As the world commemorates Worker’s Day on May 1, Leading Ladies Africa is proud to present its list of 50 Leading African Corporate Women. These are African women and women of African descent who are making their mark in the corporate and business sector, spanning different industries in global conglomerates all over the world.
Now in its third year, the list has evolved from being a Nigerian-centric one to an initiative that includes and encompasses the contributions other African women are making in the corporate sector.
“Workplace advocacy specifically for African women and women of African descent makes up a huge part of our programmatic efforts and the work we do” says Francesca Uriri, Founder Leading Ladies Africa. “This list reflects our objective to continue to push for gender diversity and inclusiveness within the corporate sector – especially for African women and to highlight and celebrate their achievements to the growth and expansion of global big business. We will continue to push for gender diversity and inclusion of African women and women of African descent in executive positions and boardrooms in organizations across the world, and hope that this list encourages more to aim for these positions and increase representation across different sectors.”
Abena Osei-Poku is the Managing Director at Absa Bank Ghana Limited. She is responsible for driving a positive transformation having successfully led the Barclays transition from a “100-year-old brand and the household name” in Ghana into a new brand – Absa. Prior to this, she worked at Absa in South Africa as Managing Principal responsible for the Corporate & Investment Banking business in East and West Africa.
She has over 26 years of in-depth Pan-African experience from Standard Chartered Bank and Barclays Bank. She has broad board experience having previously sat on boards in Telecommunications (Airtel Mobile Money Limited), Banking (Barclays Bank), Commerce (United Kingdom and Ghana Chamber of Commerce), and hospitality (Country Kitchen Ltd).
She is currently the Chairperson of the Advisory Board of the College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana. She sits on the executive councils of the Ghana Association of Bankers and the National Banking College. She is an Honorary Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana.
Ada Osademey-Udechukwu is a Gender & Economic Inclusion Specialist at International Finance Corporation with a demonstrated history of working in the banking industry and leading gender-focused programs in Nigeria and key African markets.
Prior to this role, She worked as the Head of Women Banking at Access Bank. Her professional experience spans retail banking, customer service, centralized processing, customer data management, retail operations, and products & segments management with a focus on the women’s market (financial inclusion, women’s participation in entrepreneurship, and the workplace).
She uses her platform to speak against workplace bullying and is currently a mentor at the Cherie Blair Foundation For Women. Ada is also an advisory board member of Shecluded and a Volunteer Coordinator for REVAMP Africa.
Aida Diarra is the Senior Vice President and Head of Sub-Saharan Africa at Visa. Diarra is a highly experienced executive in the financial services and digital financial industry and is well versed in growing business and operations across the African continent. Her 25 years career includes strategy development and implementation, business development, and operational management.
She joined Visa from Western Union, where she was the Regional Vice President for Africa & Managing Director for more than four years. Prior to this, she held a number of progressive leadership positions at the global money transfer business, developing her experience in marketing, sales, account management, strategy & planning, and country / regional leadership positions. Coupled with her passion for financial technology, she is a champion for diversity and Africa’s overall contribution to the industry and serves as a leading voice in these two areas through her non-executive work.
Angela Mensah-Poku is the Director of Digital and Commercial Operations at Vodafone in Ghana where she leads the organization with more than 500 employees across 6 teams to advance the company’s digital transformation agenda, mobilize and deliver commercial and customer experience and deliver significant commercial results.
Prior to this role, She was the Director of Vodafone Business and Managing Director of Vodafone Wholesale. She was once the Head of Corporate Sales and Vodafone Global Enterprise West Africa and also served in the role as the Head of Fixed Services at Vodafone in Ghana.
Prior to joining Vodafone Angela worked for British Telecom, UK, for over 8 years in various commercial, strategic and operational roles and units including BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Design, and BT Operate. Angela Holds a BSc in Politics and Law from Brunel University and MSc in Economics and Information Systems.
Angela Ndambuki is the Regional Director of Sub-Saharan Africa at the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). In this role, she works across the region’s 46 countries to promote the value of recorded music, campaign for the rights of record producers, and expand the commercial uses of recorded music.
She is a legal practitioner and holds a Master of Laws degree in Intellectual Property Law from the University of Edinburgh and has been CEO of Performers Rights Society and Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She is also a performer, composer, and producer of both music and audiovisual works. She has various accolades for her work in the intellectual property space and shares her expertise with countries in East Africa courtesy of the World Intellectual Property Organisation. She serves as the Vice-Chairperson of the Kenya Association of Music Producers.
Anita Erskine is the Managing Director at Anita Erskine Media. She is a bilingual (English and French) Strategic Communications Specialist and Broadcast Journalist, a Specialized Compère and TV Producer.
She is an advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals, Girls’ Education, and Women in Leadership. Since 1998, when she began her Broadcast Journalism career as a lifestyle On-Air Personality, she has now added Strategic Communications in the Telecommunications, Food Processing, Non – Governmental Organizations, Governments, and Diplomatic Mission fields to her portfolio, consequently solidifying her reputation as one of the most versatile communications professionals from West Africa.
