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Join this exciting virtual event to hear from Africa’s next generation of creatives and industry leaders in music, fashion, and film. Through performances, storytelling, and discussions, this event will highlight investment opportunities in Africa’s creative economy and its role in sustainable development. Meet select guest speakers for a live Q&A following the main event.
When: Wednesday, Nov 17 at 9:00AM ET (2:00 PM GMT)
Makhtar Diop is IFC’s Managing Director. He assumed this position on March 1st, 2021. Prior to this appointment, he was the World Bank’s Vice President for Infrastructure, where he led the Bank’s global efforts to build sustainable infrastructure in developing and emerging economies. In this role, he oversaw the Bank’s critical work in energy, transport, digital infrastructure, and public-private partnerships.
Sérgio Pimenta is IFC’s Regional Vice President for Africa. In this capacity, he is in charge of all advisory and investment operations in a region with a committed portfolio of $13.3 billion and more than 700 staff working to expand the private sector's role in addressing urgent development challenges in the financial, manufacturing, agribusiness and services, and infrastructure industries.
Hayat Aljowaily is an Egyptian filmmaker based in Europe. Having grown up in five different countries, Hayat has always been interested in issues related to global politics, cultural exchange, and identity. This led her to pursue the Dual Bachelors program between Sciences Po & Columbia University. She studies the Social Sciences—with a specialization in law and the MENA region in the South of France, then headed to New York City where she studied Film & Media Studies.
Hayat strives to use films to promote social cohesion and cultural understanding. She focuses primarily on projects related to Africa and the Arab World. Currently, Hayat is the director’s assistant on an upcoming Disney+ streaming series.
Lagos-born award-winning actor OC Ukeje joined the Nigerian TV and movie scene in 2006 after a reality TV show stint. He started out as a theatre performer in 2001 and later trained at the New York Film Academy, LA (Diploma in Acting, 2009) and the Relativity School, LA (Certificate Program, 2016).
Widely recognized as one of Nigeria’s established actors, he has featured in films like Ayanda (South Africa); Half of A Yellow Sun (Nigeria); Gone Too Far (UK); The Arbitration (Nigeria); and Shine Your Eyes (Brazil), to mention a few.
Phiona Okumu is Head of Music for Spotify Africa. She has her finger on the pulse when it comes to youth culture and music trends. As the artist and label marketing manager for Africa and a former editor in music media who has created content for some of the most influential entities (AfriPOP, The Fader, Apple), the Ugandan music industry professional has developed a knack for sniffing out the next big trend while amplifying the global profile of several African artists.
Mo Abudu, CEO of EbonyLife Group has made her mark through various endeavors in the corporate world. She has been described by Forbes as "Africa's Most Successful Woman". Abudu oversees all the divisions of the EbonyLife Group which include EbonyLife TV, EbonyLife Films, EbonyLife Studios, EbonyLife Creative Academy and EbonyLife Place, Nigeria’s first luxury entertainment resort.
She has produced several highest grossing blockbusters to include: Fifty, The Wedding Party, Chief Daddy, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel and Your Excellency. She executive produced Òlòtūré, a Netflix Original feature film that exposes the shady business of human trafficking in Nigeria. EbonyLife Media has secured several production collaborations with international studios to include Sony, AMC Networks (USA), Netflix, Will and Jada Smith’s Westbrook Studios and Will Packer Productions.
The EbonyLife Group recently launched the EbonyLife Creative Academy in partnership with the Lagos State Government, the 5th largest economy in Africa. Mo Abudu has been invited to join the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences, popularly known as 'THE OSCARS' in the PRODUCER membership category. The only African woman selected in this category.
Hamid Ibrahim serves as the Head of Creative Operations for Kugali. Kugali has just partnered with Disney+ to create Iwájú–a long-form series "steeped in science fiction" based in a futuristic Lagos, Nigeria. The first iteration of the company was in 2015 with a weekly podcast on Geek Culture (called Tao of Otaku). Kugali became the official lens for Snapchat, where their augmented reality filters have received more than 50 million views, over 42 million plays, and more than 2 million shares.
With all his accomplishment at such a young age and in such a short span of time, Hamid continues his commitment to giving back. He wants African stories to be mainstream and the best that they can be, and he has ambitious plans (through Kugali) to develop African talent and create opportunities to showcase them.
Sauti Sol is a Kenyan afro-pop band formed in Nairobi by vocalists Bien-Aimé Baraza, Willis Chimano and Savara Mudigi in 2005. Initially an a cappella group, fourth member guitarist Polycarp Otieno joined before they named themselves Sauti Sol.
The Grammy-Award winning band has had several successful tours in Africa and Europe, topped Kenyan charts and gained international attention with shows in Europe and the US. The band has also received local and international accolades and nominations, including at the Kisima Music Awards, the Channel O Music Video Awards, the MTV Europe Music Awards, and the BET Awards.
Yoel Kenan is the founder and CEO of Africori, a leading pan-African digital music distributor. Africori offers label services, digital distribution, synch licensing and publishing to artists, songwriters, labels, and other music rights holders in Africa. Kenan has more than 30 years of experience in the international music industry at senior executive level in the fields of A&R, marketing, and business development at companies such as Universal, Sony BMG and mp3.com.
Selly Raby Kane is a Senegalese fashion designer and filmmaker who launched her brand in 2012. Holder of a master's degree in textile and clothing product management (MOD'SPE Paris), this young entrepreneur gradually built a brand that overturns the codes of Senegalese fashion trends. SRK’s avant-garde line has earned the attention of VOGUE magazine, ARTE, BET, CNN, Time Magazine, Okay Africa, AFROPUNK, WAD magazine among others. Selly Raby Kane has also styled numerous icons such as Beyoncé, Nai Palm (Hiatus Kaiyote), Daara-J Family, Tiwa Savage, Rokhaya Diallo and more. She exhibits her pieces in many museums or collaborated with IKEA on the “Överallt” collection. In 2018, SRK co-founded the RUKKI BUKKI company specialized in digital storytelling, creative marketing, and digital media.
Selly is also a filmmaker. In 2012, Selly Raby Kane was Artistic Director and costume designer of the film Mbeubeuss. She’s since directed Elsewhen, a science fiction project that explores the future of the continent through virtual reality and digital media, as well as her first VR film The Other Dakar, co -produced by New Dimensions, Electric South and Big world Cinema, which pays tribute to Senegalese mythology. The Other Dakar was named best VR narrative film of the Tribeca film Festival by The Verge magazine. Today Kane is working on several projects bridging the gap between fashion, immaterial heritage, and technology.
Amanda Dara Afolabi is a 25-year-old leading Nigerian TV, Red Carpet and Event host, rising actress, model, and an entrepreneur. She is the CEO and founder of the skincare line Dara Naturals since 2017 and Dara Accessories fashion brand. Amanda graduated from Babcock University with a degree in Computer Information Systems. Her career as a presenter began at a young age when she co-hosted the show Youth Alive at 19. In the past six years, Amanda Dara Afolabi has grown into one of the leading TV hosts in the country. Early in her career, she got a presenting job with EbonyLife TV, whose CEO Mo Abudu is one of the most influential African women in the creative industries. As the host of one of the TV shows, she was thrust into the limelight and many people began to reckon with her brand.
Amanda also works with Television Continental (TVC) where she serves as the co-host of the lifestyle show, E-Splash. She has hosted at several events and red carpet shows across Nigeria. As a model, she became the brand ambassador of Lush Nigeria. Amanda is a growing Nigerian influencer with 93.4k followers on Instagram.
William Sonneborn is Senior Director, International Finance Corporation, overseeing investments in Disruptive Technologies and Funds.
Prior to joining IFC, Bill was the President of EIG, a leading energy and infrastructure investment firm, and a member of its Investment and Executive Committees. Prior to joining EIG, he was a partner of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and a member of KKR’s Management Committee. Bill served as CEO of KKR Asset Management (the public markets side of KKR) as well as CEO and Director of KKR Financial Corporation, a publicly traded specialty finance firm. He also sat on the board of Nephila Capital, a $10 billion hedge fund that is one of the largest private tech-enabled reinsurance vehicles in the world. Prior to joining KKR, he was with the global investment firm TCW Group, Inc., most recently as President and Chief Operating Officer. Previously, he worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York and Hong Kong, where he focused on mergers & acquisitions.
Olumide Oresegun aka @oluhyperclassical is a Nigerian hyper-realistic artist. In 2016, he received global media attention after some of his oil on canvas paintings went viral on social media. He majored in Fine Art at the Yaba College of Technology , Lagos, graduating with a distinction. Drawing inspiration from his community, he is creating pieces that reflect the lives of those around him.
Diana Bouli has become one of Cameroon’s biggest French-speaking influencers, with nearly 1.5 million followers across her social networks, of which half are on her TikTok channel. Thanks to her original videos, the young Cameroonian model and stylist often goes viral on social media, which has changed her life and is bringing unexpected opportunities.
Passionate about art, it was following a video posted on her Tik Tok account that the influencer became known to the general public. In the videos that she personally edits, she designs her clothes and performs, in a creative manner to promote Africa’s culture. To date, Diana Bouli has received standing ovations from several artists who share her videos. This is the case with Mimie, Numerica, Mr. Shyne and more.
A fashion school student, she is currently filming her first film and working on her fashion designs, with the hopes to fulfill her dream of becoming an actress.
Martha Huro is the MD, East Africa and GM Kenya for Transsnet Music limited (Boomplay), the #1 and fastest growing music streaming app in Africa with over 60 million monthly active users and a catalogue of 65 million songs. She is an experienced marketing specialist with a demonstrated history in the IT, Music and Service Industries. She joined Boomplay in 2018 as Senior Marketing Manager, East Africa where she has risen to her current role in charge of operations in the region. Her contribution to the growth of the user base, artiste database and partnerships has been vital in the fast uptake of Boomplay in East Africa. Martha is known in the industry as an essential connect in the music business ecosystem and her passion for music is a driving force in the advancement of the entertainment industry in the region and beyond.
Addy Awofisayo is the Head of Music, Sub-Saharan Africa at YouTube, responsible for championing African music on and off the platform. She is a media and tech professional with over 10 years of global experience working in various strategy, finance, content and partnership roles across Africa, Europe and North America. Addy began her career at Microsoft in Seattle, WA working in Finance & Strategy. Kicking off her career in media, Addy worked at Discovery Communications on the content team for international markets, and also served as the Director for content and business strategy for a Pan-African media organization. At YouTube, Addy previously led content partnerships for Sub-Saharan Africa negotiating partnership deals with large media companies and implementing initiatives for Creators to grow the creative economy on the continent. Addy holds a Bachelor's degree from University of Virginia and a Masters from Harvard University.