New Narratives and Frontiers for Africa’s Global Growth Story

This August, in a special, first of its kind event for the continent, TheNerve Africa in Partnership with the African Union will host the Speak For Africa conference which will feature a unique combination of business leaders on one end and leaders in the communications industry on the other, to discuss global narratives around the continent and how they shape the future of our enterprises, people and nations.


The nexus between strategic communications and economic development of regions around the world cannot be overemphasized. Some of the world’s most ambitious countries and regions have over time, integrated communications variables into economic models, leading to a more positive outlook, good reputation and attractiveness to investments. Same cannot be said of most of Africa. The conference will feature Intellectually stimulating and pulsating conversations that will look at how aid, trade and raid of new opportunities around the continent shapes how the rest of the world views Africa.

Speak For Africa 2019 will be a festival of global African voices and ideas, a showcase of the most reputable companies reshaping the face of the continent. Interactive conversations that offer deep dives, case studies, global best practices and challenging takeaways that will reshape our thought on business on the continent.


The conference will bring together CEOs, executives, company and country representatives and ministers, communications experts, media owners, marketing and reputation consultant, public relations experts etc. This rare combination will allow for objective and interactive conversations across management layers to look at national and corporate reputation in an entirely new light, putting into context the critical role proper narrative development will play in driving Africa’s growth, shape the future of African economies and companies operating within Africa.

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Event Speakers

Speak For Africa: New Frontiers For Africa’s Global Growth Story

When some economies in Africa experienced declines in growth rate, naysayers were quick to predict an end to the ‘African Rising’ narrative and question the continent’s growth story. However, that period of poor growth or lack of it, strengthened African economies and helped us see growth beyond commodities. Today, several African economies have improved in resilience to external shocks. The believe that Africa may be the last frontier of growth remains valid. No other continent offers the same growth potential as much as Africa, a continent that boasts of tremendous mineral wealth, holds more than half of the world’s uncultivated arable land and home to the largest working population for years to come.

We have a duty; to expand the channels through which project Africa’s growth story. We must lead discussions about our economies, the opportunities and the future we want for Africa. Can we start representing #BrandAfrica?

The Subsequent sessions below are the conversations to be held based on the Speak for Africa theme.

Perspectives on Strategic Corporate Communications, Reputation Management and Stakeholder Relations

Corporate communication reaches its full potential in building corporate reputation, when it does more than just influencing public perception of an organization, but also shapes organizational reality by engaging stakeholders as the main drivers of the organization’s reputation.

Thus, communication managers in Africa have a major role to play in managing corporate reputation, even as stakeholder engagement managers and also as part of an organization’s strategic management team. Having a seat at the table where corporate decision-making happens will make it easier to generate a trustworthy corporate reputation, with communications practitioners serving as liaison between the organization and the public. It is important to always note the ever-increasing contribution of reputation to the economic value and continued existence of a company.

Multinational Corporation: Marketing & Communications in The Context of Africa’s Growth Story

As African economies grow, so is the commercial importance of the continent to multinational corporations (MNCs), with many of them enjoying sustained profitability from their African operations. One thing MNCs doing well in Africa have gotten right is speaking to different African markets where they operate in a way each understands and appreciates, whilst retaining one voice across board.

CEOs on the Frontline: How Executives Can Help Drive and Shape Corporate Narrative and Reputation

Research has shown that nearly half of the overall reputation of a company is tied to that of the company’s CEO. Global executives estimate that 44% of a company’s market value is attributable to CEO reputation, according to a research by Public Relations firm Weber Shandwick and public opinion research consultancy KRC Research.

CEOs with strong personal brands rub off positively on the reputation of their companies. Can CEOs lead from the front in the public sphere, helping to drive corporate narrative and bottom line? A CEO with a strong personal brand may be the best bet to success in an oversaturated marketplace with limitless options.

New Horizons For Country Branding: Soft Power, Competitive Identity And Positioning

Some countries in Africa have successfully improved their economies through branding. Using tested corporate branding techniques, these countries have been able to record impressive growth in tourism, increase investor interest and general appeal. For communications and branding professionals, nation branding has grown to become an important business, helping nations in portraying competitive identities. Countries can claim a distinct brand positioning in the minds of its citizens, international stakeholders and the global customer. It’s not only good for the country, it’s also good for its companies, as the companies feed off the country’s image. Think of Italian fashion, Swiss watches, French wine, etc.

Truth, Power & Politics: Managing State/political Communications in a Post-truth Era

Political communication isn’t what it used to be. Today, propaganda travel far and it has become extremely difficult to sieve out the truth from the cacophony of voices on social media. The role of communication in political life, both nationally and internationally, cannot be overemphasized. The focus has expanded now, with changes, including image-based politics, the increasing importance of ‘spin doctors’, the 24-hour news cycle and the globalisation of media, shaping politics.

