Ms. Mary-Queenie Adam
Trends Research
Data-Driven: Unleashing Africa’s Economic Potential

Mary-Queenie Adam
Mary-Queenie Adam is currently the CEO and Co-Founder of Trends Research - a data intelligence platform that provides the data of the moment.
She transitioned from a career in law and private wealth banking to co-found her tech startup in Dubai's DIFC Innovation Hub. Her company has rapidly grown to 40 million users, innovating in the field of real-time business intelligence for brands in emerging markets. With a focus on substantial growth, Mary-Queenie leverages her diverse background to drive her company's expansion and redefine market intelligence across Africa and Middle East.

Mr Dave Coffey
Manufacturing in Africa

Dave Coffey
Dave Coffey who has spent most of his working career in the automotive industry graduated from the University of Natal in South Africa with a degree in B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering in 1984 and subsequently obtained an MBA from the University of Cape Town in 1992.

He is currently the CEO of the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM). He previously held senior positions within various automotive supplier companies including Dorbyl Automotive Technologies and Bel-Essex Engineering. Before taking up his position at AAAM he was the Managing Director of Shatterprufe, a manufacturer and distributer of automotive glass in South Africa.

Dave has also been active in various business organisations during his career, including being President of the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) twice, as well as being President of the Nelson Mandela Bay Chamber of Commerce.

Ms. Maureen Harrington
Standard Bank
Head: Client Coverage, Financial Institutions Group, U.S.A
Insurance Sector in Africa: Mitigating Commercial (Business) Risk

Maureen Harrington
Maureen Harrington is Head, Client Coverage, Financial Institutions for Standard Bank in the USA. Previously, she was responsible for building Standard Bank’s relationships with US and Canadian companies involved in power and infrastructure in Africa. She was Vice President for Policy and International Relations and Managing Director for Africa at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and earlier led the Massachusetts Trade Office and held positions with a non-profit involved in elections and democracy related work. Ms. Harrington is a graduate of Harvard Business School, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Board Member for the Election Reformers Network.

Dr Allan Pamba
Executive Vice President
High-Level Dialogue - Strengthening Health Systems in Africa

Allan Pamba
Dr. Allan Pamba – Executive Vice-President Diagnostics, Africa, Roche Diagnostics .Dr. Allan Pamba is the Executive Vice-President Diagnostics, Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya. Allan's role as a member of the Roche Diagnostics EMEA-LATAM leadership team is focused on driving Roche investments in Africa through engagement with national, regional and global stakeholders to drive access to quality diagnostics.  Allan has exceptional knowledge and experience in the multinational pharmaceutical industry as well as the hospital sector. He began his career with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as clinical leader and subsequently held several positions with increasing responsibility such as Director for Public Engagement & Emerging Markets Access Strategy, Vice President & General Manager East Africa and Head of Government Affairs Africa. Prior to joining Roche Diagnostics, he was the CEO of Nairobi Hospital. Allan has worked in the United Kingdom, the United States as well as in Kenya.  He holds a Bachelor of Medicine, a Bachelor of Surgery as well as a Master of Science on Public Health in Developing Countries.

Dr. Thierry Wandji
President and CEO
Unlocking Africa’s Digital Potential – Addressing Challenges and Expanding Opportunities
Insurance Sector in Africa: Mitigating Commercial (Business) Risk

Thierry Wandji
Dr. Thierry Wandji, Cybastion’s President and CEO, leads a dynamic team providing robust cybersecurity solutions. With over 15 years of expertise in software security and risk management, he specializes in developing solutions for both public and private sectors. Dr. Wandji's background includes academia, industry, and government roles, notably over a decade with the U.S. Navy and Naval Research Laboratory. He's known for designing critical cybersecurity solutions for Special Operations Teams and the Department of Defense. Additionally, he has contributed significantly to academia, serving in various roles and holding multiple degrees in Electrical Engineering, Cybersecurity, and Systems Engineering.

Mr. Aminu Umar-Sadiq
Nigeria Soverign Investment Authority
Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer
Aminu Umar-Sadiq
Aminu holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Engineering Sciences from the University of Oxford. He has extensive experience in the financial services sector spanning Public Finance Management, Mergers & Acquisitions, Private Equity, and Asset Management.

Prior to his appointment as MD & CEO, he served as the Executive Director responsible for all investment and portfolio management activities of the Nigeria Infrastructure Fund (NIF) where he led teams in originating, executing, and managing direct investments and private equity investments across the Healthcare, Agriculture, Power, Transportation, Gas-Based Industries and Technology sectors.