In 2020, she joined the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative – Jack Ma Foundation’s flagship philanthropic entrepreneur program for African Entrepreneurs, as Host and Advisor. She has lent her voice and personality to numerous social impact projects, due to her unwavering belief in the SDGs mantra of not leaving anyone behind.
Barbara Salami is the Vice President, Digital for Commercial at Moderna where she is accountable for the strategic vision and direction for building a world-class digital experience for patients, providers, and related partners in care. Prior to joining Moderna, Barbara spent 5 years at GlaxoSmithKline, where she held several roles including Global Head of Multichannel Analytics and Insights and US Pharma, Head of Digital and Customer Experience Optimization.
Barbara has a proven record of success in shaping enterprise digital experience programs, market optimization, and analytics capabilities. She has a global background in leading and creating media optimization, campaign management, agile omnichannel experience delivery, and customer experience design, the closed-loop voice of customer programs, and marketing experimentation among others.
Barbara is an advocate for STEM education, gender parity, and diversity and inclusion (including clinical trial diversity). She holds an MBA from Penn State University and a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University.
Bozoma Saint John is the Chief Marketing Officer of Netflix. With almost 20 years of experience that spans multiple industries including digital music and entertainment, consumer packaged goods, fashion, sports, and automotive, Bozoma is a leader heralded for her bold thinking and cutting-edge ideas.
She was previously the Chief Marketing Officer of Endeavor. Prior to Netflix and Endeavor, she served as the Chief Brand Officer at Uber, where she was tasked with telling the stories of millions of riders and driver-partners across over 600 cities, and as the Head of Global Consumer Marketing for Apple Music and iTunes, where she built and launched Apple Music, as well as spearheaded campaigns geared towards growing consumer brand recognition, loyalty, and equity around the world.
Before Apple, Boz was head of the Music and Entertainment Marketing Group at Pepsi-Cola North America, where she drove breakthrough consumer engagement plans for brands across the soda giant’s beverages portfolio by engaging tastemaker-consumers.
Bukola Smith is the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of FSDH Merchant Bank. She started her banking career with FSB International Bank (now part of Fidelity Bank) and her experience cuts across Customer Service, Funds Transfer, International Trade, Institutional Banking, Private Banking, Treasury, Investment & Financial Markets, Project & Structured Finance, Audit and Sales.
She rose to the position of Divisional Head, Treasury and Institutional Banking in Fidelity Bank Ltd before joining First City Monument Bank Limited (FCMB) in the year 2006 where she has occupied several positions as the Group Head, Treasury and Financial Institutions, Divisional Head, Investment Banking and Financial Markets, Director Project and Structured Finance, and Divisional Head, Group Internal Audit.
She became a Chartered Accountant in 1998 and is currently a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). She is an Associate Member of the Certified Institute of Pensions, Nigeria, and also a Committee member of the CIBN Annual Conference (Honorary Member of CIBN). In addition, she is a Mentor with Wiscar (Women in Success Careers).
Bunmi Nwabueze is the Compensation, Benefits, and Performance Partner for METAP (Middle East, Turkey, Africa, and Pakistan) at Tik Tok. Prior to this appointment, she was the Senior Compensation and Benefits Manager for Sub Saharan Africa at Baker Hughes.
She was previously the Compensation Business Partner at IBM where she led the reward function for South, East, West, and Central Africa as well as the reward strategy for IBM Global Technology Services which spans over 20 countries across the Middle East and Africa region.
Bunmi has over 12 years of experience in different facets of HR and has worked for various multinationals within the High-Tech Industry. Bunmi is a certified Design Thinking and Agile professional, a member of the CIPD and WorldatWork. In her spare time, Bunmi coaches individuals on career choices and serves as a volunteer for several charities.
Caroline Wanga is the Chief Executive Officer of Essence Communications Inc where she leads new growth opportunities, market strategy, and culture across the Essence Ventures portfolio, which includes ESSENCE Communications, Inc., Afropunk, and Naturally Curly, among others. She joined Essence Ventures from Target, where she currently served as the Chief Culture, Diversity & Inclusion Officer and Vice President of Human Resources.
She began her Target career in supply chain, serving in a variety of transformational leadership roles, including modernizing Supply Chain, Business Intelligence, Digital, and Strategy capabilities. Prior to that, she held several leadership roles in the non-profit sector.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from HBCU Texas College and is an inspirational thought leader and public speaker. She has been named a Top Executive in Corporate Diversity by Black Enterprise and one of Savoy’s Most Powerful Women in Corporate America; is a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), the Talladega College Board of Trustees, and the Intersectionality, Culture, and Diversity Advisory Board for Twitter; and is the former co-chair of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) Diversity & Inclusion Initiative.
Cecilia Akintomide is the Independent Non-Executive Director at FBN Holdings Plc. She is also the Independent Non-Executive Director of Ondo State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (ONDIPA). She is a seasoned professional with executive-level management experience and was the Vice President Secretary-General (VPSG) of the African Development Bank.
Prior to her role as VPSG, she headed the public and private sector financing legal services team, covering projects in the whole of Africa, and also served as Chief Counsel Institutional Affairs, as well as Finance Counsel. She brings to the Board of FBN Holdings Plc, her wealth of management experience, particularly from an international financial institution, and her legal experience spanning over 30 years post call to bar, with expertise in corporate governance, institutional affairs, business reorganizations, and financing.
She has practiced law in different jurisdictions, including as a Business Reorganisation Associate in the law firm of Weil Gotshal & Manges, in New York, and as a Junior Associate at O. Thomas & Co., Lagos. Cecilia is a frequent speaker at international events on Law, Development, and Gender, and is a member of the Nigerian Bar and the New York Bar.
Chinwe Esimai is the Managing Director – Chief Anti-Bribery & Corruption Officer at CitiBank. She oversees Citi’s Global Anti-Bribery & Corruption (AB&C) Program and is responsible for global AB&C governance, policy maintenance and communication, risk assessment, advisory-related activities, training, and due diligence on third parties.
She was previously Vice President & Anti-Bribery Compliance Officer at Goldman, Sachs & Co. (GSCO), and also Vice President in the Reg Audits & Inquiries Group at GSCO. Prior to her return to GSCO, Chinwe served as Assistant Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, MN, where she taught Law & Finance in Emerging Markets, Securities Regulation, and Business Associations.
She is Chair of the Board of Harambee USA Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to education and economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is an Executive Council Member of Ellevate Network.
Debra Mallowah is the Vice President, East, and Central Africa Franchise at The Coca-Cola Company. She joined The Coca‑Cola Company from Safaricom where she was the Chief Business Development Officer for a period of two years.
In 2016, Debra joined GlaxoSmithKline Plc as the General Manager- East and West Africa, based in Nairobi. Before moving to GlaxoSmithKline, Debra had served as the Vice President at Unilever Africa in Durban between 2013 — 2016. In 2002, Debra would begin her 12-year journey at Diageo as a Marketing Manager where she was responsible for developing iconic brand campaigns. Five years into her role, her excellent execution of campaigns and growth would see her promoted to a new role in Diageo in London as the Regional Marketing Manager.
In 2008, Debra returned to Nairobi to take up a new role as the Group Marketing Director at East Africa Breweries, a role she held until 2013. Debra holds a Business degree (Honours) from the University of Nairobi and completed an Advanced Management Program from the IESE Business School in Spain and an Executive Program on Fintech Innovation at Said Business School, Oxford University.
Dr. Patrica Nzolantima is the Founder / Chairwoman of Bizzoly Holdings. She started her career as a Business Unit Manager at Exp Agency in 2005. She founded her own marketing agency, CommunicArt, which later partnered with Exp Agency and formed “EXP-CommunicArt” and together garnered world-recognized clients from Coca-Cola to PNG to Unilever.
She was driven to mentor females who were seeking creative branding and marketing support in the business world. This coincided with her starting International Working Lady, a magazine featuring honest, raw, true stories of working women—including herself. She went further to create “Working Ladies WIA Hub”, a platform that offers African women entrepreneurs financial education, mentorship, business coaching, and proximity with prospective impactful investors.
She founded Ubizcabs, a taxi service company that trains and offers equity to local women by giving them a microloan to buy their own car to drive.
Ebi Atawodi is the Director of Payments, EMEA at Netflix. Before her appointment at Netflix, she was the Head of Product, Payments at Uber where she focused on global payments experiences across all Uber apps. Prior to this, Ebi started out with Uber as General Manager for Lagos in 2014 with a handful of cars on the road and grew to become Uber’s General Manager for West Africa running a top 20 EMEA region.
Before Uber, she held several roles from the Head of Corporate Communications and Sponsorships at Etisalat – where she created the Etisalat Prize for Literature – Africa’s most prestigious literary prize. She started the first half of her career as a full-stack engineer working for various global brands such as Nokia, Booz & Company (now Strategy&), GlaxoSmithKlein, Channel 4, and Bupa.
She holds a Bachelors with Honours in Electrical Electronics Engineering from the University of Nottingham and a Masters in Computing Science from Imperial College London with a focus on Artificial Intelligence and Infographics.
Ednah Otieno is the Human Resources Director for Diageo in Great Britain and was the Human Resources Director at East African Breweries (EABL). With 18 years of experience in the HR domain to back her, she has been instrumental in implementing parental leaves and enabling cross-functional collaborations at EABL. She has also played a critical part in ensuring diversity by encouraging parity hiring and early career programs.
She started her career with EABL Africa as a graduate trainee in 2003. She served in different roles in the HR team, handling talent, reward, and shared services. Her last position at EABL was Head of Rewards, Diageo Africa. She joined Airtel Africa in 2014 as Head of Organisation effectiveness and rewards. In 2015, she joined Mars Wrigley as head of people and later returned to Diageo as group human director, EABL in August 2017.
Eloine Barry is the CEO of African Media Agency. With more than 15 years of experience in the communications industry, Eloïne co-created and launched the first-ever press release wire distribution service dedicated to the African continent.
She graduated in 2003 with a BA in English Literature from Université Lumière Lyon and a degree in Translation and International Relations, she then went on to obtain a Masters in Communications in 2015. Her first job out of university was with PR Newswire as a Media Relations Executive in London.
Eloïne got promoted to Media Relations Team Leader one year after joining PR Newswire and managed a team of eight Media Relations Executives both in-house and off-site, which were accountable for Europe, Middle East, Africa, and India (EMEAi) region. In 2011, she was appointed as the Executive Director of the African Press Organization and she founded the African Media Agency (AMA) in 2015.
Ethel Cofie is the CEO and Director of Edel Technology Consulting, an IT Consulting and Digital Products Company in West Africa and Europe. She is also the Founder of Women in Tech Africa, Africa’s largest women in tech group with members in over 30 Africa countries and in the diaspora and growing. She is the creator of women in tech week, a global event that started in 2016 to bring together women in technology.
She is a Mandela Fellow for President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and a High caliber IT Professional with a wealth of technical and commercial skills acquired across a wide range of demanding roles and with over 12 years of experience working in the UK, Ghana, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone on projects for organizations like Bill and Melinda Gates on the Mobile Technology for Health project; The Ford Foundation’s Election Monitoring project for Nigeria; and also as Head of Commercial Solutions for Vodafone conceptualizing, executing and working with teams to align Corporate strategy to IT strategy and to develop and manage creative technology solutions.
Eyitope Kola-Oyeneyin is a Partner at Mckinsey & Company. She has over 15 years of global experience across a variety of industries. She serves clients in both the private and public sectors, developing ambitious growth programs and executing large-scale transformations, with a primary focus on financial services.
Eyitope rejoined the firm in 2017, after holding various executive roles at First Bank of Nigeria—most recently leading the bank’s foray into sub-Saharan Africa, spearheading integration across six different countries, and running its international banking business. Before that, she designed and implemented the bank’s corporate transformation program and managed its extensive operations network, covering more than 700 branches and head-office operations.
She also led a coalition of government entities, private companies, and civil society organizations to successfully implement Cashless Lagos, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s payments-transformation program. She began her McKinsey career in 2004 as an associate in the Atlanta office before transferring to the Johannesburg office in 2008 as a co-leader in the firm’s effort to formally establish an office in Nigeria.
Fathima Ebrahim is the Senior Marketing Manager at Liquid Intelligent Technologies. She has over 20 years of experience in the communications, PR, and media industries working with international and local brands and companies. Fathima is a member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and has served as a judge for the Gold Quills awards.
She is the Vice President of Media Relations where she oversees client delivery and assists with business development, sharing her wealth of knowledge from both the corporate and agency environments. Before joining APO Group, she was the Senior Vice President at global PR agency Weber Shandwick, and prior to this, Group Account Director at Edelman. She also worked at Africa’s leading entertainment company MultiChoice, for ten years in the Corporate Affairs and Broadcast Technology divisions and as a college principal in Johannesburg for seven years.
She holds a Bachelor of Administration degree from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. She also studied at the Henley Business School (Advanced Management program), as well as the Gordon Institute of Business Science.
Florence Nakimbugwe Nsubuga is the Chief Operations Officer of Umeme Ltd, Uganda’s largest power distribution company. She has a 20+ year career in the energy sector. Her keen business insight and in-depth knowledge of improving operations while implementing strategic interventions have enabled her to contribute to making Uganda’s energy sector attractive to international investors.
She began her career in 1996, at Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL), as a graduate trainee. When Umeme acquired the electricity distribution concession from UEDCL, she went with Umeme. Over the years, she was promoted until her appointment to the COO position in 2012.
On the way to the top, she has served in various roles, including as Delivery Controller, Regional Manager for Kampala East, and Outage Manager. In her capacity as COO of Umeme, she supervises 600 employees directly and another 1,000 people indirectly. She is an inspirational speaker and mentor who empowers young women to lead in their spheres of influence through the Girls4Girls Global initiative. She is also involved in multiple community projects like “DRESS A CHILD IN UGANDA.
Gifty Osei-Boakye Bingley is the Senior Communications Officer at African Union, a position that sees her oversee the daily communications; both internal and external of the Pan-African body. For more than 10 years, she has worked with some of Africa’s leading telecommunications and government organizations, focusing on modernizing and evolving communications, PR, CSR, and government relations capabilities.
She previously served as the Director of Corporate Communications and Corporate Responsibility at Tigo Ghana. Before Tigo, she managed the internal and external communications team and a PR agency at a rival telecommunications company, Vodafone Ghana. Before joining the telecommunications industry, she worked at the British High Commission in Accra. She also spent a decade at Ghana’s leading television network, TV3, where she rose through the ranks from Broadcast Journalist to Head of News and Deputy Editor-Assignments, developing and managing content for the various news bulletins.
She is a trained journalist from the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) and also holds a double Master’s Degree in Political Communication from the University of Leeds; and Development Management from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). She is an alumna and member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, CIPR, UK.
Hanan Morsy is the Director of Macroeconomic Policy and Research Department at African Development Bank Group, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. She is a renowned macroeconomist and public policy expert with vast experience in international financial institutions and the private sector. She has published extensively on a wide range of economic and development issues and led a number of major flagship publications.
She has worked previously as the Lead Economist for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Region at The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London between 2012 and 2017. Prior to joining The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, she worked at the International Monetary Fund between 2003 and 2012 in various capacities across different departments including, Fiscal Affairs, Middle East and Central Asia, European, and Monetary and Capital Markets as well as Advisor to Executive Director.
