The Annual GEIA Economic Summit is the Institute’s flagship event. This is a red carpet event attended by senior government officials, senior business leaders, leading academics, industry experts and other international trade and development dignitaries from different parts of the globe. The 2017 Summit is being organized in partnership with three principal organizations: (i) Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) (ii) Nigerian Economic Summit Group and (iii) Centre for International Governance Innovation.



Plenary Session I: ICT, FinTech and Africa’s Economic Future

Summary: African countries have strong unmet ICT needs for education, energy, finance, health, industry, transportation and other domains. Some of these sectors serve domestic needs; others serve exports. Countries on the continent have an extraordinary opportunity to evolve/build and implement an ICT strategy to serve these needs. For instance, financial innovation continues to reshape and improve finance by cutting costs and expanding access to financial services. The traditional digital path for many developed economies and regions has been to use legacy software platforms and engage large programming teams for software development. In addition to affordability limitations, this approach creates an unhealthy and unsustainable long-term dependency on the software platforms and the global commercial-corporate interests that promote them. Technology remains key in boosting Africa’s intra-regional trade and fostering regional integration.

Plenary Session II: Intra-African Trade, FDI and Regional Integration

Summary: Compared to regions like Europe and North America, Africa’s performance on the intra-regional trade metric is poor. This poses a substantial challenge for development. The case for economic integration and increased intra-African trade has never been stronger. Extensive literature abounds on the impact of trade facilitation on trade flows. Inefficient or completely absent regional payment systems impede cross-border trade; economists generally model frictions that impede trade flows as trade costs. In addition to discussing the potential impacts of technological innovation on intra-African trade, this plenary session examines the following issues: trade information networks, trade facilitation (including trade finance and payment systems), technology infrastructure, rural communities, access to new technologies, and trade policies (including non-tariff and regulatory barriers).

Plenary Session III: Data, Investment Promotion and Economic Development

Summary: Concerns abound about Africa’s future economic growth prospects due to China’s economic slowdown and the commodity super-cycle downswing, among other things. The global economy is more interconnected than ever; the dynamic forces of globalization are creating new challenges and opportunities. In order to achieve sustainable and profitable growth, business leaders and policymakers constantly explore cross-border partnerships for investments. The stakes are high. Globalism works, but economic developers continue to develop regional strategies. Innovation and entrepreneurship are vital for job creation and economic development; empirical evidence shows that new jobs and innovation come mostly from start-ups and small businesses. This plenary will explore new growth channels, start-up ecosystem models, and strategies communities use to create differentiation and bolster support for industry expansion.


Ambassador Christopher Thornley: High Commissioner of Canada in Nigeria

A native of British Columbia, Canada’s most western province, Christopher Thornley grew up in the Rocky Mountains. His scenic hometown of Golden is surrounded by spectacular national parks and is known for world-class alpine skiing. A graduate of the University of Victoria and Dalhousie University where he received a Master of Public Administration degree, he began his career with the Province of Nova Scotia in the field of international market development. Mr. Thornley subsequently joined the Canadian Foreign Service. His first posting was to Stockholm followed by an assignment to the Consulate General of Canada in Boston, U.S.A. From 1999 to 2002, he headed the Consulate General of Canada in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He was Ambassador of Canada to the Republic of the Philippines from 2010 to 2013 and High Commissioner to Ghana with concurrent accreditation to Togo and Sierra Leone from 2013-2016. At Headquarters in Ottawa, he has served in numerous assignments, including as Deputy Director responsible for bilateral relations with India, Director of the Southeast Asia and Pacific Division and Director of Foreign Service Assignments. He has also served as a Director and Acting Director General in the Markets and Industry Services Branch of the Canadian Department of Agriculture. He was appointed High Commissioner for Canada to the Republic of Nigeria with concurrent accreditation to Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tomé and Principé on August 11, 2016. Mr. Thornley is married to Catherine Thornley who is also a Canadian public servant. They have two sons.


Dr. Isaias Barreto da Rosa: Commissioner for Telecommunications and Information Technologies, ECOWAS

barreto2Dr. Isaias Barreto da Rosa concluded his post-doc at the Tallinn University, Estonia, addressing the issue of enabling mobile access to digital libraries in digital divide environments. He holds an Advanced Studies Diploma and a PhD degree (Hons) in Education and Human Development (University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain), a Master degree in Management Development (Euro-Arab Management School, Granada, Spain), and a licentiate degree in Computer Science (Faculty of Science, University of Lisbon, Portugal). Dr. Isaias Barreto da Rosa is a Cisco Academy instructor by the University of Central England, United Kingdom and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa. Prior to joining the ECOWAS he worked as Software developer at the Center for the Study of Information Problems at the Portuguese Catholic University, Portugal; researcher and lecturer at Tallinn University, Estonia; professor at Jean Piaget University of Cape Verde for 13 years, where he also assumed several other responsibilities such as head of the unit (department) of science and technology, Director of the Technological Division; Director of the Digital Education Lab, Cisco Academy Manager, Microsoft IT Academy Manager, etc. Dr. Barreto da Rosa has several research papers published in journals and proceedings of international conferences.


Dr. Alison Gillwald: Executive Director, Research ICT Africa

Dr. Alison Gillwald is the Executive Director of Research ICT Africa (RIA) an African digital policy and regulatory think-tank that works across 20 African countries. As adjunct- professor at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Development, Policy and Practice she supervises doctoral students undertaking transdisciplinary research in digital governance, policy and regulation. A former regulator she was appointed to the founding Council of the South African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (SATRA) in 1997, having headed the policy department at the first broadcasting regulator, the Independent Broadcasting Authority established in 1994. She was appointed chairperson of the South African National Digital Migration Advisory Body in 2001; the board of the public broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation in 2004; and as deputy-chairperson of the National Broadband Advisory Council 2014.She also served on the first ITU Gender Task Force in 1999 and to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) President’s Strategy Panel on Multistakeholder Innovation 2013. She has provided technical assistance to African policy makers, regulators through RIA and multilateral agencies such as the International Telecommunications Union, the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation, the World Bank and the African Development Bank. She has provided expert assistance to the South African Presidency, the Competition Commission and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa and undertaken capacity building across Africa and in Asia and Latin America. See for publications.


Dr. Fred Olayele: President, Global Economic Institute, Ottawa

 A respected economist in Canada, and abroad, Dr. Olayele facilitates applied research and public-private dialogue on a wide range of public policy and commercial issues. His diverse career spans banking, government, management consulting and academia. A senior expert on a number of Canadian federal/provincial/territorial working groups, he has used the gravity model, input-output model, computable general equilibrium model and other proprietary economic impact modeling software to analyze a wide range of policy initiatives. An avid international trade and development enthusiast, much of his work examines the complex intersection of economics, strategy and public policy. An Adjunct Professor with the Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Dr. Olayele teaches International Business, Managerial Economics and Corporate Strategy in the MBA program. Currently a Visiting Scholar at the World Trade Institute, Switzerland, his academic research interests span trade policy, energy & climate policy, economic development, innovation economics, strategic management, international development and political economy. He has taught several applied and theoretical economics classes at the University of Regina. A certified Project Management Professional (PMP), he has led various initiatives for the Canadian Provincial Governments of British Columbia and Saskatchewan in the Energy, Economic Development, Strategy, Competitiveness and Economic Analysis areas. Prior to that, he was a professional banker with the Global Trade Division of Citibank Nigeria. Dr. Olayele has presented on trending economic policy and business issues at major conferences, with active engagement on the international speaking circuit. He earned his PhD in Economics from Lancaster University, United Kingdom; a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Victoria, Canada; and a First Class B.Sc. Honours in Economics from the University of Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria, where he won the University Prize for the best overall performance. Dr. Olayele sits on a number of boards. He is a director on the board of Ottawa-based Canada-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the editorial advisory board of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group. He is Associate Director, Centre for African Research and Business at Carleton University.



