Senior Manager, Learning & Innovation – IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative, Netherlands
Since November 2018, Jay has been leading smallholder inclusion & technology themes at IDH sustainable trade initiative. IDH achieves the SDGs through sustainable trade. Jay works together with the private sector, governments and civil society organizations to create an enabling environment in which smallholder inclusive business models can prosper, become sustainable and contribute to improved livelihoods for smallholders.
Before joining IDH as Senior Manager – Learning & Innovation, Jay worked within the WFP Zambia, creating an e-commerce app to link smallholder farmers with markets. He has done extensive work in developing countries to create farmer inclusive businesses for the last 7 years.
Mohamed Babekir Elgali
Associate Professor at the department of Agricultural Economics at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences University of Gezira, Sudan
Dr. Elgali has a MSc and a Ph.D in Agriculture Economics. He is an Associate Professor at the department of Agricultural Economics at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences University of Gezira in Sudan. His research is focus on agricultural policy and rural finance. Dr. Elgali serves as a member of the academic international relations at the University of Gezira. He is a member of international and regional networks and has many published articles in the area of Agricultural finance, food security and agricultural policy.
Eddy Balemba Kanyurhi
Associate professor in the Faculty of Economics and Management at Catholic University of Bukavu, South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo
Eddy Balemba Kanyurhi is an associate professor in the Faculty of Economics and Management at Catholic University of Bukavu, South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo. He holds a PhD degree in Economics and Management from the Warocqué School of Business and Economics in Mons, Belgium. He has a master degree in Microfinance from Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (Université Libre de Bruxelles). His research interests include Microfinance, Banking Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Gender Analysis and Psychometric Analysis.
Founder, Sira Labs, Senegal
Mr. Django Bathily holds a degree in Telecom Engineering and has spent a good part of his career as a project and operations manager for several multinationals in several countries in the sub-region. Pitted very early by entrepreneurial fever with a first attempt in agro-business in 2007, Mr Bathily is a passionate about entrepreneurship and digital technologies; a passion that will lead him to enroll in 2012 in the Executive MBA program at Hult International Business School in Dubai. In 2016, he resigned from his position as Operations Director at Ericsson to launch the Sira Labs Digital Project Incubator. In Burkina Faso, where Sira Labs has been in existence since May 2017, he quickly established his company as one of the most innovative platforms for promoting innovation and entrepreneurship. Sira Labs has 02 innovation and entrepreneurship support centres in Burkina Faso and plans to open its 3rd centre in the Senegalese capital Dakar by the end of the year.
Deputy Director of the MicroSave Helix Network, Senegal
Elizabeth Berthe is Deputy Director of the MicroSave Helix Network. She is an expert in digital financial services with over 15 years of experience working on projects with international funding agencies, NGOs, mobile network operators, MFIs and other private sector companies in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. She mentors start-ups. Her areas of expertise include project management, strategic planning, market knowledge, user-centred product design, youth employment and financial sector development. She specializes in strategy design, business planning, product development and technical assistance.
Some examples of her recent work:
- Lead the front line of MSC MicroSave's expansion into French-speaking countries to increase financial, social and economic inclusion by providing research, technical support and training
- Prototype microinsurance products in the DRC
- USAID Technical Consultant for Private Sector Development Outreach Strategy in Haiti
- Program Director for the Mobile Money Accelerator in Uganda expanding financial services to 3 million new mobile money subscribers and managed an innovation centre for digital financial services
Prior to joining MicroSave, Elizabeth was Senior Director of Financial and Social Innovations at Mercy Corps and Director of Digital Financial Services for the Grameen Foundation where she had various roles including developing entry strategies for product development and technical support. She holds a Master's degree in International Management with a specialization in International Finance from the Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management in the United States. She is fluent in French and English.
Senior Associate, FMO - Dutch Development Bank, Netherlands
Biography coming soon.
Operations Manager, Agri-Wallet, Kenya
Linda Busienei is the Operations Manager at Agri-wallet, a mobile-phone based System that connects actors in the value chain between the farmer, agrodealer and offtake market. It provides these system participants with a unique tokenized factoring facility to be used throughout the supply chain. She coordinates delivery of the strategy and value proposition, optimises growth and retention of business through effective management of resources. She has a passion of helping small holder farmers to improve livelihood by getting easy and fun access to agri-input finance. Combining her knowledge and vast experience in operations, she looks everyday to opportunities for small scale farmers to get ahead.
Student at the Warocqué School of Business and Economics, at the University of Mons (UMONS), and researcher at the Centre for European Research in Microfinance (CERMi)
Tristan is PhD student at the Warocqué School of Business and Economics, at the University of Mons (UMONS), and researcher at the Centre for European Research in Microfinance (CERMi). He studied management sciences and finance at UMONS. After his master’s degree, he took part in the European Microfinance Programme at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). In parallel, in collaboration with ADA, he started his PhD entitled “How to regulate microfinance to assure its financial as well as social missions?”. The aim of his thesis is to explore in an integrated perspective different modes of regulation of the microfinance industry, including formal regulation (laws), market regulation (the influence of competition) and self-regulation (at the industrial and organizational levels). With his co-promoters, Marc Labie and Cécile Godfroid, respectively co-director and doctor at the CERMi, he worked on a first research studying the consequences of implementing interest rate caps in a saturated and competitive market. For this research, he spent three months in Cambodia, working at the Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA), interrogating main actors of the sector. Likewise, for his second field research, he also spent some months in Tanzania, at the Tanzania Association of Microfinance Institutions (TAMFI), in order to identify factors influencing a microfinance association in its self-regulatory role.
Marius Ogoukonle Chabi
Country Director for IPA (Innovations for Poverty Action) Francophone West Africa - Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali
Marius serves as Country Director for IPA Francophone West Africa (covering Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and Mali). Previously, he worked for 3 years as part of the Senior Management team of the IPA Rwanda office as Research Manager, including as Head of Office during previous Country Director transitions. Marius has substantial experience working on monitoring and evaluation, youth empowerment, and advocacy work for about 5 years in India and in East and West Africa. He is passionate about the magic of data to ignite positive change. He holds a BSc in Planning Science from Universite d'Abomey-Calavi and an MSc in Public Economy and Applied Statistics from the Institute for Empirical Research in Political Economy of the African School of Economics in the Republic of Benin.
Director of the UNDP Central African Republic Office (United Nations Development Programme), Burkina Faso
Mathieu Ciowela, a Congolese national, took up his position as Country Director of UNDP Central Africa on 22 January 2018. He was previously based in the Senegal Office and previously in the Africa Regional Office of UNDP-New York where he had been acting as Advisor for West and Central African Countries since July 2012. He succeeds Mr. Aboubakar Koulibaly- who became Country Director of UNDP Mali.
Mr. Ciowela has more than 24 years of experience with UNDP. After several years at UNDP DRC as Programme Advisor and Assistant to the Resident Representative, he was successively Senior Programme Advisor at UNDP Gabon in 2005 before joining the Regional Bureau for Arab States until June 2009. He also worked in Djibouti as Deputy Resident Representative of the Programme and Operations, and in Benin from 2009 to 2012.
Before joining UNDP, Mathieu worked in the administration; for the Direction de la macroéconomie études, Ministry of Planning (DRC) from 1989 to 1990.
Mathieu holds a Master's degree in Economic Management from the University of Dakar and a postgraduate degree (DEA) in Economic Development and Planning from the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning in Dakar.
Lead, Customer Value, CGAP, USA
Gerhard Coetzee leads the customer value team at CGAP, including customer segments and insights, protection and value, and is also responsible for Gateway Academy, a digital learning platform. He is an Extraordinary Professor at the University of Stellenbosch Business School.
Before CGAP, Mr. Coetzee was Head of Inclusive Banking at Absa Bank (South Africa) responsible for its branchless banking proposition, founder and Director of the Centre for Inclusive Banking in Africa, Professor in Agricultural Economics at the University of Pretoria, technical lead and CEO of a consulting firm (owned by DAI) and had several senior roles at the Development Bank of Southern Africa. His specialization areas are development finance, financial inclusion, agricultural finance, and rural development. He is published widely and has worked in several countries, the majority in Africa.
Mr. Coetzee holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Of Counsel, Arendt, Luxembourg
As Of Counsel, Anne heads the activities of the dedicated impact finance team with the law firm Arendt & Medernach. With a team of 6 lawyers, she advises clients on the structuring and distribution of microfinance and broader impact investment vehicles, as well as on the structuring of technical assistance programs and other social businesses.
Anne is a board member of the European Social Entreprise Law Association (ESELA). She participates in several other initiatives around impact finance in Luxembourg such as the European Impact Investing Luxembourg (EIIL) and the International Climate Finance Accelerator.
Sié Albert Dah
Head of Agricultural Operations, Advans, Côte d'Ivoire
The Ivorian company Advans won the prize at the European Microfinance Week in November 2018 in Luxembourg. The company was rewarded for its payment, savings and credit services offer with an Advans account linked to a mobile account.
Program Officer Inclusive finance, AGRA, Burkina Faso
Aurelia Dakpogan is currently in charge of AGRA inclusive finance strategy implementation in Burkina and Mali. Prior to joining AGRA, she was Agri-lending Project Manager with Horus Development finance in Cameroon and Ghana. She started her career as Rural Development Engineer with the Ministry of Agriculture in Benin, before moving to IFDC, where she worked as Regional Access to Finance Specialist in West Africa with the 2SCALE Project.
Aurelia holds a master degree in agricultural economics with significant experience in agricultural finance sector in West Africa. She accumulated more than 15 years experiences and has proven skills in financial instruments management, public-private partnerships development in value chain finance, technical assistance to financial institutions.
Arnaud De Lavalette
Senior Project Manager, ADA, Luxembourg
Arnaud de Lavalette is currently leading the Digital Finance Initiative at ADA, helping African MFIs digitalize their operations.
He is a seasoned expert in microfinance and SME funding with over 10 years of experience in this domain in Asia (Nepal, India and Philippines), West Africa and Latin America (Mexico).
In the SME domain, Arnaud has worked in Nepal where he conducted surveys for the IFC and supported SME entrepreneurs with the European Commission. In India he designed an investment vehicle (equity fund) which aimed at supporting Indian social SMEs.
In the microfinance sector – beside many technical assistance missions around the world, he managed the turnaround and sold MicroCred Mexico, and more recently was CEO of mBank Philippines, a greenfield banking project financed by international investors (FMO, Finnfund, MBH) and Smart the leading telecom company in the Philippines.
Currently, he works with ADA on a new digital finance project, helping African MFI digitalize their operations, i.e. integrate the mobile services as communication and distribution channels and migrate MIS into the cloud. As of now, half a dozen institutions are accompanied in their change process.
Prior to joining the development sector Arnaud gained a bright experience in both finance and new technologies. He started his career as an auditor with Arthur Andersen (3 years), evolved as a controller and finance analyst (3 years) and founded a web agency he has managed for 7 years.
General Manager of Alterfin and member of the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF), Belgium
Jean-Marc Debricon has been involved in a number of non-profit organizations active in the developing world. Since 2015, he is the General Manager of Alterfin Cvba, a Belgium-based financial cooperative supporting sustainable development through microfinance, sustainable agriculture and other environmental impacting investments. Alterfin is active in 37 countries throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America and in the course of 2018 disbursed approx. €66 million to 175 Microfinance institutions, agriculture SMEs and small holder producers organisations.
In 2010, he founded Green Shoots Foundation, a charity registered in the UK and the US and implementing sustainable development programs in Asia and Africa. In 2011, he co-founded Children of the Mekong, the UK branch of “Enfants du Mekong” a French NGO supporting children and poor communities across Southeast Asia. He was a trustee of the Research, Education, Direction (RED) Foundation, a UK charity providing long-term medical assistance and training for medical staff treating AIDS patients in Asia and Eastern Europe. Prior to that, he was an investment banker for 16 years. From 1993 to 2001, he was a Funding Officer and Portfolio Manager for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). From 2001 to 2009, he served as a Managing Director in the global financial markets division of Rabobank International. At Rabobank, he was European Head for Equity and Fund Derivatives, responsible for a portfolio in excess of €5 billion, a budget of €100 million and a team of 40 people.
Specialist in financial inclusion for the Africa region, Smart Campaign (Accion), Mali
Mr. Diallo is a specialist in financial inclusion, performance management and strategic management. He is currently in charge of the Africa region for the Smart Campaign. Previously, he worked as Regional Technical Advisor - West Africa in Microfinance for the international NGOs Catholic Relief Services - CRS and Plan International from 2009 to 2016. Before joining CRS, he worked for more than ten years as Technical Advisor and Regional Director - West Africa - for the NGO Freedom from Hunger. In this role, he coordinated and delivered technical assistance to the largest microfinance institutions in the West African sub-region, including strategic planning. Mr. Diallo was a consultant and has conducted several socio-economic studies and project evaluations for various international organizations such as Care International, Aga Khan Foundation, Save the Children, IFC, Lux Development, Triodos Facet, SEEP Network etc.
He is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire in the United States and the National School of Administration of Mali. He also holds a Diploma of Advanced Studies (DEA) in Economics and a Master of Microfinance from the State University of Bergamo in Italy. Mr. Diallo is fluent in Bambara, French and English.
Marie Pascaline Diasso
Economist at the Réseau des Caisses Populaires du Burkina (RCPB), Burkina Faso
Marie Pascaline Diasso is an economist at the Réseau des Caisses Populaires du Burkina (RCPB), the largest decentralized financial system in Burkina Faso with a 70% market share. She managed several departments within the RCPB, including those in charge of finance and project deployment, before taking up the position of Director of Operations. She is currently managing the RCPB digitization project.
Ms. Diasso has professional experience in the following areas: digital service development, agent network deployment, risk monitoring, project design and deployment, change management.
She holds a master's degree in business economics and organization, from the University of Ouagadougou, a post-graduate diploma (DESS) in accounting, finance and control from the same university, as well as a graduate diploma from the Institut technique de banque (ITB) awarded by the Centre de formation de la profession bancaire de France.
Head of Microfinance Unit - Intermediated finance for MSMEs Division, European Investment Bank (EIB), Luxembourg
Olivier Edelman is head of the EIB’s microfinance unit covering microfinance operations outside the EU. The EIB, based in Luxembourg, is the European Union’s long-term financing institution.
Olivier is responsible for the origination and execution of equity and loan operations (direct or indirect via funds) supporting micro-entrepreneurs and financial inclusion, notably via microfinance institutions.
Previously, Olivier was in charge of the development and execution of portfolio guarantees benefitting SMEs and Mid-caps, via financial intermediaries, at the EIB and the European Investment Fund.
Olivier joined the EIB Group in 2009 after holding positions in different Belgian commercial banks, including roles in structured finance. He holds a degree in Economics from the ‘Université Libre de Bruxelles’ (Belgium).
Thomas T. Essel
Secretary General, African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA), Kenya
Mr. Thomas Thompson Essel is the Secretary General of the African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA), headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. He has many years of experience in Economic and Development issues. Prior to joining AFRACA, he worked in Bank of Ghana for over twenty-two years, holding different positions. The latest positions being head of External Financial Relations and Head of the Bank of Ghana-initiated “Ghana Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending” (GIRSAL), providing strategic and technical guidance to management.
Mr. Essel has considerable experience in policy, having worked both in Bank of Ghana and also in the Policy Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of the Office of the President of the Republic of Ghana for two years. He also has extensive experience in research, international relations and rural finance. Mr. Essel holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and a Masters’ Degree in Development Studies from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. He has undertaken several courses and programmes in Economics and agricultural related areas.
