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
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.”.
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Prof. Stephen Toope
Vice-Chancelor, University of Cambridge
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?
Editor-in-Chief, City Press, South Africa
Mondli Makhanya, who is currently the Editor-in- Chief of City Press, has been in the media industry for more than 26 years. He is one of South Africa’s most respected editors and an influential columnist. Makhanya’s insights on South Africa’s political and social developments are much sought after. He is a regular speaker at public and private events and is frequently invited to speak on panels across a range of topics. He began his career at the Weekly Mail where he covered the transition to democracy and also reported on business and economic debates during that period. During this time he had a stint on Newsweek magazine in New York. After the Weekly Mail he worked for The Star as political writer and later as deputy news editor and executive editor. He was one of the founding editors of Sunday World before moving onto the Sunday Times where he worked as political editor. Makhanya has served as editor of the Mail&Guardian, Editor-in- Chief of the Sunday Times as well as Editor-in- Chief of the Times Media Group. Makhanya has also served as Chairperson of the South African National Editors Forum and as Treasurer of the The African Editors’ Forum.
President, African Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Ghana
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.
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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.