Africa has come to be indentified as a mobile continent with innovative technology that is not only addressing the continent’s problems, but the world’s. BBC, CNN and Forbes have dubbed Africa the next ICT frontier. But what does this mean?In the 21st century, technology has become a tool integrating Africa into the global economy. Thus technology has an important role in transforming Africa and fostering its growth and development.
In this panel, technology experts will wrestle with the question on how technological innovation can be fully spurred and harnessed across the continent.
Focus of Discussion:
Chidi is the co-founder of The Core, an Atlanta based technology venture studio. A self-described “digital insurgent”, Chidi Afulezi is a digital change agent who has been instrumental in the development and operations of new digital businesses for some of the biggest companies in the US. A product executive with a background in Electrical Engineering, Chidi’s career has been diverse in the digital world, starting as one of the wireless engineers responsible for AT&T’s first wireless network in the DC-Baltimore market; leading digital business development at Sony Music, and as a new product executive with stints at Time Warner Cable and Turner Broadcasting, where he most recently served as Product Director, Mobile and Connected Devices.
Chidi is a graduate of New York University with dual degrees in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering. He also holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from NYU’s Stern School of Business. He is a member of calibr (an affiliate of the Executive Leadership Council), the National Association of Minorities in Communications (NAMIC), and in his spare time is a tech startup advisor, and an avid long distance road biker.
Betty Enyonam Kumahor is the Regional Managing Director of Pan-Africa for ThoughtWorks, a global IT consulting firm. Enyo joined ThoughtWorks from Ernst & Young where she led the led Ernst & Young’s Service Delivery Technology function for their Global Advisory practice deploying technology solutions across the 140+ countries where Ernst & Young operates. Enyo also expanded their IT and Program Advisory Services practices for Ernst & Young in West Africa, building a multi-million dollar practice providing program advisory, IT audit, IT risk management, IT transformation and outsourcing advisory services to clients spanning multiple industries including telecommunications, financial services, as well as government and public sector.
Enyo has spoken, and continues to speak, on technology and telecommunications in Africa in several venues including the University of Ghana 2013 Convocation Speaker, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) Connecting Rural Communities (CRC), Chatham House, ISACA, Outsourcing Summits, Ernst & Young Global NextGen Kickoff program, Zonta Women’s Career Advice Fair for 400+ young secondary school girls, WOWe, and more.
Enyo chairs the Woman 2.1 Summit Advisory Board and the Ghana Women in IT organizations. She has been profiled in numerous programs such as on Ghana Broadcasting Corporation’s UniqFM StandOut program, and in Ernst & Young’s next generation leadership program (Global NextGen), and in a book titled Upcoming Women Leaders in Ghana (to be published).
Chika is founder/managing partner of L5Lab, the tech-focused venture firm responsible for incubating Jobberman ( West Africa’s top jobs portal) and Cheki.com.ng ( Nigeria’s top cars portal).
Before L5, Chika played a pioneering role in the mobile content industry in Nigeria as co-founder and CEO of MTech PLC. Chika was also a founding director of Wireless Application Service Providers Association of Nigeria (WASPAN) and has also led consulting engagements for Ford Foundation and IFC on mobile money and micropayments technology in Nigeria.
Chika graduated as an Honors scholar from East Tennessee State University, USA with a BA in Economics and a B.Sc. in Computer Science. He has taken courses in Strategy (INSEAD), Corporate Finance (INSEAD), Financial Accounting (INSEAD), HR Strategy (Tsinghua University China), Supply Chain (Tsinghua) and Agile Software Methodology (Oxford University).
Chika has served as a Mentor for Fate Foundation Aspiring Entrepreneurs Program and as a judge for LEAP Africa’s Youth Leadership Awards and the Federal Government YOUWIN business plan competition.
Mrs. Hussainatu Blake Mumford is Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Focal Point Global, a nonprofit organization empowering disadvantaged youth to tackle community issues through global education and innovative technology. Since the organization’s launch in 2010, Hussainatu, along with her sister, developed and organized the U.S.-Namibia HIV/AIDS Education Initiative and the US-Cameroon Anti-Child Trafficking project, both interactive teleconferences between nearly 50 US, Namibian, and Cameroonian students to discuss actions to reduce HIV/AIDS and child trafficking in their respective communities.
Hussainatu began working with African immigrants while living in Germany, where she assisted the NAACP with educating Africans about their legal rights and available health resources. She also worked for World Relief in Maryland, where she assisted African immigrants, particularly teenagers, with legal issues. In addition, Hussainatu worked for the United Nations (UN) affiliate, International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Counter-Trafficking Department in South Africa, where she aided African immigrants who were trafficked throughout the African continent. She has written about slavery and racial discrimination in Africa for International Affairs Forum, a publication of the Center for International Relations in Washington, DC.
Most recently, Hussainatu and her sister were 2013 TEDxEmory Speakers and were awarded 2013 Tufts University Young Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2012, Hussainatu was named 2012 White House Champions of Change and featured as 2012 AfroElle Magazine 35 under 35. She sits on the International Advisory Board Members for the Global Education Conference and the United Nations Association of Greater Atlanta Board.
Hussainatu earned her Bachelors Degree from Tufts University in International Relations and German Studies and earned her Masters Degree in International Policy Studies from Middlebury College’s Monterey Institute of International Studies. She has a law degree from John Marshall Law School in Atlanta. She was born in Limbe, Cameroon and raised in Baltimore, Maryland.
Jake Bright is a consultant, producer, and writer, publishing as a contributing editor and independently. He is a Whitehead Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association and contributing editor a Bloomberg, where he covers economics, finance, and emerging markets. Mr. Bright is also active in driving thought leadership programming as a producer, moderator, and speaker in various forums.
Jake maintains a research and writing focus on finance and business in Sub-Saharan Africa. He is a frequent commentator on African business to media outlets such as Bloomberg News. He co-produces “The New Business of Africa” series at the Foreign Policy Association, which has included partners IBM, CNN, Newsweek, PwC, the Carlyle Group, and Blackstone. Mr. Bright has completed feature interviews on Africa’s transformation story with leading figures Dambisa Moyo, Rosa Whitaker, Tony Elumelu, and Bob Collymore. His Africa reporting includes features in Newsweek, The Daily Beast, Bloomberg’s proprietary Brief, The Atlantic’s Quartz, and The Financial Times and has received “Best Business Column” distinction by The Week magazine. Jake has worked in Africa in several capacities and traveled extensively on the continent. He has published and spoken on Africa’s new tech movement. Bright’s first book on the story of Sub-Saharan Africa’s increasing global influence and rise as the world’s next growth market is in production.
Prior to his current activities, Mr. Bright spent 10 years in international finance as an officer at The Bank of New York Mellon. Before that he served in the Clinton administration in The Department of Commerce and on White House staff as a speechwriter and chief aid to senior international economic advisers. This included work and travel in Africa.
Mr. Bright earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations with a certificate in African Studies from Michigan State University, where he graduated with honors. He also attended Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, attaining a Master of International Affairs degree concentrated in international economics.