Dorothy Gordon: Director-General, Advanced Information Technology Institute, Ghana

Dorothy K. Gordon is a specialist in technology for development. She has over two decades of leadership in diverse projects and programmes to support Africa’s move from technology consumption to creating technology designed to meet the continents needs. She provides consulting and advisory services to government, private sector, and civil society. The focus of her work from capacity development; digital inclusion projects; innovation (including support to technology start-ups, digital content creation, copyright and intellectual property); gender and IT, and cyber-security. Her work as a specialist in international development spans over 30 years with increasing leadership and management responsibilities. Her extensive experience within the United Nations is complemented by work in the private sector and with civil society organisations globally. She served as the founding Director-General of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT from 2003-2016 and currently serves as an Associate Fellow with Chatham House.  She is actively involved at Board and advisory level in a number of global organisations working on defining our digital future. These include the World Summit Awards, Creative Commons,   Global Commission on Internet Governance etc. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Cyber Policy as well as the International Journal of Gender Science and Technology. The present direction of her work relates to how best ICT can be ‘owned’ by developing countries. Capacity-building must set a sound foundation for innovation and cutting-edge research both to improve overall competitiveness as well as identify solutions for survival. She holds degrees from the University of Ghana and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) of the University of Sussex, UK.


Prof. Pat Utomi: Founder, Centre for Values in Leadership

Prof. Pat Utomi is a management expert and one of Nigeria’s prominent thought leaders. A fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria and founding Senior Faculty of the Lagos Business School-Pan Atlantic University, he was Director of The Centre For Applied Economics at the Lagos Business School. He has served in senior positions in government, as an Adviser to the President of Nigeria; in the Private Sector, as Chief Operating Officer for Volkswagen of Nigeria, and in academia. He is the author of several Management and Public Policy books including the award-winning Managing Uncertainty: Competition and Strategy in Emerging Economies (1998) and Why Nations are Poor (2006). Prof. Utomi is a professor of the Social and Political Economy Environment of Business and the pioneer Entrepreneurship expert at the Lagos Business School. He has been a scholar-in-residence at Harvard Business School and the American University in Washington D.C. He is also a visiting scholar at John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. His academic background covers a range of subject areas from Policy Economics and Political Science to Business Administration and Mass Communication. In addition to his globally recognized academic leadership, Utomi has founded or co-founded companies that are active in sectors such as finance, ICT, media and agriculture. He has served on key private sector associations, including the Lagos Chamber of Commerce, the National Council of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, and the Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association. He remains a highly visible leader in Nigeria, and in 2009, was recognized as one of the country’s Top 10 Living Legends. Prof. Utomi has also founded a number of key social enterprise initiatives such as the Centre for Values in Leadership, The Widow Support Centre and the Concerned Professionals. He is active on the international speaking circuit, especially on the subjects of growth economics, comparative development economics, leadership, the curse of oil and China’s economic surge and growing influence in Africa. He is widely travelled through all the continents of the world and has been to over 80 countries. Prof. Utomi earned his PhD from Bloomington, United States. He has passionately pursued the advancement of a transparent and accountable government in Nigeria. He was candidate for President of Nigeria in 2007 and 2011.


Dr. Chidi Oguamanam: Professor, University of Ottawa

Dr. Chidi Oguamanam is currently a full professor at the University of Ottawa where he is affiliated with the Centre for Law, Technology and Society, the Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability and the international law group. His teaching and research are in the areas of contracts; Intellectual Property and Human Rights; Agricultural Knowledge Systems, Biodiversity, Food Security and Sustainability; and Legal Theory. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Oguamanam practised intellectual property and corporate law. He began his academic career, after his doctoral program from the University of British Columbia as a fellow of Canada Institutes of Health Research Program in Health Law and Ethics at Dalhousie University. He subsequently joined Dalhousie Law School (now Schulich School of Law) where he was the Director of the Law and Technology Institute. Dr. Oguamanam is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association and the Nova Scotia’s Barristers Society. In 2016, he was named into the Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Professor Oguamanam is a cofounder of the Pan-African Open African Innovation Research (Open AIR). He belongs to diverse international research and professional networks committed to building bridges and influencing policies across the south-south and north-south geopolitical spheres. He has diverse interdisciplinary research interests in the areas of global knowledge governance in general, especially as manifested in the dynamics of intellectual property and technology law with emphasis on biodiversity, biotechnology, including agricultural biotechnology. He identifies the policy and practical contexts for the exploration of the intersections of knowledge systems, particularly western science and the traditional knowledge of indigenous and local communities within the broader development discourse and paradigm. He is interested in the global institutional and regime dynamics for negotiating access and distributional challenges in regard to the optimization of benefits of innovation by stakeholders and the role of intellectual property in development. He is that author and co-author of several titles including: International Law and Indigenous Knowledge (University of Toronto, 2010); Intellectual Property in Global Governance (Routledge, 2012); Innovation and Intellectual Property: Collaborative Dynamics in Africa (University of Cape Town, 2014).


