Conference Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Ms. Arunma Oteh africaaaa about

Former Vice President and Treasurer of the World Bank

Prof. PLO Lumumba africaa about

Immediate Past Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya School of Law

Dr. Kandeh Yumkella afric about

Former Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)

Dr. Mo Ibrahim afric about | about

Founder and Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede Africabout

Founder and Chairman, Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG)


Taking Stock of Africa’s Cultural Capital for Social and Economic Development

This session seeks to explore the new development paradigm that links culture and the economy and its prospects for Africa's socio-economic transformation. The economy of culture in Africa has a huge potential to generate sustainable income (and export earnings), create jobs, spur innovation and, at the same time, contribute to social inclusion, cultural diversity and human development. Yet, many African countries have not been able to fully tap into this potential.

This session will therefore address the challenges of harnessing the full potential of Africa’s cultural economy/capital. The session will explore, among other things, the strategies of developing, commercialising and promoting Africa’s indigenous resources, heritage and cultural activities. All of these would be done with a view to informing policy-making by outlining the conceptual, institutional and policy frameworks in which this economy can flourish.

Ms. Angel Mbuthia africaa about

Panel Moderator

Secretary for Gender and International Relations, All African Students Union (AASU)
Ambassador Johanna Svanikier aabout
Panel Sponsor

Founding President & CEO of the Heritage and Cultural Society of Africa (HACSA)

Ms. Pumela Salela africaa about

U.K Country Head, Brand South Africa

Mr. Martial Ze Belinga afrabout

Author and Expert on Cultural Economics and Cultural Industries

Carol Ndosi africaaaaa about

Co-Founder, The Launchpad Tanzania

Swaady Martin africaaa about

Founder, YSWARA (Luxury African Tea)

Amandla! Awethu! Social Movements Challenging the Status Quo for Good Governance

Social movements have occupied a pivotal place in Africa’s sociopolitical landscape for the past decades. Social movements have challenged colonial rule during Africa’s liberation struggle; it has confronted bad governance, and champion human rights and rule of law, in Africa’s recent democratic dispensation. In recent years, social movements have gained greater power to mobilise (thanks to modern technology and social media), even though this comes at a great cost to activists. Many face professional exclusion and jail time, and others pay the ultimate price with their lives.

This panel will convene leaders of prominent social movements across the continent to inspire and challenge the delegates (of the conference) to consider their roles in movements that shape our time; discuss the DNA of some noteworthy movements in Africa that have inspired generations recently; and share insights on the role of social movements on the future of governance in Africa.

Mr. Peter Kwesi Kodjie afri about

Panel Moderator

Secretary General, All African Students Union (AASU)

Kate O’Regan africaaaaa about

Former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa

Prof. Arthur Mutambara Aabout

Former Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe

Mickey Meji africaaaaaa about

Director of the Prositution Survivor Movement, KWANELE and Advocacy Manager, Embrace Dignity  

Ahmed Maher africaaaaa about

Co-founder & Leader of April 6 Youth Movement

Carine Kaneza Nantulya afabout

Africa Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch

Agritech and Agribusiness: Innovations and Opportunities for Producing and Consuming Locally

Africa has suitable agro-climate conditions that will allow it to be self-sufficient in food production and, at the same time, feed the world. More than 60 per cent of the continent's most active population is engaged in agriculture. The continent also contains 65 per cent of the world's most arable and uncultivated land. However, Africa still imports large quantities of food products that may be produced locally.

The goal of this session is, therefore, to highlight existing local capacities and innovations (technical and financial), and explore ways of leveraging these capacities and innovations to increase food production. The session will also explore sustainable ways of scaling up these capacities and innovations within each section of the agricultural value chain to radically transform Africa’s agriculture sector, and, hence, make Africa self–sufficient in food production.

Mr. Acheampong Atta-Boateng Aabout

Panel Moderator

DPhil Student, Department of Plant Science, University of Oxford

Prof. Jane Ambuko africa about

Head of Horticulture at the Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection, University of Nairobi

Mr. Bright Bakye Yelviel-Dong Baligi aabout

Senior Economist, National Food Buffer Stock Company

Mr. Simon Derrick africaa about

Head of Corporate Communications and Sustainability at Blue Skies Holdings Ltd

Showcasing and Scaling up Indigenous Innovations in Healthcare and Wellbeing

Demands for good healthcare and wellness systems are increasing in Africa amidst a rapidly growing population, epidemiologic transitions and economic limitations. Africa’s ability to meet this growing demand and create sustainable health systems will depend largely on its capacity to invent, deploy and scale-up indigenous solutions that are sensitive and appropriate for local communities. Several examples exist in some African countries: these examples showcase indigenous health innovations in financing, service delivery, diagnostics, medicines, health information systems and much more.