Executive Director, ADA, Luxembourg
Laura Foschi is currently Executive Director at ADA, a Luxembourg NGO that promotes inclusive finance worldwide. She is also Senior Investment Manager and responsible for all investment services to Luxembourg Microfinance Development Fund (LMDF). Prior to this position, she has been Deputy Director at ADA for 3 years, and the general director of the microfinance investment vehicle Consorzio Etimos for 5 years. She has also coordinated and delivered training and technical assistance in microfinance programmes during more than 10 years in Latin America, Africa and the Balkans.
She has been a member of the board of directors of FEBEA (European Federation of Eth ical and Alternative Banks). She was a lecturer at the University of Parma where she taught the Economics of Microfinance and she was also a board member of the Master on Finance for Development. She additionally worked as a consultant for UN agencies such as CEPAL (Comission Economica para America Latina y Caribe) as well as European commission funded programmes.
She has written publications on social banking as well as social capital and microfinance. She fluently speaks Italian, French, English and Spanish. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Responsible Microfinance Facility and of the EIIL (European Impact Investing Luxembourg). Her main areas of interest are impact and inclusive finance, sustainable development and green economy.
She currently provides trainings and lectures on inclusive finance at University of Luxembourg, Université de Lorraine, European Microfinance Programme (Libre Université de Bruxelles), and many other training centres in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
Head of Unit Capacity Building & Sector Support, ADA, Luxembourg
Bénédicte Godefroid is the Head of the Technical Assistance to Microfinance Networks and Sector Support Unit at ADA (Appui au Développement Autonome) in Luxembourg, where she supervises microfinance development projects in Central America, West and East Africa and South-East Asia. The main objective of these projects is to increase financial inclusion through the strengthening of the microfinance professional associations, networks and public authorities. She has 8 years of experience in the microfinance sector, including a Partnership Manager position in an inclusive Fintech company.
Bénédicte holds a Master degree in Translation & International Relations from the Haute Ecole Léonard de Vinci in Brussels and a Post-master degree in Strategic & International Communication from the Institut des Hautes Études des Communications Sociales (IHECS) in Brussels. Bénédicte is also a qualified SPI4 auditor certified by Cerise since 2018.
Deputy Director of the Social Performance Task Force (SPTF), USA
Ms. Amelia Greenberg is the Deputy Director of the Social Performance Task Force (SPTF), where she has worked since 2010. Among her responsibilities within SPTF, Ms. Greenberg manages the Facility for Responsible Inclusive Finance in SSA and MENA and runs the SPTF Outcomes Working Group. Prior to joining SPTF, Ms. Greenberg spent two years working in strategic consulting for nonprofit organizations, and before that, worked for six years as an economic consultant. Ms. Greenberg has an M.A. in international relations from Johns Hopkins, with specializations in international economics and international development, and a B.A. from Brandeis University, where she graduated summa cum laude with a double major in economics and French literature.
Manager Global Social Impact Lead, ConsenSys, USA
Robert serves the Global Social Impact Lead at ConsenSys, and brings 8 years of blockchain experience to the firm, having entered the ecosystem in 2011. Robert co-founded the ConsenSys Social Impact practice in an effort to create an organization dedicated to the application of blockchain technology across all social impact vectors. Robert also co-founded the Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition Foundation (BSIC), which was the first social sector consortium initiative in the blockchain ecosystem. Since co-developing ConsenSys's social impact practice, Greenfield has deployed over half a dozen blockchain-enabled solutions in the social sector and have worked with the likes of the U.S. State Department, UNOPS, Lane Crawford Joyce, the Human Rights Foundation, Harvard SHINE, and many others. Some of these projects include the first U.S. State Department blockchain grantee project, solutions that positively effect sexual assault reporting in California, and making Syrian war crime evidence immutable for submission to International Criminal Court, and creating the first blockchain enabled cash transfer programming consortium for crypto-startups and social sector stakeholders to work together (Bifrost Initiative). Prior to joining ConsenSys, Robert spent his professional career at Goldman Sachs, Teach for America, and, most recently, Cisco Systems. Robert holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, a Masters in Business Administration from Emory University, and a Certificate in Disruptive Strategy from Harvard University.
Regional Manager Africa, BlueOrchard, Kenya
Yann is Regional Manager Africa at BlueOrchard Finance. He joined BlueOrchard from ProCredit Group where he worked for 13 years in management of ProCredit banks in Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. He has served on the board of directors of ProCredit Ghana and Banco ProCredit in Colombia and has extensive experience in SME finance, among others having developed programs for agricultural and green finance in Mozambique and Colombia. Apart from his managerial positions, he has been involved in setting up a professional training institution in Africa and was teaching in Latin America and Germany on various finance related topics.
Yann has completed a Master’s degree in Economics (DEA) at the Institute of Political studies in Paris, after having received his Diploma from the same institution. He previously completed undergraduate studies in Economics and Sociology at Goethe University in Frankfurt.
Managing Partner at Kap Fund, Senegal
Julien Guth is a senior innovation management professional with hands-on experience in new business development, strategy, and general management in the fintech, telecom and media industries. Julien is known for successfully delivering digital lifestyle products, building innovation teams and partnering with leading-edge companies in both developed and emerging markets with a focus on Africa and Latin America.
Julien is a founder and managing partner at Kap, a venture capital firm dedicated to fueling innovation in frontier markets. The firm invests in innovative financial services companies that deliver superior financial returns, while at the same time accelerate financial inclusion in Africa.
Julien is also the chief executive officer of Beenok, a boutique advisory and investment firm working with the leadership teams of banks, mobile operators and startups in emerging markets to deliver mass-market digital financial services.
Prior founding Beenok and Kap, Julien was the managing director of MobileCash, an e-money issuer in West Africa partnering with Mobile Network Operators, Financial Institutions and Startups to deliver mobile banking services.
Formerly, Julien led Global New Business Development at Millicom, a leading emerging market telecommunication & media company with USD 6bn in revenue and more than 50 million customers. At Millicom, Julien launched new businesses ranging from mobile money to digital learning across multiple geographies and serving over 20 million people.
Prior to his work at Millicom, Julien was a manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers both in Europe and in the US working within the financial institutions audit and advisory desk.
Outside of work, Julien loves to relax by riding horses with his young kids. Julien holds a Master of Business Administration from Wharton, University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Science in International Relations from ESCC and a Bachelor of Economics from Inholland University. Julien is married with two children and lives in Dakar, Senegal.
Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP, USA
Emilio Hernandez explores digital financial solutions for last-mile clients. He leads work on inclusive digital distribution networks and the impact financial inclusion has on poor people’s lives. He provides technical guidance to better understand the financial behavior and needs of underserved client groups, like smallholder families, and to experiment with providers on innovative strategies and products that meet those needs.
Before joining CGAP, Mr. Hernandez led technical cooperation programs focused on inclusive rural and agricultural finance at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations overseeing field interventions in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. He also oversaw business operations for a large international agricultural technology company throughout Central America. He has a Doctorate degree in Agricultural Economics and Development Finance from The Ohio State University.
Inclusive Finance Program Manager, CERISE, France
Biography coming soon.
Head of Client Relations and Network at Banque Agricole Du Faso, Burkina Faso
François Kaboré is the Director of Customer Relations and Network at Banque Agricole Du Faso. He holds a Master's degree in Management Sciences with an option in Economics and Management of Companies and Organisations and a Master's degree in Accounting, Audit and Control.
