Whilst the continent is rich in ideas, the dearth of finance that has been the largest impediment. There is therefore a need for strategic partnerships in investments that will unlock new finance sources globally. As entrepreneurs continue to face challenges in accessing finance and markets, this technological age has introduced new unconventional opportunities for finance from crowdfunding to venture angel investors. This panel seeks to discuss issues of financial inclusion and new ways to take advantage of the fast changing world of financing.
United Bank for Africa Plc: Director, Multilaterals & Developmental Organizations
Dupe Olusola works with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc; a leading financial institution in Africa with presence in 20 African countries, New York, Paris and London. She is Director responsible for managing relationships with multilateral and international development organisations across the 20 African countries. Until recently, she was the CEO of Teragro Commodities Limited, the agribusiness subsidiary of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (“Transcorp”), a diversified conglomerate with strategic investments in the Power, Hospitality Oil and Gas and Agriculture sectors of the Nigerian economy. She has served in various capacities at Transcorp over the last 4 years. Initially recruited as the Director of Resources, her key role was to join a team dedicated to reinventing the group and setting up processes and procedures for upcoming businesses within the group. In her 4 years, Transcorp has transitioned from an ailing group to the largest conglomerate listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Her distinguished 18+ year career has been built by working in various sectors of the economy both in Nigeria and the UK. These sectors include Power, Oil & Gas, Hospitality, Agric, Banking, Private Equity, Non-Governmental, Entrepreneurship, Micro & SME Development. Her knowledge of Strategy, Positioning, Creating Vision and Identifying opportunities, sets her apart from her peers. She was a director at Avis Nigeria and acted as a consultant to develop their start up plans. As Head of Investors Relations at United bank of Africa (UBA), her skills were used to liaise with internal and external investors.
Working at African Capital Alliance (ACA), for over 5 years harnessed her networking and deal closing skills while the roles she held at Bloomberg Financial Markets, UK and at Northern Trust Bank of Chicago, UK, exposed her to back office work and gave her the foundation of researching, reviewing and presenting relevant financial details.
Dupe Olusola seats on various boards including Nature Fresh, Fay Nigeria, OLCA/IMC, as well as Aviator Travels & Tours. She pioneered a charity organization, Forty for Good with a focus on raising funds and impacting the Disabled, those experiencing Fertility challenges, Children in Need and Widows. Till date, over 500 Back to School program sponsored, 100 widows received training and funding for start up or expansion businesses. She plays other roles within her immediate and extended communities getting involved in Entrepreneurship and Leadership mentoring.
Dupe is a dedicated wife and mother of 2. She brings the same enthusiasm, diligence and discipline to her home. She was recently named on a list of Nigerians Most Influential CEOs of 2015 by Ventures and Africa.
Dura Capital Ltd: Founder, President
Dr Blessing Mudavanhu is Founder and President of Dura Capital Ltd, a financial engineering and risk management company that provides enterprise-wide risk management, capital management, treasury solutions, asset-liability management, credit risk analytics and financial structuring solutions to banks, insurance and asset management companies.
He received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Washington (USA) and Masters in Financial engineering from the University of California at Berkeley (USA). After which he joined American International Group (AIG) in New York as a Senior Risk Analytics Associate. He later was Director in Global Risk Management at Banking of America Merrill Lynch based in New York but coveringNew York, London, Mexico City and Sao Paulo. In 2009 he joined African Banking Corporation as Group Chief Risk Officer based in Johannesburg. African banking corporation (BancABC) had operations in Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and a minority interest in one of the largest Nigerian Banks. Dr Mudavanhu left African Banking Corporation in January 2017 having served as Acting Group Chief Executive Officer since January 2015.
Dr Mudavanhu was adjust professor of risk management in the Financial Mathematics Program at The City University of New York. He is a Visiting Senior Lecturer in the Advanced Mathematics Program in the School of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, as well as a Sessional Lecturer in the Wits BusinessSchool at The University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
He has published in many mathematics and financial engineering journals including the Journal of Investment Management. He has and continues to collaborate with Dr Thomas Ho, the authors of the seminal Ho-Lee Interest rate model and founder and president of the Thomas Ho Financial Engineering Company.
Dr Mudavanhu is a recipient of the US Fulbright Scholarship.
