H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar

President, Islamic Development Bank

Dr. Hajjar is President of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB); a multilateral development bank that fosters the economic development and social progress of 57 member countries and Muslim communities. Dr. Hajjar served as Minister of Hajj and the Minister of Culture and Information in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He has been active in the promotion of human rights and was the founder of the Saudi National Society for Human Rights. He has a PhD in Economics from Loughborough University.

H.E. President Macky Sall

President of the Republic of Senegal

President Macky Sall was elected fourth President of the Republic of Senegal in March of 2012, he took office on April 2, 2012. President Macky Sall also holds the position of Chairperson of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee.

President Sall was Prime Minister for three years from 2004 to 2007, thus becoming the longest-serving Prime Minister at that time under the President. Initially little-known, he made his mark from his first keynote speech addressing the leaders of the opposition to introduce his general policy. Mr. Sall then proceeded to work on the implementation of State projects that had been shelved: highways, Dakar’s “Corniche” (coastal line of the Capital), the new airport, etc. Additionally, as Chief of Cabinet he ran the campaign for the President’s reelection in 2007.

President Macky Sall is also a member of several national and international associations of geologists and geophysicists, having trained as a geological engineer and geophysicist at the Institute of Earth Sciences of Dakar (IST), and the National School for Petroleum and Engines (ENSPM) of the French Petroleum Institute of Paris (IFP).

Dr. Hayat Sindi

Chief Advisor to the President, Science, Technology and Innovation, Islamic Development Bank

Dr. Hayat is a leading biotechnologist and a champion of science and technology in the Middle East. In 1995, she became the first woman from the Gulf to obtain a Ph.D. in biotechnology from Cambridge. With a team from Harvard, she co- founded Diagnostics For All to create affordable diagnostic devices for people in impoverished regions. She has launched the i2 Institute for Imagination and Ingenuity to encourage innovation among young scientists, technologists and engineers. Dr. Sindi is a Goodwill Ambassador for Sciences at UNESCO; one of 25 global experts selected by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to the UN Scientific Advisory Board; and a member of the Ten Members Group to support the technological facilitation mechanism (TFM) for the SDGs.

Forest Whitaker

Founder and CEO, Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative

Forest Whitaker, artist and social activist, is the founder and CEO of the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI), whose mission is to empower young women and men to become leaders, peacemakers and entrepreneurs in their communities through a unique conflict resolution and peace building program, combined with innovative use of technology and skills building. Mr Whitaker is also the UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, and a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group. In 2014, he started collaborating with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, a topic on which he was invited to speak before the Security Council in September of that year. Whitaker is also one of Hollywood’s most accomplished and versatile figures, having received the 2007 Academy Award for Best Actor. Through WPDI, he has developed the Youth Peacemaker Network, a global peacebuilding social network with hubs in South Sudan, South Africa, Uganda, and Mexico. He and WPDI are committed to providing educational tools and economic opportunities to young women and men in regions touched by violence and armed conflict.

Amadou Hott

Minister of Economy, Planning and Cooperation, Government of Senegal

Amadou Hott, has over twenty years of experience in the private sector that spans across structured finance, investment banking, infrastructure investments and development of integrated energy solutions.

Before his appointment as the Minister of Economy, Planning and Cooperation, Gov. of Senegal, Amadou Hott worked at the African Development Bank where he was the Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth at the African Development Bank.

He also worked as Director for Africa for the Millennium Finance Corporation, where he was responsible for project finance transactions covering energy, mining, ICT and banking, etc. in Africa and the Middle East.

As well as serving as the Minister of Economy, Planning and Cooperation, Mr Hott is a Lecturer at the University Gaston Berger of Saint Louis, Senegal. He is Founder of FONSIS (Sovereign Wealth Fund of Senegal for Strategic Investments) and Co-Founder of the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Senegal, where he is spearheading major infrastructure investments, including energy projects and renewable energy and Afribridge Capital, an advisory and Investment Company, where advises on power, energy, information, communications and technologies, mining and banking sectors.

Bukky Shonibare

Founder, Girl Child Africa,
Coordinator of #BringBackOurGirls Movement & #ChurchMeToo Movement

Bukky Shonibare is the Founder of Girl Child Africa, Coordinator of #ChurchMeToo movement, and one of the leaders of the #BringBackOurGirls movement in Nigeria. She is a peace and security expert, and a human rights advocate with focus on women and girls.

Bukky hold a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) with First Class Honours, B.Sc in Business Administration (First Class), and Master's in Managing Peace and Security in Africa (A). She also hold dual Certificates in Journalism, and Creative Writing from the London School of Journalism; and dual Certificates in Social Sector Management, and Entrepreneurial Management from the Pan Atlantic University, Nigeria.

