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2017

Keynote Speakers


Find here the list of speakers present at the African Week of Microfinance


A

Charles ABAKA-YANKSON

Charles ABAKA-YANKSON

Chief Executive Officer of AB Intel Limited

Mr Charles Abaka-Yankson holds 30 years of experience in SME development. He has a BSc. (Honours) Chemical Engineering degree, which he obtained from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi (Ghana) in June 1981. In 1999, he obtained an MBA qualification with specialisation in Finance from the University of Ghana, Legon. 

Mr. Abaka-Yankson’s experience and exposure ranges from Development of Business Plans, Feasibility Studies, Company Restructuring and Financial Engineering to Corporate Finance and Advisory Services, Bank Negotiation Assistance and Business Process Re-engineering. Other areas of specialisation include Plant Operations and Maintenance, Environmental Management, Environmental Impact Assessment, Project Management and Capacity Building. Recently, he has provided business advisory services for the USAID/Ghana FinGAP project and has helped to facilitate agricultural finance for several SMEs.

 

Parallel Session 1.4 : Applying a holistic approach to agricultural MSMEs development and finance
Tuesday, October 10, 16.00 - 17.30

Terfa Williams ABRAHAM

Terfa Williams ABRAHAM

Research Fellow/ Economist at National Institute for Legislative Studies, Nigeria

Dr. Terfa Williams Abraham holds Bachelor and Masters degrees in Economics from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria in 2005 & 2010 respectively; and a Ph.D in Economic Sciences from the Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) de Dakar, Senegal in 2016. His PhD study was funded under the German Federal Ministry of Education (BMBF) WASCAL Graduate Research Programme. A recipient of the 2009 CODESRIA Small grant for M.Sc thesis writing and a recipient of the Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A) 2015 Research Paper Prize, Dr. Abraham also won the Nigerian Economic Society (NES) first prize for best PhD thesis defended in the 2015/2016 Academic session.

He is currently a Research Fellow/ Economist with the National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS) – the capacity building institution of the Nigerian National Assembly; where he serves as one of the specialists on Appropriation, Finance, National Planning, Public Accounts, Banking and Capital Market. A member of the Nigerian Association for Energy Economics and the Nigerian Economic Society, Dr. Abraham is also an individual member of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA). His research interests are in Financial Economics, Development Economics & Applied Econometrics. He has over 20 articles either as book chapters or as papers in peer review journals.

Research Meets Africa
Monday, October 9, 9.00 - 17.00

William AWUKU AHIADORMEY

William Awuku AHIADORMEY

Managing Director of Agricare

Mr. Ahiadormey is the managing director of AGRICARE LIMITED, a large feed mill with capacity to produce 25,000 metric tons of poultry and livestock feed per annum. Based in Kumasi, in the Ashanti region of central Ghana, AGRICARE distributes to poultry, livestock and fish feed markets in, Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso, as well as Ghana. In partnership with USAID/Ghana's FinGAP project, he has been able to grow the business by accessing agricultural finance and facilitating the flow of finance to 350 poultry farmers and 500 maize out-grower farmers. He holds an MBA from the Wisconsin International University College, Ghana, and a Masters in Agricultural Economics from the University of Ghana at Legon.

 

Parallel Session 1.4 : Applying a holistic approach to agricultural MSMEs development and finance
Tuesday, October 10, 16.00 - 17.30

Andrew AHIAKU

Andrew AHIAKU

Head of Agribusiness at Barclays Bank

Andrew Ahiaku is an Agribusiness Finance Specialist with passion for reaching out to smallholder farmers through a Value Chain Approach. He is the Head of Agribusiness at Barclays Bank, Ghana Ltd and has championed the growth in the bank’s agribusiness loan book. Barclays Bank is currently the leading agri-finance bank in the Maize, Rice & Soy Value Chain (USAID-FinGAP).

Mr. Ahiaku has over 10 years of Corporate Banking Experience spanning Commercial Asset Finance, Relationship Management and Business Development. Before Barclays he worked with Technoserve Ghana, Pan African News Agency (PANA) in Dakar-Senegal and FedEX Ghana.

Mr. Ahiaku is a graduate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi and holds a double Masters in Financial Services and Strategic Marketing from the University of Exeter and Hull respectively.

 

Parallel Session 1.4 : Applying a holistic approach to agricultural MSMEs development and finance
Tuesday, October 10, 16.00 - 17.30

Amsalu ALEMAYEHU

Amsalu ALEMAYEHU

CEO of WASASA Microfinance Institution

Amsalu Alemayehu is the founder and CEO of WASASA in Ethiopia and is also on the Board of Directors of several organisations: the Ethiopian NGO Gurmu Development Association, AEMFI and PAMIGA. He is an economist with a specialisation in business administration with 16 years of experience in microfinance.

 

Parallel Session 2.4 : Cooperative development and financings
Wednesday, October 11, 9.00 - 10.30

Thierry ARTAUD

Thierry ARTAUD

Executive Chairman of MOSS ICT Consultancy 

Based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Thierry Artaud is a co-founder of M-BIRR service, a MOSS Group initiative with head offices in Dublin, Ireland and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

M-BIRR is the pioneering Mobile Money Service in Ethiopia; founded in 2009 in collaboration with the five largest Ethiopian microfinance institutions, M-BIRR has now become the leading Digital Finance Service in Ethiopia, particularly with regards to Social Security and Aid disbursements. Currently two million poor Ethiopians receive their monthly financial support through M-BIRR.

M. Artaud has 27 years of broad international experience in business management and development. He held senior positions in the telecommunication industry for over 20 years. M. Artaud has a master's degree in scientific innovation from the University of Angers and an MBA from the University of Nancy.

 

Parallel Session 1.2 : EIB solutions for supporting SMEs: Investing in private equity
Tuesday, October 10, 16.00 - 17.30

Mohamed ATTANDA 2

Mohamed ATTANDA

Director of the Microfinance African Institutions Network (MAIN)

Mohamed Attanda holds a Master in Business and Administration (MBA) option Global Studies& Finance at the Southern New Hampshire University (USA) and a bachelor degree in Bank and Finance from the University of Ghana (Legon). He has ten years of experience in microfinance.

In 2013, Mr. Attanda participated to the training at the Boulder Institute of Microfinance, specializing in managing MFIs. He organized and participated several national and international trainings in microfinance. He is a trainer for modules concerning financial education, social performance, revenue and credit management.

Since January 2014, he is the executive director of the MAIN network (Microfinance African Institutions Network), a powerful pan-African network composed by 80 members from 22 countries. He was first manager of the programme for francophone Africa from 2008-13.

Before joining MAIN, Mr. Attanda had various experiences in the bank and the development sector with Ecobank, Ghana Commercial Bank and Heritage United Way in the New Hampshire (USA).

 

Plenary Session 3 : Filling the gap: approaches and solutions to boost SMEs
Tuesday, October 10, 14.00 - 15.30


B 

Christian BARON

Christian BARON

Operation Director at ADA Luxembourg

Christian Baron is a French national and holds two Masters, the first one in Development Economics from University Paris I Sorbonne and the second one in Agriculture Economics from the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers of Paris.
He joined ADA in June 2016 as Executive Advisor, and went onto becoming Director of Operations of ADA in January 2017. Christian has been involved in the development of rural and urban MFIs in developing countries for more than 28 years. He began his career in microfinance as an expatriate technical advisor on the implementation of a village saving and credit bank network in Mali. Thereafter, he joined CIDR Head Office, where he was responsible for the backstopping function in the Microfinance Department for more than 10 years. He then joined the GRET in 2003 as Head of the "Microfinance and SME Department”. Besides the promotion of microfinance activities in Africa, Asia and Central America, he developed several programs aiming to facilitate SME access to support, advice and training services. For the five years before joining ADA, Christian was responsible for providing backstopping services to Greenfield MFIs projects in Africa and South East Asia. He also served as a Director of several MFIs.

Parallel Session 2.1 : Key players of SME growth: Incubators, Accelerators and Business Angels
Wednesday, October 11, 9.00 - 10.30

Clément BASSINGA

Clément BASSINGA

Senior Credit Officer at ACEP Burkina

Clément has about 5 years of experience in microfinance and hold the positions of Junior Credit Officer, Senior Credit Officer and Corporate Social Responsibility Officer respectively. He has a solid experience in prospecting, analysis of credit files, financing of small and medium-sized enterprises and recovery. He holds a Master's degree in Accounting Control and Audit from the Burkinabe Institute of Arts and Crafts.
 

Parallel Session 2.2 : How Social Performance Management can increase the effectiveness of lending to MSMEs
Wednesday, October 11, 9.00 - 10.30

David BERNO

David BERNO

Rural Finance Specialist at the FAO, United Nations

David has joined the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) in the last year, and is currently leading the activities under the FAO – Rabobank Foundation collaboration on linking microfinance institutions to producer organizations in Ethiopia. Prior to joining FAO, he gained experience in different related-areas of the financial inclusion: retail banking for migrants, energy and digital finance. He has been working in Italy, Ethiopia, Sri-Lanka, Kenya and Tanzania. David has a M.A. in Economics from La Sapienza, University of Rome.

Plenary Session 4 : Public solutions to promote entrepreneurship in Africa
Wednesday, October 11, 14.00 - 15.30

Jean-Aristide BILOA ESSIMI

Jean-Aristide BILOA ESSIMI

Researcher at the Laboratory of Research and Analysis in Mathematical Economics of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Yaoundé II

Jean Aristide holds a PhD in Mathematical Economics and Econometrics with a strong orientation in development economy. He is the author of diverse articles and publications on inequalities between socio-professional categories in Cameroun. He is a researcher at the Laboratory of Research and Analysis in Mathematical Economics of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Yaoundé II. He is also a member of networks such as YARA, GTAP and he is a specialist of the geographic information system (GIS). 

Research Meets Africa
Monday, October 9, 9.00 - 17.00

Laurent BIOT

Laurent BIOT

Manager of support services for southern partners at SOS Faim 

Laurent Biot has 15 years of experience in the field of microfinance, of which 10 of them have been spent in the field in different developing countries, including Ethiopia, Ghana, Yemen and Ecuador. Before joining SOS Faim Belgique, he held positions at Entrepreneurs of the World and the International Centre for Research and Development (CIDR). Mr. Biot is also currently on the Board of Directors of the cooperative ALTERFIN and part of the organising committee of the European Microfinance Programme.

