Is Africa Next?

Speakers (Please note the speaker list is constantly being updated as we confirm their attendance)

Dr Sola Adesola

Dr Sola Adesola is a Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University Business School teaching on international management, law and strategy with particular research focus on strategic foreign investment and international education for Africa emerging economy. She is the Chair of the OBU Africa Business Forum, a faculty-led forum on Africa business and development geared towards building a link between research and practice. Dr Adesola is also active in developing senior executive programmes between OBU and Nigeria.

A lawyer by profession, with a PhD from Cranfield University in Business Process Management, her industry experience spans over 12yrs in legal, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, public and education sectors, where she has worked and consulted with blue chip companies in corporate law matters, legal technology, strategic decisions, and higher education development in the UK and Africa.

Dr Adesola provides strategic advice, consultancy and forum discussions on Africa emerging business and international education; and sits on the management and advisory boards of a number of private and non-for profit organisations in the UK and Nigeria. 

Sola writes and speaks at academic, business and public policy conferences on trade and investment for Africa, strategic decisions, business process management, and higher education for Africa. Dr Adesola participates at the UK and European advisory programmes on education for Africa. She is currently working on a UK funded project on enterprise education for employability in Nigeria.

Dr Adesola received Best of Nigeria Awards 2009 on ‘Education’ from the Nigerian Achievers Award Institute, and Certificate of Appreciation from NIDOE. She is married with two children aged 19yrs and 15yrs. 

Dr. Mahmadu Bawumia

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, an Oxford alumni,  is a Senior Associate Member of St. Antonys College, and Visiting Senior Research Associate at the Centre for the Study of  African Economies, of University Oxford. His research interests are in the areas of monetary policy, financial sector development, and development finance.

Between 1996 and 2000, Dr. Bawumia served as an Assistant Professor of Economics at Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University, USA. He joined the central Bank of Ghana in 2000 as senior Economist and rose to the position of Deputy Governor (2006-2009).  As Chairman of Ghana’s Capital Markets Committee his team was responsible for the Ghana’s strategy for accessing the international capital markets with a debut $750 million dollars in 2007.  Dr. Bawumia is also credited with implementing significant financial sector reforms in Ghana during his tenure at the central bank

In 2008, Dr. Bawumia was the Vice-Presidential Candidate for the ruling New Patriotic Party in the Ghanaian Presidential Election, which was touted as "Africa's closest election so far" because his party lost by some 40,000 votes (out of a total of 9 million) after winning the first round.

Jane Buenaventura

Jane Buenaventura is the principal analyst for the TMT industries at SMBCE. Her current role includes advising on the bank's TMT strategy and business as well as advising Japanese clients with regards to EMEA investments. Her specialty areas include Next Generation Networks, Low-cost/High margin market models and convergence. Previously, Jane worked for Pyramid Research consulting for major telecoms players. Her  views have been featured in Total Telecom Magazine, The New York Times and Multichannel News. She has spoken at conferences on Telecoms M&A in emerging markets and on Low-cost business models for business expansion. Jane's background is rooted in economic research on Japanese Health and Labour markets using extensive econometric modelling. Her research contributions have been acknowledged in professional economic journals. Jane graduated from the University of Tsukuba in Japan (BA), University of London (BSc) and the London School of Economics (MSc). 

Nikia Clarke (Moderator)

Nikia is a doctoral student in the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford.  She holds an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge and a BA from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Her current research focuses on the expansion of Chinese private manufacturing firms into African markets, and the implications for African industrialisation of this emerging economic and political phenomenon.  Nikia is also co-convenor of the Oxford University China-Africa Network (OUCAN).

Dr. Graeme Codrington

Dr Graeme Codrington is an expert on the new world of work and multigenerational workplaces. He is a keynote presenter, author, futurist, facilitator and strategy consultant, working across multiple industries and sectors. He is the co-founder of TomorrowToday, a global consulting firm with presentations and programmes to assist their clients in overcoming four business critical challenges: understanding new realities in a changing world, improving leader, team and talent performance, elevating customer experience and marketing performance, developing and executing strategy in a new world of work. Graeme works from bases in Johannesburg and London. Speaking internationally to over 100,000 people in about 15 different countries every year, he has shared the platform with the likes of Edward de Bono, Jonas Ridderstrale, Sir Ken Robinson and Neil Armstrong, and was recently voted “Speaker of the Year” by the Academy for Chief Executives. His client list includes some of the world’s top companies, and CEOs invite him back time after time to share his latest insights. Graeme is a guest lecturer at four top business schools, including the London Business School. He has a Doctorate in Business Administration, a Masters in Sociology, an Honours in Youth Work and two undergraduate degrees – in Arts (Theology/Philosophy) and Commerce. He has three best-selling books published by Penguin.