Bukky has received some awards and recognitions, including being named a 'Nigerian Star' by the US Embassy in Nigeria (May 2019), Glazia’s Person of the Year in the Philanthropy and Advocacy category (January 2018), one of the 100 Most Inspiring Women in Nigeria (March 2018), and one of Quartz Africa’s Innovators at the World Economic Forum (May 2017). Bukky is a 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow, an initiative of the United States Department of States.

Elvis Eze

Malaria and Health Systems Strengthening Expert, Malaria No More UK

Elvis Eze grew up in Nigeria and started out his career as a medical doctor at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. He has since continued his clinical practice in London most recently working as an emergency medicine doctor within the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS).

Elvis also has experience in global health understudying health systems and providing technical support through his work at the Commonwealth Secretariat.

He shares his varied experiences and engages at important platforms to mobilise resources to end Malaria, notably delivering the call to action at the 2018 Malaria summit in London during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

This year, Elvis launched the voice petition with David Beckham to support the successful replenishment of the Global Fund for HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He was most recently recognised and featured by Bill Gates for his ongoing work on ending malaria.

He is currently focused on malaria elimination and health systems strengthening working on initiatives with Malaria No More UK, Results UK, Gates Foundation and the Global Fund to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 3.

Elvis is a leisure long distance runner, and has run 3 full marathons- the Paris, Athens and Amsterdam Marathons.

Jamie Chung

Interim Managing Director, Babyl Health

Jamie Chung is the Interim Managing Director of Babyl, the largest digital healthcare company in Rwanda and a subsidiary of Babylon, which has the mission to put affordable and accessible healthcare in the hands of everyone on earth. Jamie previously worked in strategy consulting in the UK and in Switzerland.

She holds a BA from Brown University and an MPhil from University of Cambridge, both in Development Studies.  

BA Housseynou

Digital Health Expert, World Health Organization

I have been working since 2014 as an expert in digital health at the level of the Department of Health Systems Strengthening at the level of WHO Africa for the promotion and use of digital health services at the level of the health systems of the Member States. In this context I support countries to develop and implement E-Health strategies and monitor and evaluate their impact on country health systems.

Before joining the WHO, I headed the ICT Department of the telecommunications operator MAURITEL from the former Office of Posts and Telecommunications of Mauritania for 10 years. During this period I led several projects and programs including the connection of Mauritania to the Internet in 1997 and the development of the National Network of Data Transmission. I also participated in several programs at the African level including the creation of AFRINIC.

Between 2001 and 2006, I was National Director of ICT in my country. During this period I coordinated the development of the national ICT strategy and implemented the E-GOV project in 2005. I also had to contribute to the development of telemedicine in Mauritania with the technical and financial support of the International Telecommunication Union and the University Hospital of Geneva.

Between 2007 and 2010, I served as Secretary General at the level of the Ministries of Employment and Vocational Training, Telecommunications and the Ministry of Administration Modernization.

From 2010 to 2013 I held the positions of Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development and Minister of Health.
Parallel to my administrative duties I gave courses at the University of Nouakchott and I was president of the Internet Society section of Mauritania.

I graduated from the National Institute of Telecommunications of Rabat in Morocco and from the National School of Electronics and Applications (ENSEA) of Cergy in France.

Dr Flavia Schlegel

International Science Council's inaugural Special Envoy for Science in Global Policy

Dr Flavia Schlegel has had a distinguished international career which includes positions at UNESCO and as a Science Diplomat in Washington DC, USA and Shanghai, China. Before joining the ISC, Dr Schlegel was the Assistant Director General for UNESCO’s Natural Sciences sector. During her tenure, she oversaw UNESCO’s response to multilateral development agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework on disaster risk reduction and the Samoa Pathway.  Prior to her time at UNESCO, Dr Schlegel established swissnex China – the Swiss house for science, technology, innovation, and culture in Shanghai – a trans-disciplinary institution supported by public and private funding. She also served as Vice-Director for Public Health at the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health. Dr Schlegel holds a Medical Doctorate and a Master’s Degree in Organisational Development.

Since April 2019, Dr Schlegel serves as the ISC Special Envoy for Science in Global Policy. The appointment of a Special Envoy aims to strengthen ISC’s vision to advance science as a global public good. One of Dr Schlegel’s key roles is to strengthen relations and cooperation between the ISC and the UN family.

Yacine Barro Bourgault

Director of the Small and Medium Business Segment for Emerging Markets in the Africa and Middle East region, Microsoft

Yacine grew up and followed her primary and secondary studies in Senegal. Then graduated from INSEEC Paris (a French Business school), she began her career as Sales Manager at Cisco Systems in Paris.

She then returned to Senegal in 2004 to open the first representation of Microsoft as Business Development Manager for West and Central Africa. In 2008, Yacine joined the headquarters of the Celtel Group (now Bharti) in Amsterdam to launch the corporate segment of the mobile phone operator in 21 African countries.

