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WIMBIZ ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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WIMBIZ ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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WIMBIZ ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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WIMBIZ ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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WIMBIZ ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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About WIMBIZ Conference


Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ), a Nigeria based non-profit organization formed in 2001 by 14 individuals with an overriding vision “to be the catalyst that elevates the status and influence of women and their contribution to nation building”. Our programs are geared towards increasing the success rate of female entrepreneurs and the proportion of women in senior positions in corporate organizations.

The Annual Conference is WIMBIZ's flagship event which holds November of every year and is attended by over 1000 women from all over the world to discuss a broad range of issues centered around a cutting edge theme that is topical and relevant to women in the business, corporate, public and development sectors.

The Conference themes over the years have been:

YearTheme
2016

2015
The Next Frontier - New Landscape, New Possibilities 

Leadership... Step Up & Stand Out!
2014 Nigeria Rising.. Accelerating Transformation
2013 The New Economy... Are you Plugged In?
2012 Workplace, Wellbeing & Wealth; Women Working & Winning
2011 The Catalyst
2009 Impact your world
2008 Change The Game and Make A Difference
2007 Women Powering The Economy Towards Vision 2020
2006 Women In Leadership
2005 Women As Agents of Change-Business, Government & The Political System
2004 Crossroads, What Next?
2003 Getting There, Staying There

About Wimbiz conference
Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ), a Nigeria based non-profit organization formed in 2001 by 14 individuals with an overriding vision “to be the catalyst that elevates the status and influence of women and their contribution to nation building”. Our programs are geared towards increasing the success rate of female entrepreneurs and the proportion of women in senior positions in corporate organizations.

The Annual Conference is WIMBIZ's flagship event which holds November of every year and is attended by over 1000 women from all over the world to discuss a broad range of issues centered around a cutting edge theme that is topical and relevant to women in the business, corporate, public and development sectors.

The Conference themes over the years have been:

YearTheme
2016

2015
The Next Frontier - New Landscape, New Possibilities 

Leadership... Step Up & Stand Out!
2014 Nigeria Rising.. Accelerating Transformation
2013 The New Economy... Are you Plugged In?
2012 Workplace, Wellbeing & Wealth; Women Working & Winning
2011 The Catalyst
2009 Impact your world
2008 Change The Game and Make A Difference
2007 Women Powering The Economy Towards Vision 2020
2006 Women In Leadership
2005 Women As Agents of Change-Business, Government & The Political System
2004 Crossroads, What Next?
2003 Getting There, Staying There
15+

Years

Over the last 16 years, we have driven execution of our vision by ...


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X Over the last 16 years, we have driven execution of our vision by empowering and inspiring women through our Annual Conference which has become the biggest and most inspiring Conference for women in Nigeria.
1000+

Women

Engage, connect, share and be inspired by over 1000 women from divers...


READ MORE

X Engage, connect, share and be inspired by over 1000 women from diverse areas of the corporate, business and public sectors, including indigenous and international delegates.
50+

Speakers

The Conference will attract over 50 speakers who will build on the suc...


READ MORE

X The Conference will attract over 50 speakers who will build on the successes of previous Conferences and push the envelope by challenging women to break stereotypes and brave uncharted territories in emerging markets.




AFTER PARTY & SIDE EVENTS


After Party

This year the WIMBIZ After-Party has evolved into a new awesome shape. The theme is celebrating Amazons... and why not? A handful of women are blazing their respective tracks and helping others climb their ladders. We have partnered with EbonyLife to bring you the Sisterhood Awards. The EbonyLife TV Sisterhood Awards are a celebration of the deserving, but unsung women in the society; those not often celebrated or celebrated enough, but who are making significant impacts in their particular areas of influence. The criteria for recognizing awardees is based strictly on a demonstration of excellence, commitment, innovativeness, integrity, national impact; and most importantly women who demonstrated a substantive, yet largely unrecognized excellence in the area for which they were being considered. It's bound to be an unforgettable experience, so lock down the dates, and be there! We look forward to welcoming you.
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The Power Cocktail

The Power Cocktail is a business networking event offering delegates a unique opportunity to meet and connect with influential individuals from diverse sectors in a bespoke setting. Successful leaders often credit the power of networks in advancing their business and careers; a recent Harvard Business Review article supports this claim stating 'a key reason why women lag behind in leadership is that they are less likely to have extensive networks to support and promote them as potential leaders'. The Power Cocktail is a must-attend if you are seeking your next big idea, strategic connection or winning partnership.





Speakers


  • Chief Dr. (Mrs.) Nike Akande

    Comfort Lamptey

    Adenrele Adesina

  • Uloma Ike

    Simi Nwogugu

    Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede

  • Gbolahan Lawal

    Dan Agbor

    Damola Ladejobi

  • Dr. Laila St. Matthew-Daniel

    Chukwunonso Onny-Ezeh

    Praise Fowowe

  • Dr. Joseph Odusanya

    Uzoma Dozie

    Mohammed Garuba

  • Dr. Olutunde Lalude

    Folawe Omikunle

    Inyang Udo-Umoren

  • Nike Akerele De Souza

    Nnamdi Okonkwo

    Olusola Oworu

  • Opeyemi Oduwole

    Otto Orondaam

    Yewande Zaccheaus

  • Adeola Azeez

    Tope Omage

    Cidi Aliyu

  • Ambassador Stanislas Kamanzi

    Osayi Alile

    Judy Dlamini

  • Funke Opeke

    Dr Akintunde Akinkunmi

    Marieme Esther Dassanou

  • Oyeyimika Adeboye

    Kai Orga

    Nkiru Igbokwe

  • Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi

    Ada Osakwe

    Ifeoma I. Idigbe

  • Dr. Peter Bryant

    Dr. Uju Rapu

    Udo Okonjo

  • Tosin Runsewe

    Tonye Cole

    Temie Giwa-Tubosun

  • Muda Yusuf

    Itoro Eze- Anaba

    Akintunde Oyebode

  • Monica Musonda

    Laure Beaufils

    Kofo Akinkugbe

  • Gossy Ukanwoke

    Aishetu Dozie

    Jason Njoku

Chief Dr. (Mrs.) Nike Akande
Most Nigerians will consider it a privilege to be called upon to serve their country once. When such people are called twice to do so, it would in no doubt mean a double honour. More importantly, such opportunities come as recognition of the capability and the ability of the beneficiary to perform. One of the very few Nigerians, who have had the opportunity to be called upon to put their skills to use for the service of the country, is Chief Dr. (Mrs.) Nike Akande CON.

She attended Queen’s school, Ede from 1958-1962 for her secondary education and started her “A” Level programme at Queen’s college, Lagos in 1963, before proceeding to the university tutorial college London, where she completed her “A” Level in 1964. Chief Dr. Nike Akande later attended the University of North London from 1965-1968 where she studied Accountancy. She did her postgraduate programme at the prestigious Harvard Business School, Boston, USA. She also attended a management development course at Oxford University, United Kingdom, and an Advance Management Course, at International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. She was the first Nigerian Woman to be Minister of Industry. This was not surprising to many who know her as a strong believer in the philosophy that Industrialization is the key to economic development, poverty alleviation and eradication, as well as employment generation.

Therefore, for Chief Akande, the double opportunity to serve as a Minister in the Ministry of Industry was an opportunity to fulfil a passion.
Comfort Lamptey
Comfort Lamptey is the Representative of UN Women to Nigeria and ECOWAS. Ms Lamptey has an established track-record of working to promote women’s rights and gender equality at the regional level in Africa, as well as globally. She has served in senior advisory and management positions with different UN entities in New York, Geneva and in countries across the Africa region. Her work within the UN spans assignments with the UN Development Programme, the UN Refugee Agency, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and more recently UN Women. She has worked extensively on issues of governance peace and security and has been instrumental in helping to establish the policy architecture on gender peace and security in the context of peacekeeping.

Prior to joining the UN, Ms. Lamptey worked with the London-based NGO, International Alert, which specializes in the field of conflict prevention and conflict resolution. She also serves as a Board member to a number of African-based organizations working in the field of governance and development. Ms. Lamptey hails from Ghana.
Adenrele Adesina
Adenrele Adesina, FCCA is a graduate of Accounting & Finance from the University of Brighton in East Sussex, United Kingdom. She entered public service in October 2015 after a 20 year career in the private sector. As the Honourable Commissioner of Budget & Planning in Ogun State, she is responsible for the annual preparation of the State budget of approximately $700m as well as managing the State’s relationship with development agencies and driving the Public Financial Management Reforms of the State government. 

  Prior to her current appointment, Ms. Adesina worked in extensively in the Global Markets division of investment banking, both in Nigeria and the UK. She spent 10 years as a Credit Research analyst at West LB AG, ABN AMRO and Standard Bank in London. She developed a deep understanding of European corporate debt markets as well as corporate strategy across the Retail, Consumer Goods, Oil & Gas and Utilities sectors in Europe. She joined the Global Markets team at Standard Bank, London in 2007 and extensively analysed Nigerian Banks, supporting transactions for short and medium term financing and helping to market these transactions to investors in the UK, Mainland Europe, the US and Africa. 

  She served as part of Stanbic IBTC Bank's advisory team to the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2009 during its intervention and reforms amid the Nigerian banking crisis of 2009/10. She formally moved to Nigeria in 2010 and became Head of Corporate& Investment Banking Research at Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Bank’s Nigerian subsidiary, where she remained until October 2015. She has extensive experience engaging and advising portfolio investors in debt and equity instruments as well as Foreign Direct Investors into Nigeria from the US, Europe and South Africa.
Uloma Ike
Ms. Uloma Ike works with Bank of Industry where she is a senior member of the team assembled to work on the bank’s financial inclusion and microenterprise initiatives.

