Global Network of Innovation Experts for Africa

Augustina Amakye
CEO, Prime Communications

Dr. Augustina Amakye, the Lead Consultant of Prime Communication Consulting, holds a BA in Communications from Luther College, Iowa, USA, an MA in Linguistics form Syracuse University, in New York, USA and a Doctorate in Communications from Regent College, Virginia, USA.

In addition to working in a senior management position in Education Administration, as the Dean of the School of Communications of the African University College of Communications (AUCC).  Dr. Amakye has worked as a Lecturer teaching subjects such as Public Speaking, Business Communication, Gender and Communication and Gender and Development.  Dr. Amakye has had over 10 years experience in conducting trainings on behalf of institutions such as UNESCO, INDEPTH, the Ghana Mineworkers Union, Golden Star Resources, Aker Energy as well as worked on grants and proposals for companies in Asia on behalf of Armstrong Hilton & Associates. 
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Pauline Koelbl
CEO, AfriProspect

Ms. Pauline Koelbl is the Founder and CEO of AfriProspect GmbH and ShEquity, Pauline is an Innovation Expert in Developing & Emerging Economies, impact investor and seasoned impact-driven Team Leader with over 20 years’ experience in international affairs and philanthropy industries.

Pauline is a leading expert and influencer on the transformation of developing countries to emerging economies by designing programs & policies fostering inclusive innovations.  Her passion lies in innovation, entrepreneurship and empowerment of youth and women. During the last 8+ years, Pauline’s work focused on catalyzing marketable, scalable and impactful home-grown innovations for African-led growth across African continent, building strategic partnerships and innovation ecosystems that will invigorate economic growth across Africa.  Her work at the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) as the Managing Director and Director, Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) led to impact of more than US$ 135 Million generated investments for supported African innovators. Prior to that, she worked for a number of UN bodies and NGOs in Africa, Europe and USA including WHO in Geneva, UNESCO in Paris, UNICEF in Goma, Enda Tiers Monde in Dakar, Jewish Family and Children’s Services in Arizona etc.  Pauline is a Fulbright Scholar & Fellow and is currently serving on different Boards of companies/organizations connected to business/entrepreneurship/innovation in Africa and is the co-founder of Professional Women of African Heritage (PROWAH). She is also a member of ABM University Council (Botswana) and serves on the Academic, Research and Innovation Committee.
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Erick Tambo Tambo
Associate Academic Officer, UN University

Dr. Erick Tambo is an Associate Academic Officer at the United Nations University in Bonn, at the institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and leads the program on Pan African Cooperation and Educational Technologies (PACET) at UNU-EHS.

The programme leverages digital technologies to strengthen educational and research capacities of UNU-EHS, its partner institutions as well as scientists and practitioners at a global scale. Furthermore, it investigates the teaching – research nexus to enhance higher education and capacity development by using educational technologies and conceptualises and organises e-learning modules related to projects and core competencies of UNU-EHS.  During the last nine years he has been working in the field of e-learning and ICT for Development. Since September 2017 he is seconded from the United Nations University to the Pan African University Institute for Water and Energy Sciences (incl. Climate Change – PAUWES) of the African Union as Research Coordinator. He is coordinating the PAUWES Online postgraduate program on Mini-grid Digitalisation and Entrepreneurship (PAUWES-MDE) and supervises students in the fields of Digitalisation in context of Water, Energy, Food and Climate Change in Africa. Prior to joining UNU-EHS, he was a research associate at the Fern-Universität in Hagen and headed the working group on Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) for the Chair of Cooperative Systems.
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Efosa Ejomo
Author, Public Speaker, Researcher

Mr. Efosa Ojomo was selected as one of 30 thinkers in the 2020 Thinkers50 Radar list, the world’s most reliable resource for identifying, ranking, and sharing the leading management ideas of our age.  He researches and writes about how innovation can transform organizations and create inclusive prosperity for many. In January, 2019, alongside Harvard Business School professor, Clayton Christensen, he published the book, The Prosperity Paradox: How innovation can lift nations out of poverty

 

Efosa leads the Global Prosperity research group at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, an innovation-focused think tank based in Boston and Silicon Valley. Over the past several years, his work has been published and covered by the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, The Guardian, Quartz, Forbes, Fortune, The World Bank, NPR, and several other media outlets. He speaks regularly and has presented his work at TED, the Aspen Ideas Festival, the World Bank, Harvard, Yale, Oxford, and at several other conferences and institutions.  His TED Talk on Innovation and Corruption has garnered over 1.8 million views. In a Wall Street Journal review of The Prosperity Paradox, Rupert Darwall writes, “the authors return the entrepreneur and innovation to the center stage of economic development and prosperity.” Click here to view a list of some of Efosa’s published work. Efosa graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in computer engineering and got his MBA from Harvard Business School. 
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Faten Bahar
Alexander von Humboldt Fellow

Dr. Faten Attig Bahar is an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow for the International Climate Protection Program (2019 -2020), hosted at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Marine Technology, University of Rostock, Germany. She Obtained submitted her  Ph.D. from the University of Carthage, Polytechnic School of Tunisia. 

