The Emergent Continent Innovation Conference


The pace at which innovative technology is traveling across Africa is incredible; it is reshaping how Africans consume financial products, consume media content, invest in innovation and build the cities they live in. From Rwanda to Cape Town, Nairobi to Lagos, the continent’s strive for innovation and development in Financial Technology and payment systems is impressive. This has been fostered by the increasing rate of mobile penetration across Africa. Will Africa become the new global hotbed of innovation?

This November, join leaders from across the world in Nigeria for Africa’s flagship conference on innovation with highly thematic conversations and cross-industry thought leadership sessions on Smart Payments, Smart Cities, Smart Agric, Smart Content and Smart Corporations.

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Event Speakers

Smart cities: Networked Societies, Urban innovation & Intelligent Infrastructure

Infrastructure is the backbone of the world’s economies. It moves people and goods, it powers our lives, and it fuels growth. Whether it’s a reliable transport system, electrical grids that provide a dependable energy supply, or buildings that offer space for housing or commerce: Safe and efficient infrastructure is the foundation on which an economy is built. Yet around the world infrastructure systems are coming under increasing strain due to unprecedented urbanization, continued globalization, and the effects of climate change. In addition, developing countries are struggling to build new infrastructure while developed countries must replace aging infrastructure. Between now and 2030, an estimated minimum of $50 trillion in infrastructure investment will be required to fuel global development. ~Siemens (Answers for Infrastructure & Cities report)

Africa needs more investments in smart cities and intelligent infrastructure. It is estimated that the continent requires $93 billion per year to fill its infrastructure deficit. Innovation will help the region build sustainable infrastructure.

Smart Payments: Fintech, Blockchain development & the future of payments in Africa.

Are Africa’s traditional banking institutions prepared for the ongoing disruption in financial technology and payments?

Recent report by Spanish Bank Satander suggests that blockchain technology could cut bank’s infrastructure costs for payments, securities trading and regulatory compliance by US$15 billion to US$20 billion a year from 2020. Experts believe blockchain will revolutionize the financial industry and eradicate the need for long standing processes like clearing and settlement.
William Mzimba, Chief Executive of South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa for Accenture rightly puts “Blockchain technology presents a fearsome visage to governments, banks and big business. Quite simply, it erodes the existing powerbase that monetary policy control, taxation and middleman facilitation bring. The inevitability of this technology signals a need for speed, however.”

Africa is late to the Fintech party but all hope is not lost as Fintech is gradually beginning to have an undeniable impact in Africa with big investments in Africa’s fintech space picking up. In the last 12 months 30% of all capital investments in Africa were in Fintech Startups. Ignoring the impact of these startups on payments and traditional banking could have huge implications in the future.

Smart Corporations: The Digital enterprise, digital industrialization and manufacturing in a connected economy.

The world’s leading industrial and manufacturing companies are currently undergoing an incredible amount of digital transformation. At the end of this transformation process, successful industrial companies will become true digital enterprises, with physical products at the core, augmented by digital interfaces and data-based, innovative services. These digital enterprises will work together with customers and suppliers in industrial digital ecosystems. These developments will fundamentally change individual companies, as well as transform market dynamics across a whole range of industries. And that’s true in countries all around the world in both the developed as well as the emerging markets. ~PWC 2016 Industry 4.0 report.

This session will help us ask real questions about how African enterprises are preparing for a future that will be completely digital. The session will explore the benefits of digitizing your company’s horizontal and vertical value chains, as well as building your digital product & service portfolio.


Smart Agriculture: Smart farms and data driven agriculture

Africa’s food challenge is two-pronged. A population growing at astronomical speeds on one hand and a continent threatened by climate change on the other hand. In 2015 alone the population of Africa grew by 30 million. It is estimated that by 2050, annual increases will exceed 42 million people per year and total population will have doubled to 2.4 billion.

Africa’s population growth coupled with Climate change will have a huge effect on food security on the continent. These challenges will come in three major areas; Food Demand, Yield Potential, Land availability and quality.

The Agricultural sector will have enormous challenges to feed its 2.4billion people, to survive, Africa must increase its food production by 70% by 2050.

However, Africa not only holds potential to feed itself and eliminate food insecurity but also to be a major player in the global food market. To address these issues and increase the quality and quantity of agricultural production, Africa will need to engage innovative technology to make farms more intelligent and connected through precision agriculture; using apps, bots, wireless monitoring and control system that provide valuable, actionable, real-time information regarding the condition of the soil and crops thereby affecting yield quality and quantity.


Smart Content: Digital publishing & media in a digital economy

The media is facing a moment of truth; it’s the decade of digital, technology is not only changing the way businesses operate in today’s new economy but also how their stories are told and the organizations set up to tell these stories. Technology is disrupting what we know and experience as media across the world; business models, platforms, channels of distribution and media consumption habit is being disrupted by innovation in digital media. Even digitally native publishers are lost in a haze of platform agnosticism, fighting for audience ownership and constantly at the mercy of advertisers who are migrating with the audience across a plethora of platforms and social networks.

As Francis Mdlongwa succinctly put “The more difficult the situation today’s media has faced, the more important it has become for the Industry to have a proper analysis on what’s going on so that adequate solutions for survival can be found.

Smart Investing-in-Africa

Smart investments in Africa’s innovation

The conversation about Africa is shifting from one of deficits and aid to opportunities, ventures and innovation. Despite the global economic crisis, last year, African startups in the innovation space brought in more than $185.7 million, this is aside countless billions of dollars from international private equity firms with interest in Africa. While this is interesting,  it is also worrisome as most of these funds are from foreign investors. The session will bring together leaders of some of Africa’s leading investment and private equity firms to stir conversations around increasing investments in Africa’s innovation space as well as getting Africans to invest in Africa.


Wiebe Boer, Boston Consulting Group

Wiebe Boer

Dr. Wiebe Boer is a Principal with the newly established Lagos office of the Boston Consulting Group.

He previously served as the Director of Strategy and Chief of Staff to the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, a pan-African investment holding company. Prior to that Dr Boer was the inaugural CEO of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, a pioneer African foundation established in 2010 to advance Africa’s economic development and prosperity.
Before joining The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Wiebe served as an Associate Director with the Rockefeller Foundation’s Africa Regional Office based in Nairobi, Kenya, where he managed a broad portfolio including climate change, agricultural development, impact investing, China’s engagement with Africa, and impact outsourcing.

Wiebe joined the Rockefeller Foundation in early 2008 after three years as a consultant with McKinsey & Company’s Atlanta Office, where in addition to numerous engagements in the private sector in the United States, he participated on the team that worked with the Government of Kenya to develop the economic pillar of Vision 2030, the country’s ambitious long term development strategy. Prior to joining McKinsey, Wiebe spent two years in Mauritania managing a USAID funded food aid development project for World Vision.

Wale Olokodana

Wale Olokodana

Wale Olokodana is an experienced technology professional with deep financial and business acumen derived from 15 years in IT industry, with a career spanning sales, business and technical leadership as well as, technology consulting and advisory.

He has had a successful career in Microsoft spanning almost a decade leading, managing teams and working with customers spread across multiple geographies and languages within Africa, all of which have provided strong business results in the area of growth, profitability and customer satisfaction. He is adept at Business development, People development and management, Strategy and Organizational leadership. Wale serves both as a coach and mentor to many individuals in the technology space within and outside Nigeria.

His extraordinary results in these roles have more recently led to the expansion of Wale’s portfolio to include oversight of the Microsoft Enterprise Commercial Business. This segment currently accounts for a majority of the gross revenue of Microsoft Nigeria and covers multiple industries in the Private sector.
Wale’s started his career, having worked in Allied Computers, Resourcery Limited, and MTN Nigeria where he developed a lot of technical and business expertise. Wale has a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife.

When Wale is not making waves in the technology space, he enjoys spending time with his family, catching up on the latest innovation in the technology space and unwinding with good music.

Elizabeth Rosseillo

Elizabeth Rossiello

Elizabeth is the CEO and Founder of BitPesa, a pan-African digital FX and payment platform. She founded BitPesa in Nairobi, Kenya in October 2013 and has since grown the business across six African countries. BitPesa is also licensed by the FCA in the UK as an Authorized Payment Institution and offers direct access to every major African currency at one-third the cost of bank transfers or other brokers. Before founding BitPesa, Elizabeth was a Rating Analyst in sub-Saharan Africa and worked as a consultant for Grameen Foundation, Gates Foundation and the Acumen Fund leading financial services investments across the region. She began her career at Credit Suisse and has an M.A. in International Finance from Columbia University. She has lived in both Kenya and Senegal since 2009.