The session will highlight these innovations and explore ways of leveraging them to improve healthcare and wellness in Africa. The session will also examine these innovations across the components of the World Health Organisation’s framework to develop a blueprint for scaling up these efforts. Finally, the session will examine the role of government and the private sector in scaling up these innovations.

Prof. Kevin Marsh africa about

Panel Moderator

Professor of Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford

Alhaji Farouk Aliu Mahama Afriabout

Panel Sponsor

Board Member of the Aliu Mahama Foundation, Son of Ghana's Former Vice President

Ms. Fatou Wurie africaaabout

Emergency Specialist, UNICEF Innovation

Mr. Yu Akaki africaaaaa about

Executive Officer, Corporate Business Development Division, Kansai Paint Company Limited

Dr. Asmaa Shaboun africa about

Public Policy Student, University of Oxford

Prof. Hamid Muhammad Zamanaabout

Professor of Biomedical Engineering and International Health, Boston University

The Political Economy of Africa’s International Relations: Investment, Trade and Balance of Power

Africa’s investment and trade relations with the world can help boost the continent’s economy, create jobs, and increase wealth. However, Africa’s share of global trade (export of goods and services) is very insignificant, compared to those of other regions. Africa also has a limited capacity, within the broader global multilateralism, to significantly influence international treaties and agreements that it associates with.

This session is a round–table discussion with some of Africa’s major investment and trade partners. The session will, among other things, critically examine Africa's place in the global economy and the broader multilateral world; and discuss ways of boosting Africa’s share of global trade as well as deepening the trade and investment partnerships between Africa and the rest of the world. Special attention will also be paid to how Africa can become an influential player and partner in global affairs.

Mr. Matthieu Mandeng afr about

Panel Moderator

CEO, Standard Chartered Bank, Mauritius

Mr. Ekerete Umoetok afriabout

Investment Executive, RMH Property

Mr. Erhan Barutoğlu afr about

Vice Chairman, Turkey Africa Business Councils

Ms. Naiole Cohen Des Santos Afri about

President of Audit Committee at Banco de Poupanca e Credito (BPC)

Mr. Phuthuma Nleko afriabout

Chairman and Non-Executive Director, MTN Group

Professor Stefan Dercon Africaabout

Professor of Economic Policy, University of Oxford

Mr. Keiichiro Komatsu afriabout

Principal, Komatsu Research and Advisory, United Kingdom

Dr. Zhao Changhui (赵昌会)afrabout

Manager, (China Eximbank) and Designer of China’s Present-Day Strategy towards Africa

…3rd Industrial Revolution, 4th Industrial Revolution or OUR own Development Revolution?

The advent of industrial revolutions has provided countries with opportunities for their socioeconomic development. These revolutions have, however, not inured to Africa’s benefit: Africa has been a major exporter of raw materials to, and importer of finished goods from, other parts of the world. These development revolutions have also focused primarily on the formal sectors of the economy, without much attention to the informal sectors. This session will discuss the other reasons why Africa has not benefited from these revolutions.

What are the sustainable solutions to the challenges stifling the ability of African countries to export secondary resources and value-added goods? What are the sustainable pathways to diversifying Africa's economies and create inclusive growth across sectors? Does Africa even need to subscribe to these "revolutions" to realise its socioeconomic potential, or we need our own concept of development? This session will also explore the answers to these questions.

Ms. Yasmin Ahmed africaa about

Panel Moderator

Consultant at the European Union and former BBC Journalist

Dr. Sabastiano Rwengabo about

Independent Consultant, African Development Bank (AfDB)

Ms. Nwamaka Ogbonna afrabout

Political Economist and Policy Analyst

Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu afri about

Special Economic Adviser to the President of Nigeria

Joan Njoki Kamau africaa about

Managing Director, BranChart Africa

Mr. Kwaku Kyei Oforiafri about

Acting Deputy Director General, National Information Technology Agency

Education for Africa’s self-reliance and global relevance: Aligning education with our development needs

Education has been identified as the means of addressing Africa's development challenges. However, higher education institutions in most African countries are not able to produce the required number of graduates with the requisite attitude and skills set to compete globally as well as effectively address Africa's development needs.