Faten has rich expertise in Renewable energy technologies and implementation, Energy system modeling, Renewable energy project valuation and financing options, Climate finance, Green transition with focus on Africa, Renewable energy emerging markets, Energy Efficiency in industry and buildings, Science communication.Faten is serving on several continental committees including the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), WMO Research Board on Weather, Climate, Water and the Environment, Future Earth, Steering committee of the FE Nexus Knowledge-Action-Network and the FE African community and the International Support Network for African Development (ISNAD-Africa), for which she also served as a mentor/coach. She is also an Executive Committee member of the Young Earth System Scientists YESS-community. In this capacity, Faten co-chairs the  YESS online events working group and the co-leader of the YESS-PAUWES webinar series initiative (Edition I (2018-2019) and Edition II (2020)),. The Webinar series is a joint activity between YESS, Future Earth Nexus KAN, and the Pan Africa University.  She is also the North African Vice President for the African Union’s Youth for Change AUY4C  and Youth Ambassador for Tunisia for the Universal Education Network.  Faten has extremely good written and spoken communication skills in four languages (Arabic, French, English, and German). Author of several published children’s books (19 published books in the Arabic language) and has received several awards as an outstanding youth author in Tunisia.
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Yacouba Diawara
Physicist and Research Scientist

Dr.Yacouba Diawara is a Physicist and  Research Scientist who  has led several R&D or Engineering Groups for different organizations such as the Montréal Ecole Polytechnique (1992-1996), National Optics Institute (Quebec, 1996-1997), Bruker AXS (Madison, WI. 1997-2009 as detector group leader) and the Spallation Neutron Source (ORNL, TN. 2009-2013 as neutron detector group leader).

 

Dr. Diawara received his Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering and a M.Sc in Physics from the University of Québec at Trois-Rivières (Canada) in 1985 and 1987, respectively. He completed his PhD in Engineering Physics from Montréal Ecole Polytechnique in 1990 and held a postdoctoral fellowship at INRS-Energie (Canada, 1991-1992).  He was the IAEA Nuclear Science and Instrumentation laboratory Head and the US Dept. of Energy NBL Program Office Director. The different groups he led has developed many commercial radiation (x-ray, gamma-ray and neutron) detectors which are used in scientific instruments and beamlines. Dr. Yacouba Diawara has authored and co-authored over 70 publications and communications. He holds six US patents and two R&D 100 awards.
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Akosua Bame-Ashiabgbor
CEO, Mindset Revolution

Ms. Akosua Bame-Ashiagbor is the Founder and Managing Director of AKOAMA Ltd, a Management Consultancy Practice specialising in new business incubation and development, strategic commissioning, large-scale organisational transformation and strategic change management.  

As an entrepreneur who has successfully established and managed her own Consultancy practice for over 20 years and  owns a range of enterprises including retailing of proprietary premium cosmetics in the UK, her goal is to help her clients [particularly owners of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)] to clearly articulate their vision, incubate and build robustly successful businesses. Whilst leveraging her knowledge and experience from across a range of sectors including financial services, transport, aviation, central and local government, Akosua’s differentiator is her skilfulness in mindset coaching. Her breadth of clients includes corporate executives, potential entrepreneurs (especially women, teenagers and young adults) and ‘talented but troubled’ youth Akosua is the pioneering owner of the Mindset Revolution Concept (thought mastery, coaching and mentoring programmes) and author of the book Mindset Revolution, one of the tools underpinning the concept: http://tinyurl.com/h4zbhww. Her intention is to play a leading role in transforming mindsets of Africans wherever in the world they may be.
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Rachel Aron
Business Development Director, ASV

Ms. Rachel A. Aron is a seasoned Social Development Specialist. Rachel currently works as the Director of Business Development for Africa Sports Ventures Group.  Rachel has immense experience in identifying, analyzing, managing, monitoring and evaluating, and reporting on social considerations in programmatic, project, and policy interventions. She has conducted social due diligence for private sector and public sector projects and programs covering diverse sectors in all regions of Africa. 

 She has initiated, developed, and managed innovative and strategic partnerships.  Rachel holds significant advisory  and expert positions in various organizations including the African Utility Week, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s Inclusive Policy Lab, the  Global Mining Sustainability, the  Circle of Global Business Women. Additionally Rachel is  a member of Avançons Ensemble, a Task Force member for Initiate! Africa and a  Senior Advisor to the President of the African Renaissance and Diaspora Network.  
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Satu Järvinen
Founder and CEO, SKillSafari

Ms. Satu Järvinen  an education professional, especially in developing innovative new learning solutions for skills development internationally, for the past years solely in Africa. 

Satu has over 10 years experience in setting educational service strategy and implementing innovative digital learning solutions to increase education quality and relevance. works with a large global partner network to develop and effectively deploy innovative solutions in skills validation
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Ephraim Dakar
Researcher and Innovation Policy Analyst

Mr Ephraim Daka has more than 14 years of experience in multi-disciplinary program management, development economics, research, and technology field. Expertise in project cycle management, Science, Technology & Innovation (STI) policy, commercialisation & governance. Processes sound knowledge in private-public sector partnership, institutional strengthening and governance, international trade policy, SMEs through inclusive innovation. 

Mr Daka possesses a master’s degree in economic sciences with professional studies in R&D and innovation policy evaluation. He is a certified/Licensed Innovation Practitioner able to measure and assess innovation capabilities, accredited to international innovation-360 Group. Previously worked as a Research Scientist in innovation systems and knowledge economy unit at VTT-Technical Research Centre of Finland. Currently works as an independent consultant, he last consultancy mission was in 2019, performed a feasibility study on EU (Framework contract) support to business incubators in East & Southern Africa. 
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Pauline Akolo
Communications Specialist

Ms. Pauline Akolo is a seasoned strategic Communications expert with close to 10 years of International experience, strong oral and written Communications skills and a solid understanding of International Development Communication.She is a proactive committed client focused practioner with a passion to deliver and a broad in-depth knowledge of all components of media and communications, including Strategy Development, Research and content Development, Editing, Social Media Management, External and Media Relations and Branding.

 

Pauline served as a Communications Specialist at the African Development Bank Headquarters from 2012 to 2018, during which time she acted as the Departmental Communications focal point providing technical leadership to departmental staff on Communication Initiatives and Publicity products such as press statements, fliers, training brochures amongst others, leading innovative solutions and assisting with negotiations as required. Some of the key achievements while at AfDB include; Team leader in the Development and production of the quarterly Capacity Focus Magazine, Developed and compiled the Institute’s training manual for FY 2013/2014, Participated in content development for the 50 Years Anniversary Book of the African Development Bank, Team leader for Consultants assigned in producing Policy briefs, Magazines and Research papers, Participated in the Development of the AfDB’s ten years Communications strategy (2013-2022)She has previously worked for World Vision International-East Africa Regional Office (EARO) as a programs Associate (2008-2012) amongst other organizations. Pauline is well versed with packaging complex information for a wide range of audiences and platforms. Strong leader and team member, skilled at problem solving and working across diverse cultural sectors and cultures, she is also a recipient of the prestigious Chevening Scholarship (2016-2017)   She is a graduate with a Master’s degree in Communication and Media studies from University of Leeds, UK. Akolo also holds a Degree in Development from Daystar University, and a Higher National Diploma from Institute of Mass Communication. Akolo speaks fluent English, Swahili and basic French.
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Felix Bright
Finance and Investment Consultant

Mr. Felix Bright is a Cash Management, Trade, Finance and Digital Banking expert with over 30 years experience and a strong entrepreneurial background. Felix has held  various key positions at Citibank Abidjan and ECOBANK as Cash Management and E-banking manager, Cash Management Director, Western Union product Head, Deputy Group Head Transaction Services, Regional Head Transaction Banking for West and Central Africa.

 

As an entrepreneur, Felix founded his first computer sales and consulting company in 1989 in Burbank, California. He has also founded a computer consulting firm specialising in Computer Aided Design (CAD) and launched the first authorised AutoCAD software training center on the premises of the largest technical high school in Abidjan. In addition to founding and running BRIGHT SOLUTIONS, a consulting firm specialising in the areas of business strategy coaching, project financing and digital solutions, Felix is also a member of the Board of Directors of GOSHEN FINANCE, a financial advisory firm. He is also a shareholder and member of the executive management committee of EDUCAS CONSULTING, a start-up company specialized in E-learning solutions based in Abidjan. Most recently, Felix has joined Eagle Investment Corporation as a business angel and member of the strategic advisory committee.
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Margita Engström
Researcher, Innovation and Technology Management

Ms. Margitta Engström an international strategist with extensive experience working with global life sciences and technology companies across Europe, both in academia, corporates and in consultancy. Track record of identifying and delivering growth and revenue opportunities in new markets for technology SMEs and investors.

 

Experienced in restructuring business processes to create alignment with new strategic goals–processes involving finance, supplychain, investment, decision making, customer services, sales & marketing – to deliver bottom-line rewards. Innovative, incisive approach, with board level management experience. Margita has a proven ability to take a company’s competency or technology and to derive new applications and/or products to generate new revenue streams. Profound understanding of how to transform technology into sales revenues, with hands-on experience in R&D, Sales & Marketing and business development. She has  has an in-depth  knowledge  of combining business models, strategy focusing on maximising value of innovation particularly in the pharmaceutical and health care industry. She has a clear understanding of the vital role of translating strategy into a workable action plan, then executing it – leveraging the organisation and its processes and introducing measures of effectiveness.
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Julien ACHILLE
Founder and Chairman, EIC Corporation

Mr Julien Achille is the Founder and Chairman of EIC Corpration, an international platform for shareholder’s Assocation, promoting financial inclusion, training of investors, portfolio management and economic intelligence. He is a member of MEDEF, lLex4.com, a digital platform, roviding 360 ° legal support for business leaders to ensure  adherence to legal guidelines and in-house policies to maintain the company’s legality and business ethics.

