Her Excellency Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid
Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid is the African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy, ICT and Tourism. Prior to joining the AUC, Dr. Abou-Zeid has served for more than 30 years in leadership roles at top-tier international organisations, such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), UNDP and USAID, with a focus on infrastructure and energy programmes.
Over her career, Dr. Abou-Zeid has amassed a rare mix of experience from across Africa, France, UK and Canada. An Egyptian national, Dr. Abou-Zeid speaks French, English, Arabic and Spanish. She is a trained telecommunications engineer with an MBA in project management from the French University for African Development (Université Senghor), a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Social and Economic Development from University of Manchester, UK. She also has a degree in Arts from Université Sorbonne-Paris IV.
Dr. Abou-Zeid has received numerous international awards and recognition for her leadership and excellence including the honour of “Officier de l’Ordre de Wissam Alaouite” from His
Majesty King Mohamed VI of Morocco. She has been recently named as Commissioner at the UN Broadband Commission by the prestigious top global influencers group “ICT for Sustainable Development”.
Prof. Mthuli NCUBE
Prof. Mthuli NCUBE is the former Vice President and Chief Economist of the African Development Bank Group and a former Professor of Public Policy at the University of Oxford, and currently visiting Professor and SAID Business school University of Oxford. He was Dean and Professor of Finance at Wits Business School, South Africa where he founded the Centre for Entrepreneurship at Wits University. He has extensive experience as an investment manager and investment banker, currently managing Quantum Global Research Lab AG, Switzerland, which conducts investment research and advisory services. He worked at Investec Asset Management as Head of Global Asset Allocation, and started his career as a Lecturer in Finance at the London School of Economics. Professor Ncube holds a PhD in Economics (Mathematical Finance) from the University of Cambridge.”.
Prof. Benno J. Ndulu
Professor Benno J. Ndulu, who has just completed a 10 years term as Governor, Bank of Tanzania, now occupies the Mwalimu Nyerere Professorial Chair on Development at the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. He is best known for having served as one of the pioneers for the most effective Research and Training Network in economics in Africa, the African Economic Research Consortium, where he served first as its research Director and then as its Executive Director. Having begun in academia at the University of Dar-es Salaam, he later served also in the World Bank as a Research Manager in DEC and Advisor to Vice President Africa Region. He has published widely on Growth, Governance, and Trade. He is currently co-directing the Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development anchored at Blavatnik School of Government.
Honourable Minister Lai Raufu Mohammed
Lai Mohammed is currently serving as the Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture. He has several working experiences in the Nigerian public and private sectors ranging from a University lecturer, to a civil servant at the Nigerian Airports Authority, to a principal partner at Edu and Mohammed (Attorneys-at-law), and to the Chief-of-Staff to the Lagos State Governor in 1999 - 2002. He has over 25 years of experience in Nigerian politics and he was one of the founding members of the Social Democratic Party. Lai Mohammed has a B.A in French from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) and an LLB from the University of Lagos.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Dr Tedros is the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (W.H.O).
Professor Stephen J. Toope OC, LL.D
Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge
Professor Stephen J. Toope OC, LL.D. was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge from 1st October 2017. He was previously Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, and President and Vice-Chancellor, the University of British Columbia. A former President of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, and Dean of Law, McGill University, Professor Toope also served as Law Clerk to the Rt. Hon. Brian Dickson of the Supreme Court of Canada. He served as Chair of the Board of Universities Canada, President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, and as Director of the Public Policy Forum, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and the Royal Conservatory of Music. Toope publishes in leading international journals on international dispute resolution, international environmental law, human rights, the use of force, and international legal theory, and has lectured at leading universities around the globe. His current book project with Professor Jutta Brunnée explores mechanisms and processes fostering stability and change in international law. Toope also served as Chair of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances, and as Fact-Finder for the Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Government Officials in relation to Maher Arar.
