Africa’s long-term growth is linked to infrastructure development. However, executing infrastructure deals in Africa is no easy task. Public and private institutions have strong interests, and either party may be unwilling to come to the center. In addition, organizing finance for these projects, which sometimes last 20 to 30 years, can be a Herculean task. However, in the face of these challenges, there is immense opportunity.
On the residential side, the growing middle class continues to clamour for world class housing, infrastructure and services, and are more willing than ever to pay for these amenities. This panel aims to evaluate what the constraints in providing them have been, and to explore potential solutions.
MBA Candidate, Class of 2014
Drs. Marja Hoek-Smit is the Director of the International Housing Finance Program of the Wharton School Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center, and an Adjunct Professor in the Wharton Real Estate Department and Department of City and Regional Planning of the University of Pennsylvania. Her work focuses on housing and housing finance policy development, particularly for developing and emerging economies, housing demand and affordability analysis, the development of monitoring and evaluation systems for urban housing programs, and the development of executive education program in housing finance, housing market development, and urban development.
Drs. Hoek-Smit is on the editorial board of Housing Finance International and a member of the Working Group on Housing Research of the World Bank. She has lectured internationally at leading universities and has been a keynote speaker at major national and international professional meetings. She completed her doctoraal degree at the University of Amsterdam in 1971. Prior to teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, she taught at the University of Nairobi, Kenya.
She has consulted with clients including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, USAID, the United Nations, the Inter–American Development Bank, and directly for several governments and private financial institutions. Recent consulting activities include the analysis and/or design of alternative housing finance and subsidy programs for the governments of Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, and Suriname, the development of a comprehensive housing strategy and subsidy system for the Government of Indonesia, urban housing market studies in Thailand, South Africa, Botswana and Tanzania, the development of participatory approaches for urban and housing development for the governments of Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and South Africa. She has also prepared national strategies for housing finance training for the governments of Pakistan and India.
Ije Ikoku brings over 15 years of experience in the fields of Private Equity/Finance & Engineering. She currently works at the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Washington DC covering power transaction in Latin America and Africa. She was previously the team lead for Infrastructure/TMT/Energy investments at the IFC's Nigeria office. In her current role she is responsible for all facets of deal sourcing, structuring, negotiating, and financing of transactions. She has structured project finance and private equity deals in infrastructure in excess of US$1.5 billion.
Prior to joining IFC, she spent her professional career supporting entrepreneurial ventures in the US, Ghana, Nigeria, Namibia, and South Africa, and has worked at Charles Schwab, ECP, and Geometric Power.
Ije holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, and an MBA in Finance & Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.
Kofi Owusu-Boakye serves as the lead Regional Investment Officer for the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) loan guarantee program in East Africa. The Development Credit Authority (DCA) is a US Congressional authorization that allows USAID to mobilize local financing to support development goals through US Treasury-backed credit guarantees. The DCA has underpinned USD 3 billion in credit guarantees worldwide since 1999, and has been used across all development sectors. Mr. Owusu-Boakye is responsible for new partnership development and risk assessment in East Africa.
He previously worked as the technical team leader for the DCA’s Portfolio Management unit. His prior experience in development finance includes stints serving as Regional Portfolio Managers for the same program in Eastern Europe and South-East Asia.
Mr. Owusu-Boakye has an MBA in Finance from the University of Maryland’s R.H. Smith School of Business, and a BA in Economics and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.
Joe Quinones is the CEO of City Life Property Development and Management, which is a real estate investment and development firm based in Philadelphia, PA. From 2008-2012, he served as the Managing Director and COO of Primrose Development Company, which is the real estate development platform of First City Monument Bank (FCMB).
Joe has an MBA in real estate and finance from the Wharton School. Joe is also a passionate community organizer in both the USA and Nigeria. Joe’s love for African and specifically Yoruba people is a reflection of the fact that he is of Yoruba lineage.
Joe's thesis is that talented professionals of African descent can be the modern day warriors of their community and use their skill sets to develop economic and political assets for their community that can be used to improve their social conditions and empowerment as a group. Joe aspires to use his skills as a developer, real estate entrepreneur and community organizer to unify, institutionalize and empower his community.
Africa is the world’s second-fastest-growing region. Poverty is falling, and around 90 million of its households have joined the world’s consuming classes—an increase of 31 million in just over a decade. A new McKinsey Global Institute report, Africa at work: Job creation and inclusive growth, shows that the continent must create wage-paying jobs more quickly to sustain these successes and ensure that growth benefits the majority of its people.
The presentation will be delivered by one of the report’s authors, Susan Lund.
Susan Lund is a partner of McKinsey & Company and the director of research at the McKinsey Global Institute, the firm’s economics research arm. Dr. Lund’s research focuses on financial markets, labor markets, and implications for economic growth. She is currently leading projects the growing skills gap in economies around the world and on the future of cross-border capital flows. Recent research has examined the job creation challenge in Africa, assessed the economic consequences of the debt overhang in the United States and Europe, analyzed the “jobless recovery” in the United States, and projected the accumulation of wealth and financial market development in different parts of the world.
Dr. Lund has authored numerous articles in leading business and academic publications, including Foreign Affairs, Harvard Business Review, The Financial Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Newsweek International, Journal of Development Economics, and The International Economy. She is a frequent speaker at global conferences on economics and financial markets.
Dr. Lund holds a Ph.D. in applied economics from Stanford University and a B.A. in economics from Northwestern University. She has lived and worked in Africa and Asia, and now lives in Washington DC with her husband and two daughters.
Technology is transforming the way Africa interacts commercially, socially and professionally, with cheap data driving increased media consumption. Opportunities range from low tech, bottom of the pyramid solutions such as cheap communications and innovative ways to move money, to mobile products designed for the growing middle class.
What key lessons have panelists learned and how have they adapted their business model? How did panelists achieve a balance between local and foreign talent? At what development stage did panelists seek funding (idea vs product/app)? What sources of funding are available?
This panel will review some of the challenges faced by tech-startups in Africa, including competing with multinationals, sourcing human talent and managing operations.
MBA Candidate, Class of 2014
Chika Uwazie is the COO of Keejul, a multimedia company bringing digital content to the African continent through mobile technology. Before she came aboard to Keejul she previously worked at several international organizations. During her time at the Whitaker group, an African investment firm, she worked very closely with the CEO Rosa Whitaker, to spearhead several initiatives. Some of these initiatives include working with the Tony Elemu foundation, AGOA trade program, and the Purchase for Africa non-profit. After working with the Whitaker Group, she was a consultant at the World Bank with the East Asia unit. Chika streamlined their human capital data as well as did extensive work with the change of a new performance management system. She was also part of the young professional committee that was the voice for young professionals at the bank. During her time there she led operations for the committee to ensure growth and development for all young professionals in various programs.
For her work in human capital she has been featured in Human Capital magazine, Vanguard, and Forbes. She has been featured on Afripop and Concept link for her work in the digital space for Africa. Chika has worked with many startup companies to strategize their offline and online marketing efforts. She worked with startups such as Students Circle an educational social network and the Nigerian Eagle an online network to connect Nigerians with those in the Diaspora.
