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Innovation in Energy: Bridging the Gap through Technology, Infrastructure, and Partnerships
Africa is resource rich but energy poor. Despite abundant energy resources ranging from oil and gas to solar and wind, two of out of three people in Sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity, largely due to an inadequate infrastructure system. For those with access to national grids, power is often unreliable and unaffordable, leaving both businesses and families in the dark. In a 2013 survey, only 38% of African entrepreneurs agreed that the infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa was sufficient to support growing firms and the “lack of access to constant electrical power” was named the biggest infrastructure challenge. To address these energy infrastructure challenges, forward-thinking companies and investors are using new technologies, investments, and partnerships to bridge the infrastructure gap and transform the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity to businesses and individuals. To date, innovations have ranged from micro-grid solutions to public-private partnerships to solar photovoltaic fields. Our Innovation in Energy panel features both product innovators and investors who will explore the effectiveness of the market solutions to date and remaining gaps and challenges in delivering reliable, affordable electricity across Sub-Saharan Africa.  Power Africa 2013 <http://www.usaid.gov/powerafrica>.  Omidyar Network, “Accelerating Entrepreneurship in Africa,” 2013.
Deo Onyango, Sales Leader – Sub-Saharan Africa, GE Power & Water, Renewable Energy
Sales Leader – Sub-Saharan Africa, GE Power & Water, Renewable Energy
Deo Onyango is the Sub-Saharan Africa Sales Leader for GE Renewable Energy charged with building the regional team to maximize the potential of one of the fastest growing regions for the Renewables business. Deo is also responsible for business development and commercial growth of GE’s portfolio in East Africa.
GE Renewable Energy continues a strong power generation heritage to develop advanced technologies for powering a cleaner, more productive world; this comprises Wind, Solar, Fuel Cells, grid modernization and the Global Research Center.
Deo began his GE career in 2008 in GE Capital Europe originating and managing a portfolio of manufacturing and industrial clients in the UK, Ireland and France.
Prior to GE, he was Vice President, Financial Sponsors Lending, in Citigroup’s Private & Institutional Client Group responsible for capital raising and underwriting senior debt for private equity and hedge funds. He joined Citigroup in 2001 in the Private Bank’s financial analyst program.
Deo completed his high school education at Lenana School and undergraduate degree in commerce and economics at the University of Nairobi. He holds a specialist Masters in Finance (Msc) from London Business School and a Graduate Diploma in Investment Management from London School of Economics
Deo currently serves on the Boards of the American Chamber of Commerce Kenya, Junior Achievement Kenya and Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO). He and his wife have two children.
Esiri Agbeyi, Director, International Tax Services-Africa Desk, PwC
Director, International Tax Services-Africa Desk, PwC
‘Esiri is a Tax Director in the Africa Tax Group in PwC LLP New York providing cross border tax planning services to multinational companies investing in Africa. She started her career with PwC Nigeria in January 2004 within the Tax Line of Service (LOS) and has gained several years of experience providing international tax services to multinational companies in various industry sectors including the oil and gas, private equity, retail and consumer sector. She is a specialist in cross-border restructuring, tax planning for mergers and acquisitions including deferred taxes for group audits and compliance focusing primarily on Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Angola ad Ghana.
She pioneered PwC Nigeria’s tax academy sessions for over two years as a coordinator and presenter to external audiences on contemporary tax issues. She was in charge of building market awareness on the transfer pricing regime in Nigeria and this involved presentations, client proposals and writing articles. She was involved in the review and recommending changes in the Nigerian National Tax policy, National circulars on the tax implications of transitioning to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in Nigeria and has written articles on Nigerian tax issues.
Esiri holds a Degree in Microbiology from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She is an associate member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN).
Gaurav Manchanda, CEO & Founder, One Degree Solar
CEO & Founder, One Degree Solar
Gaurav Manchanda is the Founder and CEO of One Degree Solar. One Degree is a venture-backed technology company that designs and manufactures energy solutions to improve connectivity in peri-urban and rural communities with unreliable electricity. Prior to founding One Degree, Gaurav worked as a renewable energy consultant with USAID, the Energy and Security Group, and Liberia’s Rural and Renewable Energy Agency (RREA). Before this, Gaurav was sponsored by the Clinton Foundation to serve as the Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Health in Liberia. He led initiatives to electrify off-grid health clinics and secured the first $10M USD in post-conflict donor funding provided directly to the Liberian Ministry. The United Nations Foundation recently selected Gaurav as one of its first 120 Global Accelerator Delegates who help develop innovative solutions that accelerate work towards achieving key Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Gaurav has a degree in International Development and Technology Transfer from Tulane University and the School for International Training. He believes that with reliable energy and communication, there are no longer six degrees of separation.
James Newlands, Lead Partner – Africa Investment Plan, EY
Lead Partner – Africa Investment Plan, EY
James is the partner leading the EY’s Africa Investment Plan. This multi-year plan is focused on building our capacity, expanding our footprint and enhancing our brand across Sub-Saharan Africa.
In this capacity James is responsible for:
- Sourcing and appointment of partners globally to fill strategic positions in key geographies in Africa
- Sourcing and execution of strategic acquisitions across Africa
- Driving new country entry projects including Cameroon, Chad and South Sudan
- Developing infrastructure needed to grow the EY business in locations such as Luanda, Douala, Kinshasa, Lagos and Juba
Currently, James is in the process of relocating to New York to establish our US-Africa Business Center to work with key EY accounts in the US, across a range of sectors, to assist them in developing, stress-testing and executing their Africa growth strategies, bringing to bear the practical experience he has gained in his extensive travels in Africa.
Previous experience James is a senior partner in the South African firm, having more than 32 years’ experience in providing assurance and advisory services to a number of the firm’s leading clients in the Oil & Gas, Retail and Consumer Products and Life Insurance sectors. He has also held a number of leadership positions in the firm, including Africa Oil & Gas Sector Leader and Western Cape Regional Senior Partner. James continues to serve a number of our largest global accounts as regional coordinating partner for Africa. Credentials and community activities James is a Chartered Accountant and has degrees in Accounting and Commerce from the University of Cape Town. He is currently a Board member of the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) and was previously a member of the Education Committee of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)
Joe Oliver, Senior Manager, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services
Senior Manager, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services
Mr. Oliver has over 20 years’ experience at leading transaction advisory, public-private partnership, capital raising, and strategic advisory projects worldwide. He has advised on more than $5 billion in successful transactions and specializes in the design and execution of energy sector projects. Mr. Oliver has led emerging markets’ energy projects that include renewable and conventional power generation development, tariff and regulatory market reforms, and utility sector unbundling and restructuring. He recently led Deloitte’s team advising the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on the design and mobilization for the Power Africa Initiative. Led through the White House, Power Africa seeks to add 30,000 megawatts of efficient power generation capacity and 60 million in new electricity connections across Sub-Saharan Africa by 2020. Power Africa has mobilized $7 billion in US Government funding supported by $20 billion in private sector commitments to significantly reduce energy poverty across Africa and foster increased, sustainable economic development. Mr. Oliver has worked throughout Africa, including Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tunisia, and Ghana. After graduating with his MBA from Wharton, Mr. Oliver was based in Warsaw, Poland for three years and has also worked in many countries across Central Europe during his career. Mr. Oliver is a Lauder Institute graduate and received an MBA (Management) from the Wharton School, MA from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA (Economics) with High Honors from the University of California – Santa Barbara. He is married with three children and resides in Richmond, Virginia.
The key to unlocking Africa’s human capital potential lies within its education sector. While the continent has made significant strides in increasing primary school enrollment to nearly 100%, UNESCO estimates that secondary/tertiary enrollment rates lag behind at 34% and 6% respectively. According to UNICEF, more than half of the nearly 60 million children worldwide who do not attend school reside in Sub-Saharan Africa and more than 60% of Africa’s unemployed are youth. As the youth population continues to grow rapidly, governments and businesses across the continent are faced with the challenges posed by limited education sector financing, relatively low teacher training and incentives, and the disconnect between classroom education and job skills needed in a globalizing economy. The Rethinking Education panel will shed light on new advances that up-skill Africa’s youth and provide promise to Africa’s education sector, focusing primarily on secondary and tertiary education. Key topics include:
- How curricula can be translated into useful skills for the job market and entrepreneurial pursuits that generate jobs and opportunities in local communities?
- What are models of success and lessons learned from the public and private sector in using educational programs or institutions to enhance youth human capital for the job market?
Ensuring educational programs translate into skills development and employment will drive the continent’s growth and potential as a global powerhouse.
Chi Achebe, Program Manager, Anzisha Prize, African Leadership Academy
Program Manager, Anzisha Prize, African Leadership Academy
Native of Nigeria, Chidinma (Chi) Achebe has a background in political science, communication, and African studies from the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the grand niece of the renowned author, Chinua Achebe. Before joining African Leadership Academy in 2012 as Anzisha Prize Program Manager, she worked as an account strategist and manager at Google. The Anzisha Prize is a $75,000 pan-African award for young African entrepreneurs between the age of 15-22. For the past three years, she has lead all aspects of the Anzisha Prize from pan-African strategy development, media, marketing, and partnerships to Anzisha finalist selection and support. Her passions lie in social and economic development in Africa, especially as it pertains to entrepreneurship, youth development, and female empowerment. She has explored these topics in over 20 countries, and with the Anzisha Prize, has spoken to young people in eight African countries – Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who will soon be leaving her role at ALA to start her own business in the tech and real estate industry in 2015.
Pape Samb, Chairman, Global Youth Innovation Network
Chairman, Global Youth Innovation Network
Pape Samb is a social entrepreneur specialized in international development. He has almost 20 years of experience in program and resource development, fundraising, partnership building, entrepreneurship, strategic planning, training and facilitation, global leadership, content management and public speaking. He is a passionate individual who focuses his energy on educating people about entrepreneurship and leadership and empowering women and youth around the world, helping them become self-sufficient and connecting them with resources to achieve their goals.
Pape is President of Exeleadmen International Consulting, a firm which focuses on providing leaders and entrepreneurs with the knowledge, tools and network to create economic value by way of creating societal value and enabling a strong entrepreneurship ecosystem for youth, women and underprivileged communities. A driving force and empowering ‘agent of change’ for youth globally, he co-founded and serves as Chairman of the Global Youth Innovative Network (GYIN), a youth-run and led network of over 5,000 young leaders entrepreneurs, innovators and farmers in over 100 countries.
He serves as Adjunct Professor of American University in Washington, DC at the rank of Executive in Residence in the Department of Public Administration and Policy in the School of Public Affairs, and is the Chief Business Strategist at Outward Exports, where he provides investment opportunities in the areas of agriculture, transportation, energy, health, infrastructure/engineering to emerging markets. He is also involved in business related activities with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), helping to solve the worlds pressing challenges and creative positive change around the world.
Sarah Sladen, Senior Manager for International Youth Development, InterAction
Senior Manager for International Youth Development, InterAction
Daniel Wagner, Professor of Education, University of Pennsylvania
Professor of Education, 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 (www.literacy.org), 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 160 professional publications, Dr. Wagner has written/edited 25 books.
Opportunities created by the Flourishing African Consumer
After a decade of economic growth propelling the rise of the African middle class, consumer-facing industries have reached an inflection point. While 45% of GDP growth in the 2000’s came from consumer-facing or partially consumer-facing sectors, businesses are still exploring the most effective strategies for translating opportunities into revenue given limited consumer insights in a dynamic consumer ecosystem. Given rising demand for everything from laundry detergents to Louis Vuitton handbags, consumer products are expected to generate more than $400 billion in growth by 2020 as increasingly brand conscious consumers demand high-quality products and premium shopping experiences. By pursuing the opportunities created by surging disposable incomes, wider internet and smartphone penetration, and increasing urbanization, new and existing companies will deliver value through goods and service while creating a new continent of consumers. On the other hand, the panel will seek to explore the notion of “responsible consumerism” and we will highlight the lessons from Asian’s prudent savings culture during the rise of the Asian Tigers, which today has resulted in Asia being the largest consumer market in the world. Like Asia, a better savings culture amongst our high consumption middle class will help local banks access cheaper capital for lending to local businesses who can then innovate cheaply, resulting in more sustainable consumption for Africans in the long term. Finally, what must home-grown businesses do differently to acquire an increasing size of the consumer market, compared to foreign owned businesses who are currently dominating the landscape?
Alden Edmonds, Director at Liberty Eagle Holdings
Director at Liberty Eagle Holdings
Mr. Alden Edmonds has spent much of his career operating and investing in small and medium-sized businesses. He lived in Nairobi, Kenya from 2010 to 2012 helping to develop the market for Subway. He and CJ Bak (Wharton MBA 2012) currently operate five subway restaurants in Kenya and Tanzania with plans for an additional four stores in 2015. Alden started his career in banking at Cambridge Trust Company and has a BS in economics from Boston University.
Chiefy Ndoum, Vice President and General Counsel, Groupe Nduom
Vice President and General Counsel, Groupe Nduom
Frank Adu, CEO, CAL Bank
CEO, CAL Bank
Mr. Frank Adu Jnr. is a Banker with over 24 years’ experience in the Ghanaian banking sector. He is presently the Managing Director of CAL Bank Limited. He has served and continues to serve on several boards. He is also an entrepreneur and plays a major role in youth development in Ghana. Mr. Adu is the founder and Chairman of The Roman Ridge School (a prominent first and second cycle international school in Ghana), and also sits on the Investment Committee of the University of Ghana.
He has a first degree in Geography, second in Business Administration (MBA), he is an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree by the University of Ghana and has been recognised by the Legislative Black Caucus of the Georgia Assembly for his contribution to the macro-economic stability, growth and prosperity of African countries.
He is an avid sportsman and has distinguished himself in all sporting activity including football, field hockey, volleyball, handball, squash, cricket, polo and now golf. Mr. Adu is currently the Captain of the Achimota Golf Club having previously been the Captain of the Accra Polo Club.
Edward Stokes, Founder and Managing Director, Intrepid HR
Founder and Managing Director, Intrepid HR
Edward is the founder and Managing Director of Intrepid HR www.intrepidhr.co.za, a pan African focused HR Consulting and Search firm.
Following a career in Finance, both in South Africa and the UK, Edward joined Hays Plc (FTSE 250) a global recruitment firm headquartered out of London and has for the last 25 years serviced both multinationals and entrepreneurs worldwide source and develop talent and leadership for their businesses.
He initially established Hays Executive in South Africa in 1996, thereafter in 2005, through an MBO, founded Intrepid HR to focus exclusively on developing a pan African Search business.
Intrepid HR specialises in sourcing talent and leadership across Africa for Investment Banking, Private Equity, Fund Management, Strategy Consultancy and Strategic roles in Industry. The consumer markets across Africa are a key growth sector and Intrepid HR have been deeply involved in assisting these businesses reach their commercial objectives through effective human capital management.
Family Businesses as the Nucleus of Growth in Africa (hosted by PwC)
More information to come
Mary Iwelumo, Partner, Strategy and Operations, PwC Nigeria
Partner, Strategy and Operations, PwC Nigeria
Mary is a Partner in the Strategy and Operations practice in Nigeria. has over 13 years experience in articulating and formulating strategies for a number of our energy, financial services and manufacturing and public sector clients.
Selected experience includes:
- Central Bank of Nigeria – Setting up of AMCON (design of Target Operating Model, Business Plan and NPL Valuation)
- Strategic Planning for Ministry of Aviation
- Set up of a Strategic Management Office for the Cross River State Government,
- Set up of a Development Finance Institution (DFI) for the Ministry of Finance
- Strategic Plan for First Bank of Nigeria Plc./ Banque Internationale de Credit (BIC)
- Transformational Plan and Organisational Development Bank of Agriculture
- Development of a Five Year Strategic Plan, for Abuja Technology Village Free Zone Company,
Mary has a degree in Pharmacy and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, USA . She is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.
Since the early 1990s, most African countries have witnessed democratic transition in which popular agitation and struggle for political reform have ousted authoritarian and despotic regimes.” Over the past few decades, Africans have demanded more from their respective governments and, as a result, governance in Africa has improved tremendously. Leading indicators of good governance – credibility of electoral process, respect for human rights and rule of law, efficacy of government services – continue to trend positively. Despite this progress, most African countries cannot be classified as full democracies. Furthermore, democracy is vulnerable in those countries with some signs of good governance. What constitutes the future of governance in Africa? What is the role of citizens and business in making governments more accountable and transparent? What does democracy really mean for Africa and how can it develop its own brand of democracy while staying true to its unique roots? The panel will explore the answers to the questions detailed above.  United Nations, African Governance Report III
Chude Jideonwo, Managing Partner, Red Media Africa
Managing Partner, Red Media Africa
Named by Forbes as one of Africa’s 30 best entrepreneurs under 30, Chude Jideonwo’s career is centred on using the media as an active tool to galvanise a generation of Africans to action. He is Managing Partner of Red Media Africa, owners of The Future Africa Awards & Summit, Y! Africa, and YNaija.com; and founding Executive Director of The Future Project, which empowers young people across Africa through leadership and enterprise.
In 2010, he convened friends and colleagues to hold the historic EnoughisEnough protests and co-founded EnoughisEnough Nigeria, which has become the country’s foremost good governance group for young Nigerians. A lawyer and award-winning journalist, he has a Master’s Degree in Media and Communication from the Pan-African University. He is a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum and sits on the boards of the Oando Foundation and Microsoft 4Afrika.
His second book, the critically acclaimed ‘Are We the Turning Point Generation?’ was published by Farafina in May 2014, and captures the evolution of youth-led ideas in managing Africa’s leadership and social development challenges.
Femi Tairu, Director, PwC
Femi is a Director in PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services in Nigeria with over 12 years of experience advising organizations in both the USA and Nigeria. He currently manages the Forensic Services consulting business in Nigeria. He advises clients in both the public and private sector on leading practices in managing governance, risk, and compliance matters with an emphasis on the prevention, detection, investigation, and remediation of various economic threats and crimes including fraud, corruption, and other forms of economic and financial crime.
Femi is a co-inventor of PwC’s patented fraud risk detection and monitoring framework. He has extensive experience assisting clients with developing and implementing operational dashboards capabilities for compliance monitoring purposes.
Femi earned a B.S and M.S in Computer Science from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and an M.B.A from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), an Oracle Certified Professional (OCP), and a member of the Association of Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS).
Roger Nord, Deputy Director, IMF's African Department
Deputy Director, IMF's African Department
He oversees country operations in East Africa and francophone West Africa, leads the work on public finance issues in Africa, and is responsible for the IMF’s interaction with China on African issues. Previously, he was IMF mission chief for several African countries, including Tanzania, Uganda, Cameroon, and Gabon. Among his recent publications, he was the lead author of Tanzania – The Story of an African Transition (2009). Before joining the African Department, he was advisor to IMF Managing Director Horst Köhler and the IMF’s regional representative in Central Europe. A national of the Netherlands, Mr. Nord is a graduate of the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and of the University of Chicago.
Sonia Plaza, Senior Economist, Development Prospects Group, World Bank
Senior Economist, Development Prospects Group, World Bank
Sonia Plaza is a Senior Economist in the Development Economics Prospects Group of the World Bank. She has worked on science and technology projects in Latin American and coauthored a major analytical survey of migration and development for the Africa region. Sonia was born in Lima, Peru. Her father had a constructing firm, so some of her earliest childhood memories are of traveling with him to poor areas including Ayacucho where he was working on projects. This is how she was first exposed to development work, and it shaped her. She wrote chapter 5 of the book, “Africa’s Silk Road: China and India’s New Economic Frontier”, which covers trade facilitation, technology, and skills transfer, and regional trade agreements. She advises many universities on the transfer of skills and tapping into their diasporas. Sonia attended the University of Lima and earned a degree in Economics, after which she joined Chase Manhattan Bank, and was then invited to join the Peruvian Ministry of Trade as a manager responsible for counter trade and debt swap agreements. She also has a dual degree from Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania in International Economics and Development. She was Professor of Economics (International Economics) at the Peruvian School of Foreign Service and at the University of Lima in Peru, and was adjunct faculty (Microeconomics and Macroeconomics) at The American University in Washington, DC. Her research interests include international migration, labor mobility, trade, and the future of labor. She joined the Institute for the Study of Labor as a Research Fellow in February 2010.
Landry Signe, Fellow, Stanford University Center for African Studies
Fellow, Stanford University Center for African Studies
Dr. Landry Signé is co-chair of the Faculty Senate Committee on Research and Creative Activity and Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), a fellow at Stanford University’s Center for African Studies, a business professor at Stanford University’s Continuing Studies, and founding chairman of the award-winning Global Network for Africa’s Prosperity. His research focuses on the transformation of African political processes, economies, governance, and the political economy of developing countries. He was bestowed the 2014 Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, the 2014 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity, the 2013 Governor General (Commander-in-Chief) of Canada Award for exceptional contributions to society, and the 2013 Atlantic Dialogues Emerging Leader Award bestowed by the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
Prior to joining UAA, Dr. Signé was an award-winning Banting fellow “for best and brightest researchers” at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law; a visiting scholar at Oxford University; and has taught at numerous universities in Canada, the United States and Cameroon. As a pioneer in Silicon Valley, he initiated an innovative Stanford continuing studies course bringing top executives, entrepreneurs, investors and the Stanford community together to spur business strategies for African markets, and won The African Network’s Outstanding Visionary Leadership Award for his “pioneering role in promoting entrepreneurial opportunities, accountable governance and economic development for Africa in the Silicon Valley and North America”. He was also the founding president of Axcentis International – a business firm based in Montreal, director at the United Nations Association of Canada-Montreal, has monitored political, economic, legal and humanitarian developments and has drafted strategic notes with recommendations for preventive diplomacy and conflict resolution for the United Nations Department of Political Affairs and a United Nations General Assembly vice-president.