Daryn Wober

Daryn Wober

Daryn Wober is the CEO of one of Nigeria's leading digital media businesses; Ventra Media Group, he also holds the role of Executive Director, Digital for The Guardian Newspapers Nigeria. The business builds, manages and commercialises digital platforms for the likes of Guardian Nigeria, DSTV, ESPN, BBC, Opera and many more. Before Ventra, Daryn was a Managing Director at PERFORM Group PLC, the world's largest digital sports media business and owner of the largest football site in the world In this role he was responsible for the group’s global business development activities and strategic partnerships. Previously he worked in various roles at IMG (the world’s largest sports marketing and management group) and as VP Business Development for IMImobile, a leading mobile technology firm.


Ravindra Mistri

Ravindra Mistri qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte where he handled a diverse cross-industry portfolio of clients over three and a half years in Johannesburg and San Francisco. In 2012, Ravindra joined Capital Eye Investments, a sub-Saharan African focused private equity and venture capital technology investment firm.

Ravindra has over 6 years of global professional experience within finance, accounting, and now technology venture capital, this has culminated in a deep understanding of technology and it’s rapidly evolving footprint into commercial and social environments in developing nations, population age demographics, rapid urbanization, social enterprise models, and emerging middle classes within the context of consumer-facing mobile technologies as disruptive enablers of convergent trends within retail, financial services, energy and healthcare.


Yinka Adegoke

Yinka Adegoke is Africa editor for Quartz where he oversees and coordinates coverage of the news and ideas in partnership with writers across the continent. He has reported from more than 10 countries across Europe, Africa and the Americas. Before joining Quartz, Yinka was deputy editor at Billboard where he ran the business coverage. Prior to that he was Reuters’ senior media correspondent covering the global media business where he focused on the digital disruption of the traditional media industry.

Jonathan Chapman

Jonathan Chapman

Jonathan Chapman is the BBC Africa bureaux editor based in Nairobi and responsible for the delivery of news from sub-Saharan Africa in English on TV, radio and online to audiences in Africa, internationally and the UK. He has previously been based in Brussels, Washington and London. The BBC is about to invest heavily in further vernacular language service coverage in Africa, including three new languages for Nigeria to supplement their long-standing Hausa service.

seyi taylor

Seyi Taylor

Seyi is the CEO & co-founder of Big Cabal Media - a company building the next generation of media brands for Africa. Big Cabal is the company behind - one of Nigeria's fastest-growing viral sites, - Nigeria's answer to TechCrunch and - a site developed to inform Africans about Ebola..

Prior to Big Cabal, Seyi started one of Nigeria's first online ad networks. His career has spanned across brand design, animation and digital advertising

Paul Wallace

Paul Wallace

Paul Wallace joined Bloomberg in 2014 and moved to Lagos in February 2015 to report on Nigerian and other sub-Saharan economic, business and financial stories.
Before Bloomberg, Paul worked for The Banker magazine in London, where he was Africa Editor and travelled to several countries, including Angola, Ghana, Mozambique and Rwanda, to write about their economies.
Paul was born and brought up in Malawi and read history at Durham University in northern England, before doing a masters in journalism at the London College of Communication.

Ndubuisi Ekekwe

Ndubuisi Ekekwe

Professor Ekekwe holds two doctoral and four master's degrees including a PhD in electrical & computer engineering from the Johns Hopkins University. Ekekwe worked in the team that designed a generation XL for the iPhone and created the company's first wafer level chip scale package for inertial sensor.

He blogs at Harvard Business Review, and previously served in the United States National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center E&D Committee for four years. Prof Ekekwe is the founder of FASMICRO Group - a holding company with investments in electronics, software and real estate. An inventor, author, he held professorships in Electrical & Computer Engineering Babcock University and Carnegie Mellon University. A TED Fellow, "IBM Global Entrepreneur" and World Economic Forum "Young Global Leader", he received IGI Global 2010 "Book of the Year" Award.

Dr. Ekekwe is a selection board member of the $100 Million Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program.

