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…

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…

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…

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 …

Ryley Iversion: CEO, Townfolio Canada

Ryley 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,…

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…

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

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…

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…

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…

Dr. Chidi Oguamanam: Faculty of Law, 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…

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…

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

Dr. 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…

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…

Dr. Sulley Gariba: Ghana’s High Commissioner to Canada

Dr. Sulley Gariba is Ghana’s High Commissioner to Canada. A policy analyst and evaluation specialist with nearly 30 years experience in the design and implementation of systems for social policy analysis, monitoring and evaluation of poverty reduction and development effectiveness, Dr. Gariba is a leader in the international evaluation movement, having been founding President of…

His Excellency Simon Constant Horace: Ambassador of Madagascar to Canada

His Excellency Simon Horace is the Ambassador of Madagascar to Canada. He is also the current Dean of the African Group of Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Chargés d’Affaires.

Derek Kopke: Executive Vice President, DataWind

Derek Kopke is Executive Vice President of International Business Development at DataWind. Derek is responsible for expanding the distribution of DataWind tablets and smartphones globally as well as managing business development and operator partnerships. Prior to DataWind, Derek founded and managed his own sales representation firm and worked in the video game and consumer electronics…

Francis Dorsemaine: Eastern and Southern Africa Division, Global Affairs Canada

Francis Dorsemaine is Deputy Director, Eastern and Southern Africa Division with Global Affairs Canada. In this role, he manages bilateral commercial relations with 23 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. Prior to that, he managed the Trade Commissioner team in Eastern Africa located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Nairobi, Kenya; Kigali, Rwanda; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;…

Steven Tipman: Executive Director, Trade Facilitation Office Canada

With over 20 years of senior leadership experience in both the private and the non-profit sectors, Mr. Tipman has spent much of his career working in the areas of international trade and development. Steve spent eight years working at Livingston International, a trade services company focused on customs brokerage and compliance.  More recently he has…

George Reninger: Vice-Chairman, African Chamber of Commerce, Utah, USA

George Reninger approaches business with an integrated history in the areas of Marketing, Sales, and Information Technology Management having held various Executive positions. Currently focused on International Microbusiness development (iMicroBusiness.com) and in association with the Max International Corporation (Max.com) as one of their top independant “Crown” distribution agents, having achieved Million Dollar Circle status. Mr.…

His Excellency Perry Calderwood: Canadian High Commissioner in Nigeria

Ambassador Perry Calderwood pursued his Bachelor of Arts in Soviet and Eastern European Studies at Carleton University and received his Master’s in International Affairs. Ambassador Calderwood’s diplomatic appointments include serving as High Commissioner in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Permanent Observer to the Economic Community of West African States, with concurrent accreditation as Ambassador…

His Excellency Riadh Essid: Ambassador of Tunisia to Canada

Ambassador Riadh Essid attended Institut Bourguiba des Langues Vivantes and graduated in 1983 with a Master of Translation in Arabic, English and Spanish (Constitutional, International & Administrative Law, Economy, International Relations ). He has worked in various capacities over the years including as Secretary of Foreign Affairs with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; First Secretary…

Bruce Shapiro: President, Canada-Africa Chamber of Business

Bruce Shapiro is President of the Canada-Africa Chamber of Business. He is also President of A.P.O.C. Inc., a management consulting practice, which provides business development and business acceleration services both in Canada and internationally across a diverse set of industry sectors. Bruce has worked in senior executive positions with some of the largest retailers, real…

Prof. Jane Onsongo: Deputy Head of Mission, Kenya

Ambassador Jane Kerubo Onsongo was appointed to the post of Deputy Head of Mission, Kenya Mission, Ottawa, Canada with effect from July 2015. Before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in the Government of the Republic of Kenya, she served as a commissioner with the Ethics and Anticorruption Commission in Nairobi, Kenya…

Major-General David Fraser: Director, INKAS Armored Vehicle

Major-General David Fraser, a decorated and experienced retired Canadian Army has extensive operational experience having commanded Canadian and international soldiers in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Cyprus and all over the world. In addition, he has extensive staff and planning skills with the Canadian Forces, United States, NATO and other government departments. Major-General Fraser is a very well-known…

Dr. Stephen McGurk: Vice President, International Development Research

A trained economist and Sinologist, Dr. Stephen McGurk has spent more than three decades studying Asia’s rural development. Prior to being Vice-President, McGurk was the Director of IDRC’s Agriculture and Environment program. This program is dedicated to supporting research that seeks to increase agricultural productivity as well as food and water security while ensuring environmental sustainability.…

Pierre Pyun: Vice President, Bombardier

As vice president of government affairs, Pierre Pyun leads government relations activities in Canada for Bombardier Inc., Bombardier Aerospace, and Bombardier Transportation. A lawyer by training, Pyun has significant background in international trade, having served with the Canadian federal government since 1998. Most recently, he managed sector practices and developed and implemented global commercial strategies…

Ms. Shawna Pachal: Senior Managing Director, Manitoba Hydro International

Shawna has worked at Manitoba Hydro for 30 years. Presently, Shawna is the Senior Managing Director of Manitoba Hydro International (MHI).  MHI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Manitoba Hydro, Canada’s fourth largest electric and gas utility. MHI provides consulting, training and management services to project developers/owners, electric and gas utilities and governments world-wide. Prior…

Nick Mulder: Senior Associate, Global Public Affairs

Throughout an exceptional 30-year career in the public service, Nick Mulder served as the Economic Advisor to the Premier of New Brunswick and as the Deputy Minister of various federal departments including Transport Canada, Environment Canada, Employment and Immigration, and Supply and Services. Prior to joining Global Public Affairs, Mr. Mulder served as President of Stentor Telecom…

As part of the strategy to identify, explore and share emerging trends, best practices and transformational ideas that are reshaping world markets, we invite from time to time, heads of government, Ministers, senior government officials, CEOs, senior business leaders, leading academics, industry experts and other thought leaders from different parts of the globe to share their views on trending issues.