Aminu has antecedents at Morgan Stanley and Société Générale both in London as well as Denham Capital Management.

Ms. Chidi Blyden
Millennium Challenge Corporation
Deputy CEO
Women’s Economic Empowerment: Catalyst for Impactful U.S. - Africa Trade Investment and Business

Chidi Blyden is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). As Deputy CEO, Ms. Blyden supports the CEO in the daily management of the agency and delivering on MCC’s mission to reduce global poverty through economic growth. Before joining MCC, Ms. Blyden served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs, where she managed the Department of Defense’s (DOD) relationships with 53 African nations. She has held various roles, honing her policy, national security, and practitioner skills throughout her career in the government, academia, and non-profit sectors. Ms. Blyden is an expert and socio-cultural advisor on Africa’s conflicts, security, and development issues. Her work has focused on the impact of culture in developing policy and community-centric approaches to security challenges in African nations. She was the first Africa Director at the Center for Civilians in Conflict, where she led the design and implementation of culture-specific training for the Nigerian Armed Forces on civilian harm. Ms. Blyden has over 15 years of government service and served in the Obama Administration as a Special Assistant in DOD’s Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy - African Affairs and as the Africa Peacekeeping Advisor in DOD’s Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy - Stability and Humanitarian Affairs. She served as a Professional Staff Member in Congress on the House Armed Services Committee, advising on Africa and South America’s defense equities. She is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University in the Security Studies Program and is an alumnus of Texas A&M University and the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University.

Ms. Blyden is affiliated with the Leadership Council for Women in National Security and the Truman National Security Project and serves on the Leadership Council for Memunatu Magazine, a nonprofit that promotes literacy and leadership for teen girls in Africa and the diaspora.

Dr. Marit Yayehyirad Kitaw
African Minerals Development Center (AMDC) / African Union
Interim Director
Critical Minerals – The Crucial Components

Marit Yayehyirad Kitaw
Ms. Marit Kitaw, PhD  is  Interim Director of the African Minerals Development Center (AMDC), Specialized Agency of the African Union, dedicated to implementing the Africa Mining Vision (AMV). She has extensive experience as Chief Technical Advisor on Extractives Industries for Sustainable Development at UNDP Mozambique, as Economist leading the Minerals portfolio in UNECA, and in COMESA,  AfDB, and US’ Institute of World Affairs.  As AMDC’s founding staff, she contributed to major implementing tools on Africa’s minerals. She received a Ph.D in Economics from University of Nice/ Sophia-Antipolis in France, and an MBA in Leadership and Sustainabillity from the University of Cumbria, UK.

Mr. Tom Ara
DLA Piper LLP (US)
Partner, Global Co-Chair, Media, Sport & Entertainment
From Creative Industries to Sports: Financing the New Growth Sectors 

Tom Ara
Tom Ara is a leading legal and business advisor in Hollywood focusing on domestic and international media and entertainment transactions. He’s been recognized by Variety’s Top 500 list among influential global media leaders, alongside Oprah, Tom Hanks, and Disney CEO Bob Chapek, to name a few. Esteemed publications like Forbes, Hollywood Reporter and Chambers frequently acknowledge his industry leadership. News organizations, including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Financial Times and CGTN seek his insights. He serves on the Blackhouse Foundation Board, is a trustee of the US-Asia Institute, and is the Editor-in-Chief of LA Lawyer’s Entertainment Law Issue.

Mr. Denim Richards
Opulent Entertainment Group
Founder and CEO
African Diaspora: The X Factor
From Creative Industries to Sports: Financing the New Growth Sectors 

Denim Richards
Denim Richards has been performing for over two decades with over 40 credits spanning from theater, TV and film. He can currently be seen starring in the role of ‘Colby Mayfield’ opposite Kevin Costner in the hit Paramount Network series “Yellowstone” for the past five seasons, Which is cables #1 show in America and will be the #1 in the world by 2024 !

in 2020, he co-founded Khumo Studios the most popular studio in Botswana with two Batswana media professionals, Ona Ranyere and Kay Chapi positioning itself to become the premier entertainment, film and TV studio for Africa. Answering the call for unemployment while telling original African stories through the lens of the African people to be exported to the rest of the world.

Mrs. Akaego Okoye
African Business Stories LLC
Turbocharging SMEs: Strategies for Accelerating U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment

Akaego Okoye
Akaego is the Founder of African Business Stories LLC, a communications and media company focused on elevating and multiplying stories of business success in Africa. she is dual qualified lawyer with over 20 years of experience in business development and government engagement across Africa.

