Supply chains: Navigating complex supply chain challenges in Africa

Despite substantial growth in African economies, supply chains across the continent still face major infrastructural, regulatory, political, and financial obstacles. This panel will examine several questions around the future of African supply chains, including: How can African supply chains leverage technology to reduce cost and increase reliability? How can companies source raw materials in a sustainable and responsible fashion? What type of innovation is needed to overcome existing obstacles? How can companies best navigate political and regulatory realities to mitigate risk? 

Bharat Kulkarni, Founding Director, Stalwart Management Consultancy Services

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Dr. Bharat Kulkarni is the Founding Director of Stalwart Management Consultancy Services, a consulting firm working in the area of policy advisory and development of agricultural value chains in Africa. He has worked for a decade on various value chain development projects in Africa, including work for IFPRI and the United Nations until 2011. After 2011, he established his own consulting firm and has since been advising several high value investment projects of governments. His clients include governments, The World Bank, USAID, IFC, Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa, and many others from the private sector.

Holger VogtManaging Partner, AMENA Trade & Investment GmbH

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Holger Vogt is a Market Entry Strategist and Entrepreneur with 12 years Africa and three years Middle East experience in the private, public and third sector. As Managing Partner of AMENA Trade & Investment GmbH, he is responsible for the development of the company's Africa operations. The company has currently four offices in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya & South Africa and is planning to expand into Francophone Africa. Holger lived and worked in several African countries, travelled to more than 20 of them, started investing in real-estate and set up import businesses in Southern Africa. As a global citizen with German roots he managed to combine his passion for development and business.

Sophia Baah,COO, mPharma

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Sophia began her career at Morgan Stanley before spending eight years in a variety of senior roles at AbInBev, the world's largest brewery. She then joined the Delhaize Group as the Global Director of Strategic Cost Management (Delhaize merged with Ahold to form one of the largest supermarket chains in the world). Sophia also managed and administered a $400 million syndicated loan facility for the development of a new terminal with Ghana Airport Company Limited. Sophia is now COO of mPharma responsible for driving operational efficiency and people development across the organization.



Financial inclusion is a critical factor for economic development however, according to the World Bank, only a third of adults in sub Saharan Africa have bank accounts. The growth of mobile money services in the past decade has been welcome by millions of users, however, there is still a lot of ground to cover with the level of financial inclusion still low across Africa. What service models will be most successful in expanding financial inclusion? What are the enabling factors needed to bring financial services to the majority of Africans?

Andrew AppiahCEO, Zeepay Ghana

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Andrew is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Zeepay. He is an expert on Banking and Mobile Payments and comes on board with over 15 years of experience in Banking and Business Development. Andrew's experience spans the world of Marketing and Banking as he has held various positions from being a Brand Manager for NESCAFE to holding roles such as Head of Retail, Head Corporate Manufacturing Business, Head Transaction Banking, General Manager Strategy, General Manager Business Performance all in Banking and a Business Development Head and Lead Strategy Consultant for Big Four Consulting

Ismail Ahmed, CEO, WorldRemit

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Ismail Ahmed is the Founder and CEO of WorldRemit, the leading digital money transfer company that's pioneering a mobile approach to sending money around the world. Ismail founded the company in 2010. Since then, it has secured $220 million in funding and has been named the fastest growing technology company in the UK. Serving previously as a compliance advisor to the United Nations, Ismail founded the company on the principles of strong compliance procedures, recognising that the only way to meaningfully reduce the risks in the money transfer industry was to bring the entire process into the digital world. Ismail has been named third most influential black Britons in the UK and won EY Entrepreneur of the Year, London and South. Originally from Somaliland, he has worked with the UN in Nairobi and Dubai. He received a scholarship to attend the University of London and has a business degree from London Business School and a PhD in Economics.