François Kaboré has 18 years of professional experience in the public sector and in the private sector, 14 of which were spent in the banking and microfinance sector. His career path goes from the Ministry of Secondary, Higher Education and Scientific Research (Ouahigouya vocational high school as a teacher) to the Ministry of Labour, Youth and Employment (Fonds d'Appui au Secteur Informel as a researcher) before continuing in the banking sector (Banque Agricole et Commerciale du Burkina -BACB-, Ecobank, Orabank and currently at Banque Agricole Du Faso -BADF- as a Director of Clientele and Network). He was also a member of the Working Group, which led the project to create the Agricultural Bank.
Head of the Equity, New Products and Special Transactions Department, EIB (European Investment Bank), Luxembourg
Adrian Kamenitzer became Head of the Equity, New Products and Special Transactions Department on 1 May 2016. Before, he was the Head of the Project and Structured Finance team in the Credit Risk Department of EIB.
Adrian joined the Bank in 2006 from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) where he worked in risk management (in London) and the front office (debt and equity) in Romania. Adrian started his career in finance in 1996 at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, where he worked in audit and corporate finance consulting. Adrian holds a MSc in Electrical Engineering from the “Politehnica University of Bucharest” and an MBA from the McGill University.
Development Impact Executive, CDC, United Kingdom
Machal leads the impact management of CDC’s investments in financial services across products. Previously, she has worked for LeapFrog Investments, Oxford Policy Management and the MasterCard Foundation. She is currently also a Director for the Financial Inclusion Forum for the UK.
Lecturer at University of Ghana Business (UGBS), Ghana
Amin Karimu is a trained economist with a strong background on development and energy economics, econometrics and policy related to natural resource management and their impact on poverty and development outcomes. He had both is PhD and MSC., in Economics from Sweden.
He is currently a lecturer at University of Ghana Business (UGBS) and teaches at both the Department of OMIS and the Department of Finance. He also regularly visits the Centre for Environmental and Resource Economics (CERE), Umeå University and Mistra Centre for Sustainable Markets (MISUM) at Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden.
His consulting and research interests are in the area of electricity markets in Africa, oil and gas industry, energy efficiency policies, firm level studies, innovation and technology development in Africa, tax and revenue policies, poverty interventions, macroeconomic policies, management of natural resources and sustainable development in Africa.
Karimu has consulted for organizations such as the UNU-WIDER, the International Growth Centre, Swedish Ministry of Finance, and Swedish Energy Agency.
The Carson Priority Professor of economics at Oklahoma State University
Dr. Harounan Kazianga is a development economist with over 15 years of experience in development research and analysis, impact evaluation, and monitoring and evaluation. He is The Carson Priority Professor of economics at Oklahoma State University. His research focuses on rural economic activity, and health and education questions in Sub-Saharan Africa. Over the past 15 years, he has conducted extensive field research in Africa on the impact of scaling up access to HIV/AIDS treatment, the impact of food and cash transfers on health and education, on technological change in agriculture, and gift exchange and risk coping strategies in Africa. His current work includes the impact evaluation of rural land reforms and rural roads upgrading on agricultural productivity in Burkina Faso and in Senegal. His work has been published in American Economic Journal: Applied, the Journal of Development Economics, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Economic Development and Cultural Change, the Journal of Development Studies and the Journal of African Economies, among others. Dr. Kazianga holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University and a M.A in Economics from the University of Ouagadougou.
Founder and CEO, COFINA Group (Compagnie Financière Africaine), Senegal
Passionate about financial inclusion, Jean-Luc Konan is an experienced entrepreneur and banker with more than 20 years of experience, he is the Founder and CEO of the COFINA Group since 2013.
Before launching COFINA, he held various senior positions in renowned banks in Africa and Europe, such as BNP Paribas, Barclays, Citibank, Ecobank and UBA.
Jean-Luc Konan has been recognized for his influence in the corporate finance ecosystem by winning several international and national awards, including the National Award of Excellence for Entrepreneurship, National Champion category, awarded by the President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire in August 2019.
Jean-Luc Konan holds a Master's degree in Financial Engineering from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce (ESC) in Toulouse and a DESS in Banking and Finance from the University of Paris V. He also holds a degree from the Institut Supérieur de Gestion de Paris.
Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP, Belgium
Based in Belgium, Antonique Koning has more than 20 years of experience working on a range of topics related to microfinance and financial inclusion. She is currently leading CGAP’s work on customer protection and value. Ms. Koning has expertise in customer centricity and empowerment, employee and agent empowerment, and responsible finance. She is also involved in CGAP’s member engagement.
Ms. Koning is a contributor to CGAP’s Customer Centric Guide. She has strong experience in program management and coordination, having led CGAP’s Africa team and managed a Euro 15 million capacity-building program for microfinance actors in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands. Before joining CGAP in 2004, she gained hands-on experience developing and implementing microcredit programs in El Salvador and working with savings banks globally.
Ms. Koning has a Master’s degree in International Trade Management and Policy from the University of Birmingham and a Master’s degree in Applied Economics from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. She speaks Spanish, French, and Dutch.
Brian A. Kuwik
Chief Regional Officer for Africa, Acción, USA
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.
Financial Services Team Leader for NUTEC FS at Mercy Corps, Uganda
Paul Kweheria is an accomplished financial services expert and development professional with a proven track record in various leadership roles over 17 years in the larger Eastern Africa. Currently, Paul is the program Team Leader of NU-TEC (Northern Uganda Transforming the Economy through Climate Smart Agribusiness) Financial Services component. NUTEC FS is a DFID funded program focused on developing and rolling out innovative financial services to Agribusinesses in conjunction with Equity Bank Uganda.
Most recently, Paul was the Mercy Corps AgriFin Accelerate program director in Tanzania where he led development of digital financial and information services for smallholder farmers reaching over 300,000 rural beneficiaries.
Paul joined Mercy Corps from KCB Bank where he worked for 12 and half years in various capacities. In his last role at KCB, led strategy development and monitoring of KCB Group interests in six countries. He also co-developed an innovative agriculture finance program delivered on mobile technology; where he led the research, ideation, concept and product development, business case development, vendor and partner engagement, field implementation and a successful launch of a US$ 16 million program.
Paul holds an MBA from Strathmore Business School, BSC in Computer Science from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) and completed his Certified Public Accountancy (CPA – Kenya).
Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs
Paulette Lenert was born on 31 May 1968 in Luxembourg.
Education and qualifications
Following her secondary school studies at the Athénée de Luxembourg, Paulette Lenert was awarded a degree in private and corporate law from the University d'Aix-Marseille III in 1991. After her master's degree, she pursued her studies in the United Kingdom and obtained a master's in European Law from the University of London in 1992. Paulette Lenert focused her continuing education as much on European Law as on the development of her skills in public management and systemic approach.
Following the legislative elections of 14 October 2018, Paulette Lenert joined the government as Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs and as Minister for Consumer Protection on 5 December 2018 in the coalition government formed by the Democratic Party (DP), the Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party (LSAP) and the Green Party (déi gréng).
Paulette Lenert began her career as a lawyer at the Luxembourg Bar in 1992. She joined the Ministry of Justice in 1994 in the function of justice attaché. In 1997, she was appointed First Judge of the Administrative Tribunal and served as vice president until 2010. From 2010 to 2013, she was senior government advisor to the Minister Delegate of Solidarity Economy.
She was the head of the newly founded Facilitation Unit for Urban Planning and Environment attached to the Ministry of State in 2013. Following the reshuffle of the ministerial departments in 2013, she joined the Ministry of the Civil Service and Administrative Reform in the function of senior government advisor and was in charge of the general coordination as of 2014. Furthermore, in January 2017, she was nominated executive director of the National Institute for Public Administration. Paulette Lenert resigned from her functions upon joining the government.
Activities relating to associations
Paulette Lenert was a board member of the ProActif a.s.b.l. between 2011 and 2013. She was also a board member of Initiativ Rëm Schaffen a.s.b.l. and resigned from this function when she joined the government.
