Barlow Manilal | TIA – CEO
Mr Barlow Manilal is Chief Executive Officer of the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and he gained excellent knowledge of project engineering and manufacturing in the automotive OEM environment at Toyota SA and Mercedes-Benz SA. Whilst at Mercedes-Benz SA, he was part of the W203 programme planning team, which integrated the SA Plant into the DaimlerChrysler global planning network.
Prior to joining TIA, Mr Manilal spent 14 years at the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC), of which 7-years were as CEO. Under his leadership, the AIDC underwent a significant transformation to becoming a formidable mechanism for project delivery. Today, the AIDC is a multi-award winning company, renowned for implementing numerous world firsts and innovative concepts within the automotive sector.
He is an Editorial Advisory Board member of Transport World Africa, a representative of the Federation of Supply Chain Management Associations of South Africa as well as being part of the Automotive Industry Advisory Council to the University of Johannesburg. Mr Manilal and the AIDC have taken numerous national and international awards, including the National Business Award for the Top Performing Parastatal, on three occasions.
Malinal holds a BSc Hons. degree in Industrial Technology & Management and several other management qualifications
Melvyn Lubega | Co-founder of GO1
Melvyn Lubega is the co-founder of GO1 an online education training platform. He is also the co-founder and Director of Dev Dream, a software development company based in Cape Town.
Go1 aims to lower the barriers of entry to high quality, professional learning. Currently serving users in over twenty countries, Go1 has offices in five countries and is backed by the University of Oxford and Y-Combinator. Dev dream aims to train talented youth in the area of software engineering and leverage its community of developers to partner with companies that are in need of exceptional development professionals and solutions. Lubega holds a honours in Actuarial Science and Statistics from the University of Cape Town and completed masters degrees in Education, Learning & Technology and Public Policy at University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. Twitter: @Melvyn_Lubega
Victor Kgomoeswana | Director of Africa Is Open For Business
Victor Kgomoeswana is one of Africa’s premier commentators and an opinion leader on African business affairs, with a profile in the media and business terrains. He is a best-selling author of the book Africa is Open for Business (2014), Power FM presenter; newspaper columnist (African Independent & Sunday Independent) and professional speaker.
Until September 2013, he was Business Development Executive for PPC Ltd, a cement manufacturing company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. He also served the Chief Executive Officer of PPC Ntsika Fund (Pty) Ltd until January 2014, the enterprise development initiative of PPC Ltd, set up to support black small and medium enterprises with finance, mentoring, coaching and other forms of support. Before PPC, he was Associate Director at Ernst & Young’s Africa Business Centre, a position held since October 2009. Victor led the team that put together the database behind the firm’s Africa Interactive and Growing Beyond Borders – both tools are industry firsts among the big four firms globally.
Yolisa Phahle | CEO: M-Net
Yolisa Phahle was appointed M-Net CEO in October 2015 and manages M-Net’s business across the African continent. The M-Net channels include M-Net 101, M-Net Edge, M-Net Movies, Mzansi Magic, VUZU AMP, Channel O, kykNET, Africa Magic, Maisha Magic East, Zambezi Magic and Jango Magic.
Phahle joined M-Net in August 2005 as General Manager of Channel O before moving to head up M-Net’s Special Interest Channels in 2009. In this role, she was instrumental in driving M-Net’s local content strategy, by launching many successful local channels (Mzansi Magic, Mzansi Wethu, Mzansi Bioskop, Mzansi Magic Music and VUZU), and building a strong content team. She was appointed as M-Net SA CEO in 2013.
Born in the United Kingdom, Phahle has firm roots in South Africa. She attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, majoring in classical piano and violin, but soon found herself immersed in popular music, sharing a stage with the likes of Soul II Soul, Duran Duran, Boy Zone and Jamiroquai.
Tshepo Kgobe | Gautrain Management Agency (GMA): Senior Executive – Technical and Project Services
Tshepo Kgobe is the Senior Executive responsible for all Technical and Project services in Gautrain Management Agency (GMA). GMA is the agency that manages the Concession Agreement for the operation of the Gautrain on behalf of the Gauteng Province Government and is also responsible for the expansion and the extensions of the system.
In addition to his current role at GMA, Kgobe has taken on the responsibility of managing the Integrated Fare Management Programme for the province of Gauteng. The programme requires the integration of all transport fare management systems in all the transport modes, the development of all smart mobility services, the integration of all transport related information services into a single transport management center including related intelligent transport systems.
Kgobe is a seasoned Senior Executive who is a Certified Project Management Professional and Multidisciplinary Engineer with more than 18 years of extensive experience. He has worked both locally and in Canada to ensure efficiency in design and execution, planning and scheduling.
Mpho Mamabolo | TIA: Health Strategic Technology
Mpho Mamabolo is a research scientist who has conducted research in plant, animal and human health over the years at four research institutes in the country. Her career in the health industry started at the Forestry and Agricultural and Biotechnology Institute (FABI) before moving Agricultural Research Council (ARC), where she conducted research in animal health. She then moved to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) before joining the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).
Currently, at the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) in the Health strategic technology area, Mamabolo is tasked with the responsibility of sourcing innovative investment opportunities based on indigenous knowledge systems, complementary medicine and natural products. The agency’s other investment areas are in medical devices, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and Biologics (including vaccines).
Nicky Newton-King | CEO, Johannesburg Stock Exchange
Nicky Newton-King is the CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and a member of the JSE’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors.
Newton-King holds a BA LLB from the University of Stellenbosch and an LLM degree from the University of Cambridge, becoming a partner at law firm Webber Wentzel prior to joining the JSE.
Newton-King was a World Economic Forum Global Leader of Tomorrow in 2003 and, in the same year, South Africa’s Businesswoman of the Year. In 2006, she spent 5 months at Yale University as a Young Global Leader. Nicky serves on the Board of the World Federation of Exchanges.
McLean Sibanda | CEO, The Innovation Hub
McLean Sibanda is an engineer and patent attorney. He is the Chief Executive Officer of The Innovation Hub, a leading African Science Park. He has extensive experience in intellectual property (IP), entrepreneurship and innovation; having co-funded Sibanda & Zantwijk attorneys. He has a lot of experience working with startups from funding and incubation perspectives. For several years, he has served as a judge in a number of local and international competitions, including the SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards, the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), including chairing the judges panel for the IPA2015.
Sibanda has served as a judge for the SAB Foundation for at least 4 editions and has also served as an Expert to the African Union (AU), World Intellectual Property Organisation, and the Department of Science and Technology on IP and innovation matters. He currently serves on the Boards of the National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO), IASP, and African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF).
Litha Soyizwapi | Founder: Lightos Digital
Litha Soyizwapi is the founder of Lightos Digital a digital design agency based in Johannesburg and he is passionate about businesses that integrate design and technology to solve problems elegantly.
Soyizwapi is a self-taught iOS developer and the creator of the GauRider app – an iOS app for Gautrain a rapid rail service that connects Johannesburg, Pretoria & OR Tambo International Airport in Gauteng, South Africa. GauRider has charted at No.1 on the iPhone Travel category on both Top Paid and Top Grossing in the iTunes App Store in South Africa. Financial Mail rated GauRider at 4.5 out of 5.
Soyizwapi was invited as a speaker at TEDxSoweto 2014, TEDxJohannesburg 2015 and Release Notes Conference 2016 in Indianapolis, USA. Litha Soyizwapi holds a BTech degree in Graphic Design from NMMU and has over 15 years of experience in design and branding.
Mike Teke | Founder of Dedicoal and Executive Chairman of Masimong Group
Mike Teke is the Founder of Dedicoal, a mining and beneficiation company and Executive Chairman of Masimong Group, a diversified, black-controlled investment company which owns a range of interests across various industry sectors including mining and mining services, mineral agglomeration, industrial chemicals, environmental solutions, financial services, agriculture and media.
He serves as Chairman of the Richards Bay Coal Terminal and was Non-Executive Chairman of Optimum Coal.
Jim Dando | Nissan: Director of sales and operations for Sub –Saharan Africa
Jim Dando is the Director of Sales and Operations at Nissan, Sub-Saharan Africa. Working predominantly with Nissan South Africa’s Rosslyn-based Sales and Marketing department, he oversees Nissan’s Sub-Saharan Africa network of national Sales offices and dealers in the 47 markets where Nissan now has an active presence.
Dando joined Nissan’s aftersales marketing division in 1999. In 2008 he was promoted to Nissan’s SA’s export department and he was instrumental in expanding the export programme from its sole focus on South African products to the marketing of vehicles from a variety of global Nissan sources.
Recent successes include playing a key role in the establishment of the Automotive Policy in Nigeria, as well as setting up a Nissan plant in Nigeria. Furthermore, he headed a change in the sales distribution method, replacing third-party agents with a direct dealer model in Nissan’s key right-hand markets of Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Tanzania. With a dedicated understanding of how a developing market works, Jim Dando has transformed the Nissan sales and operations landscape.
Ntuthuko Shezi | CEO of Livestock Wealth
Ntuthuko Shezi is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Livestock Wealth, a company that allows individuals to invest livestock without having to run a farm. Amongst his achievements he was the 2015 Continental Winner of the CEO Magazine Titans Building Nations Award, 2013 Mail and Guardian 200 Young South African. He is a 2014 Mandela Washington Fellow and 2005 Clinton Democracy Fellow which afforded him a chance to meet both US Presidents Obama and Clinton
Shezi is Electro-Mechanical Engineering graduate from UCT and has worked for Accenture as a Strategy Consultant. He has over 10-years’ experience in the automotive sector and agriculture.
Caitlin Dolkart | Co-founder of Capsule Ltd
Caitlin Dolkart is the co-founder of Capsule Ltd, a company that builds health technology for Africa. Their first product is Flare – a digital and cloud-based platform that connects patients with simple, efficient and affordable ambulances in minutes throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
Dolkart has worked in the healthcare space for the last decade in management consulting and international development. For a number of years, she led the Clinton Health Access Initiative’s (CHAI) malaria program across much of the continent. She received her MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at the Sloan School of Management.
Chad Larson | Co- Founder and Chief Credit Officer – M-KOPA SOLAR
Chad Larson is one of the three founders of M-KOPA, and serves as the company’s Finance Director and Chief Credit Officer. He has worked for M-KOPA since its piloting in 2010, and has lived in Nairobi with his wife and three boys since the company launch in 2011.
Chad previously served as the CFO of the Africap Microfinance Investment Fund, in Johannesburg. Prior to that, he spent 10 years in the investment banking division of Bank of America in Sydney and New York, working on fixed income, structured finance, and derivative transactions. Chad is a CFA charter holder and holds an MBA with distinction from Oxford University.
Emma Kaye | Founder and CEO: Bozza Media
Emma Kaye is the founder and CEO of a startup venture called Bozza. Bozza is a mobile platform which enables artists in Africa the ability to self-publish and distribute directly to their audiences. It is the platform to discover the next generation of talent. Focused on contextually relevant content, Bozza is the digital marketplace for African media and entertainment.
Before setting out to giving sustainable business direction to an African brand in new media for the mobile screen, Kaye did much the same for African animation as co-founder of Triggerfish Animation and AnimationSA.org stand out; CEO of Breakdesign, and then as founder of Gate7 New Media, a mobile media – entertainment and content company
Widely recognized as a thought-leading industry catalyst in animation and mobility, she is often invited to attend global initiatives forging her leadership role in this dynamic environment. She has been elected as one of the top 50 women globally in the world of mobile entertainment for two years running, has been selected by the Mail & Guardian as one of South Africa’s top business women in 2010, in 2011 was selected as the top five most influential Women in Africa within the field of Science and Technology and the top 20 most powerful women in Technology for 2013.
Lee Kasumba | Founding Director of Princess Behaviour
Lee Kasumba is the founding director of Princess Behaviour – an organisation created with the African girl in mind and heart. It is a hub of value based content that tells truthful, positive and entertaining stories about Africa, from Africa to the World, through various media platforms.