She is a Board of Trustee Member at the London Middle East Institute and a Research Fellow at the Economic Research Forum. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the George Washington University, USA, a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of California, Davis, USA, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Computer Science from the American University in Cairo, Egypt.
Hannah Awonuga is the Vice President, Global Diversity Equity and Inclusion Manager at Barclays Bank. She is a Diversity and Inclusion change-maker who has experience in driving cultural change and inclusion to create a world of equity and parity. With over 8 years of leadership experience and 15 yrs banking experience, her focus is on leading, developing, and recognizing top, diverse talent while providing expert strategic direction on global DEI initiatives.
At Barclays Bank, She has served in various roles, including as Senior Colleague Experience Manager for Business Banking, Small Business Area Leader AVP, and Branch Manager. She is the Founder of Rarity London career development services. She is a female corporate coach that dedicates her time to supporting and developing female professionals trying to excel in their careers. She is a member of the Board of the National Black Governors Network.
Ilze Johnston is the Talent Acquisition Delivery Leader of Africa, Benelux, Germany & Austria, Northern & Southern Europe at Honeywell. She is the recruitment Leader for Honeywell Africa and Western Europe and she specializes in end-to-end niche market recruitment and diversity hiring strategy in line with Recruitment Global Best Practice.
Prior to this role, she was the Staffing Manager SSA, North Africa & Israel at Honeywell. She has also worked as Career Management Coach at Impact Career Consulting in South Africa and also at Saint-Gobain as the Recruitment Manager in Sub-Saharan Africa. Before Saint-Gobain, she was the Talent Acquisition & Performance Manager at JSE in Sandton, Exchange Sq.
She is also the Co-Founder of Lean In Johannesburg STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, and Maths) and a member of Honeywell’s D&I and Employment Equity Committee with more than 10 years of experience in professional Career Management & Coaching.
Jocelyn Muhutu Remy is the Strategic Media Partnerships Manager-Sub-Saharan Africa at Facebook where she leads a team that works with news, entertainment, and sport publishers to advise on audience development and growth on Facebook and Instagram. Prior to joining Facebook, Jocelyne served in various roles at Disney, Viacom, and Thomson Reuters, bringing entertainment programming, television channels, and international news to media platforms around the continent. She started her career as a journalist, mainly at Reuters television. In terms of education, Jocelyne studied International Relations and Journalism in Paris, France. A committed pan-Africanist, Jocelyne is passionate about great storytelling, empowering African media, and amplifying Africa’s voice in the world.
Kabamba Mireille is the Managing Director/ Financial Director at CANAL+ where she works to build the company’s distribution network, expand methods of payment, and, especially, increase the company’s profitability. She joined CANAL+ in 2014 as a Finance Director and before that she worked as the Finance Director at USAN Gabon.
She worked for 6 years in the banking sector in Belgium at Euroclear Bank, before joining Airtel Congo in 2006. Within this mobile telephone company, she successfully occupied the functions of a regional financial controller for French-speaking Africa, then worked as the Director of Strategic Projects and Trade for the Airtel group in the DRC. She earned a degree in Business administration from the University of Liège in Belgium.
Kadijah Amoah is the CEO of Aker Energy Ghana Limited. Prior to this role, she was the Country Director of the organization. She is on the Executive Management Team of Aker Energy AS and holds directorships in affiliated AGM Petroleum Ghana and Aker Ghana Investment Company.
Prior to joining Aker Energy, Mrs. Amoah was a Lawyer and a member of the Banking and Capital Markets Team at Clifford Chance’s German office. She previously worked as Head of Investments and Business Development at the Office of the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana. She was the Government of Ghana lead of the Millennium Challenge Corporation and Government of Ghana lead of the U.K Ghana Business Council.
Kadijah holds a B.A. (Hons) in Political Science and Sociology, LLB (Hons), and an M.Sc. in International Business from the University of Ghana. She also holds a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Institute of Legal Practice and Development in Rwanda, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Strategy and Innovation from the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. She is currently pursuing an Executive MBA at the Saïd Business School, the University of Oxford and she is a member of Oriel College.
Lilian Onyach is the Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Stanbic Bank Kenya. She is a strategic marketing and communications professional with over 16 years of experience working with blue-chip firms in East Africa across telecommunications, aviation, and financial services sectors.
In her previous role as the Regional Head of Marketing for Sanlam East Africa, Lilian led the firm’s marketing and corporate communication function across 4 markets; Kenya/ Uganda/ Tanzania, and Zambia positioning Sanlam as a large, diversified financial services provider. She started her marketing career at Kenya Airways, she held several positions in the telecommunications industry at Safaricom.
She is an active member of the Marketing Society of Kenya where she also serves as a Council Member. Lilian holds a Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A) from the Strathmore Business School (SBS) as well as Bachelors in International Business Administration-Marketing from United States International University (USIU).
Lillian Barnard is the Managing Director/CEO at Microsoft South Africa. She joined Microsoft in May 2017 as Public Sector Director for South Africa, a role she held for almost two years. She has more than 20 years of experience in the ICT industry.