Dr. Signé was named a “New Leader for Tomorrow” for his commitment and leadership in shaping the global agenda and 21st century major challenges by the Crans Montana Forum, an international organization based in Switzerland. He won the 2014 Quebec Government’s Claude Masson Award for exceptional national and international engagements and contributions, the 2013 Stanford University Recognition Award for Exceptional Contributions to the Postdoctoral Community, and the African Leadership Institute’s Leadership for Change in Africa Fellowship.
His recent book, Le NEPAD et les institutions financières internationales en Afrique au 21e siècle [NEPAD and International Financial Institutions in Africa of the 21st Century] (L’Harmattan, 2013), received the Best International Book Award from TOUKI Montreal. His forthcoming book, L’innovation en stratégies de développement en Afrique de 1960 à 2014: Acteurs nationaux, régionaux et internationaux (Innovating in Development Strategies in Africa from 1960 to 2014: International, Regional and National Actors) will be released by Les Éditions Karthala by December 2014. He is currently finalizing two books: Emerging African Markets: A Golden Business Opportunity, and The Evolution of African Economies, Governance, Development, and Political Regimes in the 21st Century.
Dr. Landry Signé was educated in Cameroon (with honors and distinction), in France (valedictorian and salutatorian), and earned his PhD in Political Science from the University of Montreal (Award of Excellence) and the CÉRIUM Award for the Best International PhD Dissertation. He is a frequent commentator on issues of African governance, emerging markets, and economic development. His work has appeared in prestigious platforms, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Harvard International Review, and he has presented to numerous forums and universities, including the Commonwealth Club, the Atlantic Dialogues, the World Affairs Council of Northern California, Cornell University, Stanford University, McGill University, and the University of Toronto.
Diversifying Private Equity
By the numbers, private equity is booming in Africa. Investors are increasingly looking for opportunities to participate in Africa’s impressive demographic trends and economic performance, while diversifying portfolio risks from US and European markets. As a result, PE activity has seen significant growth—reaching $3.3 billion USD in funds raised in 2013 (a 136% increase from the previous year) with $3.2 billion USD invested across the continent. But the influx of global capital has attracted a new set of local and global private equity funds, creating increased competition across the continent and forcing funds to turn to new markets, industries, and deal types to deliver returns. The Diversifying Private Equity panel will explore how firms are navigating the new opportunities, challenges, and risks of PE industry in Africa, including issues around the availability of investable companies, industry returns, changing deal profiles, and macroeconomic considerations. In exploring the future of PE in Africa, industry experts will discuss how traditional funds and new players are adapting investment strategies in terms of geography, industry, deal size, and company maturity to manage changing market conditions.
Alan Fields, Managing Director, Abraaj Group
Managing Director, Abraaj Group
Mr. Fields is a Managing Director with The Abraaj Group and a member of the North America coverage team. Mr. Fields has over 25 years experience as an institutional sales professional, introducing investment solutions to U.S institutional clients across a wide range of alternative products. Prior to joining Abraaj, he worked at PineBridge Investments (F/K/A AIG Investments) and helped raise funds in Sub Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America. Alan received his MBA in Finance from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He holds both the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designations.
Derek Saleeby, Founding & Managing Partner, Total Impact Advisors
Founding & Managing Partner, Total Impact Advisors
Prior to founding Total Impact Advisors, Derek’s professional background was in finance and investing in both emerging and developed markets across numerous sectors. He has experience on the sell-side (investment banking, capital markets, and sales) and in asset management (private equity, a hedge fund, and a hedge fund of funds where he was chief investment officer). He has served with firms such as Citibank, Salomon Smith Barney, Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya (Latin America), RAM Capital, and Deutsche Bank Asset Management/RLJ.
From 2006 to present, Derek has provided advisory work for private equity, hedge fund investors, companies and financial services firms in both emerging markets and developed markets, including facilitating the closing of a $67 million U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC) funding to a new Africa focused private equity/mezzanine fund and also a $30 million Liberian Enterprise Fund. His advisory work, which has included negotiating local investment rights and sourcing new investments for funders, has enhanced Derek’s already strong network of private and public officials in Africa and Latin America.
From 1999 to 2001, Derek was a founding partner of the advisory firm African Private Equity Partners – his team provided advisory services to Mexico’s Cemex in its exploration of African investment opportunities and the formation of a possible special purpose acquisition vehicle for developing markets.
Derek has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Princeton University
Ganesh Rengaswamy, Managing Director, Frontier Investments Group Accion
Managing Director, Frontier Investments Group Accion
Ganesh Rengaswamy leads all Asia efforts and supports Africa investments of Frontier Investment Group at Accion. Ganesh is a seasoned entrepreneur and has been an impact technology venture investor across India, Asia and Silicon Valley. Prior to joining FIG in 2014, Ganesh was General Partner at Lok Capital, a venture growth fund that invests in social enterprises with innovative and technologically advanced services in financial inclusion, education, and employability. Ganesh previously served as the Asia Director for Unitus Inc., a global organization that works to reduce poverty by finding commercially sustainable solutions in financial inclusion. Prior to Unitus Inc., he led the entry of Greylock Partners, a leading Silicon Valley venture growth fund, into the Indian market. Pioneering investments, past board and advisory roles include Rural Shores, Ujjivan, Hippocampus Learning Centre, IFMR Rural Channels, Vistaar, mDhil and Bill Junction/TechProcess.
Prior to Greylock, Ganesh co-founded Travelguru.com while studying at Harvard. Travelguru became the largest online hotels consolidator in India and South Asia and was acquired by Travelocity. Earlier in his career at Infosys, Ganesh was responsible for large customer acquisition and growth engagements across F1000 clients in Financial services, Retail and Consumer businesses in the US.
Ganesh has been an active investment advisor and entrepreneurship mentor to Unitus seed fund, Indian angel network, Accion Venture Lab, GSF accelerator, IIM-Ahmedabad, ISB, and a select group of Impact and Tech start-ups. He has been featured in media outlets including Bloomberg, CNBC, and The Economic Times, among others.
Ganesh is based in Bangalore, India and is fluent in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Bengali. Ganesh holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he received the Rock Center Fellowship for Entrepreneurship, was the President of South Asian Business Association. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in management from the Indian Institute of Management and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, where he graduated top class with university honors.
Kamal Pallan, Partner and Chief Operating Officer, Kuramo Capital Management
Partner and 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.
Dan Keeler, Frontier Markets Editor, Wall Street Journal
Frontier Markets Editor, Wall Street Journal
Dan Keeler is Frontier Markets Editor at the Wall Street Journal. Prior to joining the Journal he was the Editor and subsequently Editor-at-Large of Global Finance magazine, where he steered the magazine’s coverage toward corporate responsibility and 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.
Before taking the reins at Global Finance, Dan 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, Dan worked as an editorial consultant in various industries, including private banking. He has created content for several websites and built a number of them as well.
A native of the UK, Dan began his career as a reporter on a London-based construction magazine. In the ensuing decade, he played a number of key roles, including Deputy Editor of Sunday Business — a weekly broadsheet newspaper he helped to create and launch.
He has a civil engineering degree from England’s Plymouth University.
Can Technology Enable Healthcare for All?
Despite massive investment in healthcare and relative improvements in areas including preventable childhood illnesses such as polio and measles, Africa has some of the world’s poorest health indicators. According to the IFC and McKinsey, healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa remains the worst in the world. A significant component of the problem is the lack of infrastructure to deliver healthcare, unmet basic sanitation needs and a shortage of trained medical personnel. For example, Africa has 2.3 healthcare workers per 1000 population, compared with the Americas, which have 24.8 healthcare workers per 1000 population. Thus, only 1.3% of the world’s health workers care for people who experience 25% of the global disease burden. These shortcomings have been particularly evident in the ebola virus epidemic in West Africa where a lack of personnel and equipment in affected countries have hindered the response. Why has there been so little progress? How can technology and innovation be leveraged to improve human capital and delivery of services? This panel will focus on the question of how technology can be leveraged to improve access to and delivery of health services in Africa. We will discuss recent innovations in this field and the role that technology is playing to broaden healthcare reach and effectiveness with the ultimate goal of healthcare for all. Examples include the use of low-cost communication technologies to support frontline health workers and patients, including enabling health workers to access health records and schedule appointments through their phones and giving patients in rural areas access to doctors located in larger cities and their medical advice. These innovations allow medical personnel to overcome access barriers in order to reach patients in remote parts of the country and capitalize on their limited resources to increase efficiency.
Anna Thompson-Quaye, Deputy Director, Innovative Finance & Private Sector Partnerships, GAVI Alliance
Deputy Director, Innovative Finance & Private Sector Partnerships, GAVI Alliance
Anna’s work focuses on developing private sector partnerships to support immunization programs in developing countries, including identifying ways in which private sector expertise may be leveraged to address operational challenges.
Prior to joining GAVI, Anna worked at GBCHealth as Policy Director and focal point for the private sector delegation to the Global Fund Board, orchestrating the effective engagement of the private sector and advancing policy priorities at board level. During her tenure, she worked closely with the corporate sector, provided advisory services on social investment programs, led and expanded business engagement on malaria control through GBCHealth’s malaria programmes and the Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa (CAMA). Prior to joining GBCHealth, Anna implemented several projects on malaria control and HIV/AIDS through her work with Research Triangle Institute International, and with Emerging Market Group’s HealthCare Practice Unit (formerly a unit of Deloitte) in Washington DC.
Dr. Felix Olale, Chairman, Excelsior Group
Dr. Felix Olale
Chairman, Excelsior Group
Dr. Felix Olale, M.D., Ph.D., combines his extensive experience as an entrepreneur, social innovator, and business leader to drive investments in health infrastructure across Africa. He is Chairman of the Excelsior Group, a New York and Nairobi based developer and financier of healthcare and education in Africa. Dr. Olale also serves as the CEO of Wellness Group, a Kenyan medical diagnostics and digital health company. In addition to this, Dr. Olale is an advisor to several Governments, on private-public partnerships as a means to unlock sustainable economic growth. He serves as a Director on the Boards of PATH and BizCorps, as Chairman of the Advisory Board for Strathmore Business School’s African Institute of Healthcare Management, and as a Senior Advisor to IFC’s Health in Africa Initiative. Prior to Excelsior, Dr. Olale was an Associate Partner at McKinsey& Co. in New York, worked at NYU’s Office of Industrial Liaison as a Venture Capitalist, and cloned two genes involved in organogenesis at the Skirball Institute of Bio-molecular Medicine. He received his Medical Degree and Doctorate from NYU School of Medicine and his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania where he was a University Scholar. Dr. Olale has published several peer reviewed articles and is a regular speaker at global conferences and the media. He most recently spoke at the Economist Insight’s Look Ahead Briefing on Private Sector Innovation, and the BBC’s Focus on Africa.
Dr. Ladi Awosika, CEO, Total Health Trust
Dr. Ladi Awosika
CEO, Total Health Trust
Dr. Ladi Awosika graduated M.B. and B.S. from the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria in 1974. He commenced his medical career as a lecturer in Human Anatomy at the College of Medicine but left in 1978 for a new career in Private General Practice. He had since been involved Health Care Financing, development and delivery of private health care in Nigeria. He is the proprietor and Chairman of Ultima Medicare Hospital, Lagos. Ladi Awosika co-founded and became Chief Executive Officer of Total Health Trust (THT) the first incorporated group-model HMO in Nigeria, 1997. He is a graduate of the Cambridge Global Health Leadership Program.
Dr. Awosika was the Founding VP of the Guild of Medical Directors – Nigeria, a body of owner-practitioners in medical business in 1989. He is a fellow of the Institute of Directors (IoD) Nigeria and served as Chair for the IoD Committee on Health & Social Services. He served as member of several Committees of the Nigerian National Health Insurance Scheme and was appointed to the Council of the Scheme (2005-2008). Dr Awosika has served as resource person at several international forums for WHO, USAID, GTZ, World Bank and African Union among others. He is a founding member of the Health Sector Reform Foundation of Nigeria as served on the Board of Trustees for several years. Dr. Awosika is an International Affiliate of the American College of Healthcare Executives, member of International Health Economics Association (iHEA), International Hospital Federation; American College of Physician Executives, WONCA, International Federation of Health Plans (iFHP); International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQUA) and Nigeria Danish Chamber of Commerce among others. He is a member of the Nigeria American Chamber of Commerce and the Nigeria South African Chamber of Commerce. He serves on the Board of several private commercial organizations including TAMDA Health Associates Ltd, Health Assurance Consultants Ltd; Q-proxy Ltd, Pharmacy 2U Ltd, Yadil Hospital Consultants;
He led THT to become the 1st Nigerian HMO to consolidate acquisition of a 51% by an International investor, Liberty Group of South Africa, in 2011. His recent interests include Pro-poor health care financing and medical facility development initiatives.
Deirdre White, CEO, PYXERA Global
CEO, PYXERA Global
Deirdre White is an internationally recognized leader in the field of economic development. As CEO of PYXERA Global, Deirdre spearheaded the growth of best practices in Global Pro Bono to benefit global corporations, local governments, and nonprofits worldwide. She guides companies such as IBM, SAP, PepsiCo, and Pfizer as they provide pro bono expertise to build the capacity of organizations in developing economies. Under her leadership, PYXERA Global also works with multinational companies to ensure better participation of local residents in the oil and gas economy.
Widely cited for her thought leadership, Deirdre has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Forbes, and Fast Company, and contributed to The Washington Post, Council on Foreign Relations, MarketWatch and Stanford Social Innovation Review. Previously, she served as a facilitator of the Employee Engagement Action Network at the Clinton Global Initiative and participated in Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Initiative and the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread’s Leadership Forum for Global Citizen Diplomacy.
Prior to joining PYXERA Global, Deirdre led USAID and World Bank funded post-privatization restructuring programs at the management consulting firm, Arthur D. Little and also served as an organizational development advisor to several of the Eurasian oil and gas sector’s largest firms.
Local Dynamos: How do Local African Dynamos Win at Home? (hosted by BCG)
More information to come
Stefano Niavas, Partner and Managing Director, BCG Johannesburg
Partner and Managing Director, BCG Johannesburg
Stefano Niavas is a Partner and Managing Director in the Johannesburg Office of the Boston Consulting Group. He has been with BCG for more than 10 years and has served formerly in BCG’s Paris and New York offices before setting up the Johannesburg office of BCG. Stefano is leading BCG’s Consumer Practice and Center for Consumer and Customer Insight in Africa. Stefano has extensive experience in helping clients to define and implement their Africa strategies and has led client work in many countries across the African continent. Stefano is also an author of several BCG publications in Africa, including “10 things to know about the African Consumer” and “Winning in Africa” which identifies key success factors for companies to WIN in Africa.
Stefano holds a masters degree from ESCP-EAP in Paris, France where he majored in Finance. He is a national of Côte d’Ivoire.
Achieving Africa's 'Green Revolution'
Starting in the 1960’s, the ‘Green Revolution’ swept through most of the developing world and brought wide spread agricultural reform to countries such as India. Africa however was left out. A lack of infrastructure, governmental corruption and insecurity have been credited as the barriers to a successful Green Revolution in Africa. However, in recent years African agriculture has taken center stage with leading domestic and international agencies increasing their efforts to ramp up productivity in this sector. The Food and Agricultural Organization recently dubbed 2014 the “African Year of Agriculture and Food Security.” Given the inherent challenges in this sector, all eyes are focused on what model African agriculture will adhere to: will it become more like the American and European models which are centered around large commercial scale projects? Will it be more similar to South East Asia models which focus on increasing productivity on relatively small plots of land? During this discussion, we will talk to the companies that have embarked on transforming African agriculture to better understand the advances that are being made on the Continent and the challenges and opportunities that exist in this space. By the end of this panel, the audience should leave with a clearer picture of the unique nature of the African agricultural environment and filled with excitement about the possibility of creating a model of agricultural development that is unique to Africa.
Daniel Hulls, CEO, AgDevCo
Daniel Hulls is a finance, economics, public policy and development professional, with close to 25 years working in both the private and public sectors.
He is AgDevCo’s CEO and is also responsible for AgDevCo’s Tanzania operations pro-tem. Daniel was born in Tanzania and has had many years working in agriculture and in Africa. Prior to joining AgDevCo in 2011, Daniel was the founding director of Cambridge Economic Policy Associate (CEPA) and Managing Director until 2009. Before CEPA, Daniel worked for N M Rothschild (1999-2001) and Her Majesty’sTreasury (1991-1998). He has extensive experience of the development and delivery of PPPs in Europe; corporate and regulatory finance; and economic evaluation and appraisal – including of development programmes. He has wide range of sector experience including in agriculture, health, telecoms, transport and housing. Daniel has a BA in History and Economics from Oxford University; and an MSc in Economics from University College London.
Kate Tickel, Grassroots Reconciliation Group
Grassroots Reconciliation Group
Kate Tickel leverages her degree in philosophy and early career as an artist to advocate for the humanities as human rights, as directed by International Humanitarian Law. A graduate of Harvard School of Public Health’s Health and Human Rights Program, where she continues to study bioethics and post-conflict stability building, she is a contributor at Harvard’s Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research as well as a Summit Fellow. She is a board member of Grassroots Reconciliation Group in Uganda, which initiates organic farming projects as a means of autonomy for former child soldiers affected by the LRA, and community theater projects as a means of therapy and village reconciliation. Compelled by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, she co-authored Congo-Sourced, Conflict-Free, an audit template for local, sustainable, and human-rights-ensuring procurement of conflict minerals. As an advocate for women affected by gender violence in areas of conflict, she has collaborated with the U.S. Department of State, the SEC, OECD, U Penn, the U.S. Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights, and many others. She is a returning Socrates Fellow at The Aspen Institute.
Kate’s writings on the need for a philosophical approach to human rights, the humanities, and food and water security have been featured in Global Affairs, International Policy Digest, the International Museum of Women, and Women in Foreign Policy. She has been named one of Diplomatic Courier’s ‘Top 99 Under 33′ working in foreign policy, one of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy’s ‘Millennials to Watch,’ and listed one of International Policy Digest’s Top 35 Under 35 Making a Difference in Africa. Thrice nominated for the Reuters/ International New York Times Trust Women’s Hero Award (2012-2014), in 2014 she was named by CNN and the United Nations Foundation a Global Millennial Thought Leader for her work with victims of gender-based violence in Central Africa and other areas of conflict.
Kathryn Russell, Policy Director, Agriculture and Inclusive Growth, One.org
Policy Director, Agriculture and Inclusive Growth, One.org
Kate Russell joined The ONE Campaign as the Policy Director for Agriculture and Inclusive Growth in May 2014. Prior to joining ONE, Kate served as the Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Adviser in the U.S. Secretary of State’s Office of Global Food Security, which leads food and nutrition security and agricultural development policy and negotiations for the Department and co-leads the Obama Administration’s flagship development program, Feed the Future, with USAID. Also at the State Department, under an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellowship, Kate served as a food security officer in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, where she coordinated the U.S. Delegations to the World Summit on Food Security and the UN Committee on World Food Security and served as the bureau expert on emergency humanitarian food aid. Before that, Kate was a planetary geologist, part of the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter team and working at the Smithsonian Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, the International Space Science Institute in Switzerland, and at the University of Copenhagen’s Niels Bohr Center for Ice and Climate under an American-Scandinavian Fellowship. Kate holds a PhD in Geological Sciences from Brown University and B.A. in Astronomy and Physics from Boston University.
Walter Lamberson, Senior Project Manager, Dalberg Global Development Advisors
Senior Project Manager, Dalberg Global Development Advisors
Walter Lamberson is a Senior Project Manager at Dalberg Global Development Advisors where supports businesses, investors, and governments to develop strategies for emerging markets. He recently helped an American Venture Capitalist create new portfolios investing in cutting edge tech applications in developing countries, including applications in agriculture. Other recent work included supporting one of Africa’s largest diversified holding companies to develop a five year strategy which included a strategy to begin investing in agriculture. He has also played an active role in the structure and formation of the USAID’s Southerna Agricultural Growth Corridor Fund in Tanzania.
Before joining Dalberg, Walter co-founded Open Capital Advisors, an SME strategy consultancy and financial advisory firm that builds growth strategies and raised capital for SMEs across East Africa. He has built growth strategies, structured borrowing, and raised capital for African SMEs across sectors.
He currently serves as a non-executive board member to a number of African SMEs and on USAID’s Innovation and Investment Advisory Committee on Securing Water for Food. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago, where he studied Economics and Mathematics. He speaks Spanish and Kiswahili.
Keren Weitzberg, Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Pennsylvania
Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Pennsylvania
Keren Weitzberg received her PhD in history from Stanford University in June 2013. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is jointly affiliated with the Department of History and the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies. 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. She is currently working on a book manuscript is entitled “We Do Not Have Borders:” The Collapse and Reinvention of “Greater Somalia” in Kenya (1870-2013).
Manufacturing: From Asian Tiger to African Lion?
Africa is on the rise. Many global manufacturers are currently being forced to re-align their low-cost manufacturing strategies and are constantly on the lookout for new, low-cost manufacturing opportunities in emerging economies. This is largely because some traditional hubs for low-cost manufacturing (e.g. China, India, Malaysia and Taiwan) have witnessed increased labor costs as they have successfully moved higher up in the value chain of goods produced. At a similar juncture decades ago, the Asian Tigers rose as Asia used low-cost manufacturing to propel and sustain its growth. But, will an African Lion ever arise without a thriving manufacturing sector? Is low-cost manufacturing the path forward for Africa? Should it be? What role is there for the government, the private sector, and entrepreneurs? How can African manufacturers leverage technology to leapfrog previously required developmental stages and raise the African Lion faster? How can we individually contribute to the increase in domestically-owned manufacturing powerhouses? Join us as we explore these questions with experts and entrepreneurs at the frontline of manufacturing on the continent, whose experience cuts across not only Africa but Asia.
Herman Bigham, CEO, Tosheka Textiles, LLC
CEO, Tosheka Textiles, LLC
Herman Bigham is the CEO of Tosheka Textiles which he established alongside business partner and spouse, Kenyan textile designer and business woman, Lucy Lau Bigham.
Tosheka Textiles, LLC – USA/Kenya is a social enterprise, with the business plan that is the product of the Wharton Small Business Development Center. Tosheka has extensive experience in commercial and community based textile production. The goal of Tosheka Textiles is to become a global leader in the production of eco-friendly fashions for the global market.
The company specializes in the production of “green textiles” for home, clothing and fashion accessories. The products are made from natural fibers, recycled materials, and eco-friendly dyes. They are handcrafted using fair labor practices, traditional weaving, knitting, and crochet techniques of Kenya artisans. They are provided with sustainable incomes and made from the comfort of their own communities.
Tosheka textiles designs are inspired by Kenya’s cultures, colors and textures of nature and distinguished by product uniqueness and quality. As implied by our name ‘Tosheka” a Swahili word that means Satisfaction, the company guarantees customers satisfaction in product quality, value, delivery and customer service. Products are produced using techniques that preserve culture, environment and sustainable community economic empowerment.
The company has three fashion lines: the “Safi Tosheka Collection” is a gold standard leather goods line; the “Woven Love Collection” features our collection of bags, textiles and apparel using plarn and natural fibers to create new textiles fabrics and products; and the “Recycled Treasures Eco – Fashionable Collection” consists of trend-relevant, contemporary designed, hand crafted bags by Kenyan artisans from clean recycled plastic bags.
Tugba Gurcanlar, Private Sector Development Specialist, World Bank Group
Private Sector Development Specialist, World Bank Group
Tugba Gurcanlar is a trade and private sector development specialist at the World Bank Group with ten years of experience in international trade, finance, and private sector development in emerging markets. She wrote and published widely on these issues in venues such as the World Economic Forum, McKinsey Quarterly, and World Bank in-house publications, while at the same time focusing on investment operations in a wide array of industries from manufacturing to services sectors.
Tugba has also been co-managing the regional program: “Competitive Africa: Strategies to Leverage the New Global Economy”, which aims to unleash Sub-Saharan Africa’s potential in the areas of light manufacturing, agribusiness, ICT, and tourism. The initiative involved a consortium of industry experts, and the former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank, and collaborated closely with the Governments of China and Vietnam. Currently, she is in the core-team developing a similar program for the South Asia region, where she has also recently helped deliver a major lending program for India, focusing on manufacturing and technology development.
Tugba’s previous work in the Bank Group’s Finance and Trade Departments focused on the global expansion of emerging countries’ commercial banks, international trade corridors and frontier emerging markets’ integration into global supply chains. Prior to joining the World Bank, she worked in Europe, Middle East and the United States on issues including business growth in Central and Eastern European States, the EU merger policy and US foreign policy.
Tugba holds a BA from Connecticut College, an MPP in Global Economic Policy from Duke University, and an MBA from Columbia University. She also attended the European University Institute and The Graduate Institute, HEI Geneva as a visiting scholar in global governance and international economics.
Kunmi Otitoju, CEO, Minku
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Kunmi attended Queen’s College Yaba before pursuing bachelors and masters computer science degrees at Howard University (where she graduated summa cum laude) and Virginia Tech, respectively.
During this time, she took advantage of opportunities for travel, doing a study abroad in Paris, presenting her thesis research at conferences in Cape Town and Torino, and completing internships with Goldman Sachs in New York City and Fast Search in Oslo, Norway.
Following her belief in leading a simple and unfussy life, she founded Minku Leather Goods, a company where she conceives and hand-makes quality leather bags that blend hand-woven fabrics from her Yoruba culture into Spanish-sourced leathers for a transcontinental finish.
Earlier this year, Kunmi was one of four women named to Forbes’ list of 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa.
Stephen S Golub, Professor of Economics at Swarthmore College
Stephen S Golub
Professor of Economics at Swarthmore College
Stephen Golub is Franklin and Betty Barr Professor of Economics at Swarthmore College. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University. He has taught economics at Swarthmore College for 30 years. Prior to coming to Swarthmore he worked at the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. He has also held visiting positions at Yale University, Columbia University, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. He has written numerous articles and co-authored the book Money Credit and Capital (1989, McGraw Hill) with Nobel Prize-winning Yale economist James Tobin. He has also served as a consultant to the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Federal Reserve Banks of San Francisco and Philadelphia.
James D. Thompson, Co-founder and Director, Wharton Social Entrepreneurship Program
James D. Thompson
Co-founder and Director, Wharton Social Entrepreneurship Program
James D. Thompson, PhD, is coauthor of “The Social Entrepreneur’s Playbook” and co-founder and director of the Wharton Social Entrepreneurship Program.
His current research is focused on social entrepreneurship, future market growth, and investment under conditions of high uncertainty. He teaches in Wharton Executive Education programs and works with management teams around the world to design and execute entrepreneurially-minded organic growth strategies that increase the value of their firms. He, along with Ian MacMillan and Peter Frumkin, will present a interdisciplinary Coursera MOOC on social entrepreneurship in the fall of 2014.
Prior to joining the academic world, James was a divisional director of a public company, responsible for new market development, brand marketing and development, and business unit turnarounds. He currently serves on the executive board of a venture capital–funded technology and entertainment company in Philadelphia.
James holds a PhD from The Federal Swiss Institute of Technology (EPFL) and is published in the Harvard Business Review, Journal of Management, Long Range Planning, Management Science, Organization Science, and the Research-Technology Management Journal. He is a recipient of Best Paper Awards in the Entrepreneurship Division of the U.S. Academy of Management, the Innovation category of the European Business School, and the 2013 Gerald E. Hills Award (AMA EMSIG) of the American Marketing Association.
Silicon Valley in Africa: Desirable or Doubtful?
As a late comer to an era of technology-driven innovation and development, Africa has historically leveraged existing global pools of knowledge to meet the continent’s needs. This practice of “borrowing technology” has been most clearly evidenced in Africa’s adaption of mobile telephony to enhance access to finance and biotechnology to improve agricultural yields. While harnessing technology from other advanced countries can underpin an inexpensive research and development platform, such reliance has two problems: 1) it may be a disincentive for innovation and investment in IT infrastructure and skills development within the region and 2) it is not tailored to take advantage of Africa’s unique opportunities and solve its distinct challenges. Should Africa continue to rely on global technology or embrace a new paradigm that encourages firsthand innovation for both regional and global application? Recent trends have stimulated the emergence of technology accelerators in Nairobi, Lagos and South Africa. But is enough being done by businesses and governments to foster enabling environments for the ‘Silicon Savannah’s’ of Africa? What lessons can Africa draw from the experiences of countries such as India, South Korea and Costa Rica, where technology has propelled significant economic growth?
Chinedu Enekwe, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Tiphub
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Tiphub
Co-founder of tiphub an innovation factory based in Washington DC that invest in and supports early stage technology and social enterprises in Africa and the African Diaspora. Also, currently a financial analyst consultant in the World Bank Energy & Extractives group and Mentorship Manager in the Young African Society of the World Bank-IMF. Joined the World Bank after advisory roles in Power Africa at OPIC, several shortlisted and winning companies in Nigeria’s Power Privatization and various other Sub-Saharan Africa public-private partnerships in large scale project finance developments.
Elias Schulze, CEO, Kaymu (Africa Internet Holdings company)
CEO, Kaymu (Africa Internet Holdings company)
Elias Schulze serves as the Africa CEO for Kaymu, an online marketplace with operations across 16 African countries and aggressive ongoing expansion. Kaymu is part of Africa Internet Group (AIG), a joint-venture between Rocket Internet, MTN, and Tigo Millicom. Prior to joining Kaymu, Elias worked as an Engagement Manager for McKinsey & Company where he was based in Nigeria and worked throughout Africa with a significant strategy focus. Elias previously worked at Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), an Africa-focused private equity firm. He is also co-founder of The Africa Group, an advisory and venture capital firm, which has recently finalized an investment agreement with an m-health startup in Ethiopia. Elias earned a BS and a MS from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.
Kemi Tijani, Business Manager for Cloud Productivity, Microsoft Nigeria
Business Manager for Cloud Productivity, Microsoft Nigeria
Kemi serves as the Business Manager for Cloud Productivity at Microsoft Nigeria, and is charged with providing leadership to Microsoft’s customers and partners in the region as they transform their businesses by leveraging Cloud and Mobile technologies.
Prior to joining Microsoft in 2013, Kemi was involved in pioneering the ecommerce industry in Nigeria having served as Head of Merchandising and Category Management at Konga.com and as an MBA Consultant at Jumia.com – the two largest ecommerce startups in Nigeria.
She holds a degree in Computer Science and an MBA in General Management from INSEAD Business School, and is passionate about technology driven innovation and how it can be leveraged to create solutions to problems faced by people in Africa.
Oji Udezue, CEO, Mingl
Oji Udezue is an accomplished technologist, product manager and product marketing professional with over 15 years of experience, which spans the USA and other international locations.
Two words encapsulate his professional experience: product innovation and leadership. He’s built on a core of increasing responsibility and success in hands on engineering and product management; and then diversified his skills to product marketing, sales enablement and general management. This experience spans platforms, applications and services (consumer and enterprise). In the last 8 years, working with and leading great teams: Oji has shipped versions of Windows, built social and mobile apps, built a photo storage and sharing service and led product marketing & launch activities for industry leading enterprise developer tools and web services. Oji lead technology innovation and transformation for one of the most innovative and technologically intensive asset management firms, Bridgewater Associates.
More recently, Oji has started his own mobile and cloud technology firm, Mingl; which focuses on enabling a pop-up social networking solution for events, shared and mobile workspaces and other social gatherings.
Oji is very hands on product professional that is heavily influenced by lean methods pioneered by Steve Blank for product development, which emphasize the use of customer and market driven data for decision making and relies on agile methods to improve the speed and quality of delivering successful products.
Before starting his career at Microsoft, Oji was a researcher in high-speed broadband networks at the University of Southern California, contributing to the current understanding and standards that comprise the global internet, especially in mobile internet connectivity. He also worked at Wind River Systems (now Cisco), a company specializing in intelligent embedded systems, to bring some of the internet related research to life in several key products at the turn of the new millennium.
Oji is strongly motivated to give back and to help the global disadvantaged with special passion for Africa. In 2007, he worked with the office of the president of Nigeria to assist in formulating the first national information technology policy of Nigeria. He also did key public policy advocacy, making the case for diversifying the Nigerian economic base into the global outsourcing market. In 2011, he spent time in Israel/Palestine to consult and help design an SMS social network for rural women entrepreneurs in Nablus, Palestine. In 2013, he started the Kernel Fund, a small angel investment group focusing on very early stage investment in technology startups in Nigeria. He is one of the founders of Africans@Microsoft which worked to create a community of people within Microsoft to assist in the professional development of Africans working for Microsoft and also helped Microsoft effectively direct investments on the continent.
Oji has a B.Eng in Electrical/Electronics Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Nigeria, an M.Sc in Networks and Computer Science from the University of Southern California and a double MBA from UC Berkeley and Columbia University.
Oji is an inventor, with 14 patents granted or pending.
Recently. Oji started micro seed fund, Kernel Fund, investing in technology enabled startups in West Africa.
In his spare time, Oji writes and tinkers and rides his motorcycle.
Steven Smolinsky, President and Co-Founder of Benari LTD
President and Co-Founder of Benari LTD
Smolinsky is President and Co-Founder of Benari LTD, a consultancy to CEOs, Presidents, and business owners and their leadership teams. 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,Latin America, and UAE 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 including in numerous African countries. Africa projects include work for commercial enterprises, governments, and NGOs. Representative clients include Gates Foundation, Africa Development Bank, Microsoft, Bead for Life, Botswana-UPenn Partnership, Mosaic, and the United Nations.
Ten Tips to Building a Successful Business in Africa (hosted by McKinsey & Co.)
Africa’s economic growth is creating huge new business opportunities. McKinsey’s Lions on the Move report projects that by 2020 four industries—consumer, agriculture, resources, and infrastructure—could generate as much as $2.6 trillion in revenue annually, $1 trillion more than today. The rise of the African urban consumer will fuel long-term growth. The number of households with discretionary income is projected to rise by 50 percent over the next 10 years to $128 million and by 2030, Africa’s top 18 cities could have combined spending power of $1.3 trillion. But it’s not that easy. Africa presents a set of monumental challenges to the would-be business investor: poor infrastructure, lack of regulation and political instability to name but three. So how can businesses capitalise on Africa’s potential? In this session, Safroadu Yeboah-Amankwah, a director in McKinsey’s Johannesburg office, lays out the top 10 things you need to know about leading a business successfully in Africa, touching on topics such as finding, leading and developing talent, being aware of cultural nuance, managing local government and engaging with the rest of the world.
Safroadu “Saf” Yeboah-Amankwah, Global Director, McKinsey & Company Johannesburg
Safroadu “Saf” Yeboah-Amankwah
Global Director, McKinsey & Company Johannesburg
Saf Yeboah-Amankwah is a global director at McKinsey & Company’s Johannesburg Office. Over the last 16 years at McKinsey, he has served major global High Tech, Telecom, Private Equity and Public Sector organizations on corporate and growth strategy, performance transformation in operations and IT effectiveness. A citizen of the United States and Ghana, Saf earned a bachelor’s and a Master’s degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1993 and 1994 respectively. As of March, 2009, Saf is also a director of the United Negro College Fund.