John G. Jung: Chairman, Intelligent Community Forum, New York

John G. Jung  is a professional, award-winning urban planner, urban designer, economic developer, author, visiting professor and global speaker on planning, development, urban design and economic development related issues, especially related to Smart Cities and Intelligent Communities. He is former President and CEO of several of Canada’s largest economic development organizations. John is
also a former urban planner and developer in many cities and advisor on urban development and economic development to global leaders around the world for over the past three decades. Recently John founded ICF Canada and acts as its inaugural Executive Director. John also heads a consulting rm called Smart2Intelligent (S2I Incorporated). He has created several collaborative networks, nationally and internationally as well as contributed to collaborative innovation ecosystems in several cities through his work with ICF and ICF Canada as well as through his professional organizations. John’s extensive global exposure leading hundreds of international delegations, writing and delivering keynote addresses, and evaluating cities globally on behalf of ICF have helped to raise awareness of the Intelligent Community movement and helped communities around the world to become better cities.


Dr. Ayo Teriba: CEO, Economic Associates, Lagos

TeribaDr. Ayo Teriba is the CEO of Economic Associates (EA) where he provides strategic direction for ongoing research and consulting on the outlook of the Nigerian economy, focusing on: global, national, regional, state, and sector issues. He was a Member of the National Economic Intelligence Committee (NEIC) from April 2009 to April 2012, where he conducted periodic reality checks on macroeconomic, fiscal and monetary developments in Nigeria. Ayo is well known for articulating his views on Nigeria’s economic policy imperatives through articles, interviews and comments in the mass media. Most notably, from 1996 to 1998, he spearheaded the advocacy for re-denomination of Naira notes and coins that led to the successful introduction of N100, N200, N500 and N1000 between December 1999 and October 2005. N50 note was the highest denomination prior to the policy advocacy. His current advocacy research is on what could be done to ensure democratic effectiveness in achieving desirable economic outcomes in Nigeria. Before becoming the CEO of EA in 2004, Ayo worked as Chief Economist and Member of Editorial Board at ThisDay Newspaper Group (2001-2004), Faculty Member at the Lagos Business School (1995-2001), Head of Research at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce (1993-1995), and Company Economist at UAC of Nigeria (1992-1993). He has served as Consultant to a long list of blue chip companies, Federal Ministry of Information, Senate Committee on Banking and Finance, several State Governments, DfID, USAID, World Bank, and was a Visiting Scholar to the IMF Research Department in Washington DC. He has received grants from Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation, and chaired the steering committee of the Money, Macroeconomic and Finance Research Group of the Money Market Association of Nigeria. He is a Council Member and Chair of the Economic and Statistics Committee of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and a Non-Executive Director of Greenwich Trust Group. His prolific research output has included a 400-page annual economic, fiscal and sectoral report on the 36 states & the FCT, plus numerous scholarly publications resulting from his doctoral thesis, research grants, policy advocacy, and consultancy projects. Some of these are available here. Ayo earned B.Sc. in Economics from the University of Ibadan with Sir James Robertson Prize and Medal, UAC Prize in Economics, and Economics Departmental Prize as the all-round best economics graduate in 1988, M. Sc. Economics from Ibadan in 1990, M. Phil. Economics of Developing Countries as a Cambridge-DfID Scholar at the University of Cambridge in 1992, and Ph.D. in Applied Econometrics and Monetary Economics from the University of Durham in 2003. He is also an Alumnus of the Lagos Business School (AMP 5).


