H.E. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR

Former President of Nigeria

Incontestably noted as one of the preeminent elder statemen in Africa today, Chief Olusegun Matthew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo, was born on March 5, 1937 in the village of Ibogun, located in the present day Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State in Southwest Nigeria. He began his career as a teacher at the Baptist Boy’s High School (BBHS), Abeokuta, before enlisting in the Nigerian military and embarking on what was to become a long and illustrious career of service to his country. In 1959, after completion of his military training, he was commissioned into the Nigerian Army as a Second Lieutenant and attached to British Battalions in England and in Germany. A year later, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. As a soldier, President Obasanjo held several command positions including service with the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces in the Congo. In 1961, he transferred from the Infantry to the Corps of Engineering , and in 1963, was promoted to the rank of Captain and appointed Commander Engineering Corps. That year, he was elevated to the post of General Officer, commanding the Third Marine Commando Division, where he conceived and immediately launched “Operation Tail Wind” which helped to bring the debilitating Nigerian civil war to an end. He accepted the surrender of the Biafran forces in January 1970. In 1975, Chief Obasanjo was appointed Federal Commissioner for Works, and also served as Chief of Staff and second in command to Brigadier Murtala Muhammed, following the coup of 1976. After the assasination of Brig. Muhammed, he reluctantly stepped into his shoes, but refused to renege on his administration’s goals and objectives. In 1977, he formed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), organized the second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC ’77), set up the Corrupt Practice Bureau; and through his government’s efforts, independence was achieved for Angola and later Zimbabwe. To cap it off, he became the first Head of State on the African continent to ever relinquish power to a democratically elected government peacefully and voluntarily.


In 1995, this former Head of State became a very important prisoner when military dictator, General Sani Abacha clamped a phony coup plot charge on him. Found guilty, he was held prisoner in a regional local prison until June 1998, after which he was released, following the death of his accuser. In 1999 and 2003, Chief Obasanjo ran for and won two successive terms for the presidency of Nigeria, during which his administration initiated and executed projects that positively impacted the lives of Nigerians and launched the country into an unprecedented path of social and economic growth. A few of the achievements recorded during his tenure include, the Anti-corruption campaign/recovery of looted funds from national treasury from past and serving government functionaries; the renegotiation and eventual settlement of Nigerian debt; the consolidation of the banking industry; the institutionalization of transparency in the financial sector; the opening up of the telecommunication industry; the liberalization of the education sector and the engagement of private sector participation and investment in tertiary education. Significant improvements were also recorded in the space technology program (the launch of two satellites, SAT 3 and NICOMSAT); the energy and nuclear sector, the education sector, the ICT sector, and the establishment of the Niger Delta Development Commission.


Indeed, as a result of the reforms enacted by the Obasanjo administration, Nigeria now stands as one of the fastest growing economies in the world today. In 2002, the country’s GDP grew by 21.1%, and from then until 2010, posted an annual growth rate of 9.15% , making it one the ten fastest growing economies in the world today. In 2007, Chief Obasanjo retired from office to his farm in Ota, Nigeria. However, in view of his commitment and dedication to the cause of Africa, as well as his experience and understanding of the political, socio-economic and cultural landscape of the continent, he was appointed as UN Special Envoy to broker peace among the conflicting parties in Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes Region. His involvement reunited the avowed enemies and brought peace to the region. He has also served served diplomatically on behalf of The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other organizations to broker peace in many other troubled regions in Africa, most recently serving as head of the joint African Union-ECOWAS observer mission to Dakar, during Senegal’s tumultuous elections. Obasanjo has played a pivotal role in the regeneration and repositioning of the African Union – with the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) designed to engender and promote the ideals of democracy and good governance, and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). He has consistently supported the deepening and widening of regional cooperation through ECOWAS and the Co-prosperity Alliance Zone incorporating Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo. He has at different times served as Chairman of the Group of 77, Chairman of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Chairman of the African Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee on NEPAD. He was also involved in international mediation efforts in Namibia, Angola, South Africa, Mozambique and Burundi. For his service to the African community, Mr. Obasanjo has received numerous honorary doctorates from leading institutions from all over the world, including Howard University in the United States, the University of Namibia, etc. He has over 15 books published to his name and in 1979 was decorated with the highest national award, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR).


