Chika Unigwe is the author of fiction, poetry, articles and educational material. She won the 2003 BBC Short Story Competition for her story "Borrowed Smile", a Commonwealth Short Story Award for "Weathered Smiles" and a Flemish literary prize for "De Smaak van Sneeuw", her first short story written in Dutch. "The Secret", another of her short pieces, was nominated for the 2004 Caine Prize. Chika Unigwe's stories have been broadcast on BBC World Service, Radio Nigeria, and other Commonwealth Radio Stations.
"The Secret", another of her short pieces, was nominated for the 2004 Caine Prize. Chika Unigwe's stories have been broadcast on BBC World Service, Radio Nigeria, and other Commonwealth Radio Stations. Her first novel, De Feniks, by featuring a central character who shares the novelist’s Afro-European background, exposes some shortcomings of Belgian society, like its pervasive unwelcoming atmosphere and the superficiality of many of its inhabitants. Chika Unigwe has recently published her second novel, On Black Sisters' Street, a tale of choices and displacement set against the backdrop of the Antwerp prostitution scene.
The Independent describes it as “a probing and unsettling exploration of the many factors that lead African women into prostitution in Europe, …it pulls no punches”. She holds a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, an MA from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium and PhD from the University of Leiden, The Netherlands, having completed a thesis entitled "In the shadow of Ala. Igbo women writing as an act of righting" in 2004. Chika Unigwe was born in Enugu, Nigeria, and now lives in Turnhout, Belgium, with her husband and four children.
Audrey Brown is a South African journalist, curator and cultural commentator based in London. She works as a presenter on the BBC World Service. Her love of Africa and curiosity about the people of the world provide her with delightful conversations in the most unlikely places.
This year alone she was able to inflict her curiosity on the people of Burkina Faso, Senegal, Kenya, Liberia Kenya again and ever so briefly - Ghana. South Africans - the wellspring of this inquisitive nature - found themselves similarly afflicted when she went to cover the elections there for the BBC in April. Not so long ago - actually just over a year now - she found out how hard it is to laugh and reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro at the same time.
She managed to do one and not the other. Fortunately the pristine pleasures of Zanzibar during Ramadan made up for the pain and suffering! Audrey has a Masters degree in Journalism from the University of Wales and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and African History and Politics from Rhodes University in South Africa. She's also studied film criticism and documentary film-making at the Varan Institute of Cinema Direct in Paris. Fortunately - she's able to combine everything she loves in the work she does. Everything that is - except cooking. But like all of us - she wants to do more - and better - to showcase all that is excellent in Africa.
Onyekachi Wambu is a journalist, editor and television producer. Born in Nigeria in 1960, Onyekachi arrived in the UK after the Biafran war. Educated at the universities of Essex and Cambridge, he has worked as a journalist since 1983 and was Editor of the leading Black newspaper The Voice at the end of the 1980s and for almost a decade penned the weekly Inner Vision column in the paper's hey day.
Onyekachi is also a seasoned television producer and director and has worked extensively for both the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV. His most recent work saw him crossing the Atlantic where he produced and directed HOPES ON THE HORIZON; the Rise of the New Africa, a two-hour documentary for American television, chronicling the rise of the pro-democracy movements in six African countries during the 90s. This received the Golden Dhow Award 2002 for Best Documentary.
He is currently Information Officer for the African Foundation for Development (AFFORD), a charity established to expand and enhance the contributions Africans in the diaspora make to Africa’s development. Wambu’s publications include Empire Windrush: Fifty Years of Writing About Black Britain (ed.) and Under the Tree of Talking: Leadership for Change in Africa (ed.).
MD, FSG Communications Ltd, publisher of Africa Health, and MD, Asempa Limited, publisher of Africa Confidential, and Africa-Asia Confidential. Board member of PenPlusBytes, a Ghanaian NGO developing www.africanelections.org amongst other things. Shipped to Nigeria aged two months, Bryan was brought up in Ilesa, returning to the UK for Secondary education aged 12. His father ran the Wesley Guild Hospital from 1952 to 74 before moving on to run the Igbo’Ora campus of the UI Medical School, and finally developing the post graduate GP training programme from the AGPMPN’s secretariat in Surulere.