Laoye Jaiyeola: Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Economic Summit Group

Laoye Jaiyeola is the current Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), a private sector led economic think tank and advocacy group in Nigeria.He started his career with the Apex bank (CBN, in 1979) as an OMO desk operator where he rendered his dedicated and meritorious services till he joined Kakawa Discount House Limited (now FBN Merchant Bank) in 1995. Through a journey of determination, focus, grace and strength, he developed himself technically and professionally through formal education and hands on training. An orator, executioner and a visionary, he held many offices during work.  His office credentials are listless, but worthy of note are his contributions to the Money Market Association of Nigeria (now Financial Markets Dealers Association) when he was the President between 2001 and 2003. Also, he has been an active member of The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN). He is a Fellow of the Institute, where he was entrusted with many responsibilities before he became the President and Chairman of Council in 2010. He has made significant contribution to Nigeria’s services sector, notably through his work during the development of Nigeria’s Financial Systems Strategy 2020 (FSS 2020) as well as during the development of Nigeria vision 2020. Kakawa Discount House Limited leveraged on his technical, managerial and leadership competences all through his career in the Organization. He is indeed a resourceful human capital that any Organization would desire, as he climbed the ladder from a Dealer to the Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer as well as served on the Board. He is a graduate of Economics from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and holds a master’s degree in Banking and Finance from University of Lagos. In addition to these academic qualifications he obtained an MBA from Bangor University in the United Kingdom. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accounts of Nigeria, Associate Chartered Institute of Bankers Scotland and Member, Instituted of Directors (MIoD). An Economist, Chartered Accountant and Treasurer par excellence, he has vast experience with international perspectives in financial and economic systems. He served in the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) as the Chairman of the Central Organizing Committee for the annual summit 14 as well as the Chairman of the Technical sub-committee for the annual NES 13. He continued to serve the NESG as a Board Member until his appointment as CEO of the Group. Other Boards on which he sits include Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC), Board of Trustees of Financial Markets Dealers Association and was a foundation Board member of FMDQ OTC Plc. He serves on various Board committees including the Board Credit Committee as well as well as Risk Management Audit Committee of AXA Mansard Insurance. He has attended conferences with world business leaders where ideas and directions were shared. He sits on the Board of different Organizations, and he is a member of reputable professional Institutes and Organizations. With over thirty years experience and proven achievements in the financial services industry, he is still committed to clear-cut and pragmatic leadership with a touch of innovation. He strongly believes in conceptualizing, planning, creating, leveraging, stabilizing and effective communication, as it applies, in all his endeavors. Importantly, he is given to community development services with deep commitment to youth empowerment. He displayed his commitment to mentoring and coaching the upcoming in his voluntary involvement with Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) where he served on the Board for many years and retired early this years after serving as the Chairman for four year.


Davie Lee: Co-founder, Townfolio

Davie is a data geek, python programmer, and tech entrepreneur. He currently runs a Govtech startup called Townfolio, a budget friendly community profile platform. Prior to that, he used to work as a Consultant for Enterprise Ireland, helping Irish businesses expand into the Canadian market, while also helping attract Canadian investment into Ireland. He holds degrees in engineering and economics. On his spare time, he enjoys cooking and playing video games.