Before joining Bank of Industry, she had held several senior management positions locally and internationally. She has broad management and international work experience cuts across several sectors, primarily commercial and retail banking, retail payments and sustainable finance initiatives.

Her professional experience include leading the International Finance Corporation Women in Business Program for the Middle East and North Africa region where she was responsible for creating opportunities for Access to finance for women entrepreneurs in the region. Prior to this role, she was the pioneer program manager of the Access Bank Women in Business Program, where she was responsible for providing financial and business advisory services to women entrepreneurs.

Uloma is a Mason Fellow and has a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University and an MBA from Lagos Business School.
Simi Nwogugu
Simi Nwogugu is the Executive Director of Junior Achievement Nigeria, which is a non-profit economic education organization that inspires and prepares young people for a successful future. Simi brought JA, a global organization in over 100 countries, to Nigeria in 1999 and since then the organization has reached over 690,000 students in primary and secondary schools nationwide. 

  Simi started her career as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs and has over twenty years of finance and strategy consulting experience with various organizations including Goldman Sachs, MTV Networks, ING Group and PricewaterhouseCoopers. She has helped start various other non-profit organizations and foundations in Nigeria, and was most recently the Founding Administrator for the African Capital Alliance (ACA) Foundation, which supports ethical leadership and development of an enabling environment for entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Simi is also the founder & CEO of HOD Consulting, a leadership and organizational development firm. Her path toward developing HOD Consulting is the subject of a Harvard Business School case study titled, An Entrepreneur’s Journey: Simi Nwogugu. The case is taught to second-year Harvard Business School students interested in becoming entrepreneurs who balance personal success with social responsibility. 

  Simi has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor's degree in Economics and English, cum laude with High Honors, from Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts. She is married with three children.
Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede
Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede is a lawyer, investment banker, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the founder and Chairman of Coronation Capital Limited, an Africa-focused private equity and proprietary investment firm established in 2014.

He is also founder of the Africa Initiative for Governance (“AIG”) a not-for-profit organisation, established to be a catalyst for high public sector performance; bringing leadership, funding and private sector innovation in a private-public partnership to attract, inspire and support future leaders of the public sector.

His career in banking and finance spans three decades and has earned him national as well as international recognition including; Commander of the Order of the Niger “CON”, conferred by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for his contributions to the development of banking and finance; Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (West Africa); and African Banker Magazine’s “African Banker of the Year”.

Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede led the 2002 acquisition of Access Bank as Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, overseeing the transformation of the bank into top-5 leadership position in Nigeria, with assets of USD 12 billion and 350 branches employing 20,000 staff in 9 countries. He chaired Presidential and National banking industry committees during this period including the Committee on Verification of Fuel Subsidies. Oversight of that process is credited with saving Nigeria billions of dollars in fraudulent fuel subsidy payments and founded the FMDQ OTC Exchange, which today specializes in fixed income securities and derivatives. Aigboje retired as CEO of Access Bank in December 2013.

His passion and commitment to the development of financial markets has seen him take prominent roles within Nigeria’s financial and capital markets. He was elected President of the National Council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2012; a position he held until recently. He is Co-Chairman of the UK-Nigeria Capital Market Task Force, and also Chairman Board of Trustees of the Financial Market Dealers Association, and Wapic Insurance PLC. He serves on the board of TCX Investment Management Company Netherland as a Director.

Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede’s social and entrepreneurial philanthropic engagements include; Chairman of Friends Africa, a partner organization of the Global Fund, Co-Chairman of the Board of GBC Health, and founding member of the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria.

In recognition of his experience and insights from the private sector and from the work of his foundation in transforming Africa’s public sector, he was invited and accepted to join the International Advisory Board of the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford in June 2017, and more recently was inducted as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede holds law degrees from the University of Benin and the Nigerian Law School, and a Trium MBA, awarded jointly by the London School of Economics, New York University, and HEC Paris.
Gbolahan Lawal
Mr. Gbolahan Lawal has over twenty years of post-graduate experience working in the public sector; he is a seasoned security & development practitioner. He has deep understanding for political economy of development especially in low and medium income economies. He holds an M.Sc. from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, also a graduate of the Advanced Management Program (AMP) at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is also an Alumni of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the World Bank Institute, Washington DC. He is a Board member, Lagos State Security Trust Fund and holds certificates in Strategies for managing PPP, ECAPS in Cambridge, PPP Financing, Projects and Contract, Johannesburg South Africa and Housing Finance for Sub-Saharan Africa, University of Cape town, South Africa.

Until May 2015, Gbolahan was the Honorable Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in the Lagos State Government. Prior to this position, he was the Senior Special Assistant to Former Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) on Special Projects in 2008, a capacity in which he coordinated the activities of the Lagos Youth Agriculture-based Empowerment Scheme (AgricYES).

Prince Gbolahan Lawal is presently the Commissioner for Housing, Lagos State Government. As the Commissioner for Housing, he has set the blaze with the introduction of the Rent –to own, an home ownership program set to move a larger number of residents of Lagos State to the home ownership ladder and the master-craftsman program, a train- the -trainer initiative aimed at improving the skills of artisans and workmen in the built industry.

Gbolahan voluntarily retired from the Nigeria Police force in 2008 as a Superintendent of Police. He has interests in sports, music and the arts. He is happily married with children.  
Dan Agbor
Dan Agbor is the managing partner of Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie and heads it’s Corporate/M&A and Private Equity teams.  He also continues to practice actively in the areas of Banking and Finance and is reported, by various independent rankings and publications, to be one of the most highly commended lawyers across these practice areas in Nigeria.  His diverse experience includes advising on Nigeria's earliest global depositary receipt programme, Nigeria’s first independent power project, the establishment of Nigeria's first discount house, Nigeria's first banking merger, Nigeria’s first Eurobond transaction, the structuring of an international debt fund that is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and numerous mergers and acquisitions, across a variety of sectors.

  Dan provides client training and participates locally and internationally on panels and conferences, as a speaker on issues ranging from foreign investment in Nigeria, private equity, secured credit transactions and legal issues associated with financing transactions and public-private partnerships in Nigeria. He is commended by Chambers, the IFLR 1000, the Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal as a leading lawyer, and recognised and commended as a leading lawyer in The Lawyer’s Africa Private Equity Elite Report.

  Dan chairs the board of UAC of Nigeria PLC, Nigeria’s largest listed conglomerate, and serves on the boards of various companies, including FSDH Merchant Bank Limited, FSDH Securities Limited, Pensions Alliance Limited and Nigerite Limited, where he serves as an alternate director.
Damola Ladejobi
'' I am Damola Ladejobi, I am a professional nutritionist and weight loss expert. I am a UK certified personal nutritionist with a diploma in nutrition. I have a law degree from the University of Exeter with a BL from Nigerian law school. I am the first child of my parents; I have one lovely sister (Farah). I am married to my best friend Mr Adebisi Ladejobi and the mother of two God sent children Ifeoluwa and Oluwatobiloba Ladejobi.

Before I became a weight loss coach, I worked at Lagos state ministry of justice as a lawyer and then I worked as the head of a pre-school. It was a wonderful experience working with children.

My concern for my health and love for fashion motivated me to lose weight. Being overweight made me have severe GERD (Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease) and my size also affected my passion for fashion. I wanted to be proud of the way I looked and be healthier. When I started losing weight I would go shopping and realised I could fit into a size lower than when I started and that helped me stay on track till I reached my target dress size. Little victories kept me going''.
Dr. Laila St. Matthew-Daniel
Laila St. Matthew-Daniel, is a transformational Growth & Development Consultant and Life Coach who works with people to maximise potential in their personal and professional life through ‘life re-engineering skills’ aimed at enhancing work performance, personal development, towards fulfilment, and success.

Under her leadership, her organization Jacinta Lifestyle Re-Engineering, has brought a unique style of embedding the full impact of training into the work habits of all levels of staff in an organization, to bring about the change that is required for increased performance and human wealth creation. As a prolific speaker on issues of self-mastery and actualization, she has spoken at various local and international women leadership conferences; and hosts free “REINVENTU” seminars to empower women in business skills, and self development.

Committed to services to humanity, especially women and the girl-child, in 2006 she set up an initiative called ACTS Generation a gender based organization to empower women, create awareness/sensitization for zero-tolerance towards domestic violence & abuse, and to build life skills empowerment programs for the youth. She has collaborated with the US embassy, Lagos State Government and various NGO’s to promote the human rights of the woman. She has actively participated and influenced campaigns for the actualisation of better policies for woman and the girl-child.

Laila St. Matthew-Daniel advocates that “violence and abuse is not left at home” and impresses that corporate organizations should make awareness of domestic violence and mental health issues a key focus in their Employee Assistance Programs, and offer external therapy assistance for their staff.

Laila St. Matthew-Daniel, apart from being a Trainer, Writer, Author, Blogger, On-Air Personality, Conference Speaker, and an indefatigable Social Activist, holds an honorary ‘Doctorate in Humanities’, and has won many awards in appreciation/recognition of her relentless work, providing a voice in the growth and development of Home, Community and Country, for WOMEN.

She is a mother of 4 lovely daughters and grandmother of 4.
Chukwunonso Onny-Ezeh
Chukwunonso, an attorney, is the Chief Executive Officer of Assist-2- Sell properties Limited. Nonso, as she is often called, is a law graduate of University of Nigeria and was called to the Nigerian bar in 1999 after graduating with a 2 nd Class Upper from the Nigerian Law School. Her Career path spans from law, banking, non-profit and real estate. Under her watch, Assist-2- sell properties limited, was core expertise in the property sales, property leases, property management, and real estate advisory services has emerged to become one of the best real estate broker firms winning several awards, including the British Airways On Business Opportunity Grant Award in 2011. Assist-2- Sell Properties Limited is also a WEConnect certified women owned business.

Nonso, a WIMBIZ mentee turned mentor, attributed her continued self-development to her great belief in mentorship and continuing education. She has the distinction of being not a Cherie Blair Foundation For Women Mentee, but was also a Fortune 500 U.S. State Department Global mentee for 2014 and was mentored by Karen Peetz, President of the Bank of New York Mellon and Joanna Shapiro also of BNY Mellon. Nonso is also a Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (You WiN) mentor. A member of the Ikoyi Club 1938 and VGC Club, Nonso is also alum of the prestigious Lagos Business School. She is currently enrolled in the Chief Executive Program of Lagos Business School where serves as the class president foe Chief Executive Program, Class 24. She has also attended several executive programmes from leading business schools world over, including IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain and Nanyang Business School, Singapore.

Nonso loves to read and travel and she is fascinated by books and stationeries. Her favourite authors remain John Grisham, Sophia Kinsella and Chimamanda Adichie.

Chukwunonso is happily married to Arch (Sir) Clement Ezeh.
Praise Fowowe
Praise Fowowe is a limitless thinker, futurist and Africa’s premier creator and trainer of Family Systems Engineering.

He is the principal partner at Numero Uno Systems and Strategies, Principal Consultant at Praise Fowowe International and the founder of Center for Sex Education and Family Life. He’s an internationally acclaimed Family therapist, sexuality education strategist and crisis manager. A highly innovative strategist blessed with original insights on relationships that have been applauded all over the continent as one of the most effective when it comes to family life issues. With over 16 years’ experience in handling family life issues in Africa, Praise ranks high among the few dependable go-to persons for family life, behavioral transformation and relationship issues.

He is an authority in the field and frame of reference for many. He has developed several life-changing contents in his quest to rid our continent of sex predators, pedophiles, domestic violence and through his work, many homes and thousands of lives have been restored to their healthy and sane state.

As a family life educator, Praise has created what is regarded as the most complete sexuality education kit for families and schools in Nigeria for the prevention of child sexual abuse and has worked with various state governments, educational institutions, corporate brands and religious institutions in building child sexual abuse preventive systems. His original thoughts on relationships have helped provide sought answers, clarity and direction to several singles and married couples. He has developed a new thought process called Family System Engineering that is now being taught around Africa in our quest to create a developed continent from our families. The Family Systems Engineering certification program is now a choice program for family therapists, coaches and counselors across the continent.

A bestselling author and a talk show host, his works include Super Kidz, Marital Recovery, Marital Formation, Basic Sexuality Education kit and Strictly for Wives among others. He covers 4 different continents with his daily devotionals and his child power challenge program www.iampraisefowowe.com/cpp is well patronized across the globe.

Praise is a confidant, advisor & personal family coach to several high net worth Individuals, serves as a relationship therapist for a number of organizations and hosts free weekly live broadcasts. He is happily married to Tosin one of the nation’s finest family finance experts and they are blessed with two children David and Charis.
Dr. Joseph Odusanya
Joseph O. T. Odusanya is an International organizational psychologist, management and business consultant, HR practitioner, and the Chief Executive Officer at Biocrops Biotechnology Company Limited.

  In the last thirty years, Joseph has successfully helped several client organisations translate their organizational strategies into realizable objectives. Joseph has assisted organizations and top management professionals prepare and organize their leadership bench-strengths across various industries-from finance to leisure, from manufacturing to professional services, and so on.

  Joseph was a Senior Regional Consultant with Development Dimensions International (DDI) in the Asia Pacific, where he successfully served clients like PETRONAS, Panasonic and Sime Derby. He was General Manager-Africa at the HayGroup in South Africa, a position he held until he joined Keystone Bank as Head of the Human Capital Division on his return to Nigeria.

  Joseph has successfully led transformation and organizational development work with clients like Flour Mills of Nigeria, Brass LNG, United Bank for Africa and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Joseph holds an MSc. in Industrial/Organisational Psychology and a doctorate degree in management. Joseph Odusanya’s profile has been published in the Maquis Who is Who in the World, since 2005.

 
Uzoma Dozie
Uzoma Dozie graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Reading, Berkshire England. He obtained a Master of Science degree in Chemical Research from University College, London in 1992 and a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA Finance) from Imperial College Management School, London in 1998.

Uzoma’s banking experience spans more two decades. He started his banking career with Guaranty Trust Bank Plc in 1993 where he worked in the Commercial Banking Unit and later moved to Citizens International Bank Limited where he worked in the Oil and Gas Division. In 1998, he joined Diamond Bank Plc as an Assistant Manager and Head of the Bank’s Oil and Gas Group where he expanded the Bank’s Oil and Gas businesses.

Having garnered years of experience in business development, Uzoma moved to the Financial Control Group of the Bank in 2000 and rose through the ranks to become the Bank’s Financial Controller.

Uzoma was appointed an Executive Director in 2006. In 2008, he was assigned to head the Corporate Banking Directorate. In 2010, Uzoma’s responsibilities were expanded to include acting as the Bank’s Chief Financial Officer.

In February 2011, following the appointment of a new CFO, Uzoma’s responsibility was modified to cover Corporate Banking and all Businesses in Lagos and West regions. In January 2014, he was re-assigned to the Retail Banking Directorate and was appointed a Deputy Managing Director in April 2014. He was appointed the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer in October 2015.
Mohammed Garuba
Mohammed Garuba is one of the founding partners of CardinalStone an Investment Firm based in Lagos, Nigeria where he oversees the Asset Management Division. Prior to joining the firm, he served as pioneer Director of Equity Securities at Renaissance Capital where he was responsible for driving the company’s equities trading and sales business in Nigeria. Before joining Renaissance Capital, Mohammed served as Managing Director / Chief Operating Officer at Zenith Securities Limited, a subsidiary of Zenith Bank Plc, where he was in charge of strategy, deal origination and execution. He started his banking career with Investment Banking & Trust Company Limited (now Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc) as an Investment Manager.

Mohammed Garuba is one of the founding partners of CardinalStone an Investment Firm based in Lagos, Nigeria where he oversees the Asset Management Division. Prior to joining the firm, he served as pioneer Director of Equity Securities at Renaissance Capital where he was responsible for driving the company’s equities trading and sales business in Nigeria. Before joining Renaissance Capital, Mohammed served as Managing Director / Chief Operating Officer at Zenith Securities Limited, a subsidiary of Zenith Bank Plc, where he was in charge of strategy, deal origination and execution. He started his banking career with Investment Banking & Trust Company Limited (now Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc) as an Investment Manager.

Mohammed was a member of the ministerial committee set up to review the Investment and Securities Act (ISA) 2007 based on international best practices regarding statutes governing the operations of the capital market. He is a board member of the Nigerian Chapter of Africa 2.0 a Pan African advocacy group that exists to rally a coalition of willing individuals and organisations who share a collective vision for Africa and a commitment to finding and implementing sustainable solutions that will in turn leapfrog the development of the continent. He is also the founder of Ansar Heritage Empowerment Foundation. He is also a Council member of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers.

Mohammed holds a BSc. Insurance from the University of Lagos and is also an Associate of both The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and The Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers. He is also a Fellow of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative.  He currently serves as the Chairman of CardinalStone Securities Limited and sits on several boards including CSAdvance Finance Company Limited, Crest Agro Products Farms Limited and CardinalStone Registrars Limited.

Mohammed is married with two children and enjoys football, golf and reading.
Dr. Olutunde Lalude
Olutunde Lalude graduated from the College of medicine, University of Lagos with a MB,BS degree in 1985. He trained in general and colorectal surgery in London (UK), including research in molecular colorectal oncology at the Royal London Hospital, and was appointed consultant colorectal, general and laparoscopic surgeon to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex in 2004. He specialises in colorectal and general surgery with particular emphasis on colorectal oncology. He has extensive experience in laparoscopic colorectal and general surgery and gastrointestinal endoscopy. This includes laparoscopic hernia repairs, cholecystectomy, colorectal resections, colonoscopy and gastroscopy. He also has extensive experience in proctology (treat of disorders of the anus) including haemorrhoids, anal fistula, anal fissure and rectal prolapse.

His leadership experience includes clinical director elective business unit, lead colorectal surgeon and head of department of surgery. He has also been a member of the London Colorectal Cancer Pathway Board. In 2006 he achieved the distinction of having the second lowest hospital stay after bowel surgery in England as determined by reducinglengthofstay.org based at UCLH in London. To date his department has maintained a length of stay 3 days lower than national average after bowel surgery.

He has been extensively involved in medical education with responsibility for students from Barts and the London medical school and higher surgical trainees from the London deanery.
Folawe Omikunle
Folawe is a Social Entrepreneur who is passionate about education and social development. Folawe is the Chief Executive Officer of Teach For Nigeria, a social enterprise focused on developing leaders who will drive the movement towards educational equity and excellence in Nigeria. Prior to leading Teach For Nigeria, Folawe was Executive Secretary, Association of Private Educators in Nigeria (APEN).

Folawe holds a Master in Diplomatic Studies from the University of Westminster. She holds a Diploma in Montessori Education from Modern Montessori International. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Babcock University in International Law and Diplomacy and she is an alumna of Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Inyang Udo-Umoren
Inyang Udo-Umoren is a literacy and curriculum design expert and Senior Programme Officer at The Education Partnership (TEP) Centre. Her experience in the education sector spans classroom teaching, management of literacy programmes, assessment of foundational literacy and numeracy skills and evidence-based advocacy through academic research on public-private partnership models for financing basic education.

