Contact Us


To receive the full agenda for The Annual Debate 2017 please complete the opposite form.



5 Lavington Street
London, SE1
United Kingdom

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.






Honorary President, Business Council for Africa

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.

Andrew Patterson


Region President - Africa, Bechtel

Since 2015, Andrew Patterson has been Bechtel’s regional president for Africa, and responsible for Bechtel’s overall business interest across the continent.

Throughout his 15-year career at Bechtel, Andrew has served various management roles in business development, commercial services, design, construction, and contracts/procurement across the company’s global Infrastructure, Mining & Metals, and Power businesses.

@Bechtel | Bechtel

Christopher Marks

Christopher Marks.JPG

Managing Director and Head of Emerging Markets, MUFG

Christopher Marks has worked in the financial markets and financial sector advisory, across the public and private sector, for more than 20 years. He is Head of Emerging Markets, Corporate Banking EMEA, MUFG. Prior to his current role, Christopher served as Senior Advisor at the African Development Bank in Abidjan and continues to act as Expert - Capital Markets/Debt Management for the International Monetary Fund/AFRITAC.


Dr. James Mworia

JM  Bio photo.jpg

Group CEO, Centum Investments

Dr. James Mworia is the Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Centum Investment Company Limited, the largest listed investment company in East Africa.

James is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, a CFA Charter Holder, a Chartered Global Management Accountant, a Fellow of the Kenyan Institute of Management and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya.  He is also a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and an Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellow.

@MworiaJ ‏| Centum Investments


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.

@AkinolaLanre| African Business Magazine

Rt hon mark simmonds

Mark Simmonds.jpg

Rt Hon Mark Simmonds was until recently The Foreign & Commonwealth office Minister with responsibilities for Africa, the Caribbean, UK Overseas Territories, International Energy and Conflict Prevention. He served as a Member of the UK Parliament for 14 years.

He now has a number of International roles including senior consultant to Kroll, Deputy Chairman of the Commonwealth enterprise & Investment Council & Chairman of the advisory Board of the Global Investment platform ‘Invest Africa’. Senior Advisor to Farallon Capital, Non-Executive Director of African Potash.  Chairman of the Counter-Extremist Project (UK).


Tonye Cole

Co-Founder and Executive Director, Sahara Group

Tonye Cole is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Sahara Group, a leading African Energy and Infrastructure Conglomerate with operations in over 10 countries across four continents.

Tonye is an active member of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) and also represents Sahara Group as a member of the Private Sector Advisory Group of the United Nations Sustainable Development Fund (UN SDG-F).

@iamsaharagroup | @TonyeCole1 | Sahara Group