Prior to joining Microsoft, she served as Chief Sales Officer for Vodacom’s Enterprise Business for two years. She also headed LillianB Consulting Services where she was an advisor and coach to business leaders. During Barnard’s 15-year career at IBM, she held several key leadership positions, including working for seven years at the IBM European Headquarters in France and Switzerland.
She previously served on the boards of Vodacom South Africa, Mango Airlines, and Dad-fund Non-Profit Organisation and currently sits on the board of the American Chamber of Commerce and the U.S.-South Africa Business Council. She holds a BCom Honours in Business Economics from the University of the Western Cape.
Lowani Chibesakunda is the CEO of Citibank Zambia. She is a Banker with experience over a decade and a half whose career genesis commenced in Citibank from Junior to Senior Relationship Manager rising all the way up to Head of Corporate and Investment Banking before she acted as Chief Executive Officer.
She has also had the privilege of working in other Citi presence countries such as South Africa, China, and the United Kingdom. She holds an MBA from Heriot-Watt University, a degree in Financial Services from the University of the West of England Bristol & a Certificate in Banking from the Chartered Institute of Bankers – UK. She prides herself on being a strong advocate of leading by coaching, mentoring, and having strong customer relationship skills.
Marie-Chantal Kaninda is the Executive Director & Head of Corporate Affairs at Glencore DRC. With 20 years of experience in the mining industry, she joined Glencore DRC in 2019 as Executive Director, Head of Corporate Affairs. Previously, she was Executive Director at the World Diamond Council.
As part of her role, she ensures proactive engagement with stakeholders, working with them to strengthen and protect Glencore’s reputation in the DRC, minimizing risks around community relations. She is the Founder of MCK & L and the Managing Director of MCK&L Consulting. For 2 years, she served as the Executive Director of the World Diamond Council (WDC).
Prior to joining the WDC, she was the Chief Advisor for External Affairs, Africa at Rio Tinto Corporation, a position she held since 2012. Before joining Rio Tinto, she held Administrative, Communication and External Affairs roles with other international mining companies such as Ashanti Goldfields, AngloGold Ashanti, and De Beers. She has provided her expertise to several community development projects in Africa, including successfully relocating a community in Angola, as well as implementing several Stakeholder Engagement strategies.
Marie Diop is the Principal Advisor of Corporate Relations at Rio Tinto. Prior to this appointment, she was the Corporate Affairs Manager, West Africa at IAMGOLD where she was responsible for developing and maintaining government and key stakeholder relationships across the countries in which the company operates.
As a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) multi-stakeholder group, she is involved in governance issues relating to the sector and is also heavily involved in community development projects implemented by IAMGOLD in Senegal, Mali, and Burkina Faso. She is an active member of the Chamber of Mines of Senegal.
Prior to joining IAMGOLD, Marie was Commercial Diplomacy Officer at the British Embassy in Dakar, working with UK companies to set up and prosper in Senegal and also working with the host government in ensuring that the country’s business environment was conducive to foreign investment. She holds a degree in International Business from the Nottingham Business School, England. She is also pursuing a Master’s Degree in Oil, Gas, and Mining Law from the Nottingham Law School, England.
Markie Idowu is the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer at Xpress Payment Solutions Ltd. She brings on board over 30 years of experience in Finance and IT. She is responsible for leading major strategic revolutions for transforming the day-to-day process from a functional focus to an enabler of innovation for the business and would incorporate business investments that support & represent a company of global standards.
She started her banking career with Continental Merchant Bank (formerly Chase Manhattan) in 1989. She later worked in other banks including Guaranty Trust Bank, Fidelity Bank, and Skye Bank. She spent over 11 years in Skye Bank where she held various positions including Executive Director, Retail, and Lagos commercial banking.
Prior to this, she was the Executive Director, Technology and Service Delivery Channels. She left in 2017 to run her own consulting firm. She has served on the board of several companies including Skye Bank, Mainone Cable Company, Equity Assurance, IHS, and Mainstreet brokers.
Mimi Alemayehou is the Senior Vice President for Public-Private Partnerships at Mastercard. She was the Managing Director at Black Rhino Group, an infrastructure platform focused on the development and acquisition of energy and infrastructure projects across Africa. She previously held the position of Executive Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the United States Executive Director on the board of the African Development Bank (AfDB). Prior to AfDB, she was Founder and Managing Partner of Trade Links, LLC, a development consulting firm that worked with clients on emerging market issues and on promoting African exports under the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
Mimi Kalinda is the Group CEO and Co-Founder at Africa Communications Media Group (ACCG), a pan African public relations and communications agency based in Johannesburg South Africa. She is the brand marketing and communications director at the Global Development Incubator headquartered in Washington, DC. She is also the former director of communications for the African Institute for mathematical sciences (AIMS), a pan-African network of excellence in mathematical sciences.
She played a crucial role in raising $51 million for the African Union Ebola campaigns. She has led workshops on Storytelling and Narrative in Leadership for the Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa program, as well as for the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business: Women in Business Conference, and the Africa Trade and Investment Global Summit 2018 in Washington, DC.
Her first book, “TALKING TO AFRICA”: Considering Culture in Communications for a Complex Continent, was released in January 2017. She is a fellow Archbishop of Tutu Leadership Program.