  As a member of the senior leadership team at TEP Centre, Inyang leads the assessment workstream of LEARNigeria which is a citizen-led assessment and advocacy programme initiated by TEP Centre and implemented in six states.

  Inyang holds a master's degree in Educational Planning, Economics and International Development from the UCL Institute of Education, London and a second master's degree in Financial Management from Middlesex University, London. She is also a certified project management practitioner (PRINCE2). Inyang's professional experience spans the development and financial services sectors in Nigeria and the UK.
Nike Akerele De Souza
Mrs. Nike Akerele De Souza is the Founder/CEO of PeoplePrime Limited, as well as the Co-founder/Trustee of “Teach for Nigeria”.

She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) from the American Institute of Public Accountants (USA), an Associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ACA), as well as an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria(ACIPM).

Nike started her career in the US in 1987, working for several consulting and audit firms as a Consultant/Auditor. In 1992, she joined Arthur Andersen Nigeria (now KPMG Professional Services) and left in December 2002 to establish PeopleTemp and PeoplePrime.

Nike has led these two organisations for the last 15 years, offering clients various services including Executive & Graduate Recruitment, Leadership Development & Assessments, Executive Coaching and HR Consulting services. She has been certified by the British Psychological Society to conduct objective assessments and is a certified Executive Coach.

Nike is also a member of the Human Capital Committee of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and a Fellow of the Aspen Leadership Institute (US)/Africa Leadership West Africa (ALIWA).

Nike is passionate about matters concerning Education, Skills Development and Youth Unemployment and has also spent the last few years launching various initiatives in the Education sector, including Teach For Nigeria, IstandforEducation and Stephen Adams Social Reformation Foundation. She is also on the Board of Corona Teachers College.  
Nnamdi Okonkwo
Mr. Okonkwo assumed duties as Managing Director/CEO with effect from January 2014.Until his appointment as the MD/CEO he was the Executive Director in charge of South Directorate of the bank. He holds a B.Sc in Agricultural Economics from the University of Benin and an MBA, Banking and Finance from Enugu State University. He is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Programme (AMP) of INSEAD and has also attended other senior-level programmes at world renowned institutions. Before joining Fidelity, Okonkwo was the Head of the Corporate Banking Directorate in (UBA) and had at various times been the MD & CEO of UBA, Ghana and the Regional Chief Executive Officer of all UBA Subsidiaries in Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone and comes with over 25 years’ experience in various areas of banking
Olusola Oworu
Olusola Oworu joined the Board of FirstBank in 2016. She was the Honourable Commissioner for Commerce & Industry in Lagos State from 2011 to 2015 and before then Special Adviser to the then Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, on Commerce & Industry from 2007 to 2011. Olusola spearheaded the development of a number of greenfield projects, initiated schemes to improve the investment climate and led the drive to attract new investments to Lagos State.

An Accounting graduate, fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and Associate, Women in Management, Business & Public Service, she had an enviable career in consulting and banking spanning over 20 years. She started her career at Coopers and Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) in 1982 and subsequently, in 1986, joined NAL Merchant Bank (now Sterling Bank Plc.) and later Citibank Nigeria, where she rose through the ranks to the level of Vice President, with a strong bias for credit risk management and marketing.

She brings her banking and financial services as well as public sector experience to impact her Board contributions. She is happily married and enjoys reading and travelling.

Opeyemi Oduwole
Opeyemi is passionate about wealth creation, personal financial growth, effective transfer of wealth, as well as helping people find and fulfill their life’s purpose. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lagos. Opeyemi is however, a banker by choice who provides transactional and wealth advisory services to Ultra High and High Net worth Individuals.

Opeyemi started her banking career at the Private Bank of Stanbic IBTC Bank (a member of the Standard Bank Group), but moved into relationship management quickly and there the passion to help people grow their wealth blossomed. She has since served as Team lead - Private Banking Mainland Region Lagos, Manager, Strategy and Customer Experience, Private Banking, both with Stanbic IBTC Bank and Regional Head (Lagos and South West) Diamond Privilege. She is currently the Head, Diamond Privilege at Diamond Bank.

Opeyemi is an avid reader and lover of fashion. Her personal mantra is: knowledge gives you an edge, results cannot be denied and average is not an option when you have the capacity to be excellent in you.
Otto Orondaam
Disturbed by the increasing number of Out-of-School children in the slums and on the streets, Otto Orondaam resigned from his job in the bank and founded Slum2School Africa, which has grown to become one of Africa's leading volunteer driven developmental organizations, providing education and health support for disadvantaged children in slums and remote communities. In 5 years Otto has worked with over 6000 volunteers across 26 countries to provide educational scholarships and series of support to over 26,000 children from 15 communities, built various early childhood development centers, e-library, health center and computer development centers serving thousands of children.

He is a social entrepreneur and a development consultant, passionate about social reforms, nation building and community development. He also consults for corporate organizations, social enterprises, NGOs, and governmental institutions, helping develop sustainable solution-based social interventions.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Health science from the University of Port Harcourt, an executive master’s in Project Management from CUPE, UK, a certificate in Social Change, Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship from the United Nations University for Peace, Costa Rica and various development based courses from Henley Business School, Havard University and MIT.

He is a founding member of the Commonwealth Alliance for Young Entrepreneurs - West Africa, a member of the Human Capital Development Commission of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, the Education Reform Team and an Ambassador for Junior Achievement Nigeria.

He is a LEAP Social Innovator Fellow, a Mandela Washington Fellow and he serves as the Chair of the West and Central African Regional Advisory Board for Presidents Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative and also a Trustee and Board member for the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund.
Yewande Zaccheaus
Lawyer, Banker, Entrepreneur. A law degree from University of Lagos, Masters in Law from Cambridge University, AMP from IESE Business School, Barcelona, together with her natural exuberance, boldness and passion saw Yewande through a career first as a practicing lawyer with R.I Kuku & Co, then a bank executive with Ecobank Nigeria Plc and prepared her to be the pioneer in the field of events planning and consulting through Eventful Ltd which she established in 2002.

Yewande has brought professionalism and credibility to the event planning business, using her innate organizational skills to redefine the execution of corporate and personal events. Her events business has expanded to include the management of a portfolio of event venues including City Hall, Lagos Island and Harbour Point, Victoria Island. Yewande is passionate about redefining the events and entertainment landscape of Nigeria. She is the convener of Fiesta of Flavours an annual, world class food and beverage fair and The Beauty Souk, a niche fair for beauty enthusiasts.

Yewande, a Founding Trustee and past Chairperson of Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ) is the 2011 recipient of the prestigious International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) Award and 2015 recipient of THISDAY Newspapers Gamechanger award for being the pioneer and gamechanger in the event planning industry in Nigeria. She serves as a director on the boards of several companies including Zacchi & Krome Ltd, Corporate Leisure Ltd and Dataguard Management Co. Ltd and is a member of the Governing Council of the Lagos State University (LASU).

She is the author of four inspirational books, God’s Waiting Room 1, 2, 3 and 4 which were written as a result of her personal testimony and to encourage couples experiencing delay in childbearing.

Yewande is married to Teni and they are blessed with two children, Teniola and Iretidayo.
Adeola Azeez
A seasoned banker with over 25 years of professional experience, Adeola Azeez is the Deputy Country Head of Deutsche Bank Nigeria, the leading client-centric global universal bank. In her role, Adeola has oversight of the bank’s business operations in the region. She has successfully guided the local financial institutional clients across the spectrum of international financial services and the myriad of challenges of correspondent banking.

Adeola is one of the early pioneer of the current system of Correspondent Banking in Nigeria, which she has been developing since she joined Deutsche Bank and its predecessor company, Bankers Trust New York, in 1989. Through her efforts, boldness, and sheer determination, Adeola has built one of the largest correspondent bank networks in Nigeria and a powerful industry presence. In addition, her generosity of spirit has made her a fundamental asset in the Nigerian Banking Industry, as she freely shares her knowledge with fellow bankers conducting both formal and informal capacity building and continues to mentor young professionals.

Adeola is passionate about the socio-economic development in Nigeria and women in particular. In 2002, she became one of the founding members of Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ), a non-governmental organisation that promotes women’s entrepreneurship and also advocates for the increasing of more women leading in the corporate sector. In 2011 Adeola was appointed as the Chairperson of WIMBIZ. Under her direction, the profile and membership of the organization grew significantly with more young women and other previously under-represented women in the Northern States of Nigeria joining the organization.

Adeola has a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Lagos and an LLB. in Law from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom.

Adeola is happily married with three children.
Tope Omage
Mrs. Tope Orhionsefe Omage started her early education at St. Anne’s school, Ibadan where she obtained her WASC O’levels certificate (1975). She received an HND in Accounting (1979), was awarded an MBA (2000) and she has attended numerous short Courses, Seminars, Conferences and Workshops; both local and international (including Stanford, Whaton, Center for Creative Leadership & North Western University). Professionally, she is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management (2011), Member of the Institute of Directors and Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, a Member of the prestigious Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (2012) and a certified Mediator.

She commenced her working career in 1977 with Pius Momodu and Company Chartered Accountants, Benin. Her reputation as a thoroughbred accountant saw her excel at the Benin Owena River Basin Development Authority, where she rose to Assistant Chief Accountant. Her illustrious career at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) started in 1993 as a Bank Examiner. In 2006, she became Assistant Director, Jos Branch where she coordinated and supervised banking services. She also served as the Chairman of the Branch Alms Committee, before she moved to Internal Audit Department as Deputy Director.