This session will explore the sustainable ways of increasing access to higher education and ensuring that it is of high quality and delivers the requisite attitude and skills to drive socio-economic growth. The session will also seek to answer these and many other questions: How should our curricula be designed to deliver the right educational outcomes? What policies and reforms would be required to make Africa's educational system locally relevant and globally competitive?

Dr. Anne Makena africaaa about

Panel Moderator

Program Coordinator, Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx), University of Oxford

Prof. Mrs. Goski Alabi af about

Vice-Chair, African Network for Internationalization of Education

Prof. Daniel Ayuk Mbi EgbeAfricaabout

International Coordinator of the African Network for Solar Energy (ANSOLE)

Ms. Bukola Adisa afr about | about

Founder and CEO, Career Masterclass

Mr. Ebenezer Azamati afriabout

MPhil Student in International Relations, University of Oxford

Dr. Vongai Nyahunzvi africabout

Africa Head, Teach For All

Taking Ownership of Africa’s Knowledge Capital: The Issues, Challenges and Way Forward

In order to claim the authority of their history, map out their future, and assert their global relevance, Africans must lead and control the production of knowledge on Africa. Even though Africans author most of the knowledge on Africa in some of the important sectors of society (from literature and philosophy to science and technology), most of it is published outside Africa, and in journals that are not controlled and owned by Africans. The publishers also dedicate what information or knowledge is worthy of publication. This begs the question: what barriers are impeding knowledge production and ownership in Africa?

This panel shall identify some of the issues underlying the state of knowledge production on the African continent. Special attention shall be devoted to tenable pathways for Africans to create institutions (e.g. publishing houses), journals, processes (e.g. research funding mechanisms) and reputations necessary to see a return of the continent’s intellectual capital

Errol A. Gibbs africa about | about

Panel Moderator

Founder & CEO, Self-Inspired Researcher, Motivational Speaker, Mentor, and Author of FFHD Writers Inc.

Prof. Funmilola Fagbamila about | about

Scholar, Activist, Playwright and Artist

Prof. Kevin Marsh africa about

Professor of Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford

Ms. Nana Ayebia Clarke Afrabout | about

Founder, Ayebia Clarke Publishing Limited

Mr. Haythem Guesmi africabout

Academic and Writer on Culture, Pan-Africanism and Knowledge Production

Dr. Ali Hassanali afr about | about

Research Scientist at The Abdus Salaam International Centre for Theoretical Physics

2019 Oxford Africa Conference Debate

THE MOTION: “This house believes African Unity is merely aspirational”

The formation of the Organisation of African Unity 56 years ago on 25 May 1963 was the culmination of historical and political trends on the African continent and abroad. Central to the idea of African Unity is that colonialism lay at the heart of Africa’s economic, political and social problems. Riddled with infighting, the OAU dissolved in 2002 and was forced to recognise its own inadequacies. The reformation of the OAU into the African Union (AU) in 2002 has forced us to consider what African Unity means ideologically in the form of pan Africanism and what it is practically.

In small and big ways, the failure of the AU to broker divides and foster peace has led to the view that African Unity is merely aspirational. This debate will be less focused on the historical roots of African Unity, rather aiming to focus strongly on what African Unity is and is not, to better understand the dialectical unity or disunity between the action and reflection, theory and practice of African Unity for the present and future.

Both sides will be used to explore this motion in the hopes of a thought provoking and lively debate, which could, instead of the over reliance on old ideologies, place new thinking around African Unity into perspective in a changing and new elusive age.

For The Motion

Dr. Shola Mos Shogbamimu Afriabout


Lawyer and Political & Women's Rights Activist

Dr Michael Amoah Africaaaabout


Visiting Fellow, Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa, Institute of Global Affairs, London School of Economics.

Carine Kaneza Nantulya Afrabout


Africa Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch

Against The Motion

Prof. Arthur Mutambara Aabout


Former Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe

Coming Soon

Mr. Tet Kofi africaaaabout | about


Former Presenter, BBC Network Africa and Radio 5