Jalil Bensouda, Managing Partner, McKinsey Casablanca

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Jalil Bensouda is a partner in McKinsey's Casablanca office and supports clients in our Financial services, Private Equity and Digital practices among others. He coordinates the work in the private sector in Francophone Africa, on issues of holistic transformations, growth strategies, and investment decisions.  He also works very closely with our clients, especially in the industrial and mining sector, on operational transformations including resource optimization and systems of production's performance. Jalil is also one of the founders of a McKinsey Digital Studio in Casablanca, dedicated to our Francophone clients. He has a special focus on the digital transformation of our clients in the financial services, serving many leading institutions across Africa.

Jalil started at McKinsey as a senior consultant in 2006, after an initial experience as Corporate Director and Advisor to the CEO, at AttijarWafaBank, one of the leading banking institution in Morocco and West Africa. He left McKinsey in 2011 to create Moongypse, an industrial company producing gypsum. The company was acquired by Saint Gobain, the global leader, two years later. Jalil decided to join again the Casablanca Office in 2015 and is now the Managing partner of the Office.

Peter Thompson, VP, Emergent Technology Holdings LP

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Peter Thompson oversees the Africa business of Emergent Technology Holdings, a Silicon Valley firm with a portfolio that includes an industry-leading payments solutions provider and a blockchain based system to track conflict-free gold from mine to vault. Peter is an internationally renowned Africa business strategist with corporate experience across more than 30 markets throughout the continent, and has also advised the US and UK governments on Africa economic policy. Peter, who is fluent in French and Portuguese, also chairs the non-profit arm of the world’s largest greenfield phosphate mining project, based in West Africa.

Ngozi Megwa, Head of Market Development, Sub Sahara Africa, MasterCard

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Ngozi is the Head of Market Development at MasterCard International where she leads the effort to identify and serve new markets in Sub Sahara Africa. As one of the most experienced women in the Africa e-payments space, Ngozi manages client relationship for expansion and growth of the payment business of MasterCard in Africa. Prior to MasterCard, her wealth of experience include working as Head of Commercial Account for Baclaycard and Director of Business Development and Client Management for American Express.  She is an Alumnus of the Global Executive MBA program at the IESE Business School



Carlijn is a Partner in Dalberg’s Johannesburg office and global lead of the inclusive business practice. With a particular focus on financial services, she works on financial inclusion from many different angles – for public, private and social sector clients. In addition to leading market assessments and market entry strategies for financial institutions with a particular focus on targeting un- and under-banked customers, Carlijn also frequently works with investors to identify growth targets including digital financial solutions and to develop innovative finance models. Prior to Dalberg, Carlijn worked at McKinsey & Company as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, focusing on Official Development Assistance as part of the Dutch diplomatic corps.


Disruptive innovation and the future of development in Africa

By 2050, Africa’s population is estimated to reach 2.4 billion and by 2100, it will be approximately 4.2 billion. Is Africa’s population boom more of a curse than a blessing? Can its economies generate the jobs necessary to employ a workforce projected to reach 830 million people by 2050? Will its leaders deliver the education and infrastructure required to unleash the productivity of its people? Consider this: the daily electricity consumption of New York City (population 8.5 mil) is more than the combined usage of all sub-Saharan African countries (population 973 mil) excluding South Africa. But Africa’s development trajectory need not resemble that of now-developed countries. In fact, it cannot. For Africa to develop, the continent will need disruptive innovators who make products simple and affordable so that a majority of people in society can consume them. This process serves as the foundation of economic development, and the quicker Africans can foster disruptive innovations, the quicker the continent will develop. In this panel, we will have a frank conversation with innovators in Africa about how they have developed their organizations, the impact they are having, and some of the struggles they face.

Efosa Ojomo, Research Fellow, Harvard Business School

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Focusing his work at the intersection of innovation and economic development, Efosa Ojomo is on a mission to use business to alleviate poverty and create prosperity. A research fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, Ojomo's work focuses on using disruptive innovation theory to fundamentally change the discourse in the global development community, thus enabling nations to engender their own path to long-term growth and prosperity.