Thomas Ferede

Thomas Ferede is an Investment Professional at Development Partners International (DPI). Thomas joined DPI after graduating from Harvard Business School. Prior to business school, Thomas worked as an Investment Analyst at the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) where he worked in the Oil & Gas division. At IFC he analysed, structured, negotiated and monitored private equity and debt investments. Thomas began his financial career at JP Morgan where he was an Investment Banking Analyst doing Mergers & Acquisitions in the Telecommunications, Media and Technology industries. He holds a BSc in Computer Science from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is a US citizen but is originally from Ethiopia.

Simon Harford

In early 2006 Simon joined Actis ( as Head of the West Africa business, based in Lagos. In August 2009 he relocated to Johannesburg into a new role as Operating Partner for Africa and Latin America. Actis is a leading international private equity investor in emerging markets with some US$4.8 billion of funds under management. The firm has been active in Africa for over 50 years through its origins as CDC Capital Partners, alongside its operations in China, India and South-East Asia.

Simon’s early career was spent first in investment banking (S.G. Warburg) and then in strategy consulting (Boston Consulting Group), operating in Scandinavia, Canada, the UK and Asia.

He joined British Airways in 1995 and held roles including Corporate Development; as co-founder, pioneer Chief Financial Officer and Board Director of Go (a low-cost airline subsidiary of British Airways); and ultimately back in a Group role as Executive Board member responsible for e-Business.

In 2000 he embarked on a diverse series of entrepreneurial ventures, initially joining a management buy-in team that built up and then sold an internet portal in the UK. He then moved to Germany for TUI AG, the world’s largest integrated travel group at the time, to create Germany’s first low-cost airline which launched in 2002. He was then engaged by a sovereign government in the Middle East to restructure and develop their aviation and tourism interests. In 2004 he was recruited by the Virgin Group to lead the creation and successful development of Virgin Nigeria, Nigeria’s innovative new private sector flag carrier, where he continued as pioneer Chief Executive until late 2005.

Simon is now based in Johannesburg and sits on various Boards and advisory groups in Africa. He holds a BA (Hons) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University, and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from INSEAD.

Tim Jenkinson (Moderator)

Tim Jenkinson is Professor of Finance at the Saïd Business School, and is Director of Oxford Finance and the Oxford Private Equity Institute.

He is a director of various companies including economic consulting firm Oxford Economic Research Associates (Oxera), the leading German utility switching company Verivox Group, and the UK-listed investment fund PSource Structured Debt (LSE: PSD). He has consulted for a large number of companies, regulators, government agencies and industry associations. He is a Professorial Fellow of Keble College, Oxford.Tim joined the Saïd Business School in 2000. 

He was previously in the economics department at Oxford University, which he joined in 1987, and has also spent periods as a Visiting Professor at Dartmouth College. He initially studied economics as an undergraduate at Cambridge University, before going as a Thouron Fellow to the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained a Masters in Economics. He then returned to the UK and obtained a DPhil in Economics from Oxford. 

Ayo Johnson

Ayo is currently one of the world’s leading speakers and a specialist in African Affairs. He is the owner, founder and Director of Viewpoint Africa media house that deal with news from the continent. Viewpoint Africa sells Breaking news content from Africa to media outlets all around the world. 

He went to South Bank University where he gained a Masters Degree in International Development. He is a consultant who has taught, trained and sharing his experiences to 100’s of NGO on the ground in Africa.

Ayo was born in Sierra Leone – Kono; which is best known as the diamond hub and a major strong hold for rebels during the 10 year civil war which ended in 2002. 

He has recently featured as an expert on BBC World News, Aljazeera, Voice of America, BBC Radio London, Listening Post, United Nations Radio, Huffington Post, The Channel – AIB, Colourful Radio, CRI, Time FM, VOX Africa, PRESS TV, Revelation & Genesis TV, PBS World News "World focus" and many more.

Zain Latif

Zain Latif is the principal of TLG Capital, a firm that focuses on frontier markets. Mr. Latif was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs in the New Markets division focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa across all products. Zain joined Goldman Sachs from Merrill Lynch where he was involved in originating and executing a number of groundbreaking emerging market transactions in Africa.