Chika graduated magna cum laude from Bethune Cookman University with a Bachelors in Psychology and a minor in Business. She received an Excelsior scholarship and the Congressional Black Caucus scholarship for her academic performance. She currently is obtaining her masters at Georgetown University in Human Capital Strategic Management.
A native of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, Kathleen Bomani ("Kate Bomz"), is a cultural curator, people connector, and champion for human rights, unity, and openly expressed creativity. A talented organizer, she serves as event curator for TEDxDar, a youth-led initiative promoting active discourse and public engagement; works with the sustainable development think tank Africa Gathering, as both United States event lead and Tanzania country lead; and acted as advisor and co-organizer of TEDxDzorwulu in Ghana.
In her role as associate producer for the documentary project “My Africa Is”, Kathleen also works in conjunction with a film crew to capture and celebrate the emerging and quickly changing landscape of Africa by profiling innovative young people across the continent.
Pambazuka Press published author and contributor to OkayAfrica, she has been named “Top 50 Africans of 2011”, “Top 20 diasporan African women to follow on Twitter”, “Top 10 African style icons to follow”, has had her blog selected as a “Top 10 African blogs you should already know”, and participated in Social Media Week 2012 as a featured speaker on the New York panel “Meet the Afropolitans”.
Eagerly engaged in the arts renaissance sweeping the African continent, Kathleen is currently using her studies in public relations and fashion business as a cornerstone to launch Made From Cloth, the first transcontinental fashion incubator. Her largest endeavor yet, the organization will offer both online workshops and a fellowship program that will connect promising African designers with established industry professionals as mentors to help grow and guide their brands.
Kathleen is constantly working towards creating forums of free discussion and active thinking. She can be found sharing a personal and sometimes political voice regarding art, governance and her philosophy on human collaboration on Facebook, Tumblr & Twitter; and every Friday afternoon on Sonic Diaspora Radio, a Philadelphia radio program (88.1FM) that uses music to showcase the connections between people of African descent around the world.
Often noted as Africa’s version of Oprah Winfrey, Farai Lorraine Gundan is making great strides in the media industry. Farai has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and profiled on www.oprah.com.
In the United States of America, Farai is a Producer and Lead Anchor of the ground-breaking women’s talk-show “Point Of View” on Afrotainment Television Channel. She is also Producer and Host of Afrotainment Music Channel’s number ONE popular music show, “AfroHits Top10”. The Afrotainment Television Channels are the premier in African home entertainment.
Farai also a Producing Partner and Entertainment Reporter for BlackTreeTV (a Top 10 YouTube Channel with more than 500 million views online) in Los Angeles covering press junkets, award shows, movie premiers, New York City Fashion Week. She has interviewed Jay Z, Chris Brown, Gabrielle Union, Kevin Hart, Steve Harvey, Vivica A. Fox, Patti LaBelle, Gayle King, Erykah Badu, Babyface, as well as “who’s who” of Africa, Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Jalade, Ramsey Noauh, Van Vicker, 2Face, BankyW, Khanyi Dhlomo, Yvonne Chaka Chaka & more.
Farai is part of the founding team for www.AfricaTripDeals.com & www.kelanet.com, an end-to-end online hotel marketing and reservation system specifically designed to serve the African hotel, travel & tourism industries.
Farai is a graduate of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University [FAMU] with a Masters of Business Administration degree. She has consulted for KPMG, General Motors and Chrysler. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and International Relations. While in college, Farai spent her summers working with female South African domestic workers to address labor practices in South Africa and formulate policies that empowered female domestic workers. She presented her research thesis at New York University, in Toronto Canada.
Ike Nwaneri is Co-founder of Keadworks LLC and of Kojami Inc., companies with a joint mission to provide creative and unique consumer experiences through holistic marketing and web and mobile solutions. His clients include non-profit organizations, medical practitioners, sole proprietors and restaurant chains, with the majority generating annual revenues exceeding $1,000,000 annually. Mr. Nwaneri has worked with teams to implement successful campaigns that have reached millions of people within the Washington, DC Metro area and beyond. These teams guide and advise businesses or organizations to creatively develop and sustain their customer base through loyalty and customized advocacy marketing efforts. A graduate of Howard University, Ike Nwaneri earned his BA and MA in Systems and Computer Science. He also earned a BA with in Psychology, with a focus on consumer behavior in marketing.
Nekpen Osuan is Beni American University’s Director of Research and Development. Her background includes serving as Deputy State Data Director for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, overseeing data management and strategic evaluation of campaign efforts in the State of Florida. She is currently a staff member at Columbia University, her graduate school Alma Mater.
Nekpen is passionate about building capacity in Africa through collaborative effort and works with The Council of Young African Leaders and AfriMetro, Inc. locally in New York City. A former United States Congressional Aide, StartingBloc Fellow and New Leaders Council Fellow, Nekpen enjoys traveling, cooking, and running in her spare time.
Chika Umeadi is Nigeria Community Manager for Cont3nt.com, an e-commerce platform that creates the first real-time marketplace for breaking photo and video news. Chika has been engaged in technology and business development for some time, most recently managing social media outreach at City Year Washington DC, a nonprofit educational program that supports enabling environment for youth to thrive in local public schools. He remains involved in a number of initiatives that expand access to knowledge, finance, and networks for entrepreneurs all over the world. He is currently pursuing an MBA at the Kogod School of Business at American University.
Imagine being able to do business in a virtually untapped, 1 billion person market that is experiencing rapid economic and social growth. This is the case in Africa, and the continent is the next frontier in entrepreneurship.
With over fifty countries and countless different cultures, norms and traditions, Africa represents unique risks and challenges, but also offers incredible rewards to successful entrepreneurs. This panel explores the stories of several entrepreneurs who have succeeded not only in business, but also greatly improved the lives of people and communities.
MBA Candidate, Class of 2013
How do organizations at the cutting edge of innovation emerge and gain a foothold in the market? Professor Tyler Wry studies the processes through which industries emerge around innovative ideas, why this varies in different regions, and what firms can do to succeed in these tumultuous environs. Tyler’s most recent work examined the emergence of startup firms in nanotechnology and how they bridged the worlds of science and product development to thrive in a competitive marketplace. Other studies have examined global patterns in the founding of microfinance organizations and the outcomes associated with balancing social and economic considerations in different ways. Work in progress is extending these insights in order to help understand how individual entrepreneurs bridge these solitudes to create new approaches for addressing long-standing social issues.
Tyler’s work has appeared (or is scheduled to appear) in outlets such as the Academy of Management Annals, the Journal of Business Venturing, the Journal of Business Ethics, and Organization Science. Early stage work has also been recognized with best paper awards at the Academy of Management, the Academy of International Business, and the European Group for Organization Studies. In his spare time, Tyler is an exhausted dad who likes to play the occasional game of squash.
Matthew is the founder and CEO of Oasis Capital Ghana Limited. He has several years investment banking experience, 7 years of which has been spent in private equity and growth capital industry. He leads the team on strategy, negotiations, fund raising, investor relations and support. Matthew was until the establishment of Oasis Capital Ghana, the Country General Manager and a board member of GroFin Ghana Limited. He was also a member of the Investment Committee of GroFin Africa Fund, a Mauritius based Pan-Africa SME fund and appraised transactions from several countries across Africa, including; Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Prior to joining GroFin Ghana, Matthew worked with Fidelity Capital Partners Limited, an indigenous Ghanaian private equity firm as an Investment Manager. He spent over 9 years with Fidelity Group working with the Group’s credit, corporate finance and private equity practice.
He has been involved in small business development in Ghana and has given lectures on SMEs in select universities and colleges in Ghana. He currently serves on the boards of a number of institutions including Chase Petroleum Ghana Limited, Goldkey Properties Limited and Akua Kuenyehia Foundation. He is also, the chairman of Asterix Brokers Limited, an insurance brokerage firm he founded in 2007 that provides insurance broking services to SMEs in Ghana. Matthew holds a BSc degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Ghana and MBA from the Leicester Business School, De Montfort University, UK.
Ibukun Awosika is the founder and CEO of The Chair Centre Group. The companies in the group include The Chair Centre Limited, Sokoa Chair Centre Limited, Furniture Manufacturers Mart Limited, and TCC Systems and Services Limited and are involved in furniture manufacturing, retail and bank-way security systems services.
Ibukun serves on a number of corporate and not for profit boards, amongst which are: First Bank of Nigeria Plc., Cadbury Nigeria Plc., Convention on Business Integrity (CBi), chairs the boards of FBN Life Assurance Limited, and Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC), a facility which she promoted to help address youth employability and enterprise issues in Nigeria.
Ibukun is a graduate of Chemistry from University of Ife-Nigeria, an alumni of the Chief Executive Programme of Lagos Business School, and the Global Executive MBA of IESE Business School, Barcelona-Spain.
With high interest in social issues including women, Ibukun is a co-founder and past chairperson of Women in Business and Management (WIMBIZ). An ordained Pastor and founder of the Christian Missionary Fund, Ibukun, through this faith based organization works with hundreds of missionaries spread across Nigeria to change lives through provision of medical, educational, and other supplies.
As a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative and Aspen Global Leadership network, Ibukun aspires to use her opportunities in life to further the greatness of her country which she loves, through her projects which involves raising entrepreneurs to create jobs for the large youthful unemployed population. She served on National Job Creation Committee (NCJC) and, is a member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG). In her spare time, she loves to watch investigative and legal series on television.
Ibukun is a multiple award winning entrepreneur and the First Nigerian recipient in 2008 of the prestigious International Women Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) Award as a nominee of the US Department of State.
She is married to Abiodun Awosika and they are blessed with three wonderful sons.
Thomas Ferede is the founder of EventMedium, a site that connects event organizers with event sponsors in the US. He was previously running a family retail and manufacturing business in Ethiopia. Furthermore, he has advised many local entrepreneurs, resulting in founding one of the first investment banking practices in Ethiopia. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Thomas’ career was in finance. Thomas was a private equity investor at Development Partners International (DPI), an Africa-focused fund based in London, and a principal equity and debt investor at the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Thomas began his career in Investment Banking at JP Morgan in New York. He holds a BSc in Computer Science from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Jay Kloppenberg is the Founder and CEO of the African School for Excellence, which seeks to provide affordable, world-class secondary education to low-income urban African students. ASE has redesigned the classroom to use the latest educational software and peer-learning techniques to leverage the efforts of a small group of highly-skilled teachers to drive down cost of traditional secondary education in Africa. The first school is currently being built in Soweto, South Africa. Previously, Jay has worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Co. in New Jersey and South Africa, and as a venture capitalist focused on the sub-Saharan African microfinance industry at Mecene Investment in Johannesburg. Jay has an MBA from INSEAD Business School in Fontainebleau, France. Prior to joining the business world, Jay taught English in the United States and Senegal.
Gregory Marchand is the Founder and Managing Director of Gizmos Solutions Limited. Gizmos is a global IT, engineering, business solutions and technology company with offices in Africa and North America. In 2010, Greg Marchand was named to Black Enterprise Magazine’s 40th Anniversary List of The Next 40 Business Leaders. He is the Founder and President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Zambia.
Prior to founding Gizmos, he was a senior consultant for Deloitte Consulting in the Financial Services and Technology practices. His ability to drive an entrepreneurial team culture, approachable demeanor and passion made him a favorite of clients and colleagues alike. Before joining Deloitte Consulting, Greg was an auditor in the Advisory Services practice at Arthur Andersen LLP in Chicago, IL. His vision to develop an American and African collaboration, determination to expand into new markets, and intense focus on execution, drove his business case from an idea to operational within twelve months.
He is a guest lecturer on Investment in Africa at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a panelist at the Northwestern Black MBA Conference. In addition, Mr. Marchand has been a guest speaker at the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business on conducting business in Africa.
Greg Marchand has a bachelors degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He is an alumnus of the LEAD program, a National Merit Scholar and was a recipient of the Morehouse Full Academic Scholarship.
Mr. Marchand is an advisor to private equity firms and Fortune 500 companies on expanding into African markets. He runs a fellowship program for undergraduate, mid-career and MBA students interested in learning about conducting business in Africa. In addition, Mr. Marchand donates space, computers and resources to run a community school for adolescents at the Gizmos headquarters in Lusaka with a curriculum based on technical skills, composition and reading comprehension skills.
This panel will discuss growing value addition opportunities among natural resources firms across Africa. A confluence of factors, including infrastructure build, improved governance and growing technical skills has led the way for this value addition. Companies focused on manufacturing, specialized services, processing, equipment and distribution of the continent’s natural resources are continuing to grow and flourish. Topics will include new energy sources such as coal, oil, natural gas and renewables, increased demand for private sector power generation, sustainable metal and minerals exploration and regional distribution solutions.
MBA Candidate, Class of 2013
John Ghazvinian is the author of Untapped: The Scramble for Africa’s Oil (2007), a first-hand account of the impact that oil exploration is having on African countries, and the larger political consequences of Africa's booming oil sector. He has a doctorate in history from Oxford University, and has written for such publications as Newsweek, The Nation, and the Huffington Post. Born in Iran, and raised in London and Los Angeles, he currently lives in Philadelphia, where he is working on a book about the history of US-Iranian relations (Knopf, 2014).
Lolu is the recently appointed MD/CEO for Lavayo Energy based in Lagos. Lavayo Energy is a project development and advisory firm focused mostly on Power generation and Oil and Gas industries in West Africa.
Until recently, Lolu was the Country Executive for GE Energy Nigeria. He has over 15 years experience in the Energy industry in North America, and West Africa. He has held roles in management consulting with Arthur D. Little in Boston, and Accenture in Lagos, where he was an executive in the Energy practice. He also worked in the Origination and Structuring group at Reliant Energy in Houston, where he worked on various M&A projects.
Lolu holds a B.Sc in Electrical Engineering from the University Of Nevada, Las Vegas and an MBA (Finance and Strategic Mgmt) from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Lolu is a member of the board of directors of Arlington Capital Partners, and also of the American Business Council (Nigeria).
