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Ajijti Jihane

Head of Projects and Development, OCP SA, Morocco

Jihane Ajijti works for OCP SA as the head of project and development for Southern Africa. She is a graduate of HEC Paris (Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales) and a candidate of Africa Business school executive master’s in business administration partnership with Columbia Business school. 

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She started her career in market finance as an assistant in sales for BNP Paribas Arbitrage in Paris, where she worked on structured products for major European institutions. Thereafter, she has joined Oliver Wyman, an international corporate strategy consulting firm where she had over five years of experience, mostly based in Paris. She has worked for several large-scale projects in various industries, among others waste and water management, consumer goods, transport and telecommunication, retail, and leisure industry. She has specialized in global transformation plans with a focus on value sourcing, organization redesign and operational optimization. Ajijti joined the OCP Group in December 2014, as a project manager within the Strategy and Corporate Development team before being appointed as head of projects of development for Southern Africa within the newly created subsidiary OCP Africa. She manages partnerships and development projects that aim at improving the ecosystem around smallholder farmers, particularly through offering a wider range of agro-services. Jihane is currently based in Casablanca.

Akinkugbe Rolake

Head, Energy and Natural Resources, FBN Capital

Rolake Akinkugbe is an expert on global and African energy and natural resources, and has been a regular reviewer of global headlines on BBC World News TV since 2012.

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She leads energy and natural resource origination and manages key sector relationships for Lagos-based FBN Capital, part of West Africa’s largest banking group, FBN Holdings. In May 2015, she was named Africa’s Best Oil and Gas Analyst by the Energy & Corporate Africa organization. Akinkugbe has worked for the private and public sector and is a member of the board of directors of the Business Council for Africa. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the London School of Economics.

Akugri Foster Awintiti

President Founder, Hacklab Foundation (Ghana)

Foster Awintiti Akugri heads a non-profit organization, focused on preparing the youth for future jobs. Impacting over 3000 youth since its inception and through its partnership with IBM, Hacklab Foundation hopes to reach over 100,000 youth by 2021.

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He is currently the Manager for the Stanbic Bank Incubator (Ghana), an subsidiary of the Standard Bank Group. He was the youngest participant at the World Economic Forum (WEF)  48th Annual Meeting, Davos, Switzerland in 2018. He serves as a member of the Malaika Coalition, a committee mandated by the Africa Regional Strategy Group of the WEF to work on the Africa 4.0 Initiative. He also serves on the Expert Network for the Africa Growth Platform launched by the WEF during the 2019 Africa Meeting in Cape Town to support entrepreneurship in Africa. He serves as chairman of the board for the Africa Digital Awards. He was listed among 30 under 30 Future of Ghana Pioneers Class of 2019.

Akunyili-Parr Chidiogo

Founder, She ROARs (Nigeria)

She ROARs is empowering female leaders across Africa. Having lived and worked across 5 continents, Chidiogo speaks 7 languages (Chinese, English, French, German, Igbo, Italian and Spanish). She is a World Economic Forum Global Leadership Fellow; and Associate Fellow of Nigerian Leadership Initiative.

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She has been named among the « 100 most inspiring women in Nigeria » by The Guardian ; « 100 most influential Young Africans» by Africa Youth Awards ; « 100 most Influential Nigerians » by Avance Media ; and « Young Professional of the Year » by Future Awards Africa. She completed her M.A in International Relations & Economics at SAIS Johns Hopkins 2012.

Akunyili-Parr Chidiogo

This young woman comes across as a striking beauty, body and soul. Born and raised in Enugu, Nigeria, she shines. She’s not only a voice for others, but first and foremost her own person.

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She founded She ROARs in 2016, a platform dedicated to unleash the potential of young female leaders in Africa and the diaspora. It really took off after an important gathering of more than 300 African women in August 2017 in Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania. The “Women Advancing Africa” conference was organized by the Graça Machel Trust, named after the former First Lady of Mozambique and widow of Nelson Mandela. “ I was invited as one of the core moderators to anchor the event, Chidiogo Akunyili remembers. I thought it was a shame to come all this way and not take advantage of the capacity of so many women gathered in the same place, besides the regular talks. I thought : what if we did something different, something bolder ? We had a moment of 300 women sobbing after sharing some very personal stories, opening up to different types of violence they had endured. The need to connect, take time to breathe and realize that you are not alone was overwhelming.” She was so inspired by the gap between that need and what a few organizations can do to support entrepreneurial women that she decided to take further her action. “There is no organization promoting wellness and the acknowledgement of pain – from sexual atrocities to pressures at work, from sexual abuses to struggling with a husband, or to have a husband.” The association works through coaching, workshops, seminars and conferences. With a light team of 5, three women in different areas in the world and two technicians in Casablanca, Morocco, helping with the online side of the activity, it has already reached 2000 women, mostly young professionnals aged 27-37. The seminars and one-to-one coaching sessions address the impact one can have, the relation between personal and professional life, vision and goal setting methods and work on leadership qualities. Her dream is to reach out to millions of women in Africa, North America and the Caribbean. The mission is not focused on therapy, but self development. « You can’t give what you don’t have, she says : your own strength, peace of mind, trust to your intuition and discernment. Young women are constantly shutting themselves down because they are told they’re not good enough ». After all, Chidiogo knows her subject inside out. Her late mother, the multi-awarded pharmacist Dora Akuniyli (1954-2014), is an icon in Nigeria. She was the uncompromising head of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control  (NAFDAC) between 2001 and 2008. As the Director-General of this regulatory agency, « she wouldn’t take bribes and did what no man could ever do : she changed the rules of the game for operators in the food and drugs industry in Nigeria ». Recipient of the Integrity Award of Transparency International in 2003 and named “One of the 18 heroes of our times” by Time Magazine in 2006, she was the Minister of Information and Communications from 2008 to 2010 in Nigeria. Chidiogo, who has five siblings, is currently writing a book about her, to inspire others. As for her own trajectory, it is already telling. She decided to study International Relations & Economics at SAIS, John Hopkins, and French. These two subjects were “broad enouth to figure out later” what her options could be. She was eager to understand the world and human interactions, and get the skills she felt insecure about not having. That’s why she chose International Relations instead of Law, recommended by her parents. But why French ? A big revenge on life: she had a negative experience with a French teacher who slapped her in class when she was 11. “I internalized the story I was not smart enough for French and put up a wall, thinking this is not for me. When I was 17, my sister had this crazy idea for me:  spend the summer learning French in Vichy. I was excited, and two months later I came back speaking French, because the teacher focused on me when I was crying in class, and I was living in a family whose children didn’t speak English.” She  spent a year in Germany and learned the language, and then moved to China, where she worked on her undergraduate piece on China and Africa. She came back speaking Chinese, which she believes is an “important language to understand, so that colonization doesn’t happen again”. Now aware of her gift at learning languages, she went for a year to Bologna, Italy, for her Masters, and then to Mexico for six weeks, adding Italian and Spanish to her skills. She has already been named among the “100 most inspiring women in Nigeria” by The Guardian, an aknowledgment of her commitment towards the African woman’s cause. She is also World Economic Forum Global Leadership Fellow, and an Associate Fellow of the Nigerian Leadership Initiative. Now based in Canada, she travels a lot and keeps going to Nigeria. When asked about her home town, Enugu, located in a region formerly known as Biafra, she immediately answers: “We never talk about the impact of the Biafra war, that killed 2 millions people between 1967 and 1970. A lot of the challenges in Nigeria have their roots in this unadressed aftermath of the civil war”. One more good reason to work on the rise of strong women “not allowing anyone to tell them who they are”. Chidiogo Akunyili is convinced that female leaders have the ability to change the world.

Akwa Obed

Commandant and Executive Director, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre

Major General Obed Akwa joined the Ghana Army in 1977 and has served as a brigade commander and the Ghanaian contingent commander with the United Nations mission in DR Congo; commander of the Ghana Military Academy, and was a military assistant to the president of Ghana/commander-in-chief of the Ghana Armed Forces.

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He has had extensive experience in peacekeeping operations, having served as a deputy commanding officer with the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia, a military observer with the UN Iraq–Kuwait Observation Mission, personnel officer with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, and platoon commander with UN Emergency Force II. He was also a member of the UN Military Liaison Team deployed to prepare grounds for the insertion of the UN Protection Force into former Yugoslavia in 1992.

Akwa Obed

Commandant and Executive Director, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre

Major General Obed Akwa joined the Ghana Army in 1977 and has served as a brigade commander and the Ghanaian contingent commander with the United Nations mission in DR Congo; commander of the Ghana Military Academy, and was a military assistant to the president of Ghana/commander-in-chief of the Ghana Armed Forces.

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He has had extensive experience in peacekeeping operations, having served as a deputy commanding officer with the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia, a military observer with the UN Iraq–Kuwait Observation Mission, personnel officer with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, and platoon commander with UN Emergency Force II. He was also a member of the UN Military Liaison Team deployed to prepare grounds for the insertion of the UN Protection Force into former Yugoslavia in 1992.

AlAhwal Tarek Ahmed

Urban Program Director, Megawra, Egypt

Ahmed AlAhwal Tarek is an architect with academic and professional experience in urban development. 

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He has worked on designing and implementing projects related to open space rehabilitation, sustainable urban systems, and urban governance. He is a Cairo University graduate and currently works as coordinator of the Urban Program in Megawra, a part of the Athar Lina initiative, which aims at using heritage as a driver for development through citizen participation and regarding monuments as an unextractable part of the city’s physical and intangible heritage. The initiative works in partnership with the ministry of antiquities and Cairo governorate and is currently operating in several areas in Cairo as well as partnering in projects in other Egyptian cities.

Alaoui Abdelmalek

Executive President, AMIE Center for Policy

Abdelmalek Alaoui is an author and founder of Global Intelligence Partners and also the executive president of AMIE Center for Policy, a Moroccan think tank.

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Global Intelligence Partners is a leading African consulting firm, specialized in business intelligence, strategic insight monitoring, and crisis communication. Mr. Alaoui is an editorialist and political analyst for French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur and a regular contributor to Slate, The Huffington Post, and Atlantico. As a business intelligence specialist, he is recognized for his significant contribution in enhancing Morocco’s strategic watch capabilities and competitive skills, especially with regards to its African economic strategy. Mr. Alaoui received his master’s in business administration from the HEC Business School and studied public policy at Sciences Po Paris. He is the author of the acclaimed book “Intelligence economique et guerres secretes au Maroc. ”

Alaoui Abdelmalek

Abdelmalek Alaoui, Founder, Global Intelligence Partners

Abdelmalek Alaoui is an editorialist, author and founder of Global Intelligence Partners, a pan-African consultancy firm specialized in strategic analysis and business intelligence. He is also the executive president of the Moroccan think tank AMIE Center for Policy.

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Alaoui is a political analyst for French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur and a contributor to Forbes on U.S policy, North Africa, and international relations. His books include Intelligence economique et guerres secretes au Maroc (Alphée Editions, Paris), Une ambition Marocaine, des experts analysent la decennie 1999-2009 (Alphée Editions, Paris), Le Maghreb dans les relations internationales (CNRS Editions, IFRI, Paris 2011), and Le Maroc stratégique (Descartes Editions, Paris, 2013). He has a master’s in business administration from HEC Business School and is also a graduate in public policy from Sciences Po Paris.

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