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Chairman, Board of Trustees and Advisors
Pat Utomi, Political Economist and Professor of Entrepreneurship is Founder and CEO of the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL). A fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria and founding Senior Faculty of the Lagos Business School-Pan Atlantic University, and Chairman and Chief Executive of the Integrated Produce City (IPC), as well as Executive Vice Chairman of SmartCity Lagos, a joint holding with Dubai Holdings by SmartCity Dubai. He serves on the Africa Board of leading global professional service firm, Deloitte and was Director of The Centre for Applied Economics at the Lagos Business School. He has served in Senior positions in government, as an Adviser to the President of Nigeria; the Private Sector, as Chief Operating Officer for Volkswagen of Nigeria, and in academia. He is the author of several Management and Public Policy books including the Award Winning Managing Uncertainty: Competition and Strategy in Emerging Economies, 1998 and the 2006 book “Why Nations are Poor” as well as The Art of Leading 2016
He has passionately pursued the building of a viable opposition political party in Nigeria and transparent, accountable government.
He was candidate for President of Nigeria in 2007 and 2011.
He is a man of faith and family who is widely traveled through all the continents of the world. He has visited more than eighty countries.
Chinwe Okoli is An Author, Economist and a Public Policy Analyst, trained in Nigeria, the United Kingdom and Israel. Well versed and experienced in the set up and management of physical innovation hubs, digital innovation hubs, science parks, co-working spaces, innovation districts, angel investment networks and thriving innovation/entrepreneurship ecosystems. She has been trained by Facebook, African Development Bank, Ideon Science Park, African Business Angels Network(ABAN) and International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation(IASP).
As a professional Economist and Public Policy Analyst, she understands the importance and therefore promotes innovation and entrepreneurship among the youth as a catalyst for sustainable development of Africa especially in the era of 4th industrial revolution. This is evidenced by her works in recent years.
To foster innovation and self development among the youth, Chinwe Founded Grand Africa Initiative (GAIN). A Pan-African Non-governmental organization on a mission to help African young men and women develop and harness their unique ideas, talents and abilities; working with them to unleash their full potentials in education, entrepreneurship and innovation through a unique Gather, Empower, Mentor and Monitor (GEMM) strategy. Through the GEMM strategy, GAIN drives digital inclusion in Africa.
She is a Coach, Mentor and Motivational Speaker with special interest in youth development, innovation and excellent performance. Moulding motivated and committed youth for a more reliable and predictable future is her Passion. This led her to found Grand Africa Initiative (GAIN) - a platform to help the youth thrive irrespective of daily challenges.
As a thought leader on youth, women, development, innovation and entrepreneurship, she has contributed her knowledge as a resource person to high-level policy influencing discussions at various events such as the Dakar Declaration 2019 hosted by the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Countries and participated and served a Guest speaker at national, regional and global events in Nigeria, Sweden, Iran, Ethiopia, France, United States, Senegal, Kenya, United Kingdom and Turkey.
Chinwe’s works on youth, women, development, innovation and entrepreneurship have been featured on live national TV stations, radio stations, national dailies and popular technology blogs with worldwide coverage.
She is a prolific writer and an author of two books titled-The Ladder to Academic Excellence; and A Daunting Odyssey (Both available on Amazon).
She is an afro-optimist, committed to inspiring and helping fellow African youth reach their best by motivating, engaging and brainstorming with them to explore their unique talents, best success strategies and be part of the ‘Ones to Watch’ in Africa. She holds a belief that when African youth from all over the world harness their full potentials and capabilities, we would build a safer, more economically advanced, more politically stable and rewarding Africa for all. Indeed a Grand Africa!
Dr. McLean Sibanda is an Executive for Investments & Concessions with the Bigen Africa Group (South Africa). Until June 2018, he was the Chief Executive Officer of The Innovation Hub, the innovation agency of Gauteng Province, South Africa He has held senior and executive positions in private and public sector organisations, including being Intellectual Property Team Leader and Principal Research Officer at Element Six (formerly De Beers Industrial Diamonds), Associate at Adams & Adams Attorneys, Senior Patent Attorney and Acting Executive Director at the Innovation Fund, and Group Executive for Commercialisation at the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). An admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa, as well as a registered South African patent attorney, in 2007, he co-founded boutique intellectual property (IP) and commercial law firm Sibanda & Zantwijk Attorneys and its consulting company Ideanav, where he continues to serve as a Partner and Director, respectively. He has wide experience in innovation, IP policy and management, technology transfer, incubation, funding and supporting startups, and IP commercialisation.
