Co-founder, Hence Technologies
Arun Shanmuganathan is a passionate entrepreneur, problem solver, and educator dedicated to empowering talent across Africa. As co-founder of Hence Technologies, he has built up a team of incredible talent in Rwanda to transform the way people engage in the knowledge economy, with a focus on corporate legal departments.
In addition, Arun co-founded the Rwandan Math Olympiad Program under AIMS (African Institute for Mathematical Sciences), which has participated in international competitions and secured full scholarships for program alumni at prestigious universities. Previously, he taught innovative computer science courses at the African Leadership University, traded multi-million dollar portfolios in the financial markets in London and led a number of grassroots initiatives & companies.
Deputy Minister of ICT, Namibia
Theofelus is a former youth activist, having served as deputy speaker of the Children's Parliament from 2013 to 2018. She started her career after she completed a law degree at the University of Namibia, as legal officer in the Ministry of Justice.
Theofelus was appointed Namibia's deputy minister of Information, Communication and Technology in March 2020, as part of Hage Geingob's second term cabinet. At the time of cabinet appointment, Theofelus was 23 and one of Africa's youngest cabinet ministers. She is also a board member of the National Council of Higher Education.
In 2020 she was judged to be one of 100 most influential African women, the youngest person on this list. Ms. Theofelus received the 2022 United Nations Population Award individual laureate award for her work advocating for women’s empowerment and adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Namibia
Femi Reis is a cloud security administrator and cybersecurity researcher with over a decade of experience in implementing early adoption of business technologies in small and medium enterprises in immerging economies.
As the Head of Research and Implementation at BIS Africa, Femi focuses on developing tools and resources for knowledge optimization in the technical and business domains of information technology and cybersecurity. He consults for organizations in diverse industries to help them use technology as a critical component for policy implementation.
His current research is in the area of early integration of information security in elementary curriculums in Africa. He has published several books and learning resources that are used by aspiring cybersecurity professionals around the world. Outside of work, Femi spends time giving talks and stirring unconventional conversations around issues that many see but few discuss.
Kanamugire Bicura Junior
Dealflow Manager, Katapult VC
Kanamugire Junior is a Rwandan husband, father, engineer, entrepreneur, consultant, and investment professional. He began his career in the construction industry in South Africa, where he worked on projects such as affordable housing and a World Cup stadium. In 2014, he returned to Rwanda and launched several businesses, including a digital archiving company, an import/export business, and a motorcycle servicing business. Junior is passionate about supporting entrepreneurs, and he joined a pan-African venture capital firm to fund startups on the African continent. He is also a seasoned partnerships and networking professional, and he has successfully offered business advice to both new investors and local organizations in Rwanda. Junior has regional and international project management experience, and he has worked for companies all over the globe. In his free time, he enjoys gaming and tennis.
Entrepreneur, Investment Expert
Lauren Nkuranga is an expert at starting and scaling businesses in Africa. Lauren currently serves as Chief
Advisor to the Chairman & the CEO at the Rwanda Development Board, the Rwandan government’s main
body that oversees private sector development. In this role, she focuses on privatization, attracting
investment into priority projects, and leading RDB’s governance. She also serves as the Board President of
the American Chamber of Commerce in Rwanda, founding the AmCham’s Rwanda chapter in 2019.
Lauren serves as Vice Chairman of the Board at Rwanda Farmers’ Coffee Company, known
by its brand name, Gorilla’s Coffee, the largest coffee roaster in Rwanda.
Before her time in Rwanda, Lauren worked for Nike, Inc., including 2 years in Rwanda with the Nike project Girl Effect. In 2014 Lauren
left Nike to found GET IT. Today, GET IT is Rwanda’s
largest fresh food distributor, serving the country’s major hotels, restaurants, and national airline.
Co-founder and Executive Chairman, Netflix
Reed Hastings is the Founder and Executive Chairman at Netflix, he co-founded Netflix in 1997. In 1991, Reed founded Pure Software, which made tools for software developers. After a 1995 IPO, and several acquisitions, Pure was acquired by Rational Software in 1997. Reed is an active educational philanthropist and served on the California State Board of Education from 2000 to 2004.
He is currently on the board of several educational organizations including KIPP and Pahara. Reed is also a board member of The City Fund. Reed received a BA from Bowdoin College in 1983, and an MSCS in Artificial Intelligence from Stanford University in 1988. Between Bowdoin and Stanford, Reed served in the Peace Corps as a high school math teacher.
Director of Research, ALU School of Wildlife Conservation
Susan Snyman, PhD, is the Director of Research at the African Leadership University’s School of Wildlife Conservation. Previously, Sue worked for Wilderness Safaris, a private sector ecotourism operator, for 10 years in various roles, including as Group Sustainability Manager. She is vice-chair of the IUCN WCPA Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist (TAPAS) Group and Coordinator of the Communities & Heritage Working Group in TAPAS. She recently managed the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management Programme for IUCN in 24 countries in Africa. Her research and work focus is on sustainable, diversified wildlife economies in Africa.