Conference Panels

Saturday 16
10:10 – 11:25 AM
African Capital Markets
The Next Generation of African Leaders (hosted by African Leadership Network)
Achieving Scale in Agriculture in Africa
Saturday 16
11:35 – 12:50 PM
Navigating Africa: The Entrepreneur’s Perspective
Winning in Africa (hosted by Boston Consulting Group)
Getting to Critical Mass in the age of the ‘App’: Opportunities and challenges in Mobile Technology in Africa
Disruptive Innovation in Public Services: The Role of Social Enterprise and Impact Investing
Saturday 16
2:40 – 3:55 PM
Post MBA Careers in Africa: Brain drain reversal or enduring exile?
The Rise of the Sophisticated African Consumer: Implications for the Fashion, Media and Entertainment Industry on the Continent
Power: A Case Study of the Privatization of the Power Sector in Nigeria
Saturday 16
4:05 – 5:20 PM
Private Equity: Generating Attractive Returns in an Increasingly Competitive Landscape
Lions Go Digital (hosted by McKinsey & Company)
Revolutionizing Education in Africa

African Capital Markets

Deep, transparent and liquid capital markets can provide tremendous support for economic development, but many fast-growing African countries still have relatively small – or practically non-existent – stock exchanges and debt markets. This panel will study the impact that deepening the continent’s capital markets could have on promoting economic growth and encouraging investment. We will also look at how the region’s fledgling exchanges can avoid some of the problems that have afflicted markets in the industrialized world—and ensure that the widest possible range of Africans can participate in their countries’ capital markets.

This panel will also explore recent developments including the growing regional dominance of some of the continent’s bigger exchanges, the introduction of financial derivatives, and the growth of electronic trading. The discussion will also include a look into some of the challenges faced, including collusion and market fixing, political and sovereign risk, and concerns around currency manipulation.


  • Alison Graham, Founder and Chief Investment Officer, Voltan Capital Management

    Alison Graham

    Founder and Chief Investment Officer, Voltan Capital Management

    Alison Graham is the founder and Chief Investment Officer of Voltan Capital Management. She serves as the manager of the flagship fund, determining the fund’s overall investment themes and country allocations. Ms. Graham has over seventeen years of experience in emerging markets finance as a portfolio manager, equity analyst and corporate advisor.

    Throughout her career, she has specialized in frontier and early-stage markets, following their development into mainstream emerging markets. In 1995, Ms. Graham joined Caspian Securities, an investment bank dedicated to emerging markets, as a senior equity analyst for Latin America. In 1998, Ms. Graham relocated to Moscow, Russia to join United Financial Group as a senior analyst focusing on Russian equities. Since 2000, she has managed assets and served as a financial advisor to a variety of firms with interests in frontier countries. She spends much of her time conducting on-site company visits in the frontiers and is skilled at trading in low-liquidity environments. Ms. Graham holds a master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley, is a Chartered Financial Analyst and is fluent in six languages.

  • Amadou Sy, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

    Amadou Sy

    Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

    Amadou Sy is senior fellow at the Brookings’ Africa Growth Initiative and currently serves as a member of the Editorial Board of the Global Credit Review. He was previously deputy division chief of the Financial Surveillance Division in the International Monetary Fund’s Monetary and Capital Markets Department.  There he led the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) for the Democratic Republic of Congo, served as deputy mission chief for the Italy FSAP and participated in the France Article IV mission. He focuses on banking, capital markets, and macroeconomics in Africa and emerging markets.

    Amadou has held a variety of positions at the IMF over the last 15 years, covering more than 20 countries and all the financial crises since 1998.  He served as Deputy Chief of the Financial Surveillance Division where he coordinated the Fund’s work on stress testing and financial surveillance tools until August 2013. He has also been a member of the France Article IV mission for two years and was deputy mission chief for the Italy financial sector assessment program (FSAP) and mission chief for the Democratic Republic of Congo FSAP.  Previously, he was deputy chief of the Financial Oversight Division, which played a central role in the IMF’s work on financial regulation, supervision, and crisis management. There, he coordinated policy and outreach work on financial regulation, including Basel III and contributed to the IOSCO’s research work on systemic risk and securities markets. Amadou was also deputy chief at the IMF Institute where he coordinated, developed and taught macroeconomics and finance courses to mid- and senior level staff from central banks and ministries of finance in Asia and Africa, as well as the IMF. He also worked on a project to set up a Trust Fund for capacity building in Africa.

    Amadou joined the IMF’s Research Department during the 1998 Asian crisis where he monitored the main international financial centers and emerging capital markets and contributed to the IMF’s Global Financial Stability Report.  He then developed an expertise in assessing the stability of financial systems before moving to capital markets development, including Islamic finance and sovereign debt management. He also worked on reserves management and helped develop the Santiago Principles for sovereign wealth funds. Over the years, he has led FSAP missions to Mali and Niger, training missions at the COFEB and in Asia, and has participated in Technical Assistance and AIV missions in a number of countries, including in the WAEMU.

    His policy work won the runner-up 2011 ICFR-Financial Times Prize for best research on financial regulation. He also recently co-edited a book on the management of natural resources wealth, which is used in IMF training courses. During the 2012 IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings, he organized a well-attended High Level Roundtable on the Future of Financial Regulation with the Center for Financial Policy of the University of Maryland. Amadou has published in top academic and practitioner journals, including the Journal of Banking, Finance and IMF Staff Papers, Journal of Fixed Income, and World Economics.  He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Global Credit Review (National University of Singapore).

    Amadou has written speeches for the IMF Managing Director and the head of the Monetary and Capital Markets Department. He has presented his work at international conferences and central banks worldwide and has contributed to blogs (VoxEU), podcasts, webcasts (GARP), and columns in the financial press. He was quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Foreign Policy, Le Point (France), El Pais (Spain), Business Week, Financial Times (Deutschland and Alphaville),  Les Echos ( France), Il Sole (Italy), and El Mundo (Spain).

  • Brad Gibbs, Partner, Mara Group

    Brad Gibbs

    Partner, Mara Group

    Prior to joining MARA in 2013, Brad was a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, where he worked for thirteen years and was based, at various junctures, in the New York, London, Frankfurt and Johannesburg offices executing mergers, acquisitions and capital markets transactions across a broad array of industries, including natural resources, retail, telecommunications, chemicals, logistics, healthcare, software and financial institutions, totaling in excess of $100 billion. During his tenure at Morgan Stanley, Brad served as Head of South Africa Investment Banking and Head of EMEA Chemicals, Building Materials and Paper & Packaging.

    Brad received a MBA from The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) in 1998 and a BA in History with Honors from Brown University in 1993, where he graduated magna cum laude and was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

  • Terence Naidu, Managing Director, Envisionit Capital Solutions

    Terence Naidu

    Managing Director, Envisionit Capital Solutions

    Terence Naidu, age 37, Bachelor of Commerce – Investment Management (University of South Africa). Terence is the founder and managing director of the Envisionit group of companies in South Africa (Envisionit Capital Solutions, Envisionit Investments, Envisionit Stock Lending Solutions and Envisionit Lifestyle). Terence is also the Founder and Trustee of the Envisionit Dare to Dream Bursary Foundation a non-profit organization funded by the Envisionit companies and external donors that provide bursaries to previously disadvantaged students that have excelled at school but don’t have the financial means to further their education. 11 Years in financial services industry. Previous roles: Head of Operations: Peregrine Capital; Chief Operating Officer: RMB Equity Prime Broking; Co-Head: Sanlam Prime Services. Industry roles: Executive member South African Scrip Lending Association (SASLA), featured in the Association of Securities and Investment Professionals – 2013 Game Changers Black Book.


  • Dan Keeler, Editorial Consultant – Frontier Markets, The Wall Street Journal

    Dan Keeler

    Editorial Consultant – Frontier Markets, The Wall Street Journal

    Dan Keeler focuses on frontier markets at the Wall Street Journal and is also editor-at-large of Global Finance magazine, where he provides regular coverage of frontier and smaller emerging markets. He is also founder of New York’s FM Network, a group that hosts gatherings of finance professionals focused on smaller emerging markets. From 2003 to 2011 he was the editor of Global Finance magazine, where he steered the magazine’s coverage toward corporate responsibility and emerging markets. Prior to that he served as a freelance editor and writer for various publications, including New York magazine, and provided consultancy and editing expertise for a number of non-profit groups. Through his own content management company, Celerity Media, Keeler worked as an editorial consultant in various industries, including advertising and private banking. He has created content for several websites and built a number of them as well. From 1997-99, he worked as group production manager for one of the UK’s leading financial publishing firms, where he helped oversee the launch of Bloomberg Money. From 1995-97, he was deputy editor of Sunday Business (London). Prior to 1995, Keeler was a business reporter for Sky TV, BusinessAge and the South China Morning Post. He has a civil engineering degree from England’s Plymouth University.

Navigating Africa: The Entrepreneur’s Perspective

The rise of Africa offers unprecedented opportunity for entrepreneurial endeavor. Against the backdrop of economic dynamism, what does it actually take to start and build a business in Africa? Africa presents its own unique challenges for aspiring entrepreneurs in gaining access to financing, skilled labor and technical support that still stifles the full potential of aspiring entrepreneurs.

Hear the personal stories of entrepreneurs across the continent who have turned their visions into business successes. The discussion will seek to provide a realistic and balanced perspective on business building that offers tangible insights for investors, entrepreneurs and public policy practitioners interested in Africa.


  • Ladi Delano, Co-founder of DFL Investments

    Ladi Delano

    Co-founder of DFL Investments

    Ladi Delano is a Nigerian entrepreneur with over 10 years experience in emerging markets. Ladi is the co-founder of DFL Investments; DFL is a private investment vehicle set-up to invest in Nigeria. The company is back by a diverse consortium of South East Asian investors all of whom share Ladi’s vision for Nigeria; to date DFL has successfully acquired the most developed mining asset in the country and is currently developing the mine – a $100m project. Ladi provides the overall direction of the company alongside the strategic planning of its day-to-day operations.

    From 2002 – 2010 Ladi was the managing partner of the DRG Group, a portfolio of companies (Ladi co-founded) with the majority of its operations in main land China. The Group with over 450 staff spanned several sectors, which included a $20m FMCG alcohol distribution business with operations in over 22 Chinese cities, to a $50m real-estate investment vehicle strategically positioned for M&A transactions in 1st and 2nd tier cities in China.

    As a result of the 07/08 global financial crisis Ladi divested his stake in the Group, and went on to become a managing partner of Global DRG Energy: a $225m investment vehicle focused on special situation investment opportunities in the Indonesian mining sector. During this time, Ladi led several mining M&A transactions working alongside the two largest mining companies in the country. Ladi was also appointed as the Equity Capital Markets consulting partner for Singaporean-listed Ramba Energy.

    Ladi was awarded the “Young Entrepreneur Award 2003” by FP magazine, and was featured as one of Forbes Top 10 Young Africans to Watch 2012. Ladi has had the privilege of being a guest speaker at several business schools including INSEAD Singapore.

    Ladi studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London.)


  • Eliot Pence, Advisor, McLarty Associates

    Eliot Pence

    Advisor, McLarty Associates

    Eliot Pence is an Advisor at McLarty Associates, a global corporate strategy firm, where he runs the firm’s Africa practice. Prior to joining McLarty, Eliot served as Director for the Whitaker Group, a leading Africa consulting firm, where he advised Fortune 100 companies in over 20 markets in Africa and directed the firm’s work in the financial services and energy sectors. He is the founder of Upstream Analytics, a software start-up focused on helping companies acquire, manage and analyze supply-chain data in frontier markets. He has written extensively on doing business in frontier markets in outlets including The New York Times, Reuters, CNN, Yahoo! Finance, Financial Times and The National Interest. In 2012, he was recognized by Diplomatic Courier as one of the “Top 99 under 33” foreign policy professionals. Eliot holds a MA from Yale University and BA from the University of Victoria.

The Next Generation of African Leaders (Hosted by The African Leadership Network)

Prominent members of the African Leadership Network will discuss their experiences leading companies and institutions across the African continent providing attendees with a nuanced understanding of the changes taking place on the continent and the emerging opportunities, challenges and risks. Panelists will also share their thoughts on what makes successful African leaders unique and how Africa can play a greater role in shaping its own image in the world and the road-map towards becoming a prosperous continent.

African Leadership Network (ALN) is the premier community of young, dynamic and influential leaders in Africa. ALN aims to catalyze prosperity in Africa by: (1) Celebrating and promoting entrepreneurship as the surest way for Africa to achieve prosperity, and (2) creating and strengthening relationships between leaders in Africa such that these relationships can lead to greater intra-African trade, investment, partnership and collaboration.


  • Angela Gachui, African Women in Public Service Fellow, NYU-Wagner

    Angela Gachui

    African Women in Public Service Fellow, NYU-Wagner

    Angela Gachui is the 2013/2015 African Women in Public Service Fellow (Oprah Scholar) at the New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.

    Born in Kenya, Angela spent her formative in France and Cote d’Ivoire as well as her native land, developing a passion for the African continent and various iterations of leadership. Her work experience spans across various sectors and multiple countries, having worked with Mars Canada, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Seven Seas Technologies and most recently, at Triple Bottom Line Associates, a boutique advisory firm which she founded in 2011, working with small and medium sized enterprises to articulate and implement their corporate and talent management strategies in a sustainable manner.

    Angela’s personal mission is to facilitate the generation and execution of innovative and responsive solutions to numerous public issues facing African nations, driven by skilled and passionate Africans. She has been recognized as a Next Generation Leader 2012, by the African Leadership Network, is a Founding member of the Kenya Chapter of Africa 2.0, and of New Faces New Voices- Kenya. Angela also sits on numerous Boards, including East Africa Capital Partners and the Advisory Board for Strathmore Business School’s Master of Public Policy and Management Program.

    Angela holds a BA in Political Science & Sociology from the University of Western Ontario and is currently pursuing an Masters of Public Administration – International Policy and Management Specialization. She currently serves as the Internal Affairs Officer for the Wagner Student Alliance for Africa (WSAFA).

  • Teresa Clarke, Founder & CEO,

    Teresa Clarke

    Founder & CEO,

    Teresa H. Clarke is the chairman and CEO of LLC. She founded the company in 2010 after resigning from her position as a managing director in the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs & Co. is the fastest growing Africa-­‐related website, with about five million page views per month from visitors in over 200 countries throughout the world. showcases carefully selected news, information and travel, and is playing a key role in shaping how the world sees Africa.
    Ms. Clarke is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serves on the boards of the Student Sponsorship Programme South Africa, Southern Africa Legal Services, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, the Opportunity Agenda, and is an emeriti board member of the Harvard Business School Alumni Association. She was named one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Business, and was honored with the Merrill Lynch Africa Business Leadership Award.


  • Khatidja Ajania, Partner, Kenyans Come Home

    Khatidja Ajania

    Partner, Kenyans Come Home

    Khatidja Ajania is a Kenyan living in the US and a Partner at Kenyans Come Home. Khatidja’s focus is on talent acquisition in the US. She connects talented professionals, especially Kenyans, to exciting, exclusive job opportunities in Kenya/East Africa. In addition to Kenyans Come Home, Khatidja works at American Express where she is responsible for digital advertising product development. Prior to this, Khatidja worked at Evidon, a successful tech start-up, where she was the head of business development and built out a client base for Evidon’s products. In addition, she has held several roles with Yahoo! in both Canada and New York. Khatidja holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honors) degree from Queen’s University, Canada.

Achieving Scale in Agriculture in Africa

In the last 40 years, sub-Saharan Africa went from being a net-exporter of basic food staples to relying on imports and food aid. According to a recent report by the United States Department of Agriculture, the number of people in sub-Saharan Africa facing food insecurity could more than double to 373 million by 2023.

Recently, many organizations such as the Gates Foundation, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), USAID’s Feed the Future Initiative, and the G8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition have launched initiatives to counter food insecurity. The initiatives target increasing crop yields through the use of “green technologies” such as fertilizers, high-yield seeds, and pesticides. Others argue that the barriers to a “green revolution” are institutional including the lack of access to capital, inefficient supply chains to bring goods to the market, unclear land rights, and a lack of government investment.

In contrast, some experts are concerned that introducing technical solutions may have adverse effects—such as increasing African producers’ dependency on expensive foreign inputs or alienating small-scale farmers from their land. Still others have argued that reform must occur at the level of the global economy. Some have critiqued food aid for undercutting local producers and have placed blamed on protectionist policies in Western countries for inhibiting African farmers from competing on the world market.

This panel will make an intervention into these complex debates. We will discuss what needs to be done by government, the private sector and the not-for-profit sector to achieve scale, improve agricultural efficiency, and promote food security in Africa.


  • Fatima Kassam, Chief of Governmental Affairs and Policy, African Risk Capacity (African Union Specialized Agency)

    Fatima Kassam

    Chief of Governmental Affairs and Policy, African Risk Capacity (African Union Specialized Agency)

    Ms. Fatima Kassam is currently the Chief of Governmental Affairs and Policy of the African Risk Capacity and an Advisor to the African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture. Fatima joined the ARC project at its inception in 2009. As Chief of Governmental Affairs and Policy, Fatima manages the Johannesburg-based client services team delivering capacity-building assistance to AU Member States planning to join the first continental risk pool in 2013, ensures harmonization of ARC with regional and global policy agenda and assists the Managing Director in ensuring the facility’s financial sustainability.

    Prior to joining the ARC, Fatima served as Deputy Director of Governor Schwarzenegger’s California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth. The Jobs Commission focused on structural challenges in the California economy, creating favorable regulatory environments for emerging industries and marketing California technologies abroad. Before moving to California, Fatima lived in Addis Ababa and Rome as a consultant to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) on its ground-breaking project with the Government of Ethiopia to write the contingency plan for their weather and climate risk management program. Her work in Africa extends south to Mozambique with TechnoServe and an investment group led by the former Minister of Finance with whom she worked to produce and market new products (pulses, flowers, farmed fish), revive old products (cashews) and lead long term agricultural investment planning for coastal provinces.

    Fatima has also worked extensively with non-profits that cultivate informed civic engagement and increased awareness about issues confronting the developing world. In this capacity, she designed core curriculum for the Hands On Network’s nationwide Citizen Academy; Emory University’s Ethics and Servant Leadership Forum; and the Aga Khan Foundation USA’s Global Village in Action.

    Fatima holds a dual M.A. in International Economics and International Development from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a dual B.A. in Economics and French Post-Colonial Studies from Emory University. She is a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and attended La Sorbonne — University of Paris I. The last three generations of her family hail from East Africa. Fatima speaks French. She is based in Johannesburg.

  • Glenn Denning, Professor of Professional Practice, School of International and Public Affairs; Director, Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development, The Earth Institute, Columbia University

    Glenn Denning

    Professor of Professional Practice, School of International and Public Affairs; Director, Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development, The Earth Institute, Columbia University

    Professor Glenn Denning joined Columbia University’s Earth Institute in 2004 as Senior Research Scholar and Associate Director of the Tropical Agriculture and Environment Program. He helped establish the MDG Centre, East and Southern Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, and served as its director for five years. With more than 30 years of experience in international agricultural development, Denning provided leadership to the MDG Centre’s agenda in agriculture and rural development and catalyzed support to the African Green Revolution. He also played a lead role in establishing the Earth Institute’s research and policy agenda in Jordan by helping to design and develop the Institute of Sustainable Development Practice at the Columbia Middle East Research Center in Amman.

    In 2009, Denning was appointed Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, where he directs the Master of Public Administration in Development Practice program and teaches a graduate course in Global Food Systems. Since July 2011, Denning has led the Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development (CGSD), which mobilizes the scientific expertise of the Earth Institute and its partners to provide multi-sector policy support to governments and development organizations.

