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, Oct 27 at 9:00AM ET (1:00 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.
Adama Amanda Ndiaye, who goes by the name of her brand Adama Paris, was born in DRC. After studying economics and having worked at a bank briefly, she devoted herself to her passion by taking fashion lessons in Paris that were pivotal in launching the Adama Paris brand. Over the years, Adama founded various fashion events such as Dakar Fashion Week for the past 19 years; Afrika Fashion Awards, which became the "Trophies of African Fashion" (TMA); and the Black Fashion Week that has taken place in Prague, Paris, Bahia and Montreal since 2010. In 2014, Adama launched "Fashion Africa," the first African television channel fully dedicated to fashion, and available in 46 countries through a canal+ partnership.
Adama also created the Adama Paris Agency, a company that help designers and event organizers. Among others, her clients span from the NBA to the Cartier Foundation, and more. In 2019, she was nominated one of the 50 more important people in Africa by RFI and Madame Figaro magazine. Adama is passionate about her fight for the promotion of African fashion and women entrepreneurship within the fashion industry in Senegal and Africa. Her designs are inspired by cities and globalism.
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.