Senior Director Financial Inclusion, Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation
Christian Loupéda has 25 years of experience in International Development most of which in financial services for the poor. Mr Loupeda is currently supporting Grameen Foundation’s efforts in digital finance and branchless banking. Mr. Loupéda has experience in technical assistance provision, training, strategy design, project management and partnership development. He has also led the work of the Imp-Act Consortium a global initiative involving organizations committed to promote the practice of SPM (Social Performance Management) in Microfinance. He started his career in development by working at the Banque Internationale pour l’Afrique Occidentale in Paris in 1987, then as research assistant at the International Food Policy Research Institute, project manager at Catholic Relief Services, operations officer at the World Bank and senior technical advisor microfinance and director financial inclusion at Freedom from Hunger.
Mr Loupéda seats on the board of several institutions including microfinance institutions and NGOs. He has a Bachelor degree in Economics and a Master degree in advanced studies in Development Economics from the Université de Paris II-Assas. Mr. Loupéda speaks fluent French and English.
Country Manager, SOS Faim, Mali
Biography coming soon.
West Africa Regional Representative, Trickle Up, Burkina Faso
Yéréfolo began his career organizing vegetable growers into associations. He moved from field level positions to projects at cluster, national and regional levels. His expertise not only includes economic strengthening, but is complemented by experience in water and sanitation and social policies including those focused on safety nets and food security.
Over the years, Yéréfolo has worked with several NGOs including Trickle Up, Water and Sanitation for Africa, WaterAid, Save the Children UK, Africare and Groupe de Recherche et d’Applications Techniques.
Yéréfolo Mallé is an Engineer in rural development and holds a Master II on Innovation, Development and Society.
Director Agriculture Innovations, Grameen Foundation, USA
Mona McCord is a committed international development professional with 15 years experience developing and implementing agriculture and food security programs. At Grameen Foundation, she leads the innovation in agriculture transformation strategy and oversees engagements with a range of public, private and government partners. She is a co-author on USAID’s Feed the Future publication Data-driven Agriculture: The Future of Smallholder Farmer Data Management and Use, which outlines the transformative aspects of digital farmer profile data to support market-led smallholder engagement strategies more efficiently, effectively and sustainably. She has professional experience related to agriculture finance for smallholder farmers in Malawi, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Kyrgyzstan. Mona holds a Master’s degree in International Agriculture Development from the University of California, Davis, and served as a small enterprise development volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in Mali.
Technical Specialist at UNCDF for the inclusive finance program YouthStart, Senegal
Biography coming soon.
Patrick Mbouombouo Mfossa
Member of the international association of French-speaking researchers in microfinance (AICFM) and a PhD candidate in economics at the Université Protestante au Congo (UPC)
Patrick Mbouombouo Mfossa is a member of the international association of French-speaking researchers in microfinance (AICFM) and a PhD candidate in economics at the Université Protestante au Congo (UPC). Mr. Mfossa’s research areas include financial inclusion for development, survival strategies of slum dwellers and informal financial practices in the age of digital transformation. He holds a postgraduate degree (DEA) in applied economics from the University of Yaoundé II - Cameroon (Interuniversity Postgraduate Program -PTCI) as well as a Master of Microfinance from the Congolese-German Centre for Microfinance (CCAM). Mr. Mfossa is also a part-time consultant in development finance and collaborates with Frankfurt School of Finance & Management’s International Advisory Services as an agent in educational matters.
Deputy Executive Secretary, UNCDF, USA
Xavier Michon was appointed as Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in late 2014. As part of his duties, he plays a critical role to support the Executive Secretary in providing leadership and shaping the strategic vision and direction of the organization. He provides direct oversight to the development of the programme of work and plays an active role in the implementation of UNCDF’s capital development mandate and management of the organization.
A French national, he has had a long career at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), previously serving in Burundi and Guatemala as Country Director, in Peru as Deputy Resident Representative, and in the New York headquarters with the Regional Bureaus for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, as Programme Advisor. Prior to joining UNDP, he served as Project Management Officer in the Africa and Environmental Programmes Divisions, at the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). He also worked as Financial Derivatives Broker at Iberagentes / Crédit Lyonnais Securities in Spain, and as Officer-in-charge of the French-Dominican Chamber of Commerce promoting business opportunities and investment in the Dominican Republic.
Xavier Michon received a maîtrise in Business Management from the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (ISG) in Paris, France, and a master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in New York, USA. He speaks fluent French, English, Spanish, Italian, and has basic conversational skills in Portuguese.
Rural Finance and Inclusive Fintech Expert, India
Howard Miller is an independent consultant specialising in financial inclusion, rural finance and inclusive FinTech. He has written extensively on the linkages between financial inclusion and agriculture, including papers for UNCDF and USAID. He was part of the teams that set up FSD Uganda and FSD Mozambique for DFID, and that designed the Fund for Rural Prosperity for MasterCard Foundation. Howard has also consulted across Sub-Saharan Africa and globally for institutions including CGAP, MIX, AGRA, IFC, Gates Foundation and IFAD. He specialises in the market systems approach to development and was previously a Principal Consultant at Nathan Associates as well as part of the founding team at Harvesting. Howard used to live in Uganda, and is now based in India.
Digital Ambassador to UNCDF (United Nations Capital Development Fund), France
Aiaze is an emerging market Fintech/DFS expert and entrepreneur. More recently, he co-founded Coqonut, a start-up aiming at providing aggregation and tax reporting services in the blockchain/digital asset space. Aiaze is also on the Board of Directors of a few Fintech players and financial institutions engaged in digital transformation.
Previously, Aiaze was Chief MFS Officer at Tiaxa and drove Tiaxa's global digital lending business in emerging markets, with a focus on Africa. Aiaze also founded Amarante Consulting and has been a Digital Financial Services Advisor to IFC (World Bank Group) Africa and Latin America for 4+ years.
An early pioneer in the mobile financial services industry, Aiaze combines first-hand implementation experience with strategic involvement in over 40 Digital Financial Services projects across Africa, Asia, Middle East and Central America.
About 10 years ago, Aiaze directed M-Paisa for Roshan, the leading mobile operator in Afghanistan. Prior to Roshan, Aiaze was Consulting Director with Devoteam Middle East, with a focus on the Telecom Industry and Financial Sector.
Aiaze holds a Master of Science from University of Quebec and a BA from Telecom Paris, France’s premier Telecommunications ‘Grande Ecole’.
Specialties: Digital Financial Services, Fintech, Blockchain, Financial Inclusion, Digital economies
Co-Founder at Rubyx, Italy
Denis's unusual ability to combine systems and process analysis, data science and product design delivers an effective approach to innovation. It delivers ready to scale innovative products for financial inclusion. The innovation process comes from orchestrating customer research, product development, scoring algorithm development, UX design, piloting, business planning. With his team, he has delivered innovative loan and saving products and new delivery channels.
Denis has more than 15 years of experience in managing large and complex technology programs for financial services, defining and leading technology strategy with a strong focus on core banking solutions, delivery channels, mobile payments in developing countries.
Before founding Rubyx, a consulting team in AI and Product Design for mobile financial services, Denis was responsible for Microcred's innovation and technology strategy. He has made the company achieve major digital transformation to become a 100% cloud-based, single codebase and centrally serviced financial institution group on the African continent and in China, enabling breakthrough innovation and cost savings.
Director for Gender, Women and Civil Society, African Development Bank, Côte d'Ivoire
Vanessa Moungar is Director of Gender, Women and Civil Society since 1st July 2017. She brings along diverse experience from the public and private sectors, as well as an extensive global network. She has a solid track record of high-level policy dialogue and partnership building to accelerate the continent’s transformation agenda.
As Senior Manager, responsible for Africa, at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland since 2013, Mrs Moungar led large-scale public-private collaboration efforts. She engaged leaders of African governments, the private sector and civil society in partnerships across multiple industries – from health and education to extractives, infrastructure, agriculture and energy. She guided the adaptation of global projects to the continent and supported the development of policy reforms to catalyze investment in the region. Besides, she also provided strategic guidance to the institutional strategy as well as to the program development for the Annual Meetings of the World Economic Forum on Africa.