With her experience, which enabled her to acquire a proven versatility in strategy, project management and business development, Yacine embarks on the Africa24 adventure and launched the first international news channel on Africa.  She held the position of CEO and led the daily deployment of Africa24 in the global media landscape.

In July 2017, Yacine returns to Microsoft as General Manager of the West and Central Africa Region, based in Dakar. A year later, she was very quickly promoted to the position of Director of the Small and Medium Business Segment for Emerging Markets in the Africa and Middle East region.

Ibrahima Khaliloulah DIA

Digital Health Expert and Coordinator of Digital Health and Health Card, Ministry of Health and Action, Government of Senegal

From 2008 to 2016, I coordinated the Ministry's Health Card Office. In 2016, I was appointed coordinator of the Health and Social Card Unit, Digital Health and Health Observatory (CSSDOS) which is attached to the Secretary General of MSAS.

I coordinated the development and implementation of several health maps and the National Digital Health Strategy. I currently pilot digital projects related to the patient file and telemedicine.

I am associate professor at the African Center of Studies and Management (CESAG of Dakar), at Alioune DIOP University of Bambey. I teach at the Public Health Institute of Dakar (ISED) and at the Department of Geography of UCAD. I conducted my academic research in the areas of the Health Information System, Geo-information and Environment and Health.

I graduated from the University Cheikh Anta DIOP Dakar (UCAD) with a doctorate postgraduate degree in January 2012, the National School of Health and Social Development (ENDSS), the Faculty of Science and Technology of the Education and Training Dakar (former Ecole Normale Supérieure) and the University of Science, Technology and Technology of Bamako and Felix Houphouet BOIGNY University of Abidjan

Godfrey Mutizwa

Financial Journalist

Godfrey Mutizwa is a freelance financial journalist based in Johannesburg. He has covered African business for the past 34 years across print and broadcast media working for both regional and international media.

Previously, Godfrey was Chief Editor of CNBC Africa and before that spent a decade at Bloomberg News and Reuters. He currently writes for publications including City Press and Acumen. He presents Power Lunch and Closing Bell on CNBC Africa and also occasionally presents business on Johannesburg-based radio station Power FM.

Godfrey has covered and moderated debates at international conferences like the World Economic Forum in Davos and annual meetings of the African Development Bank and the Africa Export-Import Bank.

Abdoulaye SENE

President of the organizing committee and Executive Secretary of the 9th World Water Forum "Dakar 2021"

Abdoulaye SENE is the President of the organizing committee and Executive Secretary of the 9th World Water Forum "Dakar 2021".

He is the founding President of the International Reflection Group "Global Local Forum", former President of the Regional Council of the Fatick Region (2002-2009), former Deputy and President of the Commission on Development and Spatial Planning of the National Assembly of Senegal (2007-2012), in charge of the water, energy, environment and sustainable development sectors in particular. 

Abdoulaye SENE, was from 2013 to 2017, Chairman of the Board of Directors of SOGEM/OMVS (in charge of the management of hydroelectric dams of the Organization for the Development of the Senegal River). He was Senior Technical Advisor to the Minister of Mines, Energy and Hydraulics of Senegal (2001-2002), Head of the Mission for the Study and Development of Fossil Valleys (1994-2000), Director of Rural Engineering and Hydraulics of Senegal (1990-1994), Director of the Maintenance and Care of Hydraulic Works (1984-1990).

He was a member of various Boards of Directors of national, sub-regional and international institutions working in the water, rural development, environment and decentralization sectors.

Abdoulaye SENE, is a Civil Engineering Engineer (École Polytechnique Thiès, 1978), specialized in hydraulics (Master's degree from École Polytechnique de Montréal, 1981).

He has provided various national and international courses, conferences, consultations and expertise in the fields of water, rural development, decentralization, climate change and governance.

Entertainment by Youssou N’Dour

Youssou N’Dour wants the world to stop haggling over the wealth of Africa, a continent where Senegal plays a leading role. 

Six years after the reggae campaign and his Bob Marley cover on the Dakar-Kingston album, the Prince of the Medina of Dakar has been back in the recording studio.

While he was serving as Minister of Culture and then Tourism in the government of President Macky Sall (elected in 2012), he put his artistic activities on hold, but his current status as ‘Minister Advisor to the President’ has given him more leeway. “In Africa, there’s a dynamic movement driven by culture. Africa needs a smile on its face and must show its strengths. Senegal is a strong, pacific country with deep roots. 

Extending the bridges that Youssou N’Dour is keen to build between diasporas, Africa Rekkbrings us Song Daan, a duo with rap and R&B star Akon, who was born in the USA and raised as a child in Senegal.