Country Reputation and Impact on Local, Global Business and Investment Attractiveness

Just like a good nation brand will rub off on the companies in the country, countries with bad reputation makes it more difficult for local companies to compete globally, attract foreign investment or external credit. Understanding how far-reaching the global perception of our countries can be on business and the economy at large makes a case for communications professionals to start thinking more about reputation management for African countries.

Managing Communications in Crisis

Bad news travel fast and far. In today’s age of instant news, every organization must be prepared for the negative impacts of a crisis and devise the best communication strategy for such period. A well-managed crisis can increase brand loyalty, among other things, but a badly-managed crisis can signal the end of the organization. There are so many ideas on how to communicate in crisis, but how best can an organization communicate in crisis? Can one strategy work perfectly for everyone?

Speak To Africa: Perspectives And Views On Africa’s Global Image

A unique interactive session designed to bring together key representatives of global media brands to offer perspectives and views on Africa’s global image and coverage in international press. Conversations will center around Africa in the eye of the audiences of these outlets.

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Perspectives: News Coverage in Africa, By Who? To Who?

What most part of the world (including some Africans) know about Africa is what media publishers have served them. Sadly, news about Africa is hardly ever covered with the same professionalism and keen interest in details with which reportage of the West is presented. Who should be controlling the narrative? How about more Africans start playing active roles in telling other Africans and the world at large about Africa? How can we help foreign reporters improve their understanding of Africa?


For everything reported about Africa by some foreign media organisations, there is something everyone agrees on; Africa is the next frontier of growth. Africa is blessed with both human and natural resources and will enter an era of much more importance to the rest of the world. China recognizes this, so does the West. Hence, Africa has become a battleground of some sort, as both China and the West, especially the United States, try to grow their influence on the continent. The most-preferred turf for the battle has been the media. How can Africa use these conversations to its own advantage?

MEDIA DEVELOPMENT: Issues in Investment, Development & Management of Local Media  

The independence of the media in many African countries is threatened due to lack of private investments. The thriving media organizations in most parts of Africa, are funded directly (owned) or indirectly (Government PR & Advertising) by the state. While this is no excuse to drop standards, it has affected professionalism and quality of work by local media. With many media practitioners poorly paid due to paucity of funds, there is hardly enough to even invest in training. How can we do better?

Media Relations Manual: The PR Professional’s guide to effective media relations in Africa.

Media placements have always been the holy grail of PR success. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for media relations campaigns to get desired placement due to increasing pitches despite shrinking newsrooms. Also, poor remuneration of journalists has made many see PR as a way to augment their low incomes. Hence, good pitches sometimes end up in the trash.

How does a PR professional remain effective in this age? Relationships or Pitches? PR-y or Resourceful? Newspaper clips or key stakeholder survey? How do you successfully execute cross border and multi/lingual media campaigns across Africa? What secrets are in the box to help African companies get global media coverage?

The Role of the Non-Profit Sector in Shaping Africa’s Global Image.

Non-Governmental Organisations have become key actors in responding to deficiencies that governments across Africa sometimes struggle to address. In Africa, NGOs play a leading role in providing healthcare and education, using billions of donor funds to deliver some essential services on the continent. While their contributions are massive, their presence ensure they see the effort of African governments, the growth, albeit slow, as well as the fundamental issues that needs to be addressed. But as they are more accountable to their funders than those they serve, NGOs sometimes fall into the temptation of only showing how bad things are in Africa.

While they are expected to show progress in their work, does the persistence of the challenges they are funded to address not ensure the funds keep flowing? How does this influence the image of Africa projected by development workers to funding agencies?

Power Learning Session:

These learning sessions are designed to empower and tool industry professionals with contemporary issues, global best practices, techniques and technology and its impact in shaping the practice of communications in Africa.

THE R(AGE) OF SOCIAL MEDIA: Corporate Communication & Reputation in The Era of Fake News

Fake news is not new; however, the social media has provided a swift travel channel for people to spread unfounded allegations and false stories about organsiations. Once a displeased customer/client stokes a fire on social media, it may spread like wildfire if not carefully contained. How can people working in corporate communications group of organizations manage the rage of social media to keep their brands safe?

ADVERTISING & MARKETING IN AFRICA: Local Nuances, Cultural Hotspots, Global Relevance

Markets world over are becoming heterogeneous. With the internet, a tweet can give even local brands global exposure. Hence, all brands must start thinking globally but none should lose sight of the importance of localization. Messaging sometimes have to be localized in a way that connects with the audience and motivates them to engage with the brand. Brands must respect local nuances and speak to consumers in ways they understand.

CONTENDING WITH CONTENT: Storytelling And Driving Engagement Through Immersive Content Marketing

Advertising doesn’t always get through to consumers, especially when brands are trying to build loyalty and increase sales. In contrast, content is helping brands grow on consumers and increasing share of their wallet. Immersive content has even increased the impact of content, with technology such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and 360 video drawing consumers in, as brand subtly sell using valuable content.

Special Conversations

Gendered Frontlines: Advancing Equality through Women on the Frontlines of Media & Communications

Advancing Equality Through Women On The Frontlines Of Media & Communications Discussions about equality has been on for decades. While we have recorded some progress, some shocking acts of discrimination still occur, especially in Africa. Women on the frontlines of media and communications have been able to grow an audience they can influence. Through them, we can advance the message of equality and achieve equal representation both on the corporate front and the society at large.


David Lennon

With over 250 global awards to his name, David Lennon is unarguably one of the world’s most sought after and awarded branded content specialists.  David Lennon is a Creative Director with a proven track record in building out successful teams at global media companies. He recently joined Fortune Media Group as Executive Creative Director of their commercial department in New York, having previously worked at Vice Media (Brooklyn) as Global creative director, Wall Street Journal (New York) and Bloomberg (New York & London). Lennon has created branded content and commercial campaigns for many Fortune 500 companies, helping generate $500 million in ad sales revenue. His creative genius has been felt on brands like Netflix, Morgan Stanley, MetLife, Delta Airlines and many others.

David Lennon will be on the continent for the first time to host a live fireside chat with leading African brands and content professionals on branded content. The session will offer practical insights, case studies, Q&A session with participants.

The session is open to all participants at the Global Africa Forum on Communications.

Moky Makura

Moky Makura is a marketing communications professional with a wealth of experience gathered over 25 years in the PR industry, serving almost every aspect of specialist communication from financial to foundations across Africa. In 2005, Moky produced and hosted a 26-part marketing show on the South African business channel; Summit TV. In 2007, she conceptualized, co-produced and presented a lifestyle TV series for the pan African pay TV channel MNet called “Living It”, which focused on the lifestyles of the African wealthy elite. Moky is also an accomplished writer, with her articles and opinion pieces published in various magazines and newspapers. In November 2008, her book Africa’s Greatest Entrepreneurs with a foreword written by Richard Branson was published by Penguin Books. It tells the success stories of the top entrepreneurs on the African continent. The book featured on the top 10 best-selling business books in South Africa and was selected for the Exclusive Books Homebru promotion which showcases the best of South African writing.

In January 2015, she joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as the Deputy Director for Communications Africa where she is responsible for building and managing the foundation’s reputation on the continent. In 2017 she took on the role as the foundation’s Country Representative to South Africa responsible for government relations and program coordination. Before joining the Gates Foundation, Moky worked as Communications Director for the Tony Elumelu foundation in Nigeria. Prior to that she was a well-known TV presenter, producer, author, publisher, public speaker, moderator and a successful entrepreneur in her own right. Moky holds an Honours degree in Politics, Economics and Law from Buckingham University in the UK.

Tim Morris

Tim has had a long career as a British diplomat, specialising in Africa, international organisations, and trade and investment promotion. Tim has been Ambassador to Morocco and Mauritania, temporary Head of Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan during the conflict in that country. He has worked as Coordinator on the Sahel and Special Representative on South Sudan and most recently was Senior Trade Advisor for Africa in the FCO.

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah is a Ghanaian Politician with background in Finance, Law, Development Studies and Communications.

Nkrumah started his career as a Treasury Analyst at British American Tobacco in 2006 before joining Joy FM, a privately-owned radio station, as a broadcast journalist hosting the Super Morning Show. In 2014 he left broadcasting to establish an investment firm, West Brownstone Capital.

Two years later, he joined law firm Kulendi, Attafuah and Amponsah Law.
In January 2017, Nkrumah was sworn in as Member of Parliament for Ofoase-Ayirebi constituency, Eastern Ghana, having won the seat during the 2016 general elections. He was also named Deputy Minister for Information.

In November 2018, Nkrumah became the substantive Minister for Information.

Mr Nkrumah holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce, an MBA in Marketing and a degree in Law.

Terhas Asefaw Berhe

Terhas Asefaw Berhe has a more compelling background than most agency leaders, having grown up in war-torn Eritrea before moving to Canada and then the UK. In 2003 she launched Brand Communications, and has since built it into one of the UK’s foremost diversity consultancies, with a particularly strong focus on African companies that are looking to grow beyond their borders

Alfredo Hengari

Patricia Obozuwa

Patricia Obozuwa is the Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer for GE Africa – a position she has held since April 2012 when she built the communications and public affairs function. Patricia leads a team of communicators across Sub-Saharan Africa, building and protecting GE’s brand and image on the sub-continent. She established GE Africa’s corporate social responsibility platform, GE Kujenga aimed at empowering people by building valuable skills, equipping communities with new tools and technology and elevating innovative ideas that are solving Africa’s challenges. In 2016, Patricia established the ‘GE Lagos Garage’ a hub for advanced manufacturing skills development that has produced over 250 graduates in Nigeria to date (December 2018). She is the founding co-hub leader of the GE Women’s Network for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Prior to joining GE, she was Head, External Relations, Nigeria and Corporate Communication Leader, Sub-Saharan Africa at Procter & Gamble (P&G) where she pioneered the public relations function and built the West Africa communications team from scratch. Before joining P&G in 2005, Patricia was the Arts and Sponsorship Manager for the British Council in Nigeria.

Patricia Obozuwa is a Board Director of The Water Trust (US-Headquartered Non-Profit Organization). She is also a member of the Lagos State Industry Advisory Board for the Yaba ICT Hub/Cluster project and she is on the jury of the “Africa Excellence Awards” (since 2016). She serves as a teenage Class teacher at her local church.

Marcus Ryder

Gomolemo Lolo Madikgetla

For close to two decades, Gomolemo Lolo Madikgetla has contributed to the growth of many organisations across industries such as corporate and investment banking (RMB Botswana) strategic sponsorship and innovation management (FNB Botswana), regional integration (SADC Secretariat), diamond mining (Debswana Diamond Company), cross-border trade (Botswana International Financial Services Centre) and private consultancy (Flam Arc Holdings), using her Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) experience to help them achieve their corporate goals.

Her solid career path combined with the unique bouquet of experience and interests, especially in teaching and voluntary development work, make her unconventionally relevant, skilled and prepared for both impactful and sustainable solutions-creating (not problem-solving) as well as creative dot-connecting. Gomolemo is the Founding Director of Flam Arc Holdings, an IMC solutions boutique consultancy, which was established in 2015. She is currently a Board Trustee of The University of Botswana Marketing Division (Faculty of Business) and the Thapong Visual Art Centre, Botswana.

James Barty

James is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of the King James Group, which comprises multiple specialist company disciplines working collaboratively to explode creative ideas into powerful business-shaping communications. The 21 year old, independently owned company is best known for its work on brands such as Bell’s, Johnnie Walker, Allan Gray, Sanlam, Santam and

He has spent the major portion of his career in advertising itself, but is fortunate enough to have worked on both sides of the fence, so to speak, as both marketer and adman.

James was named Agency Leader of the Year 2011 at the Financial Mail’s AdFocus Awards. He has served as a board member on the ACA (Association for Communications Agencies) for the past 11 years and currently serves as its Chairman for 2018/19. In 2013, James’s industry peers voted him the most admired agency leader in SA ( and again in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

His outlook on the communication industry and for King James is simple: “Hard work and passion really count. We must respect the people around us, continually change to reflect our society, know that we can always do better, but above all, remember that our strength is in the quality of our ideas”.

Hannah Wanjie Ryder

Hannah Wanjie Ryder is the CEO of Development Reimagined, the first Kenyan wholly foreign owned enterprise in Beijing. She is also International Development Director for the Made in Africa Initiative and China Representative of China Africa Advisory.

Hannah is a former Kenyan and British diplomat and economist by training with over 16 years of experience. Over this period, Hannah spent 2 years leading a 20-plus UN team supporting Chinese foreign aid and cooperation; 6 years bolstering effective appraisal, design and evaluation of global development cooperation – including as UK Team Leader for the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC), another 2 years designing/evaluating UK aid private sector programmes in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Indonesia and Korea – and also as chair of an OECD DAC Task Force for 2 years; 6 years as a climate change negotiator including devising and managing the UK contribution to the World Bank Climate Investment Funds (CIFs); and she was also a co-author of the Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change.

Hannah is the recipient of numerous awards for her leadership in China and Africa and her contributions to gender/race diversity and is regularly invited to write for and appear on outlets such as Project Syndicate, the Guardian, CGTN and more. She is fluent in English, proficient in elementary Chinese, French and Swahili.

Brad Ross

Brad Ross is currently based in Nigeria, and works for The Coca-Cola Company in the West Africa Business Unit. Brad is the Marketing, Customer & Commercial Director and is responsible for thirty three (33) countries in the business unit which stretches across West and Mid Africa as well as the Indian Ocean Islands. In his role, Brad is responsible for developing & implementing the West Africa Business Unit’s End-2-End Growth agenda and he is accountable for both the Marketing and C&CL departments.

Brad started his career with Coca-Cola eleven years ago in South Africa before moving to the global headquarters in Atlanta. During his time in the USA, Brad worked on many global marketing campaigns across the brand, IMC and Sports & Entertainment teams. He recently led the FIFA World Cup Campaign which was the largest global marketing campaign for the company in 2018, with over 185 countries leveraging the work across the globe.

Brad holds a B.Com - Marketing Management, B.Com Honours - Strategic Management, and M.Com - Business Management all from the University of Johannesburg (UJ). Brand also recently earned his Executive MBA from the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University in Washington DC.

Claudine Moore

Based in New York City, Claudine Moore is an international award-winning PR and communications executive and board member of Social Media Week, Lagos. Claudine’s career spans over 15 years of working with brands including Grey, Hill & Knowlton Strategies, Coca-Cola, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson and Louis Vuitton. For a decade, she has also worked across Africa leading the communications for business leaders and organizations including Arik Air, former UN Sec. Gen Kofi Annan and the Africa Progress Panel, Tony O. Elumelu, Heirs Holdings, the Tony Elumelu Foundation. She has also worked with African start ups and SME’s leveraging global best practices.

An avid writer, Claudine has provided content to several media outlets including CNN, PR Week, International Public Relations Association, Huffington Post and more. Claudine is also an Adjunct Professor at New York University teaching Corporate Social Responsibility, Global Public Relations and Global Engagement.

Gina Din-Kariuki

Gina Din-Kariuki is a mentor, respected businesswoman, philanthropist and the Founder and Executive Chair of the Gina Din Group (GDG). ​Since its inception, the firm has evolved into a leading African brand serving under the tagline “Shaping African conversations”. It is currently the most awarded communications agency on the continent.

With over 30 years of management service and experience providing state of the art media and communication strategy to corporates, governments and NGOs both in Africa and abroad, Gina has built a reputation as a leading authority in the communications field in Africa and has been named one of Africa's 100 Most Influential People by New African magazine.

As a philanthropist, Gina serves as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Kenya Red Cross and runs her foundation, the Gina Din Foundation. The Foundation was established to empower youth and women with high potential by connecting them to global resources and mentors.

In 2016 Gina was appointed honorary ambassador for UNFPA with a specific mandate for women issues, with a focus on lending her voice to the gender agenda of the United Nations.

Steve Babaeko

Steve is an unusual type of businessman. In an industry that seemed to have run out of inspirational stories, he stepped in and wrote a new chapter. Now, his X3M Ideas Group, which he founded in 2012, has become the yardstick for a new generation of Nigerian creative entrepreneurs.

Steve’s unyielding belief in looking at challenges in the face and staring them down has attracted the best talents to his firm and pulled in clients from around the world. His next stop? South-Central Africa, via Lusaka and Johannesburg, where he recently opened independent offices for X3M Ideas.

Before starting X3M, which has now grown to include X3M Music and Zero Degrees Productions, Mr. Babaeko was the creative director at 141 Worldwide. Over there, he sparked the fire of creativity that made that agency the trendiest for many years.

Steve began his advertising career at Mc&A Saatchi & Saatchi and later moved to Prima Garnet Ogilvy. For more than 23 years, he has been helping to create some of the most iconic marketing works on the continent. You might remember the “Proudly Nigerian” campaign for British American Tobacco, the “Now You’re Talking” campaign for Etisalat, “You Need A New Bank” campaign for Diamond Bank and so many others.

He continues to represent Africa on the global stage, having been a member of the jury at the New York Advertising Week, the Loeries, and Cristal Awards. He has also been a speaker at the Cannes Festival of Creativity.

Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts from the esteemed Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria. He is currently the Vice President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), chairman of the board of Lagos Advertising and Ideas Festival (LAIF), and member of the board of International Advertising Association (I.A.A), Nigeria. Outside advertising, he is the serving Chairman, Public Relations Committee of the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce.

Steve has attended several international Leadership training, including some in Harvard Business School and Columbia University, New York.

Eloïne Barry

Eloïne Barry is the Founder and 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 subsequently founded African Media Agency (AMA) as a response to the growing need from multinational companies, NGOs, international organizations and government entities to reach a much broader audience across Africa, and to demonstrably measure the impact of this reach on their business growth and strategic goals. Eloïne has lived and worked in France, Germany, England, Dubai and currently resides in New York with her husband and two sons. She has been nominated in 2016 and 2017 as African Woman of the year in the media category, sits on the board of Africa Communications Week and has been nominated one of the Most Influential People of African Descent in the Culture and Media category.

Mimi Kalinda

Mimi Kalinda is a Rwandan born in the DRC and raised in South Africa. She is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive officer of the Africa Communications Media Group (ACG), a pan-African public relations and communications agency headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. ACG has worked for top clients including MTN, Barloworld, Accenture, AFIG Funds, Nesta and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Before ACG, Mimi was Africa Lead at FleishmanHillard and part of the team that won PRISM Awards for the Barclays Africa “Prosper” campaign as well as the African Union’s campaign against Ebola. She also worked for Weber Shandwick, where she managed social impact accounts, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. From 2003 to 2006, Mimi worked in New York City for 40 Acres and Mule Filmworks, specifically on the film Inside Man, directed by Spike Lee. Mimi was the first African woman to host a show on MTV Europe and the recipient of the One World Media Award for Rien Que La Verite, a television program advocating the prevention of HIV/AIDS and an end to violence against women in the DRC.

Mimi is a New York University graduate and sits on the board of Catalyst for Growth and the Africa Brand Counsel. She is the Rebranding Africa Champion for Africa 2.0 and she was a finalist for International African Woman of the Year at the Women4Africa Awards 2016. Mimi is an Archbishop Tutu Leadership Program Fellow. Her first book, Talking to Africa: Considering Culture in Communications for a Complex Continent, was released in January 2017.

Bob Pickard

Bob Pickard is a global public relations executive with 28 years’ experience providing communication counsel and delivering campaigns for leaders and organizations such as; British Airways, De Beers, Delta Air Lines, Goldman Sachs, Government of Canada, GSK, Hewlett-­Packard, Huawei, ING, Johnson & Johnson, Kia Motors, Microsoft, Nissan, PayPal, Pfizer, etc.

Builder and leader of award-winning PR firms across 20 international markets working in five countries: Canada, United States, Korea, Japan and Singapore. Bob’s capabilities encompass: corporate, crisis, and change communications; public relations counsel; campaign design and strategy; stakeholder relationship management; digital marketing (content, communities, analytics); corporate social responsibility; leadership communication and media training (including 'executive presence'​ and 'social CEO'​ coaching); P+L leadership; and, public affairs & government relations.

In 2015, he was named in PR Week’s Power Book list of "the most important people in the global PR industry"​ (and the only Canadian national listed). He was also the winner of "PR Agency Head of the Year"​ at the Asia Pacific PR Awards in 2012.

Wendy Tlou

Wendy Tlou is a strategic reputation shaper, a highly skilled presenter, communication and marketing professional equipped with over 15 years’ international experience in communications strategy and implementation, marketing and branding, media relations and stakeholder relations.

Wendy has worked in marketing and communication roles across two continents for Magna Carta PR (one of South Africa’s leading PR agencies); at the Gauteng Economic Development Agency (GEDA) and as part of the PR and communication account management team for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002. In 2003, Wendy joined SA Tourism as Marketing and Communications Manager in Frankfurt, Germany and was later promoted to Marketing Communications Manager in London, UK.

She was GM Global Communications at the communications office of South African Tourism from June 2007 to July 2010 where she led the team that conceptualized, managed and delivered SA Tourism’s global communications strategy and leveraged the communications of the 2010 FIFA World Cup to benefit South Africa’s tourism ambitions. Wendy joined The Communications Firm (TCF) in August 2011 as the Managing Director. While at TCF, she was seconded to the SA Reserve Bank to lead the launch of the new Nelson Mandela banknotes. In 2013, she became Chief Marketing Officer for Brand South Africa. In 2016, she joined Lonmin Plc. as Group Head of Communications.

Wendy holds a Bachelor of Communication Science from the University of South Africa. She also completed a programme in Management Development offered by Gordon Institute of Business Science and Public Relations from Damelin, South Africa

Richard Kiplagat

Richard Kiplagat is the Managing Director for East Africa, at Africa Practice. Prior to joining the company, Richard spent five years as the Head of Global Strategic Alliances at Microsoft Africa, where he was responsible for managing Microsoft’s strategic engagements with development partners and inter-governmental organisations across 47 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean islands. He was instrumental in establishing Microsoft’s partnerships with: The African Union (AU), African Development Bank (AfDB),United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), World Bank and the East African Community (EAC) among others.

Julia Oku Jacks

An accomplished copywriter and marketing and corporate communications expert, Julia Oku Jacks co-founded the acclaimed marketing communications organization, SO&U Saatchi, eventually becoming its Executive Creative Director. She brings the wealth of over three decades of diverse experience into the field of corporate and personal Brand Building and Transformation.

Julia Jacks is currently the Lead Consultant of Julia Jacks Consulting, which offers sustainable value by designing bespoke strategy driven creative solutions to help individuals and corporates re-discover, re-focus and optimize their identity, purpose and effectiveness.

A registered practitioner of APCON and an alumna of the Lagos Business School, Julia has served the marketing communications and branding industry in different capacities. She has also served her nation as a member of the Re-Brand Nigeria project under the late Professor Dora Akunyili and was also a member of the Cross River Tourism Bureau, under His Excellency Governor Liyel Imoke. A committed mentor and Founding Trustee of Women in Management, Business and the Public Sector (WIMBIZ), Julia sits on the Board of several private and publicly quoted companies. She is also a Trustee of the South South East Angel Network.

Thebe Ikalafeng

Thebe Ikalafeng is arguably the foremost global African branding authority.

In a distinguished corporate career which started at Colgate Palmolive in New York and concluded as chief marketing officer for NIKE for Africa, he won over 75 awards in branding and marketing communication globally.

He is the founder of the award-winning Brand Leadership Group and has worked on over 100 corporate, nation and political brands across Africa. Brand Leadership has been recognized by Fin Week Magazine as “Marketing Services Agency of the Year” in 2008 and was inducted into the Rebrand Hall of Fame for Excellence in Branding in 2015.

A fellow of the Institute of Directors, he is a non-executive director at South African Tourism, Mercantile Bank Group, Cartrack and WWF South Africa. He has held directorships in the public and private sector, including Brand South Africa, Foodcorp and Nike South Africa.

He has been recognized by New African Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans.

He founded Brand Africa, an inter-generational movement to create a positive image of Africa, celebrate its diversity and drive its competitiveness and Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands, the only pan-African research and ranking of brands in Africa, to promote excellence in building brands in Africa.

He is widely quoted and consulted globally as the pre-eminent authority on brands and branding in Africa. He has judged awards on design, branding and leadership globally, including the Red Dot Design awards in Germany and St. Gallen Symposium ‘Wings of Excellence’ in Switzerland. He has served as the inaugural vice-chairman of the Brand Council of Southern Africa and as the first indigenous African chairman of the Loeries.

An Afro-optimist passionate about promoting African tourism, trade and business, he has been to 52 countries in Africa. He writes, speaks and consults on Africa-focused branding, leadership and related matters.

Andisa Ntsubane

Andisa Ntsubane joined Old Mutual in 2014 and is responsible for leading its Marketing and Communications Strategy across Emerging Markets.

As one of the leading Marketing strategists in Africa, Andisa’s core responsibilities include Strategy Development, Business Planning, Culture Change Strategy, Customer Value Proposition Governance and Strategy as well as Market Research and Operations.

He has more than 15 years’ experience in Managing Brand Strategy in Africa across organizations such as Microsoft and Standard Bank. In his current role, Andisa leads the team that sets the direction and strategy for growing customers and building the Old Mutual brand across South Africa, the rest of Africa and Latin America.

He also supports the development of the Digital Marketing Strategy to ensure that Customer Value Propositions across Emerging Markets are both compelling and differentiated. With a drive toward customer experience and providing products and services to customers via their channel of choice, Andisa is committed to making sure digital is a critical cornerstone to the future success of the Old Mutual business and brand.

Andisa is also an active Industry ambassador providing input and guidance on various marketing and communications Boards.

Moliehi Molekoa

Moliehi has over 17 years’ experience in the communications industry, having worked across the spectrum of PR for both public and private sector clients across the continent. She has a mix of skills including strategy development, reputation and crisis management, client service management, media relations, and stakeholder management.

She joined Magna Carta in 2005 and now heads the business as the Managing Director as well as the overall manager of Magna Carta’s Africa division which has a footprint in 18 countries. Under her Africa portfolio, she manages clients like MTN Group, Standard Bank Africa, John Deere Africa, AfrAsia and Old Mutual Limited.

Under her leadership, Magna Carta has been named the African Consultancy of the Year by the Holmes EMEA PR Industry Report for 2017, 2016 & 2013 and the business has grown to include corporate clients such as PepsiCo, Entsika, The Jobs Fund, South African Blood Services, and National Development Bank.

She is also the founding member of the Africa Media Forum, which is aimed at equipping African journalists with diverse sector expertise while learning about client businesses. To date, more than 88 media across the continent have attended this training.

Moliehi sits at the board of Northam Booysendal Community Trust as an independent trustee and chairman. She’s also a professional photographer and has worked with brands such as Medscheme, South African Tourism, OneCell and a host of private clientele.

Other accounts she has worked on include The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, Oprah’s Angel Network, World Economic Forum, Africa Progress Panel, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, African Leadership Network, Vodacom Foundation, Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, Samsung Africa, British American Tobacco, Vedanta Zinc International, Motorola, ONE, Kellogg’s, Gillette, Kora Awards, Microsoft and overseeing the launch of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in Africa.

Lekan Lawal

Lekan Lawal is a consummate marketing communication professional with over 15 years’ experience, he possesses proven capabilities in strategy, business development copywriting and conceptualization skills. He is an Alumnus of Metropolitan School of Business Management (London) and Lagos Business School (LBS).

Lekan provides marketing communication services in different sectors including Advertising, International Development, and Information Technology. He has worked at a senior management level for renowned advertising agencies in Nigeria including JWT Nigeria and Noah’s Ark; prior to the current role as COO/GM Leo Burnett, he was the Business Director at Noah’s Ark Communications Limited, a distinct creative agency in Sub-Saharan Africa where he drove business leadership and leveraged the Agency’s creative reputation for more business opportunities, while at Noah’s Ark, he oversaw brands such as Nokia, Airtel, Friesland Campina, producers of Peak and 3Crowns Milk brand and others. During this, he grew the company’s billings from N980M to N1.4B within two years.

He also worked quite extensively with the International Development community especially UKAID and World Bank as a National Communication Consultant on various development programs in sectors such as Construction/Real Estate and Retail where he designed and implemented communication strategies that resulted in improving both sectors and benefitting the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ players as well. He was directly responsible for creating a brand from a World Bank’s financial access product known globally as ‘The Challenge Fund’ which he rechristened ‘Construction Ideas Fund’ in Nigeria’s Real Estate and Construction sector.

