Ed Barnett assumed the role of Head of Africa Strategy and Resourcing at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in October 2023. Prior, he served as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at the British Embassy in Mogadishu. Ed’s civil service career commenced in 2012 as an education adviser with the Department for International Development (DFID), including a 4-year stint in Uganda.
From 2019 to 2021, he led the UK’s humanitarian efforts in Lebanon, addressing the Beirut Port explosion. Recently, Ed managed the FCDO’s Humanitarian Response Group in the UK, overseeing the response to the Russia/Ukraine crisis. Preceding his civil service career, he worked with VSO and various NGOs and earned a PhD in economics of education at the London School of Economics.
Eugene Nizeyimana, an entrepreneurial engineer and international management consultant, boasts 20+ years of experience in diverse industries, spanning 15 global markets. As the Managing Partner of SSCG Consulting and CEO of the African Business Chamber (AfBC), he excels in Professional Services, Management Consulting, Oil and Gas (E&P), Technology, Manufacturing, and Automotive sectors.
Eugene serves on the boards and as a Business Advisory Panel member at Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA). His extensive background includes roles with International Oil Companies, Innovate UK, Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), GTC Energy, NHS Institute of Innovation, and major automotive OEMs like Jaguar Land Rover, BMW, and Alexander Dennis.
Louisa Kiwana Olafuyi is the Co-founder and Director of Kunda Kids, an award-winning children’s publishing and media company based in London, United Kingdom. As a member of the Diversity and Community Committee for Publishing Education, her impact extends far beyond.
With experience from Cambridge University Press to Unilever, her consumer insight and marketing expertise have propelled Kunda Kids globally. A journalist turned podcaster and blogger, she’s also been part of transformative projects like TEDxEuston.
Louisa’s mission is deeply personal: to provide children with a global cultural perspective, especially focused on portraying Africa in an engaging, educational way. Recognized as a finalist in the Black British Business Awards (Arts & Media) and the Black in Business Awards 2023, her commitment is to empowering children to explore the world with confidence, curiosity, and limitless dreams.”
Olamide Oladosu is based in London and specializes in energy and infrastructure projects across Africa. He acts for sponsors and lenders on all aspects of international project financings (including upstream and midstream oil and gas projects, petrochemicals, and power).
He is admitted in England & Wales as well as in Nigeria with close to two decades of experience advising clients on transactions relating to energy, infrastructure, and financial services. Previous experience includes Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria where he was General Counsel and one of the leading Nigerian law firms where he was an energy and projects partner.
Olamide is the Africa Practice Leader for Banks and DFIs.
Toni Adeeyo Idah is an Executive Director at a large European Bank, currently serving as a Chief of Staff in the Office of the Global Compliance Chief Operating Officer (COO).
At the core of her role is partnering with senior executes to drive strategic initiatives and problem solve around people, cost and the executive mandate. Prior to becoming a Chief of Staff, Toni was a Compliance Officer at a large American bank focused on delivering programs and initiatives for Asset Management.
Toni has spent nearly a decade in the financial services industry predominantly in Compliance collaborating with senior executives, advising stakeholders on regulations and delivering strategic projects.
Beyond her day job, Toni is an active contributor and passionate advocate for women and people from minority backgrounds as a means to driver change and foster diversity in the financial services industry.
Faith Abiodun, the Executive Director of UWC International since 2021. He has a diverse background as an education and social enterprise leader, international affairs analyst, writer, and speaker. With nearly a decade at the African Leadership Academy in South Africa, he excelled in leadership, communications, and partnerships.
Faith also founded the ALA Model African Union, engaging 1,500+ young leaders. Prior, he was a journalist, founded The Speech Academy and Future Africa, worked in corporate communications, and contributed to Catalyst 2030. Faith holds degrees from the University of Ibadan and Syracuse University and is a News Decoder Board of Trustees member.
Funmi is a creative executive with a focus on developing TV & Film content for UK and African audiences.
Before consulting for studios and production companies, she was a Creative Associate in the African Original Series team at Netflix where she worked on popular titles such as Young, Famous & African (Pan-African), Blood & Water (SA), How To Ruin Christmas (SA), Miseducation (SA) and King Of Boys: Return of the King (NG).
Her experience also includes TV development stints at Endemol Shine UK, Drama Republic and Two Cities Television; as well as assessing scripts for leading screenwriting competitions such as the BBC Writersroom (Comedy & Drama) and the 4Screenwriting Course.