Some of Princess Behaviour projects include African Dynasties Documentary – Book and Art Series; acquisitions management consulting team for DJ Cuppy on her show Cuppy Takes Africa; research and content development for NBC Universal – 100% Characters Uncovered African Campaign and Picture Me Perfect (launching late 2016). In 2015, Kasumba’s public engagements include being a panelist at the Red Summit and the Digital Entertainment Conference both held in Lagos, Nigeria and she was also the Red Bull Music Academy Radio African Host for their 10- year anniversary.
When she stepped into the role of Head of Channel O Africa in 2011, Kasumba became one of the youngest and most powerful TV Executives in Africa. While working at Channel O Africa her portfolio was extended to working on some of Africa’s largest media properties namely Big Brother Africa (the biggest show in Africa).Kasumba received her Bachelor of Dramatic Arts Honours Degree from the University of Witwatersrand.
Helen Botes | CEO: Johannesburg Property Company
Helen Botes was appointed as the CEO at Johannesburg Property Company (JPC) in 2009, where she successfully re-positioned the company as a strategic property agent of the City of Johannesburg. The JPC’s sole mandate is to manage the property portfolio on behalf of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality.
The property portfolio under her leadership has a total balance sheet value of R8, 7 billion municipal value which comprises of 30 841 properties. Some of the property portfolio include the award winning Soweto Theatre and the Art Council Chamber which will be completed in October 2016.
Botes was one of the judges for the Standard Bank Top Woman Awards 2016 and she hosted the JPC Women in Property leadership conference in August 2016 focusing on young women and exposing them to JPC projects, opportunities and transformation agenda. She received her MBA from Milpark Business School and completed the Executive Development Programme with the University of Stellenbosch.
Alpesh Patel | Mi-Fone: Founder and CEO
Alpesh Patel is the founder of Mi-Fone – the first African mobile device brand and one of Africa’s first Tech start-up’s. He is often quoted as “An Innovator, a Disruptor and a true Visionary”.
Patel and the Mi-Fone brand have been regularly featured on CNN, Forbes Africa, CNBC Africa and numerous other publications. Mi-Fone has also been the recipient of the Frost & Sullivan 2014 award for “Entrepreneurial company of the Year ” as well as a finalist in the African Leadership Network Awards in 2015.
In 2012, Patel founded OJU Africa- the World’s FIRST Afro Emoticon character brand. OJU received world-wide press attention and has garnered numerous awards such as the South African Loeries Grand Prix Digital Winner 2014, and Licensing Expo 2014 “One to Watch” award.
Prior to Mi-Fone, he was Director of Sales Africa/Middle East for Motorola Inc. Between 2002-2006, Patel placed more than 5m devices into the African continent generating revenues of more than $500m. Whilst at Motorola he realised that the big brands were missing the point and that ultimately Africa was best served by Africans themselves.
Patel graduated with a BSc in Economics from the University of Hull.
Jaco Gerrits | CrashDetech: CEO and Founder
Jaco Gerrits is the founder & CEO of multiple tech companies and previous winner of the Top ICT Entrepreneur in Africa award. His latest venture CrashDetech, is a smartphone application which auto-detects when you¹re involved in a serious car crash, pinpoints your location, immediately dispatches the nearest ambulance and provides paramedics with your medical information.
Gerrits believes that it¹s possible to do good while doing well, where enterprise and investment are used as powerful forces for good. He sees social enterprises as using traditional entrepreneurial methods to create new models for sustainable global change.
CrashDetech won the Top Social Venture in South Africa Award, which saw Gerrits representing South Africa on a global stage against 27 other countries in New York earlier this year. Frost & Sullivan also nominated CrashDetech for the Best Practice Award in the health tech and mobility space, whilst CNN called it ‘The app that could save your life’. He loves promoting entrepreneurship and has been featured on CNN, BBC and many other publications across the world.
Nnamdi Oranye – Author of “Disrupting Africa”
Nnamdi Oranye’s weekly innovation segment with Victor Kgomoeswana Power FM has dubbed him the Innovation Guru. He is passionate about the power of technology and innovation and how it can change the lives of Africans.
Oranye has featured frequently as a presenter and chairperson in various conferences in Africa, contributed regularly in broadcast and print media on the subject of innovation, Has was named amongst the 100 most influential names in Africa’s telecoms, media and ICT industry by the AfricaCom100 Research. Twitter: Nnamdi_oranye
Tebatso Disemelo | M-Net: Director of Research and Business Intelligence
Tebatso Disemelo was appointed the Director of Research & Business Intelligence in July 2015. He has worked within the MultiChoice group in various capacities including overseeing the development of original production digital media products at DStv Digital Media since June 2010.
Prior to joining MultiChoice, Disemelo held various positions with different broadcasting platforms including the content manager at Blue Label Telecoms, digital sales manager at Endemol SA, an advertising executive at SABC, and before that was also a member of the DStv Media Sales team.
His ongoing studies have seen him graduate (Cum Laude) with a Master’s degree in the Management of Technology and Innovation and he is currently enrolled for a PHD, with research interests in innovation, consumer sophistication, and digital media.
Uzanenkosi | ANTS Multimedia: Executive Producer
Uzanenkosi is the creator and Executive Producer of ANTS Multimedia which produced the award-winning first of its kind, the world over drama series, InterSEXions. InterSEXions won 11 SAFTAS and the illustrious Peabody Award – the world’s oldest electronic media award, alongside some of the world’s most spoken about television shows such as The Colbert Report and Game of Thrones.
As a creative activist, Uzanenkosi believes in creative solutions that send the elevator back down whilst elevating the local film and television industry. In 2008, he created Pitchit.co.za – an online content market with the same aims. In 2014, he launched Ants’ research and development arm, Ants’ Writing Enclave, with the aim of ensuring high standard scripts to attract a wider scope of content buyers as well as ensuring quality control. The Alliance, which outperformed Empire, was developed through AWE.
uSKROEF noSEXY (In Kgantse & Kenny’s Paradise) – a straight to DVD franchise feature that enjoyed production funding from both the NFVF and GFC – is currently in distribution. To distribute the Film, Uzanenkosi had to create Kwenze Kwenzeke (Make It Happen) Distribution Network that allows for anyone within South Africa to distribute the film. The original feature has now been adapted into a 26 part television drama series for eTV.
Daan du Toit – SKA Organisation’s Strategy and Business Development Committee Member
Daan du Toit has held various positions, first in the South African Department of Foreign Affairs and since 2002 in the newly established Department of Science and Technology, related to the South Africa’s international scientific and technological (S&T) cooperation. This included responsibility for establishing and managing the European-South African Science and Technology Advancement Programme (ESASTAP) – a dedicated platform to promote scientific and technological cooperation between South Africa and the European Union. He has also represented South Africa in various multilateral forums dedicated to international S&T cooperation, including for example the OECD Global Science Forum, the Group on Earth Observations in which establishment he had played a central role and bodies of the United Nations.
He has also managed strategic S&T bilateral cooperation partnerships, notably establishing an innovation systems cooperation programme between South Africa and Finland. In October 2006, he was appointed as the South African Department of Science and Technology’s Senior Science and Technology Representative to the European Union, a position based at the South African Mission to the European Union in Brussels where he held the position of Minister Counsellor. In this capacity in addition to overseeing South Africa and Europe he currently represented South Africa on the Joint Expert Group of the Africa-EU Science, Information Society and Space Partnership and in the Bureau of the Africa-EU High-Level Policy Dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation. He is also intimately involved in South Africa’s participation in the global Square Kilometer Array (SKA) project, to construct the world’s largest radio telescope.
He is currently a member of the SKA Organisation’s Strategy and Business Development Committee. In April 2014, he was appointed as Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation and Resources in the South African Department of Science and Technology, responsible for all aspects of South Africa’s international science, technology and innovation partnerships.