Udo Okonjo: Chief Executive Officer, Fine & Country West Africa

Referred to widely as an astute real estate investor and trusted advisor to the top 1%, Udo Okonjo has had extensive experience negotiating and advising on multi-million dollar real estate transactions on behalf of clients, including Multinationals, Listed Corporates, Privately Held companies and High Net-worth Clientele. Udo is very passionate about real estate as a means of wealth creation and nation building and is convener of the annual Refined Investor Series to provide an accurate roadmap and insight on the Nigerian real estate market. Under her leadership, the West African office of Fine and Country a global network of real estate professionals and entrepreneurs has leaped to the top in the provision of cutting edge Real Estate services to leading real estate developers and institutional clients, with multiple local and international awards received over the years. She is an alumni of the Said Business School, Oxford Real Estate Programme, the Oxford University High Performance Leadership Programme and the Judge Business School, Cambridge University where she recently completed an executive management certificate focused on  Complex Negotiations, Ethics, Strategic Marketing and Branding over the course of 2 years. Udo was admitted to the Nigerian Bar Association and New York Bar in 1991 and 1994 respectively and pursued a successful legal career for more than a decade, in addition to having acted as Senior Special Adviser on Legal and Constitutional Matters to the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and being Partner at a leading local law firm, Templars Barristers & Solicitors. Having emerged best graduating female student at the Nigerian Law School, in 1991, she was awarded the prestigious British Chevening Scholarship to study at the University of London, Kings College School of Law, where she graduated with a Masters degree in Law (LLM) specializing in Corporate and Commercial Law. She also earned a certificate in Effective Real Estate Marketing from the National University of Singapore in conjunction with the Dubai Real Estate Institute amongst several real estate and executive courses at the Lagos Business School, Pan Atlantic University. Udo Maryanne Okonjo, a distinguished Chevening Scholar and member of the Oxford Real Estate Society is currently the Chief Executive Officer/Vice Chairman of Fine and Country West Africa. Her passion includes mentoring next generation champions to excel at all professional and entrepreneurial levels. 


Anriette Esterhuysen: Association for Progressive Communications, South Africa

Anriette Esterhuysen was the executive director of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), an international network of organizations working with Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) to support social justice and development. Prior to joining APC Esterhuysen was executive director of South African APC member SANGONeT, an Internet service provider and training institution for civil society, labour and community organizations. From 1987 to 1992, when she joined SANGONeT, she did information and communication work in development and human rights organizations in South Africa and Zimbabwe. During this period, and while she was at SANGONeT, Esterhuysen, with many others, helped establish email and Internet connectivity in Southern Africa. SANGONeT hosted a Fidonet hub that provided universities and nongovernmental organizations in, among other places, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, with email links to global networks as part of a collaboration between the APC and the United Nations Development Programme. She has served on the African Technical Advisory Committee of the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa’s African Information Society Initiative and was a member of the United Nations ICT Task Force from 2002 to 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Task Working Group on Financing Mechanisms, and the Commission for Science and Technology for Development Working Group on Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Improvements. She is currently a member of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group of the Internet Governance Forum and serves on the boards of Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative and Ungana-Afrika. Esterhuysen has published extensively on ICTs for development and social justice.


Kyari Bukar: Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group

Mr. Kyari Abba Bukar holds a B.Sc. degree in Physics from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria and an M.Sc. degree in Nuclear Engineering from Oregon State University, USA. He is an alumnus of Lagos Business School (LBS), Wharton Business School and Harvard Business School, USA. He is the current serving Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc, a role he assumed on September, 2011. Prior to joining CSCS, Bukar was the CEO of ValuCard Nigeria Plc (now Unified Payments Plc). His early career years were spent at Hewlett Packard, California, USA, where he grew through the ranks to become the World wide Technical Marketing programme Manager before moving back to Nigeria. On his return to Nigeria, Bukar joined FSB International(Now Fidelity Bank) and served in various roles including Executive Director, e-Banking and Information Technology and Operations. The Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit (NESG), Board Member, Credit Registry Services Plc and Member, board of trustees, Investment Protection Fund of the Nigerian Stock Exchange; Bukar holds requisite board, management and industry experience and expertise.