Lekan’s experience in the IT sector spanned over three years. He created the Marketing Communication Department of at Signal Alliance Limited, a foremost Microsoft partner in Nigeria and 3rd biggest Microsoft Enterprise Partner in West Africa. During his time at Signal Alliance, the company won many awards including Microsoft Enterprise Partner of the year for her positioning and articulate route to market plans. He is particularly vast in market entry strategies and has applied his to over 5 businesses and brands in different sectors including Hospitality and Construction.
Lekan’s appointment as the COO/General Manager of Leo Burnett is a clear indication of IR’s vision of deliberately promoting a world class brand such as Leo Burnett in a matured market like Nigeria.

Charles O'Tudor

Charles O'Tudor is Africa’s premiere brand strategist and engagement consultant.

Over the years he has enriched the branding landscape with his innovative approach to brand building across all sectors of the economy.

An alumnus of the prestigious wits business school, South Africa, he is the Principal Consultant of ADSTRAT brand management consultants, a firm renowned for it's out of box approach to brand strategy and engagement.

He is an accomplished author, public speaker and thought leader.

His intellectual thoughts are captured in two of his publications [ BrandsArise-The Nigerian Brand Renaissance and The Charles O’Tudor Personal Brand Guide ].

He believes entrepreneurship is the future of African economies.
This has influenced his investment in entrepreneurs through his #COBMC series [ CharlesO’Tudor Brand MasterClass ]that has held consecutively for over two years.
He is passionate about strategy, brand building and engagement.

A recipient of numerous awards, including the Nelson Mandela African Leadership Award, he is a member, board of directors, Nigerians in Diaspora, Europe, Member of faculty, CITC Leadership Centre, Member Advisory Board, Vivacity Global and The B.I.E.L initiative, The Hague, Netherlands.

Ibim Semenitari

An award-winning investigative journalist/journalism teacher, communicator, Administrator, author, gender activist and financial analyst with about 30 years in the private, public and volunteer sectors. Ibim has worked as Journalism Trainer/Editor with the British Broadcasting Corporation World Service Trust and served as Information and Communications Commissioner, successfully in Rivers State in Nigeria’s Niger Delta Region at a very critical time.

After 8 years of an eventful public service career, Ibim has returned to the private sector, while serving part-time as a member of the Governing Council of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akumgba, Ondo State. Ibim is currently the Executive Director, Archdeacon Brown Education Centre group of schools, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Shophar Nigeria Limited, Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer at AMGAG Farms Limited.

Blazing the trail as Nigeria’s first female journalist to win the CNN African Journalist of the Year Award, Ibim in 1997 won the 2nd place in print journalism in the CNN African Journalist of the Year Award. A two-time winner of the Nigerian Media Merit Award, Ibim equally has in her haul of laurels three Diamond Media Awards for Media Excellence, among several others.

Nelson Karanja

Nelson Karanja is a high caliber communications executive with 17+ years' experience in different international environments covering profit and non-profit sectors. He has had solid success directing and implementing a successful broad range of Communication and Public Affairs projects. Nelson has provided effective communications strategies, advice, and support to Chief Executives and Board of Directors.

Nelson is currently the Communications Director at TradeMark East Africa, a multi-donor funded Aid-for-Trade Organization that aims at growing prosperity in East Africa through increased trade. He joined TMEA in January 2011 and leads a team of 4.

Prior to joining TMEA, Nelson led the design and implementation of public health communications programmes that contributed to positive health outcomes in HIV, Reproductive Health and Child Survival in Tanzania.

Nelson has a B.Comm Marketing from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa

Tomi Oladipo

Tomi Oladipo is an award-winning Nigerian journalist. He has worked for the BBC for the past 12 years as a reporter and presenter, telling African stories on radio, television and online, from across the continent and elsewhere in the world. Over the years, his reporting has highlighted innovations in business in African capitals, provided a window into jihadist insurgencies in the Sahel and Horn of Africa, and explored trends in democracy. He is currently the BBC's Africa Security Correspondent and with his security expertise he has also advised government bodies, national security and defence departments, and think-tanks.

Adebola Williams

Adebola Williams co-founded and runs RED | For Africa, the continent’s largest portfolio of media brands engaging the youth.

He realigned national discourse and optimized media engagement for President Muhammadu Buhari, changing long-standing perceptions. Consequent success in Ghana helped the opposition candidate win the presidency and Adebola currently consults across the continent.

Adebola broadcasts a message of enterprise and leadership to a social media audience 200,000 strong. His address during the 2017 Obama Summit earned a rare standing ovation from former US President, Barack Obama.

Adebola was named by the United Nations as one of the 100 Most Influential People of African Descent.


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Venue Details

Conference Venue

August 21-23, 2019
Kigali Convention Center, KG 2 Roundabout, Kigali, Rwanda.

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