Although his background is in Economics, his area of expertise is now rural finance, and in particular the collaboration between producer organisations and microfinance institutions.

 

Parallel Session 2.4 : Cooperative development and financings 
Wednesday, October 11, 9.00 - 10.30

Constant BOGNON

Constant BOGNON

Agricultural finance expert in Benin

Holding a BAC +5, Constant capitalizes over 22 years of experience in the field of microfinance and agricultural and rural finance. Practitioner then consultant in microfinance, in agricultural and rural finance and in entrepreneurial accompaniment, his experiences relate to the development and management of development projects, setting up and managing a local economy window for the support of entrepreneurship, business plan development, monitoring and evaluation, inclusive finance, social performance management, in-depth diagnostics of the microfinance sector, development of management policies and procedures, market research, customer satisfaction and fundraising.

Parallel Session 2.3 : How to unlock investments in agricultural sectors with a potential for growth (1/2)
Wednesday, October 11, 9.00 - 10.30

Bonnie BRUSKY

Bonnie BRUSKY

Programme Manager at CERISE

Bonnie Brusky is a microfinance specialist and professional translator with over 17 years of consulting experience and is now a program manager at CERISE. Specialized in social performance and client-centered research, Ms. Brusky is a certified lead trainer and assessor for the Smart Campaign and consults with them as a Capacity Building Specialist. She has conducted numerous Smart assessments and trainings in Ethiopia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, France, Jordan, Tanzania, and Pakistan since 2011. Ms. Brusky has worked extensively with CERISE, SEEP and CGAP on client protection and social performance since 2007.

Bonnie has a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a graduate-level degree (DESS) in development studies from the Université de Paris-Sorbonne. Trilingual in English, French and Portuguese, she also offers translation and editorial consulting services.

 

Parallel Session 2.2 : How Social Performance Management can increase the effectiveness of lending to MSMEs
Wednesday, October 11, 9.00 - 10.30


C 

Anita CAMPION

Anita CAMPION

President and CEO of Connexus Corporation

Anita Campion is an economic development specialist with more than 25 years of experience in international finance and private sector development. Ms. Campion has led several agricultural financial sector projects throughout the world, including many that apply a value chain approach. She has worked to build agricultural finance capacity of banks in Senegal, Ghana, Kenya and Peru. In addition, she has conducted due diligence of agricultural investments and investment funds for Calvert Foundation.

A dynamic trainer, she has designed and led numerous trainings, based on adult learning methodologies, including on Agricultural Value Chain Finance in English, Spanish and French. She has a Masters in International Economic Policy from American University in Washington, D.C.

 

Parallel Session 1.4 : Applying a holistic approach to agricultural MSMEs development and finance
Tuesday, October 10, 16.00-17.30

Eric CAMPOS

Eric CAMPOS

Managing Director at Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation

Eric Campos has extensive experience in retail banking, in France and internationally, and in development assistance.
In 1993, he joined the Agence Française de Développement to conduct evaluation missions to development programs in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
In 1996, he was seconded to the finance company for the development of Réunion.
In 2001, he joined the Crédit Agricole Group. Between 2006 and 2010, he joined Crédit Agricole SA International Retail Banking to take on development functions.

 

Parallel Session 3.4 : Challenges of social business financing in Sub-Saharan Africa 
Wednesday, October 11, 11.00 - 12.30

Sarah

Sarah CANETTI

Investments Unit Manager at Appui au Développement Autonome

Sarah Canetti has more than 9 years of experience in inclusive finance. Seven years ago, ADA created a private investment fund entitled “Luxembourg Microfinance and Development Fund” with the aim of financing the growth of emerging microfinance institutions that have a strong social mission.

Mrs. Canetti is the manager of the Investment Unit at ADA and is therefore manages the investment portfolio of the Fund. LMDF now has over forty partner institutions in Africa, Latin American and Asia.

Before ADA, Mrs. Canetti worked for an investment company specialised in private equity to develop a network of MFIs. During the 5 years she spent with that organisation, she held several positions in Greenfields in Latin American and in Africa as well the Head of Strategic Planning in a holding company. Before that, she worked in development and microfinance in South Africa, Uganda, Peru and France.

Mme. Canetti has a Masters in Finance and Management from the French business school the École Supérieure de Commerce et Développement 3A. She has lived in Africa and Latin America. 

 

Parallel Session 3.1 : Challenges facing actors financing SMEs
Wednesday, October 11, 11.00 - 12.30

Jérémy CHAPET

Jérémie CHAPET

Project Manager at ADA Luxembourg

Jérémie Chapet is a Project Manager at ADA since 2015. With a background in economics, he started his experience in microfinance in Mozambique, where he worked during almost three years in a Greenfield MFI as a loan department manager. Jérémie is currently working on the Youth economic inclusion through microfinance and providing technical assistance to partner MFIs in Togo, Niger and Rwanda.

 

Parallel Session 1.5 : Sustain the activities of young entrepreneurs: how to manage risks related to their financing
Tuesday, October 10, 16.00 - 17.30

Mylène CHOUZENOUX

Mylène CHOUZENOUX

Investment Officer at Fonds Afrique Développement (FADEV)

Mylène Chouzenoux is responsible for investment at FADEV since the end of 2015. After studying economics at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and obtaining a Master 2 in Solidarity Economy (Institut Catholique de Paris), she carried out between 2011 and 2012 a four-month mission to Bamako in the "SFD-Microfinance-associations-peasant organizations" department of the Banque Malienne de Solidarité. Then, following an experience in private practice, she took responsibility for investments within SCIC FADEV in Paris.
In collaboration with the local partners located in the 8 countries of intervention of the solidarity fund, Mylène manages the investments (from the identification to the exit of the capital of the company) as well as the respect of the social impact criteria of each of the companies financed.

Parallel Session 2.5 : Crowdfunding: the missing link in the business finance chain in Africa
Wednesday, October 11, 9.00 - 10.30

Sambou COLY

Sambou COLY

Program Manager at Mastercard Foundation

Sambou Coly is specialized in responsible finance and agriculture. Before joining the Mastercard Foundation, Mr. Coly was the Country Manager of Oikocredit-Senegal where he was responsible for the overall management of the microfinance/agriculture portfolio and for the West Africa private equity portfolio. He has extensive field experience in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Mali, Benin and Ivory Coast. He is multilingual, speaking English, French and Wolof. Mr. Coly began his career as a banker where he spent 10 years working with the Laurentian Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Canada and with Citibank. Sambou has an Executive MBA from the University of Quebec in Montreal/Institute of Canadian Bankers and a degree from HEC Montreal.

 

Parallel Session 3.2: Envisioning agriculture as a business for youth in Africa: the keys to success
Wednesday, October 11, 11.00 - 12.30


D 

Berhane DEMISSIE

Berhane DEMISSIE

Managing Partner at Cepheus Growth Capital Partners

Berhane Demissie is a Managing Partner at Cepheus Growth Capital Partners, a private equity firm primarily focused on investments in Ethiopia across all sectors. She has over 20 years of investments and corporate finance experience in the United Kingdom and Ethiopia. 

Ms. Demissie holds a BSc (Hons) from Greenwich University in London and a Higher Diploma and MBA from Imperial College London.
 

Parallel Session 1.2 : EIB solutions for supporting SMEs: Investing in private equity
Tuesday, October 10, 16.00 - 17.30

Sirjeff DENNIS

Sirjeff DENNIS

Founder of Jefren Agrifriend Ltd

Sirjeff Dennis is the founder of a business venture, based in Dar Es Salaam, that deals primarily with commercial poultry, cereals, and vegetable farming. Its products include chicken meat, eggs, vegetables, rice, maize and organic fertilizers. At the age of 21, he was selected as a 2015 Anzisha Prize fellow. This prize gave him the financial and non-financial opportunity to grow his business, and his company is now able to connect with potential partners like Leaf and Grain Limited who are working on expanding Jefren Agrifriend operations into South Africa. Mr. Dennis also won the 3N Young Entrepreneurs grand prize and has been featured on BBC, CNN, Citizen, and the Business Times.
 

Parallel Session 3.2 : Envisioning agriculture as a business for youth in Africa: the keys to success
Wednesday, October 11, 11.00 - 12.30

Ruben DIEUDONNE

Ruben DIEUDONNÉ

CEO of MicroCred Africa

Ruben Dieudonné began his career in microfinance in 1999 as a credit agent in a new Haitian microfinance institution. He occupied several leadership positions in this organization, eventually becoming the director of operations. This experience helped him develop his expertise in urban microfinance, specifically in terms of individual microcredits. From 2004 to 2005, he was the director of credit in a different Haitian MFI specialized in rural microfinance that relied of solidarity groups.

After this, he was an independent microfinance consultant for three years while working on his own company dedicated to new mobile technologies.

Mr. Dieudonné joined the MicroCred group in November 2008 as deputy managing director in charge of operations. Less than two years later, he was promoted to CEO. Under his leadership, MicroCred Senegal grew to be one of the top MFIs in Senegal in just a few years, while remaining a sector leader in terms of innovation. Since September 2015 he has supervised the African branches of MicroCred.

M. Dieudonné has a Masters in Banking and Finance, as well as a degree in Economics. In 2003 he participated in the Boulder microfinance training in Colorado. He is fluent in French, Créole and English and has a working knowledge of Spanish.
 

Parallel Session 3.1 : Challenges facing actors financing SMEs
Wednesday, October 11, 11.00 - 12.30


E 

Godwin EHIGIAMUSOE

Godwin EHIGIAMUSOE

Managing Director at LAPO Microfinance Bank

Godwin Ehigiamusoe is an acknowledged microfinance practitioner who began his involvement in microfinance and microenterprise development as a rural cooperative officer. He founded LAPO (Lift Above Poverty Organization), a successful pro-poor microfinance institution with operations in Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

He holds a doctorate degree in policy and development studies with emphasis on microfinance policy and regulatory frameworks.

He has authored Understanding NGOs (1998); Poverty and Microfinance in Nigeria (2000); Issues in Microfinance: Enhancing Financial Inclusion (2011).
 

