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What African Business Leaders Need to Know about Social Movements that Have Gained Momentum in 2020

A moderated discussion on how the current crises, health and economic, have focussed a bright light on numerous social issues facing Africans including inequitable access to healthcare, the economic vulnerability of workers, occupational safety and wellbeing, temporary improvements in air and water quality resulting from lockdowns, police brutality and excessive use of force, disparities in access to technology, and more.

This panel will explore what next-generation leaders expect from business leadership today.  Social movements can organize overnight, and many a brand is caught off-guard if they have not demonstrated leadership on these issues, or if they do not address the issues in ways that are perceived as genuine and impactful.


Sim Tshabalala

Group Chief Executive, Standard Bank Group

Sim Tshabalala serves as Group Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director of Standard Bank Group Limited as of January 15, 2018.

Mr. Tshabalala holds a BA (Rhodes University), LLB (Rhodes University), LLM (University of Notre Dame, USA), HDip Tax (Wits), AMP (Harvard).

He is a banker with over 22 years’ experience in the financial services industry, joined the group in 2000 in the project finance division of SCMB and was appointed to the group executive committee in 2001.

Between 2001 and 2006, he was the managing director of Stanbic Africa, and from 2006 was appointed chief executive of PBB. In June 2008, he was appointed chief executive of SBSA and was appointed SBG chief executive in 2013.

Jide Zeitlin

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Tapestry, Inc.

Jide J. Zeitlin is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tapestry, Inc., a New York-based house of modern luxury lifestyle brands.  The Company’s portfolio includes Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman. Tapestry is a New York Stock Exchange listed company that is included in the S&P 500 and the Fortune 500 composites.

Mr. Zeitlin spent the first 20 years of his career at The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., where he held a number of senior management positions including serving as Global Chief Operating Officer of their investment banking businesses. He also served in the firm’s Executive Office. Over the next decade, Mr. Zeitlin was a private investor overseeing the Keffi Group Ltd, an investment office that has life science and natural resource interests in the Middle East, the United States, and Africa.

 Mr. Zeitlin is a member of a number of corporate and charitable boards, such as Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. (US$800 billion in assets under management) and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (where he is Chairman).  He is Chairman Emeritus of Amherst College and formerly served on the boards of a range of institutions, including Teach for America, Harvard Business School, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

 Mr. Zeitlin holds an A.B. degree, magna cum laude, in Economics and English and a Ph.D., Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, both from Amherst College and an M.B.A. degree from Harvard University.

Kamil Olufowobi

CEO, Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD)

Kamil is a true embodiment of “Thinking Globally and Acting Locally,”​ he’s lived, schooled, worked and/or visited 30+ countries on 5 continents. He generally considers himself a “global citizen”​ with a passion for Africa.

He has a master’s degree in Global Affairs with concentrations  in Economics, International Relations and International Law from the Center for Global Change and Governance at Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA.

“I am a connectologist. Since 2002, I been studying and practicing the act of connectology which is the connecting of two or more people for the purpose of sharing ideas, information and resources to create WIN WIN outcomes. In English, many call this “networking for success” but at MIPAD, the World’s #1 EXCELLENCE Network, we call this connectology!

“With over 15 years of global work experiences, I have developed solid global commercial acumen with a proven track record to lead teams and deliver outstanding results. I have in-depth understanding of business networking, negotiations, relationship and project management skills” – Kamil Olufowobi

Tara Durotoye

Founder & CEO, House of Tara International

Tara Fela-Durotoye is a Beauty Entrepreneur who pioneered the professional make up industry in Nigeria in the late 90’s. She is the founder and current C.E.O of House of Tara International. She is considered a major force in the Nigerian female entrepreneurship community having created an impact business that has empowered tens of thousands of beauty entrepreneurs through the “Tara Beauty Entrepreneur” initiative. 

As a game changer in Nigerian business, Tara has served as a powerful role model for women in business, and worked as an advocate for creating awareness of the importance of building businesses that positively impact society. She’s a huge advocate of impact entrepreneurship and is considered the poster girl for female entrepreneurship in West Africa. 

Under her leadership, House of Tara emerged one of jobberman’s best 100 companies to work for in Nigeria 2017 and continues to be considered the number one indigenous make up brand for Nigerian women. She has received several national and international Awards for her contribution to the industry and active role in Entrepreneurship and Empowerment; the Most Outstanding Business Woman of the Year 2018 by the African Economy Builders Awards Abidjan. Also in 2018, Tara received the African Makeup Icon by Ghana Makeup Awards as well as the Leadership Award for Entrepreneurship by Harvard Business School Association of Nigeria, and the most recent in 2019 the award of excellence for Social Impact and Job Creation, a National Recognition by the Vice President of Nigeria. 

In 2013 she was on Forbes list of 20 young power women in Africa and more recently in 2020 top 50 Africa most powerful women. She is an alumnus of the of Lagos Business School Chief Executive Programme, INSEAD Abu Dhabi, Yale University, The Stanford SEED Transformation Programme, and the Harvard Kennedy School having completed the Global Leadership and Public Policy in the 21st century, She is a member of the France/Nigeria Investment club which was incorporated in 2018 by the French President Emmanuel Macron She serves on several boards which includes Bridge International Academies, So Fresh Neighborhood and African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC) New York. 

