Below is our panel of chosen judges
Jeanica Ndagano Onema
Jeanica is chairman of JNC Consulting Group. Prior to joining JNC, she was chief marketing officer for Pacific Cigarette Company.
She has also held senior positions in Celtel DRC and British American Tobacco and has practiced in the UK, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.
She has experience in brewery, tobacco, telecommunications and airlines. Her areas of expertise are strategic thinking and planning; project management; Corporate Governance; new market entry; portfolio rationalization and management and route to market efficiency.
Jeanica has an Honours in Economics from Belgium’s University of Mons-Hainaut and a Masters from the University of Gembloux and FUCAM (Belgium).
Chris Oshiafi is a global finance expert, a chartered accountant and an investment banker with over two decades of working experience spanning across several African countries.
He is currently the Group Chief Executive Officer of Pan African Capital Holdings – a proprietary investment company with business interests in several key sectors including financial services, hospitality and entertainment, real estate & infrastructure, agro-allied and FMCG, healthcare and ICT and media.
Formerly, he served as Pioneer Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Truebond Investments and Capital Limited – a company with diverse interests in oil and gas, telecommunications, power and the capital markets. He was also Managing Partner of Damitop Consulting Limited, where he delivered on several World Bank Projects for both federal and state governments.
Prior to being appointed to his current role at Pan African Capital Holdings, he held the role of Executive Director (Investment Banking) of Citizens International Bank (now Heritage Bank Limited).
Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting & Finance from the University of London and a MBA from the University of Lagos. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute of London (ACII UK) and Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (ACIT). In addition, he has completed various programmes at the prestigious Columbia Business School, New York USA, INSEAD Business School, Fontainebleau France, IESE Business School, Barcelona and the Chief Executive Programme (CEP 17), Lagos Business School.
Recently, he was nominated by the Government of Uganda as the Honorary Consul to Nigeria where he will oversee improved trade relations between both countries. Chris is an avid believer in the proliferation of wealth, through entrepreneurship driven by Africapitalism and in the value of youth mentorship in driving economic development in Africa.
Over the last couple of years, he has raised over $5-billion in foreign direct investment for institutions across the continent. This instrumental work aligns with his belief that the infrastructure deficit on the continent can only be resolved through dedicated efforts of Africans both home and abroad.
Ibrahim Sagna serves as Global Head & Director of the Advisory & Capital Markets arm of Afreximbank, an investment grade rated Pan-African development finance institution (DFI) with over US$18-billion of assets.
Prior to joining Afreximbank, Ibrahim headed the Financial Advisory Services of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), another investment grade rated DFI.
He is a seasoned executive with the privilege of 25 years' track record in global finance.
His international career includes North American experiences with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), and European experiences with Millennium Global and Blackthorn Capital.
He recently served as a board director to the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) of Rwanda and as member of the President of Senegal’s Council of Investments.
Ibrahim holds a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Finance from Boston College and has been sponsored to management programs to Harvard Business School, London Business School and INSEAD.
Andrew Lowe is co-founder of Tuareg Energy Limited, which is based in Mauritius.
He was formerly CEO of Africa for Renaissance Group.
Prior to joining Renaissance Group he was Regional Director (Emerging Markets) and Managing Director (Africa) at DHL Aviation. Andrew was also founding Director & Shareholder of Sky Relief & Tropic Air.
He has vast experience in the aviation sector and is a commercial pilot by training.
Anna Henry Nyimbo
Anna Henry Nyimbo is the founder of Cartrack Tanzania, Retriever Limited Kenya, Retriever Limited Rwanda and Neoboemi Africa.
She is a strategic thinker with success in introducing new products into the Tanzania market. She possesses broad functional experience in planning and marketing products and creating demand. She has a proven ability to step into ambiguous environments, create change and manage rapid grown.
Anna has achieved success in building teams and leadership in small/medium scale business sector.
She has a BA from College of North West London, a Sales Management and Marketing Diploma for Cambridge International College and an MBA from Mount Kenya University.
Brad Magrath is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at ALX and The Room. He is also a co-founder and former CEO of Zoona, a Pan-African fintech.
Brad has cultivated a proven reputation and record of accomplishment in the African entrepreneurial ecosystem. He has the experience and cultural learnings leading, building, and managing people and teams, and raising investment and deploying capital in six African markets.
He has more than 20 years’ experience and learnings at the coalface of starting and scaling businesses and pivoting and executing turnarounds of underperforming businesses in emerging markets.
He has operating experience in South Africa, Zambia, Mauritius, Malawi, Mozambique, DRC Congo, Ghana, and Bangladesh.
At ALX and The Room, Brad is part of a team looking to catalyse entrepreneurship and job creation for three million leaders in Africa.
Joel Nettey is President and Chairman of the International Advertising Association (IAA), the global body for marketing and communications. He is the first African to occupy the position since its formation in 1938.
Nettey is the founder and Chief Executive of The Ninani Group, a group of Marketing Communications Specialist Companies that include Innova DDB Ghana, ReZultz Advertising, Touchpoint Magna Carta, Interactive Digital, Brand Alert in Ghana as well as Innova Liberia.
Before establishing his own agency, he worked as Chief Executive of various multinational marketing communications agency affiliates in Ghana including DDB, Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicist.
Nettey is a Trustee of the Unilever Ghana Foundation and has previously served on the boards of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and Multimedia Group Ltd. In 2009, he was named by the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) as Marketing Practitioner of the Year. Also, in November 2010, the Network Journal USA (www.tnj.com) recognized his sterling qualities when it named Nettey as one of the inaugural 20 honorees from across Africa in its “TNJ 40 under Forty Africa” Awards.
