Countries / Territories

WEDF 2019 - Speakers

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    9:00-10:00   OFFICIAL OPENING


    her excelleny

    Her Excellency Ms. Fetlework Gebregziabher Abrha,  Minister, Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI)

    Her Excellency Fetlework Gebregziabher Abrha has a Master of Science from the London School of Economics.

    Before she assumed her current position, she has served in various senior posts in the Federal democratic Republic of Ethiopia, including Regional Bureau Head of Trade, Industry and Urban Development; Director General of the Federal Finance Intelligence; Head of Public Relations and Urban Sector.


    Amb. Albert M. Muchanga

    Amb. Albert M. Muchanga,  Commissioner for Trade and Industry, African Union

    Albert Muchanga was elected Commissioner for Trade and Industry of the African Union in 2017. He previously served as Permanent Secretary in the Zambian Cabinet Office in charge of Parliamentary Affairs and Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union.

    Mr. Muchanga has held responsibilities for international economic and foreign policy analysis and implementation. He is a central figure in the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area, an economic space comprising 55 members of the African Union promoting trade of duty free goods and services.



    Ms. Arancha González, Executive Director, International Trade Centre

    Arancha González, an expert in international trade issues with 20 years of experience, has served as Executive Director of ITC since September 2013.

    Before joining ITC, she served as Chief of Staff to World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Pascal Lamy from 2005 to 2013. During her tenure at the WTO, she played an active role in launching the Aid for Trade initiative and served as Mr. Lamy's representative at the G-20. Prior to working at the WTO, Ms. González held several positions at the European Commission, including spokeswoman for trade and adviser to the European Union Trade Commissioner. Ms. González co-chairs the World Economic Forum (WEF) Agenda Council on the Future of Trade and Investment.   


    10:00-11:30              INVESTING IN ONE AFRICA


    Abebe Abebayehu Chekol

    Abebe Abebayehu Chekol, Commissioner, Ethiopian Investment Commission

    Prior to his current position, Mr. Chekol was the Senior Legal Advisor at the Office of the Prime Minister. He served as Deputy Commissioner at the Ethiopian Investment Commission where he led the policy research, investment promotion and investment climate reform workstreams. Mr. Chekol has over 15 years of experience working on private sector development, economic policy and regulatory reform, negotiation of international trade and investment agreements, academic research and teaching.

    Before he joined the Commission, he worked at the International Finance Corporation / World Bank Group where he spearheaded the effort to establish a structured public-private-dialogue in Ethiopia.

    He obtained his first degree in law from Addis Ababa University, an LL.M in International Trade and Investment Law from the University of Western Cape, South Africa and an LL.M in Energy Law and Policy from the University of Dundee, United Kingdom.


    Tewolde GebreMaria

    Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam,  Group Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines

    Mr. GebreMariam began his career at Ethiopian Airlines in 1985 and became CEO in 2011, winning multiple awards including 'African CEO of the Year'. He also serves as a member of the High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport with United Nations.

    Mr. GebreMariam holds a B.A. Degree in Economics from Addis Ababa University, a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Open University in the United Kingdom, and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa from Addis Ababa University.


    Israr Ahmed Mecca

    Mr. Israr Ahmed Mecca,  Director, Farida Group

    Mr Israr Ahmed Mecca is one of the promoters of Farida Group. The group manufactures leather shoes with an annual turnover of $320 million, with manufacturing operations in India, Ethiopia and Bangladesh.

    He holds an MBA from Boston University, has 23 years of experience in the export business and is involved in various industry organizations. Mr. Ahmed also participates in CSR activities. He has organized medical camps, education drives, promotion of women empowerment and entrepreneurial development programmes. 


    Khumbudzo Ntshavheni

    H.E. Ms. Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, Minister of Small Business Development, South Africa

    Ms. Ntshavheni served as the Municipal Manager of Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality in Limpopo, South Africa, from 2008-2010. Her previous professional responsibilities include Tourism Manager, Trade and Investment Limpopo and Chief Information Officer for the Department of Local Government and Housing (Limpopo), Spokesperson to the Premier of Limpopo and Lecturer at the University of South Africa.

    She is the founding Director and Chairwoman of Nkho Trading, a transport business with interests in property development. She is a member of the African National Congress Youth League and is active in several youth and community structures.

    She holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Bradford University in the United Kingdom and a Bachelor of Arts Hons Development Studies and Hon Labour Relations, both from the University of Johannesburg.


    enedict Okey Oramah

    Dr. Benedict Okey Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board, African Export-Import Bank

    Dr. Benedict Okey Oramah assumed his current position in September 2015, after having joined the bank in 1994 as Chief Analyst.

    Prior to joining Afreximbank, he was an Assistant Research Manager at the Nigerian Export Import Bank from 1992. Dr. Oramah serves as Chairperson of the Africa Chapter of the International Factors Group, board member of the Editorial Boards of Trade and Forfaiting Review, and member of the Journal of African Trade and the Consultative Board on World Cocoa Economy of the International Cocoa Organization. Dr. Oramah holds M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural economics from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. He is the author of "Foundations of Structured Trade Finance".


    Ranieri Sabatucci

    H.E. Mr. Ranieri Sabatucci, Ambassador and Head of the European Union Delegation to the African Union

    During his 30 years working with European Institutions, in Brussels, Dar es Salaam, and Pretoria, H.E. Mr. Sabatucci has covered thematic areas ranging from trade and development to politics, peace and security.

    His most recent position was as Head of the Division for relations with South East Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), at the European External Action Service.

    He has a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from the University of Perugia in Italy.


     Hani Salem Sonbol

    Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, Chief Executive Officer, International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation

    His career in development banking started three decades ago, where he served in many technical and leading positions across the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDBG). He previously served as Director of the IDBG President's Office, Director of IDBG Regional Office Morocco, Director Trade Finance and Promotion Department, Deputy CEO ITFC, and Acting CEO at the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit.


    shish J. Thakkar

    Mr. Ashish J. Thakkar, Chief Executive Officer, Mara Phones

    Mr. Thakkar has driven the growth of the Mara Group from a small IT business in Uganda to the globally recognized multi-sector investment group. Through its investments, Mara Corporation has a presence across 26 African countries in sectors spanning technology, banking, real estate and infrastructure.

    Mr. Thakkar served as Chair of the United Nations Foundation, Global Entrepreneurship Council.  He was appointed Chair of the Presidential Youth Advisory Group at the African Development Bank and is the author of The Lion Awakes: Adventures in Africa's Economic Miracle.




    Henok Assefa

    Henok Assefa, CEO, Precise Consult International, Ethiopia

    Mr. Assefa is the chairman of Precise Investments which has interests in the commercial real estate, agribusiness, wholesale and retail sectors. He has led over 200 strategic engagements with investors, entrepreneurs, government agencies and international development agencies and has been at the forefront of three multi-million dollar business incubation and acceleration initiatives.

    Mr. Assefa is a founding member of the Angel Investor Network of Ethiopia, Ethiopia’s first Angel Investor Network, as well as being a member of the African Angel Investors Network. He has served as a board member of the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce, the American Chamber of Commerce in Ethiopia and was a director of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce in New York City.

    He holds a bachelor and masters degrees in Economics from Fordham University in New York City.


    Mesganu Arga Moach

    H.E. Amb. Mesganu Arga Moach, State Minister, Ministry of Trade and Industry of Ethiopia

    Upon graduation, H.E. Amb. Moach served as Desk Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, covering bilateral relations between Ethiopia and Somalia, Sudan, Kenya and Djibouti. He was then promoted to the International Organizations Department as Head of International Non-Governmental and Inter-Governmental Organizations.

    Following this he was appointed as Deputy Mayor and Head of Addis Ababa City Government Information and Culture Bureau, Member of the City Cabinet. He was subsequently appointed as Director General for the Political Affairs Directorate and served as Head of Mission to the United Arab Emirates, Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Special Envoy to the United Arab Emirates and to the State of Qatar.

    Upon his return to Ethiopia, he served as Chief of Staff for the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and State Minister for the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.


    Athaliah Lesiba Molokomme

    H.E. Ms. Athaliah Lesiba Molokomme, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Botswana to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva

    Dr. Molokomme was appointed as Permanent Representative of Botswana to the UN in Geneva and Ambassador to Switzerland in May 2017.She was senior lecturer in law at the University of Botswana; Head of the Gender Unit at the Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community.

    In 2003, Dr Molokomme was appointed judge of the High Court of Botswana for 11 years, and from 2005 to 2016, served as Attorney General of the Republic of Botswana. She serves on several Boards including the Africa Group on Justice and Accountability; the Nuremberg Advisory Council; the Justice Leadership Group, Justice Rapid Response and the Global Board of the International Gender Champions.

    She has a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Botswana and Swaziland, a Masters in Law from Yale Law School, USA and a Doctorate in Law from Leiden University, the Netherlands.


    Mwayi Kampesi

    Ms. Mwayi Kampesi,  Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Planet Green Africa, Malawi

    Ms. Kampesi is a social entrepreneur passionate about youth economic development and environment. She is also the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of In House Interiors, a social enterprise that supports climate action through recycling and reusing decor items, whilst creating employment for youth.