She was appointed Director of Branch Operations Department in (2012). There again, under her skilled leadership, she set the pace and direction for the department and the 37 branches. She monitored, coordinated and maintained general oversight on the branches and facilitated excellent service delivery. Her culture of excellence motivated the present administration to transfer her to the Finance Department to help drive the nascent agenda. Mrs. Omage has made history by becoming the first ever, Female Director of Finance. She led her team to adopt IFRS for CBN Financial statements.

She has served in various committees of ICAN, was a former governing council member of NASB (FRCN), member of Advisory Board of three secondary schools, board member SmartWoman Nigeria and NSITF.

They say that big things come in small packages. Despite her heavy portfolio, she has time for other activities. She is an author, a Motivational Speaker and currently the Coordinator of the Women in Management, Business and Public service (WIMBIZ) Abuja.

In 2011 she published a book titled, “Enjoying Family Life, God’s recipe”. She is married and has adult children.

She retired from the Central Bank of Nigeria in December 2015 after 35years of meritorious service with the Federal Government of Nigeria. Retired but not tired, She currently works with TOMAG consulting and runs Tomaville events centre, a one stop shop for all your events.
Cidi Aliyu
U.S., U.K. and Nigerian -trained lawyer turned serial entreprenuer, Cidi Aliyu took her passion for non-alcoholic cocktails professional when she started MEZRA COCKTAILS four years ago. Based in Abuja, MEZRA has become the number one premium and preferred non-alcoholic cocktails brand, positioned to primarily cater to the Northern market as well as other parts of the country and outside Nigeria, namely Ghana.

MEZRA COCKTAILS caters to all types of events and parties from corporate events to weddings and offers services such as beverage station set up, bartending, waiter hire, complete cocktail service and mobile bar hire.

MEZRA COCKTAILS boasts of second to none glassware and dispensers to perfectly accent any occasion. MEZRA COCKTAILS is to become a leading non alcoholic cocktail brand as they are currently in the process of bottling their signature drinks for retail in the Food and Beverage Industry. Serial entrepreneur Cidi Aliyu is also Procurement Consultant, MEZRA INTERNATIONAL as well as running a Corporate & Luxury Gifting Company, MEZRA LUXURY.

This graduate of Warwick University, University of Dundee, Scotland, American University, Washington DC and The Nigerian Law School enjoys being involved in several philanthropic activities. She plans to set up an NGO in her state of origin, Niger State in the near future to assist widows from all walks of life in honour of her mother. She enjoys exploring new places, cuisines and culture as well as spending quality time with her two children.
Ambassador Stanislas Kamanzi
Ambassador Stanislas Kamanzi, born on 30th September 1962. He is currently serving as High Commissioner of the Republic of Rwanda to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He served as a Cabinet Minister in the Government of the Republic of Rwanda since February 2006. He has held back to back portfolios of Infrastructure; Environment and Land; and Natural Resources till July 2014.

His University studies include a Master’s Degree in Environment and Development, from the University of Natal/South Africa; where he specialized in Geographical Information Systems and Water Resources Management, areas in which much of his research has been conducted.

Ambassador Stanislas Kamanzi‘s professional background is built on a blend of work in community development, post conflict administration, academia, and diplomacy.

As a young graduate, in 1988, he served in rural governance, where he garnered a deep exposure to best practices in community participatory development. He thereafter, in 1992, was co-opted to supervise a Demilitarized Zone(DMZ), established as part of a truce negotiated between the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) and the then Government of Rwanda. His assignment included the re-settlement and empowerment of internally displaced populations; the facilitation of synergies in peace building involving the previously warring parties, and the coordination of humanitarian activities in that DMZ.

Ambassador Kamanzi served as Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations in New York, from 2003 to 2006. During his tenure, he was actively involved, among others, in the processes for peace building in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. He assumed the Chair of the African Group of Ambassadors during the consultations on the United Nations reforms. Ambassador Kamanzi was among the vocal advocates of the appropriation by the United Nations system of the Responsibility to Protect, consistently upheld by the Government of Rwanda.

In his capacity as Cabinet Minister overseeing the Environment and Natural Resources, Ambassador Kamanzi participated in numerous global forums addressing issues relevant to Climate Change, Sustainable Management of the Environment and Natural Capital Accounting for Sustainable Development, where he played a notable role in related negotiations.

Ambassador Stanislas Kamanzi is married and father of two children. He fluently uses Kinyarwanda, English, French; and fairly Swahili.
Osayi Alile
A 2007 “Young Global Leader” (YGL) by the World Economic Forum, a Fellow of the African Leadership Network and an alumna of the Harvard Business School, IMD and Yale Executive Education Programs, Ms. Alile holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the University of Lagos and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA Pi Alpha Alpha.

  Ms. Alile is the CEO ACT Foundation and consultant for Access Bank Plc on its CSR projects, Ms. Alile was the Executive Director of FATE Foundation, a leading private sector led not-for-profit organisation in Nigeria for 8 years A facilitator/management trainer, she is also a consultant on non-profit management and strategy. A Sustainability Expert and Speaker. Osayi is the founding curator, Global Shapers Forum Nigeria.

  Owing to her experiences, Osayi sits on the board of several organisations that includes Immediate past Chairperson Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ), House of Tara, Chairperson Zapphire Events, Culinary Academy and Global Dignity, an affiliation of the World Economic Forum in Norway impacting the lives of over 100,000 students over the last five years.
Judy Dlamini
Dr Judy Dlamini is the founder and executive Chairman of the Mbekani Group. She is the former Chairman of Aspen Pharmacare Limited (Aspen) a JSE-listed South African pharmaceutical manufacturer with an extensive. Mbekani celebrated 20 years in business in 2016. The group has operations and investments in different sectors, including pharmaceuticals, facilities and property management, tourism, surgical instruments management, and luxury fashion retail.

Judy qualified as a medical doctor in 1985 from the University of Natal. She practised as a family practitioner for many years before consulting in Occupational Health for various companies. After completing her MBA from Wits Business School, having majored in Corporate Finance, she joined HSBC Investment Bank, Johannesburg division, in Corporate Finance. She obtained Doctorate in Business Leadership from UNISA where she investigated the intersection of race, gender and social class and its impact on women CEOs’ career progression and strategies for gender transformation at leadership level.

She is the recipient of the African Economy Builder Lifetime Achiever Award for 2016 from African Economy Builder Forum; The Global CEO’s 2016 Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government SADC South award for the Business and Professional Services sector at regional and national level, and Fabulous Woman Award 2016. She is the author of “Equal but Different: Women Leaders’ Life Stories”, which was published in 2016. She was selected to the Exclusive Books’ 2017 Home Bru list of authors.