Since childhood Bryan has remained in close touch with Nigeria. After school, Bryan spent six months traversing the continent by road and track. After a degree in Communications which featured a 50 000 word thesis on African news dissemination, Bryan joined the Liverpool Post as a junior reporter. When Reed Elsevier (as they are now) launched Africa Health journal and sought a feature writer with either knowledge of Africa or Health. I had both, and got the job. Promoted to Editor in 1981, he bought the journal from Reed in 1985. Around the journal Bryan built a series of conferences and exhibitions under the brand ‘Medic Africa’ which have moved around all over the continent .
In 2006, with his good friend Patrick Smith, a purchase from Blackwell Publishing was completed of Africa Confidential (now complemented by the addition of Africa-Asia Confidential). At 50 AC is the best in its class. AAC, though nascent, is covering the biggest change of axis for Africa in living memory.
Funmi Iyanda is a multi award winning broadcaster, journalist, columnist and blogger. She produced and hosted Nigeria’s most popular and authoritative talk show NEW DAWN with Funmi, which aired on the national network for over eight years. Her show was Nigeria’s conscience and a pointer to Nigeria’s possible future.
The success of New Dawn made it the longest running independently produced programme on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). The programme has used its influence as a vehicle for social change and transformation by advocating the cause of the vulnerable members of the society with a bias for women, youth and children. Some of the show's initiatives include the "Change-A-Life" programme and foundation that has provided educational scholarships to over 50 young children, interventions in healthcare to needy members of society at no cost to beneficiaries, youth mentoring programmes as well as documentaries.
With over a decade long media experience, Funmi is a strong voice and advocate for women and children. An innovator in her sphere Funmi has won tremendous recognition for her work in the media and for her humanitarian and philanthropic interventions.
She is the CEO of Ignite Media operating out of Lagos and has currently completed a ground breaking new TV show which will be a time capsule on Nigeria as the nation grapples with her past and a desired new future.
Bola Olabisi, is the CEO of the UK based Global Women Inventors & Innovators Network (GWIIN) covering various regions in Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America. She is one of Africa’s and Europe’s most influential innovative women in business. GWIIN works to build opportunities for creative, inventive and innovative women in the workplace, at home, in the business context and in learning environments. Bola serves to raise aspirations, improve self confidence and self esteem, increase motivation and broaden horizons and experience.
Bola is also the Vice President of the British Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAWE). She sits on the European Commission's Network of Women in Decision making in Brussels to assist with the promotion of women's empowerment and gender balance in decision making positions. In 2003, she received her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh's invitation to Buckingham Palace to mark her contribution as a Pioneer to the Life of the Nation for her work with women inventors.
In 2008, Bola was awarded The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) World of Difference Award in recognition for her efforts to advance the economic empowerment of women locally, regionally and worldwide. Bola is a longstanding Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and became a TED Fellow in 2009.
Lawrence Mbugua is the founder of NETWORKING4PROFESSIONALS.COM, a social enterprise that promotes business and professional networking between Africa and the Diaspora. Though this network, he has been able to bring together Ministers, Diplomats and Managing Directors of major corporations as well as small businesses from Africa to promote their services and products to the Diaspora.
He has organised Diaspora events in London that promote direct investment into Africa (www.InvestIn-Africa.com). Lawrence is an experienced management consultant with particular expertise in supporting clients in business transformation as well as change and programme management. Lawrence has worked extensively with both public and private sector clients, supporting them in change management, programme management of major transformation initiatives and in business performance improvement.
He is a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI); a qualified Prince 2 Practitioner and with Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) foundation qualification. Lawrence is also a board member of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust - an educational charity that works with young people to build their self-esteem and enable them to gain the skills and training they need to pursue rewarding careers in urban design and regeneration (www.stephenlawrence.org.uk).
Nuhu Ribadu is a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development. His work at the Center, which began in April 2009, is to draw lessons from his experience for combating corruption worldwide and to provide fresh thinking on the role of international institutions in this fight. Before joining CGD, Nuhu was head of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from 2003 to 2007.
