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Speakers 2022

President, African Development Bank Group

Often described as “Africa’s Optimist-in-Chief”, African Development Bank Group President Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina (1960) is widely lauded for his visionary leadership and passion for Africa’s transformation.

Formerly the Nigerian Agriculture Minister, Dr Adesina was first elected President of the African Development Bank Group on 28 May 2015. He was unanimously re-elected for a second five-year term on 27 August 2020. Dr Adesina graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics (First Class Honours) from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Nigeria, in 1981.  Dr Adesina holds a master’s degree (1985) and a PhD in Agricultural Economics (1988) from Purdue University, United States of America, where he won the Outstanding PhD thesis award for that year. Dr Adesina won the prestigious Rockefeller Foundation Social Science Fellowship in 1988, which launched him into his international career.

A bold reformer, as Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria from 2011 to 2015 Dr Adesina turned the agriculture sector of Nigeria around within four years. Under his tenure, Nigeria ended 40 years of corruption in the fertilizer sector by developing and implementing an innovative electronic wallet system, which directly provides farmers with subsidized farm inputs at scale using their mobile phones. Within the first four years of its launch, this electronic wallet system reached 15 million farmers, dramatically transforming their lives.

With Dr Adesina at the helm, the African Development Bank Group achieved the highest capital increase since its establishment in 1964 when on 31 October 2019, shareholders from 80 member countries raised the general capital from $93 billion to a historic $208 billion. The African Development Bank Group responded boldly and swiftly to the Covid-19 pandemic. On 3 April 2020, the premier development finance institution launched a landmark $3 billion Covid-19 Social Bond followed by a Crisis Response Facility of $10 billion.

Dr Adesina has been recognized with numerous awards. On 19 October 2017, the President was conferred with the World Food Prize, also known as the “Nobel Prize for Agriculture”. On 29 February 2020, he was named African of the Year 2019 by one million readers of the African Leadership Magazine. On 14 December 2020, the Academy of Public Health, the flagship body of the West African Institute of Public Health, announced Dr Adesina as one of the winners of its 2020 Distinguished Fellowship Award for his successful efforts in helping Africa to curb the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

On 2 February 2022, the President was conferred an Honorary Doctorate by the Federal University of Technology in Nigeria in recognition of his global leadership in agriculture, food security, development finance, and good governance. On 8 May 2022, Dr Adesina was awarded with an Honorary Doctorate by Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, acknowledging his career achievements in agriculture, and the innovative High 5 development priorities for Africa, which he conceived shortly after his election as President of the African Development Bank Group in 2015. On 14 May 2022, the President received an Honorary Doctorate from Addis Ababa University for his significant role in development activities in Ethiopia and Africa at large.

Keynote Speaker

Deputy CEO and Chief of Programmes, TradeMark East Africa

Allen is the Deputy CEO and Chief of Programmes at TradeMark East Africa. In this role she is responsible for the overall operations and technical delivery of TMEA’s entire project portfolio in infrastructure, trade environment, and business competitiveness with a cumulative budget of $1bn (over the last decade), spanning 12 countries in East, Horn and Southern Africa. Allen also oversees the Climate Change and Gender portfolios and leads collaboration with key stakeholders and development partners, including the Partner States, FCDO, USAID, the World Bank and the African Development Bank.  Allen also chairs the $31m TMEA Safe Trade Emergency Facility that was established to respond to and mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the region. 

Prior to this, Allen was a consultant for the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) supporting the implementation of the Intra Africa Trade Initiative and has served as past CEO of AVID Development, a consulting firm working on key issues of trade, development, and governance in Africa. 

Allen currently sits on the boards of The Innovation Village (Chairperson); KCB Bank Uganda (Board Member); The Water Trust (Board Member); Girls for Girls (Chairperson). She previously served as the Chairperson of the Women Lawyers Association (FIDA- Uganda); and Board of Trustees of FEMNET.

She is also a co-founder of Girls For Girls, a global mentoring initiative that seeks to empower ONE million girls to lead. Girls For Girls now has a footprint in 24 countries globally, 7 in Africa with over 3,000 mentees and 1,000 mentors. She holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School (Edward Mason Fellow, 2017) and a Masters in International Business Law from the University of Manchester, UK (1998). She lives in Kampala and Nairobi with her 2 kids Daniella and Jogi.