She recently (August 2016) stepped down from the Anglo American plc board to focus on her business. Previous board engagements include Discovery Holdings, a JSE listed financial services company where she chaired the Remuneration and Transformation Committees, and Woolworths Holdings (JSE listed Retail Company). She was the Non- executive Chairman of Aspen Pharmacare Ltd for eight years where she stepped down in December 2015.She is past chairman of the CEPPWAWU Development Trust, a public benefit trust. She and her husband are the founders and trustees of Mkhiwa trust, a family public benefit organisation with a focus in health, rural development and education. She is married with two grown up children and a grandchild.
Funke Opeke
Funke Opeke, is founder and CEO of Main One. Main One is a telecommunications solutions provider that built West Africa's first privately owned, submarine cable system interconnecting Lagos, Nigeria; Accra, Ghana; and Seixal, Portugal in 2010. Main One has grown to become the leading provider of Wholesale and Enterprise connectivity and data center services across the region and the company has played a major role in changing West Africa's Internet landscape. The company continues to grow its footprint with investments in regional Points of presence and services covering 8 countries in West Africa and in building out terrestrial fiber networks as the fiber infrastructure company for Lagos, the commercial nerve center of Nigeria where it also built West Africa's largest commercial Tier III data center, commissioned in January 2015.
Dr Akintunde Akinkunmi
Dr. Akinkunmi is a 1986 graduate of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan. Following service with the Brigade of Guards of the Nigerian Army, he moved to the United Kingdom where he undertook specialist training in Psychiatry and higher training in Forensic Psychiatry in London. He gained a Masters degree in Law from Cardiff University in 1999. He worked as a Consultant Psychiatrist in the UK National Health Service for more than 10 years, before setting up his own Consultancy service in Harley Street in 2008; he has since 2009 also been Chief Operating Officer of Stress Management Consultants Nigeria. He has served on the UK General Medical Council’s Fitness to Practice/Professional Conduct Committees (2000-20005), the Parole Board for England & Wales (2002-2012), and is Visiting Senior Lecturer at the University of Ibadan, where he teaches both undergraduate students and resident doctors. He published his first novel (Best Served Cold) in 2015, and is just about to publish his second book (Hubris: A Brief Political History of the Nigerian Army 1863-1999). He has been a serving officer in the British Army for more than 25 years, and attended both the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the Joint Services Command and Staff College. He has served in Infantry, Logistics, Military Intelligence and Medical Units, and was a member of the Faculty of the Army Medical Services Training Centre. He served 2 tours of duty at the Army Officers Selection Board, and has deployed in support of British Army operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Mali. He has just taken up the appointment of Chief Medical Officer (Reserves). When not fighting an increasingly difficult battle to keep fit, or supporting his beloved Arsenal Football Club, he tries hard to not be bossed around by his 4 daughters
Marieme Esther Dassanou
Esther is the Women’s Insurance Lead in IFC’s Gender secretariat. She is responsible for developing the first women’s insurance program which aims to increase financial protection and risk mitigation mechanisms for women. Esther provides the Institution’s thought leadership on financial inclusion and innovative mechanisms to increase women’s overall access to financial services in emerging countries. Since joining IFC Esther has led the development and mainstreaming of IFC’s women access to finance program which has evolved into a $1.5 billion investment portfolio. She has worked with over 15 financial institutions to enhance their ability to address the needs of women while at the same time helping women-owned SMEs increase their talent and business skills. Esther is the lead author of the “SheforShield: Insure Women to Better Protect All” report; the “G20 – Access to Finance for Women MSMEs”, and the “Women-owned SMEs a Business Opportunity for Financial Institutions.” She has also managed the Global Banking Alliance for Women Secretariat, a consortium of financial institutions dedicated to the growth of women enterprises. Esther joined IFC in 2007 from the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) where she led the organization’s USAID funded Africa MSME and trade development programs. Under these programs, she trained African companies on product standards, packaging and marketing, and helped with identifying financing and supply chain opportunities for US and African companies. From Senegal, Esther holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and African and Latin American Studies; and an MBA with a focus on program management and marketing.
Oyeyimika Adeboye
Oyeyimika Adeboye joined the Board of Cadbury Nigeria Plc. as Finance and Strategy Director in November 2008. Prior to joining the Board, Mrs. Adeboye was the Chief Financial Officer and Director of Finance of Nigerian Bottling Company Plc, a company that she served for 13 years. She had previously worked for the Nigeria Accounting Practice of Arthur Andersen & Co and the United Kingdom Accounting Practice of Midgley Snelling & Co, Chartered Accountants where she trained as an articled clerk.   Mrs Adeboye has an impressive track record in finance, strategy and business administration both in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Nigeria. Mrs Adeboye has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Accounting from the University College, Cardiff in Wales. Mrs. Adeboye, is a director on the Board of Cadbury Ghana Limited and Odutola Holdings Limited. Oyeyimika Adeboye is member of the Board of Trustees of the Timothy Adeola Odutola Foundation, a family owned philanthropic foundation set up for the purpose of providing educational, industrial and technological development of Nigerian youths who may be unable to gain admission into higher education. The focus of the foundation is to ensure our youths are gainfully employed and able to contribute to the development of our nation. She had also worked with Freedom Foundation an NGO created to carry out the mandate of pioneering social reformation within our communities in Nigeria. As part of her philanthropic work Mrs. Adeboye was chairperson of the Advisory Board of Genesis House until June 2015. Genesis House provides residential rehabilitation facility for abused, disadvantaged adolescent girls.   Oyeyimika and Ayodele have been married for 22 years and have three lovely children.
Kai Orga
Kai Orga holds an M.Sc. in Management and Information Systems from the Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM) Manchester – UK and a B.Sc. degree in International Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, ABU – Zaria. She is a Certified Wealth Management Professional. (International Academy of Business & Financial Management), Member- Association for Talent Development (USA), Accredited Management Trainer by Centre for Management Development, Associate Member Nigerian Institute of Management (AMNIM). She has also been trained by the Coaching Academy, UK and is a certified Neurolinguistics Coach. Kai Orga has over 19 years’ experience in the financial services sector as a Banker, Financial Planner, and Wealth Advisor currently a Vice President in ARM Investment Managers. Her experiences cover financial planning, wealth management, sales management, customer relations and management, marketing, and business administration. She also has extensive and substantial experience in human and personnel development, the management of change and youth entrepreneurship development, employability, and business innovation with a track record of consistent accomplishment in maximizing individual and business/corporate performance. In view of her passion for personal development, coaching and building individuals, she founded the CORE Development Initiative and the CORE Academy. The CORE Development Initiative is a platform that focuses on Youth Development, Employability, and Entrepreneurship. The CORE Academy is an employability school which provides hard and soft skills certification programmes.  
Nkiru Igbokwe
Nkiru I. Igbokwe is a GBV specialist with United Nations Population Fund. She has worked on gender, development and humanitarian fields for over 20 years with various national and international organizations. She has authored articles and papers on women's human rights (including reproductive rights) and gender based violence. She is also a gender activist and has been involved legislative coalitions for the enactment and implementation of legislation and initiatives that protect women and girls from GBV both in development and humanitarian sphere. She is married with four children.
Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi
Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi has facilitated the ratification of two landmark executive orders; the sex offenders register and mandated reporting and the lagos state safeguarding and child protection programme. She also drafted manuals on rape, domestic violence & child abuse.
Ada Osakwe
Ada Osakwe is a food entrepreneur and passionate agribusiness advocate. As the Founder and Chief Executive of Agrolay Ventures, an investment firm targeting early-stage agribusiness and food-related opportunities. Ada seeks to redefine the food production and retail opportunity across Africa's large consumer markets. The firm has four high-growth investments namely The Nuli Juice Company, an innovative farm-to-table Quick Service Restaurant chain that utilizes locally grown vegetables and fruits, Nuli Foods, a food manufacturer that makes shelf-stable ready-to-eat traditional African food products, Nature’s Bounty, a Nigerian dried fruit snack brand, and African Courier Express, a Nigerian technology-enabled logistics company. She has received numerous recognitions for her work over time. In 2016, she was Entrepreneur of the Year at the Ebonylife/WIMBIZ Sisterhood Awards. She is a 2016 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and on the 2016 & 2017 Choiseul 100 Africa list, a unique ranking of the African economic leaders of 40 years old and below. She received the ‘Achiever in Agriculture’ Award in 2015 and in 2014, was named one of Forbes 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa. She is also an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow of the Africa Leadership Institute and a fellow of the African Leadership Network (ALN). Ada is frequently called upon to share her experiences and thought-leadership on entrepreneurship, venture investing in African food businesses, and African development policies. She is a Governing Board member of The One Acre Fund, a leading agriculture-focused non-profit organization with operations in Africa, and also sits on the AfDB President’s Advisory Group on Jobs For Africa’s Youth initiative.
Ifeoma I. Idigbe
Ifeoma I. Idigbe is a business advisor/analyst (finance and human resource management) with over 30 years experience in banking & finance, human resource management, and general administration. Her educational background is in the Pure Sciences (B.Sc Hons) with a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) and a Masters in Human Resource Management (MA HRM). Her professional career started in banking - corporate finance and development finance (now called SME financing). Her career has spanned banking and financial advisory services (private sector), entrepreneurial activities (business advisory/consulting services, capacity building and etiquette training), and four years in the Nigerian public sector as an Executive Director (Finance & Administration) in a Federal parastatal. She was a delegate to the 2014 National Conference convened by former President Goodluck Jonathan to strategize on the Way Forward for Nigeria, and served as Deputy Chairman on the Committee for Agriculture and Water Resources. She admits to diverse interests that include reading, writing (has been a regular contributor to Genevieve and TW women’s magazines. She has also more recently authored a book, Sounds from Silence: Musings), and the collection of paintings and objets d’art. She is also involved in charitable and social causes that relate to youth (a founding Trustee of the Ovie Brume Foundation), women (founding Trustee and immediate past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of WimBiz, Women in Management, Business & Public Service), and the Catholic Church (various leadership roles). She is married to Jude and they have adult children.  
Dr. Peter Bryant
Peter Bryant is a Professor of Entrepreneurship at the prestigious IE Business School in Madrid, where he teaches in the MBA, doctoral and executive education programs. He began his academic career in Sydney, Australia, after earning his PhD in Management there. During the preceding fifteen years, Peter worked as a manager in the airline, banking and consulting, and the venture capital industries, as well as a software startup. He subsequently managed the commercialization of new technologies through the creation of spinoff companies at The University of Sydney, Australia. In this role, he accomplished successful IPOs and VC deals. His academic research is published in many leading academic journals, as well as professional outlets including the online editions of the Harvard Business Review and The Economist.
Dr. Uju Rapu
Dr Uju is a medical doctor. Her speciality is in the area of Aesthetic Medicine. 

She pursued clinical medicine for a period but with an evident passion for Aesthetics, went on and trained with some of London’s Harley Street Aesthetic Specialists in the performance of cosmetic and anti ageing treatments.

She currently performs and advises on a range of aesthetic and minimally invasive anti aging treatments including Mesotherapy, Micro needling and Facial rejuvenation, Non Surgical Face lifts, Intravenous supplements, non surgical weight loss treatments, Botox and Dermal filler injections and more.

  She set up her clinical practice, Bel Fiore Medical Aesthetics a year ago, bringing  the best and latest anti ageing cosmetic treatments with particular focus on skin of colour.
Udo Okonjo

Referred to widely as an astute real estate investor and trusted advisor to the top 1%, Udo Okonjo has had extensive experience negotiating and advising on multi-million dollar real estate transactions on behalf of clients, including Multinationals, Listed Corporates, Privately Held companies and High Net-worth Clientele. Udo is very passionate about real estate as a means of wealth creation and nation building and is convener of the annual Refined Investor Series to provide an accurate roadmap and insight on the Nigerian real estate market. Under her leadership, the West African office of Fine and Country a global network of real estate professionals and entrepreneurs has leaped to the top in the provision of cutting edge Real Estate services to leading real estate developers and institutional clients, with multiple local and international awards received over the years.

 

She is an alumni of the Said Business School, Oxford Real Estate Programme, the Oxford University High Performance Leadership Programme and the Judge Business School, Cambridge University where she recently completed an executive management certificate focused on  Complex Negotiations, Ethics, Strategic Marketing and Branding over the course of 2 years. Udo was admitted to the Nigerian Bar Association and New York Bar in 1991 and 1994 respectively and pursued a successful legal career for more than a decade, in addition to having acted as Senior Special Adviser on Legal and Constitutional Matters to the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and being Partner at a leading local law firm, Templars Barristers & Solicitors.