Juliet Ehimuan

Juliet Ehimuan

Kola Aina, AXA Mansard

Kola Oni

Kola joined AXA Mansard in March 2015 as Group Head, Strategy and Corporate Planning. He has over 10 years’ ‘Big 4’ consulting experience, advising mid to large-sized Nigerian conglomerates and Global companies on their Nigeria operations and Africa expansion. He’s advised his clients on fund-raising, mergers and acquisition, due diligence and divestments and helped the foreign ones form strong local JV partnerships. In between his consulting experience he’s held direct operational roles in the investment banking as well as risk management divisions of UBA Group. In UBA Group, he was part of the team that pioneered the use of financial modelling for Value-at-Risk (VaR) and other advanced techniques for managing market risks in the Nigerian banking industry; actively supporting the Treasury and Board Asset & Liability Committees (ALCo) across UBA’s operations in 13 countries.
In KPMG Advisory Services, he led the project teams that advised Nigeria’s leading industrial conglomerate and one of the largest banks on their Africa expansion; he’s also advised some of the world’s leading private equity firms – Carlyle, Helios and KKR on investments in Nigeria. He holds a Bachelor degree in Microbiology from the University of Ilorin and is an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. He trained as a Chartered Accountant in PwC and has attended several international training programmes on M&A, capital raising and valuations.

Ronald Chagoury Jr.

Ronald Chagoury Jr.

Ronald Chagoury Jr. is the Vice Chairman of South Energyx Nigeria Limited, the developers and city planners of Eko Atlantic. He has been actively involved in Eko Atlantic since the start in 2008. As a board member he was responsible for developing early stages of the project as well as promoting the concept and development of Eko Atlantic at both regional and international levels. He is behind some of the city's key developments including the Marina District of Eko Atlantic, an international hospital, international school and luxury shopping center.

The Eko Atlantic City is touted to be officially Nigeria's international commercial city and one of the most advanced new cities in the world.
The city adjoins Victoria Island district of Lagos city and the Phase 1 area of Lekki, to the north, while the entire Western, eastern and southern borders is a coastline. Eko Atlantic is expected to rise as the next generation of property on the African continent; having a total of 10 districts, spread across a land area of approximately 10 square kilometres (3.9 sq mi), the city will satisfy needs for financial, commercial, residential and tourist accommodations, with a state of the art high tech infrastructure in line with modern and environmental standard.

Olayinka David-West

Olayinka David-West

Dr David-West is an information systems (IS) professional with over two decades experience in the Nigerian IT industry. With a passion for the effective use of IT in business, Dr David-West not only makes IT understandable, but assists organisations seeking business value from information and related technologies through systematic decision making and managerial processes. She is currently a senior fellow in the Operations, Information Systems and Marketing Division of Lagos Business School. She is also academic director at Lagos Business School​ and Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan-Atlantic University respectively.

Dr David-West holds a doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) from Manchester Business School; an MSc in Business Systems Analysis and Design from City University, London; and a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Lagos. In her doctoral thesis, Dr David-West investigated the performance of electronic banking systems that resulted in the development of EBQUAL, a scale to measure consumer perceptions of electronic banking quality. Her research interests are centered around the managerial practices in support of information systems in business including, but not limited to systems planning, development, management, governance and effective use. Dr David-West is the author of numerous academic papers and case studies. She has also presented her research findings in local and international conferences.

Anne Driscoll

Anne Driscoll

Chris Schultz

Chris Schultz

Tanya Spencer

Idiaresit Abasiama

Olawale Ayeni

Wale Ayeni has over a decade of global technology experience spanning several roles including Venture Capital, Investment Banking, Corporate Development, and Microprocessor & ASIC chip design. Wale currently leads venture capital early-stage investments in disruptive startups across various technology sectors for Orange in North America. Orange is a $50B global telecoms company with over 260MM subscribers in Europe, Middle East and Africa and actively invests $500K - $3MM early-stage companies - recent investments in the US includes Veniam(Mesh Networks), Chain (Blockchain), WEVR (Virtual Reality).

Prior to this Wale was with J.P. Morgan’s Technology Investment Banking group in San Francisco where he successfully executed over $12B worth of closed transactions spanning mergers & acquisitions to IPOs for large-cap technology clients including Facebook, Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard, Intel Corp., AMD, Shutterfly, etc. Wale started his career as an Engineer, and in his previous technology career Wale was a microprocessor design Engineer with Intel Corp. where he led critical aspects of Intel's "CSI" chip architecture - the biggest micro-architecture change in Intel's history. He also led aspects of the very first "Snapdragon" chipsets working at Qualcomm Inc.’s chip design center enabling the initial smartphone designs.

Wale has an MBA from Dartmouth College, and his Bachelor’s degree with distinguished “Red diploma” from Moscow University. He is a Kauffman Venture Capital Fellow, he is a recipient of the top global 100 Rising Stars award in Corporate Venture, and is extremely passionate around frontier market VC investments.

Tunde Kehinde

Tunde Kehinde is the Co-Founder of financial services platform Lidya, which has been founded to improve access to credit and finance across the African continent and for Africans living in the diaspora. He is also Co-Founder of ACE, the leading direct-to-consumer fulfilment platform in Nigeria delivering hundreds of thousands of packages to consumers, and former Managing Director of, Nigeria's Number One Online Retail Store. Whilst at Jumia, he helped grow the business from 5 employees to close to 1,000 employees serving customers all over Nigeria. Prior to Jumia, Tunde co-founded, an online dating platform identified by Forbes as one of the hottest tech start-ups in Africa. Tunde has prior experience as a business development executive with Diageo in London and as an Investment Banking professional with Wachovia Securities in North Carolina and New York City.
Tunde holds a degree with honours in Finance from Howard University and an MBA Harvard Business School.

shola-akinlade Paystack

Shola Akinlade

Shola is the co-founder and CEO of Paystack, an online payments company facilitating commerce in Africa by enabling frictionless payments and the first Nigerian company to be accepted into Silicon Valley Based Accelerator, Y Combinator. Paystack has processed over 100,000 transactions since it's beta launch in early 2016.

Prior to Paystack, Shola co-founded Precurio, an open-source collaboration software for businesses in emerging markets which was downloaded over 150,000 times and made available in 6 languages.

chris-okeke Wiklow Group

Christopher Okeke

Christopher is a distinguished and long-standing member of the Nigerian Bar, serving as one of Nigeria’s pre-eminent commercial lawyers for several years. Over a forty one year career, he has provided world- class investment, legal and financial advice to a broad range of Nigerian and international clients, in the project finance, global natural resources, energy, manufacturing and financial sectors among others. He was a founding partner of Ajumogobia and Okeke, one of Nigeria’s most highly regarded commercial legal firms, and continues to advise selected clients.

He has served as Honorary Legal Adviser to Her Majesty's Government in Nigeria since 1989.
Christopher is currently actively engaged in agriculture and agribusiness. His interests in commercial agriculture span the full range of the value chain, from primary farming through intermediate processing to processing of finished goods, with operations in seven Nigerian states. They include NSM Foods Limited, Nigeria’s oldest and largest cassava starch processor, Quarra Rice Limited and GIL Agro Services Limited. He has invested in agribusiness through numerous vehicles in Nigeria and across Africa, and has comprehensive understanding and experience of the unique opportunities available in the sector.
Christopher is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana (B.Sc), Southern University of Louisiana (Juris Doctor), Georgetown University Law Centre, Washington D.C. (L.L.M)


Tunji Andrews

Tunji Andrews is the lead economist at TTAC Africa and media adviser to the Statistician General of the Federation. Mr Andrews is the anchor of award-winning business radio shows like The Market Place on Smooth 98.1fm and MTN Business Half hour on Classic 97.3fm, amongst several others.
He is also an European Union consultant under the EU SUFEGOR project.


Enyinne Owunwanne

Enyinne Owunwanne is an International Business Development and Marketing Consultant with over 12 years of multi-industry experience for both corporate and start-up companies across healthcare, finance, education, manufacturing and retail.

Enyinne is skilled in uncovering untapped opportunities for business innovation, with areas of expertise including: strategically identifying revenue generating opportunities, translating consumer & market trends into innovative ideas & actionable concepts, and building and leveraging cross-functional collaborative relationships.

As an established and respected speaker, Enyinne has shared insights on innovation, marketing and entrepreneurship at conferences globally and with leading publications, including: World Economic Forum, United Nations, Columbia University, University of Rochester, New York Times, Huffington Post, Guardian (UK) and more.