    She was listed in the 2017 Forbes Africa 30 under 30, and she was recognized as '100 Top Startup Vein 2018' under the World Youth Forum in Egypt in November 2018.

    An architect by profession, Ms. Kampesi is a Mandela Washington leader (YALI) fellow majoring in the Business and Entrepreneurship track, and she holds a certification in Suitability supply chain.


    Ms. Navalayo Osembo Ombati

    Ms. Navalayo Osembo Ombati, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Enda Sportswear, Kenya

    Enda is a running footwear and apparel company that contributes to Kenya's reputation as the global leader in distance running. Enda brings together world-class shoe designers, developers and Kenyan athletes to create performance running shoes.

    Ms. Osembo is experienced in entrepreneurship, management consulting and international development, having worked for Deloitte & Touche and the United Nations, among others. She holds an M.A. in international development and humanitarian emergencies from the London School of Economics and an undergraduate degree in law from the University of Nairobi. Ms. Osembo is also a Certified Public Accountant.


    14:30-16:00   DIGITAL AFRICA


    Aida Diarra


    Ms. Aida Diarra, Senior Vice President, Sub-Saharan Africa Group Manager, Visa SSA

    Prior to her new appointment, Ms. Diarra was the Managing Director of Western Union and its Regional Vice President for Africa. She held the positions for more than four years.

    She has joined Visa’s Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) regional management team where she represents Sub-Saharan Africa within the regional and global Visa network, ensuring that best practice from other markets can be offered to the regional payment ecosystem.

    With over 25-years of experience and career in strategy development and implementation, business development and operational management, Ms. Diarra has held quite a number of progressive leadership positions in the global money transfer business and regional leadership positions.


    Munir Duri

    Mr. Munir Duri, Chief Executive Officer, Kifiya Financial Technologies, Ethiopia

    Mr. Duri is the founder of Kifiya Financial Technology, a payment service provider and enabler of digital services. Kifiya is dedicated to making financial and non-financial services simple, affordable and accessible in Ethiopia and beyond.

    Mr. Duri believes in the potential of fin-tech to change access to financial services, create market linkages, and enable small holder farmers to access credit and manage climate related risks.


    Pawel Hansdorfer

    Mr. Pawel Hansdorfer, Senior Director, International Business, Asseco, Poland

    Mr. Hansdorfer is responsible for international operations in new and emerging markets at Asseco and is currently operating in 8 African countries. He strongly supports local African IT development and knowledge transfer processes for effective project delivery.

    Mr. Hansdorfer is an expert in public and enterprises sector mission critical systems, with 25 years of IT experience, focusing on meeting government’s requirements and demands with IT technologies and solutions.

    Asseco is the largest IT software company in Central and Eastern Europe and the 6th largest in Europe, employing over 24,000 people in 52 countries. Asseco delivers software, integration and services to support critical business processes, trust and cyber defence.


    Mr. Alex Ntale

    Mr. Alex Ntale, Chief Executive Officer, Rwanda ICT Chamber

    Mr. Ntale's current position at Rwanda ICT Chamber involves bridging the gap between private and public sector players in the ICT industry as well as overseeing and establishing new innovation centres for technology start-ups & incubators. His experience ranges from working as a computer engineer to financial services broker in London's financial district. He is passionate about technology and financial markets developments and their role to solving global challenges.

    Mr. Ntale holds a Master of Science Degree in Investment and Quantitative Finance from the University of Westminster, a Postgraduate Diploma in Strategic Business Information Technology NCC Education, as well as a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from Makerere University, Uganda.


    Papa Amadou Sarr

    H.E. Mr. Papa Amadou Sarr, Minister, General Delegate for Women and Youth Entrepreneurship, Senegal

    Prior to his appointment as General Delegate in 2017, H.E. Mr. Sarr served as the General Director for the Financial Sector and Competitiveness, as well as Senior Technical Advisor, to the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Planning.

    Before his return to Senegal, H.E. Mr. Sarr worked as Senior Program Manager for Africa at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and was Advisor for Regional Cooperation for Africa and MENA regions and Research Associate for Africa at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD).

    H.E. Mr. Sarr graduated from Sciences-Po Paris, Sorbonne University and the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences. He also holds a Certificate in Public Financial Management from the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government.


     Oumar Yam

    Lead Discussant (from the floor):

    Mr. Oumar Yam, Co-Founder, OuiCarry

    OuiCarry provides a delivery service for online orders in West Africa. Consumers in Senegal, Mali, Togo and Benin receive goods from the largest online sites from all over the world.

