2013 Speakers

Meet our Speakers

    Vera Kwakofi- Chair- Current Affairs Editor- BBC Africa
    Hello, I am Vera Kwakofi, BBC Africa Current Affairs Editor. I’m responsible for the teams that produce Focus on Africa (daily radio news and analysis programme), Africa Debate, African Perspective documentaries, the Africa Beats and African Dream television series as well as the African sport coverage.

    Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock- Space Scientist
    Hello, I am Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock. I studied at Imperial College where I obtained my degree in Physics and her PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Since then I spend time making novel, bespoke instrumentation in both the industrial and academic environments. Managing multidisciplinary teams, these instruments have ranged from hand held land mine detectors to an optical subsystems for the James Webb Space Telescope, (The JWST is a joint ESA/NASA venture due to replace the Hubble Space Telescope around 2018).

    Jamie Drummond-Executive Director at ONE
    Hello, I am Jamie Drummond. Co-founder of the global advocacy organisation ONE, which has offices in Europe, the US and Africa. Along with 3 million members and many influential advocates, ONE calls on governments to keep their promises to support the citizens of the world’s poorest countries, especially in Africa, in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. ONE promotes a package of policies including debt cancellation, trade, governance reform and transparency, with a focus on effective aid and investment for real and sustainable results.

    Mac-Jordan Degadjor-Social Media Strategist.
    Hello, I am Mac-Jordan Degadjor. An award winning Ghanaian Blogger / Social Media Strategist. A 2011 Knight Digital Media Fellow at the University of California Graduate School of Journalism and US State Department 2013 Internet Freedom Fellow from Ghana. I have travelled and worked in different parts of the world especially in San Francisco, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria and North Africa (Egypt and Tunisia). As a Youth Ambassador for Africa, I promote opportunities from the African continent. I believe in the African talent, human resources and potential. I am passionate in supporting and helping my fellow Africans.

    Peter Gerrard- Avanti Communications
    Hello, I am Peter Gerrard. I work for Avanti Communications in their consulting team, researching and developing solutions for both Avanti and external organisations wanting to use satellite. I have worked for many years developing products suited to international markets and in recent years has focussed on telecommunication solutions for Africa. My knowledge and experience extends from the technicalities of electronics and telecommunications through to the business planning and commercial exploitation especially in Business to Business and wholesale markets. We are proud to Sponsor Africa Gathering.

    Yemi Adamolekun- Executive Director Enough is Enough Nigeria
    Hello, I am Yemi Adamolekun. I currently serves as the Executive Director of Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE), a coalition of individuals and youth-led organizations committed to instituting a culture of good governance and public accountability in Nigeria through advocacy, activism and the mobilization of the youth population as responsible citizens.
    I studied at the University of Lagos and have got degrees from the University of Virginia, the London School of Economics and Oxford Business School. I worked for over 15 years in the private and public sectors in the US and Nigeria.

    Edward Amartey-Tagoe
    Hello, I am Edward Amartey-Tagoe. After graduating from the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in Ghana, I co-founded Nandimobile, an Internet start-up funded by the Meltwater Foundation making waves in the Ghana startup space. Nandimobile in 2011, took part in the Launch Conference Launch pad pitch competition and won the Best Business Award, the first time an African tech company had achieved that height. My passion for entrepreneurship, youth empowerment and social media has led me to be a key part of capacity building events such as BarcampGhana, BlogCamp, TedxDzorwulu, TedxAccra, Apps4Africa and Computermania.

    Jamila Abass-Co-founder & CEO of MFarm Ltd- Akirachix- Kenya
    Hello, I am Jamila Abass from Kenya. Co-founder & CEO of MFarm Ltd. Prior to starting MFarm, I worked with Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI/University of Washington) as a Medical Records Systems developer. I has also served as the Business Development Manager of the Akirachix , an network for tech women in Kenya. I graduated from the University of Abdelmalek Essaadi in Morocco in 2009 with a BSc in Software Engineering.

    Rebecca Enonchong- Founder and CEO APPSTECH
    Hello,I am Rebecca Enonchong. Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AppsTech (www.appstech.com, a leading global provider of enterprise application solutions serving clients in more than 50 countries. I currently serves as a mentor/advisor to several Africa based technology startups and sits on the board of VC4Africa, the largest online community dedicated to entrepreneurs and investors building companies in Africa. I am also a director of the award winning Salesforce.com Foundation.
    Prior to founding AppsTech, I worked for organizations such as Oracle Corporation, the Inter-American Development Bank (IaDB) and as an independent consultant serving multinational clients.

    William Hoyle- Founder of Techfortrade
    Hello, I am William Hoyle. Founding CEO of techfortrade, a charity specifically focused on bridging the divide between emerging technology and international trade and economic development. Techfortrade was an angel investor in MFarm Kenya and more recently sponsored the 3D4D Challenge, an international competition to find transformational uses for 3D Printing technology that could deliver real social benefit in low income countries. Prior to techfortrade, I spent 7 years as Chief Executive of Charity Technology Trust (CTT); a UK based social enterprise. I am also the Chair of trustees of a London Youth Enterprise Charity and a board member of Warsaw based Fundacja TechSoup.

    Caroline Kende-Robb-Executive Director - Africa Progress Panel
    Hello, I am Caroline Kende-Robb. Executive Director of the Africa Progress Panel. Prior to joining the Africa Progress Panel, I worked at the World Bank for nine years as a senior manager and technical expert for the Sustainable Development Network in the regions of Africa, Europe and Central Asia, and East Asia. In that role, I led teams of technical experts to implement World Bank loans and grants for community driven projects, and to conducted policy research into complex global issues, including governance, conflict and fragility, climate change, social justice, and financial crises.

    Hannah Pool- Journalist/Author
    Hello, I am Hannah Pool. Journalist, author and commentator. I write regularly in the national and international media. I am an associate editor of ARISE magazine, a high-end global African fashion and lifestyle magazine. My work also appeared in The Guardian, The Times, Grazia and others. I curated talks and debates at Africa Utopia and WOW festivals at the Southbank centre. My book, My Fathers’ Daughter: A story of family and belonging is a memoir of her journey back to Eritrea to find my birth family was Published in the UK (Penguin), the US (Free Press), France, and Holland. The book was described by the Washington Post as “a significant and moving book.

    Ken Banks-Founder of kiwanja.net and FrontlineSMS
    Hello, I am Ken Banks, Founder of kiwanja.net and FrontlineSMS. I devote myself to the application of mobile technology for positive social and environmental change in the developing world. I have worked at the intersection of technology, anthropology, conservation and development for the past twenty years and, during that time, I lived and worked across the African continent. I am a Pop!Tech Fellow, a Tech Awards Laureate, an Ashoka Fellow and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and have been internationally recognised for my technology-based work. My latest project, Means of Exchange, is looking at how everyday technologies can be used to democratise opportunities for economic self-sufficiency, rebuild local community and promote a return to local resource use.

    Wayan Vota
    Hello, I am Wayan Vota. A technology specialist focused on using appropriate information and communication technologies (ICT) to accelerate the social and economic advancement of the developing world. I am currently the Communications Manager at Development Gateway, and the co-founder of Technology Salon, Kurante, ICTworks, Educational Technology Debate, and OLPC News. I’m a Tech Museum Laureate, GSBI Alumni, DevEx International Development Leader, and advise the World Bank, Souktel, and VSO International. I will be your MC this year at Africa Gathering.

    Tonisha Tagoe
    Hello, I am Tonisha Tagoe. Film, Television, and Live Events Producer at U Media
    Films, and Chair of Asantewaa – A charitable Trust which works to
    support the positive development of young African women aged 16- 25 on
    the African continent onto the Corporate platforms within their home
    countries. I recently completed my role as Head Of Film and Arts
    Accreditation at Kids Company – Urban Academy (Centre Of Excellence)
    from 2009 to Nov 2012, and currently working a Project Manager for TEDx
    Brixton 2013.

