An International Women’s Day event, sponsored by Google Africa.
Celebrating and supporting the women making a name for themselves in the business world.
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Vice President, African Development Bank
Ms. Yacine FAL, currently Director-General, Cabinet Office of the President, as the Acting Vice President, Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery of the African Development Bank Group. Her appointment is effective from 17 December 2021. In her current position as Director General, Ms. Fal oversees the administrative and operational work and activities of the Cabinet Office of the President. This includes providing oversight of all units and departments reporting directly to the President.
At last, the world is waking up to the power and resilience of the African woman – the backbone of society. They are the drivers of the continent’s economic and social transformation. An opportunity for a woman is an opportunity for (us) all.
Director: Google West Africa
Juliet Ehimuan is Director leading Google’s business strategy in West Africa. She was named by Forbes as one of the top 20 power women in Africa, by the London Business School as one of 30 people changing the world, and MIPAD as one of the Most Influential People of African Descent. She has also been featured in the BBC Africa Power Women series, and on CNN Innovate Africa.
With over 25 years of experience primarily in Technology, Oil & Gas, and New Media industries across EMEA; Juliet is a leading voice on Innovation, Transformation, and Leadership. She has received numerous awards for her outstanding contribution to the digital landscape in Africa.
Juliet holds an Executive MBA from the London Business School, a Postgraduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge; and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. She is a recipient of the London Business School Global Women’s Scholarship.
Juliet is an Executive Coach and a member of the Forbes Coaches Council. She is also an author and recently published 30 Days of Excellence, a leadership and personal effectiveness guide.
Managing Director, Google SSA
Nitin Gajria is Google’s Managing Director for Sub-Saharan Africa- where he works to make the internet more helpful for Africa – leveraging technology as an enabler for amazing things. Nitin will of been at Google for 8 years next month, and previously led YouTube’s business in India & South-East Asia, and led Google in Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos.
PR Lead, Google Kenya / Communications & Public Affairs Manager, Kenya
Sharon Machira is a multimedia journalist and decorated podcaster with over eight years of experience in telling African stories. I’m currently the PR Lead for Google in Kenya and I am excited to tell stories about badass African Women breaking biases.
CEO, Pure Purple Ltd
Yolanda Odida is the CEO and Founder of Pure Purple Ltd a Footwear and Accessories brand in Kenya with a strong manufacture local focus centered around one of Africa’s underutilized natural resources; leather.
Africa holds 20% global share in hides which is significant enough to have transformative impact in her economies however she is plagued by low consumption. Case in point Kenya is one of the top 4 producers of hides in Africa yet she exports 90% of her hides in raw semi-processed form.
Of the 10% she retains and fully processes her local industries are not developed enough to exhaustively consume.
The formulation of Pure Purple’s manufacture local arm is in response to this. We understand the ripple effect in impact of home grown manufacture cross continent and are passionate about
premium local value addition. We do this with sensitivities around fair wages, wealth creation, community impact, sustainability, scalability, skills and technological advancements,
Yolanda is a Finance Professional and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with 12+ Years of experience working in global multinational corporations holding regional roles covering Europe and Africa, namely at General Electric and Standard Chartered Bank. She holds an MBA, an MSc. in Finance and an Economics Bachelors.
Yolanda believes that the characteristics of great leadership are not gender specific. Our mission is to deconstruct such crippling biases by being the example of a scaling woman led business that incubates, advocates and amplifies for equal opportunities for the African woman to be groomed, nurtured and enabled to lead across the value chains and ecosystems in which we exist.
Senior Vice President, African Development Bank
Ms. Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala is the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) Senior Vice-President having been appointed to the position in November 2021. Prior to that she was the Vice President Finance and Chief Finance Officer since November 2018 and the acting Senior Vice President from March 2020 to October 2021. Reporting directly to the Bank’s President, Ms. Tshabalala has broad responsibilities for coordinating the overall work program of the entire group, in fulfilment of the Bank’s Long-Term Strategy and its High 5 Operational Priorities. As Senior Vice President of the Bank Group, she is responsible for overseeing the Bank Group’s operational lending program, together with the overall management of the key administrative functions of the Bank Group including strategy and operational policies, programming and budgeting, framing of operations, procurement and financial management policies and their implementation, operations quality assurance, delivery and performance management, amongst others. As the Senior Vice President, she also chairs the Senior Management Coordination Committee (SMCC), the Operations Committee (OpsCom) and the Wakanda Steering Committee while overseeing the attainment of key corporate strategies and work program activities in line with key commitments to the Bank Group’s member countries following the Bank’s historic 7th General Capital Increase (GCI VII) and the 15th Replenishment of the Africa Development Fund (ADF15).