In addition, she championed the Demographic Dividend agenda, leading a multi-stakeholder group of global experts, mandated to create thought leadership and shape public policy for investment in women and youth. She brings leverage from that work to the Bank, including policy frameworks to empower, educate, and employ African women. Her private sector perspective will be helpful to drive private investment in the Gender agenda, and to roll out innovative financing systems for women entrepreneurs at scale.
Between 2011 and 2013, Mrs Moungar advised the Liberian Energy network to establish strategic partnerships with Government agencies, civil society organizations and the private sector. From 2006 to 2013 she worked in various capacities including as Director of Sales & Marketing at Terrafina – USA, an agro-business, where she developed and led the execution of the company’s sales and marketing strategy, including budget planning, staff management and overall strategic guidance. She started her career at AV Consulting, France, which she co-founded in 2004 to support small and medium enterprises in Africa and the Middle East.
Mrs Moungar holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree (B.B.A), International Business, Summa cum laude, from Paris Business College INSEEC – Paris, France and a Master’s degree, General Management from Harvard University – Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. She is a Global Leadership Fellow and holds a Master’s in Advanced Global Leadership conferred by the World Economic Forum in partnership with Columbia University, New-York, USA; The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA; China Europe International Business School; London Business School, UK and European Institute of Business Administration (Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires – INSEAD).
PhD in Finance at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa
Zibusiso Moyo is studying towards a PhD in Finance at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. His passion for microfinance motivated his thesis on the performance of the depository microfinance sector in Low Income Sub-Saharan Africa. He is an Examiner in the Executive Certificate in Microfinance and Entrepreneurship offered by the Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance Institutions in collaboration with the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe where he obtained a Masters in Finance and Investment, BCom Honours in Banking and a Post Graduate Diploma in Higher Education.
Rachael Spiwe Mushosho
Deputy Director in Bank Supervision Division, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
Rachael Mushosho, is Deputy Director in Bank Supervision Division at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. She holds a BSc. Economics Degree and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Zimbabwe. She is an Accredited Fellow of the Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa (MEFMI) whose main mandate is building capacity in identified key areas in ministries of finance and central banks with the view to improve sustainable human and institutional capacity. In her capacity as an Accredited Fellow, she has been providing capacity building in risk management, regulation and supervision of banks and microfinance institutions to MEFMI member countries. Rachael has over 21 years of experience in bank supervision and supervision of microfinance institutions. Microfinance in Zimbabwe, has been identified as a pillar of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy which was launched in 2016. She brings to the platform a wealth of experience with respect to building sustainable financial systems for the low income and the marginalised groups. Rachael championed the survey of the microfinance sector in Zimbabwe in 2006 which culminated in the development of the National Microfinance Policy for Zimbabwe.
Jules Theoneste Ndahayo
Chairperson of the Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR)
Ndahayo Jules Theoneste has over 15 years of experience at senior positions of microfinance institutions and is currently working in Rwanda as CEO of Umutanguha Finance Company Plc (UFC). Jules Ndahayo holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and a Masters Degree in Microfinance. He is an international CGAP certified trainer in Financial Management, in Governance, Business Planning and certified trainer in Cooperative management. Jules Ndahayo has coordinated various projects funded by International organisations including UN agencies in the domains of Microfinance, Rural Finance and Youth &Women friendly financial and non-financial services, leasing and refugee financial services. He has been conducting several technical assistances in all these fields and spoke at various panels in Africa, Europe and America.
Director General for the Promotion of the Rural Economy, Ministry of Agriculture and Hydro-agricultural Development, Burkina Faso
Biography coming soon.
Photo credit: MAAH
Business Development Manager, YUP by Société Générale, Burkina Faso
Méliane Ouedraogo has been a legal expert by training and a banking executive with Société Générale Group since 2006. Since January 2018, she has been Business Development Manager at YUP Burkina, an electronic money distribution company and 2nd subsidiary of the French Group Société Générale in Burkina Faso. She is in charge of partnerships with large companies, organizations and institutions. She has 17 years of professional experience, including 2 years of consulting in microenterprise management, 13 years of banking and soon 2 years in Mobile Money distribution. She was respectively Head of the Collection and Litigation Department and then Head of the Société Générale Agency in Burkina Faso; Head of Market Development for the good range and assets market, then Head of Commercial Management.
Her experience ranges from the implementation of sales management tools, analysis and monitoring of performance to the organization and capacity building of the sales force. She has skills in branch management, personal and professional client management, analysis and setting up of credit files, collection and banking litigation management and legal advice. She has experience in training microentrepreneurs in accounting and business management, environmental and sustainable development management, and financial inclusion of people in vulnerable situations.
Ms. Ouedraogo holds a Master's degree in Legal and Political Science, a Master's degree in Banking and Financial Engineering, and a Master's degree in Environmental and Sustainable Development Management Research, which is currently being finalized.
Young Entrepreneurs Project Manager, ADA, Luxembourg
Dominique Owekisa is currently serving as project manager with ADA in Luxembourg, focusing on youth finance and financing of small and growing businesses in West Africa - francophone countries. For the last fifteen years, Dominique has been working for better financial inclusion and private sector development, providing managerial and technical assistance. His experience in East and West Africa includes developing financial products, strengthening microfinance institutions and increasing bankability of value chains actors. Dominique is passionate about the role of implementing innovative, client-focused programs and ensuring greater inclusion of youth and women while spurring private sector participation and investment.
Agribusiness Economist at the FAO, United Nations, Italy
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.
Natalia Realpe Carrillo
Director of the startup HEDERA
Dr. Natalia Realpe Carrillo, PhD, is the director of the startup HEDERA and has over 10 years of experience in the field of microfinance. Prior to pursuing her entrepreneurial path, Dr. Realpe was a senior project manager at MicroEnergy International GmbH. Her professional expertise centers on conducting impact assessment studies, rural energy needs assessments, and green finance integration into MFI financial portfolios. Natalia has managed projects in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Central Asia. Dr. Realpe received her diploma as an industrial engineer from Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. She completed her Master’s in Industrial and Network Economics and PhD in Energy Engineering at the Technical University Berlin. As part of her postgraduate studies, Dr. Realpe was awarded the UMM (University Meets Microfinance) Scholarship, in order to perform field research for her thesis in experimental economics in Oaxaca, Mexico and Nariño, Colombia, both in partnership with microfinance institutions.
consultant to ADA, Luxembourg
As a consultant to ADA, Myka served as Content Director for the 2019 Week of African Microfinance. Myka brings two decades of experience in international economic development, inclusive finance and livelihood development with a focus on brokering strategic, cross-sectoral partnerships and developing innovative approaches to equip poor people with sustainable tools to overcome poverty.
Myka is Chief Executive Officer of Ayani Inclusive Financial Sector Consultants, a Dutch firm providing technical assistance, research and strategy development to stakeholders in Africa, Asia and Latin America. As Vice President of Programs, Director of Microfinance and Health Protection, and Senior Technical Advisor at Freedom from Hunger—she oversaw product development and provided training and technical assistance to financial service providers in West Africa and Southeast Asia. Myka also led a four-year project funded by the Gates Foundation to test innovative combinations of microfinance and health protection services on three continents, resulting in five pioneering models that have gone on to reach millions of people. She has consulted to CGAP/World Bank, Grameen Foundation USA, the European Microfinance Platform, AGRA, FHI-360, MIX, SEEP, UNCDF Fund, UN Women and USAID among others. Myka serves on the board of the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) MRI Development Institute in the Philippines.
Myka has an MBA in Development Economics and Nonprofit Management from Columbia Business School and a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Linguistics from Vassar College. A US citizen, she has lived and worked in a dozen countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America; she currently resides in France.
Program Director, myAgro, Mali
Karen is the Program Director of myAgro in Mali. She owns the present and the future of Mali’s seasonal field operations activities through meeting today’s seasonal goals and setting up tomorrow’s strategy. Focusing her journey on private sector and employment promotion for urban and rural populations, Karen has worked in Africa since 2013. Prior to joining myAgro, she consulted with the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), to promote demand-oriented vocational education and training in Nigeria’s agriculture sector. She also worked with GIZ Egypt, to set up career guidance and placement structures for young people. Karen holds a Master of International Development Studies from SciencesPo Paris (France) and a Bachelor of Social- and Cultural Anthropology and Communication Science from WWF Universität (Germany).
Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP, Côte d'Ivoire
Based in Côte d’Ivoire, Corinne Riquet-Bamba has been working for CGAP since 2008. She works to deepen CGAP’s engagement in Francophone Africa, collaborating with regional partners on issues such as digital finance, regulation, capacity building, and funding for financial inclusion. She also supports CGAP’s team working in Sub-Saharan Africa on Connected Market solutions. In the past five years, she managed the implementation of CGAP’s activities that aimed to improve the digital finance ecosystem in WAEMU.
Since 2001, Ms Riquet-Bamba has worked as an independent consultant advising MFIs and funders on organizational audit practices, business plan development, appraisals, designing financial service projects in rural areas, and evaluating and defining national microfinance strategies as well digital finance strategies. A French national, Ms Riquet-Bamba has lived in Côte d’Ivoire for over 25 years. She holds a master's degree in developmental economics from CERDI, University of Clermont Ferrand, France.
Chief Business Development Officer, Advans Ghana Savings & Loans, Ghana
Giorgi Samadashvili serves as Chief Business Development Officer of Advans Ghana, part of the international Advans Microfinance Group. His current scope includes marketing communications and branding, client segment management, digital delivery channels and development of strategic partnerships, including agricultural value chains. With over 13 years of experience in financial sector, Giorgi has previously served as Chief Operating Officer of Finca Bank Georgia and Head of Product Development at Societe Generale Georgia, among other positions. During his tenure with various financial institutions, Giorgi has led multiple projects and initiatives related to business development and operational efficiency, such as core-system migration, credit scoring development and process digitization.
Giorgi holds Master’s degree in Business Administration from Caucasus School of Business and Bachelor’s degree in Law and Economics from Technical University of Georgia. In addition to his primary focus on financial sector, Giorgi is an invited lecturer of Project Management at Caucasus School of Business.
President of "Investisseurs & Partenaires" (I&P), member of the Académie des technologies et du Conseil des affaires étrangères, France
President of "Investors & Partners" (I&P), Inspector General of Finance, Jean-Michel Severino has been involved since 2010 mainly in "investment impact", societal investments in Africa after a career devoted to financing development. He was previously Director of Development at the French Ministry of Cooperation, Vice President for East Asia at the World Bank, and General Manager of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) from 2001 to 2010.
Mr. Severino regularly publishes in the French and international press. On 21 October 2007, he launched the Ideas for Development blog with Josette Sheeran, Donald Kaberuka, Kemal Dervis, Pascal Lamy, Abdou Diouf and Supachai Panitchpakdi, in which the authors share their visions of the major challenges facing developing countries and the best solutions to address them. In 2010, he published two books: "Idées reçues sur le développement", with Jean-Michel Debrat, published by Cavalier Bleu; and "Le temps de l'Afrique", with Olivier Ray, published by Odile Jacob. "Le grand basculement", also co-written with Olivier Ray, was released in 2011, again by Odile Jacob. Finally, his book on African entrepreneurship, "Entreprenante Afrique", written with Jérémy Hajdenberg, was also published in 2017 by Odile Jacob.
Head Inclusive Finance, AGRA (Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa), Kenya
Hedwig Siewertsen is responsible for designing and implementing AGRA’s Inclusive Finance strategy. Financial services are key in transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive into a business that thrives. AGRA designs and deploys blended finance instruments, value chain finance and digital finance products, technical assistance funds and acceleration funds to make financial services accessible and affordable to agricultural SMEs and smallholder farmers in food crops in 11 African countries.
Prior to coming to AGRA, Hedwig served 4 years as CEO of a USD 100 million single family office impact fund, DOB equity, which invests in SMEs in the East Africa. Prior to that she was 12 years Deputy Director and senior consultant in Triodos Facet (now Palladium), a consulting firm specialised in entrepreneurship development and financial services delivery to MSMEs in emerging markets. In that capacity she has worked across 25 African countries to design, monitor, support and evaluate enterprise support programs with a focus on financial services delivery. She started her career as an associate expert for the UN in Madagascar and Tanzania. She has a B.Sc. in Tropical Agriculture and a Masters’ degree in Econometrics.
Digital finance program manager - financial inclusion expert, Baobab Group, France
Pierre-Marie has spent 10 years at Baobab (ex Microcred). He has conceived, designed and implemented digital transformation programs for Baobab's African subsidiaries for nearly 3 years.
Prior to that he spent 7 years in Africa. First he served as a Branch Manager for Baobab Madagascar for 3 years working to instill a client-centered culture and restructuring branches in crisis. Then he launched Baobab Tunisia in 2013 - a greenfield microfinance institution - and served as COO in charge of strategy and growth for 4 years.
Associate Partner and Regional Head, Anglophone Africa, MicroSave Consulting (MSC), Kenya
Anup Singh leads MSC’s regional office in Anglophone Africa and heads the Helix Institute based in Nairobi, Kenya. With thirteen years of experience, his expertise includes digital transformation of financial institutions; fintech mapping, scoping, and policy design; digital readiness assessment of social protection programs; digital credit scoping, design and policy; and training programs. He has consulted over 100 institutions including governments, fintechs, financial institutions, investors, and multilateral organizations in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, and South Africa in African continent, and India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Myanmar, China, Papua New Guinea in the Asian continent. He has also trained at the Boulder Institute of Microfinance in 2017 and 2018.
National Coordinator of the ProFeJeC Project developed by UNDP (Projet Femmes-Jeunes Entreprenants et Citoyenneté), Burkina Faso
Moumine Sissao, a Burkinabe national, was born in Côte d'Ivoire, precisely in Abidjan, where he completed his primary and secondary education. He is a doctoral student in science and education and holds several Master's degrees in various related fields such as education, employment, entrepreneurship and innovation management. Since 15 October 2018, he has been the National Coordinator of the UNDP Women, Young Entrepreneurs and Citizenship (WYE) project. Prior to this position, Moumine Sissao held several other positions in both public administration and international organizations (United Nations, German Cooperation): Specialist in Job Creation, Reintegration and Community Development, Technical Advisor in Training Engineering, Associate Expert in Training - Employment, Employment Advisor and Vocational Training, Regional Director of Youth, Vocational Training and Employment of the High Basins / Bobo-Dioulasso, State Representative Administrator, Employment and Training Consultants...
Co-founder of WIC Capital, Senegal
Madji is the co-founder of WIC Capital, a syndicate fund launched in Senegal in March 2019 and targeting women-owned enterprises. This initiative has allowed her to engage in the fund set-up and fund management process in the specific context of Senegal. WIC has been replicated in Côte d’Ivoire and continues its outreach to be established in more countries across Africa. Madji is Senegalese and a Partner in Dalberg’s Dakar office. She has 20 years of experience implementing, managing and evaluating projects in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the United States. Madji holds an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird, School of Global Management. She is fluent in English and French.
Regional Technical Advisor, West and Central Africa, UNCDF (Senegal)
Mathieu Soglonou holds a specialized graduate diploma in project management and local development, a master's degree in organizational management and a diploma in business management (banking option) from the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin.
Mathieu has more than fifteen years of experience in managing development project cycles and inclusive finance. He joined UNCDF in June 2008 as Senior Technical Advisor for the Central African Republic, before joining the Regional Office as Technical Advisor on Inclusive Finance. In this role, Mathieu has assisted several governments and central banks in the development of pro-poor strategies and policies (microfinance, inclusive finance, digital finance, agri-food, women's resilience and empowerment, renewable energy, self-employment and entrepreneurship for youth and women).
Prior to UNCDF, Mathieu was Director of the Millennium Challenge Account Access to Financial Services Project and then Director of the ALAFIA Consortium in Benin. He has also worked as a consultant to the World Bank, UNCTAD, DESA, IFAD, GTZ and others, and has also acquired solid experience in working in fragile or transition countries.
Chief Operating Officer, MIX, France
Mr Stephens leads operations and products for MIX. Since the launch in 2002 of MIX’s first online platform, MIX Market, he has worked with global and national stakeholders and a team of analysts and information product specialists to further inclusive finance through reporting standards, benchmarks, rankings and other information products. Recent work has covered international funding to financial inclusion and agri-SMEs and smallholders, as well as developing a framework for analyzing inclusive fintech.
Mr Stephens has more than 20 years of financial inclusion experience including in the start-up operations for a Moroccan MFI, Al Amana, and an online microfinance training course for donors and practitioners with UNCDF. He holds a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and an M.I.A. from Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs. Blaine speaks English, French, and basic Arabic and German.
Orange Money Director, Burkina Faso
Biography coming soon.
General Manager, Union des Institutions Mutualistes Communautaires d’Epargne et de Crédit (U-IMCEC), Senegal
Mr Ousmane Thiongane, a Senegalese citizen, has a solid background in business management and organizational management. He holds university and post-graduate degrees in economics and an MBA from CESAG.
After various experiences in private enterprise as a senior executive, he worked for more than 20 years in the field of microfinance and community development. As Managing Director, he currently heads a network of microfinance institutions called U-IMCEC, an ADA partner, which operates in 12 of Senegal's 14 regions through 45 agencies and offices located in rural and peri-urban areas.
He has proven experience in inclusive finance, reinforced by his participation in several national and international meetings and by his study and program evaluation missions in several West African countries. He is a founding member and former President of the Association Professionnelle des Systèmes Financiers Décentralisés du Sénégal and of the African Microfinance Network (AFMIN).
Mr Thiongane was also captain of Senegal's national football team in the 1990s.
Senior advisor Africa, Triple Jump Advisory Services, Netherlands
Since 2017 Gera works as senior advisor for Triple Jump Advisory Services and is responsible for capacity building projects in Africa and Middle East. Supporting financial institutions to accelerate their digital transformation is a key area for her. Prior to joining Triple Jump, she worked as a financial inclusion consultant at PHB Development. She was involved in numerous digital financial services projects such as go-to-market strategies and the implementation of new products and delivery channels like mobile banking and agency banking, working primarily with institutions in Sub-Sahara Africa. Previously, Gera worked for 20 years in the banking sector for ING Group and the Dutch Central Bank. She also held governance positions as chairperson of the supervisory board of the ASN Novib Microcredit Fund and board member of Opportunity Microcredit Romania.
Gera has a Master’s degree in theoretical and development economics from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. She is a Dutch national.
Elizabeth Wanjiru Karinga
Finance Manager at Bimas Kenya Ltd
Ms Elizabeth heads the finance department in Bimas Kenya Ltd, a credit-only microfinance institution based in rural Kenya. She has served the institution for 19 years, rising through the ranks from a receptionist to her current position.
Elizabeth, an urban-rural migrant, has in-depth experience in rural microfinance and being the social performance champion for Bimas Kenya Ltd, has been instrumental in the development and implementation of institutional policies geared towards financial inclusion.
She firmly believes in the role of women and their ability to become economic powerhouses, a belief that has been built over a long period of time spent serving the poor and seeing the impact women create in the society.
Chief Executive Officer, Trotro Tractor Limited, Ghana
Trotro Tractor is an agricultural technology company that connects smallholder farmers with tractors and other agricultural machinery using the feature phones. With Trotro Tractor farmers can request, prepay and schedule for tractors and agricultural machinery services using feature phones and smart phones. Tractor owners can also monitor the efficiency of their machines remotely using the Trotro Tractor specialised GPS trackers, USSD App and Mobile App.
In this short time, Kamal has led the team to win the Duapa challenge organized by the British Council, Ghana. Duapa Challenge is an early stage social innovation support competition providing seed capital, business incubation, social mandate training and exposure to the UK for an already existing and viable social enterprise. Duapa Challenge will connect leaders of viable early stage social enterprises to the leading local social impact incubator, to provide support from “idea to market”.
Kamal is a social entrepreneur with 11 years of Corporate Accounting and Marketing experience. He is the founder of www.farmable.me, a crowd-funding platform for smallholder cattle farmers in Ghana. He is currently the CEO of Trotro Tractor Ltd, an agricultural technology company that connects farmers with tractors and other agricultural machinery services like planters, combine harvesters etc. (www.trotrotractor.com).
Generally, his interest has been in the implementation of ICT tools and the Internet of Things (IoT) to solve peculiar problems in Agriculture and Governance. Through the power of Internet, collaboration has become easier than ever. On governance, he promotes transparency in the Parliament of Ghana through www.odekro.org where he serves as the Community Manager.
Coordinator of the Financial Education Programme of the Ministry of National Education of Côte d'Ivoire
Master trainer in Social and Financial Education certified by Aflatoun International, YAO Kouassi Félix has consolidated his knowledge with the French Banking Federation, the Clés de la Banque de France, Finance et Pédagogie and Finance pour tous (France). YAO Félix has been the Coordinator of the Financial Education Programme of the Ministry of National Education of Côte d'Ivoire since 2013.
He also serves as Chairman of the Working Group ''Client Protection and Financial Education'' within the framework of Côte d'Ivoire's National Financial Inclusion Strategy.
A knight in the Order of Merit of National Education, YAO Félix is the author of two Guides: Top Budget - Where does my money go? - and Personal Finance: Tips and practical advice.
Dirk Andreas Zetzsche
ADA Chair in Financial Law-Inclusive Finance, University of Luxembourg
Chairholder Prof. Zetzsche, LLM (Toronto), is a professor of law as well as the study director of the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Law and Regulation of Inclusive Finance since March 2016. Since July 2012, Professor Zetzsche is also one of the (non-executive) directors of the Centre for Business and Corporate Law at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Prof. Zetzsche completed his law studies at Heinrich Heine University, where he obtained a Doctor of law in 2004 on securities and corporate law, after having completed his LLM at the University of Toronto in Canada. While at Heinrich Heine University, he also completed his award-winning habilitation thesis on collective investment schemes in 2012 and was granted the venia legendi for private law, business law, comparative law, law and economics as well as law and ethics, before being called upon to take over the Propter Homines Chair of Banking and Securities Law at the University of Liechtenstein in 2012.
Executive Director, ISF Advisors - Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab, USA
Dan is the Executive Director of ISF at the Global Development Incubator and has a passion for bringing inclusive agriculture and supply chain financing solutions to market. Based in New York, Dan directs ISF’s portfolio of projects related to investment advisory, financial inclusion, and enterprise strategy in the rural finance sector. This includes managing complex stakeholder partnerships, supporting early stage development of blended finance structures, and engaging on technical design of novel rural financing models. He also contributes to ISF’s research agenda and is a published thought leader in the inclusive finance space.
He previously worked as a strategy consultant specializing in financial services for Dalberg and Booz & Company where he led dozens of engagements focused on inclusive financial services, social impact, and organizational transformation in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Dan has also worked for Standard Chartered Bank in the UAE and he started his career working on a microfinance program for Plan International in Vietnam. Dan holds an MBA with honors from Cornell’s Johnson Business School and a BA from Princeton University in neuroscience.