Africa to the world
MEET THE panelists
Connect with leading African voices leaving global footprints
H. E. Paul Kagame
Paul Kagame is the President of the Republic of Rwanda. He served as Chair of the AU from 2018 to 2019 and chaired the East African Community from 2018-2021. President Kagame continues to lead the AU Institutional reforms and serves as the AU Champion for Domestic Health Financing. He is also currently serving a one-year term as the Chairperson of the AUDA-NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee.
The hallmarks of President Kagame’s administration are peace and reconciliation, women’s empowerment, promotion of investment and entrepreneurship, and access to information technology, a cause he also champions as Co-Chair of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development.
Managing Director, International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Makhtar Diop studied finance at the Paris ESLSCA Business School. He started his career in the banking sector, prior to joining the IMF and subsequently the World Bank. He has also held government positions, including as Minister of Economy and Finance in Senegal from 2000 to 2001.
Between 2002 and 2005, he was the Bank’s Country Director for Kenya, Eritrea, and Somalia, based in Nairobi. In 2014, Jeune Afrique named Makhtar Diop as “one of the 50 most influential Africans” in the world and he is recognized as being an opinion leader in the field of economic and social development. African Business named him among the 100 most influential personalities in Africa in 2014 and 2015.
In May 2012, he was appointed World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region. From 2009 to 2012, he held the positions of World Bank Country Director for Brazil, where he managed the institution’s largest portfolio. Prior to taking up these positions, he was successively Director of Strategy and Operations, and Sector Director for Finance, Private Sector and Infrastructure, both in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region.
Director General, World Trade Organisation
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is former Minister of Finance for the Federal Republic of Nigeria, appointed in July 2011. She previously served as a Managing Director of the World Bank where she had oversight responsibility for the World Bank’s operational portfolio in Africa, South Asia and Europe and Central Asia.
Okonjo-Iweala is the founder of Nigeria’s first indigenous opinion- research organization, NOI-Polls. She also founded the Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa a development research thinktank based in Abuja, and is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development and the Brookings Institution.
Since 2019, Okonjo-Iweala has been part of UNESCO’s International Commission on the Futures of Education, chaired by Sahle-Work Zewde. She has also been serving on the High- Level Council on Leadership & Management for Development of the Aspen Management Partnership for Health (AMP Health. Also in 2020, she was appointed by the African Union (AU) as special envoy to solicit international support to help the continent deal with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has served since March 2021 as Director-General of the World Trade Organization.
Director General, World Health Organisation (WHO)
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was elected WHO Director-General for a five-year term by WHO Member States at the Seventieth World Health Assembly in May 2017. In doing so, he was the first WHO Director-General elected from among multiple candidates by the World Health Assembly, and was the first person from the WHO African Region to head the world’s leading public health agency.
In October 2005, Tedros was appointed Minister of Health of Ethiopia by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. During his time as Minister of Health of Ethiopia, Tedros was very active in global health initiatives.
Ethiopia was the first country to sign compact with the International Health Partnership. He was Chair of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (2007–2009), Program Coordinating Board of UNAIDS (2009–2010) and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (2009–2011) and Co-Chair of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (2005–2009).
He also served as member of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) Board as well as the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and the Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board. He was also member of several academic and global health think tanks including the Aspen Institute and Harvard School of Public Health.
Tony O. Elumelu
Group Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA)
Tony O. Elumelu
Tony O. Elumelu is one of Africa’s leading investors and philanthropists. He is the Founder and Chairman of Heirs Holdings, his family owned investment company committed to improving lives and transforming Africa, through long-term investments in strategic sectors of the African economy including financial services, hospitality, power, energy, technology and healthcare.
Tony is the Chairman of pan-African financial services group, the United Bank for Africa (UBA), which operates in 20 countries in Africa, the United Kingdom, France, and is the only African bank with a commercial deposit taking presence in the United States. UBA provides corporate, commercial, SME and consumer banking services to more than 25 million customers globally.
He also chairs Nigeria’s largest quoted conglomerate, Transcorp Plc whose subsidiaries include Transcorp Power, one of the largest generators of electricity in Nigeria and Transcorp Hotels Plc, Nigeria’s foremost hospitality brand. He is the Founder and Chairman of Trans-Niger Oil & Gas Limited (TNOG), an upstream oil and gas company which owns and operates Nigeria’s OML17, (with 2P reserves of 1.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent) and committed to creating resource based added value on the African continent.
Tony is the most prominent champion of entrepreneurship in Africa. In 2010, he created The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the pan-African philanthropy empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, catalysing economic growth, driving poverty eradication and ensuring job creation across all 54 African countries. Since inception, the Foundation has funded just under 10,000 entrepreneurs and created a digital ecosystem of over one million Africans as part of its ten year, US$100m commitment through its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme.
Tony sits on a number of public and social sector boards including the Global Advisory Council of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Centre for Public Leadership, World Economic Forum Community of Chairmen and the Global Leadership Council of UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited.
In 2020, in recognition of his business leadership and economic empowerment of young African entrepreneurs, he was named in the Time100 Most Influential People in the World.