Session One: Trends and Opportunities for regional integration, trade and investment in Africa

UK and Ireland lead, European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community (EIT Climate-KIC)

EIT Climate-KIC is Europe’s largest public-private climate innovation partnership, mobilising organisations, funding, and capabilities to transform places and industry value chains to deliver climate resilience and emission targets.

Andy leads EIT’s Global Outreach programme in USA, Israel, UK and Africa, as well as EIT Climate-KIC’s activities in Ireland, including a significant new partnership with the Irish government to help transform the agri food sector. Climate-KIC is a network of business expertise that helps to develop new solutions to climate change. It offers coaching and other support to new start-ups – including through a series of country, regional and global competitions – and helps them to become viable businesses.  

Earlier in his career, Andy developed innovation ecosystems, renewable energy supply chains, and traded carbon and green fuels.

Andy is an Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh and has a PhD in Climate Change.

Session Four: Leveraging technology, innovation and entrepreneurship for Africa’s growth 

Director, Vanguard Economics

Armin Lalui is an economist with over fifteen years’ experience working on private sector and agricultural development across Africa. Armin has experience working within government for the Rwandan Ministry of Trade as a trade policy advisor, for multi-lateral organisations where he was a coordinator for the World Bank Groups Investment Climate Programme and as a business owner. In 2015 Armin co-founded a research and advisory firm Vanguard Economics in Rwanda.  Today the firm has 50 full time employees and is leading implementation of several innovative projects focused on job creation and market transformation in the East Africa Region.  

Session Four: Leveraging technology, innovation and entrepreneurship for Africa’s growth 

CEO, Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA)

Carole is the CEO of KEPSA. Carole is credited with transforming KEPSA from a little known business organisation into one the apex body of the private sector in Kenya, galvanizing the private sector through public-private dialogue and influencing the economic and development agenda.

Before joining KEPSA, Carole worked briefly for Barclays Bank of Kenya, Nairobi Chapel and Sagamore Institute for Public Policy Research, Indianapolis – Indiana, where she acted as a liaison between Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and the Institute before formally joining KEPSA. She worked for several years at KEPSA before being appointed as CEO.

Carole holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Sociology from the University of Nairobi and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bowling Green State University, Ohio, USA. She has also pursued several professional courses on Stakeholder Management, Leadership and Private Sector Development among others.

Session Three: Women’s economic empowerment – Women transforming the economic, trade and investment relationship between Africa and Ireland

Executive Director, TechHerNG


Chioma Agwuegbo is a communications strategist and trainer, linking solutions to business growth and development, community mobilisation, and government engagement with citizens. She is Executive Director at TechHerNG, a community that demystifies technology for women and applies technology towards solving societal problems especially as they concern women. 

Chioma’s first stint with advocacy was with the Light Up Nigeria Movement in 2008. Since then, she has functioned in leadership teams for causes such as Enough is Enough, Gen Voices, Occupy Nigeria, Bring Back Our Girls, and Not Too Young To Run for which she steered communications. 

She is the Convener of the State of Emergency GBV Movement, a coalition igniting citizens to advocate for an urgent, comprehensive, and sustainable response to sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria. 

Chioma serves on the boards of OXFAM International and PLAN International Nigeria.

Session Four: Leveraging technology, innovation and entrepreneurship for Africa’s growth 

Minister of State for Overseas Development and Diaspora

Colm Brophy was appointed Minister of State with responsibility for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora on July 1st, 2020. He is a Fine Gael TD representing Dublin South-West. He was first elected to the Dáil in 2016. During the 32nd Dáil he served as Chairman of the Budgetary Oversight Committee which was established in 2016 to enhance the role of the Oireachtas in the budgetary formation process. He was also a Member of the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality and the Joint Committee on European Union Affairs. Member of South Dublin County Council 2008 – 2016. Colm is a former member of the Board of the Housing Finance Agency. Colm is also the former President of the Association of Irish Local Government.

Closing Address

Managing Director, africaJUICE

David has over 20 years’ experience in energy and agribusiness, primarily in Africa. He has worked both for multinationals and start-up ventures and focuses on initiating and developing new businesses and supporting start-ups. He co-founded and currently runs a sizeable fruit production and processing business in Ethiopia, africaJUICE, for which he has raised multiple rounds of debt and equity financing. He’s also a key player in a small-scale renewable power advisory and implementing firm, PV-Africa while he still finds time to support start-up food/agri-businesses in Africa, e.g. TruLuv.  through a mini-incubator.  David holds an MBA from IMD Switzerland and an engineering degree from University College Galway. He is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, UK.  In his spare time, he’s involved in community activities with the scouts while also devoting some time to crew the local lifeboat and provide first-responder care in his village in Waterford.  He’s kayaked and hiked in many fantastic spots around the globe while, when home, he likes to ride his motorbike and do basic DIY and gardening, with the guidance of his wife Elizabeth, and the help of his three teenage kids.