For recreation, he enjoys playing squash, golf and is an accomplished organist.
Dikko started his international career at the trading division of Credit Suisse whilst his energy career started at Global Energy in which he worked closely with the CEO in taking the first indigenous owned and operated LPG plant in Africa to First Gas.
Dikko currently manages the business development and new ventures component of the growth strategy of LSE listed Afren and its indigenous vehicle First Hydrocarbons Nigeria and has been instrumental in key acquisitions and divestments. He also serves as the Head of gas strategy and commercialization of its gas assets whilst providing in-country direction for Gasol, an AIM listed affiliate pioneering small scale LNG for power generation and industrial applications in West Africa.
Prior to Afren, Dikko co-founded Associated Offshore Oil Nigeria, an indigenous E&P company that acquired an operating interest in a Chevron marginal field and was involved in deal origination of various gas projects and local content initiatives. At Associated, he advised several entrants into Nigeria and provided a platform for an AMEX listed E&P Company and a Pakistani conglomerate seeking entry into Nigeria.
Dikko has also consulted for several energy companies including BP, Coral Trading (Shell) and PPL Energy in the area of trading and risk management.
Dikko graduated with a BA from City College New York..
Abayomi Awobokun is the Chief Executive Officer of Oando Marketing PLC, Nigeria’s leading petroleum marketing company and a fully-owned subsidiary of Oando PLC. Prior to becoming the CEO, he was Chief Operating Officer and was responsible for all of the company’s sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Oando Marketing's supply chain, sales activities, service and support in all markets across West Africa. Abayomi played a key role in the significant transformation and growth of the company's profitability and market share in spite of the challenging market environment during the period. He joined the Oando Group in 2005 and has held other roles. Prior to this, he worked briefly at Halifax Bank of Scotland. He began his career at the Lagos Business School in 2000.
Abayomi earned his first degree as a Mathematics major from University of Ibadan, Nigeria before pursuing a postgraduate degree in the United Kingdom where he earned a Master’s degree in International Business.
Under his leadership, Oando Marketing has grown its revenues and efficiency with over $1.2bn earned in 2011 and net profits of over $25m. Abayomi is supported by a first class team of well experienced professionals; they have achieved significant progress in their aim to transform the Organization into a technology-driven supply chain operation with priority given to operational efficiency and customer services.
Oando Marketing, in addition to its leadership in fuels distribution and sales, is also leading the effort to switch 5 million Nigeria households from dirty fuels (Kerosene, Charcoal and Firewood) for domestic use to cleaner, safer and more affordable Liquefied Petroleum Gas over the next 3-5 years. Key to achieving this initiative is the use of an inclusive business model which directly impacts the base of the pyramid thereby contributing to the efforts of the Government in achieving some of the Millennium Development Goals set by the UN.
By most credible accounts, the year 2050 will be a decisive one. World population will have surged to an estimated 9 billion; more than half of whom will be living in urban areas and generating unprecedented demand for, not only higher quantities, but higher calories of food. World population will have surged to an estimated 9 billion people, more than half of whom will be living in urban areas and generating unprecedented demand for higher quantities of food, with higher calorific content. New land clearings are already slowing as concerns deepen over deforestation and its effect on global warming and biodiversity. All of these are set to culminate in a dramatic imbalance in global demand and supply for food. In other words, 2050 represents Africa’s golden opportunity. Africa is home to 60% of uncultivated rain-fed arable land and 60% of its population is under 25. However, average agricultural yield gaps between Africa and the rest of the world routinely exceed 500%, depending on the crop, while investments in processing, manufacturing and infrastructure lag the rest of the world significantly. Can the African Agro-allied industry live up to its promise, and how will it do this?
MBA Candidate, Class of 2013
Ms. Sarah Dadush will be joining us from Rome where she works as a Partnership Officer for the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development and in that capacity, is responsible for supporting the design and implementation of the Alternative Resource Mobilization for IFAD initiative, and for collaborating in the development of country-specific partnership strategies. She is also Adjunct Professor for the Loyola University Chicago's Rule of Law for Development Program (PROLAW). From 2010-2012, she served as counsel for IFAD, providing legal advice on a project financing portfolio made up of eleven countries and a wide range of institutional issues. Prior to joining IFAD, she was a Research Fellow at the institute for International Law and Justice, New York University School of Law, where she administered the Financing Development program and published several journal articles and book chapters on law and development. From 2004 to 2008, she was an associate at the global law firm Allen & Overy in the banking and litigation groups, where she had the opportunity to work on project financings and investor-state arbitration. She holds JD and LL.M. degrees from Duke Law School (2004) and a Bachelor's degree in economics and political science from Barnard College, Columbia University (1998).
Kola is the Founder and Managing Director of Doreo Partners, an impact investing firm focused on the African agriculture sector. Doreo leverages agriculture venture capital to drive youth employment, a critical need in Africa, the world’s youngest continent. A prime example is Nigeria, a country with half the population under the age of 18 years old and a current youth unemployment rate over 50%. With these dynamics, Nigeria will have 40 million new youths entering an oversaturated workforce in the next 10 years alone.
To counter the African continents youth unemployment challenge, Doreo invests in early stage businesses that increase the profitability of small holder agriculture, which in turn creates market forces that attract young people into agriculture... Unlocking millions of jobs. In addition, Doreo provides strategic advisory services to select clients, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, HRH the Prince of Wales, International Sustainability Unit, the Government of Nigeria and leading global investors.
Prior to founding Doreo, Kola was the MD/CEO of one of the subsidiaries of the Notore Group, a $500 Million USD leading African Agro Allied firm, where he raised US$24 Million to develop an integrated agricultural trading, production and processing business. Furthermore, he led the development and execution of Notore’s commercial strategy across West and Central Africa, preparing the company to sell one million tons of fertilizer, develop a network of over 1000 farmer learning centers and establish a modern seed business. Finally, he led the corporate finance organization, raising US$130 Million in equity and restructuring US$360 Million in debt.
Kola brings significant leadership experience in venture capital, corporate finance, business development, marketing and operations, across four continents, North America, Europe, Asia and Africa with multiple global companies, including General Electric (GE) and Abiomed. In addition, Kola brings extensive public sector experience as the former Chief of Staff and current Senior Advisor on Investments and Agribusiness to the Nigerian Minister of Agriculture. Kola is globally recognized as a thought leader in African Agribusiness, with numerous speaking engagements at leading conferences including Harvard, Stanford and the Milken Institute and is a regular contributor to CNBC. In recognition for his leadership in driving positive change on the African Continent he has received several global awards including the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship, a leading leadership institute led by General Collin Powell (retired) and the African Leadership Network Fellowship. Kola holds an MBA (Honors) from Harvard and Masters in Mechanical Engineering (Distinction) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT.
Mr. German Vegarra, IFC’s Global Head Agribusiness and Forestry, has over twenty years experience in the emerging markets. He started his career in Agribusiness where he covered Sub Saharan Africa and Latin America. He was promoted to IFC Country Manager, Indonesia, in 2002. Mr. Vegarra returned to Washington DC in 2007 and managed a new group promoting the wholesaling of IFC’s real sector activities through financial intermediaries. Mr.Vegarra recently led the development of new products like the Global Warehouse Finance and the Critical Commodity Finance Programs directed to support the agricultural sector.