David Bruce Wharton

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy
Bureau of African Affairs

David Bruce Wharton became the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of African Affairs in July 2010. He joined the Africa Bureau in August 2009 as the Director of the Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, after a two-year assignment as Deputy Coordinator of the State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs. From 2003 to 2006 he was the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala. Bruce Wharton entered the Foreign Service in 1985 and served at U.S. embassies in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. In Africa, he has also had temporary duty in Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana. From 1992 to 1995 he worked in Washington, D.C. on Andean Affairs and Western Hemisphere policy issues. He has received Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards from the Department of State and the U.S. Information Agency. Mr. Wharton was born in Basel, Switzerland, and enjoyed a cross-cultural childhood with time spent in both Europe and Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin and speaks Spanish and German. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Mr. Wharton worked in professional theater in the Washington, D.C. area


Angela Gbemisola Adeboye

Project Manager, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants

Angela is a Project Manager at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, where she focuses on financial services and is currently spare-heading the acquisition and execution of public sector engagements in Sub-Saharan Africa. She has led teams to develop strategy for both federal and state governments in the region. She joined the Financial Services Competence Center of Roland Berger in 2011 and is a core member of the team leading the firm’s expansion into Sub-Saharan Africa. She is a member of the firm’s challenge club, which is a selection of the top 3% of its consultants globally. Prior to consulting, Angela worked as a Private Wealth Adviser for the Standard Bank group for six years and briefly for the Debt Management Office in the Presidency, Nigeria. She holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from University of Abuja and an MBA from INSEAD, France / Singapore with an exchange semester at Kellogg School of Management, Evanston, Illinois. Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, founded in 1967, is one of the world's leading strategy consultancies. Building on a strong European heritage, the firm now has 47 offices in 35 countries with over 2,500 employees. The firm advise leading private companies and public bodies in many industries on matters central to their strategy and implementation.


Walé F. Adeosun

Founder and Chief Investment Officer, Kuramo Capital Management

Walé F. Adeosun is the founder and Chief Investment Officer of Kuramo Capital Management LLC (“Kuramo Capital”), an independent investment management firm that provides targeted global investment management services to institutional clients and ultra-high net worth individuals, focused on alternative assets in emerging and frontier markets. Kuramo Capital serves as investment advisor to the Kuramo Africa Opportunity Fund (KAOF), a multi-manager and multi-asset class investment vehicle that aims to realize long-term capital appreciation by capturing the growth opportunity in sub-Saharan Africa. Walé is also the Chair of the Investment Advisory Committee for the $140 Billion New York State Common Retirement Fund. Previously, Walé was Treasurer and CIO at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he oversaw $850 million in endowment and pension assets. He led Rensselaer’s increased investment in alternative investments, spearheading Rensselaer’s investment effort in emerging frontier markets, including Africa. Prior to this role, Walé was a Managing Director in the Investments Group of The MacArthur Foundation in Chicago. He has a BA in Economics and Business Administration from Coe College, Cedar Rapids, IA and received his MBA from John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri with concentration in Finance. He was awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1995 and he is a member of the CFA Institute. Walé Adeosun is currently the President of the Nigeria Higher Education Foundation. He was inducted into the New York Chapter of the National Association of Security Professionals Wall Street Hall of Fame in 2008.


Tony Ashamu '11

President and CEO, Olive Networks

Mr. Tony Ashamu is the President and CEO of Olive Networks, a global company with a consulting arm (Olive Networks LLC) based in the United States. Olive Networks in Nigeria spans over various industries with its portfolio companies including real estate (Olive Estate), stock brokerage and financial services (Olive Capital Management Ltd), and Consumer Retail (Ashmart Super Stores). He is also a Managing Partner IBT Capital LLP a U.S. based Private Equity Firm. Mr. Tony Ashamu is a passionate leader with a proven track record across the globe. He was instrumental in implementing the financial turnaround of 75 business units over a period of 12 months during his consulting career at IBM Global Services. Tony is also a seasoned engineer with series of high level certifications from CISCO, Microsoft and OPNET technologies.