    From 2004 to 2006, Denning was a member of the UN Millennium Project Hunger Task Force. He is currently serving on the Senior Steering Group of the UN High Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis and is a member of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP). Denning also serves on the board of the Tanzania-based Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development (The UONGOZI Institute).

    Before joining Columbia University, Denning held senior management positions at the International Rice Research Institute (Philippines) and the World Agroforestry Centre (Kenya). He was honored by the governments of Vietnam and Cambodia for his contributions to agriculture and rural development.

    Professor Denning holds agricultural science degrees from the University of Queensland, a Ph.D. from the University of Reading, and an M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School.

  • Jon Vandenheuvel, Co-founder & CEO, Africa Atlantic Holdings Ltd & African Agribusiness

    Jon Vandenheuvel

    Co-founder & CEO, Africa Atlantic Holdings Ltd & African Agribusiness

    Jon Vandenheuvel is CEO and co-founder of Africa Atlantic Holdings Ltd, Africa Atlantic Franchise Farms Ltd (AAFF), and the African Agribusiness Knowledge Center (AAKC).

    AAFF is a commercial farming operation located on the shores of Lake Volta in the Afram Plains region of Ghana. Africa Atlantic has been conducting field trials testing maize (corn) and other crops using irrigation and is preparing for expansion. AAFF has leased and registered 10,497 hectares (25,927 acres) for agricultural development.

    AAKC is a non-profit research and training organization set up to train African farmers as entrepreneurs and design model agribusiness economic zones and cities. AAKC is being developed in association with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Science, Technology and Globalization Project of the Harvard Kennedy School, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (Abu Dhabi) and the Corporate Council on Africa.

    Prior to Africa Atlantic, Jon built a corporate and government relations firm, advising Fortune 500 companies and trade associations in public policy matters. Earlier, Jon spent 10 years as a senior aide in the U.S. House of Representatives. His introduction to Africa was a Congressional trade mission to Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Morocco in 2001.

    Jon holds a M.A. from Johns Hopkins University, a B.A. from Wheaton College, and has taken business courses at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration. He and his wife Vicki have three daughters and have lived in Tema, Ghana and Severn, Maryland. Jon works from offices in Ghana, Dubai, and Washington, DC.

  • Rakeb Abebe, Founder and CEO, GAWT International Business

    Rakeb Abebe

    Founder and CEO, GAWT International Business

    Rakeb Abebe is the founder and Managing Director of GAWT International Business P.L.C, which focus on trading agro-commodities, agro-chemicals, fertilizers and seeds in Ethiopia. She is an entrepreneur who has had a wide array of experience in the business sector worldwide. Prior to founding GAWT, she served as a Project Manager and Financial and Business Analyst at investment banks and financial institutions in the US, including Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Fannie Mae and NASD. She was also nominated by the World Economic Forum as a Global Shaper for her outstanding achievements, leadership potential and commitment to making an impact. Rakeb holds a Masters in Management Information Systems and Finance from George Washington University.


  • Keren Weitzberg, Postdoctoral Researcher, Lauder Institute at University of Pennsylvania

    Keren Weitzberg

    Postdoctoral Researcher, Lauder Institute at University of Pennsylvania

    Keren Weitzberg received her PhD in history from Stanford University in June 2013. Her dissertation, which spans the pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial eras, examines the history of the Kenyan branch of the Somali diaspora. Keren has traveled extensively in East Africa, where she has conducted archival research and oral histories. Owing to her use of diverse methodologies and her interest in the ways in which the past and present inform one another, her work sits at the intersection of the disciplines of history and anthropology. Her specializations include: the history of Kenya and its relationship to the Indian Ocean and the Horn of Africa; the history of the British Empire; nationalism in Kenya and Somalia; and Islam in East Africa. Her next project will focus on the history of the jua kali sector (Swahili for “hot sun”), which includes small-scale artisans who operate in the so-called “informal” economy of Kenya.

Getting to Critical Mass in the age of the “App”: Opportunities and challenges in Mobile Technology in Africa

The near ubiquity of mobile telephony across Africa has been hailed as a development of transformative proportions. From agriculture to banking, across the rural – urban divide, the proliferation of cellular connections and the rise of ‘the app’ present unparalleled opportunities to upend old business models and alter entire sections of the economy.

How easy is it to capitalize on this growth? What enabling factors facilitate the transition of local applications from early-adoption to a critical mass of usage? What strategies have been employed to overcome existing barriers to growth, e.g. payment, illiteracy, etc.? With smartphone penetration still under 10% of the market, what strategies are OEMs adopting to gain mindshare?


  • Chike Maduegbuna, CEO, FansConnectOnline

    Chike Maduegbuna

    CEO, FansConnectOnline

    Chike Maduegbuna is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO of FansConnectOnline Limited (aka FCO Limited): a Mobile Application, Digital Marketing and Social Media start-up in Nigeria. FCO Limited built one of the largest football-based social networking website in Nigeria. It also developed a geo-location application Naija Places that won Samsung Mobile Application Developers contest in 2010. And it developed Afrinolly that won Google’s Android Developers Challenge for Sub-Saharan Africa in September 2011.

    Afrinolly is a mobile phone app that enables African Movies and Entertainment enthusiasts to watch movies, music videos and comedy that have been made public by content owners or their legal representative via YouTube. Afrinolly is available for FREE on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia and Java-enabled phones. With over 3m downloads, Afrinolly is currently the highest downloaded African app.

    Prior to starting FCO Limited in 2010, Chike was a technical director at GRID Consulting Limited. GRID is a Nigerian multi-disciplinary consulting firm, which provides integrated Financial Management consulting services to the public and private sectors. Chike has over 16 years experience developing, advising and implementing design and review of systems in Project Management, Financial Management, Accounting, Human Resources and Tax – for Private sector firms; International and developmental organisations including UK Department for International Development, USAID, EU and DANIDA.

    He trained as an Accountant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and obtained B.Sc Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and M.Sc. Development Management from the UK Open University.

  • Jon Gosier, Founder and CEO, D8A & Appfrica

    Jon Gosier

    Founder and CEO, D8A & Appfrica

    Jon Gosier is a designer, investor, and software developer. He is the CEO and founder of Appfrica, a firm that helps some of the world’s largest multinational businesses enter African markets to do business or invest. Along with a number of other colleagues, he co-founded HiveColab in Kampala, Uganda (one of the continent’s first tech hubs) and AfriLabs (the first network of such African innovation hubs). He is also the founder of Apps4Africa, an acceleration program for African tech startups that offers seed capital and mentoring to entrepreneurs trying to scale their solutions.

    No stranger to tech entrepreneurship himself, Jon founded big data startup MetaLayer and currently serves as CEO of D8A Group, a global innovation and design firm. He was also the head of data products at Ushahidi for several years. Jon is a Senior TED Fellow and has delivered a number of TED talks on data, crowdsourcing, and innovation. He currently lives in Philadelphia where he doesn’t at all understand the fascination with cheesesteaks.

  • Michael Szymanski, Director of Business Development, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) Incubator

    Michael Szymanski

    Director of Business Development, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) Incubator

    Michael Szymanski is the Director of Business Development for the MEST Incubator and assists in managing the MEST seed fund in Accra, Ghana. MEST offers a three-phase entrepreneurial program designed to foster the growth of globally successful software companies from Africa. Since 2008 MEST has trained over 130 tech entrepreneurs and has invested in 16 tech start-ups in Accra. MEST companies have raised external capital, competed in top tech events such as TechCrunch Disrupt, Demo, and the Launch Festival, and have gained admittance to top accelerator programs such as HealthXL and 500 Startups.

    Prior to MEST, Michael worked with the Marquette Golden Angel investment group, where he analyzed investment opportunities and worked closely on strategy development with growing companies. Michael has lived and worked on four continents, focusing his work inside and outside of the US on entrepreneurs to help them grow early stage companies, attract investment, and catalyze economic development. He earned an MBA from the University of Oxford and a BA from St. Norbert College.

  • Natasha Pillay-Bemath, Recruitment Leader, IBM South Africa

    Natasha Pillay-Bemath

    Recruitment Leader, IBM South Africa

    Natasha Pillay-Bemath is currently Recruitment Leader for IBM South Africa. IBM South Africa is an important part of IBM’s growth market strategy and is currently its largest operation in Africa. Prior to that Natasha has had 13 years experience in the South African recruitment agency fraternity holding Executive roles. These include General Manager for Kelly and Managing Director at AdvTech Resourcing (both JSE listed organisations)


  • Marton Markovits, Professor of Political Risk in Emerging Markets, Department of Management – Wharton

    Marton Markovits

    Professor of Political Risk in Emerging Markets, Department of Management – Wharton

    Dr. Markovits is currently in the Department of Management at the Wharton School. He lectures on political risk in emerging economies. He is a former postdoctoral researcher at the Lauder Institute and a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science and the Center for African Studies. He holds an A.B. in Political Science from the University of Michigan and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. His work focuses on African political and economic development. He has conducted extensive research in the field on the political economy of poverty reduction, debt relief, and economic growth, and on democratization, elections, election monitoring, and political transformation in West Africa. His dissertation examined the role of local civil society in the monitoring of national elections on state reform, democratization, and political and economic development in Ghana and Senegal. He is the co-author of, “Strong State, Hollow State: The Democratic Republic of Congo” in The Politics of the Developing World, Oxford University Press. He has traveled, lived, worked, and studied throughout West, East, and Central Africa. He has also served as a consultant to civil society organizations in Africa, and to the Government of Ghana.

Winning in Africa (Hosted by The Boston Consulting Group)

A lot has been written about Africa’s re-emergence on the global business stage being what is called “the last frontier” of high growth. The key question is – how to turn opportunity into actual growth for multinationals as well as local players on the continent? BCG’s Africa team went out to understand on a cross-industry level what it really takes to unlock the value the African continent offers – what distinguishes those that made it happen. Stefano Niavas, Partner and Managing Director in BCG’s Johannesburg office will share the latest insights in an interactive session.