Demola Aladekomo: Chairman, Smartcity Resorts PLC, Nigeria

Demola established Chams immediately after his MBA program in 1985 with virtually no capital but a big dream. He went ahead to grow Chams from a private business to a multi-billion naira public quoted company listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Having successfully led the Chams dream to reality and built a lasting legacy, Demola retired as founding Managing Director of Chams in 2015 after 30 years. Demola showed a great entrepreneurial spirit early in life, which started with his coconut candy production and marketing in 1966-1968; photography business 1968- 1972; sports promotion 1974 – 1976; Taxi-cab operation 1976-1984; and novel poultry egg distribution 1982-1985. He was prefect at primary school, house captain in secondary school, College Challenge Winner for Western Region 1976, NTA National Mastermind Champion 1977- 1978, Literary and Debating president at A-levels, Club president at University. Evidently a resilient innovator and pioneer of many laudable innovations that have become key drivers of the Nigerian Economy, Demola pioneered electronic funds transfer which led to the emergence of the e-payment and smart card industry. He conceptualized and set up the Guinness World Record Certified ChamsCity in both Lagos and Abuja. Before ChamsCity, he built the biggest capacity ID card personalisation plant in the world in Abuja, which delivered 70 million Identity cards in 90 days for the Independent National Electoral Commission. He also led the Chams team to deliver on the first successful One million National ID Cards where foreign companies had failed for decades. More recently, Demola is championing the setup of Nigeria’s SmartCity Innovation Hub (similar to America’s Silicon Valley) in partnership with Lagos State and the Federal Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. His last major job at Chams PLC before retiring was the implementation of the Bank Verification Number project for the Central Bank of Nigeria, NIBSS and Nigerian banks. Sir Demola Aladekomo, a Knight of John Wesley, is married with four children and a granddaughter.


Dr. Andrew S. Nevin: Advisory Partner and Chief Economist, PwC Nigeria

Dr. Andrew S. Nevin is one of PwC’s leading global thinkers, working at the complex intersection of economics, strategy, and regulation. He has almost 30 years of professional experience as an Economist, Strategy Consultant, line manager, and private equity investor, and in his professional career has previously lived in Asia, North America, and Europe. He has been based in Lagos, Nigeria since early 2012. In Nigeria, Andrew now plays a role in creating a strong and vibrant economy and society in the world’s most dynamic continent. As FS Advisory Leader, Andrew has served numerous Nigerian banks across a range of strategy, technology, operational, and regulatory issues. In addition, he has done a number of engagements helping global companies in a range of industries look at their options for entering and expanding in Nigeria and Africa. As Chief Economist, he led the writing of PwC Nigeria’s White Papers: Impact of Corruption on the Nigerian Economy (Jan 2016, which showed that Nigeria’s GDP would be over $100Bn larger if it had the same level of corruption as Ghana) and Nigeria: Looking Beyond Oil (March 2016, which determined analytically which sectors would have the biggest impact overall on Nigeria’s development, with agriculture as the most important). In May 2015, he led the development of PwC’s paper on the impact of the oil price decline on Nigeria’s economy: What next for Nigeria’s economy? Navigating the rocky road ahead. He is also a frequent TV commentator on the Nigerian economy and contributor to the print media. His media appearances and writings can be seen on his economics website – In 2010, he conceived and led the creation of Project Blue, PwC’s most comprehensive Financial Services intellectual Thought Leadership, which introduced PwC to thinking about the key global megatrends. He has recently returned to become Global Leader of Project Blue, which is now focused on both envisioning but also shaping the Future of Financial Services. Before joining PwC, he spent 10 years living in China and was the President of United Family Hospitals (China’s pre-eminent international hospital chain) during the SARS crisis in 2003 through early 2005. Andrew started his career at McKinsey & Company, serving in the Toronto and Paris offices. He holds a PhD in Economics from Harvard University, an MA in Philosophy and Politics from Balliol College, Oxford University (where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar and scored 2 goals in the 100th anniversary Blues ice hockey match vs. Cambridge), and a BSc (Hon) in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. In April 2011, he was named Strategy Consultant of the Year for 2010by the Management Consultants Association in the UK. Andrew is a Canadian citizen.


Ryley Iversion: CEO, Townfolio Canada

Ryley_TownfolioRyley is the co-founder and CEO of Townfolio. Living across Western Canada, Ryley obtained a Bcomm from the University of Saskatchewan. He has spent the past five years working in start-ups, microfinance, providing consulting to hundreds of entrepreneurs and small businesses and now working with various levels of government. Ryley is passionate about community development, helping entrepreneurs and building entrepreneurial ecosystems.


Dr. Segun Aina: President, Fintech Association of Nigeria

Dr Segun Aina had extensive work experience in the financial services sector including his service as Executive Director, Technology and Operations of Ecobank and later Chief Executive Officer of a Bank reputed for its innovative Information Technology oriented services. He was President and Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), President West African Bankers Association Nigerian Chapter, a Member of the Canadian Council on Africa and the Toronto Board of Trade, in addition to other local, community, State, National and international leadership roles. Dr. Aina holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Master’s degree in Banking and Finance and fellowship of several globally recognized professional bodies including the London Institute of Banking and Finance. In addition, he attended executive programs in reputable business schools such as INSEAD, France and IMD Switzerland. Dr Aina played pioneering and incubation roles in Nigeria’s finTech ecosystem starting with his visionary role in creating and becoming the founding Chairman of Vatebra Ltd, a leading Nigerian FinTech with outreaches outside of Nigeria. He subsequently became the Pioneer Chairman of Splashers Technologies now member of Venture Garden Group, a finTech accelerator. Later he founded Fintech Associates Ltd, a financial and technology solutions provider which became a member of the Global Fintech Association, the first Nigerian organisation to become a member of that body. He initiated the promotion of Fintech Association of Nigeria with membership of the Global Fintech Hubs Federation. Dr Aina sits on many corporate Boards and has received several Awards and recognitions, including honorary doctorate degrees Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa from two Universities and Nigerian National Honours of Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR).


Folusho Phillips: Chairman & CEO, Phillips Consulting

Mr. Foluso Phillips is an accomplished management consultant and Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer of the Phillips Consulting Group with offices in Lagos and Abuja, and representation in Johannesburg, South Africa, since 1992.  Mr. Phillips is known within the industry for driving business results, delivery of exceptional product quality and service, and prudent management of people, technology and processes. He possesses over 40 years of global experience in financial, cost and business management; industrial operations management; human resource management; business process and human capital outsourcing, information technology systems implementation, and business management consulting. Mr. Phillips has played a great role for over 20 years, in promoting country and business-business engagements, encouraging and assisting companies to design market entry strategies to Nigeria and in facilitating trade.  He is a strong advocate for local content engagements with foreign firms and an adviser to many international companies operating locally in Nigeria.


Aarti Shah: Director, The Cobalt Partners

Aarti is currently responsible for The Cobalt Partners’ advisory business in several countries in Africa, engaging with clients on their strategies, workflows and technology. Throughout her career, Aarti has focused on helping clients define the problems they want to solve, particularly where disparate stakeholders are involved or earlier attempts have failed, and on bringing about  holistic, sustainable solution that encompasses people, processes and technology. She speaks on twenty-first century themes impacting governments and businesses. Aarti was Thomson Reuters Head of Government Relations for Africa from May 2013 to June 2016. She was responsible for the firm’s engagement with the public sector across the region, supporting its priorities in the areas of attracting investment, enabling trade, developing the financial sector, managing natural resources and public finances (reducing illicit financial flows, managing debt, increasing revenues), strengthening the rule of law and driving innovation. Prior to this, Aarti led the developed markets business for Thomson Reuters Global Growth Organisation, enabling the financial and professional services in industrialised economies to make investment, trading and advisory decisions on rapidly professionalising ones, and vice versa. She also hosted government and private sector delegations from China, Brazil, India and other growth markets in New York, London and continental Europe. From 2006 to 2011, Aarti managed Thomson Reuters strategic accounts business in South Asia, at a time when many global financial institutions were offshoring and/or outsourcing research, banking, valuations and other functions to India, and increasing their domestic presence in the region. Earlier, Aarti was global business development manager for one of Reuters largest Dutch-based clients, based in Amsterdam. Aarti was previously based in Nairobi as Reuters marketing manager for sub-Saharan Africa, and has held various business development and project management roles in London. She joined Reuters in 1992 with a degree in French and Computer Science from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.


Attendance is by invitation only. For more information, contact Ms. Meinna Gwet:

Note: Proposals to host the 2018 Annual GEIA Summit are now being accepted. Organizations interested in co-hosting the 2018 conference are invited to submit a proposal. With the exception of our home country, Canada, this can hold in any country. For more information on what is required, email: