Be Part of the Conversation: Speakers Not to Miss at the African Economic Forum
Thought leaders and entrepreneurs from the continent and the Diaspora will be convened in a series of interactive discussions and conversations at Columbia University’s African Economic Forum. We are excited to meet this people and look forward to the forum!
1. Lola Ogunnaike
Lola Ogunnaike is one of the leading pop culture authorities in the country. In her decade long journalism career, she’s covered many major entertainment and culture stories and interviewed dozens of luminaries, everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Sting.
2. Rasheed Sha
Reshaad is Managing Partner of TechnoDynamiX, a boutique telecoms strategy consulting company. In his role as Managing Partner, Reshaad leads and executes strategy engagements with telecom operators across the Middle East and Africa.
Ikem Emelieze is the Chief Technology Officer of Interswitch Limited Nigeria, where he provides strategic direction on Information Technology and Services. Interswitch Limited is a leading integrated payment and transaction processing company that provides services and payment solutions to government, banks, and corporate organizations. Interswitch is currently working on innovations in support of the new drive towards a “cashless” Nigeria.
4. Michael Spencer
Founder and CEO
Michael Spencer is an ex-Wall Street implementation manager and veteran entrepreneur focused on bringing innovative business solutions to social problems in the developing world. Michael has 25+ years experience leading large-scale implementation projects for Fortune 500 companies such as Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Bank of New York, Lloyds of London and British Telecom.
5. Obafemi Agaba
Head, Brand Protection Unit
Jackson, Etti & Edu
Obafemi Agaba is Head, Brand Protection Unit at Jackson, Etti & Edu, a foremost commercial law Firm, and leader in the Intellectual Property field of practice in Nigeria.
6. Celia & Helene Faussart
The women of Les Nubians were shaped by many influences. The Paris-born sisters Hélène and Célia Faussart lived as teenagers in a small town in the South West region of France, after returning from several years' residence with their French father and Cameroonian mother in Chad..
7. Wale Adeosun
President of Nigeria Higher Education Foundation.
Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Kuramo Capital Management, LLC.
Kuramo Capital Management is an investment management firm based in New York City that provides global investment services in alternatives with a focus on Emerging and Frontier markets. Kuramo Capital is also the general partner of Kuramo Africa Opportunity Fund, a vehicle focused on Sub-Saharan Africa investments.
8. MacDella Cooper
President & Chairman
MacDella Cooper Foundation
Ms. Cooper came to America in 1993, one of countless thousands of refugees of the Liberian civil war. Today, Ms. Cooper has become known as Liberia’s Angel, attracting international investors to Liberian markets and creating awareness of the plight of the Liberian children through her humanitarian initiatives.
9. Professor Teboho Moja
Clinical Professor of Higher Education at New York University
Teboho Moja has authored articles on higher education reform issues in areas such as the governance of higher education, policy processes, and impact of globalization on higher education. She is a co-author of a book on educational change in South Africa since the first democratic elections in 1994. Her teaching experience includes high school and university levels.
10. Natalie Dickson
First Hydrocarbon Nigeria
Natalie Dickson is the Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs at First Hydrocarbon Nigeria (FHN)
Prior to joining FHN she worked in the leading law firms in the United States (most recently with White & Case LLP), where she has significant experience in acquisitions, structured finance, and secured transactions in the energy sphere and with public-private partnerships for the development of infrastructure in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.
11. Lolu Adubifa
Lolu is currently the Country Executive for GE Energy for Nigeria. He has over a decade’s experience in the Energy industry in North America, and West Africa. He has held roles in management consulting with Arthur D. Little in Boston, and Accenture in Lagos, where he was an executive in the Energy practice.
12. Enyinne Owunwanne
Enyinne Owunwanne is Founder and Creative Director of Heritage1960, an online retail destination for discovering global African fashion + lifestyle brands. Enyinne has been recognized by The Huffington Post, New York Times, Applause Africa, Arise Magazine, United Nations, Womensphere Global Leadership Summit and more for her entrepreneurial endeavors.
14. Helen Jennings
Helen Jennings is the editor of ARISE magazine, the award-winning global quarterly title celebrating African fashion, music, culture and society. She has been at the magazine's helm since its launch in 2008 and it is now sold in over 20 countries worldwide.
15. Georgie Badiel
Georgie Badiel grew up in Burkina Faso where she started modeling at the age of 15. She won Miss Burkina Faso in 2002 and Miss Africa in 2004 in Tunisia, which helped her launch her international modelling career in Paris in 2005. In 2008 she signed with MUSE agency and moved to New York, where she is now based. Badiel has walked for designers including Mark Jacobs, Diane von Furstenberg, Oscar de la Renta, Paul Smith, Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors.
Head of Debt Capital Markets
Egie Akpata is the Head of Debt Capital Markets at UBA Capital, the investment banking subsidiary of United Bank for Africa PLC. He has over 16 years of experience in energy and banking. Prior to UBA Capital, Egie was Head of Structured Finance at BGL PLC in Lagos. Before moving back to Nigeria, Egie was an Assistant Vice President in the Global Markets group of Deutsche Bank AG New York. He joined DB after working at Enbridge Pipelines and Bank of Montreal in Canada
17. Letty Chiwara
Chief, Africa Division – UN Women
Letty Chiwara is the Regional Director of the Africa Division at UN Women.
Letty Chiwara is the Regional Director of the Africa Division at UN Women.
Chiwara is a member of a number of Africa-based networks including, among others, the Africa Gender and Development Evaluators Network (AGDEN), the Regional Gender Steering and Implementation Committee established by UNDP-Regional Bueureau for Africa, the UNDP Policy Network and also serves as Co-Chair of the Regional Steering Committee of the Africa UNiTE Campaign to end violence against women in Africa..
18. Isaiah Chabala
Former Zambian Ambassador to EU
Founder Visionary Consulting
Honorable Isaiah Chabala is the Former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Zambia to the European Union and United Nations. He has worked extensively with various United Nations programs and agencies including the UN Security Council, UNICEF, the UN Commission on Human Rights, UN Economic and Social Council and UNESCO.
19. Mary Olushoga
African Women Power(AWP) Network
Mary Olushoga is a small business advocate and entrepreneur. She is founder of The AWP Network (www.awpnetwork.com), an organization with strategic goals to support emerging entrepreneurs..
20. Dr Koso – Thomas
NIH / NICHD
Marion Koso joined NICHD in 2008 and is a key member of the Global Network (GN) team responsible for extramural research activities including oversight of scientific integrity, monitoring of performance and safety, and implementation of protocols.
21. Mametja Moshe
Identity Capital Partners
Mametja Moshe has vast African mining experience in Mergers & Acquisitions (“M&A”), restructurings, equity & debt capital markets, Economic Empowerment, mining tax and legislature having worked at Morgan Stanley, UBS and KPMG where she covered South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia and Nigeria
22. Eddie Bergmann
Africa Travel Association
Eddie Bergman has served as Executive Director of Africa Travel Association (ATA) since June 2006. He co-founded and serves as President of the Board of MCW (Miracle Corners of the World), an NGO devoted to empowering youth to make positive change in their communities with a special focus on Africa. He is also an adjunct professor of tourism at New York University (NYU) and in social entrepreneurship at SUNY Stony Brook University. Eddie is Co-CEO of E&E Grill House, a restaurant located in Times Square, New York City.
23. Dr. Marcos Troyjo
Co-Director, BRICLab & Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
Marcos Troyjo is the Co-Director of the recently-established BRICLab at Columbia University, a SIPA special forum on Brazil, Russia, India and China. He is also the founder of the Center for Business Diplomacy, an independent think-tank on global entrepreneurship.
24. Dr. Inyang Ebong-Harstrup
Deputy Director of the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation
Currently serving as the Deputy Director of the Special Unit for South/South Cooperation, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Inyang Ebong-Harstrup received her B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and Ph.D in Modern British and European History 1815-1951, from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
25. Rebecca Rogerson
Rebecca (Nomadlozi) Rogerson: As a registered Traditional African Healer (Isangoma), Rebecca Rogerson has been exposed to people of all ages, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Her contribution to significant initiatives has included development of a national traditional healer HIV/AIDS program in Botswana.
28. Ony Okoro
Ony Okoro is the founder of APEX LEGAL. Her practice focuses on intellectual property law, with an emphasis on technology procurement and management. Ms. Okoro counsels biotechnology, pharmaceutical and high technology companies on a variety of intellectual property matters, including patent licensing, technology transfer and protection, joint ventures and research collaborations, trade secret protection, technology development, distribution and outsourcing.
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