2016 Speakers

Hon. Professor Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa

Panel topic:
“Manufacturing and the Future of Export-Driven Growth” & “Solar Energy: Bringing Power Off the Grid”

Hon. Professor Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa is the Executive Chairman of Kiira Motors Corporation and was the State Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology. Hon. Prof. Tickodri-Togboa is a multilingual Engineering Scientist and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering with vast Research, Teaching and Administrative Experiences. Hon. Prof. Tickodri-Togboa attained a Doctor of Philosophy in Digital Communications in 1985, holds Master of Sciences in Radio Engineering and Bachelor of Sciences in Electrical Engineering. He has served the nation in different capacities among others, Second Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Finance and Administration) at Makerere University as well as Chairman and Director of Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited. Tickodri-Togboa’s key scientific works to date have included championing the development of KIIRA Vehicle Technology, providing methodologies for the construction of Generating Functions based on Algebraic Operations on Sequences and its Application to Bessel Functions. Not only that, Tickodri-Togboa is greatly known for his research on the links between the potential energy due to a unit point charge, the generating function and Rodrigues’ formula for Legendre polynomials. Professor Sandy is the Head of the Delegation Exploring Strategic Development of the Uganda Automotive Industry.

Akin Sawwyer

Panel topic:
“Why I Started My Business in Africa & How Can You”

Akin Sawwyer creates and nurtures innovative businesses focused on creating value in disenfranchised communities. He is the founder of Market Atlast, a market information technology company that provides market and investment research, and risk management for the underserved. He has held multiple roles including ones in management consulting, international development and finance, and private equity investing.

Munya Hoto

Panel topics:
“Why I Started My Business in Africa & How Can You”

Munya Hoto is the Senior Vice-President of Marketing at idio Ltd, a leading content intelligence platform which provides an understanding of a customer’s journey and engagement with online material. Hoto’s journey with idio Ltd began at the early stages of the company, which started as a student-led startup 7 years ago and today has received over $8 million in funding. Munya’s relatable success story of working with and growing a startup are a well-encompassed narrative of the high risks yet higher rewards of independent business ventures.

Grace Amey-Obeng

Panel topic:
“Social Entrepreneurship— Meeting Pains, Making Gains”

Ghana’s Grace Amey-Obeng, one of West Africa’s most successful businesswomen, made her fortune promoting beauty products for black skin, at a time when many of her competitors were selling dangerous skin-bleaching formulas. She started her empire 25 years ago with only $100, and today her net worth amounts to over $100 million. Her FC Group of Companies—which includes a beauty clinic, a firm that supplies salon equipment and cosmetics, and a college—has eight branches in Ghana and exports to Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Togo, Ivory Coast, Switzerland and the UK. Her most notable feat, however, she believes is her FC Beauty College, which since 1999 has trained over 5,000 young people, mostly women.

Chris Erickson

Panel topic:

Dr. Erickson teaches in the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. He completed a BA with a double major in International Relations and Philosophy at UBC, an MA in Philosophy at Bond University, and a PhD in Political Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has taught at the University of Massachusetts, Green River Community College, SFU, and has been at UBC since 2008.

Dr. Erickson’s research focuses on the practical application of critical theory, including the use of fear as a political tool.  He currently teaches an introduction to political theory, as well as courses on ethics in world politics, the politics of fear, and postmodern political theory.

He is the author of The Poetics of Fear (Bloomberg, 2010).  In 2010 Chris was awarded the American Political Science Association Teaching Excellence Award.

Yareka Mhango

Panel topic:

Yareka Mhango, Zambian-born and Los-Angeles based founder of Anakazi Center for Women’s Empowerment and Development (Anakazi Center). Anakazi Center facilitates the economic and social empowerment of African women by developing global business development support networks, increasing knowledge of global issues, advocating for human rights and supporting the equal participation of women and men in addressing development issues. Anakazi Center also hosts a weekly radio show, Voices of Anakazi in which leading African women share their journeys and stories of success

Barend van der Vorm

Panel topic:
“Private Capital and Institutional Finance”

Barend van der Vorm manages a portfolio of private equity investments and is the founder of CentreCourt in Monaco, which supports high-growth companies. He chairs the Committee on Impact Investments for the Monaco Private Equity & Venture Capital Association and is a founder of the Monaco Social Business Fund and the Jamli Social Business Center in Tanzania, which is scaling up the Village Company concept in Africa. He serves as Chairman of the Investment Committee of the private equity fund IFHA, which invests in the healthcare sector in Africa.

Barend is also a member of the Board of the PharmAccess Foundation, which builds, finances, and supports quality healthcare throughout African by means of innovative funding instruments, health insurance, capacity building, and workplace programs. In the Principality of Monaco he serves as honorary Consul-General of the Netherlands.