 

Julien is a strategic advisor to the  Center for Strategic Foresight and Research (CEPS,, an independent organization whose aim is to identify, analyze and put into perspective the technological, economic and financial factors of the contemporary world in order to accompany as well companies, institutions that states to position themselves in a global environment.  He is also a  non-Executive Director iCapital Ventures. Julien is competent in SC ( Balanced Score Card), Strategic Planning, Project Management; Agile method (Scrum); Change Management, Negotiation, Financial Analysis, Securities, Portfolio Management, Tax, Skills, IT Tools: MS Office – MS Project – SAP (CRM) – Gantt Project-Blockchain –ICO (Initial Coin Offer) –STO ( Security Tokens Offer). He holds a Master of Business Administration from EDHEC Business School, Abidjan, MBA International Finance from the European Business School, France. 
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Reggie Mark-Hansen
CEO, Predictive Excellence

Mr. Reggie Mark-Hansen is a consummate HR-Business professional/Executive Coach with a passion for the adaptation of the people metrics/insights to ‘Inspire Optimal Business Performance’.  His over 30 years’ corporate experience of which 24 years has been at the management and executive levels has seen him head & lead Global and Pan African HR Teams for blue-chip organizations such as the International Finance Corporation, Shell Oil Petroleum Africa (SOPAF), British-American Tobacco and Exxon-Mobil.

 

Reggie's diverse experiences that has seen him accumulate a wealth of knowledge in business optimization and best in class HR practices. His international career has exposed him to diverse business environments across four Continents, USA, Europe, Africa and South East Asia in addition to expansive knowledge of over 20 African countries. He hasdemonstrated strong track record in managing organizational restructuring interventions such as the Shell Divestments and BAT – Rothmans merger which involved Pan Africa wide redundancy and salary negotiations with different Unions and staff associations.  Reggie currently heads the Predictive Excellence Company, a behaviour cantered Human Capital firm which counts as its strength its ability to work with management teams to define a people/HR intervention that aims at resolving business challenges with an eye on the bottom-line. In addition to his Chief Executive role is also the recently appointed Chairman of the Board of Xpress Gas, Ghana’s awarding winning Liquefied Petroleum Gas Company. He also the Chairman of the Ghana Institute of Journalism’s Student Financial Aid Fund, a new fund that he is working to turn into the standard bearer in student fund management in Ghana.  Reggie possesses specialist knowledge in HR strategy formulation & implementation, mergers and acquisitions, change & post-merger integration, organizational culture design. Reggie has lived and worked in the following countries, Ghana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and United States of America. Reggie is Fellow of the Institute of Directors – Ghana. A member of the Ghana Association of Coaches. Institute of Human Resources Practitioners Ghana and the US based Human Capital Institute (HCI). 
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Amini Kajunju
Executive Director, IUGB

Ms. Amini Kajunju is the executive director of the IUGB Foundation. The Foundation is dedicated to empowering students and helping to procure the necessary resources to make the International University of Grand-Bassam (IUGB) a center of excellence for higher education in West Africa.Ms. Kajunju joins the Foundation from Africa Integras, where she served as director of strategic partnerships. Africa Integras, a New York-based firm, invests in the development of education infrastructure, including academic facilities, student hostels and faculty housing at African universities.

 

Prior to her role with Africa Integras, Kajunju was the president and CEO of the Africa-America Institute (AAI), a New York-based non-profit dedicated to strengthening human capacity in Africa. She is the first African to serve at the helm of the oldest non-profit organization of its kind in the United States. A native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kajunju also founded the Bashi Group, an international consultancy focused on education and entrepreneurship in Africa in 2016.  With 20 years of experience in entrepreneurial and economic development, she joined AAI from the Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO), a New York-based non-profit small business development service provider serving entrepreneurs in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, where she was executive director for 10 years. Ms. Kajunju previously served in program positions at the International Executive Service Corps (IESC) and Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and conducted field research at the Center for Humanitarian Outreach & Intercultural Exchange and spent a summer at The Carter Presidential Center.  She was honored as “Advocate of the Year” at Applause Africa’s African Diaspora Awards 2013 and was named Forbes’ 20 Young Power Women in Africa 2013. She was on the economic of innovation council of the World Economic Forum between 2015 to 2016.  She sits on the board of Education Congo and JA Africa.
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Mark Skews
CEO, AutonomousSpark Oy

Mr. Mark Skews is a seasoned entrepreneur with close to 30 years in the technology industry. His experience covers areas such as Innovation of business through software, Business management, Software development, Database development and management, Network creation, and Network administration.

 

With an education in software development as well as International Business Management Mark has been instrumental in developing productivity improving technologies for various industries, from petrochemical to hospitality. Mark is a motivated entrepreneurial manager with vast experience in business management, software development, database development, database management, network creation and network administration. I am interested in innovation of business through software, especially with mobile devices such as Android or iOS Mark has recently founded his latest entrepreneurial venture AutonomousSpark, which aims to tackle healthcare issues through technology.
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Noora Frelander
Startup Expert

Ms. Noora Frelander is a startup expert from Finland. For the past three years, she has been working in tens of different projects in Finland and abroad, especially in crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. She is one of the leading crowdfunding experts in Finland. 