Plenary Session 3 : Filling the gap: approaches and solutions to boost SMEs
Tuesday, October 10, 14.00 - 15.30

Zacharie ELOUNDOU OWONA

Zacharie ELOUNDOU OWONA

Head of the Non-Financial Services Unit at PADMIR in Cameroon

Zacharie has been working for more than 20 years in rural finance of very small companies and women. He has contributed to the implementation of several microfinance development projects carried out with the help of the TFPs. His experience includes the development of financing mechanisms, credit line management, training of MFIs’ staff on credit management, financial education training, development of new financial products, performance management financial transparency, financial intermediation and the implementation of development plans. At the same time, he is a consultant in the fields of microfinance and entrepreneurship that he teaches.

Parallel Session 3.3 : How to unlock investments in agricultural sectors with a potential for growth (2/2)
Wednesday, October 11, 11.00 - 12.30


F 

Abdelkarim FARAH

Abdelkarim FARAH

CEO of the Jaida Microfinance Fund

Abdelkarim Farah has been the CEO of the JAIDA Microfinance Fund since July 2012. Prior to that he was the head of the Finance and Control Management Division at Barid Al Maghrib. Mr. Farah began his professional career in the field of portfolio management in the banking sector. He then held the positions of Corporate Affairs Officer and Head of Division Accounting Banking Institution in the private sector. He later joined a consumer credit company as Chief Financial Officer. He holds a Masters in Management from the Higher Institute of Commerce and Business Administration.
 

Plenary Session 3 : Filling the gap: approaches and solutions to boost SMEs
Tuesday, October 10, 14.00 - 15.30

Ambroise FAYOLLE

Ambroise FAYOLLE

Vice President of the European Investment Bank

Ambroise Fayolle was named Vice President of the European Investment Bank in February 2015. He is currently in charge of the EIB’s operations in France, Germany, Austria, South Africa and works closely with ACP and OCT mandates in West Africa and the Pacific. He is a member of the Steering Board of the EFSI (European Fund for Strategic Investments) and sits on the Management Committee as well as the committees of innovation, economic studies, politics, and development. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the EIF (European Investment Fund, a sister organization to the EIB).

Mr. Fayolle has previously represented France on the Boards of the IMF and World Bank in Washington, DC, from September 2007 until March 2013, when he was selected as General Manager of Agence France Trésor (AFT). In this position he worked closely with the French Finance Minister to manage the state’s debt. From 2003 to 2005 he also worked with the IMF.

Mr. Fayolle has held several leadership positions in the Treasury Department, which he entered in 1991 after graduating from university at the Ecole nationale d’administration. Between 2005 and 2007 he was CEO of the office of public finance and monetary affairs – the predecessor of the AFT – and Assistant Secretary for multilateral affairs and development. During this period he also held the positions of sous-sherpa to the G8 and Co-President of the Club de Paris. 

Official opening Ceremony
Tuesday, October 10, 11.00 - 12.30


Plenary Session 4 : Public solutions to promote entrepreneurship in Africa
Wednesday, October 11, 14.00 - 15.30

Yves FERREIRA

Yves FERREIRA

Senior Investment Officer at the European Investment Bank

Yves has been working in the Microfinance Unit for last three years focusing on ACP countries. He has been responsible for various transactions handled by the unit, in particular equity investments in Microfinance Holdings and Microfinance Investment Vehicles but also direct debt financing of Microfinance Institutions. In addition, he represents the Bank in various investment committees.
Prior to this position, he dedicated more than  25-years of his professional career with the European Investment Bank and Proparco  to development finance in developing and emerging countries of Africa, Latin America, South-East-Asia and the Caribbean which includes directorships in development banks and private equity funds.

Parallel Session 1.2 : EIB solutions for supporting SMEs: Investing in private equity
Tuesday, October 10, 16.00 - 17.30


G 


Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

Maria Teresa Mestre a est née le 22 mars 1956 à La Havane, Cuba.

Family
In October 1959, during the revolution led by Fidel Castro, young Maria Teresa Mestre leaves Cuba with her parents, José Antonio Mestre and Mara Teresa BatistaFalla de Mestre. The family of Spanish descent settles first in New York. June 1965, her parents stay on the family property in Santander, Spain, for a few months before choosing Geneva, Switzerland, as their permanent home, where ​the Grand Duchess obtains Swiss citizenship.
She graduates with a Bachelor of Political Science at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva in 1980. It was at university that the Grand Duchess meets her future husband, Prince Henri of Luxembourg. On Valentine’s Day in 1981, Maria Teresa Mestre marries His Royal Highness Hereditary Grand Duke Henri in Luxembourg. They have four sons and one daughter. On October 7th 2000, the Hereditary Grand Duke ascends the throne and becomes Grand Duke of Luxembourg. From that time on, Princess Maria Teresa bears the title of Grand Duchess of Luxembourg. 

Social and humanitarian engagement
Very early on, the Grand Duchess has shown her interest for social and humanitarian causes, hereby continuing a family tradition.
On the occasion of her marriage, the Grand Duchess receives a donation that permits the creation of the Foundation that bears her and her husband’s name and which the Grand Duchess presides. This fund enables Maria Teresa to actively contribute to the integration of vulnerable people or people with special needs into the Luxembourg society. In 2016, she organises the first international forum on learning disabilities in Luxembourg. The Foundation also supports international projects in Africa and Asia. 

Since 1997, the Grand-Duchess has been Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO, through which she aims to promote the education of young girls and women, as well as micro-credits and fight against poverty. For many years, she has been working with Professor Mohammed Yunus (Nobel Peace Prize laureate 2006) and has been implicating herself in the development of inclusive finance in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Since 2006, the Grand Duchess is Honorary President of LuxFLAG, the Luxembourg Fund Labeling Agency, the first agency to grant a seal of quality to investment funds in microfinance worldwide. 

The honourable distinctions the Grand Duchess has received for her humanitarian actions are the illustration of her extraordinary commitment: in October 1999, Her Royal Highness the Hereditary Grand Duchess receives an honorary doctorate of the Seton Hall University (New Jersey, USA). In February 2003, the Grand Duchess receives an honorary doctorate of the University of León (Nicaragua) and on June 13th 2006, the representation of the Holy See at the Council of the United Nations confers her the Path to Peace Award, which is granted every year to a personality distinguished by extraordinary humanitarian and social engagement. In 2013, the ELPIDA association bestows her the International Solidarity Award to laud her work for children suffering from cancer. 

Her social and humanitarian actions have often led the Grand Duchess abroad to supervise the progress of those projects she actively promotes, for example to 3/3 Nepal, Mali, Bangladesh, Thailand, Bosnia, Laos, Kenia, Senegal and Burundi, journeys during which children in need have always been the closest to the Grand Duchess’ heart. 

ADA is placed under the High Patronage of Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.
 

Official opening ceremony (video message)
Tuesday, October 10, 11.00 - 12.30

Dr. Eleni GABRE MADHIN

Eleni GABRE-MADHIN

Founder and CEO of blueMoon

Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin is CEO and Founder of blueMoon, Ethiopia’s first youth agribusiness incubator and seed investing platform. Prior to working at blueMoon, she led eleni LLC, a company that designs African commodity exchange eco-systems. Eleni LLC worked closely with the highly acclaimed Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX). A globally recognized thought leader on agricultural markets and African development, Dr. Gabre-Madhin has received numerous international accolades, including Devex’s Top 5 Global Women of Impact on Development; Africa's Top Woman Pioneer, Innovator and Entrepreneur from Wharton Business School; Newsweek's 125 Global Women of Impact; and among 100 Most Influential Africans by New African magazine in 2012.
 

Plenary Session 3: Filling the gap : approaches and solutions to boost SMEs 
Tuesday, October 10, 14.00 - 15.30

Parallel Session 1.2: EIB solutions for supporting SMEs : Investing in private equity
Tuesday, October 10, 16.00 - 17.30

Parallel Session 3.2: Envisioning agriculture as a business for youth in Africa: the keys to success
Wednesday, October 11, 11.00 - 12.30

Matthew GAMSER

Matthew S. GAMSER

CEO at International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Matthew Gamser is CEO of the SME Finance Forum, a center for knowledge exchange, good practice promotion and networking for the finance industry, managed by IFC for the G-20 countries’ Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion.  The SME Finance Forum today has over 110 banks, FinTech companies and development banks from 50 countries as members.

Mr. Gamser has over 35 years’ experience in private enterprise and financial sector development.  He has worked with commercial banks and non-bank financial institutions in broadening and deepening services to households and enterprises previously lacking formal finance. He has worked with governments and policy-makers on improving the enabling environment and infrastructure for financial sector development, with a focus on financial inclusion and on the role of the financial sector in mitigating the effects of climate change.  He has worked for IFC for over 12 years in various positions from Washington, DC, and Hong Kong.  

He holds A.B. and A.M. degrees from Harvard University, and M.Sc. and D.Phil degrees from Sussex University (UK), where his work focused on the management of technological change.   
 

Plenary Session 1 : Financial inclusion and job creation in Africa
Tuesday, October 10, 8.45 - 9.30

Elisabeth GAYDON

Elisabeth GAYDON

In charge of monitoring and evaluation within the Programme Afrique Innovation

A graduate of HEC Paris in international business, Elisabeth has a strong interest in innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa. She has several experiences in setting up social impact assessment programs in companies and NGOs, some of which in Africa. She wrote her master thesis on the stakes and challenges of entrepreneurship in Senegal.
Currently, Elisabeth is in charge of monitoring and evaluation within the Programme Afrique Innovation, a multinational program supporting incubators developing innovative projects in Africa or working with Africa. She monitors relations with member incubators and is more broadly in charge of ensuring the sustainability of the program.
 

Parallel Session 2.1 : Key players of SME growth: Incubators, Accelerators and Business Angels
Wednesday, October 11, 9.00 - 10.30

Cécile GODFROID

Cécile GODFROID

Researcher in Business Engineering from the Université de Mons (UMONS)

Cécile Godfroid holds a Master's degree in Business Engineering from the Université de Mons (UMONS) and a specialized Master’s degree in Microfinance from the Solvay Business School of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and from the Université de Mons. 

She is currently undertaking a PhD at the Centre for European Research in Microfinance (CERMi) of the Université de Mons where she is also a teaching assistant in management and organizational theory. Her doctoral research focuses on human resource management for loan officers in microfinance, and particularly on financial incentives, turnover, motivations, and organizational identification. She conducted field research in Ethiopia, Senegal, and Columbia.


Research Meets Africa
Monday, October 9, 9.00 - 17.00

Maimouna GUEYE

Maimouna GUEYE 

Senior Financial Inclusion Officer at the African Development Bank

Maimouna is a digital finance specialist with more than 17 years of experience in the financial services and payment systems industry. She has extensive experience in the policy, regulation and monitoring of electronic money.
After starting his career at UBS Paine Webber and JP Morgan Chase on Wall Street as a Mutual Funds manager, Maimouna Gueye spent many years at the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) as Deputy Director in charge of payment system policy and regulation. In her role at the BCEAO, she worked for the active participation of the Central Bank within the AFI network with a view to promoting financial inclusion through digital finance.
Maimouna Gueye recently joined the African Development Bank as a Senior Financial Inclusion Officer responsible for financing a portfolio of digital finance projects aimed at universal access to financial services in African countries. Ms. GUEYE provides technical advice to member countries, regional economic communities, as well as the public sector in the development, planning and implementation of financial inclusion strategies.

Plenary Session 4 : Public solutions to promote entrepreneurship in Africa
Wednesday, October 11, 14.00 - 15.30

Stephen GUGU

Stephen GUGU

Co-founder and Director at ViKtoria Ventures / Manager at InVhestia / Consultant

Stephen is also a co-founder and Director at ViKtoria Ventures a sector agnostic angel network out of Kenya focused on commercially viable early stage investments from East Africa which are post traction. He has consulted widely for early stage innovative businesses training over 400 entrepreneurs, carried out valuations and assisted them in fundraising and deal structuring. M Gugu sits on the advisory board of several start-ups and of Demo Africa, Africa’s premier Startup launch competition and the African Business Angels Network. ViKtoria Ventures is a member of the African and the Global Business Angel Networks.

On a day to day, Stephen helps entrepreneurs and investors make better decisions as a consultant. He runs InVhestia a financial advisory business company that builds financial models for companies ranging from valuation, operations, negotiations and project financing models.

Stephen also works as an adjunct faculty member in Entrepreneurial Finance at Strathmore Business School. He has been teaching finance and entrepreneurship related courses for the past 10 years. In this capacity, he acts as the academic director for the private equity and venture capital program in the business school.

His education background consists of an MBA from Vlerick Business School in Belgium (Under the Kofi Annan Fellow Scholarship) (2011) an undergraduate degree in Law from the University of Nairobi.

During his spare time he enjoys travelling and interacting with different world cultures. He maintains that to travel is not only to discover but most importantly to learn!

Contact:
 

Parallel Session 2.1 : Key players of SME growth: Incubators, Accelerators and Business Angels
Wednesday, October 11, 9.00 - 10.30

Julie GUILLONNEAU

Julie GUILLONNEAU

Investment Officer within AFD's Financial Institutions department

Julie oversees a portfolio of projects in Niger & Turkey and is in charge of digital finance for the division where she is creating a network of crowdfunding platforms & Fintech operating in Africa.
She works directly with MFIs but also with commercial banks and regulators towards increasing financial inclusion as well as sustainable development.
Before joining AFD's head office in Paris in 2012, Julie spent two years in Togo working on the ground with MFIs supported by AFD (Fucec, etc.).

Parallel Session 2.5 : Crowdfunding: the missing link in the business finance chain in Africa
Wednesday, October 11, 9.00 - 10.30


H 

Thameur HEMDANE

Thameur HEMDANE

Co-Chairman of FPM and founder of Afrikwity

Thameur is one of the pioneers in the development of crowdfunding in Africa. He is co-founder and co-chair of FPM, whose mission is to promote crowdfunding in the Mediterranean and in Africa and to support its ownership by ecosystems and territories. FPM is also working with French and African authorities and regulators on the adoption of regulatory frameworks conducive to the development of crowdfunding in Africa.
Thameur is also the founder of the equity crowdfunding platform Afrikwity dedicated to financing of the startups and companies with high growth potential in Africa, notably by mobilizing investments from the African diaspora. He also created the crowdfunding platform in Cofundy donations dedicated to the financing of solidarity projects in Africa.
Thameur has held management positions in strategic consulting firms such as Accenture and the investment bank of Société Générale.

Parallel Session 2.5 : Crowdfunding: the missing link in the business finance chain in Africa
Wednesday, October 11, 9.00 - 10.30

Edmund HIGENBOTTAM

Edmund HIGENBOTTAM

Managing Director at Verdant Capital

Ed has originated and led high profile transactions across multiple different sectors and geographies in Africa and elsewhere. Ed has a total of fourteen years of experience in investment banking, of which the last seven years have been in Africa. Ed has completed twenty-five transactions in ten different African countries. He also has great expertise in capital markets development and has served on the practitioners’ board of NASDAQ Dubai, and has also advised the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Nigeria on capital markets reform. Ed has previously worked at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Renaissance Capital and has worked in jurisdictions including, London, Johannesburg, Lagos and Dubai.

Research Meets Africa
Monday, October 9, 9.00 - 17.00

Katie HOFFMAN

Katie HOFFMAN

Manager of Responsible Inclusive Finance at the Social Performance Task Force (SPTF)

Katie Hoffmann has been the Manager of Responsible Inclusive Finance at the Social Performance Task Force since 2013. Previously, she worked as a consultant for the International Finance Corporation and for the Advocacy Project in Kampala Uganda, where she focused on small business development. Ms. Hoffmann spent three years working as a business journalist at Bloomberg News in New York and has also worked as a reporter for the Olympic News Service in Beijing and The Times of London.

She holds an M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, with specializations in international business diplomacy and international development, and a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she graduated with a double major in journalism and international relations. She is based in Washington, D.C.
 

Parallel Session 2.2 : How Social Performance Management can increase the effectiveness of lending to MSMEs 
Wednesday, October 11, 9.00 - 10.30


I 

Kenno ITANA

Kenno ITANA

Technical Assistance Manager at Enterprise Partners

Kenno is a financial sector consultant specializing in microfinance, MSME lending and risk management. He has over 14 years of experience in the financial sector in Ethiopia. His experience includes working in different work environments including the financial sector (banking, microfinance), government/public sector (including central bank), private sector, and in international organizations. He served as MFI Expert/ Relationship Manager under Women Entrepreneurship Development Program (WEDP) and currently works as a TA Manager for the SME Finance Project being implemented by Enterprise Partners. Kenno is a graduate from Addis Ababa University with MBA (2006) and BA (2001) and holds MSC (2013) in Microfinance from Universite Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium).

Parallel Session 1.1 : Promoting the capacity of financial institutions to unlock the potential of MSMEs
Tuesday, October 10, 16.00 - 17.30


J 

Jarri JUNG

Jarri JUNG

Regional Manager Africa & Middle East at Triple Jump

After starting his professional career in different capacities in Triple Jump’s head office in Amsterdam, Jarri Jung spent the last four years working in Triple Jump regional investment teams in Peru, Mexico and Kenya respectively. Early 2017, Jarri was appointed Regional Manager Africa & Middle East, overlooking Triple Jump’s debt investments on the continent.

Since mid-2014, Triple Jump significantly increased its activities investing in SMEs in low- and middle-income countries, particularly through the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF) track ‘financing local SMEs through investment funds’. With the support of Jarri and his team, Triple Jump has been able to invest into several financial institutions focusing on SMEs. Examples are an early-stage leasing company in Tanzania, a MFI spin-off in Jordan and a financial institution in Liberia to which DGGF provided a risk-sharing facility.

Plenary Session 3 : Filling the gap: approaches and solutions to boost SMEs
Tuesday, October 10, 14.00 - 15.30


K 

Patrick KAGABO

Patrick R. KAGABO

Chairman for Connectus Trade Consult Ltd in Kigali

Mr. Patrick R. Kagabo is a seasoned business executive with innate capacity to learn best practices, initiate and recommend out of the box ideas. He is highly skilled in multi layer wireless technologies, integrated telecom service applications, IP Broadband and multimedia development gathered when serving as COO of Business Communications Services in 2006 which was the biggest franchisee of MTN Rwanda with an annual turnover of $US 20 Mio.  Mr. Kagabo has experience in project management including commercial brokerage, logistics planning, project analysis, personal development & enterprise coaching and entrepreneurship development.
He also worked at various senior management’ positions. He is the co-founder and CEO of CBS Ltd where he is in charge of the overall coordination of the operations and the development of the business incubation, business advisory services, access to market information, training and linkage to finance.
Mr. Patrick Kagabo is currently also serving as Chairman for the holding company Connectus Trade Consult Ltd based in Kigali and General Manager – Business Development for the Blackstone backed Synergy Property Development Services, the Global Project Management Consulting & Turnkey Solutions Company.
He is a holder of a Master degree in Project Management from the University of Nairobi and has a license in Economy from the University of Bujumbura. 

Parallel Session 2.1 : Key players of SME growth: Incubators, Accelerators and Business Angels
Wednesday, October 11, 9.00 - 10.30

Frédéric KALALA

Frédéric KALALA

Professor and Chair in microfinance at the Protestant University of Congo

M. Kalala is professor and chair of the Congolese/German Microfinance Centre at the Protestant University of Congo. He is also Manager of the Funds for the Financial Inclusion (FPM asbl), an investment fund in microfinance in DRC, country where he also created an MFI, COOPEC GUILGAL since 2012. Besides, he is also an international consultant in evaluating microfinance institutions.

In collaboration with the funds of the German education services (DAAD: Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) he designed and made certified by the Ministry of Education of DRC a master in microfinance. This programme was designed on the real needs of the industry in DRC and Central Africa. It hosts each year Congolese and 80% of foreign students (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Comoros, Zambia, etc). The programme has the advantage of integrating perfectly the academic requirements (60%) and the professional ones (practical work, internships, market analysis, field work, etc). It is the only programme of its kind in Africa.

 As an international expert, Frédéric Kalala intervenes in missions concerning sectorial evaluations (financial education, consumer’s protection in financial services, etc.) and institutional evaluations (market analysis, business plans, training of agents and managers of microfinance institutions). He participates also to the strategic steering of the Fund of Financial inclusion in DRC and of his MFI, which counts more than 15.000 clients, with an outstanding credit around 2.000.000 USD.
 

Plenary Session 1 : Financial inclusion and job creation in Africa
Tuesday, October 10, 8.45 - 9.30


Research Meets Africa
Monday, October 9, 9.00 - 17.00

Mamoutou KANE

Mamoutou KANÉ

Executive Secretary of FASO JIGI

Mamoutou Kané has been the executive secretary of FASO JIGI, a cooperative peasant association, since 2014 in Segou, Mali. From 2006 to 2014, he was a technical assistant on the Canadian project PACCEM (Support Project of the Commercialisation of Cereals in Mali). He holds a postgraduate degree in agronomy. 
 

Parallel Session 2.4 : Cooperative development and financings 
Wednesday, October 11, 9.00 - 10.30


Tezera KEDEBE BEKELE

CEO at PEACE

Tezera has been working in Ethiopia microfinance industry for more than 20 years. She is PEACE CEO since its foundation in 2000. Currently the MFI has about USD 3 million outstanding loan and about 23,000 borrowers. The company is operationally sustainable since 2004 and its efficiency and portfolio quality is exemplary. PEACE MFI is a deposit taking MFI in Ethiopia. The company has currently over 56 000 clients. In the year 2013/14 financial education was given to over 50 000 children and youth of age 12 to 24 clients.

Parallel Session 1.5 : Sustain the activities of young entrepreneurs: how to manage risks related to their financing
Tuesday, October 10, 16.00 - 17.30

Ibrahima KEITA

Ibrahima KEITA

Deputy Managing Director of Kafo Jiginew

Ibrahima holds a Master's degree in business administration from the National School of Administration (ENA) in Mali and a post-graduate diploma in banking from the Technical Institute of the Banque du Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers of Paris and several professional trainings in Africa, Paris, Luxembourg and Canada. He has more than 20 years of experience mainly in rural areas in the following areas:

- organisation, control and implementation of good management practices of rural organisations, as inspector of rural management consultants in the Rural Management Project "P.G.R" (2 years);

- creation, organisation, business development and control in the rural and urban microfinance sector, having evolved in several positions and currently, Deputy Managing Director and Chairman of the Network Risk and Compliance Committee of the Caisses Mutuelles d'Epargne and Crédit "Kafo Jiginew" in Mali (19 years).

Plenary Session 4 : Public solutions to promote entrepreneurship in Africa
Wednesday, October 11, 14.00 - 15.30

Mohita KHAMAR

Mohita KHAMAR

Market Intelligence Lead at MIX

MIX is the industry leader in data and insight for microfinance and financial inclusion which is an NGO based out of Washington DC. MIX has streamlined reporting flows between financial service providers (FSPs) and their investors; broadened its coverage of the financial services landscape beyond microfinance; and developed distinctive, tailored products that contribute to enhanced decision making.

Mohita Khamar manages the production, design, and creation of analytical products at MIX that delivers the data insights on the key microfinance markets across the globe from their Asia office, Hyderabad, India. She brings in the experience of the microfinance industry from the time she worked with Bharat Financial Inclusion limited, a leading microfinance institution in India. Her experience and exposure in the industry allow her to present the insights with MIX product range that includes benchmarking, forecasting, ranking, and performance metrics on the financial and operational data of the sector that supports the users in decision making.

Mohita holds a Master's degree in Business Administration, with a specialization in Finance from ICFAI University Hyderabad (India) and Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Jain University Bangalore (India).
 

Plenary Session 1 : Financial inclusion and job creation in Africa
Tuesday, October 10, 8.45 - 9.30

Johnni KJELSGAARD

Johnni KJELSGAARD

‎Founder and Chief Executive at GrowthAfrica

Johnni has been working with start-ups and business growth in Africa since the late 90'ies as an entrepreneur, consultant, investor, advisor and mentor. Based on this aggregation of knowledge and insights, Johnni - and his team - has developed a number of tools, products and services for the African entrepreneurs, local growth enterprises expanding across Africa, and international companies entering Africa. All with the objective of securing economic progress and social transformation.
 

Parallel Session 2.1 : Key players of SME growth: Incubators, Accelerators and Business Angels
Wednesday, October 11, 9.00 - 10.30

Kennedy KOMBA

Kennedy KOMBA

Head of strategy and member relations at Alliance for Financial Inclusion

Kennedy is currently head of strategy and member relations of Alliance for Financial Inclusion prior to this new role which he assumed in April 2016, he was the Senior Advisor of the National Payment System in the Bank of Tanzania. He is an Accredited Fellow of Macro-economic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa (MEFMI) and a Fellow of Fletcher Leadership School for Financial Inclusion of Tufts University, USA. He has experiences in financial inclusion policy, strategies and regulatory frameworks. He was instrumental in leading the development of the Tanzania regulatory framework for the National Payment Systems including electronic money regulations. He also was involved in the development of the Tanzania National Financial Inclusion Framework. He has experiences in developing policies and regulatory frameworks for payment systems oversight and digital financial services. He was actively involved in financial inclusion initiatives in Tanzania and a member of the financial inclusion secretariat. In his previous experiences with the Bank of Tanzania he was active in oversight of payment systems. He has been involved in consultancy, facilitation, training and building capacity in the areas of payment system and financial inclusion in the sub-Saharan region and internationally. He has been engaged with the following regional and international institutions in capacity building and facilitation activities: AFI, IMF-East AFRITAC, MEFMI, BCEAO, World Bank, FinMark Trust, Oxford University (Blavatnik School of Government-UK) and the Central Banking Publications-UK. And several other central banks in the Sub-Saharan region. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Sector Deepening Trust of Tanzania. 

Plenary Session 4 : Public solutions to promote entrepreneurship in Africa
Wednesday, October 11, 14.00 - 15.30

Jean-Luc KONAN

Jean-Luc KONAN

CEO of the COFINA Group (Compagnie Financière Africaine)

Jean-Luc Konan started his career as an auditor at Arthur Andersen. After working for Citibank, he was spotted by the Barclays Bank who offered him the Direction of the West and Central Africa Department of the ‘Extended Coverage Countries’, covering 17 countries, enabling him to acquire quickly a knowledge of these different economies.

His career continued at Ecobank, where he quickly became General Manager of Gabon before joining UBA, where he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of UBA Gabon and then UBA Senegal. M. Konan won the Banker of the Year Award by The Banker magazine 2012 and Global Finance 2013. He also won the CEO Awards in Lagos, Nigeria for three consecutive years.

In 2013, he founded the COFINA Group (Compagnie Financière Africaine), a pan-African microfinance institution specializing in SME financing, where he currently serves as CEO. He is also Vice President of MJE Capital, a financial engineering firm based in Dubai, and Chairman of the CAPDEV network, which promotes the growth of mesofinance on the African continent.

M. Konan holds a Master's Degree in Financial Engineering from Toulouse Business School (ESC) and a DESS in Banking-Finance. He is married and has 3 children.

Parallel Session 3.1: Challenges facing actors financing SMEs
Wednesday, October 11, 11.00 - 12.30

Maurice KOPPES

Maurice KOPPES

Sector Lead Financial Inclusion at Enterprise Partners

Maurice promotes Financial Inclusion through Digital Financial Services with Enterprise Partners (EP). He has been working in Ethiopia on various programmes to promote the (micro)financial sector. Before Ethiopia, he was involved in the initiation, development and management of (Microfinance) Banks in various markets in Africa and Asia. He holds an M.Sc. degree in Business and Industrial Engineering from the University of Technology, Eindhoven.

Parallel Session 1.1 : Promoting the capacity of financial institutions to unlock the potential of MSMEs
Tuesday, October 10, 16.00 - 17.30

Brian KUWIK

Brian A. KUWIK

Chief Regional Officer for Africa, Acción

Brian Kuwik manages Acción's operations and relationships with partners in Africa and Haiti. Acción's regional program includes equity investments in microfinance banks and the provision of management and technical services to Acción Microfinance Bank in Nigeria, Akiba Commercial Bank in Tanzania, Pan-African Savings and Loans Ghana, EB-Acción Microfinance Cameroon, SOGESOL in Haiti and other microfinance institutions. Mr. Kuwik sits on the boards of these partner institutions. He plays an active role in governance, and provides strategic and financial advice. He also supervises Acción's technical assistance activities in the areas of strategic and business planning, product and operations development, human resources management, information technology, and risk management from its office in Ghana. Previously, he served as resident advisor and senior manager for Acción partners in Zimbabwe, Uganda and Haiti. He has supported the design and start-up of new institutions in Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon.

Before joining Acción in September 2001, Mr. Kuwik worked for three years as an analyst and as head of development at the Small Enterprise Foundation in rural South Africa. Prior to this, he was a Fulbright researcher in Cameroon. Mr. Kuwik holds an MBA in finance and international business from the University of Washington and a BA in international development from American University. He is fluent in English and French.
 

Plenary Session 3 : Filling the gap: approaches and solutions to boost SMEs
Tuesday, October 10, 14.00 - 15.30


L 

Gilles LECERF

Gilles LECERF

Co-founder of Iroko-project

For the past five years, Gilles has worked in nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, including telecommunications, mobile money and financial inclusion issues at Altai Consulting, and business development at Total E&P in the Republic of Congo.
In July 2014, he co-founded Générations Arabes, an association supporting organisations that develop projects for the professional integration of young people in the Middle East and North Africa. Gilles is a graduate of HEC Paris.

Parallel Session 2.5 : Crowdfunding: the missing link in the business finance chain in Africa
Wednesday, October 11, 9.00 - 10.30

John LWANDE

John LWANDE 

Program Manager African Board Fellowship at Center for Financial Inclusion

John Lwande leads Acción’s Africa Board Fellowship program, which is dedicated to strengthening governance and risk-management practices and developing strategic leadership abilities throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Mr. Lwande has 25 years of experience in microfinance management, banking and credit. Prior to joining Acción, he was seconded by Acción to Akiba Commercial Bank, a microfinance bank in Tanzania, as Managing Director from 2008 to 2015. During this time he also served as board chairman of Umojaswitch.
 

Closing Ceremony (to be confirmed)
Wednesday, October 11, 16.00 - 17.00


M 

Melissa MATLOCK

Melissa MATLOCK

Project Manager at Connexus

Melissa Matlock has eight years of experience working in development finance and agribusiness. Ms. Matlock manages projects for Connexus that focus on facilitating access to finance for agricultural value chains including the USAID Private Sector Driven Agricultural Growth program in Rwanda and has provided technical assistance to the USAID/Ghana FinGAP project.

Previously, for the SEEP Network, she conducted an organizational assessment of the national microfinance association of Uganda and an external client protection assessment of the Bolivian microfinance institution, CRECER.

Ms. Matlock is fluent in English and Spanish with basic proficiency in French and Portuguese. She has a Masters in Gender Development and Globalization from the London School of Economics in the U.K. 
 

Parallel Session 1.4 : Applying a holistic approach to agricultural MSMEs development and finance
Tuesday, October 10, 16.00 - 17.30

Kenneth MBONYE

Kenneth MBONYE

Agricultural officer at Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fishery (MAAIF)

M. Mbonye is an agricultural officer working in the Kisoro District for the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fishery (MAAIF), in Uganda. He holds a Bachelor degree in Agriculture from the Makerere University of Uganda, as well as several certificates in agriculture and horticulture. He is specialized in value chain analysis and MSMEs business planning, and he has recently conducted assessments on the agricultural financial markets in Uganda. Before joining the MAAIF, M. Mbonye worked for international organizations such as CARE-DTC, ECOTRUST and AFRICARE.

Parallel Session 3.3 : How to unlock investments in agricultural sectors with a potential for growth (2/2)
Wednesday, October 11, 11.00 - 12.30

Hajera MOHAMED

Hajera MOHAMED

SME Finance Lead at Enterprise Partners

Hajera is a financial services consultant with over 15 years of experience in retail banking and investments in Canada and the U.K., as well as high level development and capacity building activities in Ethiopia. In her current role as SME Finance Lead, at Enterprise Partners, Hajera leads a team of experts in delivering technical assistance to banks, microfinance institutions and leasing companies in Ethiopia. Hajera’s diverse expertise in financial services and entrepreneurship include credit guarantee fund design and management, deposit mobilization, financial products and system development, and business development services to MSMEs. Hajera holds a degree specializing in Economics and Management from University of Toronto (Canada) and certificates in project management, investment and M4P (Making Markets Work for the Poor).

Parallel Session 1.1 : Promoting the capacity of financial institutions to unlock the potential of MSMEs
Tuesday, October 10, 16.00 - 17.30

Joyce C. MURITHI

Joyce C. MURITHI

Senior Manager in the Banking and Financial Services Domain at MicroSave

Joyce is a Senior Manager in the Banking and Financial Services Domain at MicroSave with understanding of financial sector in various markets in Sub-Saharan Africa. She also leads the Inclusive Finance practice group in the domain. Joyce has extensive experience in financial product development, corporate and product marketing strategies formulation, evaluation and transformation of MFIs and credit operations. Joyce has also conducted numerous market researches in Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria and Malawi for financial institutions, mobile money operators and non-financial providers including NGOs. Her other areas of interest are in digital financial services, social performance management (SPM) and youth inclusive financial services.

Before joining MicroSave, Joyce worked for over 6 years with Kenya Women Microfinance Bank, where she led teams that focused on improving portfolio quality, portfolio growth, deposit mobilisation and overall efficiency of branch operations. Joyce holds a double bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Business Administration from Daystar University Kenya and has completed her coursework for an MBA in Entrepreneurship from Kenya Methodist University. She is proficient in English and Swahili.

Parallel Session 3.1 : Challenges facing actors financing SMEs
Wednesday, October 11, 11.00 - 12.30

Rachael MUSHOSHO

Rachael MUSHOSHO

Deputy Director at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe

Rachael is Deputy Director in Bank Supervision Division, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. She holds a BSc. Economics Degree and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Zimbabwe. She has extensive experience in the regulation and supervision of Microfinance Institutions. She also brings to the platform experiences in financial inclusion, Risk-based Supervision and Resolution of Problem Banks. She championed the survey of the microfinance sector in Zimbabwe in 2006, which culminated in the development of the National Microfinance Policy for Zimbabwe. Further, she has been involved in was content developing and course mentorship for the on-line microfinance courses run by MEFMI (Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa), in conjunction with United Nations Institute for Training and Research (NITAR). 

Plenary Session 4 : Public solutions to promote entrepreneurship in Africa
Wednesday, October 11, 14.00 - 15.30

Richard MUTETI

Richard MUTETI

CEO of Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Associations

Richard Muteti is the CEO of Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Associations, an umbrella association of primary small businesses associations across Kenya. Muteti is also founder of the Small and Medium Enterprise Support, East Africa. He is the Chairman of the SME Africa Trust and was a Director of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) from 2008 to 2015.

Mr. Muteti is the Chairman of the COMESA Business Council SMEs Workgroup representing the 19 countries in the African region. He served as a Director in the Board of the Youth Enterprise Development fund (YEDF) between 2010 and 2013 and has been serving as a Director of Micro and Small Enterprises Development Authority (MSEA) since 2013.

Mr. Muteti is a thoughts and ideas entrepreneur who thrives on creating an environment of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. He holds a Head of State Commendation (HSC) recognition awarded on December 12th, 2009, by the Head of State of the Republic of Kenya for distinguished service to the society.
 

Plenary Session 2 : Doing business in Africa: voices from the field
Tuesday, October 10, 9.30 - 10.30

Kimanthi MUTUA

Kimanthi MUTUA

Chief Executive of the K-Rep Group

Kimanthi Mutua is currently the Chief Executive of the K-Rep Group, faculty member of the Boulder MFT, director of Sidian Bank, ECLOF International-Geneva (Chair of the Board) and PAMIGA-Paris France, among others.

Mr. Mutua founded K-Rep Bank Limited in 1999 (now Sidian Bank), the first NGO microfinance institution in Africa, to transform into a regulated commercial bank specializing in microfinance. He served as the Managing Director of K-Rep Bank from 1999, until his retirement in March 2010. 

A co-founder the K-Rep Group, Mr. Mutua has devoted close to three decades in microfinance and financial inclusion strategies. He has extensive leadership, governance and management of financial institutions and provides consulting and advisory services to various institutions, globally.

Kimanthi is a Certified Public Accountant and has a Master’s Degree in Business.
 

Plenary Session 1 : Financial inclusion and job creation in Africa
Tuesday, October 10, 8.45 - 9.30


Closing Ceremony
Wednesday, October 11, 16.00 - 17.00


N 

Mansour NDIAYE

Mansour NDIAYE

Executive Director of the Cooperative Financial Union of LOUGA 

Mansour Ndiaye has been the executive director of the Cooperatve Financial Union of LOUGA in Senegal since 2008. He is a microfinance expert who is also a CGAP trainer and a BIT/CIF trainer in Turin. He is specialized in information systems, management of social performance and participative finance. 
 

Parallel Session 2.4 : Cooperative development and financings 
Wednesday, October 11, 9.00 - 10.30

Lonneke NOTEBOOM

Lonneke NOTEBOOM

FinTech expert at FMO

Lonneke joined FMO in 2016 to develop FMO’s FinTech strategy. Today, Lonneke is one of the experts in FMO’s FinTech team and works to support financial institution clients in adopting financial technology to digitize current practices. She also looks for FinTech opportunities to close the financing gap among (W)SMEs, smallholder famers and entrepreneurs.
Prior to joining FMO, Lonneke completed a Master Degree in African Development at the London School of Economics, participated in a global exchange program at Stellenbosch University South Africa and worked for BRAC UK as the Targeting the Ultra Poor Advocacy and Partnership Development Intern.

Parallel Session 3.5 : Partnerships in the FinTech Era
Wednesday, October 11, 11.00 - 12.30


Research Meets Africa
Monday, October 9, 9.00 - 17.00

Jean Bosco NZEYIMANA

Jean Bosco NZEYIMANA

Founder and CEO of Habona Ltd

Jean Bosco Nzeyimana is the Founder and CEO of Habona Ltd., a company that produces affordable and environmentally friendly biofuels from waste. A social entrepreneur with 30 permanent employees, Mr. Nzeyimana a has demonstrated a strong commitment to encouraging entrepreneurial leaders and promoting biodiversity conservation and ecotourism in Rwanda.

He has received international recognition for his work: he was named the 2014 Top Young Entrepreneur of Rwanda, and was the recipient of both the African Innovation Prize and the Mandela Washington Fellowship, a flagship program of President Obama for Young African Leaders. 
 

Parallel Session 3.2: Envisioning agriculture as a business for youth in Africa: the keys to success
Wednesday, October 11, 11.00 - 12.30


O 

Alexis Beggs OLSEN

Alexis Beggs OLSEN

Researcher for CFI’s Africa Board Fellowship Program

Alexis Beggs Olsen is an independent consultant with twenty years of experience building the capacity of financial inclusion institutions and other social benefit organizations. Alexis has a B.A. in International Development and Communications from Wheaton College and she has worked in 28 countries. As a Fellow with the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI), Alexis has spent the last year exploring the topic of effective human touch in Kenya’s digital landscape.

Alexis also currently researches and develops content for CFI’s Africa Board Fellowship Program and has worked with the Boulder Institute of Microfinance on the “Back to Boulder” program. Prior to consulting independently, Alexis was a Technical Advisor with Opportunity International specializing in governance as well as lending operations.

Research Meets Africa
Monday, October 9, 9.00 - 17.00


P 

Sa-Eun Park

Sa-Eun PARK

Principal consultant and coach at MagpieVenture LLC, 

Sa-Eun Park, brings over a decade of experience in financial services working with commercial banks in the United States and microfinance and informal groups in various developing countries.

As a financial inclusion consultant, she currently provides professional training, evaluation, and consulting services globally to build the internal capacity of microfinance institutions. She specializes in risk management and risk-based product development. Her recent assignments in microfinance risk management have taken her to the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa to develop risk management frameworks, policies, and strategies in the regions. Previously, she managed complex economic development projects in Inclusive Financial Services at MEDA, where she designed and managed capacity-building projects and consultancies to better reach women, youth, rural, and under-banked populations across thirteen countries.

Sa-Eun has a master’s degree in development management with a concentration on microfinance and financial management from American University in Washington, DC, and an undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of California–Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. She speaks fluent Korean and English, with a working proficiency in French and basic Arabic.
 

Institution Assessment Training for Internal Staff organised by Risk Management Initiative in Microfinance (RIM)
Monday, October 9, 9.00 - 17.00 (Day 1/3)
Thursday, October 12, 9.00 - 17.00 (Day 2/3)
Friday, October 13, 9.00 - 17.00 (Day 3/3)

Massimo PERA

Massimo PERA

Agribusiness Economist at the FAO, United Nations

Massimo Pera works as an Agribusiness Economist at the FAO of the UN, managing a programme aimed at facilitating sustainable and inclusive investments in the agribusiness sector of selected ACP countries.

For the past 9 years, Mr. Pera has gained experience in the design and implementation of agricultural and rural financial programmes in developing countries mainly in Africa (Sierra Leone, Guinea, Niger, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Cape Verde) and Latin America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia). His assignment with FAO started in the Viet Nam office, where he worked for two years managing projects on agricultural value chains development, and access to financial services for smallholder farmers.

Prior to joining FAO, he worked as a rural finance consultant at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Mr. Pera holds a M.A. in Development Economics and International Cooperation from the Tor Vergata University of Rome.
 

Parallel Session 2.3 : How to unlock investments in agricultural sectors with a potential for growth (1/2)
Wednesday, October 11, 9.00 - 10.30

Parallel Session 3.3 : How to unlock investments in agricultural sectors with a potential for growth (2/2)
Wednesday, October 11, 11.00 - 12.30

Katharine PULVERMACHER

Katharine PULVERMACHER

Executive Director of the Microinsurance Network

Katharine is the Executive Director of the Microinsurance Network, the international multi-stakeholder platform for microinsurance experts to work together and focus on key areas for development in the sector.
Before taking up her current role, she was based briefly in Switzerland, where she provided independent consulting services to Deloitte, The Economist Intelligence Unit, the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (World Health Organization) and the International Trade Centre (Intracen).
In 2010, she became the first Africa Director of the Economist Corporate Network, an exclusive forum for networking and discussion bringing together senior executives from global multinationals based in Africa.
Prior to joining The Economist Group, Katharine ran her own small consulting firm, African Rainbow Consulting, a social enterprise based in London, working, amongst others, with a network of associates to produce factsheets on 22 African countries, focusing particularly on the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), renewable energy and water sectors.

Plenary Session 2 : Doing business in Africa: voices from the field
Tuesday, October 10, 9.30 - 10.30


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Mieja Vola RAKOTONARIVO

Mieja Vola RAKOTONARIVO

General Manager of Nutri'zaza, Madagscar

Mieja Vola Rakotonarivo has a degree in Agricultral Engineering from the University of Antananarivo and a Masters in Food Technology of Warm Regions from ENSIA SIARC of Montpellier.

In 2004 she joined GRET Madagascar as a project leader for Nutrimad, working in rural zones combatting malnutrition. She was in charge of the implementation of projects in East Madagascar as well as managing new products for vulnerable groups.

In 2011 she helped create the social business Nutri’zaza in order to continue the work begun by the GRET project, and become the General Manager in 2013. With almost 100 employees, Nutri’zaza distributes fortified cereal products to vulnerable groups through new innovative distribution methods like the “restaurants for babies.”

Young, married, a mother of two young children, amateur cross-country runner and member of the Association Ultra Trail of High Plateaus, she balances her time between different personal and professional challenges. 
 

Parallel Session 3.4 : Challenges of social business financing in Sub-Saharan Africa
Wednesday, October 11, 9.00 - 10.30

Rebecca ROUSE

Rebecca ROUSE

Program Director of the IPA's Financial Inclusion Program

Rebecca Rouse leads IPA's Financial Inclusion Program, overseeing a portfolio of research initiatives and randomized evaluations to find effective solutions to help the poor manage and grow their money. Before joining IPA, she was Coordinator of the Regional Facility on Remittances and Savings of the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group.

Prior to joining the MIF, Rebecca served as IPA’s United States Household Finance Initiative Program Manager from 2010 to 2013. Rebecca also worked at the Inter-American Dialogue, the International Organization for Migration, FINCA Peru, Banco de Ahorro y Crédito Unión in the Dominican Republic, and as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer in Philadelphia.

Rebecca holds an MPA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a BA in political science from Bryn Mawr College.

Research Meets Africa
Monday, October 9, 9.00 - 17.00
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Plenary Session 4 : Public solutions to promote entrepreneurship in Africa
Wednesday, October 11, 14.00 - 15.30

Philippe RUMENERA

Philippe RUMENERA

Agri-business Advisor at SNV in Rwanda

Philippe holds a Master’s Degree in Agriculture Economics, a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and an Advanced Diploma in Agriculture. He is a qualified agribusiness expert with more than 16 years of experience in implementing activities in different domain of agribusiness more specifically in value chain development of different commodities (Irish potatoes, maize, beans, rice, banana, Soybeans, pineapple, tomatoes and coffee), conducting market strategy development & market linkages, conducting training of trainers (ToTs) for farmers using participatory training methods, coaching and mentorship, agriculture finance business plan development, feasibility studies and baseline survey.

Philippe has also a very long experience working with farmers in cooperatives development, strategic plan development, post-harvest handling and storage technology (in Irish potato, Maize, beans, rice, cassava, coffee). He worked for the public institution (5 years), in research institutions (6 years), private and international Non-Government Institutions (6) and he is currently a Project Manager at SNV, Rwanda.

Parallel Session 3.3 : How to unlock investments in agricultural sectors with a potential for growth (2/2)
Wednesday, October 11, 11.00 - 12.30


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Godbless SAFUGHA

Godlbess SAFUGHA

Executive secretary / CEO of the Association of Non-bank Microfinance Institutions of Nigeria (ANMFIN)

Godbless Friday Safugha is a seasoned Development Finance Practitioner with over twelve years’ experience. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, B.Sc Economics from the University of Abuja, he further had his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Roehampton, London. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree by the Pan African Christian University. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Member of the Chartered Management Institute London, and a Fellow of the Institute of Development Finance and Project Management.

He is a microfinance expert and has worked in several cooperative and microfinance institutions which includes: Eagles Coop Investment and Asset Management Society Limited, The Abuja Cooperative Federation, The Abuja Cooperative Financing Agency, The National Cooperative Financing Agency of Nigeria and The Association of Non-Bank Microfinance Institutions of Nigeria (ANMFIN).

His core competence is in the area of Development Finance, Project Management, Corporate Governance, Risk Management, Agricultural Finance and Value Chain Development, Credit Union Management, Finance and Strategy.

He serves as a member of the Central Bank of Nigeria Financial Inclusion Technical Committee, Microfinance Advisory Board, and The National Microfinance Policy Consultative Committee.

Email:

Plenary Session 4 : Public solutions to promote entrepreneurship in Africa
Wednesday, October 11, 14.00 - 15.30

Samuel SALIA

Samuel SALIA

Lecturer in International Finance, University of Wolverhampton

Dr. Samuel Salia has extensive experience of teaching in higher education in the UK and abroad. He is currently the director for MSc. International Banking and Finance at the University of Wolverhampton Business School. He has also worked as a Management Consultant at the Management Development and Productivity Institute in Ghana and as an Income Generating Specialist.

Dr. Salia is research active in the areas of access to finance, exchange rate policy and risk management; and teaches various subjects in finance. He holds a Ph.D. in Development Finance from Birmingham City University (UK). 


Research Meets Africa
Monday, October 9, 9.00 - 17.00

Romain SCHNEIDER

Romain SCHNEIDER
Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs of Luxembourg

Following the legislative elections of 7 June 2009, Romain Schneider joined the coalition government formed by the Christian Social Party (CSV) and the Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party (LSAP) as Minister of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development, Minister of Sport, Minister Delegate of the Solidarity Economy on 23 July 2009.

Following the legislative elections of 20 October 2013, Romain Schneider was appointed Minister of Social Security, Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Minister of Sport on 4 December 2013 in the coalition government formed by the Democratic Party (DP), the LSAP and the Green Party (“déi gréng”).

A member of the LSAP since 1981, Romain Schneider served as the party’s secretary general from 2004 to 2009.

At local level, Romain Schneider initially served as a municipal councillor in Wiltz from 1994 to 1999, then as mayor from 2000 to 2009, an office he held until his appointment to the government in July 2009.

Elected to Parliament while standing for the LSAP in the constituency of the North in 2004, Romain Schneider was particularly involved in issues regarding employment, the environment, agriculture, health and social security. He was re-elected as a member of Parliament in 2009 and 2013.

Prior to becoming a member of Parliament in July 2004, Romain Schneider was a civil servant with the Employment Development Office (ADEM – previously Administration de l’emploi, since renamed Agence pour le développement de l’emploi) from 1980 onwards and an agent at the ADEM branch in Wiltz from 1989 onwards.
 

Official oipning Ceremony
Tuesday, October 10, 11.00 - 12.30

Sameer SEGAL

Sameer SEGAL

Co-Founder & CEO at Artoo

Sameer Segal, founder and CEO of Artoo, passionate about technology that can bridge the gap of access to credit for the informal sector. Founded in 2010, Artoo has pioneered the digitalization of the Loan Origination Platform in the MSME lending space. Artoo’s Intelligent Digital Loan Origination Platform uses the power of mobile, cloud and data to maximize productivity, minimize risk, reduce expenses, and enhance customer engagement.
As CEO, Sameer heads Sales, Product and Partnerships at Artoo. Sameer is constantly on the lookout for likeminded customers, partners, and allies through whom Artoo can touch more and more lives.
Sameer is a self-taught geek. He discovered his passion for inclusive technology during an internship at Ujjivan. Having the urge to improve service quality for borrowers by empowering the field staff, he designed a simple software solution.
Sameer earned his B. Tech at the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka (NITK) at Surathkal, India. He worked with HSBC Bank as an Associate Analyst before co-founding Artoo in May 2010.

Parallel Session 3.5 : Partnerships in the FinTech Era
Wednesday, October 11, 11.00 - 12.30

Antonio SEPAROVIC

Antonio SEPAROVIC

Managing Director at Oradian

Antonio is a financial technology expert with more than 20 years of experience in technology and online businesses, including ten years in the microfinance sector. He specialises in using disruptive technology to drive financial inclusion in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Antonio also served as a senior adviser to InfoSec Global and Ruder Innovations, and advised multiple IT organisations.

In 2012, Antonio co-founded Oradian, a fintech company that provides a cloud-based core banking software designed especially for the microfinance industry. Using a SaaS model (Software-as-a-Service), Oradian makes cloud technology accessible to any type of microfinance institutions so they can grow and increase financial inclusion in their regions.

As the Managing Director, Antonio takes accountability for creating a community of forward-thinking financial institutions around Oradian that will help to serve the 2 billion unbanked people at the bottom of the socioeconomic pyramid.

Parallel Session 3.5 : Partnerships in the FinTech Era
Wednesday, October 11, 11.00 - 12.30

Lubna SHABAN

Lubna SHABAN

Director of Entrepreneurship for Ye ! at Child and Youth Finance International

Lubna Shaban is Director of Entrepreneurship for the Ye! community at Child and Youth Finance International. She has a Master’s degree in International Management specializing in entrepreneurship and innovation from the University of Exeter. She has first-hand experience with the topic of youth entrepreneurship, having set up her own enterprise at the age of 28, and now she advocates for favourable entrepreneurship ecosystems for youth.
 

Parallel Session 1.5 : Sustain the activities of young entrepreneurs: how to manage risks related to their financing
Tuesday, October 10, 16.00 - 17.30

Kodjovi SOGAN

Kodjovi M. SOGAN

Manager of the YouthEspoir at FUCEC-Togo

Kodjovi M. Sogan is responsible for the YouthEspoir project at FUCEC-Togo. FUCEC is the largest network of savings and credit cooperatives in Togo. Kodjovi has been with FUCEC since August 2006 and has served as Junior Auditor, Credit Manager and then Head of Credit Services before joining the Youth Product team in 2012, where he worked with first the UNCDF’s YouthStart Program then in partnership with ADA on YouthEspoir.
 

Parallel Session 1.5 : Sustain the activities of young entrepreneurs: how to manage risks related to their financing
Tuesday, October 10, 16.00 - 17.30

Francesco STROBBE

Francesco STROBBE

Senior Financial Economist at the World Bank Group

Francesco Strobbe is a Senior Financial Sector Economist with the Finance and Markets Global Practice of the World Bank Group (WBG). Over the past five years he has lead the financial sector work program and policy dialogue for the World Bank in Ethiopia. The program covers technical assistance projects with the National Bank of Ethiopia in the area of financial inclusion as well as investment operations like the Ethiopia Women Entrepreneurship Development Project and the Ethiopia SME Finance Project. He was also the lead author of the Ethiopia SME Finance Study.

In addition to his work in Ethiopia, he is currently in charge of the financial sector development agenda in Madagascar and the Seychelles and he has previously covered Indonesia, Lesotho and South Sudan. Prior to joining the World Bank in 2010, he worked as an economist for the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and has led microfinance projects for NGOs in Zambia and Kenya. Dr. Strobbe has published several papers in the area of banking and microfinance. He holds a PhD in Economics and Management from the University of Padua (Italy) and was a visiting scholar at Boston University and MIT in the USA. 
 

Plenary Session 3 : Filling the gap: approaches and solutions to boost SMEs
Tuesday, October 10, 14.00 - 15.30


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Willy TADJUDJE

Willy TADJUDJE

Lecturer & Researcher, University of Luxembourg & Catholic University of Louvain
Registered Mediator, Civil and Commercial Matters

Willy Tadjudje has nearly 10 years of experience in teaching, research and consulting. He holds a PhD in Private Law from the University of Luxembourg (2013). His research focuses on the legal aspects of social economy and solidarity finance. In 2015, he obtained a University Certificate in Civil and Commercial Mediation from HEC-University of Liège, before acquiring the accreditation as Mediator in Belgium and Luxembourg.

Willy Tadjudje teaches private law at the University of Luxembourg, and in various African universities. For example, he is a member of the Soical Enterprise Academy (SEA) teaching team, which opens in Nigeria in 2017, under the aegis of the FairShares Association. Concerning research, he is a scientific collaborator at CRIDES of the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium). As a consultant, he is primarily interested in the development of cooperative societies and social enterprises. For the past year, he has been Executive Secretary of the African Institute for the Law and Governance of Cooperatives (IADC) based in Yaoundé, Cameroon. In this capacity, he is currently conducting a research project of SOCOOP Switzerland for the implementation of cooperative law in the OHADA zone, as well as a project to promote cooperatives and mutual health organizations in Africa in collaboration with various partners. Willy is a member of several expert groups, including the Cooperative Law Committee of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), in which he represents Africa.

Research Meets Africa
Monday, October 9, 9.00 - 17.00


Dr. Eyob TESFAYE

Program Director at United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)

Eyob is a macroeconomist who has worked at the Central bank of Ethiopia as Senior Economic Researcher, Head of Domestic Economy, Head of Microfinance Supervision Division and Director of Ethiopian Finance academy. He has also worked for two years at the Prime Minister office of Ethiopia as Director General Of Public Financial Institutions. Dr Tesfaye has joined United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2012 and was Head of Economic Growth for 4 years. He has also worked at United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Currently he is Program Director at United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). He has written many articles in the area of macroeconomics, financial sector development, microfinance regulations and contributed to different Journals. He is also advising Ph.D students of various renowned Universities.

Parallel Session 1.5 : Sustain the activities of young entrepreneurs: how to manage risks related to their financing
Tuesday, October 10, 16.00 - 17.30


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Luc VANDEWEERD

Luc VANDEWEERD

Executive advisor at ADA and Chairman of the African Microfinance Week Steering Committee

Luc Vandeweerd was graduated in 1978 from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium with a Master's degree in Social Communication.He has worked for 20 years at the International Labor Organization (ILO) as an expert in cooperatives and microfinance on various technical cooperation projects in Africa.
From 1992 to 2002, Mr. Vandeweerd is appointed Director of the PASMEC project in Dakar, Senegal, to support the development of microfinance in West Africa. This project was implemented by the ILO in collaboration with the Central Bank of West African States. In 2002, he joined the NGO ADA in Luxembourg.

Closing Ceremony
Wednesday, October 11, 16.00 - 17.00

Martijn VAN ROOIJ

Martin VAN ROOIJ

Chief Financial Officer and Business Development Head at Above & Beyond in Miami

Martijn is an early adept of crypto-currencies and is well connected in the blockchain community in Latin America. As an advanced user, he tested numerous products for storage, trading and payments, using Bitcoin and Ethereum. 
Martijn is currently the Chief Financial Officer and Business Development Head from Above & Beyond in Miami. Before a&b, Martijn spent over two decades at Citigroup, in Peru, Brazil and Mexico. As Risk Manager and Senior Credit Officer, he analysed hundreds of companies and as Administrator and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt he managed an extensive virtual team and improved several global processes. 
He holds a Master’s in Finance (Cum Laude) from Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and is currently focused on completing a Master's Degree in Digital Currency from the University of Nicosia. Martijn speaks five languages.

Parallel Session 3.5 : Partnerships in the FinTech Era
Wednesday, October 11, 11.00 - 12.30

Laura VIGANÒ

Laura VIGANÒ

Professor of Banking at the University of Bergamo

Laura has been Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business administration from 2007 to 2012. 
From 2001 to 2010, she launched and directed the first international Master in Microfinance, jointly offered by the University of Bergamo, CIPSI (an Italian NGO’s network), and Giordano Dell’Amore Foundation (Finafrica-Milan, where she was Scientific Director). She currently coordinates the “FinDev-Finance and Development” research group at the University of Bergamo and is editor of the Journal “Savings and Development”.  She consults for research institutes and international development agencies, with major experiences in Africa.
Her research interests comprise credit risk management and credit scoring, ethics and finance, microfinance, agricultural and rural finance (she spent a  study and research period at  The Ohio State University – Rural Finance Group), risks and insurance (among others: disaster risk management, index-based insurance). She recently conducted a research project in Ethiopia on farmer vulnerability to (climatic) risks.

Research Meets Africa
Monday, October 9, 9.00 - 17.00

Cécile VOIGT

Cécile VOIGT

Responsible for developing partnerships and projects at Positive Planet in Ivory Coast

Graduated of a Master's Degree in Management Specialty Finance from ESC Grenoble (France) in 2010, Cécile is an expert in microfinance. She has conducted several technical assistance programs with MFIs (Enda Inter-Arabe in Tunisia, FMFI in Syria) as a project coordinator for two years (2012-2014) for the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. Since 2015, she has successively held the positions of Head of Development of West and Central Africa in Dakar (Senegal) and then in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) at Positive Planet. She was able to highlight her expertise as a microfinance analyst on the various financial inclusion projects of Positive Planet. Trilingual in French, English and German, she enjoys ease of adaptation and multicultural teamwork.

Parallel Session 2.3 : How to unlock investments in agricultural sectors with a potential for growth (1/2)
Wednesday, October 11, 9.00 - 10.30


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Kaspar WANSLEBEN

Kaspar WANSLEBEN

Managing Director of LMDF

Kaspar Wansleben is the Managing Director of LMDF. Before joining LMDF, Kaspar has been involved in microfinance since 2006 as a member of the credit committee of the finance program of MFIs: LUXMINT, managed by ADA. He also worked at the Intenational Labour Organisation (2002) and at PlanetRating (2004). Kaspar is a visiting lecturer at the University of Luxembourg on social entrepreneurship and a board member of MFX Solutions Inc, the provider of currency risk solutions to the microfinance sector.

Kaspar Wansleben is chartered accountant and joined KPMG in 2005 where he was specialized during 6 years in the industrial and financial sectors as advisor in finance and auditor. He graduated in Business and Finance from the Euromed in Marseille and the University of Bremen. He is of German nationality and has lived in many Asian countries.

Research Meets Africa
Monday, October 9, 9.00 - 17.00


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Kinfemichel YIBKAW ABRAHA

Kinfemichel YIBKAW ABRAHA

Technical Assistance Manager at Enterprise Partners

Kinfemichel is an aspiring professional currently working for the DFID funded Private Enterprise Programme Ethiopia as a TA Manager for the SME Finance Project. He has been working in the financial sector (Banking, Microfinance) and development projects for more than fifteen years under different capacities. He has practical knowledge of Responsible Inclusive finance, banking, microfinance, business development services, value chain analysis, SME financing, economic analysis, accounting, client protection and social performance management

He holds MSc Degree in Public Policy and Human Development from the University of Maastricht (Netherlands), BA in Economics from Unity University (Ethiopia) and a Diploma in Accounting from Addis Ababa University College of Commerce (Ethiopia). He is also certified in microfinance and SME financing from the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management; digital money and Interoperability from Digital Frontiers Institute in partnership with Tuft University and Fletcher School; and market systems approach and related monitoring systems from Adam Smith international and Springfield Centre. 

Parallel Session 1.1 : Promoting the capacity of financial institutions to unlock the potential of MSMEs
Tuesday, October 10, 16.00 - 17.30


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