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redirection Speakers

Maged Abdelaziz

Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States to the United Nations

Prior to his appointment at his current post in September 2017, he was the UN Under-Secretary-General, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Africa (2012-17) and Permanent Representative of Egypt to the UN (2005-12).


In that capacity, he was the African member of the Bureau of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development which laid the foundation for the UN 2030 Agenda and the African Agenda 2063. Vice President of the Economic and Social Council (2011-12) and Vice President of the United Nations General Assembly (2008-09) representing Africa, Mr. Abdelaziz enjoys an intimate knowledge of the UN and the AU’s intergovernmental processes and multilateral diplomacy. As Chair of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement (2009-12), he played a leading role in coordinating developing countries position in the UN along with the G77 and China. Diplomatic Adviser to the President of Egypt and Official Spokesman of the Presidency (1999-2005), Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN (1995-99), Political Counsellor in the New York Mission (1995-97), he joined the Foreign Ministry in 1979 and was among other posts the Political Counsellor at the Egyptian Embassy in the USSR (1989-93). Mr. Abdelaziz graduated from the Ain Shams University School of Law in 1973.

Younes Abouyoub

Director of the Governance and State-Building Division for the MENA Region, United Nations

Former head of the political office of the UN Under-Secretary General for Conflict Prevention and Senior political advisor to the UN Secretary General Special Envoy to Burundi. He directed the political office of the UN Secretary General Special Envoy to Yemen and acted as his Senior special advisor.


He also was the Senior political officer in charge of the regional affairs in the UN political mission to Libya (UNSMIL) and head of office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Libya. He also served as Senior Regional Expert in the Un Security Council Panel of Experts on Sudan (Darfur) and worked for the United Nations Department of Political Affairs (New York) and the United Nations Environment Program in Nairobi. Mr. Younes Abouyoub holds a Ph.D. in political sociology (Paris Sorbonne/Columbia University) and M.A. in Geopolitics and Law.

Didier Acouetey

President and Founder of the AfricSearch Group

Since 1996, he leads the first international recruitment and Human Resources consulting firm specializing in Africa.With its partner Alexander Hughes, an international Executive Search firm, the Africsearch-Alexander Hughes Group is present in 50 countries.


As business advisor to several African major corporations and governments, he has built an extensive network. Active member of several think tanks and promoter of the “Youth Excellency Program”, he has also co-founded the first Africa South East Asia Chamber of Commerce in Singapore. In this context, he contributes to the mobilization of funds for African businesses and States. He launched in 2014 the first African SME financing forum, in partnership with African Guarantee Fund, IFC, the African Development Bank and Afreximbank. He received the 2014 African Entrepreneur Award of the Yearin France and has been listed among the 50 most active Africans in the world by various international publications. He is a graduate of Ecole des Arts et Métiers (Paris), holds an MBA from ESCP EAP, one of the top French business schools, and attended high level programs on strategy and management, including at Harvard Business School.

Edem Adzogenu

Managing Director, The AfroChampions Initiative

Recently elected as Chairman of the Nairobi based African Cotton and Textiles Industries Federation (ACTIF), he stands at the forefront of the AfroChampions Initiative, a public-private partnership launched on the sidelines of the 2017 African Union Summit, in order to galvanize policy frameworks and innovative corporate alliances, supporting the emergence of African private sector champions in the regional and global spheres.


This initiative is co-chaired by the CEO of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, and former South African President Thabo Mbeki, and has among its patrons the former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo. He also is the chairman of the Djondo Fellowship, a Togo based panafrican initiative to facilitate cross-border expansions for African companies and groom the next generation of African multinational leaders. He serves as Chairman of the Campaign for financial independence in Africa (CampaignFIA), and is a co-founder of the panafrican fashion initiative PAFI, in collaboration with the AFDB, TDB, Afreximbak, Africa 50 and the AU.

Theodore Ahlers

Senior Associate, Emerging Markets Forum

Former Economist at the World Bank, including Strategy and Operations Director for Europe & Central Asia (2007-12), Maghreb Department Director (2002-07), Strategy and Operations Director for Africa (2000-02), Country Director for Benin, Niger, and Togo (1996-2000), and Lead Economist in West and Central Africa (1994-96).