Her specialities are crowdfunding, sales, business strategies and service design. Because making crowdfunding campaigns needs a lot of different kinds of information, Noora also knows a lot of social selling, marketing, trademarks and patents. She has helped a variety of companies in different fields, such as consumer products and services, games, technology and Internet services. She has also held business planning courses in Finland as well as helped out as a mentor for different organizations that help startups.  Noora’s passion is to bring quality products and services to people’s everyday lives, and helping new entrepreneurs to take their business ideas to the next level by taking into account the customer. 
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Tidane Ball
CEO, Donilab

Dr.  Tidiane Ball is a Medical practioner with a  with a PhD. With his passion to support health care system in Mali, Tidiane has been at the forefront of integrating ICT tools into health care delivery. Noticing the urgent problems in the health sector in Mali, he created the  portal  website www.malisante.org in 2009. The portal provides medical information and directory of health professionals in Mali. He also launched  Doctix, a start-up specialized in making medical appointments online.

 

With his passion to develop entrepreneurial and innovative capacity among Malian youth and to share his experiences, Tidiane  founded DoniLab in 2015. Sensing the  energy  and drive in Mali and the potential for  innovation and action of the Malian youth, Donilab provide support services to support young innovators in Mali succeed in their projects by creating  value locally, by stimulating and developing their entrepreneurial projects, in all sectors. In addition, Donilab trains  than 200,000 young people who enter the labor market.. Donilab is the  first Malian incubator in terms of results, contributing immensely to the  inclusive and sustainable development of Mali. Currely, Donilab has a have a 600 m2 hub in Bamako, equipped with a FabLab, and a  second hub in Sikasso, set up to  to fully invest in the agribusiness sector.
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Chris Hlovor
Innovation Finance Expert

Mr. Chris Mawuli Hlovor is a member of International Association of Innovation Professionals, an innovation management expert, in the financial sector modelling financial products suitable for all level income groups in Bank/Non-Bank financial sector. Chris Has over 20 years of experience in sector and have worked with several financial giants in Ghana such as GCB Bank, OminiBank (OmniBSIC Bank Ghana Limited), and CDH Financial Holdings. 

 

Chris  is currently consulting for Project Blue Moon in Receivership of defunct Savings and Loans Companies in Ghana. He is an entrepreneur passionate about reviving local business which lacks what it takes to compete with organizational super powers. GoodMorning Parvel Enterprise is the brain child of Chris, an organization which is poised to using innovation to revolutionerize poultry and animal husbandry to ensuring food, poverty alleviation and financial freedom in Ghana and Africa 
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Sarah Kiden

Ms. Sarah Kiden is a technologist and researcher, working at the intersection of technology and society. As a Marie Curie Research Fellow on Open Design of Trusted Things (OpenDoTT), a joint programme between Northumbria University Newcastle and Mozilla, her research focuses on the impact of technology and the Internet for grassroots communities and neighbourhoods.

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Gameli Adzaho
Curator, Global Lab Network

Mr. Gameli Adzaho is focused on ‘shaping Africa and shaping young people’. He curates Global Lab Network, a community of learners, educators, researchers, and innovators interested in applying science and technology for social impact. He is a Steering Committee Member of Africa Open Science & Hardware. 

Gameli champions STEM education, from the grassroots to international networks. For his work he has received awards and accolades from the British Council, Next Einstein Forum, Future Earth Network, and Shuttleworth Foundation, among others. Gameli is a Fellow of the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society (German Internet Institute) and a Visiting Researcher at  Universität der Künste Berlin (Berlin Open Lab). He is fascinated by community science as a tool to tackle environmental health challenges.  
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Alberto Gonzalez
Innovation Ecosystem Manager, EIT InnoEnergy

Mr. Alberto Gonzalez is  an experienced manager, qualitative researcher and lecturer currently working as Innovation Ecosystem Manager at EIT InnoEnergy (Spain) and as a visiting lecturer at Turku University of Applied Sciences (Finland). His fields of expertise revolve around Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship and range from Sustainable Development to Design Thinking and from New Product/Service Development to Creativity Tools. 

During the years I have had the opportunity to live abroad and work extensively with international partners and with projects/visits in markets such as Finland, Bahrain, US, Russia and The Netherlands among others. Alberto is personally passionate about innovation and education and interested in projects related to sustainable development, entrepreneurship, l&d, transformation through design thinking and innovation and innovative teaching methods and pedagogy. On a different level, I have also an interest in academic research in the fields of customer involvement in product development, learning processes, co-production and knowledge transfer, especially in the field of the creative industries. 
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Kobby Andah
MD, Bank of Africa, Ghana

Mr. Kobby Andah has over 35 years experience in the finance and banking industry. He has Ghanaian and international experience having worked for KPMG, Securities Discount Company Ltd, The Trust Bank in Ghana and for Belgolaise Banque in London and Brussels, Sterling Bank Plc, Nigeria and Bank of Africa Tanzania Ltd.