He holds a MBA (Marketing) and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economics and Psychology degrees from the University of Ghana.
Dr Cheryl Kisunzu
Dr Cheryl Kisunzu is co-founder of SIMBA Global Startups, LLC, as well as an established and trusted leader in healthcare delivery systems and institutions of Higher Education.
She oversees the development of healthcare and education partnership initiatives for the sub-Saharan Africa region for SIMBA.
Over a period spanning 42 years of teaching and administrative leadership, Cheryl successively served as University Dean of Health & Wellness Programs; Vice President of Human Resources, Diversity & Organizational Development; Grant Administrator of a $1.5 million for Texas Workforce Development; and Director of Nursing & Allied Health Programs.
Anchored in her 39 years of progressive teaching at various institutions of higher education including Vanderbilt University, Loma Linda University, St. Louis Community College, Harper College, and Mountain View College, is her current position as Provost & Full Professor at Washington Adventist University, Takoma Park, Maryland.
As Provost at Washington Adventist University, Cheryl is responsible for all academic and institutional operations for the university. She also serves on the Maryland Board of Adventist Healthcare, and the Maryland Middle States Substantive Change Committee for academic excellence.
Cheryl earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan; M.S. in Nursing from Rush University, Chicago, IL; and a B.S. in Nursing from Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan.
Cheryl is a Registered Nurse and a Family Nurse Practitioner
Vera E. Baker
Vera E. Baker is an entrepreneur, operator, and angel investor pushing for diversity in the tech ecosystem. She is an Angel Investor for Atomico, the founder of For Colored Girls Who Tech, and an Investor in Residence at the Founder Institute.
She is also an Investment Advisor at the Jua Fund.
Her goal is to make the start-up landscape more equitable and inclusive by adding value and capital to overlooked and underestimated founders.
Ritesh Anand is Deputy CEO and Executive Vice President of Crown Agents Investment Management.
Prior to this he was the Founder and Managing Director of Invictus Capital, a boutique financial services platform providing securities trading, corporate advisory, and asset management services focussed on Sub-Sahara Africa. Before that, he spent eight years in various roles at the Wellcome Trust, the world’s leading private medical endowment, with assets of over $25billion.
Ritesh joined Wellcome as an Investment Officer in 2002 before being promoted to Senior Investment Officer in 2004 responsible for global listed equities. He was then appointed Head of Risk and Performance a position he held for two years before becoming the Head of Africa and the Middle East.
He started his career as an analyst and then fund manager at First Mutual Life in Zimbabwe.
Ritesh has extensive experience in fund management in developed and emerging markets.
Ritesh has sat on numerous boards including Zimbabwe Asset Management Company (Zamco), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), as well AfriAsia Bank Zimbabwe.
He was also Vice-Chairman of Bishopslea Prep School for Girls in Zimbabwe. Ritesh holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Economics from the University of Warwick and a Master of Science (Strategic Management) from the University of Derby.
He has also completed the Executive Finance Program at London Business School.
Mhanisi Malaba is co-founder of the JUA Fund. His passions are employment creation in the infrastructure and minerals sectors, and the global impact of ‘tech’.
Mhanisi started his career at McKinsey & Company’s Johannesburg office before co-founding Thola’Njia Venture partners, a boutique, Africa-focused advisory firm. He has also worked with Partners in Performance International, advising their mining clientele.
At Thola’Njia, Mhanisi has developed numerous projects from greenfield and brownfields, and assisted companies in their capital raising processes up to €2-billion.
He also co-founded Mota-Engil Construction South Africa, alongside the leading European infrastructure firm. Mhanisi has developed housing projects in excess of 25 000 homes.
Recently he has advised TRT Investments Mauritius on their continental Mergers & Acquisitions.
Mhanisi is invested in a number of junior mining operations across Africa and sits on boards in the FMCG, infrastructure and mining sectors.
He has a Business Science degree from the University of Cape Town and has participated in the Harvard Managementor program. He is an alumnus of the SA 100 Brightest Young Minds, the Standard Bank - Kellogg Banking Group program and winner of the Proctor & Gamble Strategy award.
Prof. Benedict O. Oramah
Prof. Benedict O. Oramah is the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export – Import Bank (“Afreximbank” or the “Bank”).
As the President of Afreximbank, Prof Oramah has grown the Bank significantly and improved its global appeal and relevance to the African continent. For instance, the Bank is playing a leading role in the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which is the most significant multilateral development on the continent for decades.
Prof Oramah is leading the creation and deployment of very innovative digital platforms that will boost intra-regional trade and investments by revolutionizing cross border payments and improving access to quality trade information. Under his leadership, Afreximbank is supporting the harmonization of Standards and the development of quality infrastructure across Africa as part of a wider industrialization and export development strategy.
As Chair of the Board of Trustees of the African Union COVID-19 Response Fund, President Oramah is helping to coordinate grant mobilization and efficient utilization across Africa as well as coordinating the procurement and distribution of medical supplies among African countries. He is also leading other continental and private sector initiatives to scale up Africa’s health and economic response to the pandemic.
As a recognition for his achievements, Prof. Oramah has received several honours and awards including his recent decoration by H.E. Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, with the Russian State award of the Order of Friendship in 2019. Also, in 2019, he was bestowed with the “Knight of the National Order” by the Cameroonian Government and in the same year, he received an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. In 2017, Prof. Oramah was voted African Banker of the year by the African Banker Magazine.