  • Stefano Niavas, Partner & Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group

    Stefano Niavas

    Partner & Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group

    Stefano Niavas is a Partner in the Johannesburg office. Prior to Johannesburg, Stefano worked for the BCG Paris and the New York offices respectively. At BCG, Stefano has worked primarily in Consumer Goods, focusing on retail, packaged goods, media and airlines in Western Europe, North America and Africa. Stefano is from Cote d’Ivoire.

  • Whitney Haring-Smith, Project Leader, The Boston Consulting Group – Seattle

    Whitney Haring-Smith

    Project Leader, The Boston Consulting Group – Seattle

    Whitney Haring-Smith is a Project Leader in the Seattle Office of the Boston Consulting Group. He worked in BCG’s San Francisco and Hong Kong offices before spending the past eight months in Lagos, Nigeria. Whitney’s project experience has focused mostly on transformation work in industrial goods and energy, where he has enjoyed wearing steel-toed boots more often than ties. In addition to his project work, Whitney is an author of “Allies and Adversaries: BCG Global Challengers 2013,” which identifies 100 companies from emerging markets – including six from Africa – with the potential to become global industry leaders. The publication received widespread global and regional media coverage, including the Economist, Wall Street Journal, and Reuters. Prior to BCG, Whitney served as international election observer, including the presidential elections in Mauritania (March 2007) and legislative elections in Sudan (April 2010). Whitney received his DPhil in politics from the University of Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship and concurrent award of bachelor’s and master’s in political science from Yale University.

Disruptive Innovation in Public Services: The Role of Social Enterprise and Impact Investing

A conversation on the evolving landscape of development and social services in Africa. Donors and investors are on a quest for higher returns, both in financial and social impact dimensions. Impact investing is growing in popularity as individuals, organizations and investors seek to couple sustainable development with sufficient risk-adjusted returns.

The panel will discuss how innovation is leveraging financial resources and intellectual and relational capital to develop new ways for solving societal problems while aiding economic development and building commercial enterprises.


  • Doug Balfour, CEO, Geneva Global

    Doug Balfour

    CEO, Geneva Global

    As owner and CEO, Doug’s goal is to see that Geneva Global offers the best possible advice and customized services, helping individual, institutional and corporate clients to achieve the greatest possible impact and fulfillment in their philanthropic efforts. Doug provides expert guidance to foundations, organizations, corporations, and individuals throughout the world who seek to apply a business mindset and results-oriented approach to their social impact efforts. With more than 25 years of experience in philanthropy, international development, leadership, and organizational development, Doug brings a wealth of experience to his work with Geneva Global’s clients. Since taking ownership of Geneva Global in 2008, Doug has assembled a leadership team that brings disciplines from the worlds of finance, risk management, consulting, marketing and international development to each client assignment. He has overseen the expansion of the organization’s offerings into a full range of philanthropic and consulting services, designed to meet our client’s varied needs. Doug is passionate about bringing creative solutions to address social problems. He seeks to revise traditional approaches whenever appropriate and possible. An experienced coalition builder, under Doug’s leadership Geneva Global incubated and helped to launch the END Fund, a private donor co-investment fund that seeks to overcome the debilitating effect of neglected disease on millions living in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Prior to joining Geneva Global’s senior leadership team in 2006, Doug helped to create and was Executive Director of London, U.K.-based Integral, a global alliance of 12 relief and development agencies. He previously served for nine years as General Director of Tearfund, among the United Kingdom’s largest aid agency, based in London. At Tearfund, he led a multinational staff of more than 650 people, implementing advocacy, relief and development programs through 300 partners in 70 countries. Earlier, Doug held management and consulting roles with the Birmingham, U.K.-based Lucas Group and lived and worked in Africa. He studied at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom, and earned a master’s in business administration from the Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield, United Kingdom.

  • Hendrik Jordaan, CEO, One Thousand & One Voices

    Hendrik Jordaan

    CEO, One Thousand & One Voices

    Hendrik Jordaan is President and Chief Executive Officer of One Thousand & One Voices, a movement of influential families investing intellectual, relational and patient financial capital – three-dimensional capital – to profitably accelerate prosperity in rising markets. Most recently, Mr. Jordaan served as Global Chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Private Equity Investments & Buyouts Practice, where he specialized in advising financial and strategic buyers and sellers in public and private M&A transactions and complex corporate transactions.

    Born and raised in the Republic of South Africa, Mr. Jordaan has been active in cross-border and private equity M&A transactions for over 15 years. He has held various regional and national leadership positions in the field of private equity and M&A, including chair of the Distressed M&A Task Force of the American Bar Association’s M&A Committee and founder and chair of the M&A Committee of the Colorado Bar Association.

    Mr. Jordaan has consistently been recognized for his leadership in the legal industry in Who’s Who Legal, Super Lawyers, Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500. He was selected by his peers as the top Private Equity Lawyer in 2012 and the top M&A Lawyer in Colorado. In 2012, one of Mr. Jordaan’s private equity transactions was nominated as “Deal of the Year” by M&A Advisor.

    Mr. Jordaan serves on the University of Colorado Denver Business School’s Board of Advisors and is an active member of Young Presidents’ Organization. He previously founded the World Trade Center Denver Africa Roundtable and served on the US Department of Commerce District Export Council.

    While receiving his J.D. from Southern Methodist University, he served as the Editor-in-Chief of The International Lawyer, one of the most widely circulated international legal periodicals. Prior to law school, Mr. Jordaan attended Southern Methodist University on a full tuition scholarship where he captained the varsity tennis team for two years.

  • Dr. Kassa Darge, Professor of Radiology and Surgery, University of Pennsylvania

    Dr. Kassa Darge

    Professor of Radiology and Surgery, University of Pennsylvania

    Kassa Darge (MD, PhD) is a pediatric radiologist and Chief of the Division of Body Imaging at the Department of Radiology of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Professor of Radiology and Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds The “John W. Hope” Endowed Chair for Radiology Faculty Development. In addition, he is an honorary professor at the Department of Radiology of the Faculty of Medicine, Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, where he is responsible for the CHOP International Pediatric Radiology Outreach Program including the pediatric radiology fellowship. Dr. Darge is a member of the Board of the Radiology Associates of the Children’s Hospital, too.

    Before joining CHOP 6 years ago, he had spent 20 years in Germany. He did his radiology residency and pediatric radiology fellowship at the University of Heidelberg. Following his PhD, he was appointed Professor and Head of the Department of Pediatric Radiology at the University of Wuerzburg. During this time he also served on the executive board of the German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Association (DAHW). Prior to his radiology career Dr. Darge was a research fellow of the World Health Organization (WHO) at the Bernhard-Nocht Institute of Tropical Medicine in Hamburg, Germany. During his training in tropical medicine he worked half of the time at the research outposts of the Institute and the WHO in Liberia and Ghana, West Africa.

    Dr. Darge is a nationally and internationally renowned pediatric radiologist. He is a member of 26 professional societies and editorial board member or reviewer of 23 scientific journals. He has some 130 publications and over 200 published abstracts. He has given over 170 invited talks at numerous institutions and meetings nationally and internationally.

    Dr. Darge has received several awards including the “Schinz Medal” & “Honorary Membership” by the Swiss Radiological Society, the “Heidi Patriquin International Fellowship for Education Award” by the Society of Pediatric Radiology (SPR), “Contrast Agent Research Award” by the German Radiological Society and “The Schering Prize” by the European Federation of Societies of Ultrasound in Medicine (EFSUMB). Recently he was awarded by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia the “2011 Mentor Award” for his role in establishing a mentorship structure for the faculty in the Department of Radiology that is serving as a model for other departments.

  • Nat Robinson, CEO, Juhudi Kilimo

    Nat Robinson

    CEO, Juhudi Kilimo

    Nat Robinson is the Chief Executive Officer of Juhudi Kilimo Company Limited which is a Certified B-Corporation that provides micro-asset financing to rural smallholder farmers in Kenya. Nat is originally from the U.S. but has traveled, worked or studied in over 40 countries across six continents in the areas of business, nonprofit and government. After working as a financial consultant in China and then in the U.S. for Accenture, he accepted a short-term project in Kenya with the K-Rep Development Agency (KDA) and the Grassroots Business Fund in 2008. After the project, Nat decided to stay in Kenya and launch what is now Juhudi Kilimo. He received a sponsorship from the UNDP and IFC African Management Services Company (AMSCO) to be the company CFO and in 2010 he was appointed to CEO. Two years later, Nat has led Juhudi Kilimo from a non-profit pilot program within KDA to a fully operational and profitable enterprise serving thousands of smallholder farmers. Juhudi Kilimo was recognized in 2011 at the World Economic Forum with the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award and then in 2013 with CIO Magazine’s CIO 100 list of companies globally that use innovative technology to generate business value.

    Nat is a Rainer Arnhold Fellow with the Mulago Foundation and has an MBA from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.

  • Tesfaye Hailemichael, President, Cadila Pharmaceuticals

    Tesfaye Hailemichael

    President, Cadila Pharmaceuticals

    Mr. Hailemichael is a highly ethical, results-oriented senior executive with over 25 years of strategic and tactical planning leadership for both public and private Global companies. He is currently President of Cadila Pharmaceuticals “Ethiopia” Plc., is an Audit Chair and Board Member of PeopleJar, Inc. and Socialwhirled Inc. Mr. Hailemichael has extensive experience in taking companies public, M&A, fund raising, SEC reporting, international operations, and joint ventures. He has broad international work experience and has closed 12 M&A deals throughout his career. He has experience in industries including pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, specialty chemicals, medical devices, mobile capture technology, computer hardware, software, fast moving consumer goods and clean technology.

    Previously Mr. Hailemichael was Chairman of East African Tiger Brands Industries, Plc., Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Dothill Systems, Inc., CFO, Treasurer, Secretary and Vice President of Maxwell Technologies, Inc., and CFO of Mitek Systems, Inc. He was CFO and board member of Raidtec Corporation, an Irish global manufacturer of computer data storage and a Division Controller for Mallinckrodt Inc. Mr. Hailemichael was also a Co-Founder and Director of Volution Inc., and Co-Founder and Director of Advance Optical Corporation. His past board appointments include Partnership with Industries and Financial Executive International.

    He has lectured on mergers and acquisitions at the University Of San Diego, Graduate School of Business, San Diego, CA.

    Mr. Hailemichael received his M.A. in Accounting from The Catholic University of America, and did Post Graduate Study in International Finance at George Washington University. He received a B.S. in Accounting from Bowie State University, MD.

    He has two sons, practices Yoga and enjoys the outdoors.


  • Steve Smolinsky, President and Co-Founder, Benari Ltd.

    Steve Smolinsky

    President and Co-Founder, Benari Ltd.

    Steve Smolinsky is President and Co-Founder of Benari LTD, a consultancy to CEOs, Presidents, and business owners and their leadership teams. His expertise revolves around creating fully accountable organizations positioned for exceptional execution, general business advisory services, and advising family businesses. He has appointments as Project Faculty and Region Manager Africa and South America for Wharton Global Consulting Practicum, the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Consulting Professor National University of Singapore, and Resource Person United Nations.

    Smolinsky has worked around the world. Africa projects include work for commercial enterprises (Gates Foundation, African Development Bank, Microsoft) and NGOs (Bead for Life, Botswana-UPenn Partnership) in Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Namibia, Kenya, Tunisia, Botswana, and South Africa. Projects are beginning in Rwanda, Benin, and Tanzania. He has been conference speaker for the United Nations including the Africa Region Meeting of the alumni of the United Nations – Nippon Foundation Fellowship Program for capacity building in developing states which took place in Kenya. Smolinsky speaks on a variety of topics including International Business Culture, Creating and Living Your Story, Experiences in Africa, Conversation on Networking. He writes the Benari Blog which appears every Tuesday and features his thoughts on leadership.

    Previously, he was Managing Director of The Governance Group, a global consultancy in Human Capital; Senior Advisor to Glenthorne Capital, a midmarket investment bank; Co-Founder and CEO of Workers Transition Network which developed a unique workers compensation re-employment program. He sold WTN to LewisCo Group and after the closure remained on the executive committee of LewisCo Group for several years.

The Rise of the Sophisticated African Consumer: Implications for the Fashion, Media and Entertainment Industry on the Continent

With greater access to smartphones and wider internet access and increasing disposable incomes, African consumers are becoming increasingly brand conscious. This development has been a major contributor to the recent development of the fashion and media market in Africa. For example, International luxury brands are establishing a presence on the continent with African brands also branching out into other markets.

This panel will explore how fashion, media and entertainment are capitalizing on the increased levels of disposable income and deliver products and messages that appeal to the African consumer.


  • Jackie Mgido, CEO, Vault Cosmetics

    Jackie Mgido

    CEO, Vault Cosmetics

    Born in Zimbabwe, Jackie created Vault cosmetics to address the challenges women face in finding make-up that is tailored for their skin type. Prior to founding Vault, Jackie enrolled in cosmetology school and worked for several make-up lines including working as an Instructrice de beaute for Clarins. After that, she enrolled in a prestigious makeup school in Hollywood, California where she pursued a Master’s program in Beauty and Special Effects.

    As her career catapulted into instructing and development for other makeup lines, she was inspired to create her own brand of make-up – Vault Cosmetics, based in her home country of Zimbabwe. Although developed in Zimbabwe, Vault’s cosmetic products cater to women of every age, creed and color. Vault embodies the utmost in quality, distinction and integrity to create products that meet world standards. Vault’s products are hypoallergenic, fragrance free, allergy tested and non-comedegenic.

    Jackie has continued to hone her skills as a makeup and hair stylist and has acquired some of Hollywood’s elite as her clients. She has worked with a number of celebrities including Jane Lynch, Sylvester Stallone, Neo, Maya, Snoop Dog, Cuba Gooding Junior, Rene Russo, Johnny Gill, Russell Brand, Wiz Kalifa, Far East Movement, Randy Jackson, Ted Danson, John Legend, Eugene Levy, Jennifer Collage, Neil Patrick Harris, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Gayle King, Vanessa Hudgens, Neil Patrick Harris, Linda Blair, Ted Danson, George Lopez, Jamie Foxx, Ben Stein and Orlando Jones.

    Jackie’s credits include the Louis Vuitton Campaign, Elle Magazine, Shooting April, MTV Awards, Emmy Awards, Oscar Awards, Billboard Awards, Home for the Holidays, The Next Iron Chef, The Bachelor/ The Bachelorette, All My Children, Real Housewives of Orange County, Another World, Who Wants to be a Soap Star?, Another World Reunion, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Dinner and a Movie and many more.

  • Tori Famuyiwa, Founder and Creative Director, Toriola Inc

    Tori Famuyiwa

    Founder and Creative Director, Toriola Inc

    Tori Famuyiwa possesses an undeniable passion for fashion, art and design. This trait is derived from his natural sense of beauty and the ability to apply his art form to any canvas. This zest for beauty and art drove him to create Toriola Inc.

    Toriola is a fresh, sophisticated and edgy fashion brand inspired by cultural influences around the world – Africa, in particular. By the blending of cultural notes such as beading, stoning and vibrant colors and fabrics, the Toriola story is woven through these varied mediums. This story is one of simplicity, cohesiveness and sophistication; a brand identified by complexity and style – created through the psychology of fashion. Those who adorn Toriola are young at heart and self-confident. They are well read, world travelers, independent and have a unique and individual sense of style with a small edge of understated rebellion. This is the essence of Toriola. The results of Toriola’s creations are exemplified by a smart combination of Afro-chic style and contemporary elegance. Some of Toriola’s fusion couture designs have been featured in Bloomingdale’s, Africa Fashion Week, Essence Magazine, Munaluchi Bridal Magazine and other choice fashion publications.

    Early next year, Tori Famuyiwa is set to launch a fashion production and teaching facility in Lagos, Nigeria.

    Tori Famuyiwa has directed numerous fashion commercial and editorial campaigns. Recent campaigns include: Shoeholics (campaign printed on a billboard in Times Square), American Eagle (campaign aired on MTV and Billboards across the nation), Victoria’s Secret (Angels National Campaign) Africa Fashion Week New York (campaign was published in the US Airways Magazine) and Men’s Science (campaign published in the New Yorker Magazine).

  • Ojinaka Obiekwe, Entertainment Producer/Reporter, WPIX-TV

    Ojinaka Obiekwe

    Entertainment Producer/Reporter, WPIX-TV

    From A-list celebrities to politicians to the newsmakers of our time, Ojinika Obiekwe is a three-time Emmy nominated journalist who has interviewed people from all walks of life, with a career in television that has spanned more than a decade.

    Ojinika was determined to be a journalist back in grade school. She says it was no secret that was her dream in life. “It’s funny because this boy that had a crush on me since the 3rd grade found me on Facebook and said so you finally became a journalist, you always said that’s what you wanted to do – I couldn’t believe he remembered and I laughed so hard”.

    But her career was definitely no laughing matter, because some way, somehow, Ojinika managed to make that childhood dream a reality, starting it in the #1 market in the country, New York City. She walked into WPIX-TV as an intern in late 2001 and fast forward more than ten years later, she is one of the top producers as well as a talent in front of the camera. Ojinika is proof that dreams do come true, and it’s up to you to make it happen for yourself.

    Born and raised in Enugu, Nigeria – Ojinika is the second of five children. At the age of 16, after graduating from high school, she moved to the United States for college where she studied Communications at Seton Hall University. Right before graduation, a chance encounter brought her to New York’s Channel 11′s WPIX-TV as an intern. After her internship, the Executive Producer told her that he was so impressed by her work ethic, that he would hire her without an interview if a position on the assignment desk opened. Ojinika recalls sending an email to him the moment she heard there was an opening; “My message boldly stated: ‘John, remember how you said you would hire me if a position opens without interviewing me? Well, I heard Nicole left, so when do I start?’ He replied: ‘How does Tuesday sound?’ And, that was just the beginning.”

    As a producer/correspondent for PIX11 Morning News, Ojinika writes, produces, and interviews celebrities, politicians and people from all walks of life. Recently, she interviewed Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Aniston, Harrison Ford, Jim Carrey, Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, Forest Whitaker, Steve Carell, Ewan McGregor and Stanley Tucci.

    “It can be surreal sometimes” she says, “I knew I wanted to be a journalist, but I never dreamt farther than print journalism; I figured I’d graduate, and write for some paper, but luckily fate took its course and I ended up here and I honestly couldn’t think of anything I would rather be doing as a career, except being a Victoria’s Secret model (I hear they get free underwear).”The best part of my job, I think is the fact that I’m good at what I do, but I also realized that with this I can reach so many people and touch many lives, especially women; not just in Nigeria, but the entire continent of Africa and hopefully all over the world.

    There is a tremendous fire that drives her to succeed; a drive that perhaps only her life’s mantra can describe; “Looks can be deceiving, and with the makeup and the clothes, everything seems perfect, like you’ve lived the fairy tale life and had no disappointments, but I think that’s my purpose in life, that maybe after someone hears my story, they will know that anything’s possible and that if I can do this, anyone can.”

    In front of the camera, Ojinika’s true energy shines through with feature stories that bring New Yorkers the latest and greatest products, places and people out there. She knew being on camera would be her next move after she was awarded a fellowship in 2007 by the National Association of Black Journalists – to report in Senegal, getting her first chance to be on-camera as a reporter; “After that piece on my Senegal trip aired, I just knew that I’m right where I’m supposed to be, doing what I was meant to do and I count my blessings every day. Okay, maybe not every day, but a lot!”


