HONORARY PRESIDENT, THE BCA
Arnold Ekpe has over 30 years of African and international banking and 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.
EDITOR, AFRICAN BUSINESS
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.
FOUNDER, AFRICAN LEADERSHIP UNIVERSITY
Fred Swaniker is deeply passionate about Africa and believes that the missing ingredient on the continent is good leadership. In line with this, he has successfully founded three organizations that aim to catalyze a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial African leaders: African Leadership Academy, African Leadership Network, and African Leadership University.
EDITOR, AFRICA REPORT; EDITOR, AFRICA CONFIDENTIAL
Patrick Smith is Editor-in-Chief of the Paris-based The Africa Report, a monthly journal on business and economics owned and published by Groupe Jeune Afrique. He is also Editor of Africa Confidential, the insider newsletter owned by UK-based Asempa Ltd.
Patrick's previous roles include: Associate Producer of the Channel 4 documentary “My Friend the Mercenary”, on an attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea (broadcast in 2005); Technical Advisor to the UN panel on the exploitation of mineral and other resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo (2002-03); and expert witness to the UN Security Council on conflict in the Mano River region (Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea) in 2000.
HEAD OF ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, FBN MERCHANT BANK
Rolake Akinkugbe is Head of Energy and Natural Resources at FBN Merchant Bank in Lagos, Nigeria. She was previously Head of Energy Research at pan-African Ecobank for more than 3 years. Rolake has travelled extensively across sub-Saharan Africa. Earlier roles include Senior Africa Analyst at Control Risks Group, work at the International Crisis Group in its Dakar office and at the Foreign Policy Centre think-tank in London. She is a frequent media commentator and regularly reviews global newspaper headlines on BBC World News. Fluent in French, she holds a BSc and MSc from the London School of Economics.
SENIOR DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, TATU CITY (RENDEAVOUR)
Chris Ochieng is responsible for delivering office, retail, leisure and industrial projects within Tatu City: the 5,000-acre mixed-use, mixed-income development near Nairobi that is owned by Rendeavour, Africa’s largest urban land developer.
Prior to joining Tatu City, Ochieng worked for Centum Investments and was managing director of its subsidiary, Athena Properties Limited, overseeing the 103-acre Two Rivers development in Kenya, the Pearl Marina development in Uganda, and the Vipingo development on Kenya’s coast. In Dubai, Chris was a development manager and engineer on a variety of projects, including Dubai Sports City and Dubai World Trade Centre, among other prominent developments.
PROFESSOR THANDIKA MKANDAWIRE
PROFESSOR OF AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (ID)
Professor Thandika Mkandawire is former Director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development and the first person to take on the new position of Chair in African Development at the London School of Economics (LSE). Prof. Mkandawire was formerly Director of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Development Research in Copenhagen and has taught at the Universities of Stockholm and Zimbabwe.
DR ALBERT G. ZEUFACK
CHIEF ECONOMIST, THE WORLD BANK AFRICA REGION
Dr Albert G. Zeufack, a Cameroonian national, is the World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa. Prior to his appointment in May 2016, he was Practice Manager in the Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management Global Practice and Leader of the World Bank-wide Community of Practice for the Management of Natural Resources Rents, a group interested in sovereign wealth, fiscal rules, public spending patterns, and macro-modeling in natural resource-rich economies.
Albert's main research interest is in the micro-foundations of macroeconomics. He joined the World Bank in 1997 as a research economist in the Macroeconomics Division of the Research Department. Since then, he has held several positions in the East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Central Asia regions. Between 2008 and 2012, on leave from the World Bank, he was the Director of Research and Investment Strategy/Chief Economist for Khazanah Nasional Berhad, a Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund. In 2016, Jeune Afrique nominated him as one of the “50 Africans who mattered in 2016.”
MEC SIHLE ZIKALALA
MEC FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TOURISM & ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS, KWAZULU-NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA
Mr Sihle Zikalala is the Provincial Minister (Member of Executive Committee or MEC) of the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He is also the leader of Government Business in the Provincial Legislator. Mr. Zikalala is a respected politician who has risen through the ranks of South Africa’s governing African National Congress and currently is the provincial chairperson of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal.
The MEC is lauded for the role he played in the peace processes that led to the end of the internecine political violence that mainly ravaged the province of KwaZulu-Natal in the early 1990s and threatened the country’s first democratic elections. MEC Zikalala is driven by a passion to transform the economy of KwaZulu-Natal into one that is inclusive, globally-competitive, gives physical expression to the freedom attained in 1994 and at the cutting edge of global economic trends.
DR. YEMI KALE
STATISTICIAN GENERAL, NATIONAL BUREAU OF STATISTICS OF NIGERIA
Dr Yemi Kale is the Statistician General of the National Bureau of Statistics of Nigeria.
Under his tenure, the GDP of Nigeria was recalculated and subsequently declared the largest GDP in Africa. Dr Kale is also a member of the boards of Skye Bank and SFS Capital Nigeria Limited.
James wharton mp
PARLIAMENTARY UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE, DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
James Wharton MP is responsible for steering and monitoring the performance and delivery of DFID’s work across Africa, as well as many other areas. To date, in his role at DFID, James has visited a range of countries across Africa, including: Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Malawi, DRC, South Sudan and Uganda.
James has a degree in law from Durham University. On graduating James completed the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in York before training to be a solicitor with a regional firm, and working in Newcastle, Durham and Darlington.
James also served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government with responsibility for the Northern Powerhouse from May 2015 until July 2016.
AFRICA EDITOR, THE ECONOMIST
Jonathan Rosenthal is The Economist‘s London-based Africa Editor. He joined The Economist in 2005 as British business correspondent, having worked for several years at Bloomberg News in London and Johannesburg. Before that he was the mining editor of Business Report, a South African daily newspaper.
His previous roles at The Economist have included international banking editor, European business and finance correspondent, based in Berlin, and British business correspondent in London. In January 2008, Jonathan won the Feature of the Year award at the WorkWorld Media Awards, and the following year he was named Reporter of the Year. He has appeared on television and radio in several countries including BBC News 24, Sky and on ITV’s “Tonight” programme, among others.
DIRECTOR OF INVESTMENTS, SOROS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FUND
Orli Arav has more than eighteen years’ experience as an investor and financier in various roles, mainly in project and structured finance within financial institutions and advisory firms. In the past 11 years, she successfully structured and closed a number of pioneering transactions providing capital to infrastructure projects in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). In addition, successfully raised capital from European Governments and debt financing from commercial banks and DFIs. Until recently Orli was the Chief Investment Officer (“CIO”) of Impala Energy an independent power development company focused on the development of gas and renewable power plants across SSA. Impala Energy was formed in 2015 with shareholders, E.L. Rothschild and Pegasus Capital.
Orli has also held roles in the project finance divisions of global accountancy firms, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and TASC - Ernst & Young. Orli is currently a non-executive director of Tel Aviv University Trust UK and DekelOil, a palm oil producer in Ivory Coast.
FOUNDER, INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY SERVICES (IDAS) AFRICA
Julio Garrido-Mirapeix is a founder of and the Head of International Development Advisory Services (IDAS) Africa. He is also the engagement partner in charge of overseeing the delivery of the US$ 244 Million Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), the US$ 150 Million Global Resilience Partnership (GRP), and the US$ 50 Million Fund for Rural Prosperity (FRP). He has spent 28 years overseas working in development, of which the last 18 years have been spent working in Africa, 13 of these with KPMG. Julio has advised key government institutions, donors, civil society organisations and private companies in over 40 countries in Africa and Latin America. He has provided strategic and policy advice at the highest level working with CEOs, Boards’ Chairmen & Executive Members, Presidents, Ministers, and Ambassadors.
Erik Hersman is an entrepreneur and technologist focused on advancing the use of technology in Africa. He is the CEO of BRCK a rugged wireless WiFi device designed and engineered in Kenya for use throughout the emerging markets. In 2010 he founded the iHub, Nairobi’s innovation hub for the technology community, bringing together entrepreneurs, hackers, designers and the investment community.
He is also a co-founder of Ushahidi, the free and open source software for crowdsourcing crisis information, and also established afrigadget.com and whiteafrican.com as key online communities promoting creative solutions entrepreneurship and development challenges across Africa. He is also a general partner in the Savannah Fund, and sits on the boards of Gearbox, Akirachix, the Kijabe Forest Trust, and the Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI). .
BRCK in the News: The Guardian
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, KENYA COMMERCIAL BANK
Lawrence joined KCB Group in 2015 as the Group Chief Financial Officer, with over 15 years’ experience in Finance at senior and executive levels across many countries in various organisations. He has previously worked in various finance leadership positions at Diageo’s - East African Breweries Limited (EABL), AIG Property and Casualty (General Insurance), British American Tobacco (BAT) Ltd in the United Kingdom and Kenya offices and at Cadburys (now Kraft) East and Central Africa.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT (WEST AFRICA), TENEO INTELLIGENCE
Manji Cheto is a Senior Vice President with Teneo Intelligence. Manji is an experienced risk analyst on the political economy of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), focused primarily on West Africa. Prior to joining Teneo, she worked at several SSA-focused consulting firms such as africapractice, Oxford Analytica, and Africa Matters Limited (AML), advising corporate and financial services businesses in managing political and policy risks associated with their investments in SSA.
Manjii has also worked closely with several African governments, helping to raise the profile of investment opportunities in their respective countries in order to boost the countries’ FDI inflows. Notably, she worked for three years as the lead organizer and non-government coordinator of the Nigerian president’s private investment advisory body, the Honorary International Investor Council (HIIC).
STRATEGIC PRODUCT PARTNERSHIPS, MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA, FACEBOOK
Emeka leads Facebook’s Product Partnership efforts in the Middle East and Africa, and is focused on driving Facebook strategy through global programs and strategic product integrations with partners. Prior to Facebook, Emeka led Google developer community initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa as part of the Africa and Middle East Developer Relations team. He started his career as a software engineer at Socketworks and also led strategic initiatives at Parkway Projects both in Nigeria.
CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER, BBOXX
Christopher Baker-Brian is co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of BBOXX, a company that designs, manufactures, distributes and finances innovative solar systems to improve access to energy across Africa and the developing world. Since 2010, BBOXX has sold more than 80,000 solar kits and impacted over 350,000 lives in the developing world. The company now employs over 350 people in five countries around the world.
Christopher is a graduate of Imperial College London. He co-founded BBOXX in 2010 to commercialise the technology and help cater for a growing demand for affordable energy products and services in developing countries. Christopher is responsible for product development, supply chain and BBOXX’s manufacturing and technology partnerships and leads its 30 person strong technology team in London. He also oversees the development of BBOXX’s supply-chain in China.
CEO & FOUNDER, EDEL TECHNOLOGY
Ethel Cofie is CEO and Founder of EDEL Technology Consulting, an IT Consulting and Digital Products Company in West Africa and Europe. She is also Founder of Women in Tech Africa, Africa’s largest women in tech group with members in over 30 Africa countries and physical chapter in Ghana, Kenya, London and growing. She is Mandela Fellow for Young African Leaders initiative (YALI) and a High calibre IT Professional with a wealth of technical and commercial skills acquired across a wide range of demanding roles and over 12 years’ experience working in the UK ,Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone on projects for organizations like Bill and Melinda Gates Mobile Technology for Health project, the Ford Foundation's Election Monitoring project for Nigeria and as Head of Commercial Solutions for Vodafone conceptualizing, executing and working with teams to align Corporate strategy to IT strategy and to develop and manage creative technology solutions.
CO-FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR , ASOKO INSIGHT
Rob Withagen is co-founder and MD of Asoko Insight, a provider of corporate data on African, privately-held companies. Asoko leverages technology and local data collection teams to build Africa's largest repository of company information serving corporates, investors and governments worldwide. Prior to founding Asoko, Rob worked as Oxford Business Group's West Africa editor based out of Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal and Gabon. He has written and commented extensively on bridging the information gap between Africa's business opportunities and foreign capital flows.
President, The Law Society
Robert Bourns is the 172nd president of the Law Society of England and Wales, starting the post in July 2016. Robert has significant experience managing and developing a growing business across the UK, having been managing partner for six years, and senior partner for four terms, at TLT Solicitors. He specialises in employment law - particularly with associated regulatory law and commercial firm practice management. He also has experience practising as an advocate, having spent the early part of his career in criminal defence.
TOBIAS ELLWOOD MP
PARLIAMENTARY UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE, FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE
Tobias Ellwood was appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in July 2014. He is the Conservative MP for Bournemouth East, and was elected in May 2005.
Tobias was also the Parliamentary Advisor to the Prime Minister for the 2014 NATO Summit.