Accueil / Biography
Accueil / Biography
Gervais Koffi Djondo
Honorary President & Founder of ECOBANK Group and Chairman of Asky Airlines and Founder of the Djondo Fellowship
In the 1950s, Gervais Koffi Djondo is a chartered accountant for the Niger Railways in Niamey. He then joined Sotra, where he became involved in the CFTC union to improve the working and living conditions of Nigerian workers. Gervais Koffi Djondo then went to Paris to study at the National School of France overseas, before returning to Togo in 1964; he is responsible for the national social security fund, then combines this role with that of prefect of Lomé.
In the mid-1970s, he joined the Togolese branch of Scoa as general manager, before becoming president of the Togo Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 1975, then Minister of Industry and State Companies1, after his appointment in 1984 to the government by Eyadema. He then heads the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of West Africa, where he meets Adeyemi Lawson, head of the Nigeria Chamber of Commerce. The two men co-found Ecobank in 1985 in Lome, after a year of adventures.
Following various requests, Koffi Djondo set up a project for a pan-African airline, which was born in 2010: ASky, where he is chairman of the board of directors. In 2017, during the reception of his AfroChampions prize, he launched a system of "Djondo scholarships" intended to help young African entrepreneurs.
Former President Republic of Mauritius
Ameenah Gurib-Fakim has been the Managing Director of the Centre International de Développement Pharmaceutique (CIDP) Research and Innovation as well as Professor of Organic Chemistry with an endowed chair at the University of Mauritius. Since 2001, she has served successively as Dean of the Faculty of Science and Pro Vice Chancellor (2004- 2010). She has also worked at the Mauritius Research Council as Manager for Research (1995-1997).
Ms Gurib-Fakim earned a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Surrey (1983) and a PhD from the University of Exeter, UK (1987). During her academic journey, she has participated in several consultation meetings on environmental issues organized by international organizations. Between 2011-2013, she was elected and served as Chairperson of the International Council for Scientific Union – Regional Office for Africa, and served as an Independent Director on the Board of Barclays Bank of Mauritius Ltd between (2012-2015).
As a Founding Member of the Pan African Association of African Medicinal Plants, she co-authored the first ever African Herbal Pharmacopoeia. She has authored and co-edited 28 books, several book chapters and scientific articles in the field of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. She has lectured extensively across the world; is a Member of the Editorial Boards of major journals, has served on Technical and national committees in various capacities. Elevated to the Order of the Commander of the Star and Key by the Government of Mauritius in 2008, she has been admitted to the Order of the Chevalier dans L’Ordre des Palmes Academiques by the Government of France in 2010 and is the recipient of 4 DSc (s).
Elected Fellow of several academies and societies, Ms Gurib-Fakim received several international prizes including the 2007 l’Oreal-UNESCO Prize for Women in Science, the African Union Commission Award for Women in Science, 2009. On 05 June 2015, she was sworn in as the 6th President and the First Female President of the Republic of Mauritius and served in that capacity until March 2018.
She was elevated to the Order of GCSK by the Government of Mauritius, and received the Legion d’Honneur from the Government of France in 2016. In 2017, she received both the lifelong achievement award of the United States Pharmacopoeia-CePat Award and the American Botanical Council Norman Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award. In 2018, she received the Order of St George at the Semperopernball, Dresden, Germany.
In June 2016, she was in the Forbes List for the 100 ‘Most Powerful women in the world’ and 1st among the Top 100 Women in Africa Forbes List 2017. She is honoured as one of Foreign Policy’s 2015 Global Thinkers.
Director of Project & Export Development Finance – AFREXIMBANK
Mr. John Kofi Adomakoh is the Director and head of the Project Finance & Export Development Departments at the African Export-Import Bank, (Afreximbank) Headquartered in Cairo, EGYPT. He is responsible for developing and executing bank wide strategies that will culminate in financing projects which have a significant trade and developmental impact across member countries in Africa.