    Mr. Yam studied Economics and Transport at the University of Montpellier, France. Oumar Yam became an entrepreneur when he returned to Senegal in 2009.


    Kalifa M. Faal

    Lead Discussant (from the floor):

    Mr. Kalifa M. Faal,Chief Executive Officer, Xoom Wireless and KMF Technologies

    Mr. Faal leads companies that provide internet access and technologies in The Gambia. XOOM Wireless is an Internet Service Provider founded by Mr. Faal which has just been acquired by Orange Sonatel, the leading telecommunications service provider in West Africa.

    He spent the past two years advocating for an industry-wide shift in internet technologies to provide faster internet speeds while delivering last-mile connectivity.

    The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry's gave him the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2014 and 2015. Mr. Faal is a Computer Science graduate from Florida State University.




    Mahlet Afework

    Ms. Mahlet Afework, Mafi Mafi, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    In 2011, Ms. Afework set up her fashion house Mafi Mafi, placing ancient fabrics, style and sustainability at the fore of her brand.

    Her collection is produced from cotton grown in Ethiopia and is hand woven by female artisan weavers. She is committed to keeping the production of her collection in Ethiopia to support the livelihood of female artisans.

    Mafi Mafi was showcased at the Africa Fashion Week in New York and the Ethical Fashion Berlin 2016 – 2019. Ms. Afework won the Creative Futures award in 2017 and Origin Africa’s design award in 2012. In 2014, Mahlet was invited to speak at the London Parliament seminar on ‘Trade and women’s economic empowerment’ and she appeared at TED talks in Geneva speaking on ‘Ancient Tradition and Modern Fashion’.

    Mafi Mafi has been featured by the BBC, CNN African Voices and, Vogue Italia.Forbes Magazine profiled Mahlet as one of Africa’s most exciting emerging fashion designers.


    Charles Ofori Antipe

    Mr. Charles Ofori Antipem, Co-founder, Dext Technology

    At Dext Technology, Mr. Ofori has spearheaded the design of the revolutionary science set, a product that has redefined practical science education by shrinking a science laboratory into the size of a textbook. This product has received awards from Ghana Institute of Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Royal Academy of Engineering, and won the 2018 World Export Development Forum pitch competition.

    The African Union selected the science set as the most innovative education solution in Africa. At least 25,000 students have performed over 50,000 hours of science and innovation training using the science set. 


    Alieu Jallow

    Mr. Alieu Jallow, AU-EU Youth Hub representative

    Mr. Jallow holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of the Gambia and a Certificate in Business and Entrepreneurship from Northwestern University.

    He founded the Startup Incubator Gambia through which he incubated 62 young enterprises and accelerated 26 agribusiness enterprises, thus contributing to create over 300 jobs in fashion, online services and agriculture. He is also the founder of the Young Entrepreneurs Association of the Gambia and a board member of the ITC Youth Empowerment Project.


    Colette van der Ven

    Ms. Colette van der Ven, Director, Trade for Development Initiative, Sidley Austin

    Colette van der Ven is an international trade lawyer specializing in trade policy and development. In 2018, she founded the Trade for Development Initiative at Sidley Austin, a pro bono program that helps developing countries use trade and investment to achieve sustainable development. She also works as an independent consultant for governments and international organizations.

    Previously, Ms. van der Ven was an associate in Sidley's international dispute settlement practice, representing governments in WTO disputes. She holds a J.D. from the Harvard Law School and an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She publishes regularly on issues related to the WTO, trade and sustainable development.



    FRIDAY, 22 NOVEMBER 2019


    9:00-10:30   SKILLS FOR THE NEW AFRICA


    Thomas Huyghebaert

    Mr. Thomas Huyghebaert, Head of cooperation, EU Delegation to the African Union

    Mr. Huyghebaert has more than 20 years of professional experience in the field of international relations and development around the globe. Having started in the academic world at the College of Europe, Bruges, and the State University of Saint-Petersburg, Russia, he then joined the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and later, the UN to work as an advisor on Democratic Governance.

    In 2003, Mr Huyghebaert joined the external relations and development cooperation departments of the European Commission and worked on multilateral, democratic governance, peace and security, human and private sector development issues both in Brussels, in Africa and Central Asia. He is currently the Head of the Policy and Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation to the African Union supporting the EU-AU strategic partnership agenda implementation.

    Mr Huyghebaert has an academic background in international politics, economics and management from the University of Leuven and HEC Paris as well as European public administration from College of Europe.


    Mohammed N. Mijindadi

    Mr. Mohammed N. Mijindadi, Managing Director, General Electric Gas Power System, Nigeria

    Mr. Mijindadi is responsible for driving the growth and development of the Nigeria power market, executing transactions and implementing power projects. He has led the development of and support for several heavy duty independent power producer and distributed power plants in Nigeria, which led to a significant addition of megawatts to the Nigerian national grid.

    Prior to his appointment, Mr. Mijindadi was the Regional Sales Director for GE Power Generation Products in Africa, having begun his career with GE in the transportation business as the Nigeria Country Leader. He has held several positions, including Commercial Excellence Leader, Strategic Sourcing Leader and has worked on business development, driving growth globally. Prior to joining General Electric, he worked in several US multinationals in the transportation, services, construction and entertainment industries.

    Mr. Mijindadi holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Temple University, Philadelphia and a M.B.A in Marketing and Strategic Leadership, Pennsylvania State University.

    He was inducted into the Nigerian Leadership Initiative in October 2011, Institute of Directors in January 2014 and serves on the Board of Directors for GE International Operations Nigeria, Free Trade Zones and the ‘Kid for Kid’ foundation.


    	 Mr. Manuel Muñiz

    Mr. Manuel Muñiz, Dean, IE School of Global and Public Affairs, Spain

    Since 2017, Mr. Muñiz has been Dean of IE School of Global and Public Affairs. He is also Senior Associate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He has provides policy advice to governments, the United Nations, the G20, the EU Commission and the Spanish National Security Council. He is the Founding Director of IE's Center for the Governance of Change, dedicated to studying the challenges of accelerated societal and technological transformation.


    Jackie Ochola

    Ms. Jackie Ochola, Country Director, Uganda, Andela

    As Andela’s first female Country Director, Ms. Ochola provides strategic leadership and direction to the Uganda office and is also responsible for its programmatic and operational management.

    Previously, Ms. Ochola worked in the Telecom industry as an Engineering Manager and Business Leader for companies like Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent, Leadcom and Uganda Telecom, in Uganda, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria.

    She holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Makerere University Kampala, a Master of Communications Management from Coventry University UK and is a certified Project Management Professional.


    Henrietta Onwuegbuzie

    Dr. Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, Director, Impact Investing Policy, Lagos Business School

    Dr. Onwuegbuzie joined the Lagos Business School faculty in 2001 and is the Academic Director of the Owner-Manager Programme.

    Prior to this, she managed educational projects for women's development in Nigeria and worked in corporate banking. She earned an MSc in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Navarre, Spain, an MBA from Lagos Business School, and a PhD in Entrepreneurship from Lancaster University, UK.


    10:45-12:00 TRADE IS SUSTAINABLE


    Cécile Billaux_

    Ms. Cécile Billaux, Head, Sustainable Development Unit, Economic Partnership Agreement, Agriculture and fisheries, Directorate General for Trade, European Commission

    Ms. Billaux has been Head of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Unit in the Directorate General for Trade, European Commission since 1 February 2019.

    Prior to this, she worked as Deputy Head of Unit in charge of Agriculture and Sanitary and Phytosanitary issues in the Directorate General for Trade, where she contributed to removing trade barriers for exports of agricultural products to third countries.

    She has more than 10 years of experience inside the European Commission, including at cabinet level. She worked in the cabinet of the current EU Trade Commissioner Cécilia Malmström in the first half of her mandate, from 2014 to 2017, where she notably covered trade relationships with Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries, sustainable development and relations with the European Parliament. Her first four years at the European Commission were spent working in DG Health and Consumer Protection.

    Prior to working for the Commission, Ms. Billaux was a private sector consultant in public affairs for major international companies.

    Ms. Billaux studied political sciences and holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.


    Joakim Bystrom_

    Mr. Joakim Bystrom, Chief Executive Officer, Absolicon Solar Collector

    Outside his professional career, Mr. Bystrom served three years as Chairman at the Federation of Young Scientists and is the founding chairman of the Solar Energy Technician Vocational Training School in Sweden. He also initiated and chaired the Stockholm Junior Water Prize under the patronage of H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria.

    Mr. Bystrom has been awarded both from the King Carl XVI Gustaf's 50-Year Fund and the World Wildlife Fund Carl Mannerfld prize. He has represented Sweden at the UN Commission of Sustainable Development.

    Mr. Bystrom has studied engineering physics, has a University Diploma with specialization in Technology at Uppsala University.


    George Omuga,

    Mr. George Omuga, General Manager, Ngorongo Tea Factory, Kenya

    With more than 18 years of experience in the tea industry, Mr. Omuga is responsible for managing operations at Ngorongo Tea Factory. He has unique expertise in sustainable, climate-smart agriculture, the Rain Forest Alliance, ethical trading Initiatives, fair trade certifications and social audits. He graduated from Egerton University, Njoro, Kenya, with a Masters Degree in Community Studies and BSC degree in Agriculture and Human Ecology.


    Mark Pearson

    Mr. Mark Pearson, Development Economist, Zambia

    Mark Pearson is a development economist, living and working as a consultant to African governments, regional economic organizations, donor organizations and the private sector in Africa over the last 35 years. His experience is mainly in eastern and southern Africa; he has also worked in west Africa and Sudan. He has headed large, multi-disciplinary teams addressing regional integration, trade and infrastructure.

    Among his many trade development contributions, he has helped to develop regional FTAs, negotiate Annex F of the 2005 WTO Ministerial Declaration and the Southern Africa Development Community's Simplified Trade Regimes. Among his consulting for business and government, he has advised on topics from implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement to Ethiopian national logistics reform and Zambia's customs brokers' licensing framework.


    Samba Thiam

    Mr. Samba Thiam, Head, UN Environment Liaison Office to the African Union (AU) Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and Representative in Ethiopia

    Mr. Thiam assumed his current role in Ethiopia in March 2014. Mr. Thiam has played an important role in creating policy linkages between the UN Environment and the AU, and maintaining strategic partnerships with the Addis-based diplomatic corps and partners.

    He has facilitated joint programmes with the UNECA and managed the UN Environment strategic presence and partnership with the Government of Ethiopia.

    Prior to his current post, Mr. Thiam served as the UN Environment “Delivering as One” Coordinator. He ensured UN Environment’s engagement in the ONE UN Processes at both regional and national levels, focusing on Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Cape Verde.

    Mr. Thiam holds a Master in Rural Development Planning from the University of East Anglia, UK and a Master in Economic Sciences from the University of Nouakchott, Nouakchott.


     Delphine Traoré

    Ms. Delphine Traoré, Chief Operations Officer, Allianz Africa

    Ms. Traoré assumed her current role in 2017, after having held the position of CEO of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) Africa, where she remains a non-executive member of the board of management.

    Ms. Traoré is among the most important women economic leaders of Forbes Africa magazine in 2019 and was designated by Jeune Afrique magazine among the 50 most influential women in Africa in 2018. She also appears twice in the top economic leaders of tomorrow study by the Choiseul 100 Africa in 2014 and 2015.

    Ms. Traoré holds a Master of Science in Insurance Management from Boston University and a Bachelor of Science in Business and Accounting from the University of Pittsburgh.




    Tshepelayi Kabata


    Mr. Tshepelayi Kabata, Technical Advisor to the Director General, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA)

    Prior to joining the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, Mr. Kabata was Special Assistant to the Higher Representative of the African Union on the Post 2020 Negotiations with the European Union.

    Previous positions include Technical Advisor to the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa as a Mo Ibrahim Leadership Fellow, Teaching and Research Assistant at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Catholic University of Congo, and Research Analyst at Sterling Merchant Finance, Ltd in Washington DC.

    Mr. Tshepelayi Kabata holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


    Eleni Kyrou


    Ms. Eleni Kyrou, Head, Representation to Ethiopia and the African Union, European Investment Bank (EIB)

    Ms. Kyrou is a development practitioner with over 20 years of experience across the global South. Her expertise lies in impact investing, gender-smart financing and human rights in business

    Eleni joined the EIB in 2010 and, prior to her current post, she served as the EIB’s Lead Social Development and Gender Specialist, spearheading the development of institutional policies related to gender equality and business-and-human rights in the Bank’s due diligence. In particular, she developed the EIB Group’s Strategy on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment and steered the elaboration and roll-out of the EIB Group’s Gender Action Plan since 2017.

    She has a Master of Science in Urban Development Planning from University College London and a Bachelor of Science in Development and Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies.


    Jessica E. Lapenn


    H.E. Ms. Jessica E. Lapenn, Ambassador of the United States to the African Union

    Ms. Lapenn, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, has served as the Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa since 2016. Prior to this she worked as Executive Assistant and Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Human Rights and Democracy in the State Department, 2014 – 2016.

    Ms. Lapenn’s other overseas leadership positions included Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy Kigali, Rwanda from 2012 – 2014. In Washington, she led the Office for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs in the Bureau of International Organizations from 2010 – 2012. Earlier in her career she served as Political Advisor to the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2003 – 2006.

    Ms. Lapenn earned a B.A. from Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts and a Master of Philosophy from Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom. She is the recipient of multiple State Department Awards including two individual Superior Honor Awards.


    Micheal Muwonge


    Mr. Micheal Muwonge, Country Manager/Director, Financial Access Commerce and Trade services (FACTS), Uganda

    Mr. Muwonge is a country manager at FACTS, which he has helped to become a profitable supply chain finance organization.

    Previously, he worked at Diamond Trust Bank as Head of Products, following a position as Head of Merchant Business Acquisition. He previously worked as a Sales Consultant in Stanbic Bank.

    Mr. Muwonge begun his career in the media industry, where he coordinated the expansion of Radio Maria in Uganda, from one station to four stations.


    Zemedeneh Negatu


    Mr. Zemedeneh Negatu, Global Chairman, Fairfax Africa Fund

    Mr. Negatu previously served as the Managing Partner for Ernst & Young (E&Y) in Ethiopia and the Head of the Transaction Advisory Services for Eastern Africa, which included Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and several other countries.

    Prior to his current position, he served on the firm’s Africa board and as a member of the E&Y Global Partner Council. Mr. Negatu led the E&Y team which helped to transform Ethiopian Airlines into Africa’s second biggest airline which is now more profitable than all other African airlines combined.

    He has advised clients across Africa in various sectors, including financial services, airlines, telecommunications, manufacturing and agro-industry.

    He has a business degree from Howard University, Washington D.C., and has completed the LSE programme at the Harvard Business School, Boston, in addition to being a Certified Public Accountant.


    Takao Seki

    Mr. Takao Seki, Director-General, Japan External Trade Organization, Addis Ababa

    Mr. Seki has served as the first Director General of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in Addis Ababa since the opening of the office in March 2016.

    Previously, he was the Director of the Nairobi office and the deputy head of JETRO’s Nagoya office in central Japan.

    He dedicated much of his time to researching the African continent, and conducting various export promotion activities. He supported inward foreign direct investment into the region, targeting the manufacturing sector in collaboration with both local governments and the regional bureaus of various ministries.

    JETRO is the government agency under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Its mandate is to promote trade and investment business for mutual benefit between Japan and the rest of the world.



    14:30–15:30 PARTNERS FOR SUCCESS


     Ratnakar Adhikari


    Dr. Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director, Executive Secretariat for the Enhanced Integrated Framework, World Trade Organization

    Previously, Dr. Adhikari was the Chief Executive Director of South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment, a Kathmandu-based regional think tank. He also served as a Senior Adviser to the National Planning Commission of Nepal, and Trade Programme Specialist for the United Nations Development Programme in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He also worked as a manager of Nepal Indosuez Bank Ltd. and as a lecturer at the Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu.


    Afua Asabea Asare


    Ms. Afua Asabea Asare, CEO, Ghana Exports Promotion Authority

    Ms. Asare sits on a number of Boards including that of the African Leadership Academy, South Africa, World Business Angels Investment Forum Ghana, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ghana and the Advisory Board on Trade & Investment Support Institution of ITC to mention a few.

    She’s a recipient of the 2019 Women in Transformational Leadership Awards (Governance category) and the 2019 Nobles International Award, Ghana.

    With 26-years’ worth management experience working in varied environments, Ms. Asare has a doctorate in Business Management and master’s degrees in Research and Positive Leadership & Strategy from the Swiss Business School and IE University, Madrid respectively.


    Aba Esther Eshun__


    Ms. Aba Esther Eshun, AU-EU Youth Hub representative

    Ms. Eshun has served as Country Manager at the African Agribusiness Incubators Network, Operations Manager of an incubator and maternity cover for the Private sector and Secured Livelihoods portfolio at Oxfam in Ghana, working on systems Innovation for women’s economic empowerment.

    She provided investment support, mentorship, market linkages and business networking for entrepreneurs by incubating women and youth start-ups and developing public-private partnerships, with a focus on the agribusiness sector.

    She currently volunteers as a mentor and coaching expert for youth volunteers working for the Compassion in Ghana / Kasoa Youth and Child Development Center.

    Ms. Eshun is a doctoral student of University of Ghana, Legon. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture and a Master of Philosophy in Agricultural Administration.


    Hoonmin Lim


    H.E. Amb. Hoonmin Lim, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in Ethiopia

    H.E. Amb. Lim previously served as the Minister-Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations; Counsellor of the Korean Embassy to the Ukraine; Assistant Secretary, Office of the President; Director, Development Policy Division, Development Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Counsellor of Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva.

    He holds a Bachelor of Arts in German Language and Literature and Political Science and Diplomacy, both from Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.


    Frank Matsaert


    Mr. Frank Matsaert, Chief Executive Officer, TradeMark East Africa

    Prior to taking over his current position in 2010, Mr. Matsaert was a private sector adviser for the Department for International Development (DFID) and Country Director for Care. He started his career in the financial sector, as an International Fund Manager and Investment Analyst in the UK. He has designed and overseen over 40 major innovative and successful programmes totalling over $1 billion in the fields of trade, financial sector development, privatisation, investment climate reform, market development and skills development. Mr. Matsaert holds two Masters degrees in Economics and Archaeology, and is an IMRO certified Fund Manager.


    Wajdi Mirghani


    Mr. Wajdi Mirghani, Executive Manager, Mahgoub Sons Group

    Mr. Mirghani is the Executive Manager and Chairman of Mahgoub Sons Group which has over 20 companies operating across agriculture, manufacturing, food packaging, transport and media industries in both Sudanese and Global markets.

    Mr. Mirghani also serves as the Chairman of the Swiss Arab Chamber of Commerce, the Chairman of the Sudania24 Broadcasting Channel, the Deputy Chairman/Managing Director of the Export Development Bank, Sudan, the Chairman of the Blue Nile Broadcasting Channel in Sudan and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Sudanese Saudi Business Committee.

    Mr. Mirghani holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Ain Shams University – Cairo, Egypt


    Remo Pedon


    Mr. Remo Pedon, Chairman, Pedon S.p.A, and Vice-president, Confindustria Piancenza

    Mr. Pedon co-founded Pedon S.p.A. which has been a leader for over 30 years in the selection, production and distribution of pulses, grains and seeds. Mr. Pedon works to foster the company’s growth both in Italy and abroad, he is a world-renowned expert in the field of pulses.

    Among the major milestones reached by Pedon S.p.A are the creation of Agricultural Commodity Supplies, the Group’s industrial division since 1999, and the subsequent opening of production plants in Ethiopia, China and Argentina.





    shada Islam

    Ms. Shada Islam,  Director for Europe and Geopolitics, Friends of Europe

    Shada Islam is responsible for policy oversight of Friends of Europe's initiatives, activities and publications. She has special responsibility for issues related to the Future of Europe, Migration, the Asia Programme and the Development Policy Forum.

    She is Visiting Professor at the College of Europe, where she teaches Asia-Europe relations, and is a fellow of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She has been named as one of twenty most influential women in Brussels by Politico. Shada is one of the authors of Friends of Europe's "Frankly Speaking" commentary.


    George Ndirangu

    Mr. George Ndirangu, journalist, BBC

    Before working for the BBC, he was Senior Presenter and Producer at CNBC Africa, and holder of Rwanda's 2017 Media Personality Award.

    He has conducted interviews globally, including  eight Heads of State at the Transform Africa Summit (including Rwanda's Paul Kagame), President of Mauritius Ameenah Gurib at World Economic Forum in Davos, Former Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf, philanthropist Howard Buffett, Mo Ibrahim and more. George recently facilitated COMESA's handbook launch, moderating a panel with four Presidents (Kenya, Uganda, Mauritius and Zambia). At BBC, George is part of a culture review group assessing engagement between London headquarters and African bureaus. He is a Bsc. Actuarial Science holder.

    Henrietta Onwuegbuzie

    Dr. Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, Director, Impact Investing Policy, Lagos Business School

    Dr. Onwuegbuzie joined the Lagos Business School faculty in 2001 and is the Academic Director of the Owner-Manager Programme.

    Prior to this, she managed educational projects for women's development in Nigeria and worked in corporate banking. She earned an MSc in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Navarre, Spain, an MBA from Lagos Business School, and a PhD in Entrepreneurship from Lancaster University, UK.


    Sandrah Twinoburyo

    Ms. Sandrah Twinoburyo, NTV Uganda

    Ms. Twinoburyo is a journalist working with NTV Uganda, she also presents ‘Eco Africa’, an environmental magazine co-produced by the channels NTV Uganda, TV Nigeria and DW Germany.

    She has moderated a number of events, including the Ugandan Social Media Conference. She most recently moderated a discussion on Climate Change and Disaster Risk reduction in Uganda and Africa.

    She believes that the right information at the right time can be life changing.


    Hannah Viviers

    Ms. Hannah Viviers, CGTN

    Ms. Viviers anchors Africa Live a program which is broadcast from CGTN’s Nairobi studios and focuses on news and current affairs from across the continent. She joined CGTN Africa in July 2019.

    Hannah’s career, which begun in South Africa, spans over 17 years and includes her work as an anchor for the South African Broadcasting Corporation as well as global business news service CNBC.

    Her work has seen her anchor major news events, interview various leaders of industry and government as well as conceptualize TV Shows which she took to air.

    Hannah holds a degree in Journalism and a Postgrad qualification in Economics.




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