Dalberg: Global Operations Partner
Madji is Senegalese and a Partner in Dalberg’s Dakar office. She also serves as Dalberg’s Global Operations Partner. She is the co-founder of the Women’s Investment Club (WIC) in Senegal. The club aims to address the constraints Senegalese women face in the missing middle for access to finance, and to promote women investing in financial markets, here the West Africa Stock Exchange. Madji has also led and supported various initiatives to spur SME development including supporting the implementation an "Innovative Business Plan Competition” in Cote d'Ivoire, leading a study in Benin to set up a financial intermediary platform targeting SMEs, and leading a five-country market assessment of youth employment opportunities in key agricultural value chains to identify needs and opportunities for youth employment and enterprise development. She also led a study to understand the demand side of the impact investing industry in West Africa and map the supply of impact investing capital in the region.
Prior to Dalberg, Madji worked for Deloitte in Washington, DC. Madji considers herself an African women entrepreneur who is faced with access to finance challenges daily, to support the concept store (Layu) she founded in Dakar to promote West African made clothing, accessories, and culture. She is also the founder of the consulting firm FocusAfrica which merged with Dalberg in 2010, and serves as the President of the Women’ Investment Club Senegal. Madji holds an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird, School of Global Management.
Institute and Faculty of Actuaries: President-Elect
Marjorie is President-Elect, a member of Council and member of the Management Board of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA). Marjorie was elected by the IFoA Council to the presidential team in June 2016 and she will be the first IFoA president to be based outside the UK. From 2009 to 2011 she was Editor of The Actuary magazine circulated to a worldwide readership of over 20,000.
Marjorie is a member of the Group Executive Committee of Liberty Group in South Africa and is responsible for the execution of strategy across the group's multinational insurance, asset management and balance sheet management operations. Marjorie was formerly Chief Risk Officer of Old Mutual’s African Operations. Marjorie is a qualified actuary and holder of a Sloan Masters of Leadership and Strategy from the London Business School. She is a trustee board member of the Legal Resources Trust in South Africa supporting the Legal Resources Centre, a human rights organization founded in 1979.
She has represented the IFoA on three tours of the Lord Mayor of London to Africa – engaging with members, employers, prospective members and regulators on how to build actuarial capacity to support the growth and maturity of their financial markets.
As an actuary who is passionate about continuous development, she has given her time to has teach undergraduate/postgraduate actuarial students at universities in the UK, Kenya and Armenia. She has also tutored in the UK, India, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Nigeria and delivered training to the insurance regulator of Mozambique.
She is a Visiting Lecturer at Cass Business School, UK and has presented at a number of industry conferences
MOMARR MASS TAAL
Tropingo Foods: Founder; Chief Executive Officer
Momarr Mass Taal is the founder of Tropingo Foods, a Gambian Agro Processing Company. Momarr is a seasoned social entrepreneur; with over 11 years’ experience, starting his first company at the age of 17. Momarr started by printing t-shirts in his dorm room for friends and gradually grew that hobby into a successful clothing brand, Malyka Clothing. Within a few years Malyka Clothing was outsourcing production in Bangladesh and struggling to keep up with growing demand from the 5 countries they were selling in.
With the intention to build a business that would add value to local resources as well as address youth underemployment in The Gambia, Momarr Founded Tropingo Foods in 2014. Momarr found that most local producers, particularly farmers, had market access problems and set about building a business which used value addition to create that market. Tropingo Foods was born out of this vision in 2014, an indigenous food processing and export company, with a mission to establish Gambia as a regional hub to supply the world with quality food products. To date Tropingo Foods has grown to one of the largest exporters of groundnut in The Gambia, creating employment for over 120 women and youth.
Besides business, Momarr is actively involved in the community and serves as the outgoing curator of the WEF Global Shapers Banjul Hub. In this capacity Momarr has spearheaded numerous community initiatives such as Ebola Free Gambia and various Mentorship programs.
Momarr has received global recognition for his business and community involvement including:
- 2016 Forbes Africa – 30 under 30 Entrepreneurs in Africa
- 2016 Choiseul Top 100 Africa Future Economic Leaders
- The Future Awards Africa 2015 – Agriculture Entrepreneur of the year nominee
- Tony Elumelu Foundation
Agora Partnerships: Director, New Initiatives
As a marketing consultant for an East African venture fund, Jesse became convinced of the power of for-profit solutions to poverty. After earning an M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from UNC Chapel Hill, Jesse joined Agora Partnerships in 2011 where he has served at the director-
level leading fundraising, partnership building, strategy, and communications. Agora Partnerships provides entrepreneurs who are intentionally building businesses that solve social and environmental challenges. Agora accomplishes this primarily through its flagship program, the Agora Accelerator, a four-month program designed to provide entrepreneurs access to the knowledge, networks, and capital they need to succeed.