Session Two: Green growth for food, agriculture, infrastructure and energy – Sustainable development in emerging markets 

Ambassador of Ireland to Kenya, Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea


H.E Fionnuala Quinlan was appointed Ambassador of Ireland to Kenya, Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea in June 2019.

She was Consul General of Ireland to New England in the USA from 2015 to 2019, where she represented the Irish Government in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and Rhode Island.

Between 2013 and 2015, she was Director of Press Relations at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin, where she managed the Department’s engagement with traditional and new media. She joined the Department in 2009 as Press Adviser for Irish Aid, the Government’s overseas aid programme.

Fionnuala worked as a journalist and editor in Ireland and abroad for more than 10 years, including as Features Editor and News Correspondent at the Irish Examiner; News Editor and journalist at The Evening Echo and as a journalist at Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.

She was a frequent contributor to Radio France Internationale, having lived and worked in France for a number of years.

Moderator - Session Three: Women’s economic empowerment – Women transforming the economic, trade and investment relationship between Africa and Ireland

Head of West Africa representation for the European Investment Bank

Based in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Dr. Jane Feehan is the Head of West Africa representation for the European Investment Bank, the EU’s development bank. A biologist and forestry engineer by training, Jane worked in several areas of environment policy before crossing over into impact finance and development banking. Previous roles in EIB include forest sector specialist and operational lead for the innovative Natural Capital Finance Facility. Before joining the EIB, Jane held roles in the European Environment Agency and the Irish Environmental Protection Agency. She was educated in Oxford University, Imperial College London and Trinity College Dublin.

Session One: Trends and Opportunities for regional integration, trade and investment in Africa 

CEO, TruTrade Africa

Chair, Business Ireland Kenya

Jo is currently CEO to TruTrade Africa, a social enterprise that links smallholder farmers to markets, Chair of Business Ireland Kenya (BIK), a trade association that promotes trade and investment between Ireland and Kenya and a Non-Executive Director of Alive + Kicking Kenya, a social enterprise that promotes sports for development.

Over 25+ years of experience and expertise leading strategy design, implementation and promoting sustainable development through trade. Jo has an in-depth understanding of the challenges and opportunities of doing business in East Africa and has successfully implemented diverse, multi-country trade facilitation programmes in Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, DRC and Rwanda. Understanding and contributing towards the elimination of non-tariff barriers to trade, especially for women in trade is central to Jo’s work.

Jo is originally from Tipperary, a graduate of the University of Limerick (Business & Finance) and a management accountant (CIMA). Jo holds a Masters in Governance and Development from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and has lived and worked in Africa for over 15 years, with over 10 years in Kenya where Jo currently resides. 

Jo has proven her ability to operate at the nexus of private sector, social enterprise and not-for profit space, levering the strengths of the various business models to promote inclusive business growth and sustainable development.

Session Three: Women’s economic empowerment – Women transforming the economic, trade and investment relationship between Africa and Ireland

Secretary General, Department of Foreign Affairs

Born and raised in Dublin, Joe joined the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs in 1995 and has since served in a variety of positions at HQ and abroad. Prior to his appointment as Secretary General, Joe served as Director General of EU Division (2019-2021), Joe also served in Brussels as Deputy Permanent Representative of Ireland to the European Union (2017-2019) and as Permanent Representative to the EU’s Political & Security Committee (2013-2017). He also has extensive experience of managing Ireland’s bilateral relationship with the United States and engaging with our global Diaspora and international business community.

Welcome remarks

Project Manager, Dar Teknohama Business Incubator (DTBi)

Josephine Sepeku is a graduate from the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) in 2019 with an MA in Gender Rights and Globalization and an LLB in integrated Law & Sharia from Zanzibar University in 2016. She is currently working at Dar Teknohama Business Incubator (DTBi) as the project manager for the Future Stem Business leader program. She also serves as Regional Lead (East Africa) on the Women Empowerment Program (WEP)  for the Camden Education Trust. Josephine also serves as a lead youth and girls connection officer, especially in activities involving women and children rights.  Some of her notable work includes volunteering in awareness campaigns aimed towards women’s land rights in rural Tanzania at Women Action Towards Economic Development (WATED). Josephine interned at Global Women's Studies at NUI Galway. She is a member of Women Action Towards Entrepreneurship Development (WATED) and Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA).

In her work at DTBi, Josephine has cooperated with DHL and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) to initiate the program Drone X. The project aimed to use drones to deliver medicine and blood samples from Mwanza (Bugando Hospital & local medical department stores) to the remote Ukerewe Islands in Tanzania.

Furthermore, Josephine serves as an Africa Code Week Ambassador and coordinator for the annual Africa Code Week, and African Code Challenge Training program. Africa Code Week targets more than 400 Primary and Secondary teachers (yearly) and aims to increase their computer literacy through various programming workshops designed by SAP Ireland and the Galway Education Centre.

Session Three: Women’s economic empowerment – Women transforming the economic, trade and investment relationship between Africa and Ireland

Leo Clancy, CEO, Enterprise Ireland


Leo Clancy is Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Ireland, the state agency that helps Irish companies to start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets.

Before being appointed as CEO of Enterprise Ireland, Leo was part of the Executive team at IDA Ireland, responsible for a number of areas including Technology and Business Services markets, IT and Marketing. In that role, Leo worked extensively with global technology and services companies invested in Ireland.

Prior to his public sector career, Leo spent 17 years in the telecommunications industry, including in a number of management, technical and engineering roles. He was part of the senior leadership team at e|net, a high-growth Irish wholesale broadband provider. He spent the early part of his career at Ericsson, working as an engineer and manager in Ireland and across Europe, the Middle East and Africa within global services on deployment of telecommunications networks.

Leo is a graduate of Electronic and Electrical Engineering from Dublin Institute of Technology. 

He grew up on a farm in County Tipperary and retains a strong fundamental understanding of the agricultural and food sector.

Session One: Trends and Opportunities for regional integration, trade and investment in Africa 

Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Nigeria

Ambassador Mariam Yalwaji Katagum is Nigeria’s Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment. As an investment-driving Ministry, Ambassador Katagum, with her counterpart, Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo, are leading the promotion of government’s policies of Ease of Doing Business, job creation, poverty eradication and industrialization, implementing various policies and programmes including: standardization of bilateral trade agreements, stimulating growth of domestic Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, (MSMEs) and the renewed roadmap to increase Nigeria’s Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).

Ambassador Katagum is an educationist, diplomat and international cooperation expert with leadership experience in the Nigerian public service and within the United Nations System. She served as Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Paris, France, between 2009 and 2019. She was Director, Special Projects, National Primary Education Commission/Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Abuja, (2000-2001); Secretary General, Nigerian National Commission for UNESCO  (2001-2009); Head of Division for National and International Partnerships, Policy Planning, Management and Research Department, Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja (2006-2009) and  Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to UNESCO, Paris, France.

Ambassador Katagum was educated at the Kaduna Capital School, Kaduna, Kaduna State,(1960-1966); Queen Elizabeth School, Ilorin, Kwara State,(1967-1971); School of Basic Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State,(1972-1973). She obtained a B.A (Hons) English and Graduate Certificate in Education at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State (1976); M.Ed. in Administration and Planning  at the School of Post Graduate Studies, University of Lagos, Akoka-Yaba, Lagos State (1985) and a Certificate in Social Development Policy, Planning and Practice at the University College London, London, United Kingdom (1999).

Keynote Speaker

Director, International Development, Nicholas O’Dwyer Ltd


Michel Davitt is a Director with Nicholas O’Dwyer Ltd, an Irish engineering consultancy with a strong focus on sustainable infrastructure.

With over 26 years’ experience in the Water Services Sector, Michel has now been working on donor funded infrastructure projects in Africa for the last 12 years, across East, West and southern Africa.

Originally working in technical engineering, research and software development, Michel’s current role involves the strategic planning of the company’s overseas portfolio and leveraging opportunities consistent with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

He is Vice-Chairman / Board Member of Euronet EEIG (Brussels) - a European instrument to promote partnership amongst European firms, a Member of the Steering Group of Watershare Ireland – a collaboration between GOAL and the Irish Water Industry.

Michel hold a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) and Master of Engineering Science from University College Dublin.

Session Two: Green growth for food, agriculture, infrastructure and energy – Sustainable development in emerging markets

Portrait photo of Mukundi Lambani

Mukundi Lambani is the Founder of Ambani, a South African Edtech that has developed a Mobile, Web, and TV gaming and streaming app in various languages that helps learners master a language faster and enhance their foundation skills.

Ambani also creates Augmented Reality books to make learning fun and experiential. Mukundi has a Master’s in Creative Media Leadership, a diploma in Business Management and Administration, and an honors degree in Motion Picture production.

She was previously a project manager at the Goethe Institute for the Creative Economies in Townships project, where emerging creatives from various South African townships were supported in starting and running their businesses.

Session Four: Leveraging technology, innovation and entrepreneurship for Africa’s growth 

Pamela Coke Hamilton copyright Antoine Tardy

Executive Director, International Trade Centre

Pamela Coke-Hamilton has served as Executive Director of the International Trade Centre since 1 October 2020. She joined ITC from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, where she was Director of the Division on International Trade and Commodities. She served with the Jamaican Government, the Caribbean Forum in trade negotiations, and multilateral institutions, including the Organization of American States and InterAmerican Development Bank. She previously served as Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency, strengthening the private sector and MSMEs through investment promotion. She holds a Juris Doctor in Law from the Georgetown University School of Law in Washington, DC. 

Session One: Trends and Opportunities for regional integration, trade and investment in Africa 

Senator Pippa Hackett is Minister of State for Agriculture with responsibility for Land Use and Biodiversity. She was appointed to this role in June 2020, only the third senator in the history of the state to be elevated to Cabinet.

Senator Hackett was elected to the Agricultural Panel of Seanad Éireann in a by-election on 1 November 2019 and was re-elected in 2020.  She is also a former member of Offaly County Council.

She holds a BSc in Agriculture from the University of Essex, a postgraduate diploma from University College Dublin, and a PhD from the University of Limerick.

Minister Hackett has four children, and along with her husband Mark, she runs a farm (Moat House Farm) near Tullamore in Co Offaly.  They produce organic beef and sheep, while they also have some bloodstock and forestry.

Moat House Farm is situated on the site of a 12th century Norman motte and bailey identified on the ordnance survey map as "The Moat of Down", hence the business name.

Opening Remarks - Session Three: Women’s economic empowerment – Women transforming the economic, trade and investment relationship between Africa and Ireland

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence

Career and Party Political Positions

Appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence on 27 June 2020.

Appointed Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade with responsibility for Brexit on 30 November 2017.

Appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade with responsibility for Brexit on 14 June 2017.

Appointed Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government on May 6th 2016.

Appointed as Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine on March 9th 2011 and Minister for Defence on July 11th 2014.

Elected to the Dáil (Irish Parliament) in 1998 as one of Fine Gael’s youngest TD’s. Since then, he has held shadow ministries in the following areas: Drugs and Youth Affairs; Communications, Marine and Natural Resources; Transport and the Marine.

Mr. Coveney chaired the Fine Gael Policy Development Committee, prior to the 2011 General Election.

Elected to the European Parliament in 2004 and was a member of the EPP-ED group. He was a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. He was also a substitute member on the Fisheries Committee. Mr. Coveney was the author of the European Parliament's Annual Report on Human Rights in the World for the year 2004 and again for 2006.

Member of Cork County Council and the Southern Health Board from 1999 to 2003.


Mr. Coveney holds a B.Sc. in Agriculture and Land Management from The Royal Agriculture College, Gloucestershire. He was also educated at Clongowes Wood College, County Kildare; University College Cork and Gurteen Agricultural College, County Tipperary.

Opening Address

Interim Director of Global Business Development, Bord Bia

Shane Hamill is Bord Bia’s Interim Director of Global Business Development, managing a global team focussed on growing the value of Irish food and drinks exports. Previously, Shane was Strategic Projects Manager, leading a number of priority programmes, including the State Agency’s response to Brexit and Covid-19.

Prior to this he worked as an agribusiness consultant for the UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome and at Landmark Public Affairs, a Brussels-based firm where he advised leading food & drink multinationals on EU policy and regulation.

Session Two: Green growth for food, agriculture, infrastructure and energy – Sustainable development in emerging markets 

Ambassador of Ireland to Nigeria

Síle Maguire is based in Abuja, Nigeria as Ambassador of Ireland since October 2021. The Embassy in Nigeria also covers Ireland’s relations with Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal and Togo, as well as with the regional body, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).  Ambassador Maguire was posted previously in Addis Ababa as Ambassador of Ireland to Ethiopia and South Sudan, as well as Ireland’s Permanent Observer to the African Union.  Ambassador Maguire has also served as Ireland’s Ambassador to Spain as well as Chief of Protocol at headquarters.