Elizabeth Nyeko, Co-founder & CEO, Mandulis Energy

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Elizabeth co-Founded Mandulis (, a cleantech startup focused on developing and deploying new technologies and approaches, to delivering energy that is affordable, reliable, sustainable, and capable of driving economic development in rural Africa. Mandulis is backed by Laudato Siâ, UNCDF, AfDB and KfW among others. Elizabeth leads the development of Earth Energy, Africa's largest grid-tied biomass gasification power plant, and Modularity Grid, a digital utility that leverages Artificial Intelligence and Distributed Ledger Technologies for electricity distribution. Modularity Grid is funded by Climate-KiC and based at the Imperial College Centre for Cleantech Innovation. In 2016, Elizabeth was recognised by the World Economic Forum among the Top 10 Female Innovators in Africa. Elizabeth started her career with investment banking at Goldman Sachs. She holds an MSc from Oxford University.

Okendo Lewis GayleFounder, Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance

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Okendo Lewis-Gayle is author of Harambeans and founder of the Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance. Harambe is a network of young African entrepreneurs (Harambeans) who are scaling ventures such as Andela, Flutterwave and Yoco. Harambeans have raised capital from Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Ma and other prominent investors. Okendo is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School and has served as Africa Advisor to the Vatican and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.


Eddy Agbo, Founder & CEO, Fyodor Biotech. Corp USA & Fyodor Biotech. Nigeria Ltd

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Eddy is a Public Servant, Global Health Leader, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Fyodor Biotechnologies Corp USA and Fyodor Biotechnologies Nigeria Ltd, manufacturers of the Urine Malaria TestTM (UMT) the world's first and only non-blood test that tells in 25 minutes or less if a fever is due to malaria, using only a few drops of urine, and works just like a pregnancy test. Earlier, he held senior research and corporate management positions at Johns Hopkins University USA, Utrecht University The Netherlands, Wageningen University The Netherlands, and Cangen Biotechnologies Corporation USA. He is an inventor, author of numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications, book editor, and winner of numerous innovation awards. Eddy earned a PhD in Molecular Genetics from Utrecht University, MS in Biotechnology from Wageningen University, both in The Netherlands, and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He also holds a Graduate Certificate from Johns Hopkins University Business School.

Kwami Williams, Co-Founder & CEO, MoringaConnect


Kwami is a Ghanaian born, MIT and NASA trained rocket scientist, turned social entrepreneur. In 2013, he went from aerospace to agriculture to co-found MoringaConnect, a vertically integrated supply chain improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. MoringaConnect turns the leaves from their moringa trees into superfood tea and green protein powder, branded Minga Foods, and the oilseeds from their trees into moringa oil based hair, face, and body beauty products, branded True Moringa. It has provided over $460K of income to 2,900 farming families growing the moringa tree across Ghana. Kwami is a Forbes 30 Under 30, Quartz Top 30 Africa Innovator, Echoing Green Fellow, MIT D-Lab Scale-Ups Fellow, Harambe Entrepreneur Associate, MassChallenge Alumnus, and Black Engineer of the Year Awardee

Peter Gross, Director of Strategy, MicroEnsure

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Peter Gross is Director of Strategy for MicroEnsure.  Peter joined MicroEnsure in Ghana in 2010, where he built the company's mobile insurance business model.  From 2012-2015, as Regional Director for Africa, Peter and his team expanded the company's footprint on the continent to 10 countries and signed multi-market deals with Airtel and Barclays.  Now based in the USA, Peter is responsible for design and strategic implementation of the company's core value proposition; he also oversees MicroEnsure Labs, an innovation incubator.  Peter holds degrees from Oxford University, Emory University, and Davidson College.


Blockchain Technology in Frontier Markets

Blockchain technology promises to radically alter the way the world exchanges value by combining cryptography, a secure form of communication, with the economics of decentralization. This could lead to a world without financial intermediaries meaning faster transactions without compromising on security. The policy and business world are enthusiastic about the future of Blockchain and related innovations but what does it mean for Africa in terms of risks and opportunities? How has the continent responded to developments in blockchain? What are the promising business use cases of blockchain and how can African entrepreneurs and governments innovate?

Euvin Naidoo, Head of Financial Institutions-Africa, Thomson Reuters

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Euvin Naidoo is the Head of Financial Institutions-Africa at Thomson Reuters (TR), supporting the pan African business across West, East and Southern Africa. Prior to TR, Euvin was part of the African leadership team at the Boston Consulting Group, joining as the first South African Partner and Managing Director based out of Johannesburg, where he led the Africa Financial Institutions and Public Sector Practices. In May 2017, he was part of the BCG team that led the release of a global report on financial inclusion, with a special focus on South Africa. Euvin has received numerous awards including being named one of Africa's Top 10 most Powerful and Influential Men of his generation by, Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and received the Leadership Excellence Award from the Africa Business Club at Harvard Business School. 

Robleh Ali, Research Scientist, MIT Digital Currency Initiative

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Robleh Ali is a research scientist at the MIT Media Lab's Digital Currency Initiative. His main focus is on how national currencies can be issued digitally outside the existing banking system and the role of central banks in such a system. The overall aim of the work is fundamentally reforming the financial system by changing the way money is issued.



Chinyere Nnadi, CEO/Founder of Sustainability International & Sela

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Chi Nnadi, is a social entrepreneur dedicated to leveraging cutting edge technology to clean up the environment and reduce poverty around the world, starting with his homeland, the Niger Delta of Nigeria. Chi is the CEO/Founder of Sustainability International and Sela. Sustainability International is working to catalyze the largest cleanup of oil pollution in world history using a win-win social enterprise model that leverages biotechnology, blockchain technology, and the power of Virtual Reality to spread the message. Sela is a global project verification platform built upon a blockchain backbone. Platform participants initiate, execute, and verify projects in a secure, reputation-driven network marketplace.   Chi is a former MTV VJ and management consultant from the Boston Consulting Group. He is an alum of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and University of California, Los Angeles School of Theater, Film, Television

Henry Erimodafe, Founding Partner, A-Coin Technologies & Alva Wealth Switzerland

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Henry P.O. Erimodafe is founding partner of A-Coin Technologies and Alva Wealth Switzerland, where he leads client development and strategic advisory. He has extensive experience in the African markets, working with entrepreneurs and their families in achieving their personal and business goals. Until recently, Henry was chairman of the board of directors of UBS Nigeria limited. He has about 20 years of experience in the banking sector in Switzerland, having held senior roles at both Julius Bär Bank, and UBS. Henry holds several degrees and qualifications including a Bachelors in Education, Masters in Business Administration and Post Graduate Qualifications from Strathclyde, Sheffield-Hallam and Harvard Business School. Henry is a strategic thinker, FinTech expert, and advocate for the transformation of the Africa opportunity. He sees Africa as a major force in world economic growth and the Africa entrepreneur as a major driver for change. 

Fennie Wang, Partnerships and Regulatory Lead, IXO Foundation

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Fennie is a lawyer turned entrepreneur in the blockchain space, leading strategy and legal at the ixo Network, which is a blockchain powered platform for collecting, verifying and tokenizing any project's impact data, which can then be monetized, shared, or traded. Fennie is a US-qualified securities lawyer, who practiced both securities defense (including SEC investigations) and international capital markets in New York and London at leading US law firms. When not working on ixo, she is involved in legal advocacy for the emergent token economy, as a contributor to Don Tapscott's Blockchain Research Institute and as a working group coordinator at COALA, a cross disciplinary policy group in the blockchain and legal space. She started her career as a high yield research analyst at JPMorgan. In between Wall Street and law school, she founded a legal services non-profit in Uganda called MicroJustice. She holds a law degree from Columbia, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and business and legal studies degrees from Berkeley with high honors.