Founding President and CEO IMANI Center for Policy and Education
Franklin is the founding president and CEO of IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, a think tank of global repute dedicated to the promotion of the institutions of a free society across Africa. IMANI has been consistently ranked among the top 5 most influential think tanks in sub- Saharan Africa and among the top 100 worldwide by the University of Pennsylvania Go To think tank ranking. In 2010, Franklin was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He was named the only named Think Tank Leader in “Top 50 Africans” List of the respected Africa Report Magazine in 2012. In 2010 Franklin was consulted by the U. K’s Prime Minister’s office on how to make effective use of British aid in Africa. Franklin has hosted and shared panels with former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minster, Anwar Ibrahim, Swiss President, Doris Leuthard, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and debated former Tanzanian President, Benjamin Mkapa when he was president in 2005.
He has been cited in the UK House of Commons’ debate on aid and development in Africa and by South Africa’s Supreme Court Judge on patents and intellectual property in 2005 and 2006 respectively. Cudjoe was chosen by the Australian Government for its 2015 Special Visitor’s programme. He was sponsored to visit five cities in Australia meeting important government, business and community leaders. He was also selected and participated in the UK Government Future Leader’s Programme. Franklin currently sits on the Danish International Development Agency’s sounding board for the private sector, advising on Danish private sector support to Ghana. Franklin has made several appearances in both print and broadcast media. He has shared insightful perspectives about Africa’s development issues on the BBC, CBC, Swiss and Swedish National TV, Austrian National Radio and varied local Ghanaian media. He has also been published (sometimes quoted) in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, London Daily Telegraph, Ghanaian Daily Graphic, San Francisco Chronicle, Ottawa Citizen, South African Star and Business Day and many East and African media. Cudjoe is one of nine African think tank leaders and Commissioners of “The Zimbabwe Papers”, a blueprint which examines the causes of Zimbabwe’s social and economic problems and offers urgent and practical reform that will enable the country to become a thriving, peaceful and prosperous country. He is a co-author of Fighting the Diseases of Poverty, The Reality of Water Provision in Urban Africa, The Water Revolution: Practical Solutions to Water Scarcity: and Hobbled Trade: Trade Barriers within Africa. Franklin is a co-author of The State of Education in Ghana. Franklin is pursuing doctoral studies at Buckingham University (UK). He is an alumnus of Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education, the Atlas Economic Research Foundation’s Think Tank MBA programme and the Montreal Economic Institute’s Think Tank Training Programme. He has a B.Sc. in Land Economy from KNUST.
WomEng & WomHub Co-Founder
Hema is a chemical engineer by profession, and a change-maker by passion! She is a South African serial social entrepreneur who co-founded WomHub, an innovative education technology and advisory firm. She is also the co-founder of WomEng, a global social enterprise, which she has grown across multiple countries. WomEng tackles gender parity at every stage of the engineering skills pipeline from empowering 1 million girls in STEM in collaboration with UNESCO, to developing women leaders and entrepreneurs in engineering. WomEng is recognized as the top TVET program in Africa by the African Union.
Hema holds a BSc (Hons) Degree in Chemical Engineering as well as an MSc degree in Engineering. She is a certified Ontological Coach receiving her diploma from the world renowned Newfield Network. Hema is a noted speaker and facilitator, with extensive local and international exposure and experience. Her passion for the work she does has resulted in a number of accolades in recognition of her leadership. These include being awarded the South Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Engineering title by CEO, branded as a “Change-Maker” by Oprah Magazine, named as one of the Top 200 Young South African’s by Mail & Guardian and selected as one of 27 women globally for the FORTUNE Global Women’s Mentorship Exchange. She is a Vital Voices Global Leader; a member of the African Leadership Network, a community of dynamic and influential leaders in Africa; and a member of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO) committee for Women in Engineering. She has been named as a finalist for the CEO Most Influential Woman in Africa Awards and Trust Women Hero Award. Most recently she been named as one of South Africa’s Inspiring Fifty Women in Tech and a fellow of prestigious Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship, and winner of the Fortune/Goldman Sachs Global Women Leader’s Award. Hema is also board member of the Mufaro Foundation and ALA Student Enterprise Program. However it is not these accolades that define her, but rather the impact that she has through her work.
You can follow Hema and track her initiatives using the following links:
Twitter: @HemsVallabh, @_WomEng
TED Talk Link: Hema Vallabh – Are Women set to be the Engineers of the Future?
Professor AAA. Atayero, FSAN, FIMCa
Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University; Professor of Communication Engineering
AAA. Atayero, Ph.D., the Covenant University Professor of Communication Engineering, is the current and 4th Substantive Vice-Chancellor of the University. He served as the pioneer Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Coordinator School of Engineering, and twice as HoD of Electrical and Information Engineering of the University. Professor Atayero has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Radio Engineering, and a Master of Science Degree in Satellite Communication Systems in 1992 and 1994 respectively. He earned his Ph.D. from the Moscow State Technical University of Civil Aviation (MSTUCA) in 2000. Atayero is a Fellow of the Science Association of Nigeria, the Institute of Management Consultants, and a Senior Research Fellow of the International Association of Research Scholars and Administrators.
Engineer Atayero is a COREN Registered Engineer, member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and. As an avid researcher, having published over in International peer-reviewed journals and proceedings, Professor Atayero is the Team Lead, Covenant University Smart City (SmartCU) Project, as well as the Head, Covenant University IoT-Enabled Smart & Connected Communities Research Cluster. He is on the editorial board of several international scientific and engineering Journals and is a recipient of various awards and scholarships including the ‘2009 Ford Foundation Teaching Innovation Award’, as well as the 2017 African Entrepreneurs Merit ‘Award for Excellence & Leadership’. His current research interests are in various aspects of Communication Engineering, including (but not limited to): Wireless Sensor Networks, Wireless (Mobile) Communications, Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Cities, and Cyber Physical Systems.
President, African Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Ghana; Founder & CEO of Quist Blue Diamond
Lucy Quist is the founder & CEO of Quist Blue Diamond, a company that leverages technology, engineering and data science to transform business models. She serves as the President of the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Ghana. She is also a co-founder of the Executive Women Network and the fintech service, FreshPay. The Executive Women Network is a non profit organisation focused on empowering executive women in Ghana and beyond to be influential and fully realise their potential.
Lucy is reputed for being the first Ghanaian woman to become the CEO of a multinational telecommunications company and credited with driving breakthrough transformations in the telecoms industry in Ghana and across several countries in Africa.She is a passionate advocate who believes in harnessing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to advance development in Africa. She also advocates for greater participation in STEM especially for young people across the continent.
She is a recipient of multiple honours including CIMG Marketing Woman of the year (2014), Telecom CEO of the Year (GITTA Awards 2016), CSR CEO of the year (Ghana CSR Excellence Awards 2016) and the Corporate Leadership Award at the Ghana Legacy Awards (2017). In 2016 she was featured on the BBC’s Power Women series as one of the top business women driving transformational change in Africa. (http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-africa-38033551/how-one-ghanaian-woman-leads-with-laughter). Lucy is a chartered electrical and electronic engineer and holds an MBA from INSEAD.
Researcher, Human Rights Watch
Zenaida Machado is a researcher in the Africa Division at Human Rights Watch. Before joining Human Rights Watch in 2015, Zenaida worked at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as a producer and journalist for Focus on Africa, Network Africa and at the BBC’s Portuguese service. Her more than 18 years of experience as a multi-media journalist covering Angola, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau includes working as a reporter and news writer in her home country, Mozambique, for Radio Mozambique, where she established the radio’s first news website. Machado has a Master’s degree in Media and Development from the University of Westminster and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo. She speaks English and Portuguese.
Executive Director, African Women in Business; CEO, Shea Effect
Solape Epega is the Executive Director, African Women in Business, a UK based organisation strengthening business partnerships between African Diaspora women and indigenous business leaders, providing platforms for complimentary productivity in international trade and enterprise.
With a background in fashion, trained in Haute Couture in Paris, specialising in hand embellishments, and a career spanning over 30 years, she founded ARIA Couture in Paris and London, putting contemporary African Fashion on the global stage.
She is also Founder, PINC Foundation, an organisation that engages in the empowerment, health and well-being of African women. Solape is CEO Shea Effect, an enterprise that evolved out of the The PINC Initiative, equipping survivors of Boko Haram insurgency with skills for rehabilitation, livelihood support, and income generation, producing a premium-brand organic range of skin and haircare products from Shea butter, utilising this resource repository in value addition, complimented with locally-sourced botanicals to make markets work for the poor and drive sustainable rural transformation. She is passionate about developing women utilising their latent skills for economic prosperity, focusing on knowledge transfer, innovation and technology and shared value processes. Solape firmly believes in women as drivers of change, transformation, social and economic development.