Moderator - Session Four: Leveraging technology, innovation and entrepreneurship for Africa’s growth 

Assistant Secretary-General, Department of Agriculture Food and Marine, Ireland


Sinéad leads on agri-food sectoral policy and strategy development in Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Her responsibilities include: policy leadership in respect of the meat and dairy sectors; dairy product controls and certification; food and drinks industry development; agri-food sectoral and strategic planning; economic analysis to inform policy making; and input to international agricultural policy and development co-operation.

Sinéad previous served as the Department’s Chief Economist. Her qualifications include a first class honours Masters degree in Economic Science from University College Dublin, and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration. 

Moderator - Session Two: Green growth for food, agriculture, infrastructure and energy – Sustainable development in emerging markets 

CEO, Triggerfish Animation

Stuart Forrest is the CEO of Triggerfish Animation, the largest and most awarded animation studio in Africa, with offices in Cape Town and Galway.  The studio produced two of Africa’s most successful film exports by box office, Adventures in Zambezia and Khumba. Triggerfish's work includes short films which have won multiple International Emmy's, a BAFTA and an Oscar nomination.  Triggerfish is currently in production on three original TV series for Disney+ and Netflix, and their most recent feature, Seal Team, is streaming globally on Netflix.  

Session Four: Leveraging technology, innovation and entrepreneurship for Africa’s growth 

Chairperson, RAMSCO


Rawia Mansour, a business graduate from the University of Alexandria, began her career as an interior designer and quickly established herself as a leader in this field.

Recognising the increasing challenges of food security, in 2007, Ms Mansour founded RAMSCO for Trade and Distribution to develop her approach to organic agri-business within Egypt.  She developed and patented fertilizer and agri-technology in her own research centre, going on to establish RAMSCO for Sustainable Agricultural Development in 2009. Focussing on the use of biochar to combat desertification and improve soil Mansour’s organisation worked towards poverty reduction and social and economic emancipation of rural women.

RAMSCO works with women from the Ismalia and Behera regions of Egypt, training them in organic production and packaging produce for market. Through this work, these marginalized women, they have grown a sense of economic autonomy, which has also empowered them in their homes.

Within RAMSCO, Ms Mansour has shattered the regional status quo by giving women equal rights and status as men in the workplace.

Ms Mansour is currently seeking to develop eco-tourism villages in the Mediterranean area and Red sea coast, based on eco-agriculture, further enhancing the earning potential of the female farmers..

Ms Mansour’s work has been recognised nationally and internationally, including the award “African Female Leader of the Year” in 2019 by the African Leader Magazine and “Excellent Business Leader” by UN Women & BPW (Business Professional Women) in 2017.

Session Three: Women’s economic empowerment – Women transforming the economic, trade and investment relationship between Africa and Ireland

Director General, Development Cooperation and Africa Division, Department of Foreign Affairs, Ireland

Ruairí is currently Director General of the Development Cooperation and Africa Division at the Department of Foreign Affairs.

A career diplomat, Ruairí most recently served as Joint Secretary to the British-Irish Secretariat in Belfast, Northern Ireland (2014-17).  Prior to that, he was Ambassador of Ireland to Mozambique, Angola and Botswana (2010-14), and served abroad in Mexico, Spain and Greece.

At headquarters, Ruairí‘s work has spanned Northern Ireland, Western Balkans, Humanitarian Aid, and EU affairs, as well as an assignment to Ireland’s Department of Finance.

Moderator - Session One: Trends and Opportunities for regional integration, trade and investment in Africa 

Zainab Boladale is a Journalist, TV Presenter and Public Speaker. She was born in Nigeria and raised in Ireland. In 2017, she was named Journalist of the Year at the DCU Hybrid Awards. That same year, she made her TV debut on RTÉ's children's programme, news2day. At the age of 20 years old she became known as the first Afro-Irish woman on Irish TV news. On news2day, she presented stories from around the world to the young people of Ireland. With a 5 year TV career to her name, Zainab now travels around the country as a Presenter and Reporter for Ireland's long running factual feature programme, RTÉ Nationwide. 

Master of Ceremonies