Vanessa Nakate

Climate Change Activist

Vanessa Nakate is a climate activist from Uganda . She was the First Fridays For Future climate activist in Uganda and founder of the Rise up Climate Movement in order to amplify the voices of activists from Africa. She is also the founder of 1MILLION Activist stories, a project that shares stories of different climate activists across the world. Her work includes raising awareness to the danger of climate change, the causes and the impacts .She spear led the campaign , Save Congo rain forest which is facing massive deforestation. This campaign later spread to other countries from Africa to Europe. She is working on a project that involves installation of solar and institutional stoves in schools.

Diallo Shabazz

Co-Founder Birthright AFRICA

Diallo Shabazz is the Co-Founder of Birthright AFRICA leveraging his background as a global education advisor and sustainability expert who has worked with government agencies and NGOs in North America, Asia, and Africa. 

Diallo previously served as Chief Administrator for the DC 37 Education Fund, managing workforce strategy and training for the nation’s largest municipal public sector labor union in NYC. He also previously served as Senior Director of Sustainability Education at the NYC Department of Education to support the nation’s largest school system on structuring public/private partnerships with Fortune 500 corporations to improve career and technical education. From 2011 – 2013, 

Diallo was appointed as a North American Civil Society Representative for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which he represented at ministerial-level meetings on the Post-2015 Agenda and sustainable development goals in Europe and Africa. Diallo previously worked for the NAACP where he specialized in youth development, civil rights, and community empowerment. An avid speaker and moderator, Diallo has hosted numerous forums and appeared on various media outlets including UN Web TV, New York Public Radio, and ABC’s 20/20. He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where his family migrated from the American South and raised him in the Yoruba traditions of Nigerian culture.

Vusi Thembekwayo

CEO MyGrowthFund Venture Capital

Mr. Vusi Thembekwayo is an acclaimed business mogul and global speaker.  He is the CEO of a boutique investment & advisory firm in Africa. 

At 25 he ran a R400mn division in a R17bn multi-national and today is widely regarded as one of the most disruptive forces in venture capital in Africa. He was amongst the youngest directors of a listed company in South Africa and now serves on several boards.

Mr. Thembekwayo has already collected numerous accolades and awards as businessperson, entrepreneur and international public speaker. Mr. Thembekwayo completed a PDBA and a course on advanced valuation techniques with the Gordon Institute of Business Science and completed a Management Acceleration Programme (Cum Laude) with the Wits Business School. 

His speaking achievements include the international hit talk “The Black Sheep” which he delivered to the Top 40 CEOs in Southern Africa, addressing the Australian Houses of Parliament and speaking at the British House of Commons. To add to this, Vusi speaks in 4 of the 7 continents over 350,000 people each year.

Phyllis Wakiaga

CEO, Kenya Association of Manufacturers

Phyllis Wakiaga is the Chief Executive of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), one of Kenya’s leading business associations with over 800 members.

Prior to her appointment, Phyllis was the Head of Policy Research and Advocacy Unit at Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM). The Unit provides the overall direction in the policy and advocacy work of the Association. She has successfully led the partnership with the National Council on the Administration of Justice to develop the Enforcement Manual to Combat Illicit Trade in Kenya and worked with the Commission on Revenue Allocation on the County Money Bills Project amongst other achievements.

Phyllis represents KAM on the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI), Anti Counterfeit Agency (ACA), COMESA Business Council and is a member of the Kenya Consumer Protection Advisory Committee (KECOPAC). She is also the Chair of the Kenya Water Industrial Alliance and a member of the Governing Council of the Management University of Africa.

Before joining KAM she was the Manager for Government and Industry Affairs at Kenya Airways where she was a key member of the Government of Kenya delegations negotiating bilateral air services agreements and was responsible for building and maintaining Government and Industry relations. She was a member of the East African Community Facilitation Team that ensured improvements across all airports in East Africa. She previously worked at Otieno Omuga and Ouma Advocates.

Phyllis is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and holds a Masters in International Trade and Investment Law at the University of Nairobi, Masters in Business Administration from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of Nairobi, Diploma in Law from Kenya School of Law, a and a Higher Diploma in Human Resource Management from the Institute of Human Resources Management Kenya.

Adebola Williams

Co-Founder & CEO, Red Media Africa

Adebola Williams is the co-founder and Group CEO of RED | For Africa, the continent’s largest portfolio of youth-focused media brands including Red Media Africa, StateCraft Inc., The Future Awards Africa, and Y!/

A pioneer at the intersection of media, democracy, and social change, Adebola has been profiled by Forbes and CNN as the man who helped elect a trifecta of Presidents in Africa. His journey in media and television began in the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) with advocacy for youth and good governance. He co-founded Enough is Enough (EiE), Nigeria’s foremost civic participation platform and a premier voice for young people on politics.  He later resigned as the board chairman to steer the rebranding of the current Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari through a re-aligned national discourse and optimized media engagement, changing longstanding perceptions and swaying the elections.

Subsequent media campaigns helped Ghana’s opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo win the presidency on his third attempt, and also President Macky Sall of Senegal to extend his presidency into a second term. Adebola currently consults in other regions on the continent. His work in corporate marketing and communication across different sectors has earned him and Red Media Africa several awards on the continent including SABRE, LaPriga, Marketing Edge, Young Cannes and the C4F Marketing awards in Davos.

His 2017 cross-continental speaking tour cut across several conferences at Ivy League schools including Harvard, Columbia, Yale, and Oxford University. His address during the 2017 Obama Summit went viral and earned a rare standing ovation from the former President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.