Advocate, Reparationist, and Broadcaster
Esther Stanford-Xosei is a Pan-Afrikanist jurisconsult and Afrikan Heritage Community advocate specialising in the critical legal praxis of 'law as resistance'. In this regard, Esther has charted new grounds, as an interdisciplinary legal and history scholar-activist in the theory, research and praxis of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice. Esther serves as the Co-Vice Chair of the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE) and is the co-founder of the Global Afrikan Peoples Parliament (GAPP), Europe-Wide NGO Consultative Council on Afrikan Reparations (ENGOCCAR) and Afrikan Reparations Transnational Community of Practice (ARTCoP). On behalf of PARCOE, Esther has contributed to co-founding the International Network of Scholar Activists on Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR); a collaborative project that is being coordinated by the University of Edinburgh (UK) and Wheelock College (Boston, US). She is also the official spokesperson for the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC) which organises the annual 1st August Reparations March in London co-initiator of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/ Ecocide’ Petition and its campaign (SMWeCGEC). Esther is completing her PhD action-research at the University of Chichester in the history of the UK contingent of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR).
Prof. Theodore Menelik-Mfuni
CEO, Menelik Education
Prof Theodore Menelik-Mfuni is a visiting Professor at the Institut Suprieur de Statistiques de Kinshasa, and a co-founder of CRISS (Centre de de Recherche Interdisciplinaire en Sciences Sociales de Kinshasa). He is the current CEO of Menelik Education Ltd, a not-for-profit development organisation focussing on Education, Health, and Community Empowerment programmes in Africa and is currently operating in the DRC, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Cameroun and soon the Republic of Congo. He was a former lecturer at Kensington & Chelsea College where he taught various Birkbeck College International Studies programmes. His varied experiences have led him to work with DFID, USAID, PROVIC, MONUSCO in the DRC. He is currently also the Head of International Development at the Realife Trust and an Advisory Member of the Cambridge African Film Festival.
CEO & Founder - Movemeback
Charles Sekwalor is a serial entrepreneur with a strong passion for driving positive change in the world through the application of business principles and bringing together talented people to solve complex problems. Charles is CEO and Founder of Movemeback, a members’ community of top global talent, leaders and influencers, interested in Africa. Movemeback is enabling its members to connect with exciting and distinctive career opportunities, build the next set of African businesses and entrepreneurial solutions and to invest in high impact opportunities, whilst facilitating member collaboration, relocation and access to invaluable insight. Through the development of the Movemeback community, Charles’ organisation is enabling and empowering talented individuals to shape and accelerate Africa’s social and economic development. Charles is also Managing Director of COS Ventures – a venture building and investment organisation. Charles commenced his entrepreneurial journey at an early age, building his first business prior to joining Imperial College and graduating with an Electronic Engineering and Management Masters. He subsequently launched his corporate career spanning 8 years across Accenture, Tesco and finally McKinsey & Company, where as a strategy consultant he advised global leaders, boards and Heads of State across all the world, on their top most challenges and opportunities. Since leaving the corporate world Charles has dedicated his complete time to building businesses that drive positive global change.
Charles is a British born Ghanaian with has a passion for all things at the leading-edge of human achievement and enjoys collaborating with others to solve big problems through innovation and rewriting rule books. He is an avid follower of Formula 1, enjoys travelling and maintains a long term side ambition to launch his F1 team and secure West Africa's first Formula 1 race.
Kula V. Fofana
Former Liberian Assistant Minister for Youth Development
Kula V. Fofana was born and raised in Liberia. At age two, she was nearly forgotten on the farm in Grand Cape Mount County, Liberia when the crisis broke out in 1990 and rebels overtook her village. Little did she know that the most part of her life would be in abnormalities; wars, violence, displacement and refugee intermittently until 2005 when her country returned to peace. She is an advocate and activist on young people’s issues with emphasis on young women and girls. In 2016, she was appointed by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and served as Assistant Minister for Youth Development at the Ministry of Youth & Sports. She is the immediate past Executive Director of the Paramount Young Women Initiative; an organization which seeks to advocate, educate and empower young women and girls. She has worth of experiences on young people’s issues and has worked with several youth and student organizations and has volunteer with national institutions serving in different leadership capacities. In 2013, she led the process as National Consultant to develop the Liberian Youth Common Position on the post 2015 development Agenda. This process sought to engage Liberian youths through a robust consultation throughout the country in an effort to contribute to the Common African Position on the Post 2015 Agenda now SDGs. Prior to her work as national consultant, she briefly worked with the High Level Committee of the Common African Position Monrovia’s secretariat. In 2012, she was appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to Co-Chair Liberia’s Vision 2030 Committee. As the only youth representative, she worked alongside fourteen (14) other members to develop the country’s postwar long term development plan. She also
worked with the Ministry of Gender to establish the Adolescent Girls Unit and became the first Director. Her role included but not limited to: ensuring the formulation or revision of policies and advising government on adolescent girls and young women issues. She is currently pursuing MSc in Violence Conflict and Development at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). She holds a BA in Mass Communications and Sociology from the African Methodist Episcopal University in Liberia and a Certificate in International Affairs from American University in Washington D.C USA. She has had several trainings in different disciplines including leadership, gender, peace and conflict mitigation and resolution, monitoring and evaluation, advocacy, sexual reproductive health and rights, gender based violence, volunteerism, governance and human security in Africa. She has delivered several papers and spoken to different fora nationally and internationally. Madam Fofana is recipient of several laurels including Youth Leader of the Year 2010, Young Peace Ambassador, Emerging Woman Leader, Angie Brooks Randolph Young Heroine award, Focus & Liberian Nation Newspapers 2012 Youth Leader of the Year and Golden Image Award. She is a member of diverse professional networks including International Visitor Leadership Program of the USA, Moremi Initiative for Women Leaders in Africa, Youth Steering Committee on the International Conference on Population and Development Beyond 2014 etc. She Co-Founded the Coalition of Islamic Youth Organizations of Liberia and Sisters In Islam-Liberia. She was recently nominated and became one of four finalists for the United Nations Secretary General Envoy on Youth. Her interests include human rights, gender, conflicts, women, institutions, politics, feminism and governance. Her current dissertation topic centers around warlord and war ladies impact on democratic politics and development in Liberia.
Carol N. Ibe
Founder, JR Biotek Foundation
Carol N. Ibe is the founder of JR Biotek Foundation, a non-profit organisation established to help train present and future African scientists and to promote joined up thinking on Africa’s sustainable development. Carol holds a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Nigeria and master’s degrees from Georgetown University (USA) and the University of Oxford (UK). She is currently pursuing a PhD degree in Plant Science at the University of Cambridge under the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship. Her research focuses on rice, a major staple food for a large part of the world and how rice root-microbe interactions may be better understood and optimised for practical agricultural applications. Alongside her PhD, Carol forges partnerships with research experts to develop hands-on scientific lab training programmes for Africa-based research scientists and academics. With the support of the University of Cambridge’s Department of Plant Sciences, Carol’s Foundation brings up to 20 outstanding early-career agricultural researchers and PhD students from universities across Africa to Cambridge, annually, to learn new research techniques and technologies that can help advance their research and teaching at home. This initiative also provides networking opportunities and establishment of new regional and international research partnerships. Carol has created several other initiatives including the African Diaspora Biotech Summit, UK-Africa Food Security Symposium and Bio-innovation for Africa Pitching Competition, which aims to identify and celebrate innovations made by Africans to improve lives and systems on the continent. Carol has won several awards, recognition and commendations, including ‘Researcher of the Month’ by the Cambridge Global Food Security Initiative and a finalist for the Women in Science and Engineering World Award 2017.
Shani is the Co-Founder of Bankra, an online platform exploring Africa, the Caribbean and its diasporas through storytelling, travel and education. She has a Masters degree in African Studies from the University of Oxford, with research focusing on second-generation British-Ghanaian return to Ghana. Having successfully crowdfunded £21,000 in 21 days to fund her Masters, Shani founded Chapter 21, a crowdfunding consultancy, which supports clients in running online campaigns. She has consulted on Fuse ODG’s Nana Needs A School campaign to build a secondary school in Ghana. Shani holds a First Class degree in International Development and Politics from the University of Leeds where she was awarded the Undergraduate Award for her outstanding academic work internationally, in addition to the Wheeler Memorial Prize for the highest academic achievement. Shani is an avid writer and is on a mission to go to 50 countries before she is 30.
Peter Biar Ajak
Chairman, South Sudan Young Leaders Forum; Senior Advisor, International Growth Centre (IGC) on South Sudan & Fragile States
Peter Biar Ajak is the Chairman of South Sudan Young Leaders Forum (SSYLF), a youth-led movement that is mobilizing and inspiring young people to end the war and bring about a better future for the people of South Sudan. He is also the Founder and the CEO of South Sudan Wrestling Entertainment, a nonprofit organisation that uses the indigenous sport of wrestling to promote peace among South Sudan’s tribes. Peter is a Senior Advisor at the International Growth Centre (IGC) on South Sudan & Fragile States and a former Co-Country Director in South Sudan. Peter was previously South Sudan’s World Bank Economist, co-chairing the Economic Development Pillar during the drafting of the South Sudan Development Plan (SSDP) and the Vision 2040. Peter was also previously the Coordinator of Policy and Strategy in the Office of the Minister of National Security in the Office of the President, assisting with the drafting of the South Sudan’s White Paper on Intelligence & National Security, the National Security Act, and the National Security Policy and Strategy. Peter is currently a member of the SPLM Economic Taskforce, the ruling party’s highest economic policymaking body. His work has appeared in a number of reputable international media sources, including New York Times, Foreign Policy, BBC, Al Jazeera, and The Economist. A former “lost boy” of Sudan, Peter holds a BA in Economics from LaSalle University, a Masters of Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) from John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and a PhD in Politics and International Studies at Trinity College, University of Cambridge.
Dr. Chinedu Ugwu
PhD Researcher, University of Cambridge
Chinedu Ugwu is a PhD researcher at the University of Cambridge with focus on understanding the interaction of arenavirus such as Lassa fever virus with the immune system. Lassa fever virus is an endemic viral haemorrhagic fever virus in West Africa with a conservative annual disease burden of 100,000–300,000 clinical cases. The highest burden is seen in Nigeria which is Chinedu’s home country.
Chinedu holds a doctor of veterinary medicine degree (DVM) with distinctions from University of Ibadan and a master of science (MSc) in immunology from University of Oxford. He is also a junior editor for the Early Stage Researchers journal (ESR). Aside from science, he has an avid interest in politics and development in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. He was the president of Cambridge
university Nigeria student society. Currently, he runs Odiichenwanyi foundation an educational project providing scholarship for indigent children in Ugbene-Ajima.
CoFounder and Director - Filanthropy*
Adizah is a product-focused technology executive having worked within the digital technologies space since 2009. Fast forward to 2018 and she has built a unique lens while working in the global technology sector. She was the Director of Marketing EMEA at Token an open banking FinTech company from San Francisco, is a technology Advisor to UCL School of Management and board member of Business France. In 2012 she became the Co-Founder and Company Director of Filanthropy* a supporting grassroots social entrepreneurship projects with small grants.
She was part of the founding team of Level39 a London based a technology accelerator focused on FinTech products set up by the Canary Wharf Group. She has been in the London technology and startup ecosystem for the last 8 years and understands how to build relationships and strategies that add value to all partners. Adizah has worked on the rollout of digital products such as websites, billing systems and mentor matching platforms. Over the years Adizah has worked with a number of industry leaders such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, IBM, JP Morgan, UBS, Thomson Reuters and Accenture. Adizah has spoken internationally about the impact of technology, business and finance at a number of industry events and conferences. In 2016 Adizah was named one of the top 100 women in London by City A.M and is a judge for the annual CIO awards. In 2017 Adizah was named as one of the Inspiring 50 Europe an annual list of women changing the technology sector across Europe. In 2018 the FT named her as one of the top 100 ethnic minority executives in the UK and USA.
Dr Justice Tankebe
Lecturer in Criminology, University of Cambridge
Dr Justice Tankebe is a University Lecturer in Criminology and a Fellow at St. Edmund's College at the University of Cambridge. He holds MPhil degree in Criminological Research and a Ph.D. in Criminology from the University of Cambridge. He was the Director of MPhil Programmes, 2013 - 2016. After completing his PhD thesis, which examined police legitimacy in Ghana, he was awarded post-doctoral fellowships by the Economic and Social Research Council, the British Academy, and Fitzwilliam College. Prior to his current appointment, he was a teaching associate on the Police Executive Programme at the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge. His current research projects include policing and politics in Ghana, and a longitudinal study of corruption among prospective elites in Ghana. Justice is also the co-founder of the African Institute for Crime, Policy and Governance Research. He attended Agogo State Secondary School (now Agogo State College), Ghana, and read Sociology at the University of Ghana, Legon.
Dr Adam Branch
Director, Centre of African Studies, University of Cambridge
Adam Branch is Director of the Centre of African Studies at the University of Cambridge, where he is also University Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Studies and Fellow of Trinity Hall. Prior to joining Cambridge, he was senior research fellow at the Makerere Institute of Social Research in Kampala, Uganda. He is the author of two books: Africa Uprising: Popular Protest and Political Change (Zed Books, 2015, co-authored with Zachariah Mampilly) and Displacing Human Rights: War and Intervention in Northern Uganda (Oxford University Press, 2011).
Muzvare Hazviperi Betty Makoni
Founder, Girl Child Network
Muzvare Hazviperi Betty Makoni aged 47 (MSc in Social Work (Royal Holloway University, UK and registered as a social worker with HCPC in UK, BA General, BA Honours (University of Zimbabwe) and founder of Girl Child Network Worldwide has achieved so much in her lifetime. Newsweek (2011) named her as one of the 100 women who shake the world alongside USA Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. With 70 global awards, she is singled as the most awarded African woman globally for her charitable work to support girls. She was officially conferred the Title Muzvare- Her Royal Highness the Princess. Round the world people prefer to call her CNN hero as she was awarded as a top ten hero for protecting the powerless in 2009. UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, Nicole Kidman honoured her. In her professional circles people call her Muzvare or Hazviperi.
At age 6, Muzvare Betty Makoni suffered sexual abuse. She spent her childhood as child vendor in the high-density suburb of Chitungwiza in Zimbabwe. At age 9 she lost her mother in domestic violence. In 1998 as a teacher Muzvare Betty Makoni mobilised girls into a club and grew the network from 10 to over 350 000 over a decade. Over a decade, 70 000 girls sexually abused opened and got support. She went back into the poorest areas of Zimbabwe with a leadership and mentorship program that inspired, motivated and empowered over 350 000 girls in school based clubs. Through her relentless efforts to bring funding to girls, she fundraised over US$3 million over the decade which supported over 5000 girls to complete their education and empowerment programmes. Muzvare Betty Makoni has assisted over 20 women leaders in Zimbabwe, UK and worldwide to set up charities and helped with free training and mentorship at early stages of formation of organisations.
Muzvare Betty Makoni has been featured as the main subject by the US Hollywood Director Michealene Risley award winning documentary called Tapestries of Hope shown on USA's major channels like HBO. The most recent documentary film on BBC in UK was on Female Genital Mutilation Type 4. To her name are 70 global awards from the most Prestigious organisations in the world making her the most awarded African women where with the Decade Global Child Rights hero she became one of the honorary winners alongside the late President Nelson Mandela. CNN, Dalai Lama, World Children's Prize and My Hero's Project awarded Muzvare Betty Makoni as a hero. Muzvare Betty Makoni is a published author of a poetry book, “A woman, once a Girl: Breaking Silence.” Her official Autobiography is called Never Again, not on any woman or girl again. Muzvare Betty Makoni recently completed her Master in Science in Social Work Degree at Royal Holloway University in 2016. On 7 October 2017, she launched Girls Empowerment Initiative to respond to complex challenges girls in UK face.
Director, Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt Team at Barings Asset Management
Kawtar Eddahmani is a Director for the Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt Team at Barings Asset Management, and member of the EM Corporate Investment Committee. Her coverage includes, among others, most African countries. Prior to joining Barings in 2014, Kawtar was at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where she specialised in International Development. Prior to Harvard University, she worked in Lazard’s Government Advisory Group advising governments, central banks and government-owned companies on sovereign debt restructurings, sovereign financing and banking sector reforms. This included several assignments in Africa. Kawtar is Moroccan and speaks Arabic, French and Spanish. She holds Master’s degrees from HEC Paris and Ecole Polytechnique in France.
Dr. Njoki Wamai
Post doctoral researcher, Politics and International Studies Department, University of Cambridge
Dr. Njoki Wamai is a post doctoral researcher at the Centre for Governance and Human Rights(CGHR) at the Politics and International Studies Department at Cambridge University where she completed her PhD in Politics and International Studies as a Gates Cambridge Scholar in 2017. Her thesis focused on everyday politics of intervention in Kenya. Before joining the University of Cambridge, Njoki was a Peace, Security and Development Scholar at the African Leadership Centre (ALC) at King's College London. She also studied a Bsc in Food Sciences and a post graduate diploma in Gender studies at the University of Nairobi before starting her graduate studies in London.
In addition to her academic career she co-founded several student societies at Cambridge focused on African and black students including the Black Cantabs Research Society(BCRS), the African Society of Cambridge University(ASCU) and the Cambridge East African Society(CamEAS). She sits on various advisory boards such as the Africa Leadership Centre(ALC) at Kings College London and The Youth Congress in Kenya. She previously chaired the Young Women Leadership Board(YWLI) a pan African feminist women's organisation and was a member of Kenya's United Nation's Security Council 1325 Task Force which assisted the Kenyan government in implementing the UNSCR 1325 resolution on women, peace and security. Her opinion shaping articles have appeared in international news sites including: Huffington Post, Pambazuka, This is Africa, The Conversation, AllAfrica, The Daily Nation and Elephant. She has appeared regularly on Arise News, BBC News and BBC TV talking about African politics.
Prof. David Dunne
Director, Cambridge-Africa; Professor of Parasitology
David Dunne is the founding Director of Cambridge-Africa, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Cambridge-Africa started as a capacity-building partnership between individual Cambridge and African researchers but developed into Cambridge’s university-wide programme to make Cambridge expertise, facilities, and influence in all areas available to support and partner African researchers and African research institutions. He is also Professor of Parasitology at Cambridge and Director of the Wellcome Trust-Cambridge Centre for Global Health Research. David has spent some 35-years researching neglected infectious tropical diseases in long-term collaborative partnerships with African colleagues in many rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa.
Okendo Lewis Gayle
Founder & Chairman, Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance; Mason Fellow, Harvard University
Okendo Lewis-Gayle is author of Harambeans and founder of the Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance. Harambe is a network of young Africa entrepreneurs (Harambeans) who are scaling ventures such as Andela, Flutterwave and Yoco. Harambeans have raised capital from Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Ma and other prominent investors. Okendo is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School and serves as Africa Advisor to the Vatican, the Rhodes Trust and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Okendo's claim to fame is that President Barack Obama, after hearing Okendo speak famously said "I am glad Okendo is not running for president, yet."
Master of Ceremony
Mr. Henry Bonsu
Henry Bonsu is a broadcaster and conference host of Ghanaian-British origin. A graduate of Magdalen College Oxford, he has worked on many current affairs programmes, including BBC Radio 4's Today, BBC London 94.9, and BBC2's Black Britain. Henry has also presented shows on satellite channels Vox Africa, BET International, Press TV, and been an analyst on Sky News, Al Jazeera and Sky News. He started out as a print journalist writing initially for specialist newspapers such as The Voice, and the Caribbean Times, then The Times, Express, Guardian and The Evening Standard. For several years Henry was a major backer and investor in Colourful Radio, the former DAB and satellite station. He is now an international MC, specialising on global economic development with a particular focus on Africa. In the last year he has hosted summits at the UN General Assembly in New York, in Brussels, The Hague, Kigali, Mexico City and in Incheon, Korea. As well as development events, Bonsu facilitates business gatherings like the Cartier Women's Initiative Awards, the African Banker Awards, and the Global African Investment Summit. He is currently a member of the Equality and Diversity Committee of NHS England.