A Peruvian National, Mr. Vegarra holds a MBA from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Rahama Wright was introduced to shea butter production in 2002 when she worked as an intern for the Department of State at the American Embassy in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. During her assignment, she met and interviewed shea butter producers and discovered the challenges they had in bringing their products to market. Soon after this, she committed to a two year Peace Corps service in Mali, where she helped to create the first shea butter cooperative in her village. As a first generation Ghanaian American, Rahama truly connected to the struggles of many of the women in her village community. She felt that she could assist these women in maximizing their local resources to become entrepreneurs in the global marketplace. When Rahama returned to the US in 2004 she started the process of creating Shea Yeleen International, and in 2005 she officially launched Shea Yeleen International, a 501c3 that helps women in West Africa organize cooperatives, provides training on quality assurance and micro enterprise development, and brings shea butter products to market. Shea Yeleen is working to help over 800 women earn a living wage through the production and sale of shea butter. Shea Yeleen has been featured in Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, and Women's Health Magazine, NY 1, The Washington Informer, Rolling Out, Voice of America, and WPFW 89.3.
Rahama is responsible for overall management of each area of the organization including program development, marketing and sales, product development, fundraising, and operations. Her vision for the organization is to change the shea butter sector so that all women shea producers can be fairly compensated for their labor. Rahama has spoken at various events including the Goldman Sachs Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, Essence Magazine’s Young Womans’ Leadership Conference, BarCamp, the Secretary of State Global Diaspora Forum, and the Congressional Black Caucus Conference. In 2008 the White House Project and O, Oprah Magazine selected Rahama as an International leader.
Rahama received her degree in International Relations from the State University of New York at Geneseo and has worked for Aguirre International, Georgetown University, and the Department of State. She’s an avid traveler and visited and worked in Afghanistan, Morocco, Namibia, Zambia, Kenya, Senegal, Southern Sudan, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Ghana.
With increasing capital flows into Africa, what will determine the winners and losers in the PE industry? What additional value-add will be required to win deals? What are the implications of this huge overflow of capital given the limited availability of entrepreneurs or sound businesses? Which sectors will this capital be allocated to?
Given the skepticism that many entrepreneurs have about PE investors, this panel hopes to examine what structures PE firms will need to adopt over the long term.
MBA Candidate, Class of 2013
Richard Okello is co-founder and CEO of Sango Capital, an African focused investment company managing a private equity fund that invests directly into both companies and third party private equity funds. Sango capital aims to become the preferred partner in Africa for sophisticated global investors. Prior to founding Sango, Richard was a Principal at Makena Capital Management, a US$15bln private endowment managing assets for sophisticated global institutional clients. At Makena, Richard managed the firm’s global fixed income and active currency management investments, both of which were substantially allocated to emerging markets, led the firm’s Africa investment efforts, oversaw the research forum designed to pursue new investment ideas and was a member of the firm’s investment forum that oversaw all public and private asset class investment decisions. Prior to joining Makena, Richard was a Partner at Bridgewater Associates, a global hedge fund, where he worked for close to 10 years. Mr. Okello graduated from Swarthmore College in 1998 with an A.B in economics with Honors and a minor in public policy in 3 years and earned his MBA from the Lubin school of business at Pace University in 2003 Cum Laude. He currently serves on the board of the Human Horizons Foundation, and the African Leadership Foundation.
Prior to AFIG, Mr. Backer was the Managing Director of PromoCapital Haiti S.A., a transnational investment firm with offices in Haiti and the U.S. Mr. Backer led a number of investment banking transactions in telecom, textile manufacturing and energy. Mr. Backer also provided advisory services to local financial institutions and health care concerns. Prior to that, Mr. Backer provided financial advisory and management consulting services from 1998 to 2003 to a roster of clients that included financial institutions and transportation companies. Prior to that, Mr. Backer was a Vice President in JP Morgan’s Emerging Markets Sales and Trading group where he managed the firm’s Emerging Markets Finance Desk, a $7 billion portfolio of emerging markets fixed income securities, and co-managed the Credit Derivatives Desk. He started his career at JP Morgan in the Latin America Mergers & Acquisitions Group in 1993. He holds an M.B.A. degree from the Wharton School of Business, an M.A. in International Affairs from the University of Pennsylvania’s Lauder Institute, and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Sciences from Harvard College. Mr. Backer was born and raised in Congo-Brazzaville of Haitian parents. He is a US citizen.
Bryce Fort is a Managing Director and founding partner of Emerging Capital Partners (ECP). With seven funds and over $1.8 billion under management, ECP is a leading private equity manager focused exclusively on Africa. Headquartered in Washington DC, ECP has seven offices across Africa and over a decade of successful investing experience in companies operating in over 40 countries on the continent. In this capacity, he is responsible for identifying, analyzing, and recommending investments, performing due diligence and leading transaction teams. Mr. Fort is also deeply involved with operations and strategies related to the ECP management company.
Mr. Fort joined the ECP investment team in 2002. Before his employment with ECP, Mr. Fort worked for Deutsche Bank AG's European Healthcare Corporate Finance Group which executed mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt financings for pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies.
Mr. Fort received a bachelor's degree cum laude in computer engineering with a minor in economics from Lehigh University. He currently sits on the boards of Nairobi Java House, IHS Africa, Cellcom Ltd, Wananchi Group Holdings, and New Dawn Mining Corp.
Peter is a Managing Director of Tana Africa Capital. Previously, he was a Managing Director of Africa Holdings, an investment fund of E. Oppenheimer & Son International. Prior to this, Peter spent over six years in Nigeria, where he, among other things, successfully managed the post-merger integration of UBA and Standard Trust Bank, the first merger in the Nigerian Banking industry; served as interim Managing Director of a B2B telecommunications company; and was closely involved in the set-up of the Nigerian e-banking industry. Peter was a McKinsey & Company Consultant in the Johannesburg office, with extensive work across Africa, including East Africa. He is also a Co-Founder of African Leadership Academy, a non-profit high school that provides scholarships to bright but underprivileged students from across Africa. Peter holds degrees in Economics and Law from the University of Bayreuth and Fernuni Hagen, respectively, and a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from RWTH Aachen.
Elkin Pianim founded the predecessor entity to Serengeti, Resource Africa in 2006. Elkin is a Partner of Serengeti Capital, and is based in Accra, Ghana. He serves as Cofounder and CEO of ProfPay, a UK based online payment services provider that enables online shopping from developing markets by handling payment and fulfillment in‐market. (The system is presently in beta awaiting FSA authorization, and will go live in Ghana in 2013).
He is also the Executive Chairman of African Champion Industries (ACI), a Ghana Stock Exchange listed entity.
Elkin has over a decade of Africa experience, both in principal and advisory roles, and has worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe, in areas as diverse as finance, infrastructure, manufacturing and extractive industries. Prior to that, Elkin was an experienced media entrepreneur, in the US, as a principal in a US$40M buyout of 2 TV stations, and in the UK, founding a weekly newspaper later sold to the Mirror Group.
Elkin began his career as an investment banker at Rothschild, Inc., in New York, and later joined Fox Television Stations, where he was responsible for financial reporting and acquisitions. Elkin holds a BA from Vassar College and an MBA from London Business School.
Nimit Shah joined Helios Investment Partners LLP, an Africa Focused Private Equity Firm in 2008.
His areas of focus and specialty include Financial Services, Consumer/Retail, Down Stream Oil and Gas, Building Materials, Telecoms and Media. His recent transactions and Board Membership include Continental Outdoor Media, the largest outdoor advertising company in Africa, purchased from Independent News and Media PLC in 2009, and Vivo Energy a Pan African Downstream Oil & Gas business, purchased from Shell in 2011.
Prior to joining Helios, Nimit spent four years at Lehman Brothers in their Investment Banking Division and a further four years within Strategy Consulting at Arthur D Little.
Nimit attended Eton College, Oxford University and The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.
Nimit grew up in Kenya but is now based in London. He is married with two children.
With African music artists signing recording contracts with international labels, and African movies premiering to international audiences, the African entertainment industry has transitioned to the global stage, but leaves many unanswered questions:
Finally, over the short and long-term, how much growth can be expected in the industry, and does it present a compelling investment case?
This panel explores these burning issues, as the leading industry players proffer their thoughts and strategies.
MBA Candidate, Class of 2013
Fritz Charles is the Chief Data Scientist at iROKO Partners. Fritz began his career on Wall Street as a derivative trader at Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital. In this role, Fritz engineered equity swaps to track hedge fund client portfolios. Fritz then went onto pursue his MBA at the Wharton School where he studied entrepreneurial management. After graduating in 2011, Fritz consulted with various gaming startups in Silicon Valley before returning to NYC to join iROKO Partners to manage analytics for the iROKOtv and iROKING platforms.
iROKO Partners is the world’s largest distributor of Nigerian entertainment. Since December 2010, the company has built a global audience of over four million unique users from 178 different countries across its movie and music platforms. The company delivers, on average, 193,000,000 minutes of content every month across all of the iROKO Partners platforms. iROKO Partners has over 110 staff in offices in Lagos, London and New York.
Eric Idiahi joined Spinlet in 2010 from the private-equity firm, he co-founded in 2008, Verod Capital Management Ltd. Verod Capital is an investment firm focused on investing in attractive greenfield opportunities in Africa; who took note of Spinlet in 2010 and gave them their first round of financial backing. Spinlet is a company focused on meeting the needs of music lovers allowing them to buy, listen, share, and manage music all within a user friendly mobile platform; we are dedicated to working against piracy with structured deals in the artists favor and bringing in marketing support to create revenue and promotion of artists' music internationally.
Eric serves as a director on the board of several of Verod’s portfolio companies. Prior to Verod Capital, Eric was the co- founder and Managing Partner of Fountain Head Media Group. An independent investment and advisory firm focused on the Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) sectors in Nigeria. Eric has also worked at Financial Derivatives Company Ltd and ChevronTexaco. Eric has a degree in Economics from the University of Houston in Houston, Texas. Eric is a huge fan of Africa’s legendary performer Fela.
With a passion for law and fashion, extensive experience as a trial lawyer litigating a wide variety of issues in both civil and criminal law; and almost two decades of first hand knowledge and experiences that are as diverse as they are deep in the fashion and entertainment industries (modeling, fashion retail, fashion production, public relations, journalism, and publishing), Uduak Oduok is an attorney who “gets it” when it comes to resolving legal issues for the fashion and entertainment industries.
She has counseled a range of clients from musicians, models, actors and actresses to designers on numerous areas of the law including contracts, business law, fashion and entertainment law, copyright, trademark and intellectual property law.
Uduak earned her B.A. in Speech Communications, with honors, from San Jose State University, with a minor in philosophy. She attended both Georgetown and UC Hastings School of law, obtaining her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) in 2001 from UC Hastings College of the Law.
She is also the founder and publisher of Ladybrille Magazine, the first ever publication focused on bringing African fashion and entertainment to the Western masses, Ladybrille. In 2008, her effort was recognized with a feature in the prestigious American Bar Journal. In 2010, Uduak was nominated for the Africa Fashion International Africa Fashion Awards for her, “Outstanding Contribution to Fashion Communications.” This 2012, Uduak was also nominated as 'Media Personality of the Year' at the 7th Annual Nigeria Entertainment Awards, held in New York.
Beatriz Leal Riesco is an Historian of Art, who was formerly at the University of Salamanca, where she worked as a researcher and adjunct professor. While preparing to read her thesis on “The Concept of Authorship in the History of Cinema,” she is currently a freelance researcher in the United States. She has published numerous articles on cinema theory and history in such journals as Secuencias, Revista de Historia de Cine, Film-Historia, African Screens, and Art-es as well as editing books and organizing seminars and courses on peripheric cinemas. A member of SOCINE, ASA, and CILEC, she has been awarded a fellowship from the Università Normale di Pisa as well as a best in class from the University of Salamanca for her thesis on Italian filmmaker Mario Martone. At present, her research focuses on the role of music in contemporary African cinema and on the sociopolitical implications of art reception.
Ms. Leal is a program consultant and advisor for the African Film Festival, Inc. She also serves on the selection committee for the New York African Film Festival, the flagship program of AFF, Inc.
Explore the rapidly growing field of Social Impact Investing in Africa. Investors, companies and individuals have long sought alternatives to traditional philanthropy to achieve positive social impact. Impact Investing is argued to be the best avenue to make sustainable positive impact while achieving adequate risk adjusted returns. The panel will discuss the development of social impact investing as an accepted financial vehicle with implications for investors, social enterprises, and socially minded corporations.
Given the rapid growth of private equity, venture capital and investment funds, and the presence of multiple non-profit organizations and large Development Finance Institutions, is social impact investing as an investment vehicle necessary?
What has been accomplished to date? How scalable is impact investing in Africa? Are the risk adjusted returns real and attractive enough to attract more capital? What mistakes have been made? What is the role of the government? How do we reconcile the attractive African macro story with the “dearth” of real investable opportunities?
MBA Candidate, Class of 2014
Mike McCreless leads Root Capital's impact assessment program and is responsible for a number of strategic initiatives. Previously, he worked at the International Finance Corporation and Acumen Fund. He has also consulted for Monitor Company and conducted research for Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter. Mike holds an M.B.A. with distinction and an M.P.A. from Harvard University and a B.A. from Yale University.
Celena Green is the Senior Program Officer-Africa at Vital Voices Global Partnership, a Washington, DC-based NGO that identifies and invests in women leaders worldwide through grant-making, training, mentoring, advocacy, visibility, and technical assistance. Celena leads Vital Voices’ Africa Region in developing and implementing programs for women’s political participation, economic empowerment, and human rights in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining Vital Voices, she worked with the International YMCA and with Global Kids, Inc., and spent several years leading capacity-building and training programs serving women and youth throughout Southern Africa, with extensive work in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique. Celena has a BA in Africana Studies from Brooklyn College-City University of New York.
Deirdre LaPin, Ph.D, MPH, is a specialist in corporate responsibility, impact assessment, and development planning in Africa. Her work supports efforts on the extractive industry by the World Bank, the IFC, the US Institute of Peace, and the commercial private sector. From 1997 -2003 she served as Sustainable Development Manager for Shell, based for five years in the Niger Delta and two years in Oman, where she lead the design, staffing, implementation, and evaluation of the first corporate –based sustainable development and environmental programs. Dr. LaPin previously worked for USAID in Nigeria and UNICEF in Benin and Somalia. She is currently a Senior Associate in Penn’s Africa Center. Her recent co-authored book “Securing Development and Peace in the Niger Delta” published by the Woodrow Wilson Center in 2012 is available online.
Christine is the Global Portfolio Manager for the Grassroots Business Fund (GBF). The fund spun out of the International Finance Corporation in 2008 and invests in privately-held companies with significant growth potential in underserved markets in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Christine sources, evaluates, and structures new investment opportunities, and works closely with existing portfolio companies, supporting entrepreneurs in core areas including strategy, financial planning, governance, human resources, sales, new product development, and operations. She also assesses key performance drivers and risks across the entire global portfolio and is a member of the fund’s internal Investment Committee.
Prior to GBF, Christine was an Equity Research Associate at JPMorgan Asset Management, covering stocks in the technology and telecommunication sectors for investment portfolios worth over $100 billion. Prior to that role, she worked in JPMorgan Asset Management’s Fixed Income division where she invested in high yield and investment grade securities. Christine was also involved in the microfinance industry. She was an active member of JPMorgan's microfinance working group and worked in Kenya with Kenya Women Finance Trust, a microfinance organization based in Nairobi.
Christine earned a B.A. in economics and psychology from Columbia University, where she graduated summa cum laude, and an M.B.A from Harvard Business School, where she received first-year honors. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and was awarded the Robert Toigo Foundation and Morgan Stanley MBA fellowships. Christine currently serves as Co-Chair of the HBS Alumni New Venture Program in New England and as a Board member of the Harvard Business School Association of Boston. She is fluent in French and has a basic knowledge of Haitian Creole and Spanish.
Michele Rivard is Chief of Staff and Liaison to the Board of Directors with the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF), a Federally funded public corporation. USADF impacts 1,000,000 people in marginalized communities across Africa through an innovative grant program that supports African-originated solutions that generate jobs, increase incomes, and raise standards of living. She also is responsible for development efforts, as USADF leverages federal funds with African government and private sector resources. Previously, Michele worked in management consulting, small business development, and privatization and foreign investment in the U.S. and in Central Europe, Russia, Ukraine, and the NIS. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Healthcare in Africa has received a lot of attention from the international community. Donor agencies have been the main contributors in this sector in Africa, but how sustainable is that in the long run? The need for adequate healthcare services keeps increasing, but is supply keeping pace? How can we ensure access and affordability and not compromise quality? Could this be the best time to invest in African healthcare given the growing demand from the rising middle class?
This panel explores these and many issue affecting the development of the healthcare sector in Africa.
MBA Candidate, Class of 2014
Steve has a career that is both commercial and academic. Outside of Wharton, Steve is Venture Partner, Burrill & Company, a venture capital fund focused on the life sciences and health care. His role at Burrill & Company is development of overseas venture capital funds.
During his 20 years on the Wharton faculty, he has created eight courses that he has taught to over 7000 students. Steve actively teaches health care management in India and is organizing the first health care management MBA in Africa.
Steve previously held the positions of Vice President of Development of Teleflex Incorporated and Vice President, S.R.One, Ltd., GlaxoSmithKline’s venture fund. During his career he was Managing Director of the Center for Technology Transfer at the University of Pennsylvania. At the start of his career, Mr. Sammut co-founded and served as CEO of the Delaware Valley Organ Transplant Program.
Mark Feinberg is Vice President and Chief Public Health and Science Officer at Merck Vaccines, and a Fellow in the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University.
Dr. Feinberg received his BA degree magna cum laude in Biology and Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania, and his MD and PhD degrees from the Stanford University School of Medicine. He pursued post-graduate medical training in Internal Medicine at the Brigham and Women's Hospital of Harvard University and a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. David Baltimore at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. Prior to joining Merck in 2004, Dr. Feinberg worked for over 20 years in both academia and government where he was actively engaged in basic and clinical research, patient care and health care policy--with a primary focus on HIV/AIDS pathogenesis, treatment and prevention research. During this period, he served on the faculty of the University of California, San Francisco and the Emory University Schools of Medicine, and as a Medical Officer in the Office of AIDS Research in the Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Feinberg is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the Association of American Physicians, and the recipient of an Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Award from the Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Dr. Feinberg has previously served as a member of a number of Institute of Medicine (IOM) panels, and as a member of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) and the Board of Trustees of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. He is currently a member of the IOM Forum on Microbial Threats, the External Advisory Board of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, the Board of Directors of the African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnerships (ACHAP) Program, and the Scientific Advisory Board for the US President's Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Dr. Felix Olale, M.D., Ph.D., is the Executive Chairman for the Excelsior Firm, a corporate advisory and capital placement company. He is also Managing Director of the Healthcare business where his work focuses on innovative financing models and PPPs to increase investment in healthcare projects within Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to his work at Excelsior, Dr. Olale is a Special Advisor to the World Bank / IFC group’s Healthcare for Africa Initiative; sits on the Kenya Government’s Committee for Diaspora Affairs; and advises the Ministry of Industrialization, on East Africa’s Investment Climate. Prior to Excelsior, Dr. Olale was an Associate Partner at McKinsey& Company in New York, and a leader in the Pharmaceutical and Medical Products as well as the Global Public Health Practices. Dr. Olale received his Medical Degree and Doctorate from NYU School of Medicine. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania where he was a University Scholar, and recipient of the Phi Beta Kappa Award for Best Senior Thesis. He is a member of the African Leadership Network, and Africa 2.0, both prestigious groupings of the most dynamic young leaders in Africa. He has published several peer reviewed articles and is a regular speaker at global conferences.
Dr. Mitchell was born and grew up in Zimbabwe. He graduated from the University of Cape Town Medical School, completed his residency at Duke University Medical School in North Carolina and his Critical Care Fellowship at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He served on the Faculty at Duke University where he was involved with clinical research in the FG Hall Laboratory prior to entering private practice. He is a Founding Director of the Zimbabwe Eye Project, a Non-Profit Organization dedicated to providing clinical care and teaching in Zimbabwe. He has also worked in Africa with Doctors without Borders and in rural areas of South Africa and Swaziland.
Professor Sola Olopade graduated from the University of Ibadan Medical School, Nigeria in 1980. After a short stint as Medical Officer with the Nigeria National Sports Commission and the Nigerian Police, he came to the United States for his residency training in Internal Medicine at Cook County Hospital, Chicago where he was appointed Chief Medical Resident in 1986. He completed his fellowship training in Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota before joining the faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1991. Dr. Olopade also holds a Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Administration from the School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago and completed an Ethics fellowship at the MacLean Center for Clinical Ethics at the University of Chicago in 2011.
Prior to joining the University of Chicago in 2009, Dr Olopade was a tenured Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Illinois, Chicago, where he served as the Director of Clinical Research in the Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. He was the Principal Investigator of the American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Center at the University of Illinois, one of 19 academic centers in the network from 1999 to 2007.
He is currently Professor of Medicine and Family Medicine at the University of Chicago, Clinical Director for the Global Health Initiative at the University of Chicago and faculty member at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics.
Dr. Sola Olopade is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Chest Physicians and a member of many professional organizations including the American Thoracic Society, American Lung Association, American Sleep Disorders Association, American Physiological Society and American Bioethics Association. He has also held important leadership positions in national organizations of his specialty disciplines including American College of Chest Physician (ACCP) Governor for the State of Illinois and served on the Governor’s Council of the ACCP from 2006-2010. He is current Co-Chair of the newly created Diversity committee of the American College of Chest Physicians. He served as the Inaugural President and Chair of the Board of Directors of the New York based Nigeria Higher Education Foundation, which has supported the academic missions of the top five Universities in Nigeria since 2004 from 2004-2009.
Professor Sola Olopade’s clinical and research interests are in the areas of obstructive lung diseases, especially asthma, ethics and global health. He has ongoing research studies in asthma that is exploring the relationship between the environment and genetics in the expression of asthma especially in developing country settings. More recently he has developed a research project to evaluate the extent, impact and prevention of exposure to indoor air pollution from biomass on respiratory function and health in women and children in Nigeria.
Professor Sola Olopade is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the American College of Chest Physician Humanitarian Award for his work on stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS among university students in Nigeria in 2006 and in 2010 for his work in protecting women and children from the hazards of exposure to indoor pollution related to the use of biomass for cooking, 2011 Dines Lectureship at the Mayo Clinic, peer recognition as one of the Best Doctors in America since 2007, 2009 Mentor of the Year Award at the University of Illinois at Chicago and named one of the Top Doctors in Chicago in 2011.
The African continent has long been plagued by the notion of a “brain drain”. However recent commentary seems to suggest otherwise. The “Careers in Africa” panel aims to provide thoughtful discussion and commentary on the following main areas: Firstly, it is important to understand whether this "brain drain" phenomenon is real or not. If it is in fact real, is it still happening or is it on the reverse? Secondly, we will try to gain a clearer understanding of the tangible opportunities that currently exist on the continent and how best to navigate the search process? Finally, the third focus of the panel is to examine the experiences of those that have identified and successfully secured job opportunities in Africa. What are the key issues that one can expect to deal with in moving back to the continent and what are the necessary steps required to ensure that the transition is a successful one.
This interactive panel will aim to address these key areas with the aim to leave participants with a strong sense of how to navigate the search process and anticipate future bottlenecks in the transition process.
MBA Candidate, Class of 2014
A Senior Associate Director in the Wharton School’s office of MBA Career Management, Jennifer serves as a career advisor to students pursuing Social Impact careers as well as the energy industry and management consulting. Jennifer also serves on the school’s Professional Development Committee. Jennifer came to Wharton from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts where she served as a Manager of Professional Training and a student advisor. Prior to NYU, Jennifer spent six years in film production, credits include North, IQ, Juice, A Bronx Tale, Malcolm X, and Interview with the Vampire. Jennifer holds a B.A. in Theater from the University of Maine.
Yomi is a founding partner and head of the Principal Investments Division (PID) at CardinalStone Partners, a financial services boutique operating out of Lagos Nigeria since June 2008. In his role at CardinalStone, Yomi drives the firm's strategy for incubating new ventures and executing turn around investments in distressed companies. Since March 2011, Yomi has also served as the Executive Managing Director of Arco Marine & Oilfield Services, one of CardinalStone's portfolio companies.
Before joining CardinalStone, Yomi served as Vice President - Financial Advisory in Avante Capital (now Argentil Capital Partners), where he played a central role in business advisory and capital raising activities for various projects in the Nigerian energy sector. Prior to joining Avante, Yomi worked as a consultant at the New York offices of Bain & Company. At Bain, Yomi worked primarily on executing strategic due diligence and developing post-acquisition growth strategy and turn-around initiatives for various private equity and corporate engagements. Yomi began his professional career as a systems engineer at the Boynton Beach Florida offices of Motorola Incorporated.
Yomi holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech and an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is married with two kids, enjoys travelling, watching television and playing competitive sports.
Kunbi has earned three masters from Case Western Reserve University (MBA), University of Chicago (MBA), & Harvard University (ALM) in Government. His bachelor’s degree was earned from the University of East London, where he graduated in the top 5% of his class with a BA (Hons) in Business Administration. With over 12 years of high level strategic consulting and operational experience working primarily in financial services, healthcare, and telecommunications. Kunbi's work experience spans managerial responsibilities in three of the world’s most prestigious consulting companies: Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and McKinsey & Company.
In 2009 Kunbi relocated from the United States to take up the position as Head of Strategy for Oceanic Bank in Nigeria. In 2010 Kunbi took up the position as the CEO of West Africa's largest privately held fiber optic connectivity company (Suburban Telecommunications) in Abuja Nigeria. Currently Kunbi heads up Business Intelligence for Ecobank, the Pan African Bank with operations in more countries in Africa than any other bank in the world.
Kola Owodunni is the Head of Risk at Dunn Loren Merrifield. Dunn Loren Merrifield is a boutique Investment Bank with its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria. Before joining the firm, Kola started his career transition to Africa as a consultant with CAFPI Maroc, a mortgage brokerage firm in Casablanca, Morocco.
Kola worked in variety of roles at bulge bracket banks in the U.K. before joining CAFPI Maroc. He worked as a Risk Manager in Credit Suisse London, as part of a team working night and day to ensure the firm survived the 2008 financial crisis. Kola was also a member of the team that pioneered the Hedge Fund Development and Management Group at Merrill Lynch in London, structuring more liquid hedge fund products for High Net-worth Individuals. Kola began his professional career at Goldman Sachs in London first as a Treasury Analyst, then later on as a Risk Analyst for the Prime Brokerage business.
Kola holds a MENG degree in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College, London and an MBA from INSEAD. He enjoys travelling and playing competitive sports.
Edward is the founder and Managing Director of Intrepid HR, a pan African focused HR and Recruitment firm.
Following a career in Finance, both in South Africa and the UK, Edward joined Hays Plc (FTSE 250) a global recruitment firm headquartered out of London and for the last 20 years has serviced both multinationals and entrepreneurs worldwide assisting them source and develop talent and leadership for their businesses.
Edward initially established Hays Executive in South Africa in 1996, thereafter in 2005, through an MBO, founded Intrepid HR in partnership with Hays Plc to focus exclusively on developing a pan African recruitment business.
Intrepid HR specializes in sourcing talent and leadership across Africa for Investment Banking, Private Equity, Fund Management, Strategy Consultancy and Strategic roles in Industry. Our clients include leading multinationals, high growth African businesses and entrepreneurs.