Business Development Director Middle East & Africa | Frost & Sullivan | South Africa

Experienced Commercial Director with a demonstrated history of advising and closing complex consulting research projects for global and regional clients. I possess over 25 years of strategic sales and marketing experience, enjoying leading global and regional teams to achieve set goals and aspirations. Through my last decade with Frost & Sullivan, I am the last years focusing on Digital Transformation that disrupt technologies and industries. With my deep ICT background and experience, I am a regular speaker on events to share our research insights and trends, as well as give time back to start up entrepreneurs as a mentor. I was born in Africa as Africa was born in me Kwame.


CEO | Joy Inc. | Nigeria

Chude Jideonwo is founder of Joy, Inc. (, a benefit corporation based in Miami, Florida and Lagos, Nigeria, which mainstreams the research and evidence on human flourishing and positive emotions to transform the culture and build a new generation focused on the greatest happiness for the greatest many. All of Joy, Inc.’s profits are invested in charities. He has been a Forbes 30 under 30 honouree, a CNBC Young Business Leader of the Year winner, and a World Fellow at Yale University. His writing and work have been featured on the BBC, CNN, the Guardian, Aljazeera, the Huffington Post and the Financial Times, and he is the author of two books, Are We The Turning Point Generation? and How to Win Elections in Africa: Parallels with Donald Trump. He also teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students at the Pan Atlantic University. A former board member at Microsoft 4Afrika, he now sits on the boards of RED, and the Oando Foundation. Before Joy, Inc., he led African media group, RED for 13 years achieving 100 percent team retention, a 94 percent trust rate and a 96 percent joy rate in his last year; and working on national elections and social movements in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Liberia. He writes a daily newsletter via and blogs about the future of his region on


Vice President |
Country Support | Delivery and Partnerships | Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) | Kenya

Vanessa Adams, Vice President Country Support and Delivery at AGRA, is a proven leader with strong private sector, investment facilitation and project management experience.

Ms. Adams has 25 years of progressive experience working in 42 countries, integrating over twelve agricultural and consumer goods value chains into regional and global markets. Previously, she served as Director of Strategic Partnerships for DAI. Prior to that, she worked in West Africa as the regional Export Business Development Director, Trade and Investment Director, and ultimately the Chief of Party (Regional Director) on the USAID West Africa Trade Hub program, Chief of Party in Ethiopia on the USAID flagship Agricultural Growth Program–Agribusiness and Market Development Program, and COP of the USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub, managing large multi-cultural teams and budgets.

She contributed to founding three pan-African nongovernmental organizations, including the African Cashew Alliance, Borderless Alliance, and Global Shea Alliance, as well as initiating the Women in Agribusiness Leadership Network in Ethiopia and has brokered numerous partnerships with African small and mid-size companies as well as Fortune 500 companies in win-win sustainable frameworks resulting in over half a billion dollars in exports from and investments in Africa.

Vanessa holds an executive MBA from INSEAD.


Team Leader & Investment Lead | Sustainable Urban Economic Development Programme | Kenya

Duncan has more than 20 years of senior management experience in leading large-scale investment, small and medium sized enterprise (SME) support and infrastructure projects across Kenya.


Provincial Manager for Retail Relationship Banking | Small Business and Professional Banking | Gauteng North | South Africa

Regina is based in the Gauteng Province and her business unit services Sandton and North regions.

Regina has a degree in International Banking from University of Pretoria and has successfully completed various courses in Strategic Leadership, Marketing and Finance. She has completed the Strategic Leadership in Women course. Regina holds various other qualifications relating to leadership, marketing, public relations and financials. She is a member of the Business Women’s Association.

Besides having personal experience in the Franchise business she holds over 20 years of experience with small business covering all sectors. She is specialised and is qualified in Small Business Management/Mentorship and training. She has also been very instrumental in taking SME Incubation to all the Townships in South Africa.

Regina is also an Accredited Professional and Business Coach/Mentor and is registered with ICF (International Coaching Federation).


Executive Director | AWAN Afrika

After a 20-year career in poverty alleviation and integrated development with various United Nations and other development organizations, Ms. Gakuba returned to her native Rwanda in 2004 where she started one of Rwanda’s most thriving businesses.

She has been hailed by international leaders as an example of the potential success of entrepreneurship in economically revitalizing economies in African countries.

Beatrice Gakuba is a successful entrepreneur and a senior adviser in entrepreneurship and social transformation. She works with various institutions as a Judge for business innovations and awards (UNCTAD EMPRETEC 2016), among others.


Founder/CEO | Boldly Digital
| Former Cluster President, Gulf Countries & Pakistan | Schneider Electric | UAE

Hanan Darwish is the Cluster President of Gulf Countries & Pakistan at Schneider Electric where she oversees all of the company’s business operations within the region. Hanan Darwish brings outstanding leadership credentials with more than 17 years of experience in Schneider Electric. Prior to her appointment, Hanan DARWISH was Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Human Resources for Energy Business in Schneider Electric; her scope covered over 29,000 employees worldwide. She was managing HR Business transformation and change management to support the Group’s profitable Growth ambition while implementing best-in-class and Innovative solutions. Prior to this role, Hanan was Vice President HR for North America where she was based in Chicago. In that role, she played a key role in driving Schneider Electric’s organizational effectiveness priorities within US, Mexico and Canada through reinforcing leadership development and succession planning, learning, career development, workforce management and Executive recruitment functions. Previously, she led Human Resources for Schneider Electric France from mid-2008 to early 2012 covering a scope of 22,000 employees, where she was responsible of diversified and mutual functions in parallel as Diversity, Health and Social Strategy. She also managed global Transformation Plan for French territory level by developing existing competencies to match future organization needs. Hanan also held executive positions within Learning and Development program of Schneider Electric University. Earlier in her career, Hanan had also served as HR Director for other Schneider Electric regions covering North East Africa as well as Gulf Countries. Hanan started her career with PROCTER & GAMBLE for 7 years in several business roles as Marketing, Customer Business Development and Organization Development.


Founder & Chairman | Argon Financial Group | South Africa

Mothobi Seseli is the Executive Deputy Chairman & Founder of Argon Asset Management (Pty) Ltd as well as a Fellow at the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (IoDSA)

His experience is broad and includes economic research, investment analysis and investment marketing, employee benefit plans, trustee training and post graduate economics lecturing. His trustee training experience was gained over 3.5 years within his own firm, this having been his first foray into the world of entrepreneurship. It was during the same period that he also acquired experience as an independent retirement fund trustee. Since co-founding an asset management business, his experience is considerably deeper across most business aspects – general management, business strategy, finance, marketing, human capital management & operations management. In addition he has strong interpersonal and communication skills.

Mothobi is a specialist in the Investment / Asset management industry, pension funds, investment opportunities, entrepreneurship.