Before moving to Lagos, Nigeria in 2014, Enyinne previously lived in the United States, Hong Kong, Paris, and Kuwait. Enyinne holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience from University of Pennsylvania and is a member of the World Economic Forum Design Innovation Council.

Levi Novitske

In 2012 Lexi Novitske moved to Nigeria from The United States believing that the country held immense untapped potential with an under-penetrated consumer population, expanding infrastructure and online access, and an active entrepreneur network.

Lexi worked for Verod Capital Management, a Nigeria-based private equity firm. Prior to joining Verod, she had spent her career developing an expertise in financial services through her time at New York-based Sandler O’Neill Asset Management.

In 2014, Lexi joined Singularity Investments as the Principal Investment Officer where she oversees the firm’s operations in Africa. Singularity lends its relationships and expertise to source extraordinary investment opportunities, while supplying the skills, resources, and capital to grow portfolio companies into industry leaders across the continent.

Singularity has investment expertise across sectors, and will opportunistically look to grow its portfolio in areas where it sees substantial opportunities. Typical sectors of interest will include Mobile & Web-Based Services, Technology & Software, Digital Infrastructure & Digital Media & Entertainment.

Bosun Tijani

kola-masha ~TheNerve

Kola Masha

Kola is the Managing Director of Babban Gona, an innovative Agricultural Franchise model founded to leverage the private sector to address Nigeria’s spiraling youth unemployment challenge. Babban Gona, a sustainable private sector solution, that provides the members of hundreds of franchise farmer cooperatives, a holistic set of services to enable them increase their yields to 2.3 times the national average and increase their profitability to over 3.5X the average farmer. Babban Gona expects to sustainably enable 1 million small holder farmers lift themselves out of poverty by 2025. Kola brings significant leadership experience across four continents and multiple leading companies, including General Electric (GE), Abiomed and Notore. In addition, Kola brings extensive public sector experience as the former Senior Advisor to the Nigerian Minister of Agriculture. Kola is globally recognized as a thought leader in African Agribusiness. In recognition for his leadership in driving positive change on the African Continent he has received several global awards including the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship and Rainer Fellowship. Kola holds an MBA (Honors) from Harvard and Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT.


Ada Osakwe

Ada Osakwe is a creative food entrepreneur and passionate agribusiness advocate. As the Founder and Chief Executive of Agrolay Ventures, an investment firm targeting earlystage agribusiness and food-related companies and projects, Ada seeks to redefine the food production and retail opportunity across Africa's large consumer markets. Agrolay invests in food start-ups as well as incubates its own new agri-ventures. The company has four investments namely The Nuli Juice Company, an innovative beverage brand that utilizes locally grown vegetables and fruits to make healthy juice products, Nuli Foods, a food manufacturer that makes ready-to-eat traditional African meals, Nature’s Bounty, a Nigerian dried fruit snack brand, and African Courier Express, a Nigerian technology-enabled logistics & services company.
From November 2012 to May 2015, Ada was seconded by the Tony Elumelu Foundation to serve as the Senior Investment Adviser to Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Nigeria’s former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. In this role, she was responsible for advising the Minister on all agriculture investment-related activities involving private sector investors, and led investment policy and financing initiatives. Amongst various initiatives, Ada led the development and launch of the Fund for Agricultural Financing in Nigeria (FAFIN), an innovative private equity fund dedicated to investing in agribusiness companies in Nigeria. In her final assignment, Ada headed the campaign team that successfully ushered in Dr. Adesina as the president of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB).
Prior to her role at the Ministry, Ada lived in New York and was a Vice President at Kuramo Capital Management, a private equity firm that manages the Kuramo Africa Opportunity Fund, a multi-asset class investment vehicle that invests in high-growth opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa. Here she led the firm’s investments in Private Equity opportunities and was a member of the Fund Investment Committee. Ada also worked briefly with Actis, a multi-billion dollar Private Equity fund focused on emerging markets investing.


Gary Whitehill

Gary Whitehill is the 21st Century futurist who believes that unstable times create
incredible opportunities. Since 2011, Gary has journeyed through more than 60
countries, immersing himself in turmoil and transition. Where others see forces of
power and control being eroded globally, Gary sees disruption with opportunities to recreate.
He believes humanity can be enriched through inclusivity, cooperation and
participation. Gary’s future-by-design model shows how we can leverage the emerging
energy of 7.4B people to create a better future. He catapults people and their visions
into an accelerated reality by using cultivated innovation, directed technology, shared
values and inclusive justice to build the bridge between today’s uncertainty and
tomorrow’s smarter future. In his 2016 Humans Deserve Better tour, Gary is working
alongside business leaders, governments, communities and organizations to build
launch pads, fire up the human-ingenuity rocket fuel, and hurtle ideas forward to make
the future happen now.

Azeez Muyiwa


Amina Adewusi

Amina is passionate about supporting vibrant, investor-friendly private sectors across Africa. She currently leads company origination for which funds innovation in higher education across global emerging markets. She has invested in and managed portfolios across Africa from tech start-up seed rounds to large pan-African funds. At CDC Group she helped to manage a USD 2bn portfolio of private equity funds with over 600 companies across Africa and at Standard Chartered Bank she advised clients on African macro-economics and financial markets. Amina is a co-founder of the Africa Women's Circle, a network of over 300 women in London who are driving change across the continent.


Christopher Quintero

Chris Quintero is an Associate at Bolt, a venture capital fund designed to address the unique needs of early-stage startups at the intersection of hardware and software. Bolt has 37M under management and invests up to $500k in pre-seed, pre product companies. At Bolt Chris focuses on sourcing new investments and splits his time between Boston and NYC. Chris has a mechanical engineering background and previously worked on international development projects in Chile, Vietnam, and Cameroon.


Jennifer Obuah

Jennifer Abuah joined Olam Nigeria in 2011 where as head of cocoa sustainability she now manages the Nigeria Cocoa Certification Programme. Prior to joining Olam, Jennifer worked variously in the UK’s voluntary and statutory sectors and the United Nations in Ghana. She holds a master’s degree in social policy and planning of developing countries from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Lola Cardoso

Lola Cardoso is the Head, Group Corporate Strategy for Union Bank.
She previously served as Director Strategic Planning at A.T. Kearney, as Consultant, Strategy and Operations for Dupont and as an Investment Banking analyst at both Leyman Brothers and Citigroup.
In her role at Union Bank, Lola is responsible for Strategy Development, Planning and Transformation. She also leads on Innovation, Sustainability and Change Management for the bank.

Olabode Abikoye

Olabode Abikoye is a Deputy General Manager and the Head Agribusiness for Union Bank. In this role he has worked closely with the Federal Government to develop various strategies and policies that are shaping and improving the Nigerian agricultural space.
Bode previously served as Chief Executive Officer, Aterios Capital Limited and Assistant General Manager for Skye Bank among other appointments.
As Union Bank's Head Agribusiness he works to develop partnership with farmers and associations to support the financing and development of quality agricultural infrastructure and ensure income growth for farmers.


The Emergent Continent Conference (TECC) was a step in the right direction. The conference, with the overall theme: Make Innovation
Happen, was convened by The Nerve Africa with Lagos Business School as the knowledge partner. This event took place on 16 November 2016 in the heart of Lagos, Nigeria. As an enterprise innovation showcase for Africa, the conference served as timely opportunity for actors within the continent’s digital ecosystem to share unique stories and prognose the future pathway, as Africa strives to become the new hotbed for enterprise technological innovation. With a mostly millennial repertoire of domestic and global business leaders, academics and entrepreneurs as speakers, discussions were centered around cross-industry thought leadership and insights on smart cities, smart corporations, smart payments, smart agriculture, smart content, and the contextual African dynamics for the short and long term.

Making Innovation Happen: Should Africa innovate?
In the last decade, Africa has been replete with the innovation buzz - driven primarily by technology startups in hubs across the region. But the critical question persist as to how to overcome contextual constraints and unlock the full capacity of these innovations across the multi-sectors using smart solutions - in order to transform her socioeconomic landscape. The need to smartly innovate has therefore never been more intense than now. Across all industries, the push for greater efficiency has become a priority as organizations battle cost reduction, while still aiming to remain competitive. Yet it is the opinion of some that the types of innovation required by African markets in their
developmental stages should be contextual and relevant to addressing the social and developmental lapses on the continent. These arguments are contrary to the replication or duplication of Western innovations.With lead sponsors -GE and Union Bank, showcasing innovations in Smart Corporations and Smart Agriculture respectively, TECC broadened knowledge perspectives generally and through diverse industry perspectives.

Smart Corporations - Globally, as industrial and manufacturing entities undergo the ineluctable process of digital transformation, how will the digital internet working with consumers and suppliers in the industrial digital ecosystem change individual companies and alter the market dynamics across the industries they serve? How are African enterprises getting ready for this digital paradigm with respect to value chains, as well as product and service portfolio? Driving this process will be an interplay between data, analytics and security, with digital industrial internet taking the lead over consumer internet. This would be based on cloud technology and driven by appropriate talent and
collaborative organizational culture - in order to guarantee the expected outcomes of greater reliability, flexibility and productivity at the most efficient competitive edge.

Smart Cities - As the backbone of global economic transformation, infrastructural innovation is critical in shaping the sustainable future of African cities. With current transport systems and utility grids coming under increasing strain due to population growth and intense urbanization, how do the2continent’s stakeholders attract the requisite investments for smart city projects and intelligent infrastructure - in order to be optimally positioned to surmounting these unprecedented challenges? To this end, local private investors are catalysts in this space. They have a big role to play, in making the initial investment into discovering new innovative ideas that are feasible, scalable, profitable and sustainable in the local context. Scenario planning is one useful way by which this can be achieved, unlike the full adoption of strategic frameworks transplanted from the Western world. With this in place, and in partnership with foreign investors, the requisite
finance to build a modern city can be speedily facilitated.

Smart Payments - Though relatively late in adoption, how are Africa’s traditional banking institutions engaging the ongoing disruption in financial technology and payments, with respect to infrastructure costs, securities trading, regulatory compliance, and customer service? How are these technological shifts altering investments within the sector, and what are the implications for the future? In this perspective, mobile will be the greatest innovation driver, being the largest computing platform on the continent. To drive the volume of transactions via smart payments therefore, there is the requirement for fit-for-purpose solutions, as opposed to foreign-adapted technologies, taking into careful consideration the contextual issues of financial inclusion, digital literacy, bandwidth deficiencies, and trust. For financial inclusion, trust is key. Trust resides within institutions in local communities including churches and mosques. Operators in the payment ecosystem can
leverage this to drive growth at scale.

Smart Agriculture - In the light of geometric population growth rates, coupled with challenges of climate change, the threat of food
insecurity with respect to the inter-plays of demand, yield, quality and cost - have become critical issues on the African continent. Innovative technology becomes a veritable mechanism for the region to surmount these challenges and become a major player in the global food market. In this regard, intelligent farms, precision agriculture, automated systems and aggro-financial services are pivotal to the requisite transformations in the sector. To drive this process, critical power infrastructure inadequacies must be addressed to open up the agricultural sector for greater productivity and profitability that will generate more job opportunities and guarantee regional security. To realize the foregoing, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders must begin to look towards smart agriculture using the intersection of technology, data and

Smart Content - In the new digital ecosystem with the continuous convergence of information technology, communication and media content, how are African media enterprises optimally positioning themselves for the attendant neck-break competition for audience ownership and advertisement - in order to guarantee long term survival? On a contextual basis, enterprise initiatives in this regard include digital programmes adapted to local languages, mobile content programming, low bandwidth and offline versioning - in order to find consumers as opposed to the traditional mode. To maximise the benefits of these initiatives, digital media issues of copyright and intellectual capital must be solved using appropriate regional policies.

Smart Investments - With a focus on shifting emphasis from deficits and aid to new venture opportunities, African innovation startups are driving in key investments from mostly foreign private equity firms. But the question abides as how to increase this leverage, and also get Africans to begin to invest in the continent’s enterprise revolution. In this domain, technology startup accelerator-ships and angel syndicate investments are taking a leading role. Stakeholders must therefore prognose digital business models that are viable and that will ensure scalability and profitability. Investors should also leverage networks and institutional relationships in overcoming regulatory challenges. Above all, African entrepreneurs must push for pan-African enterprise projects capable of solving regional business needs.






Venue Details

Conference Venue

November 16th, 2016
Intercontinental Hotel, Plot 52, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.

Media Partners

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