Akaego was Head Legal and Corporate Affair at EAN Aviation where she played a leading role in establishing the first private jet terminal and aircraft maintenance facility in Nigeria. Throughout her career, she has held various impactful leadership roles, from global law firm DLA Piper LLP to the leading US-Africa business association, Corporate Council on Africa.

Akaego serves on various boards, including 1952 Africa, advocating for African artists, art and culture. A qualified lawyer in the UK and Nigeria, she holds an LLB in Law from the University of Kent and an LLM in Law from University College London.

Mr. Yusuf Daya
Africa Export Import Bank
Director, AFCFTA/AU Relations and Trade Policy
Real World Suggestions about What Works under AGOA and How to Improve It

Yusuf Daya
Yusuf Daya is a South African national with over 20 years of experience in international trade and regional integration. He has been with the African Export Import Bank since 2015 and manages relations with the African Union and other trade development partners. He has extensive experience working with multilateral partners in support of economic development policy and has been actively involved in bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations.

He holds a Masters degree in Agricultural Economics and a Bachelor of Law degree in international law. He has spoken widely on trade development issues and published several articles on African trade and development issues in peer reviewed journals.

Mr Teslim Giwa
Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND)
Access to Energy Manager
Lighting the Path Forward: Scaling Energy Access Down to the Last Mile in Africa

Teslim Giwa
Teslim is a leading renewable energy professional with PIND, heading the $1.75 million Access-to-Energy program powering last-mile communities in the Niger Delta. As a sector leader, he champions commercial decentralized renewable energy projects for the benefit of fisherfolks, farmers, rural businesses, and underserved populations in the Niger Delta. His portfolio is central to productive-use-of-energy within rural communities. Teslim has mobilized over $1.3 million private sector investments for installation of community energy solutions across the region. His frontiers work includes an innovative "Energy Cabin" which has become an efficient access-to-energy technology and economic enabler for many off-grid communities in the Niger Delta.

Mr. Kofi Appenteng
The Africa-America Institute
President and CEO
The Business and Philanthropy Nexus: Driving Sustainable U.S.-Africa Partnerships

Kofi Appenteng
Kofi Appenteng is the President of the Africa-America Institute (AAI). Appenteng has 30 years of domestic and international experience as a corporate lawyer, investment banker and board director.

Appenteng serves on the Atlantic Institute Governing Board, the International Advisory Board of IE University, the Board of the Greentree Foundation and the Honorary Council of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). He serves as a senior advisor to The Rock Creek Group. He previously served as board chair of the Ford Foundation, the Community Service Society of New York and ICTJ. In recognition of his work in business and philanthropy, he was named a “Great American Immigrant” by the Carnegie Corporation in 2013.

Born in Ghana, Appenteng, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Wesleyan University and Juris Doctor from Columbia University. Appenteng then began his career as a corporate lawyer and, in 1994, became the first Black African to become a partner at a major New York City law firm.

Ms. Aline Varre
Niger Delta Partnership Initiative Foundation
Director of Strategy and Business Development
The Business and Philanthropy Nexus: Driving Sustainable U.S.-Africa Partnerships

Aline Varre

Ms. Alicia Phillips Mandaville
Millennium Challenge Corporation
Vice President for Policy & Evaluation
Cities – Delivering Now to and For the People of the Future

Ms michelle chivunga
Global Policy House
Unlocking Africa’s Digital Potential – Addressing Challenges and Expanding Opportunities

michelle chivunga
Michelle is a renowned global expert covering Emerging Technologies, Digital Assets including Central Bank Digital Currencies and Digital Trade( AfCFTA Digital Trade Expert) focusing on emerging markets especially Africa and the Middle East. She is globally recognized Blockchain/ Digital Transformation professional. She is also a Senior Government Advisor working with several governments and international groups including the Government of Bermuda, African Union, United Nations, AfCFTA, World Trade Organization, B20/ G20 group supporting development of large scale digital transformation and financing projects globally . Enriched with a 16 year rich career history in government policy, banking and technology, Michelle is well known for her work in Digital Transformation and Blockchain having engaged in the space since 2010. She has been recognized as Digital Transformation Woman of the Year 2022, Top 10 Woman in Blockchain in Africa and one of Top 40 Global Fintech4Good Fellows with the United Nations.

Michelle now runs and owns only black African female-led ESG focused FinTechs (Global Policy House -GPH), globally focused on the Digital Economy(AI, Blockchain, Data, Digital currency) and leading digital asset regulatory implementation across global markets. GPH is also ESG driven group focused on sustainable AI/ Blockchain and Data management solutions for emerging and commonwealth markets.