Mr. Adomakoh has been instrumental in leading the Bank to develop and finance various projects in the Energy and Power sectors, Infrastructure, Healthcare, Agribusiness projects, Oil and Gas, Mining, Tourism, Telecoms and Manufacturing projects of green and Brownfield type. He also champions the Industrialization and Export Development strategy for Afreximbank. He has had an extensive banking career spanning over 25years with reputable Banking Institutions including Ecobank and Barclays in Ghana where he was Head of Corporate banking and Executive Director respectively. Mr. Adomakoh holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture, majoring in Economics and a master’s degree in business administration both from University of Ghana legon and has attended various executive leadership at the Insead. He has a passion for photography and horology and is married with 2 children.
Chairman – Gauteng Growth and Development Agency – South Africa
Ernest Mahlaule is a director of companies and among other responsibilities he is immediate past president at the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI). He currently serves as the Chairman at Destiny Holdings and recently appointed as Group Chairman at the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA. His current PHD studies seek to look at means and ways to enhance Intra-trade in the African continent in line with the reasons for our gathering today.
GENERAL MANAGER Enterprise Sales SME - MTN SA
Sidi Ould TAH
DIRECTOR GENERAL – BADEA
Monsieur Sidi Ould Tah, ministre des Affaires Economiques et du Développement a été élu au poste du directeur général de la Banque Arabe pour le Développement Economique en Afrique (BADEA) pour un mandat de trois ans.
M. Sidi Ould Tah a été élu à l'unanimité par les gouverneurs de la banque cours de leur 40ème session, dans le cadre des assemblées annuelles des institutions arabes des finances qui se sont déroulées du 7 au 8 avril 2015 à Koweït-City.
Mr. Sidi Ould Tah, Minister of Economic Affairs and Development was elected to the post of Director General of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) for a three-year term.Mr. Sidi Ould Tah was unanimously elected by the governors of the Bank during their 40th session, as part of the annual meetings of the Arab Finance Institutions that took place from April 7 to 8, 2015 in Kuwait City.
Serge T. DIOP
PRESIDENT - AFRICA LINK CAPITAL
VICE PRESIDENT, ELECTRICITY, ENERGY, CLIMATE AND GREEN GROWTH – AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK
Amadou HOTT was born in Thiaroye Gare on October 25, 1972. This business banker is married and has 3 children. Everything begins with this internship at Société Générale in Paris in July 1996 in the market activities. For three months, he works with the group's traders and risk managers in major financial markets such as London, New York and Tokyo. In 2006, he was recruited in Dubai by Millennium Finance Corporation, which had just started to develop its investment banking business in Africa. Subsequently, in 2008, he joined the UBA Group as Managing Director of its investment banking subsidiary, UBA Capital (Lagos). In 2011, he created Afribridge Capital, an investment and advisory firm specializing in Africa, in Dubai, advising groups such as Dangote with whom, for a time, he had created Dangote Capital. In May 2012, he was appointed Special Advisor to the President of the Republic of Senegal in investments and financing, coordinating various projects including the establishment of the Sovereign Strategic Investment Fund (FONSIS). From June 2013 to May 2014, he held the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors of the project company of Blaise Diagne International Airport (AIBD SA). In September 2013, he was appointed Managing Director of FONSIS. Vice President, Electricity, Energy, Climate and Green Growth with effect from 1 November 2016. HOTT is named in 2012 "Young Global Leader" by the Davos World Economic Forum, which this year has selected 192 leaders from 59 countries.
Managing Director – Banking Association of South Africa
Cas obtained his B.Com from the University College – Durban in 1971. He completed the Housing Finance Course with the Wharton Real Estate Centre at the University of Pennsylvania. He also completed the Effective Directors Programme with the Kagiso School of Leadership. He has contributed to numerous articles and publications on housing finance, civil society, local government and the role of civic organisations in governance.
Cas became involved in anti-apartheid politics in the early 1980’s. He was very active in the civic movement, starting in Laudium, Pretoria in 1980. He was the leading force in the establishment of the White Blocks Residents Association in Laudium during 1980. This was the first organized civic body in the country and mobilized low-income people around their day-to-day issues. Cas subsequently was instrumental in the formation of the Civic Association of Johannesburg, which was the trailblazer in negotiations around the restructuring of local government in the early 1990’s. The Civic Association of Johannesburg, which included the Soweto Civic Association, Alexandra Civic Organisation, Lenasia Civic Association and others, was the central party from the Mass Democratic Movement in negotiations around the restructuring of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Council. Cas was General Secretary of the Civic Association of Johannesburg and led the negotiations. He was also instrumental in the formation of the South African National Civic Organisation and was its Vice-President. Cas played a critical role in the United Democratic Front (UDF) and was leading its Johannesburg Area Committee. He also played a critical role in the defiance campaign during the mid 1980’s.
