Pierre Guislain, Vice-President, Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialisation AfDB Group

Pierre Guislain, a Belgian national, joined the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group in December 2016.As vice-president of the AfDB, his areas of responsibility include the financial sector, trade, urban development and information and communication technologies.

Previously, Mr Guislain held the position of senior director in charge of transport and information & communication technologies at the World Bank. He also served as director of the World Bank’s investment climate department, a joint grouping of the bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, and as co-director at the IFC for fragile and conflict affected countries.

Mr Guislain is an author and editor of publications on private sector development, foreign direct investment, ICT, infrastructure reform and privatisation. He holds a master's degree in economics and public policy from Princeton University (USA), as well as a graduate degree in law from the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium). 


Mohammed Dewij, CEO of MeTL 

Mohammed Dewji is a businessman, entrepreneur, philanthropist and former politician. As president and CEO of MeTL, a Tanzanian conglomerate founded by his father in the 1970s, Mr Dewji grew revenues from $30 million to over $1.5 billion between 1999 and 2015. The MeTL group invests in numerous sectors including manufacturing, agriculture, finance, mobile communications, insurance, real estate and transport. With businesses in 11 countries, and over 28,000 employees, MeTL’s operations contribute around 3.5% to Tanzania’s GDP.

From 2005 he served as member of Parliament for his home-town Singida, but resigned from politics in 2015. Two years earlier, he became the first Tanzanian billionaire to appear on the cover of Forbes magazine, which in early 2017 named him the 16th richest person in Africa, with a net worth of $1.25 billion.

Aside from his successful business ventures, he established the Mo Dewji Foundation in 2014 to help improve the well being of his country’s people through various projects focused on education, healthcare, and community development.

Most recently Mr Dewji joined the Giving Pledge, an initiative of investment guru Warren Buffett and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The initiative aims to address society's ills by inviting the world's wealthiest individuals and families to commit over half of their wealth to philanthropy. Mr Dewji is the first Tanzanian, and one of a few Africans, to join this grouping of 150-plus billionaires that includes people like Gates, Buffet and Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg.


Hussein Alfa ‘Seyni’ Nafo, Chair of the African Group of Negotiators, UNFCCC

Hussein Alfa ‘Seyni’ Nafo is special advisor to the president of Mali, and the country’s ambassador for climate change. Mr Nafo holds numerous environmental roles aimed at strengthening Africa’s institutions, and its responses to climate change, within a global context. To name a few, he is chairman of the African Group of Negotiators, which represents 54 countries at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and was recently elected as vice-president of the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties (COP). He is also is co-chair, and one of two African representatives, on the convention’s standing committee on finance.

Mr Nafo’s commitment to addressing climate change is reflected in his involvement in numerous high-level projects. One important contribution is his work on tabling the African Group proposal to the UNFCCC that initiated the establishment of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI). He is currently co-leader of the initiative, as well as head of the support unit to Guinea’s president, and African Union coordinator for renewable energies. In 2009, Mr Nafo co-founded Interface Africa, a firm focused on project development and financial engineering.


Roberto Ridolfi  - Director, European Commission for Sustainable Growth and Development

Roberto Ridolfi is Director for Sustainable Growth and Development at DG Development and Cooperation – Europe Aid. As ambassador and Twice Ambassador/h Head of a delegation to the European Union, Mr Ridolfi was first in Suva where he served in Suva, Fiji, from 2005 to 2007, where he. There he oversaw all the relations of the European Union with 15 countries and territories, as well as with the Pacific Forum.

Later, in 2011, he was appointed in Uganda by Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy & Vice-President of the European Commission, where he HRVP C. Ashton where he served  until September 2013. In the interim period, between in a role , during his duty as head of unit of Europe Aid F3, he managed programmes dealing with the Environment, Food security, migration and asylum, as well as the €1 billion  One-Billion-Euro Food Facility in 50 countries. Mr Ridolfi joined the  European Commission in 1994, and took up duty taking responsibility in the European Delegation to Malawi as infrastructure and development advisor dealing with infrastructure, transport and health.


Saadia Madsbjerg, Managing Director, The Rockefeller Foundation 

Saadia Madsbjerg joined the Rockefeller Foundation in 2013, and now leads its work on innovation. Her responsibilities include shaping and scaling innovative finance solutions and raising private sector investment capital for the social sector. Before joining the foundation, Ms Madsbjerg was senior vice-president for strategic planning at the New York City Economic Development Corporation. There she led a portfolio of transformative projects focused on creating more equitable and resilient growth for the city. Other roles include heading up strategy and analytics at Cisco’s TelePresence Technology Group, and associate principal at McKinsey & Company. Ms Madsbjerg has a Master of Science in Applied Economics and Finance from Copenhagen Business School, and George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Science in International Business from Copenhagen Business School and Boston College. 


Chris Clubb, Managing Director, Convergence

Chris Clubb has 20-plus years experience in financing development projects in over 50 emerging and frontier markets. Prior to joining Convergence, he led the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) activities in early transition countries, increasing its annual investments five-fold to become their largest investor. In partnership with over 20 donors, he also innovated and implemented many of EBRD’s blended finance programmes – including the leading local currency programme for SME finance and development. 

Prior to joining EBRD, Mr Clubb held numerous financing roles. At European Investment Bank, he provided long-term financing to strategic European infrastructure projects and at Export Development Canada (EDC), cross-border financing to international buyers. His career began in corporate banking at Toronto Dominion Bank, and he has held senior strategic risk management positions at EBRD and EDC.


Ana Hajduka, Founder & CEO, Africa GreenCo

Ana Hajduka is an infrastructure and energy professional with over 12 years experience working on projects in emerging markets on transactions that include project finance, public-private partnerships and project development. 

Previously, Ms Hajduka practiced law for 10-plus years, having qualified in England and Wales and the State of New York. She completely her training with Allen & Overy LLP and subsequently worked for Fulbright & Jaworski LLP and Trinity International LLP, advising on a diverse range of projects within the energy sector, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. In March 2015, she was appointed by the UN Economic Commission for Europe as a project team leader responsible for 30 specialists in charge of developing standards in international renewable energy for public private partnerships. 


Pierre Gattaz, Président MEDEF - French Business Confederation

French businessman Pierre Gattaz was elected president of MEDEF, the Movement of the Enterprises of France in July 2013. At the same time, he became first statutory vice-president of the Comité France Chine, an organisation which aims to promote knowledge and understanding between French and Chinese companies and China’s government. He has been chairman of electronics manufacturer Radiall since 1994, and is an entrepreneur committed to defending and promoting early stage businesses.

As head of MEDEF, Mr Gattaz’s top priority is creating employment by giving companies the means and conditions to be competitive in a safe environment – the only way to restore growth needed for economic recovery.

Previous roles have included managing directorships at Fontaine Électronique, Convergie and Radiall, and he has held the title of president at several organisations - namely the Professional Association for Electronic Components and Systems, the Federation of Electrical, Electronic and Communication Industries and the Industrial Federations Group.

He graduated in engineering from Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications de Bretagne and holds a certificate in administrative management from George Washington University.

Mr Gattaz is the author of Le printemps des Magiciens (Magicians’ Spring, 2009), Les 7 piliers de la Croissance  (The 7 Pillars of Growth 2013), and Français, bougeons nous! (Let’s Move, France! 2014), all published by Nouveau Monde. In addition, in April 2016, his reflections Faire gagner la France à horizon 2020 and La France de tous les possibles appeared in the édition Débats publics. A married father of four, Mr Gattaz is Knight of the Legion of Honor and Officer of the National Order of Merit.


Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings

Tony Elumelu is an economist, investor and philanthropist. He chairs privately held investment firm Heirs Holdings and Nigeria’s largest quoted conglomerate Transcorp. Mr Elumelu invests across Africa, primarily in the oil & gas, financial services, hospitality and power sectors. His investments are informed by his philosophy of Africapitalism - the belief that the private sector can lead Africa’s economic renaissance and that investment should create both economic prosperity and social wealth.

Mr Elumelu sits on several global public and social sector boards including the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL)  initiative and USAID’s Private Capital Group Partners Forum (PCG). He is chairman of leading pan-African financial services group, the United Bank for Africa (UBA), which has a presence in 19 African countries, and offices in Paris, London and New York.  In addition, he founded the Tony Elumelu Foundation, which has seeded $100 million through the  Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme, to champion entrepreneurship across Africa over the next 10 years.

Among his numerous roles, Mr Elumelu serves as co-chair of the Aspen Institute Strategy Group on Global Food Security, sits on the Global Advisory Board of the Washington DC based think tank, the Wilson Centre, and is a member of the Global Advisory Council of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Centre for Public Leadership. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum community of chairmen.


Rebecca Stromeyer, Founder of eLearning Africa

Rebecca Stromeyer is director of ICWE , an international events and communications company. She is also co-founder and co-owner of ICEF, the global leader in international student recruitment and travel for education workshops. Ms Stromeyer grew up in an international environment and is multilingual. Born in Kuwait, she spent her formative years in different countries in the Middle East, going on to study Slavonic Studies, Comparative Literature, Business Administration and Media Studies in Berlin, Moscow and the UK. Against this backdrop, she launched her successful exhibition series on languages and multiculturalism, which have been organised in European cities including Berlin, Budapest, London, Warsaw, Moscow and Prague since 1988.

As an organiser of global education events in all parts of the world, she co-launched the Online Educa conference series in Berlin in 1995. This annual event is now regarded as an important networking event on the calendar of the international e-learning industry. In 2000, the event was launched in Madrid, to include the Spanish-speaking e-learning community.

Ms Stromeyer’s project, eLearning Africa, responds to the need for ICT-supported learning in Africa. The annual international conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training was first held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2006, and later held in cities including Nairobi, Accra, Dakar, Lusaka and Windhoek. It is attended by over 1,700 delegates from all sectors, and ministers from many African nations.

Ms Stromeyer is founding director of E-Cubed Communications, an agency for international communications, marketing and public affairs. She is an advisory member to law firm ELIG and vice-chair of the board of the Global Business School Network. In addition, she is chairperson of East Trust, a non-profit organisation that aims to make a lasting positive impact on education in Africa and a board member of the Drucker Society.



More speakers: 


Akinwumi Adesina,

President of the African Development Bank