Monali Shah is the Head of Integrated Marketing Experiences, Africa at Coca-Cola where she oversees the integrated marketing communications activities for Coca-Cola in Africa across the brand portfolio of the company. Prior to her elevation, she was the Marketing Communications Director – West Africa Business Unit of the company.
She is a marketing communications executive with over 19 years of experience in FMCG, Telco, Banking, and Entertainment industry. She started her career at The Coca-Cola Company as Creative Excellence Lead – Central East West Africa Business Unit before she became the Integrated Marketing Communications Director – Central, East, West Africa and later Head of Creative Excellence, Southern & Eastern Africa.
Prior to joining The Coca-Cola Company, she started her career as a DJ & Head of Entertainment and Brand Experience Marketing at Homeboyz Entertainment Limited before she moved to WPP-Scangroup as Brand Experience Manager. She has worked in several organizations and held positions including; Viacom as Brand Representative, East Africa; WPP-Scangroup as Head of Brand Experience and Entertainment Marketing; VWV Group SA as Head of Operations; and Ogilvy as Brand & Business Head, Special Projects Director.
Nadine Tinen Tchangou is the CEO & Territory Senior Partner for PwC in Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa. She possesses a combined experience of over 20 years in Tax and Legal services within sub-Saharan Francophone Africa at PwC where she started out as a Tax officer for 11 years. She was promoted to the Tax & Legal leader at PwC Cameroon for 10 years. She rose in ranks to Managing Partner for a duration of 6months and was then elevated to the position of sub-Saharan Francophone Africa Tax & Legal Leader for 3 years.
Her knowledge and experience in the Tax Auditing & Legal sector, as well as her excellent leadership qualities, has earned her the responsibility of managing over 700 people spread across 10 countries in sub-Saharan Francophone Africa which operates in 17 of them. She oversees the transformation of brand innovative ideas, concepts, methodologies, and tools which are adopted by clients to help transform their ideas into reality.
Nancy Muhoya Ng’ang’a is the Chief Executive Officer of Ernst & Young (EY), East Africa. With nearly two decades in the financial, accounting industry, Muhoya has held high positions as a Partner in EY audits vertical and Leader of Assurance services in some regions of East Africa.
After completing her Bachelor’s degree in commerce at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, she went further to acquire an MBA in Strategic Management at the same University. As a result of her spectacular leadership attributes, she is constantly lauded as strong and vital personnel in the improvement in the company’s growth of the Assurance business over the years.
Netta Jenkins is the Vice President of Global Inclusion at Unqork – a leading tech company. She is an advisory board member for Betterment, an online investment company looking to expand opportunities for untapped investors. Prior to Unqork, Netta created and executed strategy for five years as Vice President, Global Inclusion for IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IAC) tech and media brands with her research data-driven knowledge.
She founded Holistic Inclusion Consulting LLC and offers diversity strategy sessions to companies. For clients and the general public alike – including in her online courses – she trains, teaches, and coaches on Bold Allyship, Driving Impact through Privilege and Power Change, Understanding and Battling Microaggressions, and much more
Through Dipper, a data technology platform Netta co-founded, professionals of color find a digital safe-place where they can share experiences and find advice on their path to a better workplace one review at a time, whether good, bad or indifferent.
Ngover Ihyembe-Nwankwo is the Head Coverage at Rand Merchant Bank. She is a corporate and institutional banking executive with 20 years of experience in financial services across a wide range of functions including, corporate relationship management, sales, credit, transaction banking, remedial account management, and risk.
Prior to this role, she was an Executive Principal at Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, responsible for anchoring the bank’s International Corporates Portfolio. She also managed the Multinationals Portfolio under the Global Corporates Team, and before that was Country Head of Transaction Banking.
She is passionate about supporting women to achieve their full potential and sits on the Women in Management, Business & Public Service (WIMBIZ) Executive Council as the Chairperson. She has also contributed to the Nigeria Bankers Committee Sub-Committee on Women Empowerment.
Nkiru Olumide Ojo is the Regional Executive Head of Marketing & Corporate Communication at Standard Bank Group. In her former position as the Executive Head Marketing & Corporate Communication of Stanbic IBTC, Nkiru who has had over two decades of experience in the entire gamut of Corporate Communications, Marketing Management, and Social Development, was responsible for providing strategic direction, overseeing execution covering reputation management, brand marketing, market positioning across all communication channels for the bank.
Before joining the bank, she had worked at top managerial positions for Forte Oil, Bharti Airtel Nigeria, Virgin Nigeria, CMC Connect, and OliviaEthan Communications which she co-owned. She is also the author of the book, “Pressure Cooker”, a book that talks about women in the professional environment. She has also written on similar topics as a columnist at BusinessDay Newspapers for years. She is the founder of LightHouse Network, a social development initiative that is dedicated to empowering young women by providing them a formal mentoring platform.
Nunu Ntshingila is the Head of Africa at Facebook with the responsibility of leading the team that engages with agencies and brands in Africa to help them make the most of the company’s products including Facebook itself, Instagram, and related services. She is passionate about the role of technology in driving social inclusion in Africa and about Facebook’s mission of creating value for African advertisers and people.