Cas is currently the Managing Director at The Banking Association South Africa. He has played a central role in the negotiations leading to the signing of the Financial Sector Charter and is playing a critical role in the implementation of agreements reached in the Charter.
Cas is the immediate past chairman of The Johannesburg Civic Theatre and Vice-Chairperson of the Trust for Urban Housing Finance. He is also Chairperson of the National Business Initiative and Treasurer of the African Union for Housing Finance and also serves on the Board of the Centre for Development and Enterprise. He is also 1st Deputy-President of the International Union for Housing Finance. He serves as a Council member of the University of Witwatersrand. He is also on the board of the Nepad Business Foundation and the Board of Business Unity South Africa.
Cas was instrumental in the conceptualisation and establishment of Community Bank in South Africa and is passionate about the area of access to financial services to the broad spectrum of people in South Africa. He has considerable experience in housing finance, SMME support, local government restructuring, dynamics of organised business and the financial environment in the SADC region.
He served articles for training as a chartered accountant and ran an accounting practice for a number of years. He also spent time with the Kagiso Group managing a small venture capital company that invested in emerging manufacturing enterprises. He is thus proficient in the financial environment and able to get on top of issues fairly quickly.
CEO - NACP
Charles KIE is a former student of Harvard Business School (AMP), he has an MBA from New York University Stern, HEC Paris and London School of Economics, obtained a DESS in Business Restructuring from the University of Clermont Ferrand I and is graduated from the Abidjan Business School. He was Group Director of Corporate Banking at Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) after recently serving as Managing Director of Ecobank Capital, the investment banking arm of the Ecobank Group. But before joining Ecobank, Charles KIE headed the Banque Atlantique group as Chief Executive Officer; He was also Director of West Africa Citigroup after being, for several years Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa Financial Engineering Citigroup.
DIRECTOR FOR GENDER WOMEN & CIVIL SOCIETY - ADB
Ms. Vanessa Moungar is the African Development Bank’s Director for Gender, Women and Civil Society. She leads the Group’s strategy on gender and investments in women, aiming to accelerate progress on women’s economic development and thus Africa’s transformation through a more inclusive growth. She is also in charge of the Bank’s engagement with the Civil Society, ensuring access in delivering programs to all members of society, as well as enhancing citizen participation, accountability and transparency in the Bank’s work.
Previously, she held the position of Senior Manager for Africa at the World Economic Forum between 2013 and 2017, where she led large-scale public-private collaboration efforts, including engaging leaders of African governments, the private sector and civil society and ensuring partnerships across multiple industries – from health and education to extractives, infrastructure, agriculture and energy. She championed the Demographic Dividend agenda, leading a multi stakeholder group of global experts mandated to create thought leadership and shape public policy for investment in women and youth.
Between 2006 and 2013, she held various positions including Director of Sales and Marketing at Terrafina, an American company operating in the agri-business industry. She started her career at AV Consulting, France, which she co-founded in 2004 to support small and medium enterprises in Africa and the Middle East. She holds degrees from INSEEC Paris and Harvard University, and was a WEF Global Leadership Fellow (in partnerships with Columbia University, Wharton School of Business, China Europe International Business School, London Business School, and INSEAD).
Ms. Moungar is also a Youth Champion for Africa 2.0, and sits on President Emmanuel Macron’s Presidential Council for Africa.
VICE-PRESIDENT, PRIVATE SECTOR, INFRASTRUCTURE AND INDUSTRIALIZATION - African Development Bank
Pierre Guislain joined the ADB Group in December 2016 as Vice President of the Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization. His areas of responsibility at the Bank also cover the financial sector, trade, urban development and information and communication technologies.
Prior to joining the Bank, Mr. Guislain was Senior Director, Transport and Information and Communication Technologies at the World Bank. He has also worked as Director of the joint World Bank-SFI-MIGA Department on Business Climate and as Co-Director at IFC, in charge of Fragile States and Countries in Conflict.
Mr. Guislain is the author and publisher of publications on private sector development, foreign direct investment, ICT, infrastructure reform and privatization. He holds a Master's degree in Economics and Public Policy from Princeton University (USA) and a postgraduate degree in Law from the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium).
CEO - AFRICAN INSTITUTE FOR MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES
Mr.Thierry Zomahoun, born in Benin, West Africa, is an administrator, development strategist, management expert and a thought-leader for innovative education initiatives. He is President and Chief Executive Officer of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS). During his leadership at AIMS, he has focused on developing and expanding a network of campuses for graduate scholarship and research in Mathematical Sciences. Saved from the streets by his grandmother, he learned the value of education at a young age and achieved graduate degrees from universities in Africa, Europe and North America. Since 2011, his work has focused on creating an enabling environment for the transformation of Africa through education.
MANAGING PARTNER - FOCUS VENTURES
Haoua MAMOUDOU is the founder and Managing Partner of Focus Ventures.Haoua identifies, investigates and assesses future/long term strategic business opportunies beyond the 'business as usual' for companies in this dynamic part of the world.Her previous responsibilities as country manager and then head of operations both held in the African continent allowed her to get a sharp insight of rapidly developing economies' business potential.
Haoua is a graduate of both Paris XII - ESA business school in France and Yokohama National Unversity in Japan with a MSc in Financial engineering. A native French speaker, Haoua is additionally fluent in English, Spanish and Hausa.
EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT - AFRICSEARCH
Didier Acouetey is president of AfricSearch Group, one of the first international firms working on human resource development in Africa. Member of “Think Tanks” and Promoter of the “Youth Excellency Program”, he co-founded the first Africa-Southeast Asia Chamber of Commerce in Singapore. He received several recognitions including the 2014 “Best African Entrepreneur of France” Award. Considered to be one of the 50 most active Africans, he launched in 2014 the first African SME financing forum, in partnership with several international institutions.
He holds an MBA FROM “ESCP EAP” (Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris), and two post- graduate degrees in International Trade and Industrial Marketing.
PRESIDENT - CONSTELLOR GROUP
Paulo Gomes served from 1998 to 2006 as the Executive Director representing 25 sub-Saharan African countries on the Board of Directors of the World Bank Group (IBRD, IFC, MIGA). Paulo has been very active on different boards including the West African Development Bank (BOAD), Ecobank, Asky Airline and AFIG Private Equity Fund. Founder and President of Constelor Investment Holdings, he is also the co-founder of the Africa-South East Asia Chamber of Commerce in Singapore. As a strong believer of the African Renaissance, Mr. Gomes keeps working on a National Reconstruction Strategy for his country.
MANAGING PARTNER - ELLIPSIS, GABON
Vanessa is the founder and managing partner of ELLIPSIS, a financial management advisory firm. For the past 13 years she has been implementing accounting and financial management best practices for the private sector. Her team brings structure to the chaos that arises from change and growth through better management of the finance function. The firm provides CFO services to various organizations, using reliable financial information to increase management’s visibility into their activity. The firm developed a line of service for SMEs intended to address the issue of their access to finance. Prior to founding ELLIPSIS, she worked for various organizations in the US, France and West Africa, including Deloitte and Ecobank. Vanessa is a gender champion, committed to a better representation of African women within companies’ top management. She is a native of Gabon and a Certified Public Accountant, licensed in the USA and in the Central African Region (CEMAC).
DIRECTOR - YAETSHO INVESTMENTS AND PROJECTS
Reggie Kukama obtained a Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) and Bachelor of Architecture (Hons.) Cum Laude, from the University of Cape Town. He was employed by Stauch Vorster Architects in Cape Town as an Architect. During that period, he was exchanged to a leading retail Architectural firm in Baltimore, Development Design Group, whom at that time where designing Cavendish Square for Old Mutual Properties. Upon his return, he was awarded the Unilever Nelson Mandela Scholarship to the United Kingdom where he studied Masters in Building & Urban Design from the University of London.
• In 2000, he co-founded large project management company with fellow graduates from Cape Town, which was recognized as one of the leading Project Management firm in SA after completing over R8 billion worth of projects across the country.
• Since 2010, Reggie has been involved in commercial property development where he has been responsible for the development of office parks worth over R900m.
• Reggie is a lead partner on the development of Vaal River City, the first post-apartheid city in the south of Johannesburg. The project is estimated to be R11bn upon completion. • Reggie in partnership with Balwin Properties have obtained rights at Waterfall City to develop 15,000 residential units.
• A serial entrepreneur and shareholding in other sectors including cellmast company, Commco; an outdoor advertising company, Ad Outpost and Swissport SA.
• Reggie is also an owner and producer of an award winning Stellenbosch based Meinert Wines.
• Reggie co-founded Pelo Agricultural Ventures, a vehicle intended to operate and invest in the Agricultural sector and have recently concluded the acquisition of Karan Beef, the largest feedlot and abattoir in the continent of Africa
PRESIDENT - AFRIQUE CHALLENGES
FOUNDING PARTNER - BELVEDERE ADVISORY
Guillaume Arditti is the founder of Belvedere Advisory, a financial and strategy advisory firm focused on Africa. Guillaume's career kicked off in South Africa with the French Development Agency (AFD). He then joined major financial institutions such as NATIXIS and BNP PARIBAS where he extensively focused on Africa, working on landmark transactions on the continent, leading business development initiatives and, as a Managing Director in BNP Paribas Energy & Commodities department, focusing on strategy in Africa. During his 15 years in investment banking and three years developing Belvedere Advisory, he covered the whole spectrum of direct lending, from short term structured trade to long term asset financing, from corporate lending to project finance in natural resources or infrastructure projects.
Master's degree in International Relations from the Paris Institute of Political Science (Science Po) and from Dauphine University (MSc in Economics & Finance), Guillaume is also a lecturer in International Relations at the Political Sciences Institute of Paris (Sciences Po) and regularly shares his analyses of African markets and geopolitical issues in international media such as Foreign Affairs, Global Trade Review, Le Point Afrique and France TV info.
Ibrahim Cheikh DIONG
CEO – AFRICA CONSULTING AND TRADE - ACT
Mr. Ibrahima Cheikh Diong, is the founder and CEO of the Panafrican Africa Consulting and Training (ACT) based in Dakar, holds 25 years of professional experience. Mr. Diong was the Senior Africa Advisor of BNP Paribas for over 3 years. He held several positions as Minister, Roving Ambassador, Chairman of the Board of Group Air Senegal, Managing Director of Energy International Cooperation, all in Senegal. He was also Director at the World Bank, IFC, Associate at Booz-Allen & Hamilton. Cheikh graduated from Columbia University New York City, with a Master in International Relation.
MANAGING PARTNER - AFRICSEARCH SOUTH AFRICA
MANAGING PARTNER - AFRICSEARCH CÔTE D’IVOIRE
Joël-Eric MISSAINHOUN is Managing Partner and Executive Director in charge of activities of the AfricSearch office in Abidjan. For over fifteen years, Joel-Eric has successfully been involved in projects and activities linked directly to Africa. For 5 years, he was employed as a lawyer (African Tax and Legal issues) at Ernst & Young in Paris. In that position he was involved in providing advisory services to multinationals and assisting several African governments. Joël-Eric has a Master Degree (DESS) in Banking Law, from La Sorbonne University in Paris, and is graduated from the Paris Bar school.
FOUNDER & CEO PULEGO COMMUNICATIONS
Tshepo Thlaku is the founder and CEO of Pulego Communications, a 100% black- owned B-BBEE Level 1 enterprise that provides innovative Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions, project consulting and outsourcing of software resources. At Pulego Communications, Tshepo leads a team that innovated a citizens engagement mobile platform for smart cities that was awarded by the ITU Telecoms World 2018 as the greatest social impact solution and the company further won the Global SME Excellence Award.
He has served in numerous local, national and international positions at Junior Chamber International (JCI), a worldwide network of young active citizens between ages 18-40 that is in 125 countries, providing development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change. He has since travelled to more than 25 countries through JCI, engaging young people on finding sustainable solutions to community challenges and contributing on towards the establishment of everlasting world peace.
Tshepo has done ICT for Development projects in 15 African countries with a former non-profit organisation called Ungana-Afrika. Worked with ADCOME in Cameroon implementing technologies for rural schools. He also was a leader in AIESEC (an international student leadership and exchange program) an has played a role in football development in his hometown of Temba, in Pretoria.
Tshepo is driven by the principles of entrepreneurship, innovation, and community involvement. Inspired by African Renaissance he is a firm believer of Africa and its people. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and is a proud father of two.
ANNE MARIE CHIDZERO
CIO - FSD AFRICA INVESTMENTS
FSD Africa is pleased to announce that it has appointed Anne-Marie Chidzero as its Chief Investment Officer, following an extensive recruitment process. As CIO, Anne-Marie will lead FSD Africa Investments, the development capital arm of FSD Africa, working to grow this new part of the FSD Africa programme. Anne-Marie, a Zimbabwean, is the former CEO of Financial Sector Deepening Mozambique and Co-founder of private equity fund manager, Alitheia IDF Managers, investing in women-led businesses.
Anne-Marie brings a wealth of experience of building African financial markets to the FSD Africa team. Across her career, she has led a range of development finance investments and implemented strategies for private sector growth, in roles at the World Bank Group, CGAP and UK Aid, among other development finance institutions.
Anne-Marie is recognized as a pioneering force in gender-lens investing. As Co-founder and Principal Partner at Alitheia IDF, where she remains a seed-investor, Anne-Marie helped build a fund to finance female founders across Africa, supporting them to scale their businesses.
As a Board member of the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), Anne-Marie helped shape a blended finance approach to de-risking investments in renewable energy and agriculture businesses, contributing to the prosperity of African rural economies. She recently concluded the final successful exit of AfriCap Microfinance Investment, the first Pan-African microfinance fund, where she held the role of CEO.
FSD Africa Investments is currently capitalised at GBP 30 million but plans to add significantly to its funding capacity in the coming years. Anne-Marie holds a BSc Psychology, McGill University, Montreal and MA Economics, University of Toronto, Canada.
Dr. Edem ADZOGENU
MEMBER OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE - AFROCHAMPIONS
Estelle Youssouffa est journaliste, grand reporter et présentatrice des journaux sur la chaîne d'information en continue française BFMTV. Elle travaille également à TV5 Monde et France 2 pour l'émission d'investigation "Un Œil sur la Planète».
Estelle Youssouffa a rejoint l'équipe de la chaîne internationale anglophone Al Jazeera English en devenant correspondante à Londres puis Paris. Elle enseigne à l'IPJ Paris en 2011et a été sélectionnée comme Young Leader par la French American Fondation.
Fathi Coco REINARHZ
CHEF PATRON & FOUNDER EPICURE RESTAURANT
CO FOUNDER & CEO - AFRICA DEVELOPMENT SOLUTIONS (ADS)
Samba Bathily is a Mali born, global African entrepreneur and pioneer in sustainable clean energy and solar solutions. He is Founder of Africa Development Solutions (ADS), Co-Founder and CFO of Akon Lighting Africa and CEO of Solektra International. Recognised as one the leaders in driving growth in Africa, Samba is one of the key enablers for setting up sustainable development ventures. With a global network, acute business acumen, he has a particular “forte” in establishing strategic and innovative financial structuring. This has led to partnerships and growth models between private/public entities and local and international financial institutions and banks.
To provide a formal framework for private-public partnerships, Samba launched ADS (Africa Development Solutions) in 2004 drawing in companies such as Huawei and Samsung. Under this umbrella 12 subsidiaries were created in industry sectors such as: Networking and Telecommunications Equipment and Services, Water & Food Security, Health Care, Infrastructure, Energy, Telecommunications, New Technologies, Hotel Retail, Construction ID and Payment Systems, Finance and Education & Vocational Training. Subsidiaries are present in seven African countries – Mali, Senegal, Niger, Benin, Ivory Coast, Guinea, and Nigeria.
More recently in 2014, Samba co-founded Solektra international, with international music star Akon and youth leader Thione Niang. Solektra international has launched Akon Lighting Africa, an initiative that promotes awareness and usage of innovative solar solutions to provide villages throughout Africa with access to clean electricity. To date, results include solar developments such as the installation of street lamps, and domestic and community kits in 15 countries throughout Africa.
Samba is founder and President of the non-profit “Fondation Volontaires d’Afrique” which aims to develop youth employment in Africa by helping young people through scholarships to launch their projects and become entrepreneurs.
CEO & Co Founder - YOCO
Katlego is the co-founder and CEO at Yoco. A point of sale payments venture, empowering underserved SMEs in Africa to grow through electronic payments, mobile point of sale and lending. He drives the company’s expansion, customer experience and organisational design elements as the venture looks to increase card acceptance amongst African SMEs. While having lunch in San Francisco at a small eatery that he assumed would not be able to process a card payment, a mobile card reader was presented to him. This encounter planted the seed that led to Yoco’s start. Yoco launched out of beta in October 2015 and the venture has since acquired over 15 000 merchants, processing a $ 100 million in annualised transactions. Katlego's previous work involved venture development at Rocket Internet, setting up Jumia.com in Nigeria. The majority of Katlego’s career was in telecoms, media and technology management consulting at Accenture and Delta Partners. Katlego studied Business Science Information Systems at the University of Cape Town
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - CATALYST FOR GROWTH
Sifiso Ndwandwe is the Managing Director at Catalyst for Growth (C4G). Sifiso has spent over 25 years in the enterprise development sector. Prior to joining C4G, he served as CEO of the Mineworkers Development Agency (MDA) for a period of 10 years.
Before this role he also served as the Group Business Development Manager at Mondi Limited. Beyond the borders of South Africa, Mr Ndwandwe worked at CARE International, a USAID funded project in Swaziland.
Over the years, he has served on various boards including Corporative Banks Development Agency (CBDA) as Chairperson, then at Business Skills South Africa and UBank (formerly Teba Bank). He currently serves on the HR and Ethics Board Committee of the African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation (AEMFC).
He has extensive experience in business skills training and mentorship and has been involved with ILO’s SYIB Programme for many years in the sub-region. He has studied at the University of Swaziland, Graduate School of Business (UCT), Wits Business School, University of Singapore and Cranefield University (UK). Sifiso is passionate about entrepreneurship and development.
HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE - JCCI
Bernadette has had many year of hands-on experience in international trade. In her own business, she specialized in establishing complete turnkey projects to set up medical practitioners and in providing medical supplies and equipment to hospitals, clinics and pharmacies in countries throughout Africa. She has an extensive knowledge of import and export administration and of trade agreements with SADC, BRICS and COMESA countries.
Bernadette is looking forward to building on the Chamber’s already strong links with the local and international business community and to originating new services for the trading community.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGE - FINFIND
Group executive for new business development – Broll
Mel Barends is Divisional Director New Business for the Facilities Management Division within Broll. He was previously in the role of Portfolio Director. With a background in Civil Engineering Concepts Mel is able to provide technical, strategic and operational support in the Built environment to clients. He has worked in Countries such as South Africa, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Swaziland, Cyprus and Guinea Bissau.
He has extensive experience in Project Management and Facilities Management at Strategic and Operational levels. With 13 years of Facilities and Project Management experience managing Facilities and large Projects for Organisations such as J.P. Morgan, Chevron Texaco, Lentegeur, Albert Luthuli Public Hospitals, Ster Kinekor, T-Systems and MTN. Mel was responsible for the rollout and implementation of the Facilities Management for MTN South Africa, MTN Ghana, MTN Ivory Coast and MTN Swaziland.
He is currently the Project Director for MTN Guinea Bissau’s new Head Quarters being constructed which is a 18 month project and overall responsible for the Project Management Contract within MTN Guinea Bissau. Mel has the understanding of Policies and Procedures and the development thereof. He holds Advanced Certificates in Facilities Management, Property Management and Lease Negotiation from the University of Pretoria. He is also an Accredited Facilities Professional with SAFMA and is a qualified ISO 9001 Auditor.