    Teddy Ruge
    Hello, I am Teddy Ruge. In 2007, I cofounded Project Diaspora, an online platform for mobilizing, engaging and motivating members of Africa Diaspora to engage in matters important to the continent’s development. I am a cofounder at Hive Colab, Uganda’s first technology incubator and co-working space. We provide a really cool co-working and incubation space in Kampala, Uganda. I started UMPG, ltd., an agricultural value-added exporter in my hometown of Masindi, Uganda. Why? Because farmers need better value addition.
    In 2011, I was awarded the White House Champion of Changeaward (very proud of this one!) for the work that I do to bring change to my East African community.

    Rolake Akinkugbe- Head of Energy and Oil & Gas Research -Ecobank Group
    Hello, I am Rolake Akinkugbe. I joined Ecobank in January 2011 and head the Energy and Oil & Gas Research Desk. I manage Ecobank’s research output across the oil and gas industry value chain, covering a wide range of energy products and industry players. I provide strong expert and advisory support to the investment banking (M&A), asset management, commodity & trade finance, project finance, and Group strategy teams in generating investment ideas and strategies for clients, as well as sourcing new deal opportunities in the industry across Ecobank’s footprint. My research interests include global energy, oil and gas markets and fundamentals, upstream E&P trends, LNG projects, petrochemicals, energy security, refined products, natural resources policy, and the role of emerging market players such as China in Africa’s natural resources sector. I am also the team leader for Ecobank’s market-entry advisory initiative, LocalKnowledgeAfrica™, which seeks to match investors with new acquisition opportunities across the bank’s pan-African network.

    Tony Burkson- Technology Analyst
    Hello, I am Tony Burkson, Technology Evangelist. I am also a consultant. I have been involved in organizing one of the biggest Africa focused technology conferences including the first m-health summit in Africa as well as BarCamp Africa-UK. My articles has appeared in the BBC, Guardian African Network, Africa on the Blog and many others.

    Loren Treisman
    Hello, I am Loren Treisman, Executive of Indigo Trust, a grant making foundation which supports technology-driven projects that bring about social change in Africa. I oversee a variety of development projects across Africa and regularly present at International Conferences for Indigo Trust. I hold a PhD from Cambridge University.

    Saul Parker- Girl Hub-Nike Foundation
    Hello, I am Saul Parker. An anthropologist by trade and have completed lots of formative research in African countries for commercial organisations such as Nokia, to help understand their audiences better and develop innovative products, as well working on a range of specific projects for the development sector, especially around behaviour change. I currently works for Girl Hub, a joint venture between the Nike Foundation and Department for International Development (DFID).

    During the two-days event speakers and thinkers will inspire delegates with in-depth panels, educational presentations and thought leadership roundtable sessions, which aim to develop and build relationships. By highlighting grassroots, emerging technologies, and solutions relevant to Africa, we always wish to offer a new perspective that will encourage active involvement from Africa-focused businesses, investors, partners and funders.

    You will have a chance to take peek at this year’s line-up and network with some remarkable and exceptional thinkers who cares deeply about Africa. Remember to get your ticket early, stake your claim on a place to meet and mingle with our network.

    Guests Highlight

    We are truly honoured to have sourced some amazing people for you including Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock (UK Leading woman Space Scientist) this year at Africa Gathering amongst other guests working tirelessly for Africa. We have few travelling from Africa too to come share ideas with you.
    Maggie has also set up her own company in Guildford Science Innovation Ltd. Through this Maggie conducts “Tours of the Universe” and other public engagement activities, these show school children and adults the wonders of space. To date she has given these talks to 120,000 people across the globe (100,000 of these have been school children in the UK) and recently produce a documentary through Science Innovation called “Space in the UK”, which features Maggie on a “Big Brother” spaceship on a journey to Mars. This is being distributed as a free DVD through schools and science festivals across the country. Please check Maggie being highlighted here

    Why should you come Friday and Saturday?

    LONDON SPECIAL EDITION – Hosted by the BBC Africa Team for the first time, Africa Gathering celebrates its fifth anniversary with a conference showcasing the role of African women in the technology sector in Africa, and ideas that have emerged in recent times across the continent, and to discuss some of the challenges still present around funding and investment.

    Also this year, through a special series of roundtables, we will highlight and debate the rise of women in technology across Africa.

    Africa Gathering 2013 will be a key event for women innovators and investors who want to discover and invest in African technology ecosystems.

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