He served on several economic and anti-corruption commissions and was a key member of Nigeria’s economic management team that drove wide-ranging public sector reforms. Nuhu was awarded with the World Bank’s Jit Gill Memorial Award for Outstanding Public Service in recognition of his efforts. Prior to leading the EFCC, Nuhu spent 18 years in the Nigerian police force. A lawyer by training, he received his Bachelors and Masters in Law from Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria.
Nuhu is also a Senior Fellow at St. Anthony’s College at Oxford University in the UK. Nuhu Ribadu’s modest achievements in EFCC, most notable amongst which are the delisting of Nigeria from the FATF List of Non-Cooperative Countries & Territories, admission into the prestigious Egmont Group and the withdrawal of the US Treasury advisory on Nigeria by the FINCEN helped make the EFCC a reference Law Enforcement Agency on the continent; and the bold investigation, prosecution, and conviction of Nigeria’s hitherto untouchable politicians and businessmen earned him the reputation of being a foremost and respected anti-corruption crusader in the world.
Remi ADESEUN is a regular high achiever with a dogged tradition of ethical professionalism. He brings to every endeavour relentless drive and passion, with the ability to inspire others to seek and achieve the extraordinary. Remi is an inspirational and engaging public speaker. A much sought after opinion leader in the Nigerian Healthcare Arena. He lives a life of active engagement with all facets of society he interfaces with as a public-spirited, entrepreneurial leader.
His specialties are in the areas of General Management, Non-Profit Management, Sales & Marketing, Policy & Strategy Formulation, Research & Training. Remi is a Pharmacist and Lagos Business School Alumnus with over 20 years healthcare industry experience, 16 of which (1989-2005) were with leading multinational pharmaceutical companies: Sandoz, Novartis and Janssen-Cilag where he retired as Country Manager for Nigeria in 2005. Remi has also been an entrepreneur with a successful medical technology company-Rodot-specialising in Renal Dialysis & Water Treatment Equipment. He holds the Merit Award medal of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (Lagos State)-2002 as well as the Eminent Persons Award of the Nigerian Association of Industrial Pharmacists-2006.
In his early forties, Remi is currently in his third successful career as Regional Director West Africa for The Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft charity reputed by the New York Times to be “one of the most productive charities, dollar-for-deed, in the world”. He is married with 3 sons aged 11, 15 & 17.
Segun Aganga, is a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in London. He is also the Founder of the Nigerian Leadership Initiative (NLI), a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. NLI provides a platform for highly accomplished, uniquely qualified Nigerian leaders to develop and express their values based leadership skills and to assume transformative role in the future development of Nigeria.
Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Segun was at Ernst & Young for many years where he worked across several sectors including the financial services, oil and gas, construction and consumer industries. In 1995, he established the European hedge fund practice which he led for 6 years before joining Goldman Sachs.
Segun is currently the Chairman of the London Investment Banking Association’s Prime Brokerage Committee and was the Chairman of the Alternative Investment Management Association's Hedge Fund Research Committee. In 2006, he was appointed by the EU Commission to serve on the Alternative Investment Management Expert Group. He was also a member of the expert working panel for IOSCO’s principles on hedge fund valuation and in 2009, he participated in an EU Commission Hearing regarding the need for regulation of the alternative investment management industry.
Segun serves on a number of boards and committees including the International Board of Technoserve and Princes Trust’s Invest in Futures.
Nasir Ahmad EL-Rufai was a former Director General of The Bureau of Public Enterprises, the head privatization agency in Nigeria and also the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja from2003 to 2007. Since leaving public service, Nasir has completed an LL.B degree from the University of London, and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in June 2009. He also received the Kennedy School Certificate in Public Policy and Management having been spent 11 months as an Edward A. Mason Fellow in Public Policy and Management June 2009.
El-Rufai is a known crusader against corruption, having previously successfully exposed two senators that demanded bribes from him to ease his ministerial confirmation. He presided over a real estate boom backed by the radical transformation of infrastructure and land use practices of the federal capital earlier riddled with corruption and vast deviation from the original masterplan. With the establishment of the Abuja Geographic Information System within 12 months of being Minister of the FCT, Abuja became the first municipality in Nigeria with a computerized land register and information system. Along with the President and members of the Economic Management Team, he led the reform of the Nigerian public service which had become dysfunctional during years of military dictatorship.