David Besanko

Alvin J. Huss Professor of Management and Strategy,
Kellogg School of Management

Professor David Besanko is the Alvin J. Huss Distinguished Professor of Management and Strategy at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Besanko is a Northwestern graduate, having received his Ph.D. in Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences in 1982. He received his AB in Political Science from Ohio University in 1977. Before joining the Kellogg faculty in 1991, Professor Besanko was a member of the faculty of the School of Business at Indiana University from 1982 to 1991. In addition, in 1985, he held a post-doctorate position on the Economics Staff at Bell Communications Research. Professor Besanko teaches courses in Public Policy, Competitive Strategy, and Managerial Economics. Besanko has received the two most prestigious teaching awards at the Kellogg School: the L.G. Lavengood Professor of the Year Award in 1995, and the Alumni Choice Teaching Award in 2006. At the Kellogg School, he has also received the Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award (1998, 2000, 2009, and 2011) and the Chair’s Core Teaching Award (1999, 2001, 2003, and 2005). Professor Besanko’s research covers topics relating to competitive strategy, industrial organization, the theory of the firm, and economics of regulation and public policy. He has published over 40 articles in leading professional journals in economics and business. Among other places, his work has appeared in the American Economic Review, Econometrica, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the RAND Journal of Economics, the Review of Economic Studies, the Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Economic Theory, and Management Science. Along with David Dranove and Mark Shanley, Professor Besanko is a co-author of Economics of Strategy (with David Dranove, Scott Schaefer, and Mark Shanley) and Microeconomics (with Ronald Braeutigam). Professor Besanko served as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs: Strategy and Planning at the Kellogg School from 2007 to 2009 and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs: Curriculum and Teaching at Kellogg from 2001 to 2003.


Frank Braeken

Executive Vice President & Head of Africa, Unilever

In his current role as Executive Vice President Africa, Frank is managing the Euro 2.4 bln Unilever businesses in sub-Saharan Africa. The Unilever operations cover all Unilever Foods (Tea, Ice Cream and Culinary aides), Home Care (Laundry detergents, softeners) and Personal Care (Hair, Skin, Oral care) categories. With brands such as Lipton, Blue Band, Omo, Ponds, Sunlight, Dove, Clear and Sunsilk, Unilever occupies leading positions in many of the countries it operates in. Previous positions with Unilever include EVP NAMCA (North Africa/Middle East/Central Africa), EVP China Region, in which position he saw Unilever double its size in mainland China to just under E1bln, MD Unilever Foods France, Chairman Unilever Andina countries and senior Finance positions in West and Central/Eastern Europe. He started his career with Procter and Gamble. Frank obtained a Law Degree from the Leuven University, Belgium. He also holds an MBA from Leuven/Chicago University, Belgium. Frank is a Belgian citizen and was born in the Congo in 1960. He grew up in Flanders/Belgium. He is remarried, with one son and with 2 children from a previous marriage. Beyond his wife, his passions include travel, golf, good food and wine.


Paul Chadha

Corporate Counsel, Accenture
Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University School of Law

Paul received his Juris Doctorate from Northwestern University School of Law in 2002 and has been an adjunct law professor there since 2005. Paul is an attorney at Accenture, his practice is in the field of international business law, structuring complex transactions, international development and crisis negotiation. Paul has been engaged in a broad spectrum of transaction across the African continent. He is the founder and Vice-President of the Board of Directors of the Awassa Children's Project, an Illinois non-profit organization which supports the housing, education and community involvement of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. Under Paul's leadership, the orphanage has rapidly expanded and opened a computer/vocational training school and created the community's first-ever youth “campus”, which hosts theatre, music, English tutoring, art classes, sports and other activities for over 100 youth from the community each day. Paul has practiced and traveled extensively throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, and Australia. Paul honorably served on active duty in the United States Air Force and in the United States Air Force Reserves from 1993-1999. In 2008, Paul was a candidate in the Democratic Primary for Illinois State Representative in Illinois' 26th District.


Paul Christensen

Associate Dean and Executive Director, Global Programs Clinical Associate Professor of Finance,
Kellogg School of Management

Paul Christensen is Associate Dean and Executive Director, Global Programs and Clinical Associate Professor of Finance at the Kellogg School of Management where he teaches courses on microfinance and international business. In addition, he helps direct the school’s International Business and Markets Program where he is involved in international curriculum development, visiting scholars and executives, student club activities and alumni outreach. Prior to Kellogg, Paul served as the founder and President of ShoreCap International Ltd., a $28 million private equity company sponsored by ShoreBank Corporation which invests in financial institutions in developing countries throughout Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. Having established the company in London, Paul built a portfolio of 15 leading development finance institutions serving over 1,000,000 microfinance and small business clients and produced annual fund returns in excess of 20%. From 2000-2003, Paul served as President and CEO of ShoreBank Enterprise Group, a $12 million-asset small business development organization in Cleveland, Ohio. Prior to joining ShoreBank, Paul was an Engagement Manager for the consulting firm, McKinsey and Company, where he focused on operations performance, organizational effectiveness and strategic planning for clients in the financial services, manufacturing, consumer goods, petroleum, and electric utility industries. Paul received an MBA with distinction from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Arts, economics, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Dartmouth College.


Alexandra E. Graham, Ph.D., MBA

Co-founder, LaGray, Inc. & LaGray Chemical Company
Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, LaGray, Inc.

Driven by a passion to help address the healthcare crisis in sub-Saharan Africa and her conviction that the solution lies in sustainable technological growth in drug manufacturing, Dr. Alexandra Graham decided to apply her expertise in that direction and gave up the convenience of employment in the US as a pharmaceutical executive at Abbott Laboratories, to pioneer a sustainable approach to self-sufficient drug manufacturing in Africa. In 2002, she co-founded LaGray, Inc. an Africa-focused pharmaceutical company with investments in Ghana and Nigeria. Dr. Graham and her husband, Dr. Paul Lartey set up LaGray Chemical Company, Ghana: the first fully integrated pharmaceutical production facility in West Africa, specifically built and operated to US-FDA standards and with the expertise and capacity to provide high quality, critical medicines for the treatment of priority endemic diseases in the West African region. Under her direction as Chief Operating Officer, the Ghanaian company received the Frost & Sullivan 2009 Ghanaian Pharmaceutical Market Industry Innovation and Advancement Award LaGray, Inc. has also established La Gram Chemicals in Nigeria. La Gram supplies quality pharmaceutical raw materials and analytical reagents to the growing pharmaceutical industry in the region. In keeping with the vision of self-sufficiency in healthcare, La Gram distributes quality medicines manufactured by African pharmaceutical manufacturers only.


Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Graham worked at IBM and lectured for many years at universities in Nigeria, UK and the US. She is equally passionate about healthcare as she is about education and currently serves as President of St. Karol School of Nursing in Ghana. LaGray, Inc. is establishing LaGray Quality Research Institute in Nigeria to provide post-secondary and post-graduate industrial pharmaceutical education and training. The institute will offer fully integrated hands-on training in pharmaceutical sciences, technology and regulatory compliance as well as industry support services in research, quality control analysis and regulatory affairs. In recognition of her entrepreneurial efforts Dr. Graham received an award at the first Pan-African Female Invent and Innovate Awards 2005, sponsored by the IFC Gender Entrepreneurship Markets (GEM). She is a 2007 TED Global Fellow (www.ted.com) and a Springboard Alumna (www.springboardenterprises.org). In recognition of her scientific expertise, she was appointed in 2010 to serve on the Expert Drug Discovery Advisory Committee for the World Health Organization Tropical Drug Research (WHO-TDR). Dr. Graham was born in Ibadan, Nigeria but hails from Katcha in Niger State of Nigeria. She feels privileged to hold dual citizenship of the United States and Nigeria. She obtained a B.Sc. Chemistry, 1st Class Honors (Summa cum Laude) from Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria and Ph.D. Organic Chemistry from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and University of Sussex, Brighton, UK. She also holds an MBA in Global Technology Management from American Intercontinental University.


Njideka U. Harry

Founder and CEO, Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF)

A transformational leader, social entrepreneur and advocate for technology in the developing world, Njideka Harry, is the Founder and CEO of Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF), an international non-profit organization. Njideka founded YTF in 2000 after a fast-paced and distinguished career at Microsoft. At Microsoft she was responsible for corporate strategy and financial planning as part of worldwide subsidiary mid-year reviews, budgeting and forecasting. Njideka has over 12 years of experience in non-profit administration, program management and social impact and has provided strategic vision and leadership to YTF’s innovations for scalable solutions to developing world problems.


YTF believes in the extraordinary potential of young people living in the developing world. We envision a world in which our beneficiaries are equipped with the adequate skills that prepare them to confidently compete for 21st century opportunities. YTF pioneered the ‘digital village movement’ in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2000, with the establishment of the Owerri Digital Village, a community technology and learning center and first of its kind in the region. For over a decade, YTF has partnered with other grassroots organizations to replicate the paradigm across 7 African nations and impacting over 2 million youth living in over 4000 communities. YTF has received recognition from private sector corporations like Nokia, Google, Soft Choice and Microsoft and international development agencies, including the World Bank, National Endowment for Democracy, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and Reuters Foundation. Njideka is a proponent for the use of information and communications technology (ICT) as a tool to aid human capital, create jobs and transform agriculture, education and healthcare. YTF designs innovative and social protection programs that protect people against the loss of human and physical capital while promoting opportunities for skills acquisition and sustainability. In the international arena, Njideka has designed and implemented technology and education programs that connect students and teachers in schools and community technology centers in Africa to students in the United States.


Njideka serves as a consultant to several social enterprises, companies with a social mission and international agencies on matters related to human capital, technology for development and corporate social responsibility. She has served on panels in international conferences such as the World Bank Innovation Fair in Capetown, the World Summit on Information Society in Tunisia, the Baramati Conference on ICT and Development in India, and the UN Meets Silicon Valley in the United States. She has also contributed articles and case studies to journals like Technologia, One World Africa, and a book, From the Ground Up – the Evolution of the Telecenter Movement. Njideka is an Ashoka Fellow and has received numerous awards for her dedication to community service. She is an Associate Fellow of the Nigeria Leadership Institute and in 2011, led YTF to win the Microsoft Alumni Foundation Members Choice Award. Njideka will receive her MBA from Kellogg School of Management in 2012. She received her undergraduate degree in Finance from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and completed a post-graduate fellowship in technology and development at Stanford University. A native of the United States and Nigeria, Njideka shares her time between both countries and enjoys time with her husband and 3 young daughters.


Brian Herlihy

Founder & Executive Director, SEACOM

Herlihy has extensive experience in mega­infrastructure projects in Africa spanning a number of disciplines including project development, financing and governmental liaison supported by a strong understanding of African economics. An American citizen, his career began in the UK in 1994 in the health waste sector before joining the Bank of America as Marketing Analyst in 1997. From 1999 to 2003, he worked on the Africa ONE project where he gained valuable African experience. In 2003, he was appointed Vice President of Development at Global Alumina, a large alumina refinery project in the Republic of Guinea focused on development of a multi-purpose infrastructure project including a port, power plant, rail extension, town development and the refinery itself. Mr. Herlihy was one of the key developers in bringing the project to reality in line with the Government’s economic development goals despite strong opposition from the majors in the mining community. The project set new standards in the incorporation of social and environmental inclusion and has become a model both in the alumina sector and the project finance sector for mega-infrastructure development in emerging markets. Upon a partial sale of the refinery project to a strategic investor, Mr. Herlihy raised $10 million of venture capital and founded SEACOM. As the founder and CEO, Mr. Herlihy led the financing, development and construction of the first submarine fiber optic cable to connect East and South Africa to the world’s major international networks.


Having successfully steered SEACOM into the position of an established and recognized market player, Herlihy now focuses his efforts on strategic projects essential to the Company’s continued development in his Executive Director role. Since launch in 2009, SEACOM has been a major factor in increasing supply of international capacity by up to five thousand percent in certain countries and a catalyst for the telecommunications market to invest over $6 billion into terrestrial fiber as the region prepares for the evolution from a voice centric to a data centric market. SEACOM is a leader in evolving this data market through its concentration of content aggregation and content development in Africa as the market prepares for the oncoming impact of cloud computing. Mr. Herlihy holds a MSc (Development Studies) with a concentration in African Economics and BA (Economics and Philosophy) from the London School of Economics and Boston College respectively. In addition to sitting on the Board of Directors of SEACOM, Mr. Herlihy also participates on the board of two foundations and an incubation investment fund.


Richard Joseph

John Evans Professor of International History and Politics at Northwestern University and Nonresident Senior Fellow in Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution

As a Fellow of The Carter Center, he participated in democracy and peace initiatives in Ghana, Zambia, Ethiopia, Liberia and Sudan. He has written extensively on issues of democracy, governance and political economy. His books include Radical Nationalism in Cameroun (1977), Democracy and Prebendal Politics in Nigeria (1987) and edited books, Gaullist Africa: Cameroon under Ahmadu Ahidjo (1978), State, Conflict and Democracy in Africa (1999), and (with Alexandra Gillies), Smart Aid for African Development (2009). He served as Principal Investigator of the Research Alliance to Combat HIV/AIDS (REACH), a collaborative program in Nigeria, 2006 – 2011. His current writing and policy projects concern growth, democracy and security. Among his many publications are several articles in Current History and the Journal of Democracy.


Toyin Kolawole '06

Founder and CEO, True Branches

Toyin Kolawole is the founder and CEO of True Branches, an e-commerce company launched in 2008 with locations in the USA and Nigeria. True Branches is focused on facilitating trade between the Sub-Saharan African market (particularly Nigeria) and the United States. Under Toyin’s management, True Branches has grown tremendously as a leading e-commerce solution by providing expert trade advisory and fulfillment services for individuals and corporations looking to do international business between the United States and Nigeria. Furthermore, True Branches is focused on delivering innovative technology solutions that provide Nigerian exporters and industries faster and better access to the global market and vice versa.


Toyin obtained her MBA from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University in 2006 where she was awarded the FC Austin scholarship; a prestigious lifetime status awarded annually to 10 select candidates with excellent academic achievement and exceptional leadership qualities. While at Kellogg, Toyin majored in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Management and strategy, Marketing, and Analytical Consulting. After her MBA, Toyin joined Bain and Company, one of three foremost global management and strategy consulting firms in the world. At Bain, Toyin consulted for several fortune 500 companies, offering and implementing highly innovative and practical solutions to complex management problems Prior to her business education at Kellogg, Toyin worked as a private equity analyst with SME Manager Limited, an African Capital Alliance fund focused on business growth and development in Nigeria. She obtained her bachelor’s in Management and Accounting from Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. She is also a Nigerian chartered accountant Toyin is married with two sons and loves reading fiction, hiking and music.


Tapuwa Mtutu

Talent Acquisition Manager, Global Career Company

Tapuwa works with Global Career Company, a leading international recruitment consultancy, specialising in recruiting local talent with international experience for the African market. Tapuwa sits on the Management Team of Global Career Company and gives strategic direction to deliver agreed results across the sourcing and marketing activity. Having been with Global Career Company for more than 6 years, Tapuwa possesses a great deal of knowledge of recruitment trends in Africa. She plays a crucial part in influencing change within recruitment in Africa as GCC increases its ability to deliver multiple recruitment assignments across services. Her specialities in emerging markets include; developing and executing a global sourcing strategies for all our key nationalities across all channels, design and manage direct sourcing strategies through analysis of our client pool.


Global Career Company is an international recruitment consultancy with unique service offerings. Our Recruitment Summits; events where we source suitable candidates from a global talent pool of thousands, sending tailored shortlists for our clients to pre-select and invite for interview at the Summit, provide endless opportunities for candidates wishing to pursue their Career in Africa. Search and Selection Services, and Recruitment Campaigns are innovative solutions for companies looking to source high caliber individuals who possess a rare blend of international experience combined with regional understanding. Over the past 10 years, Global Career Company has helped over 350 multinational companies and leading African companies recruit over 8,000 African graduates and professionals from around the world back into Africa. We have over 200,000 African Professionals in our network with a large range of backgrounds and levels of experience. A selection across these include Diageo, GTBank, Unilever, Diamond Bank, Phillips, JTI, GSK, Weatherford, Coca Cola Sabco, Afreximbank, Aurecon, G4S, Aggreko, BAT, Total, Halliburton, Lafarge, Safal, Heineken, Multichoice, just to mention a few.


Dare Okoudjou

CEO, MFS Africa

Dare is recognised as one of the world experts in the mobile financial services field. He is the founder and CEO of MFS Africa Ltd a Pan African company that develops and distributes financial services through mobile (insurance, credit, savings, etc..). He began his carrier as Management Consultant With PricewaterhouseCoopers in Paris where he assisted leading Telecom & Media Companies in Europe & Africa on strategy development and implementation as well as Operational effectiveness issues. He later joined MTN Group in Johannesburg where he was involved in reviewing the company’s early experiment in mobile payment and subsequently developing the Group’s mobile-payment strategy. He oversaw the implementation of MTN Mobile Money across the Group’s 20 operations outside of South Africa. He holds a MSc. in Telecom Engineering from ENST-Paris (France) and an MBA from INSEAD (France/Singapore).


Dr. Kolawole (Kola) Olofinboba

MD – Partner, Fairview Capital Partners

Dr. Olofinboba is a partner at Fairview Capital Partners, Inc., a private equity fund-of-funds based in West Hartford, CT with approximately $3.2 Billion in aggregate fund capitalization. He is a member of the investment committee and is involved in a broad set of activities investing in U.S. and international private equity funds. Recently, he has co-led the work at Fairview advising international institutions on private equity investment in Africa. Prior to joining Fairview, Dr. Olofinboba was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company, serving U.S. and global clients in healthcare and private equity. Earlier in his career, he practiced medicine as a hospitalist and assistant professor at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, CT winning multiple teaching awards. He has also practiced medicine in the VA hospital system and in private clinical practice. He is board-certified in internal medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Olofinboba received his medical degree from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and an MBA in Financial Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management, where he was a Robert Toigo Fellow. He serves on the boards of several charitable organizations in the greater Hartford region.


Eric Osiakwan

Executive Secretary, African ISP Association

Eric M.K Osiakwan has over 10 years of experience helping setup ISPs in 32 African countries. Notably, Eric was part of the team that built the TEAMS submarine cable in Kenya, and is an ICT consultant for the World Bank, Soros Foundations, UNDP, USAID and numerous African governments. In addition, he has founded numerous companies and associations including Novica.com, Internet Research, BusyInternet, InHand, PenPlusBytes, the African ISP Association and the Ghana ISP Association. Eric co-authored the “Open Access Model” which has become a global model for the communication industry. He also served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Ghana New Ventures Competition, as a board member of the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA), and was part of Ghana Connect, an initiative focused on making broadband accessible and affordable. Eric is studying towards an MSc in Practising Sustainable Development at the Royal Holloway University of London and is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Berkman Centre for Internet and Society at Harvard University.


Affiong Osuchukwu '06

Country Marketing Manager-Nigeria, Google

Affiong is responsible for the Google brand and leads all in-market activities to increase the awareness and usage of Google products among the growing base of Nigerian Internet users. Prior to Google, Affiong spent 13 years in management consulting at Deloitte in Chicago and Atlanta where she focused on developing and implementing marketing, corporate and technology strategies for fortune 100 clients in financial services, tech and telecoms in North America and Europe. Affiong holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Mathematics degree from Clark Atlanta University. She is happily married and currently resides in Nigeria with her husband.


Kevin Thompson

Senior Manager at the Center for Applied Insights, IBM

At IBM in the Center for Applied Insights, Kevin leads a team of researchers producing fact-based, market-centric thought leadership for new business development around the world. Current programs focus on geographic expansion in Africa, analysis of historical IT adoption patterns to country development markers and the impact of big data on personal and enterprise leadership. Past responsibility includes the creation, design, launch and scaling of the Corporate Service Corps (CSC), often called a “business version of the Peace Corps,” which addresses the 21st century context for doing business – emerging markets, diverse cultures, global teaming, complex policy environments, cross functional collaboration and increasing societal expectations. The CSC has deployed over 1,500 IBM employees from 50+ countries on assignments in 23 countries working with non-profits, government agencies, universities and entrepreneurs. The CSC was named one of IBM’s Top 100 innovations in our 100 years of history during IBM’s Centennial year in 2011. Additional responsibilities included supporting IBM leadership as a specialist on the policies, trends and status of corporate citizenship worldwide among other corporations, NGOs, governments and multinational organizations. Mr. Thompson is a First Mover Fellow with the Aspen Institute, a leadership and innovation lab for social intrapreneurs, the subject of a Harvard Business School case study and winner of a 2010 FrED Forum innovation award. He is on the Board of Trustees for the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and the Advisory Board for two social enterprises: World Action Teams and Ethikus. He has held roles at IBM in global strategy, corporate citizenship, brand management, communications, and digital. Prior to IBM he spent two years managing a farm and micro enterprise in rural Ghana, West Africa while a US Peace Corps volunteer and performed as a musician based in Massachusetts. Mr. Thompson holds MBA and MS degrees from Cornell University and a BA from the University of Massachusetts in Natural Systems. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife Manja and son Nels.


Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor '94

Country Manager-Nigeria, International Finance Corporation (IFC)

As the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Country Manager in Nigeria, where he oversees all of IFC’s activities in Nigeria. This includes IFC’s investments: (i) in the banking sector, insurance and microfinance banks; (ii) tourism, retail, property, services, healthcare, education and agribusiness; and, (iii) telecom, media, technology, power, transport, oil & gas. In addition, he oversees IFC’s advisory services in transforming banks’ capacity to originate/innovate/monitor SME financing, investment climate reforms, corporate governance in the banking sector, village phone and mobile banking, and capacity building to general SMEs and SMEs in particular value chains such as agribusiness, health and education. More importantly, Solomon has led the transformation of IFC’s program in Nigeria from a reactive business as financier of last resort to a strategic-driven business, with clear prioritization on infrastructure especially power and PPPs, agribusiness and SME financing to support economic growth and increased employment, implemented through building strategic partnerships with clients and deepening client relationship management with Nigerian businesses. This has resulted in Nigeria becoming IFC’s 9th largest country portfolio globally, and the largest in sub-Saharan Africa with an outstanding investment portfolio of almost US$1 billion, and annual investments of up to 40% of IFC’s total business in sub-Saharan Africa.


Solomon was also recently appointed to oversee the development and implementation of a proactive and systematic strategic approach to IFC supporting south-south investments in Africa, particularly from Brazil, China, India and Singapore. Prior to this, Solomon served as IFC’s Head of Infrastructure for sub-Saharan Africa based in Johannesburg from 2002-2006. Between 2001-2002, he also oversaw IFC’s overall business in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Zambia and Zimbabwe. After joining IFC in 1999 and up until 2001, Solomon led IFC’s Infrastructure Advisory Services Group’s business development in sub-Saharan Africa, but prior to that worked on projects primarily in Eastern Europe. Before IFC, Solomon worked in the US, and has several years of senior investment banking experience on Wall Street, providing corporate finance advisory services to large and medium corporations. Immediately before joining IFC, he worked for five years in investment banking at Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns in New York City as an Associate and Vice President in the generalist, mining, and media & communications groups.


Solomon is a graduate of the J L Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He also has an MSc in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as a BS in Applied Physics from the Atlanta University Center. For several years before business school and after graduation from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Solomon was a college professor at the Atlanta University Center in Mathematics and Engineering.