Speaker Biographies

Keynote Speakers

H.E. Prof Judi W. Wakhungu

Ambassador of  the Republic of Kenya to France, Portugal and Serbia,

Former Minister for Environment

In 2018, she was appointed as the Ambassador of Kenya to France. In this diplomatic capacity, she will serve as Kenya’s highest ranking representative with direct responsibility for stewarding negotiations and delivering essential bi-lateral messages on behalf of Kenya. Between 2013 – 2018 and prior to this nomination, Professor Wakhungu served as Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources where she was responsible for ensuring good governance in the protection, restoration, conservation, development and management of the environment and natural resources.

PANEL 1

Effective Solutions for Electrification of Rural Zones in Africa

Moderator

Prof Andrea Masini

Associate Dean for MBA, HEC Paris

Associate Professor, Andrea Masini has been serving as Associate Dean, in charge of the MBA program, since January 2016. He holds a Ph.D. in Management from INSEAD (France). Prior to joining HEC Paris in 2010, Andrea was Assistant Professor of Operations and Technology Management at the London Business School. He has a background in mechanical engineering and environmental management.

Panelists

Prof Judi Wakhungu

Ambassador of Kenya to France

In 2018, she was appointed as the Ambassador of Kenya to France. In this diplomatic capacity, she will serve as Kenya’s highest ranking representative with direct responsibility for stewarding negotiations and delivering essential bi-lateral messages on behalf of Kenya. Between 2013 – 2018 and prior to this nomination, Professor Wakhungu served as Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources where she was responsible for ensuring good governance in the protection, restoration, conservation, development and management of the environment and natural resources.

Paul-Francois Cattier
VP Economic Development Africa & Middle East at Schneider Electric

Competent in product, Software and the services areas and with more than 35 year experience in sales and general management in the IT, Telecom and power quality Industries, he has been responsible for important mergers and acquisitions for the company and behind the strategy to elevate Schneider Electric to Global Leader of Data Center physical Infrastructure Market. 

Dr Meseret Teklemariam Zemedkun

Program Manager, Energy, UNEP

With extensive knowledge in Geothermics and Earth Sciences due to several university degrees, Dr Zemedkun currently works for UN Environment (UNEP), where she is in charge of the African Rift Geothermal Facility Program and Renewable Energy Portfolio in Africa. Before this, she had spent two decades working at the Geological Survey of Ethiopia (GSE) as the Head of Department for Hydrogeology, Engineering Geology and Geothermal divisions.

Mr Alexandre Coster 

Founder and CEO,  Baobab+ Group

Alexandre is a social entrepreneur who has created and developed different social business in Africa for more than 13 years in different sectors: Education, Micro & Digital finance, Access to energy, digital and pure water. Previously he created the first French Business School in Africa, ETICCA Dakar before being the group marketing director of Microcred group where he supported the development of new institutions and the digital transformation. In 2017, Alexandre was selected as a Young Leader by AfricaFrance foundation and French Agency of Development (AFD).

PANEL 2

Shedding Light onto Untapped Industries in Africa

 The Music Industry

Moderator

Prof Thomas Paris

Director of Media, Art & Creation Master Program, HEC Paris

Thomas Paris has a Ph.D. in Management Science, he is currently researcher at NRS (GREG HEC), and associate-researcher at CRG Ecole polytechnique.

He has become a specialist in the field of creative industries (movie and TV, music, fashion, book, architecture, advertising, high cooking, industrial design.). He carries research both on the creation management and on the economical and regulatory points of view. He also works on innovation management and organizational learning, in partnership with big companies and start-ups.

Panelists

Cleopatra Mukula

Segment Manager, Trace MZIKI
 

Ms. Mukula is the Communications Consultant for Insights EA and Segment Manager at Trace Mziki, a localized music channel launched in 2016 dedicated to showcasing a wide selection of current, authentic East-African and Swahili artists. With a Law degree from the University of Sussex, a Bsc (Hons) in Health Care Law and Ethics and a Master’s in Film and TV Documentary Practice from Brunel University.She has previously worked as a Markets Analyst and Advisor. In addition to her firm commitment to promoting African talent, she is also a passionate philanthropist and talented documentary maker

Liz Gomis

Journalist, RadioNova

 

With a wealth of experience in the creative and multimedia industry, Elisabeth ‘Liz’ Gomez, has been a freelance columnist at Radio Nova since 2008. She is also a member of France’s Presidential Council for Africa and is passionate about strengthening and rebuilding French-African relations and promoting African talent

Blick Bassy
Singer and Songwriter

 

Blick Bassy is a Cameroonian artist, part of a group of Bassa artists who have left their mark the cultural history of their country. At 17, he formed his first band, Jazz Crew, and later Macase in 1996, releasing the albums Etam (1999) and Doulou (2003). Bassy left Macase in 2005 and moved to Paris.  He has toured the world, including playing at major venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, London, and at the Africa Utopia Festival in 2015. Albums: Leman 2009, Hongo Calling 2011, Akö 2015, 1958  launched on March 2019. 

Akotchayé Okio

International Development Officer, SACEM

Akotchayé Okio is international development officer for Africa at the Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music (SACEM), where he works to help improve authors’ rights protection and development on the continent.

He has been involved in the music industry for the past 20 years. Starting out as an artist and musician himself, he later went on to work as an entrepreneur within the cultural space in Africa, making his own contribution to the structural development of the sector within the region. He has worked as a festival and TV talent show promoter, as well as editor of a cultural magazine. In addition, he was a member of the board of directors of the National Artistic Ensemble of Benin and served as channel manager for Africa at Believe Digital.

Michael Ugwu

General Manager, Sony Music Entertainment, West Africa

Michael Ugwu is the pioneer general manager for Sony Music Entertainment West Africa, one of the largest record labels in the world. Prior to that Ugwu was and still is an investor in Freeme Digital. Freeme Digital is the premier 3rd party digital distribution company in Nigeria with a growing array of artists, comedians and content.

Tina Mweni

Singer and Poet

Tina Mweni is a multi-faceted artist having worked as an mc, dancer, choreographer poet, stylist and model. Born in Kenya, she then immigrated to Copenhagen, and gained stardom in Denmark after performing in front of millions of viewers during the « Denmark’s Got Talent » final in 2010. Her passion for music from an early age lead her to pursue dance training at the Rhytmical High School of Copenhagen and then at the Flow Dance Academy in Denmark and she practises various types of African dance such as Kwasa kwasa, Ndombolo, Soukus / Lingala, Azonto as well as Afro dance. 

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