 

Having emerged best graduating female student at the Nigerian Law School, in 1991, she was awarded the prestigious British Chevening Scholarship to study at the University of London, Kings College School of Law, where she graduated with a Masters degree in Law (LLM) specializing in Corporate and Commercial Law.

 

She also earned a certificate in Effective Real Estate Marketing from the National University of Singapore in conjunction with the Dubai Real Estate Institute amongst several real estate and executive courses at the Lagos Business School, Pan Atlantic University.

 

Udo Maryanne Okonjo, a distinguished Chevening Scholar and member of the Oxford Real Estate Society is currently the Chief Executive Officer/Vice Chairman of Fine and Country West Africa. Her passion includes mentoring next generation champions to excel at all professional and entrepreneurial levels. 

Tosin Runsewe
Prior to his appointment in March 2004 as Chief Client Officer of AXA Mansard, Tosin worked at Guaranty Trust Bank plc for nine years where he served in the Commercial, Investment and Institutional Banking Groups. His last assignment in the bank was as Head, Energy Group. He was the bank’s Treasurer from 1998 to 2002. Tosin held a number of positions with the Money Market Association of Nigeria (now Financial Market Dealers Association) including a two-term stint as its General Secretary.

He started his career in finance in 1992 at the erstwhile Commercial Bank (Credit Lyonnais Nigeria) Limited where he handled Trade Finance related projects.

He is also a Trustee of JAR Foundation, a foundation he co-founded to pursue the development of healthcare and educational services in Africa. He has attended senior management courses at IMD, INSEAD and several other institutions and is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School having completed the Advanced Management Programme (AMP) in 2009.

He is married with two children.
Tonye Cole
Tonye P. Cole is the co-founder and executive director of the Sahara Group. An architecture alumni of the University of Lagos and Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program (AMP186), Tonye Cole, together with his partners has grown the company, founded in 1996, from a single entity to a leading African Energy (Oil, Gas and Power ) and infrastructure conglomerate  with operations in over 10 countries across four continents of the world.

Tonye is an active member of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) and also represents Sahara as a member of the Private Sector Advisory Group  of the United Nations Sustainable Development Fund (UN SDG-F) - in recognition of Sahara Group’s role in promoting inclusive economic growth for poverty eradication, capacity building, food security and access to potable water in Africa. He was recently awarded the Lifetime achievement award by the oil and gas council in Paris.

His passion for youth development and giving back to the less privileged is expressed through his foundation Nehemiah Youth Empowerment Initiative and Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the group, Sahara Foundation; which has recorded many interventions in the area of Education, Environment, Health, Capacity building and currently in the area of Extraprenueurship using a model that seeks to drive sustainability and create platforms that finds, creates and connects young people with business interests in emerging markets.

  A motivational speaker, ordained minister, entrepreneur and firm believer in Africa's inherent greatness, he has travelled vastly delivering numerous papers to the continents youth. He is a regular columnist for Thisday Style and the author of Morning Reflections, an inspirational devotional and My God Thinks.

  He is married to Dr. Sylvia Cole with whom they have three children.
Temie Giwa-Tubosun
Temie Giwa-Tubosun, CEO, studied International Public Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She has over 10 years of health management experience with Department For International Development (DFID), World Health Organization, UNDP, and the Lagos State Government. In 2014, the BBC listed her as one of the 100 Women changing the world. She was also recognized as an African Innovator by Quartz and the World Economic Forum.
Muda Yusuf
Muda Yusuf is the Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He holds a first and second degree in Economics from the University of Ilorin and the University of Lagos respectively. He is passionate about private sector development and a strong private sector advocate. He has played active roles in public private partnership for a at all levels of government. He has led engagement sessions to ensure appropriate reforms for the advancement of the Nigeria economy and private sector development.

  Yusuf has attended various prestigious courses, conferences and seminars both locally and internationally. He attended the Advanced Management Programme of the Lagos Business School. He has been a facilitator in several conferences, seminars and workshops. He was a delegate to the Commonwealth Business Forum in 2011, attended the conference on Management of Business Associations in the United States, member of delegation to the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Cancun, Mexico and participated in the study tour of Wurzburg Chamber of Commerce and Hamburg Chamber of Commerce both in Germany. He was at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) conference in Qatar in 2012 and also at the ICC conference in Turin, Italy in 2015.
Itoro Eze- Anaba
Itoro Eze- Anaba is a lawyer who has been actively involved in the promotion and protection of women’s rights in Nigeria, in recognition of which work she was invited to participate in the US Department of State International Visitors Program on Trafficking in Women and Children; as well as in the exchange program of the Law Society of England and Wales.

In 2005, she received a scholarship from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) for her LLM Masters in Law program at the American University, Washington College of Law, Washington DC where she specialized in Gender and the Law. On her return to Nigeria, she established Partnership for Justice, a nongovernmental organization with a mission to provide an innovative range of services to promote and protect human rights in Nigeria.

She is the founder of Mirabel Centre, West Africa’s second and Nigeria’s first-ever sexual assault referral centre  to provide free medical and psychosocial support to survivors of rape and sexual assault. She was drawn out of compassion and determination after her personal encounter in 2003 with a younger girl who had been sexually abused by her father to set up the Centre. With much diligence and sincere hard work, the Center has helped thousands of survivors to get over the trauma and get special care.

She is reputed for drafting the first ever Domestic Violence Bill in Nigeria and engaging in advocacy campaign for its passage into law in 12 states and at the National Assembly.

She also established Blue Ribbon, the first ever all-male advocacy group campaigning for women’s rights in Nigeria.

Her awards include, Outstanding Research and Writing Award LL.M 2006 from the American University Washington College of Law, Outstanding Achievement Award from the Justice for All Programme of the Department of International Development, and an Honoree of the Vlisco Women’s Month 2015.

Itoro is a researcher, international consultant and a member of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team.
Akintunde Oyebode
Akintunde Oyebode is a trained Economist. He worked as a Research Assistant at the Lagos Business School, and spent over a decade in various banking roles with First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Stanbic IBTC Bank. Prior to being appointed as Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), he was the Head of SME Banking at Stanbic IBTC Bank.
Monica Musonda
Corporate lawyer turned entrepreneur, Monica Musonda is CEO & Founder of Java Foods, a Zambian based food processing company. Java Foods vision is to become a leading food processors, committed to providing high quality and nutritious food from local products at affordable prices. Java Foods first product was “eeZee Instant Noodles”, which has become Zambia’s leading instant noodle brand. Java Foods also manufactures and distributes eeZee Supa Cereal (a fortified instant cereal/porridge) and Num Num’s corn snacks.

By way of background, Monica is a dual qualified English solicitor and Zambian advocate with over 16 years post qualification experience. She has held senior positions in private practice with Clifford Chance & Edward Nathan as well as worked as in house corporate counsel at International Finance Corporation and for the Dangote Group. Her experience working with Aliko Dangote, one of Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs gave her the impetus to start Java Foods.

Monica currently serves as non-executive director on the Boards of Airtel Networks Zambia Plc (where she is chair), Zambia Sugar Plc, Arcelor Mittal South Africa Plc Dangote Industries Zambia Limited and sits on the Global Advisory Board for Scaling Up Nutrition Business Network. She was appointed by the UN Secretary General to be a member of the Lead Group of the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement. She is the recipient of the 2017 African Agribusiness Entrepreneur of the Year award, which is an award conferred annually to entrepreneurs who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in agricultural input and value addition in Africa. She is a 2013 Young Global Leader (World Economic Forum) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow. Forbes Magazine and Africa Investor named her as one of the leading Young Power Women in Business in Africa in 2013 and 2014 respectively. She is one of the few Zambian women involved in manufacturing/agro-processing at a scalable level.

She holds a LL.B from the University of Zambia and an LL.M from the University of London.

Laure Beaufils
Laure Beaufils has been the Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria since February 2017. Previously, she was the head of the UK Department of International Development in Rwanda. In this capacity, she managed a $100 million portfolio of programmes focusing on economic development, governance and social sectors. Prior to holding this position, she worked in various positions in the UK Government. She was the lead strategic adviser working for the British Prime Minister in his role as co-chair of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on the post-2015 development agenda. She ran DFID’s department for Overseas Territories. She led a team working on climate change. She worked for the UK mission to the UN as first secretary responsible for development. Prior to joining the UK civil service, she worked with the UN and civil society organisations. She also worked with the private sector as a financial auditor. She has lived and worked in Rwanda, Ethiopia, India, Cambodia, France, the UK and the USA.
Kofo Akinkugbe
Kofo Akinkugbe, a prize-winning graduate of Mathematics of the University of Lagos, spent 12 years in banking, first at International Merchant Bank (local affiliate of the First National Bank of Chicago) and then as a pioneer staff member of Chartered Bank. During this time, she received the British Government Chevening Scholarship to study for an MBA at the Strathclyde Graduate Business School, Scotland, UK.

Mrs. Kofo Akinkugbe is the founder of Interface Technologies (1998), SecureID Limited (2005) and SecureCard Manufacturing (2012). She currently serves as the Managing Director/CEO of SecureID Group (comprising of SecureID and SecureCard Manufacturing). SecureID is a MasterCard, VISA and Verve certified Smartcard Personalization bureau and digital technology company whilst SecureCard Manufacturing is the first polycarbonate Smartcard manufacturing plant producing high security identity cards and documents for the Banks, Telecoms and Public sectors. Mrs. Akinkugbe is a passionate and bold entrepreneur as both companies are the first of its kind in Africa.

Both companies, recognised and respected in the global Smartcard industry, provide high-end digital security solutions to organisations and governments across Africa and beyond. As a passionate and innovative real sector entrepreneur, Mrs. Akinkugbe has taken both companies through a number of strategic partnerships into the international market by attaining the most pre-requisite International certifications.

She possesses a rare combination of entrepreneurship, manufacturing, personalization & technology acumen and also sits on the board of a number of local and multinational corporate, philanthropic and humanitarian organizations.

She is married with two grown up children.
Gossy Ukanwoke
Gossy is a Higher Education Investor, Founder at Beni American University, BAU Executive Education and is widely recognized globally for his support and contributions to the growth of education technology. He has worked with African governments on the development of policies to assist in creating better access, quality and relevance of learning in higher education institutions. He has invested in traditional universities in Nigeria and across the African continent. In June 2016, he was named one of the Makers and Shakers of EdTech by WISE and Qatar Foundation. In June 2015, he was named as one of the only six global Accelerating Entrepreneurs by the advisory firm Ernst and Young, for his work in education and human capital development. He has also been named one of the Young African CEO’s of the Year by Africa CEO Forum. Gossy is the President of EduTech, a Technology Company focused on helping African traditional universities take their on-campus degree programs online. EduTech has taken programs from Obafemi Awolowo University and Ahmadu Bello University online, recently launching the first e-Learning / Online MBA in West Africa.
Aishetu Dozie
Aishetu, affectionately known as Shetu to her family and Aisha to her friends/colleagues, is a senior finance and entrepreneurship executive. She began her career in the equities division of Goldman Sachs on the international desk in New York where her passion for global finance began. She later took a role in a USAID-funded project working for the Federal Government of Nigeria in the execution of its privatization program. During that time, she worked closely with President Olusegun Obasanjo and his core economic team of cabinet ministers in crafting the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy, which drove several successful economic reforms including the write-off of $18 billion of Paris Club debt.

  Her passion for demonstrable development impact and understanding the intersection of the public and private sectors effect on stimulating economic reform led her to the World Bank Group in Washington, DC, where she focused on financing clients in the manufacturing, infrastructure, and service sectors in regions such as Central and South America, Eastern Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

  Since then, Aishetu has worked for Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, and Standard Chartered Bank as a senior investment banker having closed $130 billion in M&A, financing, and capital markets transactions. She founded a first-of-its-kind children’s play and activity center called Paloo’s Place in Lagos, Nigeria and she authored a children’s picture book while she served as CEO of that business. Aishetu currently works for Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria where she leads the investment banking team covering the West African market.

  Aishetu graduated with a BA from Cornell University and a MBA from the Harvard Business School. She is a business-life op-ed columnist with Business Day Newspaper where she pens op-ed pieces under the column “Magic in the Journey” on topics that are meaningful to her as a career woman, mother, wife, and human being. Aishetu lives in Lagos with her husband and three amazing sons.

Jason Njoku
Jason Njoku is Founder and CEO of Iroko, the home of Nollywood content. He has pioneered the African digital content market by bringing Nollywood (Nigerian cinema) to a global audience, and in the process has raised over $40m in investment from international VCs, including Tiger Global, Kinnevik, RISE Capital and Canal+. Launched in 2010, iROKO has aggregated the world's largest online Nollywood content catalogue and is one of Africa’s largest internet TV providers, with a dedicated mobile app, irokotv, as well as ROK TV channels on Sky in the UK and DStv across Africa. In 2013, Njoku was crowned as the CNBC Africa West Africa Young Business Leader and in 2014, he was recognised as one of Fast Company's Top 1000 most Creative People in Business.




Plenary and Breakout Session


Women Gaining Ground
The Male Perspective

If a problem has been misdiagnosed, one is unlikely to prescribe an effective cure. This is the situation regarding the scarcity of women in top leadership positions. A few women who rose steadily through the ranks eventually crashed into an invisible barrier. The major spotlight of this plenary is the state of gender parity in Nigeria, the barriers at high levels in organizations, examining the different perspectives and what (if any) progress has been made in bridging the gender gap.

Manufacturing
Reclaiming Lost Glory

As the nation’s policymakers continue in their efforts to set the economy on the route to recovery and growth, it is important to examine the role of each sector towards achieving set objectives in order for Nigeria to reclaim her position as a manufacturing hub in Africa and the world at-large. This session will take a spotlight at the potential in the manufacturing sector, particularly in terms of job creation, business partnership opportunities and overcoming the peculiar challenges the sector faces. Participants will be inspired and encouraged to seize the opportunities available in the manufacturing sector, while gaining a clearer idea of the challenges to be surmounted in establishing a successful manufacturing business.

Technology
The Silver Lining in Disruptions

Technological innovation is occurring and at an ever-increasing pace. Some innovations significantly disrupt the existing status quo, creating new markets and value networks and eventually displacing established market leading firms, products, and alliances. Almost every innovation is publicized as a breakthrough while the list of the “next big thing” grows ever longer. Through technology, companies like Uber, Airbnb and Amazon have risen to prominence. This in turn has cultivated a whole new wave of entrepreneurs. Innovations (significant or insignificant) cannot be stopped. Existing organizations are forced to adapt to the changes in their environment or face being pushed out of the market. Technology is challenging traditional business models in major ways. This panel will inspire the audience to challenge their assumptions and thought patterns. They will be encouraged to think outside the box and look for the silver lining in every disruption.

The African Market
Connecting the Dots

Whilst economists have long spoken a lot about the enormous growth potential in the African continent over the past years, it is fair to say that the continent has struggled to live up to expectations in this regard. There is a need for a deliberate and coordinated engagement effort if African countries are to overcome the numerous hurdles to development. Truly, Africa can become the next hub for global markets with the right strategic plan if implemented. To achieve this, it is crucial for the continent to aggressively embrace intra-Regional trade and forge robust partnerships to overtake traditional colonial trading patterns. This is even more pertinent giving the rising global sentiment towards resistance to traditional globalization and increasing nationalism. This panel will examine the opportunities that abound on the African continent and the various paths to achieving success.

Breaking the Barriers in the Public Sector

Gaining access into the public sector is often perceived as difficult, especially for women. Women often face discrimination at entry and significant barriers to career progression. Although many women have broken the proverbial glass ceiling through appointments to senior public service positions from the private sector, it is difficult for women to grow through the ranks within the public sector. This panel discussion seeks to discuss how women can build a long term, fulfilling and successful career in the Nigerian Civil Service. The plenary would serve as a catalyst to reorient existing mindsets regarding working in the public service and give conference delegates a deeper understanding of how to overcome the barriers to progress into and within the civil service.

Women in the Workplace
Narrowing the Gap

Women and men work side by side, sitting through meetings and tackling the same business problems. However, studies suggest that they experience very different workplaces in which the odds for advancement vary widely and corporate careers come in two flavors: his and hers. Whilst men tend to tread a linear progression path with challenging assignments, access to top leadership positions and more promotions, women on the other hand, encounter various complexities, dead ends, detours, domestic responsibilities and sometimes women's own failure to believe in themselves. In the same vein, women find themselves often regarded as a very capable Deputy and very rarely the MD or CEO. There is no question that women are accomplished and rank at par with male counterparts, however, there continues to be a gap between their achievements, their recognition and representation in Senior Management and Board positions. Progress has been slow and in many sectors, has regressed. This plenary will focus on the challenges faced by women in the corporate environment and explore strategies to overcome them.

SME Funding
From Illusion to Reality

SMEs are highly valued and recognized for their role as the backbone of the economy’s growth. It is often estimated that SMEs are responsible for 70% of jobs in an economy. Almost without question, SMEs are regarded as the engines for growth and development. However, access to finance remains a key constraint to SME growth. Without finance, many SMEs stagnate, regress or go into liquidation. It is therefore critical to improve SMEs’ access to finance and funding solutions in order to unlock potential for growth. This plenary will discuss and highlight funding sources and innovative ways to finance SMES

Opportunity, Risk, Return
Your Real Estate Investment Strategy

Buying real estate is about more than just getting a place to call home. Real estate has become a popular investment vehicle in recent times. Compared with other types of investments, real estate investing can involve a favorable risk/reward profile, albeit with relatively low liquidity. Indeed, real estate investment can be viewed as a low hanging fruit for those interested in securing their future. It is however pertinent to note that it is not completely risk free. This breakout session will delve into the opportunities, risks and rewards associated with investing in real estate in the Nigerian and African markets especially for women.

CONFRONTING VIOLENCE
Stand Up.Speak Out.Act!!!

For decades, women and girls of all ages, social classes, and ethnic groups, have been subject to various forms of violence or abuse. Violence against women and girls has manifested as a result of the continuous propagation of the dominant misogynistic ideology, which prevails in many societies across the world. This plenary will address financial, workplace, emotional, sexual and domestic violence against women. It will also identify and address the underlying causes of violence, highlight proactive and preventive measures to stop the cycle in our society.

HEALTH CARE
Changing Mindsets, Transforming Lives

Environmental factors, social trends and societal pressures have greatly influenced women’s health especially with regards to body image, fertility, and nutrition. There is growing realization that the nature of our thoughts determines the quality of our life. To borrow a quote from Norman Vincent Peale, “Change your thoughts and you change your world”. This session will focus on how women can transform their lives by maintaining a healthy lifestyle not how to manage pre-existing conditions to ensure that they are able to live a fulfilled existence.



Past Conferences


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