Prior to that Zain spear-headed the special situations African effort at HSBC which culminated in the inaugural debt/equity hybrid structure for a leading Nigerian financial institution that was widely reported. Zain has a Masters degree in Finance achieved at the age of 19 from Cass Business School, City University. “

Harvey Leared

Currently Harvey heads up Acumen Africa consulting – which he founded in 2000 and which focuses on agricultural production in the region. Acumen is also the Zimbabwean agent for the AGRA linked Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund focusing on agribusiness development.

As an associate of the Johannesburg Brenthurst Foundation – a southern African economic think tank - he has travelled widely over the last year as a member of a high-level study group which aims to share lessons in economic growth from countries similar to Zimbabwe across Africa, Asia and Latin America. His current work includes a position on the Presidential Investment Advisory Board of Mozambique focusing on production and value addition in agriculture as well as playing a leading role in Silverlands private equity fund which targets investment in agribusiness across the southern Africa region.

Harvey’s other interests lie in education where he sits on the boards various schools as well as being a member of the Rhodes scholarship selection committee. Harvey is married to Deborah with four children. 

Clive Msipha

Clive is a chartered accountant by training and won the Prize for the Best Qualifying Student in his Qualifying Year. He spent close to 6 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Southern Africa, USA and the United Kingdom doing both audit and Corporate Finance work.  Clive has significant experience in the financial services industry having done a number of Corporate Finance deals in the sector. Most recently, Clive was with an emerging market Private Equity firm, Actis Capital, and covered African markets from London. Clive is a founding director and the chief promoter of Untu Microfinance.  Untu has its flagship operations in Harare, Zimbabwe.  Its concentrates on giving credit and other financial services to the underserved and unbanked sections of the market.  The company's business model is based on the belief that the big and traditional banks in Africa are not as flexible and alive to the opportunities in the informal sector.  Microfinance firms are better set up and understand their needs of the economic agents in the informal sector.  Clive is a Beit Scholar and  holds an MBA from the Said Business School, University of Oxford. He is also a CFA Charterholder.

Ijeoma Okoli

Ijeoma E. Okoli is a US finance lawyer with over 8 years of experience working in both London and New York.  Her experience includes working on international capital markets transactions such as the placements of debt (high yield and investment grade), equity and hybrid securities as well as debt restructurings. 

She obtained a B.A. in History and a M.P.A. in Public Finance and Public Policy from New York University and a Juris Doctorate from Cornell University.  She has practiced in both New York and London at top international law firms and advised on multi-million and multi-billion dollar financing transactions for a diverse group of clients ranging from banks to utilities to private equity firms in jurisdictions such as Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Ukraine, as well as the United States of America and countries in Western Europe. 

She has spent the last few months undertaking research relating to the flurry of new financial regulation proposed and/or adopted in both the European Union and the United States which will change the way transactions are carried out in the future.  She has just completed a legal commentary on new rating agency regulation in the United States and Europe which was published in WealthBriefing in April 2010 and a piece, published in May 2010 in Offshore Red, on the brewing controversy between the United States and the European Union over the European Union’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive.  She is presently in the process of writing an article on hedge fund regulation in the United States and Europe for a financial publication.

Afua Osei (Moderator)

Afua Osei is Head of Programmes at the Oxford Centre of Entrepreneurship and Innovation where she manages practical entrepreneurship programmes including the design, marketing and delivery of entrepreneurship courses, seminars, networks, projects and the business plan competition along with the Centre’s corporate relations. She also acts as an enterpreneurship trainer and mentor for venture creation activities and an EU Framework 6 project dedicated to management training for PhD research students in the biosciences.

Osei studied Biochemistry at Imperial College, Masters in Intellectual Property Law and 1 term stint in the Office for Technology & Trademark Licensing, Harvard University. Subsequently, she spent 4 years as a Contracts and Intellectual Property Manager at Royal Holloway, University of London negotiating confidentiality, licensing, media, consultancy, industrially sponsored research and service agreements alongside the intellectual property elements of large scale EU Research Consortium Agreements of 1 – 2 Million Euros. Her activities in technology transfer include patent management and facilitating the development of academic proposals for presentation to a £4 Million University Challenge fund managed by Cambridge-based fund managers.

William So

Mr. William So is the Chief Advisor to China Unicom (Europe) Operations Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of China Unicom, one of the largest full service telecom operators in China.