  • Amanda Cotterman, Founder & CEO, EquaLife Group

    Amanda Cotterman

    Founder & CEO, EquaLife Group

    Amanda is the founder and CEO of EquaLife Group, an investment company focused on building retail and lifestyle businesses in East Africa through partnerships with global brands and development of new brands. Previously, Amanda was part of the Asia-Pacific Investment Banking Technology team and Equity Capital Markets team at Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong focused on China, Southeast Asia, and other Asian markets. She has taken on a variety of independent consulting projects for governments and multinational companies in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America and worked at McKinsey and Co. in Dubai helping companies expand their capabilities within the region and explore a variety of financing opportunities. Amanda received her Masters in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Chinese Studies from Wellesley College. She was a Luce Scholar and Fulbright Fellow in Shanghai, China. Amanda speaks Mandarin Chinese and French.

Private Equity: Generating attractive returns in an increasingly competitive landscape

Sub Saharan Africa’s attractive growth prospects and demonstrated resilience during the recent global recession has led to increased interest in the region from institutional and high net worth investors in developed and BRIC economies looking for attractive risk adjusted yield. This positive trend has played out well for the fast growing private equity asset class in the region. However, the proliferation of PE firms has heightened the need for differentiation as these firms compete for the limited number of well-structured investable businesses on the continent. In addition, competition is further amplified by the increase in activity on the continent by multinationals looking to expand in Africa.

This panel will examine the changing landscape of private equity investing and how firms differentiate themselves as competition increases for deal opportunities in the >$40m size range. Is the increased competition for companies driving up asset prices? Has increased savvy of business owners led to less proprietary deals and more auction sale processes? Are PE funds thinking about implementing new strategies to deploy capital e.g. reducing minimum investment size thresholds or forming JVs? How do target companies evaluate the trade-offs between receiving a high valuation vs. partnering with an experienced PE firm with a proven track record? How do the entrant of new funds with patient capital and very long hold periods affect the competitive dynamics? Is shifting focus to Small and Mid-sized Enterprises (SME) where there are arguably more opportunities and less competition a viable strategy? These are the type of issues and questions we will address on the panel.


  • Chijioke Dozie, Partner, Kaizen Venture Partners

    Chijioke Dozie

    Partner, Kaizen Venture Partners

    Chijioke Dozie is a Director at Kaizen Venture Partners (KVP), a company he co-founded in 2008. KVP specializes in providing long-term capital appreciation to distressed companies by providing technical expertise and active management. Chijioke’s current role involves raising a pan-African Special Situation Fund focused on distressed assets. He also oversees the company’s portfolio, which includes Special Brands (Nigeria), a sub-franchisee of UAC Restaurants and KZ Noir (Rwanda), a consolidation of 3 coffee companies, Socor, Caferwa and Karangera, all leading producers and exporters of premium mild coffee, and One Credit Ltd, an unsecured lending business in Nigeria. Chijioke has held positions as an Investment Analyst at the International Finance Corporation as well as Investment Associate at Zephyr Management LP in the US and South Africa. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School, a MSc in Risk Management from the University of Reading and a BA Economics from the University of East Anglia.

  • John Opubor, Director, Actis

    John Opubor

    Director, Actis

    John joined Actis in 2011 and is based in the Lagos office where he focuses on opportunities in the consumer, financial services, industrials and healthcare sectors. Prior to joining Actis, John worked for five years at Credit Suisse Securities (USA) in the Global Mergers & Acquisitions group. In his time at CS he worked on domestic and cross-border deals in the industrials, retail & consumer, telecom and healthcare sectors. Prior to CS, he worked at Deutsche Bank Securities, New York also in Mergers & Acquisitions and as an Associate at Citigroup Alternate Investments and Provender Capital Group. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Columbia University.

  • Kamal Pallan, Chief Operating Officer, Kuramo Capital Management

    Kamal Pallan

    Chief Operating Officer, Kuramo Capital Management

    Kamal Pallan serves as Chief Operating Officer of Kuramo Capital Management, LLC and is responsible for all operations of the company, including business strategy and management, finance, compliance and risk management. Kamal is a member of the company’s Investment Committee.

    Previously, Kamal served in a number of different executive roles at JPMorgan, most recently as Managing Director for the Global Custody business in the Americas. He was also a Product Executive in JPMorgan’s ADR business where he led the issuance of GDRs and ADRs for companies from emerging and frontier markets. Prior to JPMorgan, Kamal was an Engagement Manager in the New York office of McKinsey & Company, serving global corporations in financial services, media, and entertainment. He has also worked in business development at GE Capital and as an investment analyst at the International Finance Corporation (IFC) where he focused on equity and debt investments in the Oil, Gas & Mining sector, including initiatives in Africa.

    Kamal Pallan received his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BSE in Chemical Engineering summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.

    Kamal is a citizen of Kenya.

  • Pradeep Ramamurthy, Director, The Abraaj Group

    Pradeep Ramamurthy

    Director, The Abraaj Group

    Pradeep Ramamurthy helps lead The Abraaj Group’s engagement with stakeholders in North America. Prior to joining Abraaj, Pradeep had a career spanning policy, analysis, and planning roles across the U.S. Government. He served at the White House under both President Obama and President Bush, including as the first-ever Senior Director for Global Engagement from 2009-2011. He also held senior positions at the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Pradeep has a B.Sc. from Georgetown University and a M.A. from the University of Chicago.

  • Sujoy Bose, Chief Investment Officer and Head of Fund, IFC African Latin American and Caribbean Fund

    Sujoy Bose

    Chief Investment Officer and Head of Fund, IFC African Latin American and Caribbean Fund

    Sujoy Bose is the Chief Investment Officer and Head of the US$1 billion IFC African Latin American and Caribbean Fund, which is managed by IFC Asset Management Company. Sujoy has 20 years of experience in emerging markets private equity and debt investments with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank, where he has been responsible for several major emerging markets transactions, covering both debt and equity in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and MENA. Over the last several years, Sujoy has focused on equity investments covering a diversified regional and industry footprint in the emerging markets. Over the 2006-2010 period, Sujoy headed the IFC’s office in Mumbai, India, following which, he joined the IFC Asset Management Company in 2010. Sujoy holds an MBA from Rice University and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from St Xavier’s College, Kolkata, India.


  • Kimberly S. Johnson, Senior Reporter – West & Central Africa, Mergermarket

    Kimberly S. Johnson

    Senior Reporter – West & Central Africa, Mergermarket

    Kimberly S. Johnson is a financial journalist with more than 15 years of journalism experience working at a wide variety of media organizations in the US, UK and sub-Saharan Africa. She currently serves as Senior Reporter covering West and Central Africa for Mergermarket, the Financial Times Group subsidiary focused on intelligence about mergers, acquisitions and related deal flow.

    Johnson’s reporting on Africa’s financial activity has also appeared in The Africa Report magazine, Africa Investor Magazine, This is Africa and on the Financial Times’ emerging markets blog, beyondbrics.

    Prior to her work and move to West Africa in 2009, Johnson was a business writer for the Associated Press and technology writer for The Denver Post. She’s also held positions at the Boston Globe, New Haven Register and CNN.

    Johnson holds Bachelor and Master degrees from Boston University’s College of Communication in Broadcast Journalism and Business and Economics Journalism, respectively.

Power: Privatization of the Power Sector in Nigeria

Much has been said about the importance of electricity to the growth prospects of African economies. In recent years, several African countries have taken steps to meet the huge electricity deficits they currently suffer. It’s safe to say the spotlight has been on Nigeria as it embarks on a reform effort of the power sector. The reform mostly revolves around a privatization program of the nationally-owned power utilities (Power Holding Company of Nigeria), which is nearing completion as the winning bidders have already paid their significant percentages of the values of the various assets. There are also other assets (Niger Delta Power Holding Co.) going through a similar sale process.

As the continent and the world observe to see if the Nigerian promise will materialize to serve as a template, this panel will aim to answer a number of themes including:

  • Have the reforms encouraged sustainable long-term private-sector investment?
  • Is the process transparent enough for global players to get involved?
  • When will Nigerian consumers begin to reap effects of the privatization process?
  • How will the privatization process impact pricing?
  • Considering the interdependency between the various elements of the electricity value chain, are there enough contingencies to ensure that failure of one element does not kill the entire sector?


  • Abiodun Aina, Investment Officer, Africa Special Initiative, International Finance Corporation

    Abiodun Aina

    Investment Officer, Africa Special Initiative, International Finance Corporation

    Abiodun Aina is currently an Investment Officer with IFC’s Infrastructure Africa team based in Washington DC. IFC’s Africa Special Initiative focuses on identifying, promoting and investing in Public Private Partnership opportunities in African Infrastructure projects.

    Prior to joining IFC, Abiodun spent 6 years in the Energy Financial Services arm of GE Capital based in Stamford CT, where he worked on equity and debt investments in various energy-industry projects, with particular focus on thermal, renewable energy, and midstream oil and gas projects in North America. Abiodun began his career at Andersen / KPMG, as part of the Assurance & Business Advisory team focused on Energy clients based in Lagos, Nigeria.

    He holds an MBA in Finance from the Yale School of Management, an MPA in Economic Policy Management from Columbia University, and a B.Sc. in Economics from Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. He is also a CFA Charterholder.

  • Eyo O. Ekpo, Commissioner – Market Competition and Rates, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission

    Eyo O. Ekpo

    Commissioner – Market Competition and Rates, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission

    Eyo graduated from the University of Calabar in 1986 with a Bachelor’s degree in laws and was called to the Nigerian Bar in October 1987. He went on to obtain a Masters degree, also in laws, from the University of Lagos in 1991. He holds certificates management from the Lagos Business School and in regulation from Harvard’s Kennedy School and the University of Florida. He has attended and facilitated various conferences and workshops in and outside Nigeria in the infrastructure and project financing space.

    He started his career at GCM Onyiuke’s Chambers, Lagos, in August 1988, where he specialised in commercial dispute resolution and made many appearances in various Nigerian superior courts of record. In January 1995, he became a founding Partner at Coram (Solicitors), where he developed a pioneering practice in infrastructure project financing and telecommunications law. In February 1998, Coram merged with two other law firms to form The Law Union, which later became Nigeria’s largest partner-led law firm.

    In October 2001, Eyo embarked on a career in public service, joining Nigeria’s privatisation agency, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), as Team Leader, Power Sector Reform Team (PSRT). He was later as Team Leader, Gas and Petrochemicals. While at the BPE, he led the PSRT in developing and starting the implementation of the various electric sector reform measures now being driven to completion by the Government of President Goodluck Jonathan.

    After serving as Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice and then as Special Adviser, Special Projects of Cross River State between August 2003 and December 2010, Eyo was nominated by the President and confirmed by the Nigerian Senate as a Commissioner in the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). At NERC, he leads the Market Competition and Rates Division, which is responsible for seeing to the creation of efficient and competitive market structures and fair pricing in the Nigerian electricity market.

    Eyo is happily married to Dr. Oluranti Ekpo, a medical practitioner and public health specialist and they have three children. He has an eclectic taste in music and is deeply interested in military history and improving his abysmal golf handicap.

  • Fola Fagbule, Vice President, Africa Finance Corporation

    Fola Fagbule

    Vice President, Africa Finance Corporation

    Fola currently has responsibility for coordinating origination efforts at the Africa Finance Corporation, a US$1.7bn infrastructure finance institution focused on investments across sub-Saharan Africa. He assumed this role having served a term of two and a half years as Special Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation. His current coverage focus is on working with domestic and international sponsors and financiers seeking to develop or acquire large ticket infrastructure and related assets in sub-Saharan Africa, across a number of sectors including: power, telecoms, oil and gas, heavy industry, transport, and mining.

    Prior to AFC, he worked as Head of Research at Afrinvest, a leading Nigerian brokerage, where he was responsible for leading a highly rated team of analysts covering the local and regional financial markets. Prior to leading the research team, he started his career with the firm working on mergers, acquisitions and capital raising transactions in the corporate finance department.

    He has received an MBA degree from the Lagos Business School, having previously read Physics at the University of Lagos. Fola has served on a number of public sector advisory committees in the Nigerian financial services sector, on issues ranging from capital markets reform to economic development policy, most recently with sub-committees of the Bankers Committee, with particular emphasis on power and infrastructure finance.

  • Mikhail Nikomarov, McKinsey & Company

    Mikhail Nikomarov

    McKinsey & Company

    Mikhail both preaches and practices the term “bullish on Africa.” After joining McKinsey & Company’s Moscow office in 2008, Mikhail moved to Johannesburg, South Africa over three years ago. Since then, he has supported the development of all elements of the power sector value across Sub-Saharan Africa, on topics ranging from megaproject delivery to power sector master planning. Recent experience with McKinsey in Africa include:

    - Working with both the public sector and private sector on power issues in Nigeria, across a range of topics related to the privatization of national electricity assets, from spearheading workshops and forums, to more detailed work on a variety of regulatory topics

    - Supporting the President’s Office and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral of Tanzania to achieve “Big Results Now” in the power sector, which is a key bottleneck in the country’s goal to achieve middle income status by 2025.

    - Driving a number of major initiatives in electrification, from the analytical work behind the UN Secretary General’s initial Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change to some of the most significant initiatives in Africa under the SE4All banner (Sustainable Energy for All)

    Prior to joining McKinsey, Mikhail was a Portfolio Manager at Sovereign Bank in Boston, USA. He also holds diplomas from the University of Massachusetts, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and INSEAD.


  • Tomiwa Igun, Consultant, Boston Consulting Group

    Tomiwa Igun

    Consultant, Boston Consulting Group

    Olatomiwa Igun, also known as Tomiwa, is a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. Tomiwa graduated from the Harvard Business School (HBS) in 2012 with 2nd Year Honors. After business school graduation, he worked with the Africa Finance Corporation in Nigeria, developing infrastructure projects with a focus on the power sector. Prior to attending business school, he worked as an Electrical Engineering Consultant for Sargent & Lundy, a Power Consulting Firm.

    Prior to following his passion and transitioning into the power industry, Tomiwa also worked for DaimlerChrysler (now Chrysler LLC) where he completed the Chrysler Institute of Engineering (CIE) Leadership Development program. Concurrent with the CIE program, Tomiwa obtained his Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan – Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Tomiwa also completed his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering at Howard University.

    Tomiwa also co-authored a Harvard Business School published case on the Privatization of the Power Sector in Nigeria. In 2012, he was the conference co-chair of the Africa Business Conference at Harvard Business School.

    As one of the co-founders of the Young African MBAs (Y.A.M.) network, Tomiwa aims to use the network to help spur the new generation of future African managers and leaders, who will foster development in African economies.

Lions Go Digital (Hosted by McKinsey & Company)

McKinsey’s Lions Go Digital Report will officially launch at ITU Telecom World 2013. It builds upon McKinsey’s consumer report, “The rise of the African Consumer” which was based on a large-scale survey of 15 000 urban consumers from 12 countries across 19 cities – representative of Africa’s diverse economies, languages and market maturities. The report reveals that around 50 per cent of urban Africans are online despite limited infrastructure and disposable incomes. It also estimates that today the Internet contributes USD18 billion to GDP across the 14 countries which account for 90 per cent of Africa’s GDP. This is significantly lower than the contribution in other emerging markets and developed markets.

The report asserts that, similar to the mobile voice revolution, the internet and roll out of broadband could have a massive impact in Africa, far beyond what we have seen today, and could contribute hundreds of billions of dollars to Africa’s GDP, have a transformative impact in key economic sectors, support a step-change in education and health outcomes, and strengthen public services. To achieve these gains though, leaders in both government and business will need to make bold commitments to growth – and raise innovation and investment to unprecedented levels.


  • Lohini Moodley, Associate Principal, McKinsey & Company

    Lohini Moodley

    Associate Principal, McKinsey & Company

    Lohini is an Associate Principal in McKinsey’s Johannesburg office and one of the leaders of McKinsey’s Telecoms, Media and Technology Practice in sub-Saharan Africa. She has focused on the telco and ICT sectors over the last four years, and is passionate about the role that technology can play in Africa’s development.

    Lohini has consulted to telecom operators, IT services companies, technology companies and to government departments on broadband and ICT strategies, focusing on how to drive broadband penetration and expand into the IT sector. She has also consulted on the impact of regulatory policy, such as local loop unbundling, spectrum allocation, interconnection and universal service obligations on the telecoms industry. Through her work, she has developed deep knowledge of the different models countries have adopted to roll-out broadband and to support national broadband strategies.

    Lohini has been leading McKinsey’s research on digital trends in Africa. She led the research on the use of the Internet by urban Africans in 15 major African cities, and the adoption of Cloud technologies by SMEs in South Africa. These research pieces provided insight into how consumers and SMEs are using the Internet as well as implications for governments and telco operators in the region – on how to increase broadband adoption and usage. Building on this body of work, she is one of the authors of Lions go Digital, a research piece on the impact of the Internet on the African continent to date and its potential – both the economic and the transformative impact of the Internet on business models and in improving service delivery in Africa in key sectors such as education and health. Lions go Digital also assesses what countries will need to do to harness the potential of the Internet.

    She also leads McKinsey’s women’s initiative in sub-Saharan Africa and has developed a programme on women leadership called Remarkable Women in South Africa.

    Lohini has a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics from the University of Cape Town and a MSc in Mathematics from the University of South Africa

Revolutionizing Education in Africa

The deterioration of educational systems across many sub-Saharan African countries has undermined the core of what learning should be. Investment in education is low. 17 million children have never attended school, while 37 million have learned so little that they will not be much better than those who have not attended.

However, new trends are developing in this narrative. First is the emergence of many practical, effective solutions developed locally and internationally to solve education problems of access, equity and quality, and second is the rise of social entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan African countries focused on developing and scaling these solutions. From interactive mobile learning to low-cost private schools, from early stage to growth stage, this panel seeks to expose a few of these education entrepreneurship narratives – the opportunities and challenges – and enhance the discussion on how to scale these innovative approaches and connect them to one another to maximize their impact.


  • Frank Aswani, VP and Director of Strategic Relations at African Leadership Academy

    Frank Aswani

    VP and Director of Strategic Relations at African Leadership Academy

    Frank Aswani is the VP and Director of Strategic Relations at African Leadership Academy. He leads on ALA’s fundraising, corporate partnerships, Careers and Internship program, Marketing and communications, network development and Global partnerships.

    Frank joined ALA in April 2012. His previous roles included 3 years with ARK (Absolute Return for Kids) as the Regional Director for Africa and 14 years with Eli Lilly where he worked in Kenya, England, Switzerland and South Africa. His last role at Lilly was the Sales Director for South Africa and Regional Director for Sub Sahara Africa.

    Frank is a Kenyan and graduated as a Veterinary Doctor from the University of Nairobi and also has an MBA from the GIBS (Gordon Institute of Business Studies), University of Pretoria, South Africa.

  • Michael Conway, Head of Recruitment, Bridge International Academies

    Michael Conway

    Head of Recruitment, Bridge International Academies

    Michael Conway recently joined Bridge International as the Head of Recruitment, overseeing the recruiting and hiring for the organization outside of Kenya. He has worked in international development for the past 5 years, on USAID funded projects in South Sudan & Indonesia and as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea & Mali. In 2010, Mike led a UNESCO initiative in Kayes, Mali to set up a revenue-generating cyber café for the public access radio station and also launched a non-profit initiative focusing on early childhood education in francophone West Africa.

    Mike completed his Masters of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2013, focusing his studies on international development policy, nonprofit management and social enterprise.

  • Richard Tibbles, Learning Lead, The Foundation for Learning Equality

    Richard Tibbles

    Learning Lead, The Foundation for Learning Equality

    Richard Tibbles is the Learning Lead at the Foundation for Learning Equality. He is a developer on their flagship KA Lite project, a platform that allows offline access to Khan Academy exercises and videos, through a web interface that also tracks student progress, and allows teachers to view student progress in coach reports.

    Richard is a founding member of FLE, which was incorporated in April 2012 to shepherd KA Lite and a planned successor platform. Prior to helping to cofound FLE, Richard had spent 3 years as a Secondary Science Teacher in the United Kingdom (teaching General Science and Physics to 11-18 year olds), and 2 years as a Educational Consultant, working in K-12 schools in New Jersey and New York, training teachers in Problem Based Learning, Educational Technology, and Student Centered Teaching.

    Richard is British and holds an MA in Physics and Philosophy from the University of Oxford, an MA in Philosophy from Birkbeck College, University of London, and is currently a PhD student in the Department of Cognitive Science at the University of California, San Diego.


  • Dr. Dan Wagner, Professor, UNESCO Chair in Learning and Literacy, University of Pennsylvania

    Dr. Dan Wagner

    Professor, UNESCO Chair in Learning and Literacy, University of Pennsylvania

    Dr. Dan Wagner is the UNESCO Chair in Learning and Literacy, and Professor of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the International Literacy Institute, co-founded by UNESCO and the University of Pennsylvania (, and Director of Penn’s International Educational Development Program (IEDP) in graduate study. After an undergraduate degree in Engineering at Cornell University, and voluntary service in the Peace Corps (Morocco), he received his Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Michigan, was a two-year postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, a Visiting Fellow (twice) at the International Institute of Education Planning in Paris, a Visiting Professor at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), and a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Paris.

    Dr. Wagner has extensive experience in national and international educational issues, and has served as an advisor to UNESCO, UNICEF, World Bank, USAID, DFID, and others on international development issues. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Anthropological Association, and the American Educational Research Association. His most recent multi-year projects have been in India, South Africa, and Morocco. He recently served as Chair of the Brookings Global Research Task Force on Learning. In addition to more than 140 professional publications, Dr. Wagner has written/edited over 20 books.

Post-MBA Careers in Africa: Brain drain reversal or enduring exile?

The outflow of talented individuals has long been the story in Africa. Recently, it would seem that the tide is reversing. Over the last decade, Africa has had a higher growth rate than any other continent. Profitable business opportunities outnumber the supply of talent necessary to execute ventures and fully capture economic rents. Westerners and western-educated Africans are flocking to the continent to fill the void and capitalize on the opportunities available.

This panel will explore post-MBA career paths, as well as personal narratives of both preparing to return and having actually recently returned.


  • Ebenezer Essoka, Chief Executive Officer, South Africa and Area General Manager Southern Africa, Standard Chartered Bank

    Ebenezer Essoka

    Chief Executive Officer, South Africa and Area General Manager Southern Africa, Standard Chartered Bank

    Ebenezer Essoka is Chief Executive Officer, South Africa and Area General Manager Southern Africa of Standard Chartered Bank. With Governance, Executive and Commercial responsibility for South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Mauritius. He has had over 29 years of banking experience. Prior to this appointment, he was Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank, Central and West Africa.
    Over the past 25 years his involvement in the industry has ranged from the establishment of Greenfield operations to restructuring and repositioning mature businesses for sustainable growth across Sub-Saharan Africa. He has served on twelve SCB subsidiary Boards, currently as chairman of SCB Cameroon, Chairman of SCB Securities, South Africa and previously Chairman of SCB Côte d’Ivoire and Non Executive Director of ten others including Nigeria and Pakistan.

    Ebby plays an active role as a member of various business associations and has served on Presidential Advisory Councils of some countries. In addition he serves on the Global Advisory Council of the London Business School and a founding member and trustee of the Global Reach Network Foundation – an organisation focused on bridging opportunity gaps for individuals and communities worldwide.

  • Jared Licina, Director of Strategy, Excel Overseas Holdings Ltd.

    Jared Licina

    Director of Strategy, Excel Overseas Holdings Ltd.

    Jared Licina is the Director of Strategy at Excel Overseas Holdings Ltd, based in Dubai.

    Prior to this position, Jared worked as a Vice-President at Highbridge Capital Management in New York in the business development and investor strategy group. He has also worked at Casey Quirk, a strategy consulting firm that focuses on hedge funds and asset managers, and at BlueMountain Capital, a credit derivative hedge fund, in their New York and London offices.

    Jared serves on the Young Professionals Board of The Nature Conservancy, an environmental conservation organization, and One To World, a cultural enrichment and global education program that works with foreign students and low-income schools in the US. He is also passionate about engaging in diversity and community programs in South Africa, running a diversity management program which was seeded by the Goldman Sachs Foundation, and has been extensively involved in debating programs as a participant and trainer in South Africa and the US.

    Originally from Cape Town in South Africa, Jared obtained a Masters Degree in Economics from NYU on a Fulbright Scholarship, and holds an undergraduate B.BusSc from the University of Cape Town.

  • Kushinga Makamba, Country Managing Director, Guardian Managers Africa

    Kushinga Makamba

    Country Managing Director, Guardian Managers Africa

    In June 2013, Kushinga established Guardian Managers UK’s first Africa office in Johannesburg, having been hired to spearhead the firm’s entry into Africa. She is driving the firm’s regional strategy for the core service offerings which include Investment Advisory and Strategic Business Consultancy Services. With over 12 years of extensive transactional legal experience within the UK and the US, her expertise cover commercial real estate law, intellectual property law and immigration law.

    Guardian Managers is an established boutique Investment Management firm, headquartered in Canary Wharf, London with a footprint in 10 other countries. As an investment house, Guardian’s core focus includes Fixed Income, Multi Strategy, Real Estate and Private Equity.
    Miss Makamba holds an LLB (Hons) Law degree from King’s College University of London. She completed the Legal Practice Course at Inns of Court School of Law and also graduated with a Masters in Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.

    Kushinga has a passion for social change and community development, she has served on the boards of several nonprofits. She has consulted with diverse nonprofits and social enterprises within the US, UK and southern Africa, to improve operational efficiency in many areas including: Board Governance Training; Resource Development; Program Development and Strategic Planning. She has also assisted several corporations within Africa to create strategic sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility programs. Kushinga is a 2013 Fellow of the Philadelphia Chapter of the New Leaders Council.

  • Sandra Idehen, Consultant, The Boston Consulting Group

    Sandra Idehen

    Consultant, The Boston Consulting Group

    Sandra Idehen is a Consultant in the Johannesburg office of the Boston Consulting Group. She joined BCG in 2012. During her time as a consultant, Sandra has worked mainly in the mining, energy and consumer goods sectors and, besides South Africa, has performed projects in the UK, Nigeria and Ghana. Before joining BCG Sandra worked in Education and Leadership development, as well as Sports. For example, she spent some time living in Jordan and serving as a founding faculty member of at King’s Academy, the first co-educational boarding school in the Middle East. Sandra earned an MBA from Yale School of Management, a Masters in Sports Management from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Ethics and Africana Studies from Brown University. She is a dual citizen of the USA and Nigeria.


  • Angel Jones , Founder & CEO, Homecoming Revolution

    Angel Jones

    Founder & CEO, Homecoming Revolution

    After attending Roedean School as Vice-Headgirl, Angel obtained a BA degree in Economics & English at UCT, followed by a Postgraduate IAA degree at the AAA School of Advertising. Angel worked in London for 7 years at M&C Saatchi, where she won 15 international creative awards.

    Angel Jones was the Co-Founder & Executive Creative Director of advertising agency, Morrisjones (2001-20013). It was Financial Mail’s Emerging Agency of the Year 2001, FM Small Agency of the Year 2002, Finance Week’s Small Agency of the Year 2004 and FW Small Agency of the Year 2005. In 2010 Morrisjones was ranked 33rd in South Africa on the interim Fast Growth Top 100 list.

    In 2003, Angel founded the Homecoming Revolution, the one-stop marketing platform for the African Diaspora. Through global events, e-marketing and tailored search, the platform encourages skilled African professionals to return home with emotive case studies and by showcasing careers, property, schools, relocation services, investments and entrepreneurial opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Acknowledged by former President Thabo Mbeki in the 2005 State of the Nation address, Homecoming Revolution has hosted over 30 international events, and had face-to-face contact with over 15000 Africans abroad. There are 1 million unique visitors to the website, and the SA Brain Drain Retention ranking has improved from 80th-47th in the World Competitiveness Report. Homecoming Revolution has become the thought leader on African skills repatriation and is having a significant impact on nation building, the economy and human capital. Homecoming Revolution is expanding globally to bring back African Diaspora skills with offices in New York, London, Lagos, Accra, Kampala, Nairobi and Johannesburg.

    In August 2003 Angel was the winner of the Shoprite Checkers/SABC2 Woman of the Year award in the Media & Communications category. In 2005 Angel was a founding Board Member of the South African chapter of EO, the Entrepreneur’s Organisation. Angel Jones was a finalist in the 2007 Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Awards in the Emerging Category. Angel was a judge in the E&Y World Entrepreneur Awards in 2008, 2009 and 2011.

    Angel is a Board Member of Roedean School Johannesburg and was the Keynote Speaker at the Roedean Centenary Celebrations. Angel was a Speaker at the Inspire Africa OAU 50th Anniversary launch in Kampala, the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, the Women’s Leadership Conference in Johannesburg, the Ugandan Diaspora Conference in Boston and at the Inaugural WIE Africa Symposium in Cape Town.

    She has been published in SA:Reasons to Believe; SA More Good News; SA’s Most Promising Companies 2005 and Inspirational Woman at Work. Angel has lectured for 3 years running in the GIBS MBA Program on Entrepreneurship. She is a board member of the SABLE Accelerator & Expert Network based in Silicon Valley. In September 2012, Angel was honored as a “New Generation Leader for Africa” by the African Leadership Network.

    Her interests include djembe drumming, dance music, hiking and biking. She is a “yippie” (a yuppie crossed with a hippie) and a Christian Buddhist. Angel is married to Carlos Gomes, they have a 9-year-old daughter, Lulu, a 5-year-old son, Samuel, two cats, one fish and three chickens.

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