He has served as an expert to both the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU). He continues to serve as a resource person to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) on a number of IP and innovation related matters. He has also served as an expert to the Department of Science and Technology (DST) on the review of Tanzania National System of Innovation and was the lead drafter of the Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act and its Regulations, on behalf of the DST.
A past Board member of the CSIR, and a number of private companies, he currently chairs the Advisory Board of the National IP Management Office (NIPMO, South Africa) and is Deputy Chair of the Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) Advisory Board. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF, Kenya) and Chairs the Board of QualiBasic Seeds (Kenya, South Africa, Zambia). An immediate past Treasurer of the International Association of Science Parks (IASP), and immediate past President of the IASP African Division, since September 2017 he serves as the President of the IASP Advisory Council. He also serves on Advisory Boards of two non profits supporting youth, Kectil (Atlanta, USA based) and Bukho Bami (South Africa).
He also serves on the Council of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) and is a visiting lecturer at the Africa University (Mutare, Zimbabwe), where he lectures on Innovation and Entrepreneurship to Masters in Intellectual Property students.
He is passionate about the role of technology, innovation, infrastructure and agriculture for fostering development.
McLean holds a Doctorate of Laws (PhD) from the University of South Africa (UNISA) and his thesis supervised by Professor Dr. Dres. h.c. Joseph Straus from Max Plank Institute (Munich, Germany) is entitled, Enabling Intellectual Property and Innovation Systems for South Africa’s Development and Competitiveness. He also holds a Masters degree in Engineering from University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg), Masters of Laws (LLM) (Commercial Law) (UNISA) degree
Felix Achibiri is an astute entrepreneur and businessman with board experience spanning leading companies in several sectors of the Nigerian economy. His extensive corporate experience comes with proven achievements in oil and gas, engineering and construction, financial services, agribusiness and business background in national, international and multi-cultural environments. His areas of expertise include:
Executive Highlights & Milestones Include:
LEADERSHIP CAREER HISTORY
EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN: DFC HOLDING LIMITED 2012 - DATE
A privately owned, internationally diversified African company, set up to take advantage of investment opportunities in Nigeria and the African continent, as identified by the holding entity. It is a Holding Company with interests in various companies operating in major sectors of the economy such as: Agriculture, Telecommunication, ICT, Energy, Infrastructure Development and Financial services. They can all be found on our website, www.dfcholdings.com
EXECUTIVE VICE CHAIRMAN: RURAL STEEL BRIDGING LIMITED 2010 - DATE
An indigenous civil engineering construction company with professional capacity and expertise to handle Civil and Construction Engineering works, which cuts across a broad spectrum of Civil Engineering, Construction Works, Transportation and Engineering - viz Bridges, Roads, Highways, Railways And Airports; Specialist Foundation works requiring Deep Soil Improvements and Piling Works; Inter Basin Water Transfers and Regional Pipeline Constructions; Dam Construction and Water Resources Engineering – i.e. Portable And Waste Water Treatment Plant Facilities Construction; General Building and Construction Works; Oil & Gas Civil Component Constructions; Power Production and Energy Generation; Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Plant and Installations while having a competence in Project Execution and Management. The Company has certified professional personnel who have extensive technical knowledge and experience and as such, is professionally competent with an engaged financial resource base, while maintaining a strong affiliation with notable technical partners of both local & international repute. The company has a technical partnership with US Bridge of Cambridge, Ohio, USA, a renowned global name in the design and manufacturing of steel bridges and general infrastructure.
CHAIRMAN: FORTIS MICROFINANCE BANK PLC 2012 - DATE
A leading microfinance bank in Nigeria listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and recently granted a national license by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). It has a strong bias for supporting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMES) and providing financial services to the unbanked and under-banked in rural and semi-urban areas. This has earned it global support through a development fund from FMO, the Netherlands Entrepreneurial Development Bank and other international development organizations. With a customer base of about 200,000, and with a strong brand and growing market share, Fortis is poised to becoming one of the biggest microfinance banks in West Africa, with an eye to becoming a competitive player in the Sub-Saharan Africa market. Fortis is currently actively supporting about 50,000 women through its micro-credit scheme, which enables them to access loans without collateral. As part of its strategy to provide opportunities and empower women, it organized a women’s fair in partnership with GEMS4 (a DFID and UKaid funded project), Primlaks Group Ltd to launch the Fortis Micro-Distributorship scheme, with 7000 women in attendance.
Fortis boasts of 14 branches across Abuja and in 59 branches spread across 17 states through its subsidiary Support Multipurpose Cooperative (SMC). With a balance sheet of N10 billion and a daily turnover of N2 billion, it is poised to make financial services accessible to a large segment of the productive Nigerian population.
CHAIRMAN: NOCA INSTRUMENT AFRICA 2014- DATE
A Seychelles based company, affiliated to one of the fastest growing OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) companies in the world, NOCA Instruments LLC. Noca is a customer-focused brand, which aims to provide its clients with the security and capability of user friendly and scalable technology, through its bold and innovative tablets, PCs, and smartphones
NOCA Instrument Africa has an exclusive distributorship and trademark agreement with NOCA Instruments LLC for the distribution and marketing of all NOCA brands of products including Tablets (nocatab), Smartphones (nocafone) and other accessories within the African market. It operates through Noca Instrument NG Limited for the Nigerian market and other African states. It is on the verge of officially launching the NOCA devices in Nigeria soon and has planning to establish an assembly plant in Nigeria in the next 5 years.
CHAIRMAN: DFC CAPITAL LIMITED 2013 - DATE
A financial and strategic advisory firm with Pan-African and global perspective in transaction management and execution. DFC Capital is licensed by the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission to provide investment and financial advisory services to a wide range of clients; including private, government and quasi-government establishments.
CHAIRMAN: SITE SERVICES TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED (SST) 2007 - DATE
An IT and integrated health management consultancy company that provides integrated chain management services for Hospital development and management, Housing, Educational, Vocation and Training centers using local expertise, with extensive technical know-how and professionals in the Diaspora. Its strategic and technical partners include Eagle Scientific Limited, Hospital Assist, Stauch Vorster Architects, TEC Engineering Co. Nig. Ltd. These are companies with global demonstrable records and experience. Site Services Technologies Limited is the answer to the elusive optimal local content participation in Nigeria Hospital and Health Management industry and national development programmes. Site Services has undertaken a number of major hospital and IT projects in Nigeria, including engineering the equipment consultancy services for the development of 200 Bed Specialist Teaching Hospital Project with the Kaduna State Government, 120 bed Kesley Harrison Hospital in Port Harcourt and the design and implementation of automated single patient data record for Kaduna state and others.
CHAIRMAN: AFRICAN GREEN PROJECT LTD (AFRIGREEN)
African Green Project Limited is a Real Estate Investment and Consultancy company incorporated under the laws of Nigeria with R.C. No. 709066 and a registered member of REDAN – (Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria).
Afrigreen is a customer service driven organization with emphasis on providing cutting-edge solutions to clients with the highest standards of professionalism in the real estate industry.
African Green Project signed a contract with the Nigerian Police force in 2008 to structure, design and implement an Integrated Home Ownership Solution (IHOS) that will provide one hundred thousand (100,000) decent and affordable mortgage able homes to officers and men of the Nigerian Police Force.
DIRECTOR: GENESIS ENERGY HOLDINGS
An integrated energy company operating in various African countries through its parent company, Oranto Petroleum Limited in the Up-stream end and Genesis Electricity in the Power Sector across niche and developing markets. The scope of its business mainly covers Power, Oil and Gas exploration and development, production and marketing; oil refining; production and sales of crude petroleum products.
Genesis Energy Seychelles through its affiliate, Genesis Electricity Limited, plays active role in complex and integrated power solutions across the West Africa, especially Nigeria, through captive and off grid power and electricity delivery to her clientele, both public and private sector players. It recently implemented the flagship $110 million, 84MW Distributed Power Project (DPP) under a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), for a dedicated electricity power supply to Port Harcourt Refinery Facility. The project has been completed and commissioned.
Other power businesses developed by the group include: GELMAK Power, a company with over 75MW of structured distributed power projects under its mandate and recognized as market-leader for Embedded Generation solutions; Genesis Electricity FZE, the group’s business unit that pioneered fully integrated electric-power operations in Calabar Free Trade Zone-Nigeria, where the company produces electricity, distributes to over 70 Industries, and directly administer revenue collection activities within this “Island Mode” operations, and “Alliance Energy” brands, with pioneering independent power project investment installations in Sao Tome & Principe, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, amongst others.
DIRECTOR: PETROLEUM PROJECTS INTERNATIONAL (PPI) 2013 - DATE
A member of an energy group of companies, with substantial business footprints in Oil, Gas & Power sectors of Africa. PPI commenced business in 2001 as a full-service Oil Trading company focused on activities in the areas of Refining, Marketing & Trading, Distribution, Shipping & Logistics, utilizing a well-balanced risk management strategy across its trading operations in the West African petroleum sector. Recently, PPI evolved from an indigenous oil trading company into a diversified Energy Resource Group with its principal activities focusing on the acquisition and development of a diversified portfolio of energy-related asset whilst continuing to expand and develop its downstream activities in sub-Saharan Africa.
