Keynote Speakers

Ambassador John Simon

Founding Partner, TIA; Former U.S. Ambassador, African Union and Former Executive Vice President, OPIC

Prior to founding Total Impact Advisors, Ambassador John Simon was nominated by President Bush to serve as the United States Ambassador to the African Union. Prior to working for the U.S. Federal Government, Ambassador Simon served as the Executive Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). At OPIC, Ambassador Simon championed the Agency’s involvement in the social impact investment marketplace, spearheading efforts to finance housing in Africa, small and medium businesses in Liberia, and a large scale renewable power plant in Liberia. Ambassador Simon led the Agency’s effort to develop a series of social development funds for Africa, which resulted in the creation of four private equity funds focused on achieving extraordinary social results as well as strong financial performance.

Ambassador Simon also served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Relief, Stabilization, and Development for the National Security Council (NSC) at the White House, the first to hold this post. During his tenure at NSC, Ambassador Simon oversaw the implementation of groundbreaking development initiatives, including the Millennium Challenge Account, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, and the President’s Malaria Initiative. He was also responsible for the U.S. government response to international humanitarian disasters, such as the 2005 South Asia Earthquake.

Ambassador Simon spent the years prior to this as the Deputy Assistant Administrator at the United States Agency for International Development, overseeing the Agency’s development information and evaluation units. Earlier in his career, he served as Director of Business Finance and Strategic Planning at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and worked for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Executive Office for Administration and Finance in several capacities, including Deputy Director for Research and Development.

Ambassador Simon received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University.

Uyi Akpata

Country and Regional Senior Partner, PwC West Africa

Uyi Akpata obtained a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Accounting from the University of Lagos in 1984. He joined the legacy firm of Coopers & Lybrand in September 1984. He qualified as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in November 1986 and is currently a Fellow of the Institute.

He was admitted as a Partner in October 1992 and has obtained extensive experience in leading the audits of companies in various sectors of the Nigerian economy. In October 1998 following the merger of Price Waterhouse and Coopers and Lybrand, he became one of the partners responsible for Assurance services in the Energy Business Unit. He served as the Chairman of the Governance Board of Africa Central, from July 2008 to June 2012.

Uyi has for the last 15 years been playing Engagement leader role on Assurance engagements, including those relating to the firm’s notable Global audit clients, such as ExxonMobil and Chevron.

He was appointed Head of the Energy Industry Group for Nigeria in 2003 and Africa Oil & Gas Industry Leader in October 2012, and is a member of the Global Oil and Gas Leadership team.

Uyi was the Nigeria firm’s representative in the Professional Practice Section of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria for 5 years up to December 2007, and member of the Institute’s Faculty Board on Audit and Forensic Accounting from 2009 to June 2013.

Uyi was appointed Regional Senior Partner, for the West Market Area and Country Senior partner for Nigeria on 1 July, 2014.

Papa Madiaw Ndiaye


Prior to AFIG Funds, Papa was an Investment Director at Emerging Markets Partnership in Washington. He was one of three partners to raise the $407 million AIG African Infrastructure Fund, which when launched in 2000, was the largest ever pan-African Fund (about 30% net annual return to date). Prior to joining EMP, he held senior responsibilities for IFC’s equity and debt investment activities in capital markets and financial institutions in Africa between 1996 and 2000 and helped launch several landmark funds in Africa. Papa spent the early part of his career at Salomon Brothers and joined JP Morgan’s Emerging Markets Group in 1992. In 1994, he launched JP Morgan’s securities trading in Africa and the Middle East. In 2000, Papa was named Special Advisor for Economic and Financial Affairs to the President of the Republic of Senegal and Chairman of the Senegalese Presidential Economic & Financial Advisory Council. In the same year, he launched MIDROC BVI, a direct investment vehicle for Sheikh Mohammed Al-Amoudi, a lead investor in the AIG African Infrastructure Fund.

He serves on the boards of a number of African companies and non-profit organizations involved with Africa. He holds an M.B.A. degree from the Wharton School of Business, an M.A. in International Affairs from the University of Pennsylvania’s Lauder Institute, and a B.A. in economics from Harvard College. In 2004, he was selected as a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum of Davos and then as one of the ‘’Frontier 100 CEOs’’ of the Initiative for Global Development in 2009. He is a citizen of Senegal.

