An healthcare technology domain expert, Afsar Akal is the founder of Bloxperiment, a venture for social experimentation of disruptive technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI). He has previously performed senior level roles at major corporations such as IBM and Intel Corp in the field of healthcare technology and artificial intelligence. His early career was in the public and international civil service such as Queensland Health, Medicare Australia and the UN World Health Organization. His last role before venturing into blockchain and AI, was Associate Partner at IBM Watson Health covering Turkey Middle East and Africa region. During his career Afsar lived and worked in Australia, China, Vietnam and Kenya and possesses good knowledge of international development. Afsar holds a BA degree from Bogazici University Business Administration and an MSc degree from University of Liverpool on International Accounting and Finance.
Since 2014 he has been working in Nigeria as CEO of the construction and infrastructure company AG Dangote, a partnership between the largest private African group Dangote and the Brazilian company Andrade Gutierrez.
Previously he was CEO and President of some major companies in Portugal, Algeria and Libya. Born in Mozambique with Portuguese nationality, he graduated in Civil Engineering from Instituto Superior de Engenharia in Lisbon.
Ashwani K. Muthoo
Ashwani Muthoo is the Director of the Global Engagement and Multilateral Relations Division (GEM) at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). He has over 25 years of professional and managerial experience, focusing on global policies and
issues in the agricultural and rural sectors. His work experience covers more than 50 developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Near East and North Africa regions. Muthoo was previously Deputy Director in IFAD's Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE). He also served as Officer in Charge, IOE in 2012-2013, reporting directly to the Executive Board. Muthoo has a Master's degree in Data Engineering and a Bachelors with Honors in Management and Computer Science, from the University of Keele, United Kingdom. He is fluent in English, Hindi, Italian, and Portuguese, and has some knowledge of French and Spanish.
John A. Kufuor Foundation
Prof. Baffour Agyeman-Duah is currently the Chief Executive Officer of The John A. Kufuor Foundation, founded by His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, former President of the Republic of Ghana. For ten years (2005 – 2014), he worked for the United Nations, first, as UN Senior Governance Advisor in Tanzania and, secondly, as Senior Special Advisor to the United Nation Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). In both positions he worked closely with governance institutions, providing critical analysis and advice to governments and the UN Office.
Prior to working for the UN, he was Associate Executive Director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), an independent public policy think-tank, which he co-founded in 1998. A former university professor, he taught at Bennett College and the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, both in the USA. Between 1994 and 1996, he was Fulbright Professor at the Legon Center for International Affairs, University of Ghana. He has authored four books, including his autobiography, My Ghanaian Odyssey, which was published in 2012. Prof. Agyeman-Duah studied at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana, Ohio University and the University of Denver, USA.
Benedict Okey Oramah assumed the position of Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) on 21 September 2015. He joined Afreximbank as Chief Analyst in 1994 and was promoted to the position of Senior Director, Planning and Business Development in 2007. Prior to joining Afreximbank, he was an Assistant Research Manager at the Nigerian Export Import Bank from 1992. Dr. Oramah holds M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural economics, obtained in 1987 and 1991 respectively, from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He received a B.Sc. degree, also in agricultural economics, from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1983. He has published a book, "Foundations of Structured Trade Finance", and has written more than 35 articles on a wide range of African economic, trade and trade finance issues. He is a regular speaker in trade and trade finance around the world. Dr. Oramah serves as Chairperson of the Africa Chapter of the International Factors Group (IFG) and is on the Board of the IFG and the Boards of Trade and Forfaiting Review and the Journal of African Trade. He is also a member of the Consultative Board on World Cocoa Economy of the International Cocoa Organization.
Bronwyn Nielsen is one of Africa’s most experienced, respected and well-known broadcasters. With over 25 years’ experience in African broadcasting, Bronwyn is regularly called upon by the World Economic Forum to host live panel debates at their events throughout the world. During 2017 alone she has chaired debates and panel discussions at numerous World Economic Forum events including: Switzerland (Davos), South Africa (Cape Town and Durban), UAE (Dubai), China (Dalian), India (New Delhi). She is also called upon by leading business organisations and institutes, such as Milken Institute, African Development Bank and ABN Group (which includes CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa) to moderate key sessions at their global events, which are often broadcast live. Most recently Bronwyn was an Executive Director at Africa Business News (ABN) and was Editor-in-chief at CNBC Africa for four years (2013 – 2017), with responsibility for setting the content agenda for all companies within the ABN Group and driving the group’s strategic growth opportunities across the African continent. Bronwyn has a Bachelors of Commerce from the University of Cape Town and recently completed a Financial course for Senior Executives at Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts.
