The Africa that is now being considered to be the ‘next frontier’, and whose opportunities are being compared to the initial stages of China’s economic growth is your Africa!
As students and professionals living in the US for the moment, there are often mixed feelings, fears and concerns, as well as excitement and optimism about making the move back to your Africa. What is it really like? Is it as good as they all say it is? Is the move back for everybody? Can’t I just stay here and send money?
This panel of experts who have all been in your shoes and made the choice to move back to Africa, will share their insights, tips, advice and perspectives on what it is REALLY like!
Named by Forbes as one of Africa’s top entrepreneurs under 30 and Business day 40 under 40, Adebola is one of the Tigers of this generation. Founding Partner at RED, owners of the Prestigious The Future Awards Africa which engages over 30,000,000 million young people yearly and dubbed as the Nobel Prize for Young African by the world Bank, leading PR and Digital marketing arm servicing clients like NLNG, BlackBerry, Ndani, Federal Ministries amongst others, Content arm that owns leading platforms like YNaija.com, Y! Magazine, Rubbin’Minds Live on channels TV amongst others. Adebola who became an entrepreneur at the age of 16 has gathered valuable experiences and skill, which has translated, into building platforms of Continental relevance and impact.
Adebola was selected as one of the Top 100 of Our Generation by Top 100 UK in 2007 and 2008 and was selected as a Global Change maker by the British Council in 2009, attending the Change makers Conference and World Economic Forum in Cape Town. In May 2010, he was invited as a youth expert by the Africa Union and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to work on the African Youth Charter for the decade of youth in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
He sits on the EIE Nigeria board as chairman, a member of the Human Capital Development Africa board, a member of the African Leadership Network amongst others. Adebola is an Alumnus of The London School of Journalism, Pan African University and London School of Marketing
‘Kunle Olaifa is a Human Resources Professional with broad expertise in Talent Management, Human Resource Management, Talent Sourcing and Development, Mentoring and Coaching, Employee Planning & Relations, Business and Project Management.
He is currently the Head of Human Resources of Samsung in West Africa. He was until recently the Talent Acquisition Leader for General Electric in Sub Sahara Africa where he leads General Electric’s quest to grow in Africa by using African Talent.
Prior to joining GE, he worked as a Senior Consultant with Adecco Nigeria – a subsidiary of Adecco SA. Adecco SA – a Forbes 500 company – with headquarters in Switzerland is the world largest HR solutions provider. In his role, Kunle interacted with the leaders of top organisations in Nigeria and West Africa whilst displaying exceptional expertise in servicing clients, business administration, and account management amongst other skills. As a consulting professional, he has provided advisory services to dozens of Multinationals, SMEs and several start-up firms across Africa.
‘Kunle holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. Over the years, Kunle has attended or facilitated management trainings across Africa, continental Europe and the UK including the mini-MBA Course (Venture in Management Programme) run by Lagos Business School as well as the Inter-Action Strategic Leaders Program of the British Council for selected young leaders across Africa amongst others. He is an alumnus of AIESEC – the world’s largest student run organization.
Matthew is the founder and CEO of Oasis Capital Ghana Limited. He has 15+ years investment banking experience, 7 years of which has been spent in private equity and growth capital industry. He leads the team on strategy, negotiations, fund raising, investor relations and support. Matthew was until the establishment of Oasis Capital Ghana, the Country General Manager and a board member of GroFin Ghana Limited. He was also a member of the Investment Committee of GroFin Africa Fund, a Mauritius based Pan-Africa SME fund and appraised transactions from several countries across Africa, including; Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Prior to joining GroFin Ghana, Matthew worked with Fidelity Capital Partners Limited, an indigenous Ghanaian private equity firm as an Investment Manager. He spent over 9 years with Fidelity Group working with the Group’s credit, corporate finance and private equity practice.
He has been involved in small business development in Ghana and has given lectures on SMEs in select universities and colleges in Ghana. He currently serves on the boards of a number of institutions including Chase Petroleum Ghana Limited, Goldkey Properties Limited and Akua Kuenyehia Foundation. He is also, the chairman of Asterix Brokers Limited, an insurance brokerage firm he founded in 2007 that provides insurance broking services to SMEs in Ghana. Matthew holds a BSc degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Ghana and MBA from the Leicester Business School, De Montfort University, UK.
Solome Lemma is the founder and executive director of Africans in the Diaspora (AiD). She has over 10 years of experience working on African development, with international, philanthropic, and grassroots organizations. Prior to Africans in the Diaspora (AiD), for over five years, Solome oversaw the Africa portfolio at The Global Fund for Children, managing a large portfolio that included work with over 100 grassroots organizations in 25 countries.
In the past, Solome has worked with the UN Development Programme in Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch in New York City, and International Rescue Committee in Liberia. Solome received a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and an undergraduate degree in international relations from Stanford University.
Solome was recently recognized as a White House Champion of Change for her work with Diaspora communities. She was also named as one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s “100 women to follow on twitter.” She can be found at: @innovateafrica.
Eddie Bergman(South Africa), President, Innovative Development Services Inc. (IDS)
Eddie Bergman is President of Innovative Development Services Inc. (IDS), a full-service consulting company serving international clients in New York and around the world who work to effect social change.
Since 2006 he has served as the Executive Director of the New York- headquartered Africa Travel Association (ATA), the premier international travel industry trade association promoting tourism to the African continent and intra- Africa travel and partnership founded in 1975 and currently working in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC).
Eddie is Co-CEO of E&E Hospitality Group with two restaurants: E&E Grill House (Times Square, NY) and Hill and Bay (Murray Hill, NY).He is also an Adjunct Professor of Tourism at NYU and lectures on Social Entrepreneurship at Stony Brook University.In 1999 he co-founded and currently serves as President of the Board of Miracle Corners of the World (MCW), a non-profit organization devoted to empowering youth, primarily through programs of leadership training, community center development and oral healthcare outreach, with a special focus on Africa.
In addition he serves on the board of directors of several international organizations in the non-profit, education and travel and trade sectors, including the Rubin Museum of Art, the Museum for African Art, Shared Interest and the Synergos Institute. He also serves on the advisory boards of the International Crisis Group, the NYU Africa House and the Dean’s Council of the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Studies.
He received his Masters from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a major in Social Entrepreneurship and his Bachelors in Hotel and Tourism Management from NYU’s Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management, where he was a Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholar.