Advisory Board

Ai’s Advisory Board is made up of cross-border investment experts, investment bankers and communications directors from business and government. Advisory Board members ensure Africa investor remains at the forefront of facilitating investment continent wide.

Dr Alhaji Bamanga Tukur

Chair, NEPAD Business Group and Executive President, African Business Roundtable (ABR)

From 1975-1982 Dr Tukur was the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Ports Authority. In 1983, he was elected civilian Governor of Gongola State (now Adamawa State). Between 1993 and 1995, he was a member of the Federal Executive Council and Minister of Industry of Nigeria.

Hubert Danso

Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman, Africa investor

Hubert is Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of Africa Investor (Ai) Group. He is responsible for advising institutional investors, governments and development finance institutions on major infrastructure and private equity investments in Africa. He is also the Managing Editor of Africa investor magazine.

Jim O’Neill

Former Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management

As of January 2014, Jim O’Neill is an Honorary Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester. Previously, Jim was Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management until April 2013; where he was involved in helping guide all aspects of GSAM’s business around the world. Prior to assuming this role in September 2010, Jim was head of Global Economics, Commodities and Strategy Research. Jim joined Goldman Sachs in 1995 as a partner, co-head of Global Economics Research and chief currency economist.

Arnold Ekpe

Former Group CEO, Ecobank Group

Arnold Ekpe was Chief Executive Officer of the Ecobank Group from 2005 to 2012. He previously held the same position from 1996 to 2001. With 30 years’ banking experience in the industry, Mr Ekpe has held several senior positions in African and international banking. He was Head of Sub-Sahara Africa Structured Trade and Corporate Finance at Citibank in the 1990s. In that position, he played a leading role in building Citibank’s corporate finance business in Africa, including several landmark transactions. He is also a former Managing Director of UBA.

Mark Mobius

Ph.D., Executive Chairman, Templeton Emerging Markets Group

Mark Mobius, Ph.D., Executive Chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, currently directs analysts based in Templeton’s 17 emerging markets offices and manages the emerging markets portfolios. Dr. Mobius has spent more than 40 years working in emerging markets all over the world. Mark commands a strong following in the investment world and is influencing the direction of billions of investment dollars.

Jean-Louis Ekra

President, African Export-Import Bank

Jean-Louis Ekra is President of the African Export-Import Bank.

He joined Afrexim Bank in 1996 as Executive Vice President responsible for managing the Operations, Finance and Legal departments. Previously, he was Partner at DKS Investment in Jersey and Country Manager for the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) among others.

Mr. Ekra holds an MBA from the Stern School of Business, New York and a Maîtrise en Sciences Economiques from the University of Abidjan. In 2004, he was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre National of Ivory Coast.

Nicolas J. Firzli

Director-General of the World Pensions Council

Nicolas J. Firzli is the Director-General of the World Pensions Council (WPC), a leading association of public and private retirement institutions, social security funds and pension trustees organisations, working continually to safeguard the long-term viability of employee benefits programs in the Northern Hemisphere as well as the developing jurisdictions of Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Nic is the Co-Chair of the World Pensions & Investments Forum (WPI) and the International Asset Owners Summit (IAO) organized in collaboration with the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and regional and national pension associations from Australia, PRC, the UK and the Americas. He is also a Member of the Board of Advisors for the World Bank Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF), a collaborative supranational initiative led by the World Bank Group, seeking to encourage long-term private capital allocation into modern infrastructure assets in developing economies and frontier jurisdictions – notably Sub-Saharan Africa.

Rafael Stone

Partner, Foster Pepper PLLC

Mr Rafael Stone is a Member at Foster Pepper PLLC . He is a Trustee at Washington State University – Pullman. Mr Stone was appointed to the Board of Regents in April of 2000. He chairs the firm’s Institutional Pensions Investing and Operations Practice Group at Foster Pepper & Shefelman, PLLC. He has more than 25 years’ experience representing institutional investors, advisors, consultants, and U.S. corporations in a wide variety of national and international real estate and business investments. Regent Stone is a member of the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys, Pension Real Estate Association, American Bar Association and Washington State Bar Association.

Geofrey Lipman

Former Assistant Secretary General, UNWTO

Geoffrey Lipman is the former Assistant Secretary-General of the UNWTO.

He is Chair of responsible sustainable tourism firms Green Globe 21and Green Global Village (GGV). He is President of the International Council of Tourism Partners and Senior Tourism Research Fellow at George Washington University in the United States.

Mr Lipman was the first President of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). Prior to this he spent 20 years with the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Yaw Sarpong

Associate Director of Investment Banking, Africa Investor (Ai) Capital

Yaw Nsafoa Sarpong has been involved in Investment Banking for over 22years.

In 1991, he joined the Australian New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) London.

This is where his initial training in Investment Banking and Treasury was obtained.

He returned to Ghana in 1992 and joined the Corporate Finance Division of Merchant Bank Ghana Limited.

Yaw quickly rose through the ranks at Merchant Bank Ghana Limited.

He was appointed Head/Merban Stockbrokers Ltd in 1994 and subsequently Head, Corporate Finance (1998) which eventually led to his promotion as Head of Merchant Bank’s Investment Banking Division overseeing five key units, (three wholly-owned subsidiaries and two departments of the Bank).

Albert Essien

Former CEO, Ecobank

Albert Essien worked at Ecobank for more than 20 years, rising to the position of Group CEO before retirement.

Dr Ken Kwaku

Special Advisor to Former President Mkapa

Ken Kwaku is Special Advisor to the former President of Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa.

Prior to this he was Chief Representative for Africa at the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and has worked with the World Bank Group since 1976. From 1995 to 1998 he served as advisor to the Minister of Trade and Industry of Namibia.

Dr Kwaku gained a BA from McGill University, an MA and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Dr Thabane Vincent Maphai

Former Chairman, BHP Billiton

Dr Maphai has an unusual and distinguished career in academia, private sector and public service. Until 31 March 2014, when he retired from full-time work after 44 years, he was the Corporate Affairs and Transformation Director at The South African Breweries Limited. Previously, was Chairman of BHP Billiton Ltd, South Africa for five years. He served on various company boards, including Tongaat Hulett. Currently he is on the board of Discovery Holdings, and chairs the boards of Taquanta Investment Holdings, as well as the Rand Mutual Assurance. He has also been involved in various public policy projects and roles including the National Planning Commission, the Presidential Review Commission (Chair), and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).