Fred Swaniker

Fred Swaniker

Founder & Ex. Chairman, African Leadership Academy

Fred is deeply passionate about Africa and believes that the missing ingredient on the continent is good leadership. In line with this, he has founded two organizations that aim to catalyze a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial African leaders: African Leadership Academy and the African Leadership Network.

In recognition of his work in developing Africa’s future leaders, Fred was selected as one of 115 young leaders to meet US President Obama at the first-ever President’s Forum for Young African Leaders held at the White House in 2010. He has been recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and was listed by Forbes Magazine among the top ten young ‘power men’ in Africa in 2011. Fred was also recognized by Echoing Green as one of fifteen “best emerging social entrepreneurs in the world” in 2006. He was a 2009 TED Fellow and is a Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network.

Ini Onuk

Ini Onuk

Lead Consultant / CEO, ThistlePraxis Consulting Limited

A 2008 Draper Hills Fellow on Democracy and Development at Stanford University California and an alumna of the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program, Ini holds a degree in International Relations & Diplomacy and a Masters degree in Management. Whilst at Stanford, she led the research team that assessed the Silicon Valley’s CSR projects with visits to Google, Hewlett Packard, Facebook and the San Francisco Bay Municipality. A facilitator/management trainer, she is also an international consultant on Gender, Peace-building, Peace and Security & Governance.


Ken Banks

Founder, kiwanja.net

Ken is the founder of kiwanja.net; he devotes himself to the application of mobile technology for positive social and environmental change, and has spent the last two decades working on projects in Africa. His early research resulted in the development of FrontlineSMS, an award-winning text message communication system today powering thousands of social change projects in over one hundred and fifty countries around the world.

He has worked at the intersection of technology, anthropology, conservation and development for the past twenty years and, during that time, has lived and worked across the African continent. He is a PopTech Fellow, a Tech Awards Laureate, an Ashoka Fellow and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and has been internationally recognised for his technology-based work. In 2013 he was nominated for the TED Prize. Ken is also a published author, with his first edited book, “The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator”, released in late 2013.

Hetal Shah

Hetal Shah

Director, Operations, Mara Group of Companies

Having started learning new industries at the age of 9 years, during school vacations, he spent time learning family businesses, including: fabrications, textile, glass work and consumer electronics, today, Hetal looks after day to day operations, permissions, approvals, strategy, planning etc at Mara Group.

He holds a degree in Commerce with Finance and Business Management from India. He has 20 years of experience in various industries includes Agriculture, Agrochemical, Pharmaceutical, Publications, Information Technology, BPO and Event Management. Hetal currently oversees the Mara Online products rollout in African countries includes Mara Mentor & Mara Messenger. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Africa’s largest IT foot print company Mara Ison Technologies.

francis Ebuehi

Francis Ebuehi

Vice President, VAS, Airtel Nigeria

Mr. Ebuehi attended the Lagos Business School, Pan African University. He started his career with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in 1992 where he worked on and led several consulting projects in Technology, Process Re-engineering and Strategy. He has also worked for 2 major banks where he was responsible for setting up the Banking Products and Electronic Banking products divisions.

He then moved to become the CEO of Chamsswitch Limited, setting up and managing a new electronic payment switching platform that processes and settles payment transactions efficiently, using globally recognized solutions to aid interconnectivity to issuers, acquirers, merchants, service providers and other switches (both locally and internationally).

Duncan Onyango, East Africa Director, Acumen

Duncan Onyango

East Africa Director, Acumen

Duncan joined Acumen as Director of East Africa in September 2012. He has been a long supporter of Acumen and informally served as an advisor to the East Africa team over the years, as well as being actively involved in the Fellows Program.

Duncan most recently served as the Group Chief Finance Officer of Rift Valley Railways, where he led the structuring of a $287M debt and equity capital investment in the rail sector. He began his career with over ten years at Abbey National, a major international bank in London, gaining cross-functional business experience in both the retail and corporate arms of Abbey, including serving as the bank’s Head of Training & Management Development for the Wealth Management Division.

Tunji Lardner

Tunji Lardner

Executive Director, West African NGO Network

Mr. Lardner holds a Bachelor degree in Philosophy from the University of Lagos (1980). His international experience includes a long association with the United Nations system, serving in various capacities worldwide. Building on his early media career in Nigeria, he has over the last two decades gathered wide international experience including serving as an Adjunct Professor, Centre for New Media at the Columbia University School of Journalism (1996-8) and as a Research Fellow, Freedom Forum Media Studies Centre (1992-3) also at Columbia University. Mr. Lardner was also a Reuter Scholar/Knight Fellow with the Department of Communications at Stanford University (1988-9).

Eric Chinje, Chief Executive Officer, African Media Institute, Kenya

Eric Chinje

Chief Executive Officer, African Media Institute, Kenya

Eric is the CEO of the African Media Initiative (AMI), an appointment that became effective on July 1st 2014. Before joining AMI,He served as Senior Advisor at the KRL International LLC, a Washington-based consultancy specializing in the emerging markets. Prior to that, he was the Director for Strategic Communications at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, a position he took up at the start of 2012. Before that, he led the Global Media Program at the World Bank Institute (WBI) and, in that capacity, launched the IMAGE (Independent Media for Accountability, Governance and Empowerment) capacity building program and Network to create a corps of development journalists in the Bank’s client countries.

Jude Ilo

Udo Jude Ilo

Nigeria Director, Open Society Initiative for West Africa

Udo holds a Master of Laws degree from the Central European University Budapest majoring in international human rights and transnational corporations. One of the founding partners of Thought & Mace, Udo was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2003.

He had worked as a program and legal officer with the Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS) in the area of justice sector reform, electoral system and good governance. Within this period, he also served as Nigerian Project Manager for the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) death penalty project for commonwealth Africa. Part of the job profile was to help build a formidable network amongst African lawyers and activists for the abolition of death penalty. He was also the Nigeria Programs Manager for the Forum of Federations, a global network on federalism with its headquarters in Ottawa, Canada.

Thebe Ikalafeng

Thebe Ikalafeng

Founder, Brand Leadership Group and Chairman, Brand Africa

Thebe is one of foremost global African branding and reputation authorities. He has been recognised as one of the Top 10 Thinkers in Marketing in an Ipsos survey among business decision makers in Southern Africa and also as, one of the ‘100 Most Influential Africans’ by New African Magazine.

He has been to over 50 countries across Africa and the world and worked on over 100 brands, gaining an incomparable perspective and experience on building brands and reputations in Africa.

Louis Otieno

Louis Onyango Otieno

Director, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft 4Afrika

Louis is a Director with Microsoft 4Afrika – a strategic initiative by Microsoft Corporation focused on supporting Africa’s development towards global competitiveness. A member of the leadership team, he is responsible for Government & Corporate Affairs. He firmly believes that Africa risks alienation unless it fully embraces ICT & ICT embraces Africa.

Until his appointment to Microsoft 4Afrika in 2012, Otieno was the GM responsible for the East & Southern Africa business. In that capacity, he realized a 100-fold growth in revenues. Otieno was also previously the Director for Enterprise Sales in the West, East, Central Africa & IOI region until 2007 & the Director for Business Operations & Marketing through 2004. He also served as Country Manager for East Africa (1997-2002), where he led some of the highest growth rates at Microsoft worldwide.

Abubakar Suleiman

Abubakar Suleiman

Executive Director, Strategy & Finance, Sterling Bank Plc.

Mr. Abubakar Suleiman started his banking career as a Management Associate in MBC International Bank (now part of First Bank Plc) in 1998. In 2000, he moved to Citibank Nigeria where he worked in roles covering Asset & Liability Management and Market Risk Management. Between 2003 and 2011, he served as Treasurer (in Trust Bank of Africa and subsequently Sterling Bank) before being appointed Integration Director to deliver the seamless merger with the former Equitorial Trust Bank.

Upon successful completion of this assignment, he was appointed Chief Financial Officer of the Bank, responsible for Finance & Performance Management, Strategy & Communications and Human Resource Management. Abubakar has also been instrumental in laying a solid foundation for the Retail and Non-Interest Banking businesses. He holds a B.Sc. in Economics from the University of Abuja and an M.Sc. in Major Programmes Management from Said Business School, Oxford University. He is also an alumnus of Arthur Andersen (KPMG Nigeria) and Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Muyiwa Moyela_IBM

Muyiwa Moyela

External Relations Lead, IBM West Africa

Charles Olumuyiwa Moyela is a public relations and communications professional with a keen interest in volleyball, business dynamics, culture, technology and the geo-politics of Africa’s relationship with itself and with the rest of the world.

He is IBM’s External Relations Leader for Central and West Africa, with concurrent responsibilities for leading IBM’s reputation risk management, influencer, media, and analysts’ engagements across the sub-Sahara Africa region. Prior to IBM, he worked at The Quadrant Company / Fleishman Hillard West Africa; Guaranty Trust Bank Plc; Africa Today magazine (England & West Africa); The Post Express newspaper (Nigeria); Daily Times newspapers (Nigeria); Clerical Medical Investment Group (England) and Bendix Heavy Vehicles Systems Ltd, an Allied Signal company (England).

A Forbes Africa magazine contributor and columnist since 2011, he has also been a regular contributor to national, pan-African and specialist print, broadcast and online media over the last 15 years.

With certifications in computing, business ethics and investigative reporting, he is currently enrolled on the MBA program at Leicester University, Leicester, England. He is a lifelong member of the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Inc.; a Fellow of Reuters Foundation, Rhodes University, South Africa and an alumnus of the International Visitors Leadership Program of the US State Department.

Obi asika

Obi Asika

Founder, Dragon Africa

Obi Asika is a Strategic and Creative Thinker. He has worked in Banking, Oil and Gas, Procurement and in Business Support Services. He has also worked with Investment Banks and PE firms on driving investment into Nigeria since the mid to late 90’s until now. He is interested in companies who are interested in Nigeria, there are significant obstacles but in essence this translates to significant opportunities, there are few places in the world where the spirit of entrepreneurship is as alive as here in Nigeria.

He sits on the board of several companies across diverse areas of business from events services, marketing and media communications, ICT, real estate, etc. He firmly believes that African brands and companies need to think Global especially with new technologies creating new ways to access global markets and he is keen to work with those who are able to partner on this especially in terms of making African content (music, movies, sports, games, comics, etc.) available to the African Diaspora and an increasingly engaged global audience.

Dr. Kasirim Nwuke

Dr. Kasirim Nwuke,

Chief, New Technologies & Innovation, UNECA

Kasirim Nwuke is currently Chief of the New Technologies and Innovation Section in the Special Initiatives Division of ECA. Kasirim has won several hats since joining ECA. As Chief of the MDGs/Poverty Analyisis and Monitoring Section, he started the annual Africa MDGs Report now a joint ECA/AUC/AfDB/UNDP report – a report which has played a significant role in directing the African MDGs debate and effort as well as helping to shape the on-going post-2015 debate. In his capacity as Chief of New Technologies and Innovation, he among other things, leads the publication of ECA’s annual “African Science, Technology and Innovation Review.”

His experience straddles the public, private, non-governmental and academic sectors. In 2005, he served as Senior Economic Adviser to the then Minister of Finance (and current Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. He has a significant portfolio of academic and policy publications and writes infrequently on contemporaneous issues. Kasirim holds a PhD in Economics from Boston University, Boston, MA, USA.

Ryan Silberman_SMAAJury

Ryan Silberman

Chief Operating Officer, Popimedia, South Africa

Ryan Silberman, family man, co-founder and COO of social media and technology company Popimedia, is an Industrial Engineer and Serial Entrepreneur.

Ryan started his first business at university, where he met his current partners Daniel Levy and Gil Sperling, A Lawyer and Engineer. Today Popimedia is the only Facebook PMD (Preferred Marketing Developer) on the continent and is the largest buyer of Facebook media inventory in Africa.

Ryan heads up the agency overseeing strategy and client relationships. Clients include L’Oréal, Nestlé, Unilever, Clover and GT Bank to name a few.

Odo Effiong_SMAAJury

Odo Effiong

Special Adviser Communication Technology Development – Cross River State Government

In his role to the Government of Cross River State, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr.Odo Effiong is responsible for all information and communications technology functions within the State Government, including two data centres, an extensive network that spans seventy ministries, departments and agencies as well as various information systems. He is also responsible for policies for development of the sector in the state.

He is currently driving the completion of the Calabar metropolitan fibre optic project, the Tinapa Knowledge City infrastructure, adoption of State ICT Policy, automation of all government transactions and cloud based collaboration and document management /archival systems and unified communications systems that span the entire state.

Dele Meiji Fatunla

Dele Fatunla

Communications Co-ordinator, Royal African Society, London

Dele is passionate about using good writing, journalism and communication to achieve great goals both creatively and commercially. His communications skills, experience and value cover a wide range of areas including Branding, Presentation, Qualitative Research & Analysis, Scriptwriting, Event Management and Video Production Management.

His Specialties include: Diversity Communications, Branding, Video Production, Qualitative Research and Analysis, Journalism, Scriptwriting, African Affairs.