Panelists and Moderators

Daniel HullsCEO, AgDevCoAchieving Africa’s Green Revolution
Kate TickelGrassroots Reconciliation GroupAchieving Africa’s Green Revolution
Keren WeitzbergPost-Doctoral Researcher, University of PennsylvaniaAchieving Africa’s Green Revolution
Walter LambersonSenior Project Manager, Dalberg Global Development AdvisorsAchieving Africa’s Green Revolution
Kathryn RussellPolicy Director Agriculture and Inclusive Growth, One.org, Achieving Africa’s Green Revolution
Chude JideonwoManaging Partner, Red Media AfricaDemocratizing Africa
Sonia PlazaSenior Economist, The World BankDemocratizing Africa
Femi TairuDirector, PwC Democratizing Africa
Roger NordDeputy Director, IMF's African DepartmentDemocratizing Africa
Landry SigneFellow, Stanford University Center for African StudiesDemocratizing Africa
Derek SaleebyFounding & Managing Partner, Total Impact AdvisorsDiversifying Private Equity
Alan FieldsManaging Director, Abraaj GroupDiversifying Private Equity
Kamal PallanPartner and Chief Operating Officer, Kuramo Capital ManagementDiversifying Private Equity
Dan KeelerFrontier Markets Editor, Wall Street Journal Diversifying Private Equity
Ganesh RengaswamyManaging Director, Frontier Investments Group AccionDiversifying Private Equity
Edward StokesIntrepid HROpportunities Created by The Flourishing African Consumer
Frank AduCEO, CAL BankOpportunities Created by The Flourishing African Consumer
Alden EdmondsDirector at Liberty Eagle Holdings - Subway
Franchise in Kenya
Opportunities Created by The Flourishing African Consumer
Chiefy NdoumVice President and General Counsel, Groupe NduomOpportunities Created by The Flourishing African Consumer
Dr. Felix OlaleChairman, Excelsior GroupCan Technology Enable Healthcare for All?
Dr Ladi AwosikaCEO, Total Health TrustCan Technology Enable Healthcare for All?
Deirdre WhiteCEO, PYXERA GlobalCan Technology Enable Healthcare for All?
Anna Thompson-QuayeDeputy Director, Innovative Finance & Private Sector Partnerships, GAVI AllianceCan Technology Enable Healthcare for All?
Deo OnyangoSales Leader – Sub-Saharan Africa, GE Power & Water, Renewable EnergyInnovation in Energy: Bridging the Gap through Technology, Infrastructure, and Partnerships
Joe OliverSenior Manager, Deloitte Financial Advisory ServicesInnovation in Energy: Bridging the Gap through Technology, Infrastructure, and Partnerships
James NewlandsLead Partner – Africa Investment Plan, EYInnovation in Energy: Bridging the Gap through Technology, Infrastructure, and Partnerships
Esiri AgbeyiDirector, International tax services-Africa Desk, PwCInnovation in Energy: Bridging the Gap through Technology, Infrastructure, and Partnerships
Gaurav ManchandaCEO & Founder, One Degree SolarInnovation in Energy: Bridging the Gap through Technology, Infrastructure, and Partnerships
Mary IwelumoPartner, Strategy and Operations, PwC NigeriaFamily Businesses as the Nucleus of Growth in Africa (Hosted by PwC)
Stefano NiavasPartner and Managing Director, BCG JohannesburgLocal Dynamos: How Do Local African Dynamos Win at Home? (hosted by BCG)
Safroadu “Saf” Yeboah-AmankwahGlobal Director, McKinsey JohannesburgTen Tips to Building a Successful Business in Africa (Hosted by McKinsey & Co.)
Kunmi OtitojuCEO, MinkuManufacturing: From Asian Tiger to African Lion?
Tugba GurcanlarPrivate Sector Development Specialist, World Bank GroupManufacturing: From Asian Tiger to African Lion?
Herman BighamCEO, Tosheka Textiles, LLCManufacturing: From Asian Tiger to African Lion?
Stephen S GolubProfessor of Economics at Swarthmore CollegeManufacturing: From Asian Tiger to African Lion?
James D. ThompsonCo-founder and Director, Wharton Social Entrepreneurship ProgramManufacturing: From Asian Tiger to African Lion?
Chi AchebeProgram Manager, Anzisha Prize, African Leadership AcademyRethinking Education
Sarah SladenSenior Manager for International Youth Development, InterActionRethinking Education
Pape SambChairman, Global Youth Innovation NetworkRethinking Education
Daniel WagnerProfessor of Education, University of PennsylvaniaRethinking Education
Oji UdezueCEO, MinglSilicon Valley in Africa: Desirable or Doubtful?
Elias SchulzeCEO, Kaymu (Africa Internet Holdings company)Silicon Valley in Africa: Desirable or Doubtful?
Steven SmolinskyPresident and Co-Founder of Benari LTDSilicon Valley in Africa: Desirable or Doubtful?
Kemi TijaniBusiness Manager for Cloud Productivity, Microsoft NigeriaSilicon Valley in Africa: Desirable or Doubtful?
Chinedu EnekweCo-Founder and Executive Director, TiphubSilicon Valley in Africa: Desirable or Doubtful?