He advises numerous countries and institutions on strategic economic issues and recently edited Africa Reset: A New Way Forward(Oxford, 2017) and contributed to Central Asia 2050: Unleashing the Region’s Potential (Sage, 2016). He holds a PhD in Development Economics from Tufts University, Fletcher School.

Laura Albornoz

Professor and Research Fellow, School of Law, University of Chile; Former Minister of State for the National Service for Women, Chile

Chilean lawyer, academic, researcher and politician. She served as Minister of Women's Affairs (May 2006-March 2010)during President Michelle Bachelet’s first term. She has also served as president of the Inter-American Commission of Women. Professor and Research Fellow of the School of Law, University of Chile since 2013, Dr. Albornoz was consultant for the UN Women Colombia (2011-2012) and PNUD Colombia (2012-2013).


She is a Legal Adviser to Lota Protein S.A. since 2014 and was the first woman to be appointed to CODELCO (National Copper Corporation of Chile) 9 members Board of Directors (2014-2018).

Uduak Amimo

Consultant, Uduak Amimo Coaching and Consulting

Journalist, consultant and coach, 2017 Boehm Media Fellow and Bloomberg Africa Leadership Initiative Media Fellow, 2015 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellow of the African Leadership Institute and 2014 Global Social Impact Fellow, a program offered by the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Social Impact Strategy. Uduak’s career in journalism started in 1997 and includes roles across radio and television with Reuters Television, the Voice of America and the BBC World Service.


After returning to Kenya in 2011, she hosted Cheche, the country’s most watched current affairs discussion show, on the leading television station, Citizen TV.  She was one of the moderators of Kenya’s first, live, televised presidential debates during the general election of 2013. Already having a USIU-A in Nairobi with a B.A in International Relations; an M. A. in Communication and Public Affairs from the American University in Washington, she is pursuing a M. A. in Communication and Non-Profit Management from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She has a Personal Performance Diploma in coaching from The Coaching Academy in London.

Nayé Anna Bathily

Head of Global Parliamentary Relations, The World Bank Group

Senior international affairs expert and Head of the World Bank Parliamentary Engagement, she has served as the Bank’s first full-time parliamentary staff member, and currently leads advocacy and high-level outreach activities to parliamentarians for the institution at the global level. Bathily has actively contributed to the creation of the Parliamentary Network in the World Bank, and IMF, a unique platform for policy dialogue on key development issues.


She also led partnership efforts on behalf of the World Bank, providing strategic input to heads of states for major development roundtables in Africa. In 2015, she was nominated in the Choiseul 100 of the Young African Leaders of Tomorrow. She currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Women in Africa Initiative (WIA),the Women Investment Cluband the Siècle des Femmes, as well as being a founding member of a network of African professionals from the diaspora Espace Jappo.She recently launched Shine to Lead/ Jiggen Jang Tekki,an NGO dedicated to mentoring and supporting marginalized high school girls in the poorest suburbs of Dakar. She earned a master’s degree in public administration, at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in 2009, and was a Mason Fellow.

Debisi Araba

Director for Africa, International Center for Tropical Agriculture – CIAT

He is also a member of the Malabo Montpellier Panel, a group of international agriculture experts who guide policy choices towards food and nutritional security in Africa. Previously, he was a Senior Advisor to the Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria and Senior Manager, African Policy Engagement for the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security Program (CCAFS).


He holds a BSc in Geography from the University of Ibadan, an MSc in Clean Technology from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, a Doctorate degree in Environmental Policy from Imperial College London and a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University.

Samuel Arnaud

Political Analyst, NATO Strategic Direction South Hub

At his current post, in Italy, he contributes to studies focusing on the northern part of Africa. His studies also covered the influence of external actors in Africa. Before being posted in Naples,


he served in several positions in central services and Joint Staff Headquarters in the French Army. He attended a 2 years course at Inalco (National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilisations). In 2004, he graduated from Grenoble Management Business School where he obtained a master’s degree in international business.