Kobby's experience spans several roles including Assurance, Enterprise Risk Management, and Financial Control with his key strengths being strategy formulation and implementation and people management. Kobby is a Chartered Accountant and has an MBA in Finance and Banking from University of Wales, Bangor and the Manchester Business School. Prior to his present appointment, Kobby was the Managing Director for Bank of Africa Tanzania Ltd for four years during which the bank grew significantly in terms of market share, profitability and geographical presence.
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Lise Birikundavyi
Deputy Country Director, TRECC

Ms. Lise Birikundavyi is the deputy country director and impact finance investment manager for the TRECC program in Côte d’Ivoire, an initiative started by the Jacobs Foundation. In this role, she is in charge of identifying and driving value from investments in the education technology space that can improve the quality of education in Côte d’Ivoire.

 

Lise began her career in the hedge fund industry and her interest in the developing world is what inspired her to transition to the impact finance sector. She has experience across the investment spectrum: from funds of funds and VCs, to being the transition CEO of a tech start-up. Lise is a CFA charterholder; she also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance, where she wrote her thesis on impact investing, and a trilingual BBA from HEC Montreal. Lise is fluent in French, English and Spanish, and has a conversational level of Mandarin. She is a firm believer in using market driven initiatives as sustainable poverty alleviating solutions.
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Linda Baa-Mintah
CEO, Startup Marketing Consult

Ms. Linda Baa-Mintah is the  CEO of Startup Marketing Consult.An entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience in corporate communications implementing strategies for some of the world's most respected agencies and brands. With great insight and experience in software development, innovation management, branding & marketing communications.

 

 

 

Linda  assists small brands to build digital footprints while increasing the level and quality of their engagement with customers. She provides  marketing and brand engagement strategies for start-ups that are passionate about their brands and committed to leaning into the future so as to remain connected to their customers.  Linda holds a Master in Management Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Queens University and a Master in Art in International Affairs from the University of Ghana.
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Mohamed Tarek El-Fatatry
CEO, ERTH

Mr. Mohamed Tarek El-Fatatry is  award-winning serial entrepreneur with a background in Computer Science and International Business with experience of more than 10 years in high growth businesses. Previously he has won the President of Finland’s Internationalization Award and has built a company that reached 190 countries globally. 

Mohamed is strongly passionate about environmental causes as he has spent most of his life advocating better environmental practices and innovating solutions that could help underprivileged communities in Africa gain access to renewable electricity, water and wireless connectivity. At ERTH, Mohamed is focused on accelerating growth, signing strategic partners and increasing overall collection volume. He is also handling investor relations and communications.
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Nahed Bedir Eletrib
Partnership and Awarenerss Programs, ERTH

Ms. Nahed Bedir Eletribi, award-winning Egyptian social entrepreneur with a background in Political Science. Nahed has been recognized by President Barack Obama at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016 and has previously run several social enterprises focused on environmental restoration, women's health issues and income inequality.

At ERTH, Nahed is responsible for NGO partnerships, awareness programs and word-of-mouth marketing. She also ensures that our partners are handling our e-waste in the most environmentally-friendly manner and regularly reporting our sustainability impact to governmental and other public organizations. Achievements: * Best Environmental Impact (SMEs), by United Nations, Diloitte Malaysia, EU and EUMCCI 2019. * IYIC 2019 winners, by UNDP (Arab States), UNOSSC NY and Shenzhen Youth Fideration in Shenzhen-China. * Speaker at Islamic Digital Economy Forum, Kuala Lumpur 2019. * Top 30 SMEs, AmBank 2019. * Top 3 SMEs in Malaysian market, Alipay-NUS Social Innovation Challenge 2019. * UN SDG Global Innovation Winner 2020
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Charlette Desire N’Guessan
Co-Founder and CEO, BACE Group

Ms. Charlette Desire N’Guessan is a co-founder and CEO of BACE GROUP, a disruptive startup that provides AI-based facial recognition services for online identity verification. Certified digital identity specialist, she believes that the uniqueness of the individual is at the heart of good management of digital identity. Charlette has been recognized by global shapers as one of the 50 African innovators to watch in 2020. ( https://globalshakers.com/world-shakers/charlette-desire/  )

 

Charlette has the experience and expertise in software development, digital identity management, startups development in emerging markets, and she is an AI product manager, helping organizations to identify, analyze and resolve problems with Artificial intelligence-based solutions. She is a business-oriented problem solver who is passionate about using technology at the heart of business innovation. She collaborates with various NGOs which strongly advocate for gender balance in the tech ecosystem and promote the use of technology in Africa. Charlette has a degree in electronic and software engineering and is currently studying data science and machine learning. She is co-author of the AI BOOK published by Wiley in April 2020. She has been recognized by global shapers as one of the 50 African innovators to watch in 2020. ( https://globalshakers.com/world-shakers/charlette-desire/ ) Charlette N'Guessan is bilingual (French and English). She likes to travel and to discover new tech ecosystems and connect to different cultures.
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Joelle SOW
co-founder, GUTY

Ms. Joelle Sow is a Pan-Africanist, active in the diaspora as a champion for the co-development of the African continent and, as  a woman in the field, Joelle's primary mission is to pass on her experience, inspire and develop potential.

 

Passionate about innovation, the transformation of digital ecosystems, the startup culture and the transformation of men and women in African societies, Joelle dedicates her expertise to young people and women in particular, who are looking for new learning methods to access the jobs of tomorrow. Joelle is an advocate for job creation for the youth, supporting young people, and women in particular, to create and fulfill their aspirations. Over the past 6 years, Joelle has developed her expertise in the management of international projects and programs, in professional training, in team management, in the structuring of organizations, in capacity building and in supporting entrepreneurs. With 22 years of experience, his expertise is recognized in international trade, vocational training, entrepreneurship and the connection of startups with the public and private.
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Frank Ofori
Cyber Security Specialist

Dr. Frank Ofori is retired US Army veteran with over 13 years of experience in both IT and Cyber Security. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Stratford University with concentration in both Offensive and Defensive Cyber Security. Frank  specializes in corporate and enterprise security, development of cyber defense programs, and business operations protection for both US Federal and commercial clients.

 

 

Frank has been certified an industry professional by the International Information Security Certification Consortium (ISC2), Information System Audit and Control Association (ISACA) and the EC-Council as Certified Chief Information Security Officer.Frank started his career as a technical networking specialist, he then specialized, trained and qualified in a number of disciplines including but not limited to ethical hacking, forensics, international management systems, risk management, business continuity, international governance frameworks, financial service regulations, cyber laws and project management.Frank is noted for his ability to integrate competing objectives (like a "cloud first" policy, data transparency, clarity of multiple-party responsibilities, Privacy, and security) in customized and practical compromises that are acceptable to all parties involved. He acknowledges that information security is multi-disciplinary, multi-departmental, and often multi-organizational and he is additionally noted for his ability to synthesize and document cyber security policies in contracts, security architectures, system security requirements, risk assessments, project plans, policy statements, and other clear action-oriented documents.
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Donnalee Donaldson
Trainer and Attorney
Ms. Donnalee Donaldson is a learning experience designer, international development practitioner, trainer, and attorney. She has expertise in collaborating with governments on the design and implementation of national education reforms, integrating technology into education, and designing education programs that support the UN’s sustainable development goals.
 
 
She is an ed tech enthusiast with a knack for technology integration in low-resource settings. Her work in education spans seven countries in Africa, and she has been recognized as a sector changemaker by UNESCO, Ashoka, and UNLEASH.   Donnalee is currently the Country Director of Educate! Rwanda. There she designs and provides strategic leadership for academic programs that support the government's national curriculum reform, and impact all secondary students nationwide. Additionally, she provides independent consulting in eLearning design and development, and strategic leadership. Prior to her work at Educate!, Donnalee helped create Kepler, the first blended learning tertiary program in Rwanda, and co-founded its first two campuses in Kigali, including Rwanda’s first university in a refugee camp.   Donnalee is also a noted corporate MC, and speaker on education and international development, having appeared at events in Cote D'Ivoire, Jamaica, Kenya, Rwanda, Switzerland, and the USA. She is proudly Jamaican and PanAfrican, and serves as the Policy and Advocacy Lead for the Global Jamaica Diaspora Youth Council.
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Suvi Nenonen
Dr. Sc (Fil), Adjunct Professor, University of Turku and Tampere University, Finland

Dr. Suvi Nenonen  is a Future Learning and Working Environments expert, with  research interest in people, spaces, places and realities. She has been working with the topics like: usability of the built environment, co-creation, change managment and  co-creation methods to develop future learning and working environments - both digital and physical spaces, places and realities. 

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Laura Strömberg
Co-founder and CEO, Dagsmark Ltd.

Dr. Laura Strömberg is the co-Founder and CEO of Dagsmark Petfood Ltd.  a fast growing pet food company, Dagsmark produces ecological, traceable and healthy dry food for dogs, reaching a turnover of 3 million euros in the first 3 years.   Laura is a serial entrepreneur and an innovation expert, with rich experience in commercialization of innovations.

 

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Erkki Sutinen
Professor of Computer Science

Dr. Erkki Sutinen is Professor of Computer Science (Interaction design) at the University of Turku since 2015. He moved to Namibia in 2019 to set up the first overseas campus of University of Turku, located currently at the premises of University of Namibia, in its main campus in Windhoek. 

Erkki got his PhD from University of Helsinki in 1998, based on his research in string algorithms. In 1999-2015, he was a professor at University of Eastern Finland (1999-2009 University of Joensuu) where he founded a research group in educational technology, hosting an online PhD program impdet.org. In 2010-12, he was the chief technical advisor of the 22 M€ STIFIMO science, technology and innovation program in Mozambique. Erkki has been researching educational technology, Computing education, ICT4D, and co-design.  He has supervised circa 30 PhDs and co-authored around 300 papers. As an ordained Lutheran priest, his current interests include digital theology.
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Susana Muñoz Hernández
Associate Professior of Computer Science

Dr. Susana Muñoz Hernández is an Associate Professor of  Computer Science School at Technical University of Madrid (UPM), a position she has held  since 1998. She has a PhD in   Computer Science from  the Technical University of Madrid, Master in Management of Information Technologies from  the Ramón Llull University of Barcelona and graduate in International Affairs from  the Society of International Studies of Madrid.  She is a member of the BABEL Research Group, conducting  research in the area of programming and specification languages, including  foundations, design, semantics, implementation, applications and teaching.

 

Susana is the Director of the Technology for the Development and the Cooperation ( TEDECO, a group she established in 2006  . She is also the Director of the educational innovation group TIDE (Technology Innovation for Educational Development).  Susana was awarded  the 2011 UPM Prize of Cooperation for the development in international research. Currently, Susana  she leads the TechPeopleCare group (http://www.techpeople.care) of expertise in digital literacy. Techpeople  leads the development of training materials (in any language Arabic, Spanish, English, Swahili, French, Kirundi, etc.) for digital literacy courses WITHOUT a teacher. It was a successful formula with experiences in Kenya, El Salvador, Spain, France and the Netherlands that can reduce the digital gap for being scalable and sustainable in the time. Also she leads projects adapting and developing applications to make them accessible to vulnerable groups (e.g. easyvideocall.me )
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Leendert de Bell
Professor of Sustainable Labour Participation, Utrecht University of Applied Sciences

Dr. Leendert de Bell is professor of sustainable labor participation of refugees at University of Applied Sciences Utrecht and is academic staff member at Utrecht University Centre for Entrepreneurship, where he teaches on entrepreneurship in various Master's programs.

 

 

Leendert holds a PhD in International Development Studies at Utrecht University and has extensive international experience in research, higher education, and international cooperation in Europe, Latin America and (East) Africa. He is available for (skills) mentoring, (guest) seminars and workshops, (international) consultancies and (multidisciplinary) research projects.
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Andy Kusi-Appiah
Professor of Social Transformation

Dr. Andy Kusi-Appiah is a demographer/social geographer by training; and an adjunct professor at Carleton University’s Department of Geography & Environmental Studies since 2005.  His academic research interests are located within the domain of social geographies of resource access and the political ecology of water access in sub-Saharan Africa. His research seeks to provide a clearer understanding of water governance mechanisms that shape access to water in urban informal settlements, and how the resulting inequities shape the political ecology of disease in these urban areas.

 

 

Andy’s research has great potential to make a significant impact on current knowledge and urban social policy in Malawi and sub-Saharan Africa more generally. Andy’s research supports Carleton University’s current position as a national leader in water research and Malawi Government’s urban water policy. Past research on water access has taken an overly dualistic approach, focusing on the divide in water access between those who are connected to official water grids and those who patronize informal systems of water governance. While certainly insightful, the dualism, however, is limiting because it paints residents in periurban areas with a broad brush, and portrays individuals who use informal means of access outside official systems as facing similar access to and control over water. Andy’s research seeks to fill in part of this gap by exploring the ways through which residents in periurban areas access alternative water sources that flows into the gardens and nourishes the homes of large swathes of the population still untouched by municipal water supply systems, and the implications of this for incidences of waterborne diseases such as cholera and diarrhea.  Queen Elizabeth II jubilee Scholarship on Climate Change and Societal Transformation 2019/20: Andy spent 3 months in  Malawi, on a  Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee scholarship on Climate Change and Societal Transformation. The program afforded Andy the opportunity to build his capacity in conducting qualitative research in water governance and accessibility in rapidly urbanizing environments in the global South. Andy has gained an in-depth understanding and knowledge of ways through which marginalized periurban dwellers gain access to water for domestic use, giving the impact of human induced climate change on water resources, and their implications for political ecologies of disease. Community involvement and volunteering have been Andy’s passion for a long time. Andy was the president of the Ghana Association of Ottawa between 1995 and 2003; he also served on the City of Ottawa’s Advisory Committee on Equity & Diversity between 1995 and 1997. In 2004, Andy was appointed as the senior advisor on Diversity issues to the Mayor of Ottawa. As senior advisor to the Mayor of Ottawa, Andy led many multi-disciplinary teams to solve complex diversity issues in a timely and sensitive manner. He also led multi-disciplinary research in identifying policy initiative opportunities, and strategic policy options including monitoring the development and implementation of City policies with a diversity lens.   Over the years Andy has contributed voluntarily to numerous organizations focusing on socio-cultural, educational and integration issues affecting citizens of Ottawa. For example, Andy served on the City of Ottawa’s Homelessness Task Force, Task Force on Somali Youth, Tsunami Relief Committee, Crime Prevention Board, and Interfaith Ottawa. Andy writes frequently on diversity issues in the online magazine Black Ottawa Scene [http://blackottawascene.com/]. In 2007, Andy received Black History Ottawa’s award for outstanding service to the community. Andy also received the Ghanaian-Canadian Achievement Award for outstanding service to the community in 2010.  Currently, Andy is a public member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario College of Social Work and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW), appointed by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario in September 2018; and the vice president of the Ottawa-West Nepean Provencal Liberal Association.  
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