Republic of Brazil
Celso Amorim has served as Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Relations under President Itamar Franco (1993-1994), and again under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-2010), and as Minister of Defence under President Dilma Rousseff (2011-2014). He was the longest serving Brazilian Foreign Minister. Currently, Amorim is the Chair of Unitaid and a member of the UNSG’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines. He was in charge of drafting the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (2000-2003) and was a member of the UNSG’s High-Level Panel on the Global Response to Health Crises (2015). His contributions to Brazil’s foreign policy and the international community, especially in the area of access to medicines and health, are embodied in the multiple international bodies he helped to create, including Unitaid.
Christopher is the founding and current Director of the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg and has organised exhibitions on Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, Oliver Tambo and the Women’s March among many others. He is the principal driver in the development of the Mandela Capture Site in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal with its new museum and renowned sculpture of Mr Mandela by Marco Cianfanelli, as well as the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria due to open in 2019.
Conceição Nobre Cabral
Republic of Guinea-Bissau
President of NGO Scorpius-Centaurus and International Consultant, Maria da Conceição Nobre Cabral is Former Minister of Foreign Affairs International Cooperation and Communities and Former Minister Adviser of the Head of State for Human Development of Guinea-Bissau. She has over 30 years of experience working as a diplomat in United Nations, United States of America and Belgium.
WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger
Daniel Balaban is Economist, MBA in Finance, Specialist in Public Budget and Master in International Relations. Since August 2011 he is the Director of the World Food Program Centre of Excellence against Hunger in Brazil. Balaban acted for over ten years in the areas of finance and planning in business consulting firms and foundations of welfare facilities. In 1994 he became Finance Analyst of the Brazil’s Ministry of Finance, having served as Economic Adviser to the Secretary of the Treasury and National Coordinator for Economic Studies of the Secretariat of National Treasury. In 2003 he served as Special Adviser to the Secretary of the Economic and Social Development of the Brazil’s Presidency of the Republic.
Hélder da Costa
Helder da Costa is General Secretary of the g7+ Secretariat, an association of 20 fragile and post-conflict affected countries, ranging from the Pacific, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, based in Dili, Timor-Leste. He served as Senior Advisor on Aid Effectiveness to the Ministry of Finance, Timor-Leste (2008-2014) and represented the g7+ in the Steering Committee of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation in 2012-2014.
Mr. Da Costa earned his PhD in Trade Policy at the University of Adelaide, Australia, in 2001. His professional career in management and academic fields included holding senior posts with both the Asia New Zealand Foundation and the
Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) based in Wellington, New Zealand. He has also consulted for various international development agencies including UNDP, UN, ADB, World Bank, AusAID and ACIAR Australia.
Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC)
João Almino is a Brazilian writer and diplomat, author of seven novels. It also has writings of history and political philosophy, are for scholars of authoritarianism and a democracy. He has a doctorate in Paris, guided by the philosopher Claude Lefort. Minister of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), UNB, Rio Branco Institute, University of Berkeley, Stanford University and University of Chicago. Part of his work is translated into English, French, Spanish and Italian, among other languages. On March 8, 2017 he was elected to a chair at the Brazilian Academy of Letters.
João Bosco Monte
Brazil Africa Institute
Founder and current President of Brazil Africa Institute, he holds a PhD in Education from the Federal University of Ceará and Postdoctoral studies from the University of Brasilia (UNB), with the object of research on the integration of the African continent. He is a visiting professor of important Brazilian and African Universities and he is a Senior International Associate of African, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Center - CALACs of Jindal Global University (India). Prof. João Bosco is author of books and publications related to the relations between the various international actors, focusing on the South South Cooperation. He act as an international consultant of Brazilian and foreign organizations and as a columnist and commentator of important media in Brazil.
Abaarso School of Science and Technology
Since 2008, Jonathan has been Managing Director, Headmaster, and Founder of Abaarso School. From 2004 – 2008, Jonathan founded and led Flagg Street Capital, a private investment firm that managed $170 million of assets. Prior to Flagg Street, he worked as an Analyst at SAB Capital and at Blavin and Company. Jonathan’s career started as a Research Associate within the Taxable Bond Division at Fidelity Investments. In addition to his full-time responsibilities, Jonathan sat on the Board of Directors of Pomeroy IT Solutions, a publicly traded IT company generating $500 million of annual sales. Jonathan’s board responsibilities included acting as a member of the Audit Committee, the Advisory Committee, and the Special Committee (strategic alternatives) of Pomeroy. Jonathan graduated from Emory University, with a B.A. Summa Cum Laude in Economics and was a member of Phi Beta Kap.
United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC)
Since October 2015, Mr. Jorge Chediek has been the Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, leading United Nations system-wide promotion and coordination of South-South cooperation for development. In March 2016, Mr. Chediek was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General as his Envoy on South-South Cooperation. Prior to this, Mr. Chediek served as the UN Resident Coordinator/United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Brazil (2010-2015).
Preceding his United Nations career, which began in 1990, Mr. Chediek worked at the Department of Legislative Analysis of the Argentinean Congress and as an independent consultant assisting in the design of financial investment systems in Argentina. Born in 1960, he holds a Master of Science in Foreign Service (honors) from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and a Bachelor of Science (“Licenciado”) in Political Science from Catholic University in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Republic of East Timor
- President of the Republic (2007 - 2012)
- Prime Minister, Minister of Defence (2006-2007)
- Senior Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (2002-2006)
- Member, High Level Board on Mediation, established by the UN Secretary-General (2017-2019);
- Advisor to the President of the UN General Assembly, 2017-2018;
- Commissioner, Global Commission on Drug Policy, Geneva, 2017;
- Chair, High Level Independent Panel on UN Peace Operations, appointed by the UN Secretary-General (November 2014 - 2015), UNHQ, NY;
- Co-Chair, Independent Commission on Multilateralism, (2014-2016), International Peace Institute, NY;
- Under-Secretary-General, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Integrated Peace Building Mission in Guinea-Bissau, (Jan 2013- June 2014);
Joe Osae-Addo was born in Ghana, West Africa, and trained at the Architectural Association in London. He worked in Finland, the UK and the USA, setting up his practice in Los Angeles in 1991. He is a founding partner in the A + D Museum, Los Angeles, whose mission is to advance knowledge and to enable people to appreciate and understand architecture and design. Joe ran his studio in Los Angeles until he moved back to his native country Ghana. He is currently the CEO of Constructs R&D, an design firm based in Accra and Chairman of ArchiAfrika Foundation.
Philip Morris International
Livio was born in Rome, on Oct 13 th 1960. He has a law degree from Universita’ di Roma La Sapienza, and worked as a journalist for almost ten years, covering in Middle East and Iraq, thenvshifted to international and domestic political and economic affairs. Livio joined the private sector in 1998 in Philip Morris, then he moved to Lottomatica, marketvleader in payment services, with the position of Vice President for Marketing and Communication. He returned to Philip Morris Italy as General Director in 2005, accountable for Sales Distribution. From 2007 until 2009, Livio was General Manager for Philip Morris in the Slovak Republic. From February 2009 up until March 2014, Livio has headed Corporate Affairs for Philip Morris for the European Union Region. And from 2014 to 2017 he lead the Corporate Affairs department as Vice President Corporate Affairs for Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and Duty Free, where he was also accountable for the business in Israel. Since March this year, he has been appointed Vice President for Global Partnerships and Cooperation, fully focusing on the transformation of the business with the new purpose of designing a smoke free future, replacing cigarettes with reduced risk products.
Maria do Carmo Silveira
Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP)
Born in February 1961 in São Tomé and Príncipe, she is married with three children and has solid experience in defining and managing macroeconomic and financial policies. She has twice been appointed Governor of the Central Bank of São Tomé and Príncipe and has extensive professional experience dealing with bilateral and multilateral partners, acquired as director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. She was Prime Minister and Head of Government of São Tomé and Príncipe, also accumulating the functions of Minister of Planning and Finance. Defender of the rights of women and children, women's empowerment and gender equity, was elected President of Fórum Mulher São-Tomense, an NGO federation for these issues.
Dr Nthabiseng Legoete is a medical practitioner who is passionate about improving access to primary healthcare. She has a vision that if realised, will make quality primary healthcare affordable for all global citizens in emerging markets. She founded Quali Health in May 2016. This organization provides affordable high quality healthcare services to the disenfranchised communities of South Africa. This network of clinics currently services 500 patients a day. She has spent the last 10 years navigating the private health sector, firstly as a medical advisor and product manager in the pharmaceutical division of Roche products and also as a partner in a medical practice that manages three emergency units in South Africa. Her main role was that of clinical director. Nthabiseng also has experience in the sub-acute environment and sees this as another opportunity to exploit in order to curb exhorbitant and often unnecessary private healthcare costs. Nthabiseng completed her MBA through the Gordon Institute of Business Science. Her research topic entitled, “Factors that influence the non- urgent use of emergency departments in the South African private healthcare sector" seeks to aid in the development of divergent strategies for these patients.
African Development Bank Group (AfDB)
Oley Lucretia Clara Dibba-Wadda is Director of Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development of the African Development Bank Group. She leads the Bank's dialogue and investments in education, qualification and youth employment; health, nutrition and social protection. As a social development executive and strategic analyst with over 21 years of leadership and management experience, Ms. Dibba-Ledda led many extraordinary interventions, including mobilizing African decision-makers to focus on human capital and youth development in the continent.
Prior to joining AfDB, she was Executive Secretary of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) - a pan-African institution organized by the African Development Bank. Previously, she served as the Executive Director of the Forum for African Women Educators (FAWE), a pan-African organization to promote girls' education throughout sub-Saharan Africa. She also served as the Executive Director of Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) - an African organization on women, peace and security in Africa.
Omar Ben Yedder
Omar is the Group Publisher and Managing Director of one of Africa’s leading media and communications groups, IC Publications. IC Publications is committed to serving the interests of Africa, and that is the ethos that drives all of the group's activities. The group publishes amongst other New African and African Business magazines. It also organises a number of Africa focused events. Omar's work and personal interests include media, development economics, leadership and education. He sits on the board of the Africa Media Initiative and Brand Africa. Omar studied Economics and Modern Languages at Durham University and has qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant.
South East Asia-Africa Chamber of Commerce
Paulo Gomes is a global business leader, active environmentalist and a key political actor in Guinea Bissau. He has founded Paulo Gomes and Partners, a strategic advisory and investment firm focused on a high level limited set and sectors of clients with advice and tailored made solutions, a natural outcome of years advising governments and businesses on strategic investments as well as years on serving on boards ofvfirms such as AFIG, Asky Airlines and Ecobank. Founder of the South East Asia-Africa Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Advisory Board his business reach touched all continents and interests, Paulo is also a senior advisor to PIL Group.
Paulo Rogério Nunes
Vale do Dendê
CEO of Vale do Dendê, Paulo Rogério Nunes is the co-founder of the Instituto Midia Étnica, the largest Black media NGO in Brazil that operates since 2005. He also cofunded the news portal Correio Nagô, focused in diversity, human rights and inclusion. Mr. Nunes was also a Fulbright Humphrey Fellow (2011-2012) at the University of Maryland, where he studied Journalism and Digital Media during his Fulbright fellowship. In 2016, he created the first Black Startup accelerator in the Northeast of Brazil, Vale do Dendê, based in Salvador, Bahia, the most African city in Brazil. Paulo was one of the 11 young leaders invited by the ex-president Barack Obama to a privite meet in his last visit to Brazil and also spoke on the opening cerimony of the first Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago. He is also affiliate to the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University.
Simbarashe is 33 years old and is the Founder and Managing Director of Oxygen Africa, a Zimbabwean renewable energy development company focused on commercial and industrial rooftop solar photovoltaic projects. Oxygen is currently developing 50MW rooftop solar project with Old Mutual Property Zimbabwe, the largest property investment managers in Zimbabwe; as well as a second with Minerva Risk Advisors, a leading provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage and employee benefits consulting in Zimbabwe. Simba has been named by Forbes Magazine as one of Africa’s 30 most promising young entrepreneurs in 2018. Most Influential People of African Descent under 40 (MIPAD 100), a global civil society initiative UN-backed, named Simba among its 2017 honourees for business and entrepreneurship inside Africa.
Waleed Al Wohaib
Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development
Dr. Waleed Abdulmohsen Al-Wohaib is the Chief Executive Officer of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation. Previously he occupied a number of positions in the Kuwaiti public sector, including Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Affairs from 1993 to 1994. Before that he was Vice Assistant for Administrational Development Affairs in the Civil Service Department and also worked as Assistant Director for Research and Developmental Affairs in Kuwait Municipality. In 1994 Dr. Al-Wohaib represented his country, Kuwait, at the World Trade Organization membership signing ceremony in Marrakesh. While in the Kuwaiti Civil Service Department, Al-Wohaib made an outstanding contribution to the establishment of the Human Resources Development Center. Other achievements in the social, academic and political areas include preparation of the Independent Municipalities Law and the organizational structure development project. He has taught the subject of Public Policies at the University of Kuwait and has conducted many training courses and workshops in both Kuwait and the USA about educational issues such as success skills, self development, performance measurement, strategic planning and other related subjects. Al-Wohaib obtained his Doctorate and Master’s degrees, specializing in Public Administration, from the University of California in 1985 and 1989, and his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kuwait.
Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)
Yemi Akinbamijo is executive director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and an agricultural research for development expert. A Nigerian national, he has spent the past three decades of his career in Africa and Europe working in the domains of international agriculture, food and nutrition security, natural resource management, including crop-livestock integrated systems, market-oriented production systems, regional value chains, urban agriculture, land use management, sustainable agriculture and climate change adaptation. Akinbamijo is a strong analytical and strategic thinker. He is an active contributor to the global discourse on strategies for attaining a sustainable and inclusive agricultural transformation. He is also a consummate networker who is solidly plugged into an extensive community of stakeholders in the African agricultural and rural development landscape, including donors. Akinbamijo is widely published and is a former editor of the Bulletin of Animal Health and Production in Africa (peer-review journal) and lead author of the book "Advances in Crop-livestock integration in West African Cities".