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The Business Council for Africa and Invest Africa’s flagship event, The Annual Debate 2018 returns 24th April for its forth edition. It has established itself as an important platform for everyone interested in and committed to African business.


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Arnold Ekpe is the Non Executive Chairman of Atlas Mara. Mr. Ekpe has over 30 years of African and international banking and is the Honorary President of the Business Council for Africa.  Currently he holds Non-Executive Directorships at the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority  and  Cellular Systems International, Africa Strategic Impact Fund, Dangote Flour Mills plc and Multiverse Plc.

He served as Group CEO and Executive Director of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, transforming the bank from a small, five-country operation into a truly pan-African bank.

Atlas Mara 
On LinkedIn


Ayo Salami is the Chief Investment Officer of Duet’s African Funds, including the Duet Africa Index and the Duet Africa Opportunities Fund. Dr Salami was named CIO of the Year at the Investment Excellence Awards in 2014 and has been with the Duet Group since 2007. Ayo initiated Nomura’s coverage of the African region, and has built one of the largest proprietary databases of African Equities. 

Duet Group



Sir Paul Collier is the Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and a Professorial Fellow of St Antony’s College. From 1998–2003 he took a five-year Public Service leave during which he was Director of the Research Development Department of the World Bank. He is currently a Professeur invité at Sciences Po and a Director of the International Growth Centre.  

 @Oxford_CSAE                                                                                                     Centre for the Study of African Economies                                                      Watch Paul Collier at TED

David Cowan is the Managing Director and Africa Economist at Citi. Prior to joining Citi in July 2007, David held two posts at the Economist Intelligence Unit in London for a total of eight years. As a Senior Economist for Africa, he was responsible for the coverage of Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and the overall forecast for Sub-Saharan Africa.




Jonathan Smithers  is the President of The Law Society. He began his articles in 1984 at the firm CooperBurnett in Tunbridge Wells. Jonathan joined the Law Society Council in 2007 representing over 2,000 solicitors in the Kent constituency. He has also held positions on the Membership Board and the Law Society Gazette Editorial Advisory Board. 

 @smithersjp                                                                                                          Follow the Law Society President's blog                                                                                       


Igho Sanomi is the CEO of Taleveras  which he founded in 2004. Mr Sanomi is also Chairman of the Dickens Sanomi Foundation board of Trustees. Dickens Sanomi Foundation is a non profit charitable organisation which he founded in memory of his late father. He also sits as Chairman and Co-Chairman of various companies whose activites span from Telecom to Shipping, Aviation and Real Estate investment worldwide.




Lanre Akinola  was born and raised in Nigeria and is the Editor of African Business, IC Publications. He helped found and later served as the Editor of This Is Africa at the Financial Times. Lanre is a 2014 Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellow and has worked with the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa.

@AkinolaLanre                                                                                                              On LinkedIn                                                                                                              

Peter Ogbu Okwoche is a broadcaster from Nigeria. Peter has been in the broadcasting industry for nearly 20 years. In 2004 Peter’s talents were snapped up by the world’s leading broadcasting organisation the British Broadcasting Organisation (BBC). He is a regular presenter on the World Service, presenting such flagship programmes as Focus on Africa, Network Africa, The World Today and Fast Track, amongst others.

@okwoche                                                                                                                   BBC World News Africa