Ms. Tshabalala has nearly 30 years of experience in finance, treasury management, capital market operations and investments. She has a BA in Economics from Lawrence University (1989) and an MBA from Wake Forest University (1992), both in the USA.
Regional Head of Brand and Reputation, Google Africa
Head of brand and reputation at Google Sub-saharan Africa. Passionate about technology and its ability to unlock human potential and improve the general good. Diversity and inclusion champion. Broadly, her work focuses on driving economic opportunity on the continent by supporting entrepreneurship, job creation, education and gender equality. Recognised as one of the 40 leading ladies driving the Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria. Holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Lagos and a Masters in Management and Strategic Information Systems from the University of Bath.
CEO, TBWA Group South Africa
Luca Gallarelli is Group CEO of TBWA\South Africa, a multi-disciplinary group of agencies spanning the specialist to integrated spectrum. Over the last 20 years, Gallarelli has led complex multi-disciplinary teams, honing a natural ability to drive growth through organisational cohesion.
Two years into his role, Gallarelli was drawn to TBWA\ by the operational and creative potential in the collective’s multi-agency structure, including, TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris, GRID Worldwide, Yellowwood, Magna Carta and Sting Content. Leading the agency group through a period of unprecedented change, the agency collective has navigated the uncertainty emerging a stronger, more cohesive and connected collective standing as South Africa’s premier creative agency group. This has been achieved through forging an integrated operating dynamic literate in technology and rooted in the market and cultural idiom of change.
Prior to joining TBWA\South Africa, Gallarelli was Managing Director of Ogilvy Cape Town for four years and Group Managing Director of Ogilvy South Africa for two years where he led 700 multidisciplinary advertising professionals across Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. A key achievement in this role was his successful consolidation of 14 operating companies into dynamically integrated campuses covering PR, digital, advertising and shopper across South Africa.
Gallarelli is passionate about the creative product that works – measurably. Getting this right means building partnerships that provide the platform for the best thinking and work to emerge, fuelled by the power of creativity and collaboration.
A sports-mad dad, Gallarelli is a passionate and proud product of Gqeberha and the Eastern Cape.
Luca believes that diversity in the workplace is not just a moral obligation but a business imperative. It’s this very diversity and the balance it creates that sets the platform for effective conversations, debates, and innovation. Achieving this diversity in the workplace, and beyond into society at large; is a responsibility that everyone should be beholden to and none absolved of.
CEO, The Tony Elumelu Foundation
Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu is the CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Africa’s leading philanthropy empowering thousands of young African entrepreneurs from the 54 countries across the continent.
Prior to her appointment as CEO of the Foundation in 2019, Ifeyinwa held the position of Director of Partnerships & Evaluation at TEF, where she applied her passion for advocacy to introduce a sustainable model of scaling the impact of the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s $100million Entrepreneurship Programme, by forging strategic partnerships with public and private stakeholders in the global development ecosystem.
Ifeyinwa provides overall leadership and direction to her multi-talented team in executing the Foundation’s mission, which is rooted in Africapitalism and positions the private sector as the key driver of economic and social wealth creation in Africa. Ifeyinwa is passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation and is a firm advocate of the principle that the empowerment of African Entrepreneurs is the solution to tackling Africa’s key challenges – unemployment and poverty.
A Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Ifeyinwa holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Wales. She is also an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and holds a post graduate degree in Business and Executive Coaching from the Integral Africa Institute, Cape Town, South Africa. Currently, Ifeyinwa serves as the co-chair of the Steering Committee at UNICEF Generation Unlimited (GenU) Nigeria. She also chairs the UN World Food programme’s Zero Hunger Roundtable Sustainability Committee
Director Government Affairs & Public Policy,
For nearly two decades, Charles Murito helped some of the world’s leading tech, media and entertainment companies to define their strategy, grow, and advance their footprint in emerging markets. This included roles at MTV Base, Warner Bros., and Turner Broadcasting – where he served as the Director of Business Development and Strategy. While at Turner, Charles spearheaded the development & launch of an Arabic Cartoon Network channel and conceptualized the Cartoon Network Academy in Abu Dhabi, to train a generation of Arabic animators.
As of February 2020, Charles serves as Google’s Regional Director, Sub Saharan Africa, Government Affairs & Public Policy, after almost six years as Google’s Country Director for Kenya, where he oversaw amongst other responsibilities, in-country revenue growth.
Parallel to his core responsibilities as Country Director, he also served as the Diversity and Inclusion lead for EMEA emerging markets, working with the EMEA team to build a more equitable organization in which every employee can thrive. He also served as a Board Director for CSquared, a Google portfolio company.
Outside work, Charles loves good food, art, farming and is passionate about leveraging technology to drive economic development.
Finance Industry Manager & Diversity,
Equity & Inclusion Coach, Google SSA
Bridget is the Banking Industry Manager for Google South Africa with 10 years of experience in Banking and Financial Services, Consulting and Tech and Digital Transformation. She has worked with Banks all over the world including Egypt, Dubai and Saudi Arabia to help propel them into the future on their respective digital transformation journey’s. She has continued to advocate for creating diverse and inclusive work spaces and cultures to truly foster teams’ abilities to reimagine, drive and implement impossible solutions to impossible situations. Bridget is an impact driven digital native inspired by a passion for people and a champion of deep strategic partnerships to deliver value and drive change. She is also a self confessed Digital Marketing Transformation enthusiast as a means to lead organizations into the future while meaningfully connecting their consumers.
Women’s Affairs Journalist,
West Africa, BBC News
Azeezat tells stories about women and girls in Africa who are part of the underserved demography. Producing inspiring content about these people is a personal mission to get others to celebrate their wins. The world needs to know about the amazing work women are doing on the continent and the potential they have to offer. Although a lot has been achieved in empowering women and girls, she believes more still needs to be done to end cultural and religious biases.
“As a woman, I know how gender bias works, so I hope to see actions being taken by African governments and relevant organisations on gender mainstreaming to lead for a more inclusive future”
Co-founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation
Dr. Awele Elumelu is the co-founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, the leading philanthropy empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, catalysing economic growth, and driving poverty eradication and job creation across all 54 African countries. The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is its flagship initiative which has mentored, trained and funded over 15,000 young Africans since 2015.
She is also the Chairperson of Avon Healthcare Limited, Nigeria’s leading health insurance provider, and the Founder and Chairman of Avon Medical, a network of full-service clinics and onsite facilities with presence in Lagos, Delta, Rivers and Abuja, FCT.
As a Director on the Board of Heirs Holdings, a family-owned investment company committed to improving lives and transforming Africa, Dr. Elumelu oversees the healthcare investments in the portfolio where she focuses on expanding and enhancing access to quality healthcare and achieving universal healthcare coverage in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and across Africa.
She enjoys reading and running in her spare time.
Director: Google South Africa
Dr. Alistair Mokoena, a proud father of two, is the Country Director for Google South Africa. He is a qualified Chartered Marketer with 25 years corporate experience. His academic qualifications include; Bcomm, LLB, MDP, MBA and PhD in Business Administration. Alistair was a Brand Manager at Unilever, Senior Brand Manager at Tiger Brands, Marketing Manager SABMiller, and Marketing Director at Mondelez and Absa bank respectively.
In addition to marketing leadership roles, Alistair ran a number of leading multi-national advertising agencies in South, namely: he was Managing Director of FCB Advertising Agency and Group Chief Executive Officer of Ogilvy South Africa where he presided over Ogilvy’s record-setting award wins. Alistair has received many industry awards over the years including the runner-up in Marklives’ Most Admired Agency Leader of the year in 2017 and Global Brands’ Best Advertising and Marketing Leader in South Africa in 2019.
Dr Alistair Mokoena previously served on a number of Marketing and Advertising industry bodies in the following capacities: Deputy Chairman of the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA), Chairman of the Integrated Advertising Bureau (IAB) and a Member of the Advertising Regulatory Board’s Final Appeal Committee. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the University of Johannesburg’s Institute for Intelligent Systems as well as on the International Advisory Board of the Joburg Business School.
Alistair is an Assistant Professor of Practice at the Joburg Business School and an Extraordinary Professor of Practice at the North-West University Business School. He’s an external examiner for Botho University in Botswana and a post-graduate supervisor at Vega School of Advertising. Alistair has published articles in academic journals, contributed chapters to books and delivered papers at international academic conferences.
He coaches young professionals, mentors Small Micro and Medium Enterprises and is a regular guest speaker at international business schools and at industry events
Director: Google East Africa
Agnes Gathaiya is the Country Director for East Africa at Google. She is responsible for managing regional Google operations, developing and executing growth and innovation, and building and managing strategic partnerships.
Agnes has 20+ years of progressive experience in organizational transformation, predominantly focused on developing strategy and providing commercial leadership in sales and business development.
Agnes holds a Master’s in Business Administration from United States International University and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Bryn Mawr College, USA. She has also completed the Harvard University Women in Leadership program and was recognized in 2010 by Business Daily as one of the Top 40 Under 40 Women in the country.