Mr. So was born in Hong Kong, and subsequently educated both in Hong Kong and the UK.  Having obtained an honors degree in Computing Science from Imperial College London in 1981, he joined IBM and embarked on his professional career.  He held various management positions with IBM China and IBM Hong Kong until 1993 before moving on to become the Managing Director, and equity partner, of a subsidiary of Legend Computers (now Lenovo) based in Austria.  There, he was in charge of both the Eastern and Central European markets until 1996.  From 1996, Mr. So continued his career in Beijing, helping Western companies develop joint ventures in China.  Combining his exceptional management expertise and international experience, Mr. So established a Sino-US joint venture, a European Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise (WOFE), and a Foreign-Foreign Joint Venture in China within a 4-year period.  In addition, he managed these joint ventures as the General Manager, engaging in satellite communications and telecom equipment manufacturing in China.

Mr. So commenced his career with China Netcom Group, a Chinese State-Owned Enterprise, in 2000 as the Head of International Operations.  He developed the group’s international business from scratch and established several overseas branches for the group.  The company later merged with part of China Telecom, and later with China Unicom, thereby becoming one of the largest full telecom service providers in China.  Mr. So held strategic management positions at the company headquarters in Beijing until 2007, when he was transferred to Hong Kong as the CEO for Asian and Middle East operations.  In 2008, Mr. So came to London to oversee the group’s operations in both Europe and Africa.  He is leaving China Unicom (Europe) Operations Limited this summer but continues as Chief Advisor to the company.

Moreover, as an entrepreneur, Mr. So co-founded a company which introduced the use of internet technology to transmit fax and voice in China in the late ‘90s. He is a renowned expert both in the telecom industry and in Chinese government policies, as well as a frequent speaker at industry conferences and trade organizations.

Sebastian Spio-Garbrah

Sebastian Spio-Garbrah is the founder of DaMina Advisors LLP, a political risk consultancy firm headquartered in New York. Sebastian Spio-Garbrah was previously the West Africa/Gulf of Guinea analyst in Eurasia Group's Middle East & Africa practice. He covered the politics of African capital markets, ethnic conflicts, economic reforms, and the energy and mineral markets. In 2006, Sebastian was among the "Top 30 under 30 Analysts," according to Institutional Investor magazine. Sebastian hails from West Africa, and he lived in the region for almost two decades. He is fluent in several local languages. He also has a working knowledge of French. He holds a double bachelor's degree in political science and economics from Middlebury College in Vermont, and a juris doctor (JD) degree in law from Rutgers University in New Jersey.Prior to joining Eurasia Group, Sebastian was a senior associate in the Fixed Income Capital Markets Group at Thomson Financial in New York, where he led the energy practice. Sebastian has also conducted research on West Africa for Middlebury College's Felix Rohatyn Institute for International Affairs. He interned on the US Senate Sub-committee on Foreign Appropriations and the Judiciary Committee for Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy.

Clive Tasker

Clive Tasker has been with the Standard Bank Group since November 2000. He is Chief Executive Standard Bank Africa with responsibility for Standard Bank’s African portfolio, outside of South Africa. Standard Bank operates in 18 countries on the African Continent. During his time with the Standard Bank Group Clive has had responsibility for the Home Loans Division, Bancassurance, Retail Marketing and Retail Human Resources. He is a Director on numerous Boards where he represents the Group’s interests including SA Homeloans and Retail Credit Solution.

He is a lawyer by profession, having qualified and practised in Johannesburg.  Prior to joining Standard Bank he had various senior executive roles in commerce and industry and was Managing Director of PPC Cement and latterly CEO of Educor.  Married to Julie, Clive has a son of 24 and two daughters, 21 and 18 years of age.

Karina Wong

Karina Wong is an Investment Associate at Summit Development Group (SDG), a private equity fund that invests in banks and financial institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the goal to strengthen and refocus them on the "Missing Middle" market segment: SMEs, the unbanked and households in need of mortgage financing. SDG’s investment strategy reflects the “double bottom line” concept, targeting both commercial returns and development impact by providing access to finance and creating over 1 million jobs in Africa.

Prior to SDG, Ms. Wong worked as a senior consultant for a socially responsible investing firm in London. She has also managed a business development program at a New York-based NGO providing financing, training and support to immigrant SMEs, where she worked with government and the private sector on improving access to finance for SMEs and low-income immigrants. Prior to that worked as an investment banking analyst for JPMorgan Chase. Ms. Wong has a business and Spanish degree from Indiana University and a master’s degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics.