Muhammadu Sanusi II


Nigeria’s former Central Banker, the Emir is one of the continent’s leading thinkers on economic and social transformation, and a radical voice for Africa’s renaissance.

Donald Kaberuka

The economist, served as president of the African Development Bank for 10 years, until 2015. He is an expert on African economies and their many infrastructure (and other) deficits, for which he tried to apply the full weight of the ADB during his tenure. He sits on the board of trustees of the Rockefeller Foundation.

Manoj Kumar


Having one day quit banking to embrace the life that had beckoned him, Manoj is feeding 1 million of India’s poorest school children daily, supplies 3 million with drinking water, and is right now planting a tree for every Indian. He chose the most remote and impoverished Indian farmers for pioneering techniques that have lifted 100s of thousands out of poverty and got them to create a leading global coffee brand. And he’s only just getting started.

Ory Okolloh


Ory funds innovative and potentially transformative ventures throughout Africa as managing director of Luminate, an investment arm of the Omidyar Network. Ory was co-founder of Ushaidi, the pioneering crowdsourcing platform. Harvard Law School led not to law but to social activism and tech innovation.

Nasir El-Rufai

Governor of Kaduna State, in northern Nigeria, where he is facing some of Africa’s most extraordinary challenges at close quarters. A former leading member of Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo’s economic team, he was in charge of Nigeria’s wave of privatizations in the early noughts, and the dramatic retreat of the Nigerian government from a command and control economy. He holds degrees in economics, public policy, quantity survey, and law and, in addition to his job as governor, is a PhD candidate in philosophy and public policy at Maastricht University. He also is the author of the memoir, ‘Accidental Public Servant.

John Carlin

Has written extensively about revolutions, wholesale social transformations, football and food, is the author of ‘Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a Nation,’ which became the acclaimed movie, ‘Invictus.’ He is co-producer of the documentary series, ‘This Is Football,’ on Amazon Prime.

Kayode Fayemi

The once and current governor of Ekiti State, in Western Nigeria, where political science uneasily meets political reality, though he apparently is not too worse for wear. Kayode, the author of ‘Out of the Shadows: Exile and the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Nigeria’, which chronicles his part in ending military dictatorship in Nigeria two decades ago.



Laurie is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer on public health, and author of the best-selling The Coming Plague. Laurie’s reporting on the outbreak of the ebola epidemic in Congo in 1995 won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism.


Ami Dror is the founder and CEO of LeapLearner, a Shanghai-based education technology company that enables children to code our AI-powered world. As a father of three, Ami is passionate about cultivating kids’ ability to be innovative and recently authored a Chinese best-selling book, Raising Future Innovators, that aims to give parents and educators the tools to raise the next generation of global leaders. In an effort to make coding education globally accessible, in 2019 Mr. Dror founded ICode.org, a non-profit that has launched the world’s first International Coding Olympics. He is also the founder of Zaitoun Ventures, a start-up factory that develops disruptive start-ups across multiple sectors.

Howard French

Author, among several seminal works on contemporary Africa, of ‘China’s Second Continent,’ which explores the upending of traditional alliances between Africa and the world, with the arrival of China on the scene over the past two decades. Howard is a professor of journalism at Columbia University.

Nicola Galombik

Executive director of the investment holding company Yellowwoods, is  chairman and founder of Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator. Nicola has spent her entire career nestled in the seams where social innovation happens, especial around inclusive economies and the building of multi sector coalitions to drive change.

Saul Singer


Sometimes a single book causes an entire country to see itself in a new light. Saul’s book, Start-Up Nation (co-authored with Dan Senor) explored the extraordinary story of how Israel became a hot house for world-leading tech ventures. Saul has become a leading thinker on how societies leapfrog.

Arturo Condo

President of EARTH University, an innovative global school educating leaders for sustainable development, in Costa Rica. A professor of strategy and competitiveness and former president of INCAE, one of Latin America’s leading business schools, he has spent a lifetime in education and economic strategy.

Frans K Smit

The cellar master at Spier Wine Farm, whose eponymous flagship red has thrust Spier wines into the upper reaches of the very best of the Cape Winelands.

Neo Muyanga

A composer, musician and librettist, travels the world telling stories hidden in plain sight with music. Born in Soweto, more or less resident in Cape Town, he studied the Italian madrigal tradition with the choral maestro Piero Poclen, in Trieste, Italy. His operate, ‘The Flower of Shembe,’ premiered to wide acclaim in 2012.

Karim Alwadi

An entrepreneur based in Beijing since 2001 and is co-founder of the Belt and Road Saving Children Program. He is also a member of the advisory committee of the "Belt and Road initiative" thinktank coalition under the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. Karim is a fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Reza Che Daniels

Reza is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Cape Town. His work focuses on economies as complex evolutionary systems.

Futhi Mtoba

A former chairman of Deloitte South Africa, is co-founder of Teach South Africa.

Lance Greyling

Helped manage the extraordinary response to the Cape Town water crisis, has been a member of the South African parliament and is currently the director of enterprise and investment for the City of Cape Town.

Miriam Altman

A strategist, social activist, and economist, for many years at the forefront of thinking about employment and is now exercised with how countries become ‘unstuck’ and get activated. She is a Commissioner in the SA Presidency’s National Planning Commission, where she leads work on the economy and on education.

She is a Director at Altman Advisory and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Cape Town, and associated with Tsinghua and Fudan Universities and CEIBS. She convenes a group of business and government leaders to shape a “China Business Strategy”, seeking to strengthen SA’s positioning in trade and investment with China. 

Passionate about the next generation, she is founder of Yandisa, which builds the capacity of elected high school leaders to drive constructive institutional change starting with improving education outcomes in their own schools. 

Jennifer Cooke

Director of the Institute for African Studies at the George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. She is also a Professor of Practice, teaching on U.S. Policy toward Africa and Transnational Threats in Africa.

Michael Jordaan

A venture capitalist who invests principally in scaleable technology in banking and telecommunications. He also makes wine. He used to run one of South Africa’s largest banks.

Joshin Raghubar

Builds businesses in media and technology, is the founder of iKineo, and is actively engaged in turning Cape Town metro into Africa’s primary technology hub. He is a laureate of the McNulty Prize and serves on the board of Africa Leadership Initiative.

Zach Fenster

An executive at WaterGen, the pioneering Israeli firm that snatches water from air.

Francis Daniels

Trained in the law at Accra, Toronto and New York, but ended up neck deep in investment in African businesses. A managing partner at Africa Opportunity Fund, he also writes about economics and politics in Africa.