radio 4’s Today and for BBC TV. He’s recently presented a highly acclaimed three-part documentary series - My Africa - exploring the social and economic transformation of the continent.
Before joining the BBC, Alan was the host of Uganda’s leading morning radio programme on Capital FM. He also worked in Nairobi and presented the East African version of the TV series Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
Jean-Luc Konan is a 41-year-old banker with 20 years of experience in the financial sector. He holds a Master of Science in Banking and finance for ESC Toulouse and a postgraduate Degree (DESS) in finance. He has held various senior positions in several international banks including CITIBANK, Barclays, BNP Paribas.
He has been Regional Director in charge of Expansion projects for ECOBANK, the largest bank (in term of footprint) in Africa, before holding a CEO position for the Nigerian-based pan African bank United Bank for Africa in Gabon and Senegal, where he has won CEO of the Year from Banker Magazine and Global Finance, two years running.
He is Executive Vice President and founder of MJE Capital, a Dubai based advisory Cabinet that fosters on the structuring of large ticket transactions across Africa. He has recently created the COFINA Group, a microfinance institution specialized in financing SME and entrepreneurs - ‘the missing middle’ - that operates in four African countries and aims to cover 16 countries by 2021. Jean-Luc is the chairman of Capital Performance Development (CAP- DEV), a regional association that promotes governance and best practices among microfinance institutions in Africa.
William Kwende is an African entrepreneur and developer. He was educated in Dakar, Paris and Washington DC, where he graduated with a degree in computer engineering at George Washington University and a DEFL from Georgetown University. William is a former UN Official with the IOM agency. He was first posted in Dakar covering West and Central Africa, then in Manila, Philippines for 8 years where he covered several countries in Southeast Asia.
His experience in development was the base for Agritech’s initial concept featuring a mix of profit-making and sustainable development notions. Agritech promotes eco-development clusters supporting rural farmers in six West African countries. It also provides agro models, access to energy, and training in rural areas as well as commodities consolidation bridging the rural and world markets. In 2010 William created Burkina Golden oils to produce shea butter and consolidate Agritech’s activities in shea, focused on empowering rural women.
Cina Lawson is Minister of Post and Telecommunications of Togo, building on 14 years of experience in the areas of telecommunications. Previously, as Manager of Corporate Strategy and Business Development at the Orange Group in New York City, she was in charge of identifying business opportunities by monitoring markets and innovative technologies. Prior to that, she worked at Alcatel-Lucent in Paris, providing insight into the communication tools linked to supply chain reforms that were being implemented at the corporate level.
Lawson began her career at the World Bank in Washington, DC where she worked on telecom restructuring projects in developing countries focusing on regulatory reforms. She is a graduate of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). In 2012, Forbes magazine ranked her among the 20 most powerful young women in Africa.
Thierry Lepercq, 52, is the Chairman of Solairedirect, which he co-founded in 2006. Solairedirect is a solar power company operating across four continents with the mission of making solar power more competitive than other energy sources. Solairedirect has developed a distinctive scalable business model as a 100% solar power company with the aim of creating value all along the value chain from development to construction, services and investment. Solairedirect had revenues of EUR156 million in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014 and has achieved a 45% compound annual revenue growth rate over its last five fiscal years.
Previously Mr Lepercq had a 20-year career in technology finance, first with Bankers Trust in New York, and later with Banque Arjil (Lagardère Group) and Oddo & Cie. In 1999 he founded NetsCapital, a boutique investment bank focused on information technology, which structured 40 transactions for a total of EUR400m. In 2004 MR Lepercq set up Réseau Innovation Energie, a think tank with such participants as Caisse des Dépôts, Suez, EDF and Gaz de France. He is a graduate of HEC (Paris).
Mr. Li Keping has been Vice Chairman, President and Chief Investment Officer of China Investment Corporation since 2014. Immediately prior to this, Mr. Li served as the Executive Director, Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of CIC for three years. Before joining CIC, Mr. Li worked in the National Council for the Social Security Fund as Head of Investment Department (2001-2007) and Deputy Chairman (vice minister level) (2007-2011) successively.
From 1992 to 2000, Mr. Li took various positions in the State Commission for Restructuring the Economic Systems which was then restructured and renamed as the State Council Office for Restructuring the Economic Systems. There, he served as Deputy Director General of the Macroeconomic Control Department until 2000. In 2000, Mr. Li went to the University of Colorado as a visiting scholar.
Between 1982 and 1992, Mr. Li worked as a lecturer at the Beijing University of Chemical Technology and took his advanced education at the Fudan University, University of Tübingen and TH Darmstadt (Germany) during that period of time. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Peking University.
As the senior leader of AVIC INL, he is in charge of the oversea business of the whole enterprise in terms of investment, international engineering, project financing, and development of real estate, covering a broad band of sectors, which include vocational education, medical, Industrial facility, infrastructure, electricity and new energy.
His rich experiences and profound understanding over 30 years on this continental has enable him to be partnered with many governors and friends from the different industries. He has attached more importance on corporation social responsibility and also focuses on the people’s livelihood in Africa and especially the education of the youth. He also launched and sponsored a series of vocational education programs for the youth, together with public activity like ATC (Africa Technical Challenge), to benefit some countries.
Dr. Carlos Lopes holds a PhD in History from the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and a Research Master's in Development Studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. In 1988, he joined the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a Development Economist and occupied various positions including Deputy Director for the Office of Evaluation and Strategic Planning, Director of the Bureau for Development Policy and UN Resident Coordinator in Zimbabwe and Brazil.
He then served as the Assistant Secretary-General and Director for Political Affairs of the UN Secretary-General. From 2007-2012, he served as Executive Director for the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in Geneva and simultaneously at the UN System Staff College in Turin. He is currently the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa and UN Undersecretary-General. He has published extensively, authoring or editing 22 books, mostly on Africa and development issues. He received an Honorary PhD in Social Sciences from the University of Cândido Mendes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
An economist, Mr Ly is an official at the Central Bank of West African States (CBWAS), where he worked for more than 15 years on macroeconomic analysis and the financial sector in the research department, before being seconded to the Senegalese government. His role is Special Advisor to the Director General of the Investment Promotion and Major Works Agency (APIX) in charge of economic policies and the financing of the economy. He played an active role on the Steering Committee for the financing of this plan before being promoted to Project Director for the development of a mining hub. He has carried out a number of missions all over the world, looking at the business environment, the financing of the economy and regional integration.
Mr. Ly holds a postgraduate degree in banking and financial economics from the Institut Technique de Banque of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris (CNAM), a specialist studies certificate in political science, a DESS in economic policy and project analysis and a masters in macroeconomic management from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar.
Isabelle’s target is to create new opportunities, building new models, and to establish a better balance between humans and economics. Her aim is to create new strategic areas and to drive innovation knowledge.
A graduate of École Normale Supérieure and École Centrale de Paris, Isabelle was a performance project manager leader, and an innovation and organisational consultant for 15 years in the financial sector. She now runs Hodea, a strategic consulting & executive advisory agency. Her main activity creates innovation by value to support top management and entrepreneurs in designing their new offers. She has been designing a specific model for Africa within the SME network: Crowdfunding Incubator Clusters.
Ranked by Forbes Magazine as one of the "top 30 entrepreneurs under 30 in Africa" (2013), Vérone Mankou is President and General Manager of VMK, a Congolese startup that aims to "make technology accessible to the greatest number." In 2011, VMK launched the first touch pad designed in Africa. In 2012 VMK repeated this feat by selling the first smartphone designed in Africa.
To this day, VMK is committed to bringing innovative products to the field of mobile technology, and the company is currently building a plant in Congo to assemble these products (phones and tablets). VMK will soon unveil a "tablet for development", dedicated to education, health and agriculture, at a market price of USD60 - the cheapest in the world for a product of this kind.
Christopher Marks currently serves as Senior Advisor at the African Development Bank, based in Abidjan. He has worked in finance for more than 25 years, bringing together transactional experience as a pre-eminent capital markets banker with an earlier professional specialisation in public finance advisory and development economics. As Global Head of Debt Capital Markets at BNP Paribas, following progressive promotions during some 15 years at the bank, he built and led one of the world's dominant primary bond market and debt advisory platforms. He has managed global teams while originating and executing some of Europe’s largest and most innovative market financings.
In the realm of sovereign advisory, he has worked for governments and international agencies on sovereign debt management, SME financing programmes and infrastructure finance. Prior to his move into investment banking in 1999, Dr. Marks worked for more than 10 years as a development finance expert specialised in intergovernmental finance. He has a D.E.A. from Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris and a Ph.D. from Princeton University.
Narcisse Mbunzama is a Swedish citizen and CEO of Avonax Group, a company that funds tech companies in Africa, the development and transfer of tech innovation solutions and tech consulting to SMEs and organisations in Africa. Narcisse holds a degree in computer science from Umea University in Sweden. Mr. Mbunzama is winner of several tech innovation awards including the Smart Tech challenge 2014 and Nokia Open Innovation 2010. Narcisse speaks fluent in French, English and Swedish and he is based between Paris in France, Stockholm in Sweden and Kinshasa in the democratic republic of Congo.
Brian Menell is a principal and the CEO of the Kemet Group. Kemet is a private group that invests in and manages a range of natural resource projects in East, Central and West Africa, ranging from gold and iron ore, to forestry and commercial agriculture. The group also advises certain African governments on resource policy and strategic transactions.
Brian also serves as the CEO of Tinco Investments Ltd, an integrated tin and tungsten producer with projects in Rwanda, South Africa and Niger. Brian is a former principal and Executive Director of Anglovaal Mining (AVMIN) with extensive Base Metal, Precious Metal and Ferrous Metal interests across Southern Africa. Prior to taking up his role in Anglovaal, Brian spent eight years with the De Beers Group with whom Anglovaal was a partner in South Africa's largest diamond mine, Venetia. Over the last 20 years, Brian has been a participant in mining and exploration, oil and gas, energy infrastructure, and agri-industry projects in 19 African Countries.
Mr. Miville-de Chêne has worked on the international scene since 1984. Starting out as a coffee trader, for the last 15 years he has dedicated himself to promoting the export industry, developing his trade profession and coaching many African trade promotion organisations. Karl Miville-de Chêne is a recognised name in training, consulting and coaching not only in Canada, but in Latin America and Africa as well. He also has expertise in strategic planning, trade finance, international marketing, risk management analysis and commercial marketing organizations and exports.
Mr. Miville de Chêne has coached and consulted trade promotion organisations and advised high level government officials in Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Haiti, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Chad and others. He was the recipient (in 2006) of an arts and professions medal in cultural influence awarded at the Carrefour des Communautés du Québec for his excellent work in international trade training and intercultural rapprochement. He also received the 2014 award from the Regroupement des Professioniels Africains (REPAF) for his contribution on developing trade between Canada and Africa. He is currently dedicating himself to consulting and training via his own research firm.
Hon Eng. Walter Mzembi (MP) has held various positions in both the Public and Private Sectors in Zimbabwe, including: Inspector of Mines in Zimbabwe's Ministry of Mines, Sales Engineer, General Manager, Marketing Director and Chief Executive Officer in various private companies. He was elected to Parliament in 2004 where he held the position of Portfolio Committee Chairperson for Agriculture, Lands and Resettlement. He was subsequently appointed Head of the Zimbabwe Delegation to the ACP/EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Europe.
In 2007 he was appointed Deputy Minister of Water Resources and Management. In February 2009, he was appointed to his current position of Zimbabwe's Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry in the inclusive government. Walter has indicated clear tourism policy direction, particularly on tourism, wildlife as a tourism product, livening hope that current challenges in this area will be addressed, and keeping alive international investors' interest in this area of business. The Minister oversaw the successful hosting of the 20th Session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly co-hosted in Victoria Falls in 2013 by Zimbabwe and Zambia.
As the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the African Energy Association and Executive Director of Edsol Group LLC, Namai brings more than 13 years of multi-faceted experience in government relations, foreign relations, international trade, financial services, energy, commodity trading and negotiations.
An entrepreneur at heart, Namai envisions the African Energy Association’s role as the most influential, effective and independent trade organization serving as the voice of energy in Africa. In her capacity as Founder and CEO, she is actively engaged in comprehensive oversight, including short and long-term strategic planning, policy draft on all facets of energy; renewables, Oil & Gas, power and local content, marketing, quality assurance and financial management.
During her tenure as the Government Relations/Federal Affairs Specialist, at the American Gas Association (AGA) on Capitol Hill, she gained exposure to policy issues in natural gas and actively liaised with the federal government, to include the executive and legislative branches of former President George Bush and currently, President Barack Obama.
Prior to joining AGA, Pamela spent four years at Zurich North America/Zurich Financial Services. She serves as a strategic advisor to several governments, energy companies and investors throughout Africa, specifically, Nigeria, Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, Equatorial Guinea and Kenya.
Dr. George N. Njenga is the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research and Quality Assurance at Strathmore University and founding Dean of Strathmore Business School. He is also a senior lecturer at Strathmore University in Strategy, Political Governance and Leadership. He has a PhD (hons) in Political Philosophy from the University of Navarra, Spain. He holds a Masters in Governance and Culture of Institutions from the same University and a MBA. He is a also a Certified Public Accountant of Kenya.
He has directed various departments and schools and initiated several projects at Strathmore University. He helped set up the first successful School of Finance and Banking in Kigali, Rwanda. Prior to these positions he worked as a senior auditor at Ernst and Young. He holds several board memberships. He is a founding member of Pacis Insurance Company, a top Insurance Company in the region, the Association of African Business Schools and an International advisory board member of Global Business Schools Network. Heis also a Kenyan board member of GOAL, Ireland. He is a member of the Steering Committee on the Public Private Initiative to fight HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria.
Professor Vincent O. Nmehielle has more than 24 years of professional and academic experience. He is currently the general Legal Counsel and Director for Legal Affairs of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He is also Professor of Law and Head of the Wits Programme on Law, Justice and Development in Africa at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) School of Law in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he has taught since February 2002 and where he held the Bram Fischer Chair in Human Rights Law from 2002 to 2004.
Nmehielle was a Professorial Lecturer in Law at Oxford University and George Washington University Human Rights Program in 2003 and 2004. From 2005 to 2008, Professor Nmehielle went on a leave of absence from Wits to serve as the Principal Defender of the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He returned back to Wits in June 2008. He is again on leave of absence from Wits to the African Union Commission. Professor Nmehielle’s professional, academic, and research interests lie within the areas of law, governance, justice and development in Africa.
Olaniran, 26, is the founder and CEO of Nigerian gaming company, Gamsole. Olaniran founded the company in 2012, and it has venture backing from 88mph, a Kenyan seed fund. The company’s games now have more than 9 million downloads both locally and internationally on the Windows phone store.
The Mauritanian Minister of Economic Affairs and Development, Dr Sidi Ould Tah was elected Director General of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) in April, replacing the Algerian Abdel Aziz Khelef. Dr Ould Tah took up his position in June.
He has a doctorate in Economics from the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis (France) and was in charge of the Mauritanian Department of Economic Affairs and Development from 2008. He began his career in the Mauritanian Bank for Development and Trade (BMDC). Between 1986 and 1999, he served as a financial analyst at the Arab Agency for Investment and Agricultural Development (AAAID) based in Khartoum, before joining the group of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
Ciro Antonio Pagano got his university degree in Geology in 1985 and joined eni in 1987 as a Wellsite geologist. Gaining experience as a geologist and geophysicist in the Italian market, he then worked as a geophysicist in Egypt throughout the mid-1990s. He was subsequently appointed Exploration Manager in Angola and in Egypt.
From 2005, he worked as manager of the exploration activities for Americas and Far East and in 2007, he was appointed Vice President Global Exploration, Geology and Geophysics for eni. In 2009, he moved to Nigeria, where he was appointed Vice Chairman and Managing Director of eni companies in Nigeria, and in 2013, he became the Senior Vice President, Sub-Saharan Africa.
Before entering politics, Andrés Pastrana was a journalist, twice winning the King of Spain journalism award, the Spanish equivalent of a Pulitzer Prize.
The son of former Colombian President Misael Pastrana (1970- 1974), he entered politics at a very young age, becoming one of the youngest Bogotá City Council Members to hold the Presidency of the Council. In 1988, Mr. Pastrana was the first elected Mayor of Bogotá, after surviving a kidnapping by Pablo Escobar, leader of the Medellín Cartel. His administration succeeded in lowering crime rates in the capital, fighting drug addiction, privatizing sanitary services, supplying drinking water to the poorest sectors of society, improving transportation and promoting education.
Mr. Pastrana founded the New Democratic Force movement in 1991, serving in the Senate until 1993. In 1998, he was elected President of Colombia for a four-year term. During his presidency, Mr. Pastrana made important steps towards negotiating a peace process with the FARC and the ELN guerrilla groups. His administration also proposed and implemented Plan Colombia, a multimillion US Aid package. He became President of a country with a devastated economy and financial crisis; at the end of his term the country was facing economic growth.
Denver T. Phiri, BSc.(Hons), MSc., DLSHTM, FRSPH, Denver Phiri is a health economist with a goal of redefining global healthcare perceptions. His experience as a public health specialist has been gained through supporting economic health strategies for some of the top 25 pharmaceutical companies in the world. As part of his career within the UN, Denver focused on executing MDG-related programmes for UNDP, Botswana coordinating a core team of partners that included all the other UN agencies and various ministries of government in Botswana.
His research experience includes diagnostic laboratory-based research for Roche Diagnostics and the Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, an alliance between the Ministry of Health in Botswana and Harvard School of Public Health supporting the country's HIV/AIDS and public health research. Denver received his BSc. honours degree in Applied Biology and Biochemistry from National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe, MSc. and a DLSHTM in Public Health for developing countries from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is currently a Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health and serves on the board of Vanavevhu, a youth empowerment charity based in Zimbabwe.
His public health career has taken him around the world in both developing and developed countries consulting with leading healthcare strategists, academic and legislative. Driven to influence the thinking around the future of healthcare, his current focus is aimed at charting new ground and redesigning the African healthcare space which he believes is ready for a dynamic change driven by data, the African people and the African philosophy.
Matthieu Pigasse has been the Global Head of Mergers and Acquisitions and Sovereign Advisory at Lazard Ltd. since April 2015, and also serves as the CEO of Lazard France. Prior to that, he was Co-Chief Executive of Operations of France at Lazard, Ltd. and Chief Marketing Officer of the European Investment Banking Committee at Lazard Ltd. Mr. Pigasse served as Executive Officer at Compagnie Financière Lazard Frères SAS. Prior to that, he held a number of senior governmental roles, including as Chief of Staff to Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry from 2000 to 2002 and Cabinet adviser to Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry (1998 – 2000).
Mr. Pigasse serves as an administrator of Relaxnews. He is the owner of Les Inrockuptibles and a co-controlling shareholder of Le Monde and the French edition of the Huffington Post. He is the author of “Eloge de l’anormalité”, a book on the French and European economy published in March 2014 (Plon), and “Révolutions”, a book on Europe published in March 2012 (Plon), and of “Le monde d’après”, a book on the financial crisis published in 2009 (Plon).
He is a board member of BSkyB, Groupe Lucien Barrière and Derichebourg.
He graduated from the Ecole Nationale d’Administration and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris.
Michel is the Netherlands Special Envoy for Climate and Development and the Deputy Director of the Inclusive Green Growth Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Until 2012 he was the Civil-Military Interface Advisor at the NATO Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe. Before that he served as Netherlands Ambassador a.i. to the Congo. In 2009 he commanded (together with a one star army general) the Task Force Uruzgan VII in Afghanistan. During the same period he was also the Director of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Uruzgan.
Previously he worked in the Middle East Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and served at the Netherlands embassies in Egypt, Yemen, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. He did two tours of duty in Iraq where he served as the political adviser to Dutch battalion commander as well as to Head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in al-Muthanna (southern Iraq). Afterwards he served for two years as the head of the Asia and Middle East Department for Asylum and Migration at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs followed by three years as Deputy Ambassador and Head of Development Cooperation in the Netherlands Embassy in Uganda.
Sanjit 'Bunker' Roy received his formal education at St. Stephens College Delhi University and was the Indian National Squash Champion in 1965, 1967 and 1971. But his “real” education started when he dug open wells for drinking water as an unskilled labourer for five years. He established the only fully solar electrified Barefoot College in the deserts of Rajasthan in India 40 years ago. It is the only college in India built by the poor and managed by the rural poor who earn less than $ 1 per day. Barefoot College is almost the only college left in India that respects and practices the work style and life style of Mahatma Gandhi.
In 20 years, the demystified and decentralised community-based Barefoot approach has been implemented in more than 30 of the least developed countries, and a total of 36,000 houses in 1,024 villages have been solar electrified by nearly 300 illiterate rural grandmothers. Without using the written or spoken word they were trained in six months using only sign language by the Barefoot College in India, and are now solar engineers under a scheme called ITEC of the Government of India. Bunker was identified as one of the 50 environmentalists who could save the planet and as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2010.
Ms Michèle Sabban has been Île de France Regional Counsellor, formerly Vice-President of the Regional Council of Ile-de-France since 1998. Since the beginning of her term, she has worked on strengthening ties and cooperation between Ile de France and European Institutions. She was elected President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER) in 2008 (re-elected 2010-2013). The Assembly of European Regions is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together more than 250 regions from 35 countries and 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation. Within AER, Michèle is working to improve the recognition of regions as major actors in designing and implementing fair and efficient public policies, most notably in the fields of climate change, youth mobility and economic development of European territories.
She is a Founding Member of R20, Regions of Climate Actions in 2010, together with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and was appointed President in March 2012. R20 helps states, provinces, regions and other subnational governments around the world to develop, implement and communicate low-carbon and climate-resilient economic development projects, policies and best practices.
Albert Sasson, M. Sc., D.Sc. (University of Paris), is a founding member of the Hassan II Academy of Science and Technology. He has had a distinguished scientific career as a Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Science of Rabat, Morocco; and thereafter at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO, Paris). He was Assistant Director-General of UNESCO and Special Advisor to UNESCO Director-General from 1993 to 1999.
He has been Senior Visiting Professor at the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (Yokohama, Japan) and is a senior consultant to United Nations specialised agencies, several governments, national and regional institutions, as well as to the European Commission. He is President of the Association BioEuroLatina that aims to promote cooperation between Europe and Latin America in biotechnology.
Professor Sasson has been appointed by the King of Morocco as member of the Kingdom’s Human Rights Consultative Council (CCDH), the governing board of the Royal Institute of Strategic Studies (IRES), and the Economic and Social Council. His research and work have culminated in over 200 publications, including many books and reviews on biotechnology in developing countries.
Moussa Seck is a renowned expert in the field of agricultural science and planning. He is the architect for Senegal’s national policy on agriculture, known as “Senegal Agricole”, a Comprehensive Multisectorial Rural Development Program called also “Senegal Vert” and pioneered the concept of “Agropoles”, a word he coined in 1989. In the late 1990s he created Agraria Africa, a concept for developing agriculture on a Pan African scale, based on the geophysical and climatic specificities of the African Continent. Moussa is the author of many discoveries on the geophysics of the African continent.
He is the Chairman of PanAAC, the Pan-African Agriculture and Agribusiness Consortium. Moussa was also recently appointed as the Vice President of IPS (Institute of Pan-African Strategies for Peace, Security and Good Governance). He has acted as a consultant on agricultural policy to FAO, UNDP, World Bank, and the Swiss Government, among others. He has managed a graduate and undergraduate student exchange program at University of Minnesota, ISARA of Lyon, and University of Dakar.
Moussa founded an organic irrigated agribusiness farm in 1996. Previously, he managed the SYSPRO think-tank of ENDA for 21 years, since its formation in 1986. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Borlaug Hall, USA and the Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II in Morocco.
Bright Simons is the president of the mPedigree Network, where he pioneered a system that allows consumers to instantly check whether products they buy, especially health-related products, are counterfeits or not by sending a free text message. He is honorary director of development research at IMANI; a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Councils, Young Global Leaders, and Technology Pioneers Communities; a TED and Ashoka fellow; and a Brain Trust member of the Evian Group at IMD. He is a recipient of numerous awards, ranging from an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Award, Marie Curie and Commonwealth Vision Grants to a PPARC Scholarship in Gamma Ray Astronomy.
Bright is consulted on innovation strategy by international organizations such as the World Bank, UNECA, USAID, and the Commonwealth; and is a member of the United Nations taskforce on innovative models in healthcare and the Lancet Commission on Sub-Saharan Africa. He is a Global Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar, where he also served on the 2011 faculty for healthcare. He has appeared on primetime BBC shows, cited by The Economist magazine, and been profiled by MIT's Tech Review's as one of the world's most impressive visionaries under age 35. Bright is furthermore a member of the Advisory Board of IC Publications, one of the world's leading publishers focused on Africa and the African diaspora; of the Microsoft for Africa Advisory Council; and of the Sanofi Digital and Africa 2.0 Advisory boards.
Rainatou Sow is the founder and executive director of Make Every Woman Count, an organisation that monitors and publishes an annual report as an audit of the status and conditions of women in each African country.
Rainatou holds a MA in International Relations as well as a MA in Law, and she has worked with several organisations such as the International Organisation for Migration, World Health Organisation, UNICEF, PeaceWomen and grassroots organizations in areas of peace, development and human rights focusing on women and youth
Apart from being featured on CNN’s African Voices, and awarded as the “Most Inspirational Woman” by Women4Africa in 2012, Rainatou was named as one of the “20 Youngest Power Women in Africa 2012″ by Forbes. She was also named as one of the Top 20 African women with powerful and inspiring voices by Applause Africa. In 2014, she was named one of the “Top 20 Young Builders of Africa of Tomorrow” by Forbes.
Born in 1963, Pierre-Olivier Sur was elected to the Council of the Order in 1997 and was elected to the Order Dauphin to become Bâtonnier de Paris (2014-2015). In this role, he is the representative of 26,000 lawyers. He was a member of the Law Society Ethics Committee, Director of the Guarantee Fund and a Director of the National Institute of Advanced Studies of Security and Justice.
Admitted to the Paris Bar in 1985 aged just 22, he specialised in criminal law, criminal business law and tort law. He began his career at the criminal law firm of Olivier Schnerb. In 2000, he joined the law firm of Fischer Tandeau Marsac Sur & Associés to create a criminal division, and spent the next few years working on major political and financial trials in recent years. One of the most noticeable was his work on the 2011 trial of the Khmer Rouge, where he was counsel to the victims’ families.
Mr. Thierno Bocar Tall holds a Masters Degree in Finance and Economics from the Cheick Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal (1980). He was Head of External Audit Unit at the Centre for Public Enterprises, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs from 1981 to 1984.
Mr. Thierno Bocar was recruited by the ECOWAS Bank of Investment and Development (EBID) in 1985, and has occupied the following positions: Head of Division, Operational Policies and Procedures from 1985 to 2003; Director of the NEPAD and Resources Mobilization Unit from 2003 to 2005; Director of Studies and Strategic Planning from 2005 to 2007, Director of the African Biofuel and Renewable Energies Fund (ABREF) Project from August 2007 to December 2010 and Chairman & CEO of the African Biofuel and Renewable Energy Company (ABREC) since January 2011. He is the Executive Chairman of ABREC Capital and a Member of the Board of Director of GVEP since 2013.
Elizabeth Tchoungui is a journalist and TV host. Born of a Cameroonian diplomat father and a French mother, she grew up in Cameroon before starting graduate studies in France.
A graduate of Celsa and Lille School of Journalism, Elizabeth Tchoungui started at TF1 before joining Canal J. In 2000, she joined France 5, before anchoring the Ubik culture show. In 2006, with the formation of the new international news channel France 24, Elizabeth became editor of the channel’s daily culture show, JT Culture. Between 2006 and 2008, she also presented the culture programme Free Spirits on France 2, alongside Guillaume Durand.
Elizabeth is the author of several novels and was awarded the rank of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2009.
Thomas has more than eight years of research experience in emerging markets. He joined VC4Africa in 2013 and is responsible for its research and investor services. He executes the annual Venture Finance in Africa report, which provides detailed information on the progress of pan-African early-stage high-potential growth ventures. This data helps him to connect the VC4Africa investor network ranging from angel investors to venture capital funds with opportunity-driven entrepreneurs all over the continent.
Prior to his role at VC4Africa he conducted business research in Europe, Asia and Africa. Furthermore he founded two companies in the media and ecommerce industry. He also holds a board position of a non-profit organisation based in Kenya. Thomas earned his MSc in International Business with a specialisation in Entrepreneurships and SME Management at Maastricht University and a bachelors degree in International Business from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.
Harry Verhaar has more than 20 years of experience in the lighting industry, and is Head of Global Public & Government Affairs for Philips Lighting. He is responsible for the strategy, outreach and stakeholder management on energy & climate change, resource efficiency and sustainable development, with a key focus on the role of the LED lighting revolution. Since the end of 2003, he has been the architect of the lighting strategy on energy and climate change, which has resulted in a global momentum on phasing out of old lighting technologies.
Harry is an active member of a number of partnership and stakeholder networks, among which The Climate Group; Regions20 and the World Green Building Council and is a member of the Advisory Boards of The Lisbon Council and the Global Cities Institute (and their World Council on City Data). He is responsible for Philips’ relationship management with the UN and the World Bank and is a founding member of UNEP’s en.lighten program and the SE4All’s Global Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform. He is chairman of the European Alliance to Save Energy and is president of the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association. Harry is a recipient of the 2011 UN Leader of Change Award, and has received the Carbon War Room’s Gigaton award on behalf of Philips.
Magatte Wade was born in Senegal, educated in France, and launched her entrepreneurial career in San Francisco. She started her first company, Adina World Beverages, after visiting Senegal and discovering that Coke and Fanta were replacing Bissap, her country’s drink of hospitality. Adina raised more than $30 million in capital and, at its peak, was carried nationwide.
In order to supply Adina with organic hibiscus from Senegal, Magatte partnered with ASNAPP (Agribusiness in Sustainable African Natural Plant Products) and the first lady of Senegal. The result was a major revival of the Senegalese hibiscus industry resulting in thousands of jobs for women hibiscus growers. She then launched Tiossan, a high-end skin care line based on indigenous Senegalese recipes, modernised for the U.S. consumer market.
Fifty percent of Tiossan profits are dedicated to the creation of innovative schools in Senegal designed to developing the next generation of Senegalese genius.
Magatte serves on the board of ASNAPP and the SEED Academy (Sports for Education and Economic Development), a private school in Senegal that prepares young people academically and athletically so that they can win NCAA basketball scholarships in the U.S.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former President of Poland, Lech Wałęsa is one of the best-known Poles in today’s world. He was the leader of the 1980 strike in the Gdańsk Shipyard, which led to establishing of Solidarność (Solidarity) - the first independent trade union in the Soviet bloc. He remains one of the symbols of the fall of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe.
Today Lech Wałęsa continues his mission as the spokesperson for solidarity. He travels around the world, retelling the story of the Polish experience and the non-violent struggle for peace and democracy. Through his lectures and dialogue with young people, he calls for the building of a modern world founded on universal values. Being a supporter of globalization and seeing the opportunities offered by new technologies and the development of civilization, he encourages the establishment of new structures of a peaceful cooperation of nations in the 21st century.
David Welch is a Bechtel Senior Vice President, and Region President forEurope, Africa & the Middle East.
Ambassador Welch is a former American diplomat who served as AssistantSecretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs in the US Department of State from2005 through 2008, Ambassador to Egypt 2001-2005, and Assistant Secretaryfor International Organizations 1998-2001.
Ambassador Welch also served in Pakistan, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia,and on the staff of the National Security Council at the White House. He hasextensive negotiating experience with Israeli-Palestinian talks, conflicts inLebanon and Iraq, and terrorism claims in Libya. He is a graduate of Georgetown University. He also attended the London School of Economics.
He is board member of the U.S.-Saudi Business Council and the U.S.-U.A.E.Business Council, and a member of the U.S.-Egypt Business Council.Ambassador Welch is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and theAmerican Academy of Diplomacy.
Leyth is the founder and CEO of Eiréné4Impact, a support and empowerment platform for high social and environmental impact entrepreneurs and their ecosystems in Africa. Through an incubator and an investment company, Leyth accompanies innovative entrepreneurs and organizations wishing to establish internal innovative and entrepreneurial dynamics.
After graduating from the Stern School of Business of NYU, Leyth began his career at Deloitte Consulting in New York. Specializing in governance and reorganization, he participated in, then led, governance projects for multinationals. After a short entrepreneurial adventure in Beijing, Leyth returned to Morocco to join then head Diana Holding (DH), an agro-industrial conglomerate and 7th largest Moroccan private company. During his seven years at DH, Leyth discovered the great potential of an integrated socio-economic approach to business. It was the combination of the large restructuring project he launched when he arrived, with the intelligent integration of its socio-economic environment (social incentive and entrepreneurship), that enabled the group to increase its profitability five-fold in 6 years. Motivated by this new vision, Leyth left DH in 2013 to create Eiréné4Impact and dedicate himself to high impact entrepreneurship.
Charles Alexis BOUKINDA BOUKINDA, Corporate Communications & CSR Director
19 years of varied experiences spanning across multiple industries including oil, airline, and telecommunications in African markets.
2014- : Corporate Communication and CSR Director – Airtel Gabon
2011-2014: Mobile Commerce Director – Airtel Gabon
2010-2011: Project Manager for Airtel Money – Airtel Gabon
2007-2010: Marketing Product Manager – Celtel/Zain Gabon
2004-2007: Corporate Account Manager – Gabon Telecom
2000-2004: Deputy Station Manager – Swissair
1997-2000: Load Manager – Air-Gabon
1995-1997: Field Engineer – Schlumberger Europe & Africa
Engineering graduate from the Masuku Polytechnic School in Gabon (1995)
Master Degree in Business Administration from INSG in Gabon (2005)
Holding an Executive MBA at HEC Paris in France (June 2015)
Teaching marketing initiation at the University Omar Bongo since 2012
Active entrepreneur with two startups already operational
Married with 1 boy and 3 girls
Name: Naresh Kumar Leekha
Designation: Regional Director (West Africa)
Company Name: Tata International Limited
Full Address: P O Box 5774-00200, Nairobi
Telephone Number: +254 786 307397
Sector of Interest: Distribution of Automobiles, Tractors, Chemicals, Metals, Minerals, Pharmaceuticals and Agriculture
Personal Profile: An alumnus of the National Institute of Technology in India and A career Tata professional with over 20 years’ experience with the Tata group in Africa.
Responsible for business development in the Auto sector in the West Africa region and look for opportunities for the other businesses of Tata International in West Africa and Kenya.
A firm believer in the philosophy of what comes from people must go back to people many times over.
Tata International Limited [TIL] , incorporated in 1962 is a global trading and distribution company with a network of offices and subsidiaries spanning more than 39 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.
As a member of the reputed business conglomerate - the Tata group, we pride ourselves in upholding the highest ethical standards in the way we conduct our businesses. Supported by a 10,000+ strong employee base, we are strongly driven by customer centricity, and have, over the years, formed strategic alliances and partnerships with market leaders that have reinforced our role as preferred partners in international trade and business.
Our revenues of US $2.2 billion in FY15 have set us firmly on a path of sustained growth even as we continue to focus on value-added offerings for our customers, backed by strong compliance of global norms within the sectors in which we operate. We leverage our worldwide presence along with sourcing and marketing competencies to deliver what we promise to customers across our five key business verticals – Metals Trading, Distribution, Leather and Leather products, Minerals Trading and Agri Trading.
Ngom Emmanuel Pierre Jonathan currently works with Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Cameroon as the National Coordinator of the Smallholder Oil Palm Development Program. He is an agronomist, trained agricultural engineer from the University of Dschang, Cameroon and has over twenty years of experience working in the agricultural sector. Before ascending to his current position, he was the Regional coordinator for the National Agriculture Extension Program under the same organisation. When he is not directly working for MINADER, he is providing services as a consultant to national and internationally institutions, notably CIFOR, WWF amongst others.
Odigha Odigha is a leading environmental crusader and politician in Nigeria. Odigha was born on March 3, 1971, at Agbaragba, Ikom Local Government Area. Odigha is part of Cross River State's Ijagham community. He grew up admiring the richness of the rainforest, only to see the majority of it decimated by the early 1980's. After receiving his Masters in Business Administration at the University of Lagos, Odigha pursued a political career, experience that has served him well as an activist. Since 1994, Odigha has focused on the protection of the Cross River Rainforest and on sustainable development for rainforest communities. He knew that the rainforests and their communities' cultures must be protected quickly, or lost forever. In 1994, he founded the NGO Coalition for the Environment (NGOCE) and supported the organization by selling his family's two cars and converted his family home into NGOCE's offices living with his wife and baby in one room. Despite enormous odds, Odigha has forged historic victories in the fight to protect Nigeria's forest. He led the successful fight for a moratorium on logging across all of Cross River State and forced Nigeria's first Environmental Impact Assessment. He was instrumental in creating the state's first Forestry Commission, considered one of the most democratic forestry agencies in all of West Africa. Odigha has also helped establish projects that give rainforest communities alternative protein sources, reducing reliance on endangered bushmeat while increasing incomes through economic opportunities that don't deplete natural resources. Mr. Odigha also works to raise environmental awareness by educating communities and youth, and runs an environmental resource center. In addition, Mr. Odigha represents NGOCE to government officials at the federal and state levels and holds one of two NGO seats on the newly established Cross River State Forestry Commission.
Didier PRINCE-AGBODJAN (Dr)
Directeur adjoint, Institut des droits de l’Homme
Maître de conférences et chercheur, Université catholique de Lyon
Droits international des droits de l’homme
Droits économiques et sociaux, Responsabilité sociale des entreprises, entrepreneuriat social, ESDES-Recherche/CRESO
Droits culturels, anthropologie juridique, interculturalité, Chaire UNESCO-Mémoire, cultures et interculturalité
Médiation de cas litigieux, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine school of Law
« Entrepreneuriat social en chaîne globale de valeur: cacaoculture agroécologique et commerce partagé », non publié
« Les risques et épreuves des droits de l’homme en management éthique des entreprises », Dizdarevic et Koudé, Les droits de l’Homme, défis et mutations, l’Harmattan, 2013
« L’acteur humanitaire dans un jeu de cultures: l’expérience de Terre des Hommes », Études interculturelles, 6/2013
« Les sociétés civiles: du modèle résiduel de protection des droits à la difficile constitution d’un secteur alternatif de développement en Afrique », XXVIIèmes journées du développement, ATM, Fribourg, 2011
Sandra Ratiarison is the Conservation Director at WWF Gabon and previously worked for the Zoological Society of London in Cameroon.
She is an expert in natural resource management and biodiversity conservation. She has knowleddge of the tools, approaches and policies for tropical forest conservation (REDD/REDD+, BBIP, certifications, international conventions) and has significant experience in developing civil society capacities and has worked with governments and the private sector on sustainable resource management.
Mr. Saah A. David, Jr. is the National REDD+ Project Coordinator & head of the Norwegian Forest Investment Program at the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), the agency within the Government of Liberia with the authority to manage the nation’s remaining forests estate. In his current position, he serves as Liberia’s focal point on REDD+ activities and initiatives. Prior professional experience included serving as a consultant with the FDA in the area of Monitoring and Evaluation in Liberia and Banking and Finance in the United States. In 2013, Mr. David, along with Dr. Arthur G. Blundell, published a paper on “Opportunities for Synergies in the Preparation and Implementation of REDD+, FLEGT, LEITI in the Context of the Liberia nfp.” Saah has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.
Professor White first went to Lopé in 1989 to carry out his PhD on the effects of vegetation history and logging on rainforest mammals with the University of Edinburgh. He went on to a post doc on vegetation history in Lope, setting up botanical plots to describe and monitor change in the vegetation of the region, before founding the WCS-Gabon programme, writing several technical books on African Forest conservation, developing training programmes for national and international students and playing a key role in the creation of Gabon’s national parks. Prof White directed the Wildlife Conservation Society programme in Gabon until 2007 and in 2009 became head of the National Parks Agency in Gabon (ANPN), responsible for a network of 13 National Parks. He is also technical director of the Gabonese Government’s Climate Change Task Force. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Stirling and is a prominent conservationist in Africa.
Gagan Gupta is the Senior Vice-President of Olam International Ltd. and is currently Olam’s Country Head in Gabon. He joined Olam in 2009 and has led the transformational growth of Olam in Gabon. He conceptualized the idea of Special Economic Zones and other public private partnerships with the Government of Gabon. The PPP between Olam and the Government of Gabon has been an outstanding success story. With over 15 years of experience, he is a chartered accountant by profession and has attracted more than US$5 billion investment in Gabon. He oversees 4,500 staff based out of six different locations and four business units (Palm, Rubber, SEZ and Fertilizer) representing investment of over US$2.5 billion. He has previously served at global companies including Reebok and Reckitt Benckiser. Olam International is a leading global integrated supply chain manager and processor of agricultural products and food ingredients, supplying various products across 16 platforms to over 13,600 customers worldwide. From a direct presence in more than 65 countries with sourcing and processing in most major producing countries, Olam has built a global leadership position in many of its businesses. Olam is the only Singapore firm to be named in the 2009, 2010 and 2012 Forbes Asia Fabulous 50, an annual list of 50 big-cap and most profitable firms in the region.
David has worked in Africa on natural resource management issues for the past 15 years, predominantly in Central Africa (Cameroon) and East Africa (Tanzania). Prior to joining Proforest he was Director of Conservation at WWF Cameroon where he managed a series of complex protected area and wildlife law enforcement projects, as well as policy engagement around forestry, agro-industry, mining and REDD+.
David is based in Proforest’s International Office and specialises in community natural resources management issues. He is a social scientist with a Degree in Human Geography (Reading) and a Masters in Natural Resource Management (Edinburgh).
Marcel Yao is an Engineer of Agriculture and Forestry. He also holds a Master in Environmental Management, Climate Change and Sustainable Development from ENGREF Montpellier in France. He is the Coordinator of the National Climate Change Program and the Permanent Executive Secretary of the REDD + mechanism in Ivory Coast. His engagement for reconstitution of the Ivorian forest cover and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, enabled it to benefit from the support of several Technical and Financial Partners for the implementation of the preparatory phase for REDD + 2015-2017. His dynamism and his management was instrumental in the accession of the Ivory Coast to the two most important international funds to fight against climate change and REDD + (FCPF and UN-REDD).
He managed, in 3 years, to mobilize international partners in the fight against climate change and REDD + in the Ivory Coast. When not glued to his computer screen, he spends time with his family and reading. He is currently working for the success of REDD + and the implementation of the national strategy to fight against climate change in the Ivory Coast.
Mr. Noel Nelson Messone was elected as the Minister of Water and Forestry in December 2013.
Prior to his current appointment, Noel Nelson Messone presented his credentials to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on February 23, 2011 and became Gabon’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In 2010 Mr. Messone served as Gabonese Ambassador to the Benelux States and the European Union, while concurrently serving as Senator of Gabon.
Between 2007 and 2009, Mr. Messone was Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Gabon, and prior to that, from 2003 to 2007, he was Senior Political Adviser to the Secretary-General of the Organization Internationale de la Francophonie, in Paris, France. He was West Africa Regional Director for Agence Intergouvernementale de la Francophonie, in Lon, Togo, between 1999 and 2003, before which he served as Associate Director of US Peace Corps, Gabon, in Libreville, from 1995 until 1999. For one year prior, from 1994 to 1995, he was training director of US Peace Corps.
Also that year, Mr. Messone was an Assistant Professor at the Institut de l’Economie et des Finances, Gabon. In 1993 he was an Instructor and Research Fellow at the University of Kentucky, in Lexington, Kentucky, United States. From 1985 to 1987, the new envoy was Training Coordinator of US Peace Corps in Gabon.
A former Fulbright scholar, Mr. Messone holds a doctorate degree in political economy from the University of Kentucky (1994); a master’s degree from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, Lexington, Kentucky (1991); and a university diploma from the Université de Paris Sorbonne-Nouvelle, Paris, France (1988). He specialized in American studies at the University Omar Bongo Odimba in Libreville, Gabon, in 1987.
Born on 22 December 1960 in Ovan, north-east Gabon, Mr. Messone is married with three children.
Tutu Agyare is the straight-talking Ghanaian who “baptised” the floor of the London Stock Exchange by being the first African to trade on it in his early 20s. He later pursued a successful career at UBS investment bank for two decades, where he became head of Europe, Middle East and African investment. In 2007 he set up Nubuke Investments, a company solely focused on African investment opportunities.
Today, he is a much sought-after business leader and investor, and one of a handful of Africans who sit on the board of a FTSE 100 company. He is known for confronting critics of the African investment trajectory and challenges them to “wake up and smell the coffee” and realise that the rest of the world is making a beeline for Africa. Having experienced the best of the South and the West, Agyare uses his experience to navigate his way through what he describes as a rich environment for opportunity. He was most recently voted one of the 100 most influential Africans by NewAfrican magazine.