She holds an MSc in African Studies from the University of Oxford, and a BA in Politics with International Relations from the University of York.
Ademola Bamgbose is a Solicitor Advocate with full rights of audience in English courts for civil matters. He specializes in high-value commercial arbitrations across various sectors and jurisdictions, especially in emerging markets. His expertise includes advising on Africa-related disputes and risk management. Before joining Hogan Lovells, he worked at the ICC International Court of Arbitration in Paris and a leading commercial law firm in Lagos, representing corporate and government entities in complex disputes.
Ademola played a key role in drafting Sierra Leone’s arbitration law in November 2020 and is actively involved in discussions on African development. He holds significant positions in arbitration organizations and teaches at the University of Ibadan.
Dr. Abigail Branford is a dedicated scholar whose research explores the intricate dynamics of post-conflict education, postcolonial knowledge production, and issues of gender and gender-based violence in various contexts.
With a background in Transitional Justice and an MPhil in Education, Globalisation and Development from the University of Cambridge, she delved into the complex interplay of education and historical legacies, particularly regarding the understanding of the British Empire in secondary schools in England.
This exploration extended to the examination of educational institutions’ roles in shaping postcolonial knowledge. She also brings a wealth of experience from previous work on teaching apartheid histories in South Africa and the politics of academic publishing in West African universities.
With a commitment to both research and intervention against intimate partner violence, she continues to make valuable contributions to academia. Currently, Abigail serves as a lecturer in African Studies at the University of Oxford, where she also completed her doctorate at the prestigious Department of Education.
Adeoti Dipeolu serves as a Research Associate at the African Leadership Centre (ALC), based at King’s College London.
In addition to her role as a Research Associate, she is the coordinator of ALC’s “”Leading Practitioners”” initiative, which brings together esteemed senior practitioners in the fields of peace, security, and development, and is also involved in the “”Leading Feminist Voices in Africa”” project.
Dr. Dipeolu holds a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies with a focus on Security and Development from King’s College London, as well as an MA in Public Policy from the University of East Anglia.
Her research interests encompass diaspora, migration, and the intersections of peace and security.”
Tobi Otokiti is the founder of ProductDive, a large and friendly product management community of about 14,000 African career professionals. Her school has trained over 1500 product management professionals through workshops, meet-ups, webinars, career-boosting content and career fairs.
Pam is an international career coach and speaker, with a diverse background spanning across higher education scholarship programs, non-profit organisations, and graduate recruitment.
With a remarkable 14-year career journey, her work has been primarily focused on nurturing university students, graduates, and early professionals in various African countries and more recently in the UK, empowering them to access distinguished and meaningful career opportunities. She currently serves as a career consultant for LSE Careers at The London School of Economics and Political Science.
With extensive experience in designing innovative programming, providing personalised coaching, and fostering strategic partnerships Pam has made it her mission to contribute to the upliftment of first-generation university students and youth from under-resourced communities.
Based in the UK, she is a Southern African native born in Zambia, with a heart deeply rooted on the African continent.
Mariam is a Doctoral Candidate and a Vanier Scholar at the University of Toronto, where she specializes in international trade law and law and development. She was awarded the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship for her master’s in law from the University of Cambridge. She also obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
Mariam has received recognition for her work in education and development, including the 40 Next Generation Women Leaders in Nigeria by McKinsey and Co. Mariam is involved in several initiatives to increase access to education for people from underrepresented backgrounds, especially through GetIn Education Consulting, a social enterprise that has worked with students from minority backgrounds to secure scholarships worth over US$6 million.
These demonstrate her commitment to levelling the playing field for students facing education barriers. Mariam continues to inspire and make a difference through her involvement in other initiatives.
Ola Esho is a seasoned business strategist bringing over a decade of diverse experience including roles at Deloitte Consulting and service in the United States Army. She holds an MBA in Strategic Product Marketing and an MSc in Food Science and Technology from Cornell University.
Her passion lies in sustainability, understanding its pivotal role in shaping Africa’s future. She’s committed to promoting sustainable practices and commercializing effective products to the African market.
She is devoted to the mission of elevating African talents to the global stage. She strives to leverage the vast expertise and influence of the African Diaspora to drive the continent forward, fostering collaboration, innovation, and progress within and beyond Africa’s borders. In her free time, Ola enjoys listening to podcasts, dancing, and exploring diverse cuisines.