Before joining Facebook, she helped drive the creation of Ogilvy’s network in sub-Saharan Africa, which spans some 27 countries. During a long career at Ogilvy & Mather South Africa, she served as Deputy Managing Director and was later promoted to Chief Executive Officer. She later took on an extended role managing the offices in the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa.
A graduate of the University of Swaziland and Morgan State University in the US, she has also held senior marketing positions at Nike and the South African Tourism board. In 2011, she was appointed to the Ogilvy & Mather global board. She has also served on the boards of Transnet, the V&A Waterfront, and Old Mutual South Africa. She is also a Non-Executive Director at Ivanhoe Mines.
Patricia Obo-Nai is the CEO of Vodafone Ghana. With over 2 decades of experience in IT and Telecommunications, she worked with Millicom for 14 years before joining Vodafone. She joined Vodafone in 2011 and worked as a Chief Technology Officer and a member of the Executive Committee. Then she was promoted as the Director of Fixed Business and Customer Operations before she was appointed as CEO in 2019.
She is an engineer and a member of the Ghana Institution of Engineers (GHIE) and Vodafone’s executive committee. She had her Electrical Engineering degree from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and holds an Executive MBA and Executive Education degree from the University of Ghana and Kellogg School of Management in the USA respectively. She also acquired an Executive Education degree from INSEAD in France.
Rana Kortam is the Head of Global Regulatory Policy at Uber. Prior to this role, she was the Global Head of Women’s Safety Public Policy for Uber where she led the company’s efforts around the issue, working with governments, researchers, NGOs, as well as local policy teams in over 60 countries Uber operates in. She previously led public policy for Uber in Egypt, shaping the future of regulation for the budding tech ecosystem.
She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the American University in Cairo with a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering. Prior to joining Uber, she led developer relations for Google in the Middle East and Africa, before managing public policy for British American Tobacco in North Africa. Straddling the worlds of tech and policy, and a serious zeal for everything women empowerment, she is an expert in several public policy issues, including women’s mobility and safety, gender-based violence especially in transport and public spaces, gender equality, and economic enablement.
Reem Asaad is the Vice President, Middle East, And Africa at Cisco. She is responsible for overseeing the work of 2,500 employees and contractors while driving the company’s position as a leading technology provider and consultant across 74 markets.
With more than two decades of experience across industries including tech, financial services, and customer experience, her role focuses on strengthening collaborations with governments, customers, and partners, underpinned by Cisco’s portfolio of advanced solutions to accelerate their digitization agendas.
Before joining Cisco, she served as CEO of Raya Contact Center, a business process outsourcing service provider based in Cairo. During her time there, she was key to driving company growth and go-to-market strategy, digital transformation, and regional market development.
Temitope Iluyemi is the Senior Director, Global Government Relations, Africa at Procter & Gamble. She is responsible for improving P&G’s investment viability across the region, advocating for policy reforms that enable P&G’s business operations. Following a short career as a Pharmacist, Temitope joined P&G Nigeria in 1998 as an Account Executive in the Sales function. In over her 20-years career with P&G, she has transcended through a breadth of roles spanning commercial and corporate functions.
In 2010, she joined External Relations, which she led for Greater West Africa (14 countries in West Africa) leading P&G’s expansion into these countries. In 2017, following a two-year assignment in Washington D.C USA, Temitope’s Government Relations role was expanded to include Northwest Africa and today spans across 54countries in Africa.
She is a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and sits on the board of directors for P&G Nigeria. She also chairs the task force on trade facilitation at the US Chamber of Commerce’s ECOWAS initiative and is involved in various local community projects.
Vera Songwe is the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). She brings to ECA and the position of Executive Secretary, a long-standing track record of providing policy advice on development and a wealth of experience in delivering development results for Africa, as well as a demonstrated strong and clear strategic vision for the continent.
Prior to joining the ECA, she was Regional Director of the International Finance Corporation, covering West and Central Africa. In addition, she continues to serve as a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative. She is also a member of the African Union institutional reform team under the direction of the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and a board member of the African Leadership Network and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
Previously, she was Country Director for the World Bank, covering Cape Verde, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, and Senegal. She was also Adviser to the Managing Director of the World Bank for Africa, Europe, and Central and South Asia and a lead Country Sector Coordinator for the organization. She had earlier served as the World Bank’s Senior Economist in the Philippines. Prior to joining the World Bank, she was a Visiting Researcher at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota and at the University of Southern California.
Yolanda Cuba is the Group Chief Digital and Fintech Officer at MTN where she leads MTN Group’s strategic expansion of its financial services and digital solutions efforts and transformation into a digital operator across its footprint of 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East. She is the former Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Ghana having been appointed to the position in March 2016.
She initially joined Vodacom Group Limited in 2013 as a non-executive director before joining in an executive capacity in November 2014 and served as its Group Chief Officer of Strategy Mergers & Acquisitions and New Business till her promotion to Chief Executive.
She led Vodacom’s mergers and acquisitions as well as its acceleration unit into telco adjacencies such as financial services, etc. She previously served as an Executive Director of Strategy & Business Support at The South African Breweries Limited. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Statistics from the University of Cape Town, a Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree in Accounting from the University of Natal, and a Masters in Commerce degree from the University of Pretoria.