VICE CHAIRMAN: GREENFIELD GLOBAL INCEPTIS (GGI)
GGI is the owner and operators of the planned world class Sustainable Resort City in Nigeria to be located on the 3,000+ Ha Osolu Islands off the shore of Lagos, Nigeria. Also referred to as Osolu Island City Project, it is designed as a state of the future model African City with a Green & Smart City Signature & with Sustainability at its core. The city will run on privately designed, built, operated and maintained land, rail, air & water transportation network, Civil Infrastructure, Security & City Administration. The city’s development is estimated to span over 20 years while the first phase of the Infrastructure is projected to cost in excess of USD1 Billion.
DIRECTOR: FORTIS INSURANCE BROKERS LIMITED 2013 - DATE
Fortis Insurance Brokers Limited is a fast growing insurance brokerage firm that provides insurance services to government agencies and private entities. It aims to offer tailor-made insurance and risk management solutions and is in partnership with leading insurance companies.
MANAGING DIRECTOR/CEO: RURAL STEEL BRIDGING LIMITED 2006 - 2010
GROUP HEAD, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & STRATEGY/EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO THE EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN: RELIANCE TELECOMMUNICATIONS GROUP 2001-2006
Reliance Telecommunications Limited (Reltel), a member of the reliance - Zoom Mobile, was incorporated on the 25th of August 1998 with a capital structure composed of local and international financing. Reltel was licensed by the National Communication Commission (NCC) to provide digital telephone services in Nigeria using the code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and 1X technology. This technology is the second most utilized Mobile telephone technology competing with Global System for Mobile Communication GSM and other forms of Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA). Reliance telecom as at then had presence in over 15 states with an active subscriber base of over 1.5 million, when compared with its competitors.
My responsibilities include, but not limited to the following:-
MANAGER, MARKETING: FALCON PETROLEUM LIMITED 2000 - 2001
Represented the interest of Clemco Industries Limited, a member of Reliance Trade Group.
Falcon is a high profile downstream oil and gas company and was into the provision of consultancy engineering and specialized technical services in the sector. Falcon products and services included but not limited to factory reticulation and facilities conversion, to utilize natural gas for industrial and domestic uses. Other services of the company includes: Environmental monitoring and clean-up operation, pipeline integrity management. Pipeline and tank cleaning services, flushing of tube buckets in heat exchangers. Ligament valves maintenance and servicing and NDT.
CONFERENCES AND TRAINING ATTENDED
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP/AWARDS
Member, Advisory Board
Professor Esther Akinlabi is a Full Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering Science, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Johannesburg. She has had the privilege to serve as a Head of Department of the Department of Mechanical Engineering Science and as the Vice Dean for Teaching and Learning at the University of Johannesburg. Her research interest is in the field of modern and advanced manufacturing processes – Friction stir welding and additive manufacturing. Her research in the field of laser based additive manufacturing include laser material processing and surface engineering. She also conducts research in the field of renewable energy, and biogas production from waste. She is a rated National Research Foundation (NRF) researcher and has demonstrated excellence in all fields of endeavors. Her leadership, mentorship and research experience is enviable as she guides her team of postgraduate students through the research journey. She is a recipient of several research grants and has received many awards of recognition to her credit. She is a member of the prestigious South African Young Academy of Science and registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa. Prof Akinlabi has filed two patents, edited one book, published four books and authored/co-authored over 250 peer reviewed publications.
Member, Advisory Board
E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Skype: rangazinyemba Linkedin: Ranga Zinyemba
Professor Ranga Zinyemba is the Vice Chancellor of the Catholic University of Zimbabwe, a position he has held since January 2013. He has previously served as Lecturer, Chairman of Department, Dean of Student Affairs and Registrar at the University of Zimbabwe as well as Visiting Professor at various universities in Africa, Canada and the USA.
Prof Zinyemba is also an Organizational Development (OD) Consultant and Capacity Building Specialist who has worked with many organizations in a variety of sectors (private, public, NGO, United Nations Agencies, World Bank, Embassies, etc.) in various countries that include Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa, Ethiopia, Botswana, Lesotho, Angola, Swaziland, Mozambique, Namibia, Thailand and Afghanistan on a variety of OD assignments.
Prof Zinyemba’s overriding passion is facilitating the transformation of lives and institutions.
Outreach and Partnership Lead
Regional Coordinator, East Africa
Brand and Publications Lead
Accounts & Finance Lead
Community & Programs Officer