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Africa Business Safari: ECOWAS Speakers

An Association for African Owned Enterprises (UK) Event, Powered by Business in Africa Pays

Find out more information about the speakers at our Africa Business Safari: ECOWAS 2015

Our upcoming event the “Africa Business Safari: ECOWAS”, created by AAOE, sponsored by Business in Africa Pays and backed by the Official Currency Sponsor Halo Financial will be held at the House of Lords.

This is the first event of a series of 4 that will focus on different economic regions of Africa including ECOWAS, EAC, CEMAC and SADC.

Below you can see the biographies of the speakers at the Africa Business Safari: ECOWAS.


Lord Sheikh – Conservative Peer

Lord Sheikh, Conservative PeerLord Mohamed Sheikh was born in Kenya and brought up in Uganda. His parents originated from the sub-continent of India. Mohamed attended Government schools in Mbale (Uganda) where he attained the Cambridge Higher School Certificate.

On arrival in the United Kingdom, he started his insurance career by joining the Sun Alliance Insurance Company in London. He attended the City of London College and Holborn College where he completed the Associateship of The Chartered Insurance Institute and subsequently passed the Fellowship of The Chartered Insurance Institute. Later he also attained the Financial Planning Certificate.

Mohamed has been honoured by the presentation of several personal awards which have been given to him for his achievements, leadership, business and community work.

He has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate for Humanitarian work he undertakes.

He is the Chairman of companies which relate to Insurance, Financial Services and properties. He used to own a company which was awarded 12 major awards over a period of three years and this has not been achieved by any other organisation.

Mohamed was elevated to the House of Lords in 2006. He is an active Peer and speaks regularly in the House of Lords on a variety of subjects. He has travelled extensively overseas and visited a number of countries.

He has founded and funds a registered charity named after his father which has supported and continues to support various charitable causes worldwide and in fact has undertaken charity work on the ground.

To read his full biography click here.


Washington Kapapiro – Director, Association for African Owned Enterprises

Washington Kapapiro, Director, AAOEWashington Kapapiro is the Chairman of the Association for African Owned Enterprises (AAOE) UK. AAOE are the leading organisation representing professional and entrepreneurial Africans in the UK.

Founded in 2006, the AAOE has a reach of over 60 000 professionals, representing the over 5,5 million Africans in the UK.

Washington is also the CEO of Fingertip Global Corporation Limited – where he has assisted African companies raise project finance, trade commodities and transact forex deals.

Washington is the Director of Tsemah Capital – a private equity firm fundraising to invest across Africa. Washington also runs Fingertip Healthcare Solutions Ltd, a group of companies delivering healthcare solutions nationally in the UK.

Washington is a seasoned entrepreneur with a wealth of experience launching African companies and brands in the UK market.

Washington is also a member of the Institute of Directors. He sits on the SME Intermediaries Committee and advises the UK government on several key policy issues in business and enterprise.

Washington is also a respected business commentator and has made speaking appearance on several international television stations including the BBC.

Outside of work, Washington is a keen guitarist, aging sportsman and avid Manchester United supporter.

He completed his studies at Middlesex University, UK. Washington’s personal goal is to grow “Brand Africa” through facilitating the globalisation of African Enterprise.

Visit AAOE here.


Kofi Tettey Sedalo- Chief Executive Officer, SIMNET Ghana Limited

Kofi Tettey Sedalo, SIMNETKofi Tettey SEDALO Is the Principal of SIP Consult a firm specialized in software development, system integration and business process engineering but also Chief Executive Officer of SIMNET Ghana Limited a Secure Transaction Company with close 5,000 Online Point of Sales Terminals deployed in all 10 regions of Ghana.

SIMNET operates a state-of-the-art network backbone which enables its clients such as banks and the National Lottery Authority of Ghana have a real-time access to their numerous patrons in a secure, reliable and efficient manner.

Kofi has close to twenty years experience in Software Development, Systems Integration, Business Process Engineering and Project Management.

After earning a Bsc. in mathematics and physics in 1995 Kofi joined theSoftTribe a leading Software solutions provider in Africa where he worked for ten years as a software developer before moving into consulting.

Over the years he has acquired expertise developing software and providing technical project management services in both private and public sectors. His extensive consultancy experience covers industries such as Telecoms, Banking, Insurance, Mining, Manufacturing and Retail.

Kofi has a good knowledge of the West African Sub-region. With a fluency in English and French he has been able to build working relationships across various sectors in West Africa. He has applied his project management skills to deliver complex ICT projects for clients in Nigeria, Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire, Togo, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone as well as the ECOWAS Commission.


CHRIS POUNEY Msc. MCIPS – Partner, Nina & Pinta Ltd

Chris Pouney, Partner, Nina & PintaChris is known for being an industry leader that challenges the status quo. He is passionate about training the global markets in travel management excellence, especially the markets in the Middle East & Africa. When he is consulting, Chris can identify eloquent solutions to complicated issues and can communicate and articulate these solutions in a way that make sense to his audience.

Having worked with major blue chip international organizations managing travel for their local, regional and global programmes, Chris has a depth of understanding and flexibility that allows him to design and deliver projects that fulfill any key objective.

Chris began his career in a TMC working with organisations American Express and The Travel Company. Over an 11 year period Chris worked across various operational and management roles assuming responsibility for a significant number of blue chip clients such as, Rover Group, Marks & Spencer, PolyGram Records and the Pearson Group.

In 2003, Chris made the transition to the buyer side of the industry joining Citigroup as European Travel Manager and later Global Lead. Over a 7 year period, Chris went on to win numerous awards within the group for his innovative approach to service delivery and his relationship with his internal stakeholders.

Building on his success, Chris then began his career as an industry consultant. He has worked with numerous organisations in a Procurement capacity on International and diverse projects in scope and scale. From helping to consolidate the travel programmes and managing the RFP process through to compliance and service improvement, Chris’s in depth knowledge and expertise of both sides of the supply chain has proven an invaluable asset for his clients.

A frequent speaker and moderator at industry events, Chris has also written 2 white papers on emerging markets; the first in 2012 “Optimising Business Travel in the Middle East” in partnership with ACTE, followed in 2014 with “Understanding Business Travel in Sub Saharan Africa” in partnership with ABTA (African Business Travel Association.) Both papers were widely distributed within the travel industry with the goal of raising awareness and increasing collaboration and best practice.

With over 11 years experience within corporate travel procurement, Chris has recently completed his Masters degree in Strategic Procurement Management and achieved full member status of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (MCIPS).

Here’s what Chris had to say about the Africa Business Safari: ECOWAS

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Often misunderstood by the rest of the world, Africa contains a highly qualified, young and technologically literate employee base. In many ways Africa is ready to leapfrog other more established markets who are often hamstrung with legacy thinking and processes.

Africa represents a fabulous opportunity for businesses prepared to invest time and effort and its why we’ve made it such an important part of our business. This event is a chance to speak with like-minded leaders.

Visit Nina & Pinta here.


Estelle Mann, UK Soncap Coordinator, Intertek

Estelle Mann, IntertekEstelle has been dealing exclusively with the export market to Nigeria for the past 9 years and been solely responsible for coordinating the conformity export program for most of that time.

She has a lot of contact with government officials, exporters, retailers & manufacturers in respect of the African market and country requirements over the years and understand the issues they face.

Estelle has been supporting them to understand and comply with the necessary regulations, what standards are applicable for their products etc. She was originally asked to help with SONCAP when it was first introduced in 2005 and like it so much she has been dealing with it ever since.

Lateral thinking has helped her to resolve issues that might be stopping companies from exporting to Nigeria, thus growing their business. She has always seen her role as facilitating the necessary certification thus helping the process along not holding up any potential trade opportunities.

Business acumen gained while working in the banking sector has allowed her to question processes and guidelines which has resulted in money being saved and procedures being implemented both internally and externally.

Her customer service background has helped me build strong client relationships which have been instrumental in resolving issues and forming agreements with clients globally not just in the UK.

There isn’t much she does not know about exporting to Nigeria and the surrounding area.

Visit Intertek here.


Herman Chinery-Hesse – Director, theSOFTtribe

Herman Chinery-Hesse, theSOFTtribeHerman Kojo Chinery-Hesse has been listed as one of the top 100 global thinkers by the US based publication, Foreign Policy Magazine. He and his companies have won numerous awards and accolades including the GUBA award in the UK, the Ghana Millennium Excellence Awards for IT, the Ghana Club 100 Award for the most innovative company, the “SMS App of the year” award, the Mobile World Lifetime Achievement Award, Best Entrepreneur in Information and Communication Technology and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Texas State University, the first and currently only African recipient of the award.

In 1991, Herman co-founded theSOFTtribe Ltd, one of the leading software houses in Africa. In 2008, he also co-founded Black Star Line S.A. an e-commerce company behind the novel “Sundiata” payment platform, pioneering e-payments and e-commerce to millions of rural Africans. His newest innovation is the forthcoming e-commerce platform shopafrica53.com web mall. His companies have collaborated to develop a number of award winning products such as Hei Julo!!! a low cost, mobile based, mass market security alert system for Africa.

Herman has been a speaker at many prestigious institutions including Oxford University, Harvard Business School, Wharton Business School, Chatham House, CPH Conference, Tech4Africa etc.
He is a TED fellow and has been featured in the international media including CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera.
He was placed 17 on the list of 20 Notable Black Innovators in Technology. Herman has been listed as one of Africa’s Top 20 Tech Influences and also listed as one of 100 most influential Africans of our time.
He is also an assessor for the Commercial Courts of Ghana.
Herman has received numerous awards including the “Outstanding Ghanaian Professional” Award Winner, the GPA awards, UK, “Distinguished Alumnus Award” Winner, the Texas State Alumni Association and Texas State University-San Marcos, Texas (alma mater).
The first and currently only African recipient of the award.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Technology from Texas State University and is considered a giant in African technology and innovation.
INC magazine and other international publications have referred to him as “The Bill Gates of Africa.”

Visit theSOFTtribe here.


John Foster – Africa Editor, Debtwire

John Foster, DebtwireJohn Foster is Debtwire’s Africa Editor. He manages all the African DCM content for Debtwire, and leads a team of journalists in London and in Africa who cover both loans and bonds and sovereign and corporate issues continent-wide.

The team reports and tracks the primary bond issues of African-domiciled companies on the international and on the local currency markets of South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya and originates new debt deals on the continent.

Before joining Debtwire in May 2012, John launched and managed a weekly newspaper on Islamic finance, and managed publications in the MENA region on investment banking, private equity, venture capital, proprietary trading and asset management.

John started his journalism career at the Financial Times covering the UK retail asset management industry for one of the FT’s magazines for the intermediary community. Prior to this John worked in asset management in the City of London.

Visit Debtwire here.


Evans Amoah-Nyamekya – Chairman, Inspiration & Energy Ltd

Amoah-Nyamekya, Chairman, Inspiration & Energy LtdA recommended UK based practicing laywer at a leading legal 500 law practice in UK. High Court Advocate of the Supreme Court of England & Wales.

Appointed by the English Football Association (FA) as a Chairman panel members of the disciplinary panel dealing with anti-discrimination disciplinary matters.

Listed on the English Football Association’s list of intermediaries under The English Football Association Football Agents Regulations.

Chairman of Inspiration & Energy Ltd, an international strategic business investment management consultancy group. Over recent years Inspiration & Energy Ltd have introduced numerous of serious investment projects to Ghana.

Inspiration & Energy’s current partnership projects currently in Ghana are the world’s largest football business company Soccerex, Arsenal FC Brand Development & MACE construction.


Adeola Dosunmu – Head of Research, Private Equity Africa

Adeola Dosunmu - Head of Research, Private EquityAdeola oversees private equity research and analysis of private equity investment and fundraising for Private Equity Africa, a London-based financial publication that covers private equity fund and institutional investing in Africa.

Private Equity Africa is an independent information and thought-sharing industry utility through an online portal, monthly newsletter, quarterly print publication and events.

Prior to this Adeola worked as analyst in Thomson Reuters covering investment funds across Europe and He holds a Master’s degree in Finance and Investment from Queen Mary, University of London.

Click here to see Private Equity Africa‘s website.

Official Currency Sponsor of Africa Business Safari: ECOWAS

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