Speakers Alumni

Tom Burgis has covered Africa for the Financial Times for six years, in particular the natural resource industries and the corruption and conflict that often accompany them. He was a correspondent in Johannesburg from 2008-2009 and west Africa correspondent, based in Lagos, from 2009-2011. He is currently based in London for the FT, working on breaking news and investigations, and writing a book about the companies, politicians and middlemen who conspire to loot African resources. Before joining the FT he worked in South America and as read the full bio



Rolake Akinkugbe – Head of Oil and Gas Research, Ecobank Group Rolake is the Head of Oil and Gas, on the award winning research team (which, for the second year in a row won the Africa Investor Index Series Awards for Best Africa Research House, 2012). She assists the pan-African banking group’s Corporate and Investment Banking arm with its energy strategy across its 33-country African banking footprint. She also manages Ecobank’s research and analytical output across the energy value-chain covering a wide range of energy products, and across a portfolio of countries, anywhere from Nigeria to Tanzania, advising both internal and read the full bio



Mutiu Sunmonu is Managing Director of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), Vice President Production (Sub Sahara Africa) and Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria.
He graduated from the University of Lagos in 1978 with a first-class degree in Mathematics and Computer Sciences. He joined the IT department of Shell in Nigeria where he held various roles before being posted abroad.read the full bio




China Danforth Onyemelukwe is Managing Director responsible for Africa coverage across products at Goldman Sachs in London. He has 20 years of emerging markets experience across capital markets and investment banking, covering all asset classes. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, China was Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Capital in Nigeria. Before that, he worked at Merrill Lynch, initially in New York and subsequently in London at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets. He began his career in Nigeria as a credit analyst at Chase Merchant Bank.read the full bio



Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University. He took a five year Public Service leave, 1998-2003, during which he was Director of the Research Development Department of the World Bank. He is also a Distinguished Invited Professor at Sciences Po, Paris. His research covers fragile states, democratization, and the management of natural-resources in low-income societies. Collier is the author of The Bottom Billion, which in 2008 won the Lionel Gelber, Arthur Ross and Corine Prizes and in May 2009 was the joint winner of the Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Bookread the full bio



Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, was on 3 June 2009 appointed the 10th Governor and Chairman of the Board, Central Bank of Nigeria. Mallam Sanusi earned Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Economics from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and also has a first class degree in Sharia and Islamic Studies from the African International University, Khartoum, Sudan.
From working as a lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he taught Economics, Mallam Sanusi joined the banking industry in 1985 at Icon Limited (Merchant Bankers), a subsidiary of Morgan Guaranty Trust Bank of New York, and by January 2009 had risen to read the full bio



Tesfamicael Gerahtu has been the Ambassador for Eritrea to the United Kingdom and Ireland since 2007. He is also the Director General for the Department of General Education within the Ministry of Education in Eritrea. A staunch advocate of the full sovereignty of his homeland , he participated in the Eritrean National Liberation Struggle as a member of the Eritrean Peoples’ Liberation Front (EPLF). In May 1991, the EPLF took read the full bio



Born in South Africa in May 1950, Martin Plaut received his first degree in Social Science from the University of Cape Town, and an Honours degree in Industrial Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand, before going on to do an MA at the University of Warwick.
In 1978 he worked for a year as an Industrial Relations officer with Mobil Oil before joining the British Labour Party as secretary on Africa and the Middle East. In 1984 he joined the BBC, working primarily on Africa. He has reported from many parts of the continent but specialises in read the full bio



His Excellency Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr. is Vice- President of the Republic of Liberia and President of the Liberian Senate, where he presides two days a week over plenary sessions of that body. He also performs supervisory functions over a number of institutions and agencies including the Liberia National Lotteries, the Liberia Marketing Association, the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment, and the National Commission on Disarmament Demobilization Resettlement and Reintegration.read the full bio



Hinh T. Dinh is currently Lead Economist in the Office of the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank in Washington DC. Prior to this assignment, he served as a Lead Economist in the Africa Region at the Bank (1998-2008), in charge of advising its management and staff on strategy, economic policy, and related operational issues for Southern Africa, Central and West Africa. In that capacity, he worked on Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Benin, Niger, Togo, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Burundi, Cameroon, Gabon, Sao Tome, and Equatorial Guinea. Between 1991 and 1998, he served asread the full bio



In December 2005, Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella was appointed Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), having previously worked in various high-level policy positions in UNIDO. He was re-appointed for a second four-year term in office in December 2009.
Prior to working for UNIDO, Yumkella was the Minister for Trade, Industry and State Enterprises of the Republic of Sierra Leone from 1994-1995. From 1987-1996, he held various academic positions at Michigan State University and the University of Illinois. read the full bio



Alexis was born in South Africa, and worked at two of the Eastern Cape’s oldest newspapers, Grocott’s Mail and the Daily Dispatch, before travelling to the Democratic Republic of Congo as a freelancer. After a stint as a special correspondent in London for South Africa’s Independent Newspapers, he joined Dow Jones in 2006 as a copy editor and then a reporter, covering two of the U.K’s biggest companies BP and Shell. Alexis earned his BA at Rhodes University in read the full bio



Lanre Akinola is Editor of This Is Africa, a Financial Times Ltd publication, which focuses on the policy and the business environment across the continent, as well as Africa’s strategic relationships with other world regions. He covers a broad range of topics relating to Africa across the fields of business, policy and development. A native of Lagos, Nigeria, Lanre is a regular speaker on African affairs at international events, and holds a degree in politics from read the full bio



Giles Omezi is the Director of London-based Laterite, an Architecture and Urban Design practice whose current work is focused on urban projects in Africa. He has developed interests in Contemporary African Architecture and Urbanism, has lectured and tutored at various Universities and is currently completing doctoral research on post independence urbanization of Lagos, Nigeria at the University College London. Recent publications include essays in ‘Urban Constellations’ edited by Mathew Gandy (2011), Digest of African Architecture (2008) read the full bio



Jennifer Robinson is Professor of Urban/Human Geography at the University College London in the UK and has also worked at the Open University and at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, and the LSE in London. From Durban, South Africa, herself, she has published widely on South African cities, especially on the spatiality and politics of apartheid and post-apartheid cities, notably, The Power of Apartheid (Heinemann, 1996). Her most recent book, Ordinary Cities (Routledge, 2006) offers a post-colonial critique of urban studies. She is read the full bio



Jonathan Ledgard is a leading thinker on political risk and technology in Africa. A longtime Africa correspondent for The Economist, he is also fellow of future Africa and founder of the AFROTECH initiative at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. He has reported from 50 countries and several wars and published two novels, Giraffe (2006) and Submergenceread the full bio



Kunlé Adeyemi is an architect, urbanist and creative researcher. He is the founder of NLÉ, an architecture and urbanism practice established in The Netherlands with focus on the business and intelligence of developing cities. Adeyemi studied architecture at the University of Lagos and later obtained a post professional degree at Princeton University with his research on rapid urbanization. Before starting NLÉ he was at the world renowned Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) where he worked closely with founder Rem Koolhaas. At OMA, Adeyemi led read the full bio



  • Eirenicon

    Pronunciation: /ʌɪˈriːnɪkɒn/

    Definition: i) A proposition to harmonize conflicting viewpoints ii) Advancing peace, strengthening or establishing unity, or fostering solidarity.

    From Greek eirēnikon, neuter of eirēnikos 'promoting peace', from eirēnē 'peace'

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