Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, MBA, FPC, IFA
Fola is a consummate multi-faceted and proven business leader with an extensive background in finance, strategy, and project/change management, business development, thought leadership, sustainable development and management consulting across a wide industry spectrum in the UK, Nigeria and Europe.
Fola has more than 23 years senior management experience delivering world class strategic business transformation solutions with a variety of global FSTE 100 multinationals including LafargeHolcim Plc., Diageo Plc., PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Ford Motor Company, Zurich Financial Services, Learning & Skills Council UK, Nigeria Ministry of Finance and Department for International Development (DFID) UK.
Throughout her career, she has successfully led and executed robust business transformation strategies pivotal in achieving sustainable growth. She has an excellent record of bottom-line achievements in the deployment of large scale business solutions and in leading cross functional global teams at board level.
With impeccable credentials for performance and achievement within blue chip environments – as well as driving global best practices from conception to delivery, Fola has the skills set necessary to sustainably steer the EBO from its formative stage into the consolidation phase. Her knowledge of the local operating environment runs deep owing to the diversity of the responsibilities she has held and networking opportunities doing so availed her.
Lafarge Africa Plc., where she is currently a director is a member of the LafargeHolcim Group – the biggest housing and concrete solutions company in the world. It is a publicly quoted company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and serves Nigeria and South Africa with a wide range of building and construction solutions. Lafarge Africa Plc. currently owns 100% of Lafarge South Africa Holdings (Pty) Limited. The company won the Business Day Most Innovative in Manufacturing Award in 2017 amongst a plethora of other awards.
Ohioze Unuigbe is a Chartered Chemical Engineer and is currently the “Country Chief Executive” of Bureau Veritas Nigeria Limited. In this capacity, he reports to the Board of Directors and is in charge of all operations of the various businesses owned by Bureau Veritas in Nigeria. Before that, he was the Managing Director of Xmos Africa Limited (a JV between XODUS Group of the U.K. and MOS-BAKER a Nigerian indigenous); an independent, international energy consultancy operating in Africa. Previously, Mr. Unuigbe worked for M.W. Kellogg (now KBR) and Fluor Limited. After working as a Process/Speciality Engineer for almost 10 years, Ohioze decided to augment his technical background with business and managerial skills by, pursuing “PMI PMP” certification to learn the internal workings of a business and secondly, an “MBA” to learn the external workings of a business. Upon, completion of these qualifications, he set up his own indigenous Oil and Gas company and grew the company turnover from nothing to a multi-million dollar company with a staff strength with over 40 employees, which he ran until joining Bureau Veritas.
Ohioze graduated from the University of Nottingham with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering (BEng) and was awarded a Chartership in Engineering (CEng) by the Institute of Chemicals Engineers (IChemE). Following this, he went on to obtain a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the Imperial College Business School. During this time he was also awarded a Diploma of Imperial College (DIC).
Bureau Veritas is a world leader in laboratory testing, inspection and certification services. Created in 1828, the Group has around 75,000 employees located in more than 1,400 offices and laboratories around the globe. BV is a Business to Business to Society Company. We provide innovative laboratory testing, inspection and certification solutions, which serve the businesses shaping our changing world. We help ensure assets, products, infrastructure and processes comply with client specifications or standards and regulations, while improving performance in quality, health & safety, environmental protection and social responsibility (QHSE). Our strategy combines our proven expertise in regulatory and technical compliance with innovative initiatives that anticipate tomorrow’s challenges.
Christain H. Wessels
Christian has extensive experience as an executive, banker and advisor across Europe, Middle East & Africa, working in Nigeria in the last 10 years.
Christian is the founder of Sunray Ventures, which focuses on high-impact companies, combining financial with environmental and social returns. Sunray Ventures operates Daystar Power (renewable energy), Green Compass Recycling (circular economy) and Bisedge (distribution).
Sunray Ventures is headquartered in Nigeria, with operations in other African countries and the Middle East. Sunray Ventures cooperates with leading technology companies from Europe, including Austria, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and Norway.
Prior to founding Sunray Ventures, Christian served as the Deputy GMD of the TGI Group, a company with 9,000 employees across multiple sectors in Africa and the Middle East.
Christian’s time in Africa started as a Director for Barclays Africa, where he worked in numerous African countries. Christian is an Advisor to Bain & Company, supporting Bain’s growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, where he previously served as a Partner.
In 2012, Christian was appointed as a Young Global Leader (YGL) of the World Economic Forum. He is a member of the Young President Organization. Sunray Ventures is a member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.
Simon Melchior is a co-founder, shareholder and Chief Executive Officer of Asseco Software Nigeria Ltd. which was incorporated in July 2014. Before establishing Asseco Nigeria, Simon has had a rich career of over 12 years in banking, structured commodity finance, mergers & acquisitions and business development, having worked in Paris and New York for Natixis Bank, in London for Trafigura and in Monaco for MRS Group. In 2012, Simon established his business and family in Lagos, Nigeria, which he sees as an epicenter of entrepreneurship.
Simon graduated from the Paris Institute of Political Sciences (Sciences-Po) as well as the Paris IX Dauphine University, where he obtained a Masters Degree in International Business. He fluently speaks French, English, Polish, Russian and Spanish, with good notions in some other languages.
Asseco Software Nigeria Ltd. is the Nigerian subsidiary of Asseco Group, the 6th largest European software group, employing over 24,000 IT professionals in more than 50 countries. Asseco Nigeria is focused on providing local software customization, implementation, development, system integration and support to its customers. Asseco Nigeria is unique as it has significant local content whilst being part of a global IT group. This structure supports our strategy of providing local added value to meet our West African clients’ most demanding and specific business needs. Our vision is to become the strategic technology partner to our customers driving their competitive edge and offering to them high quality solutions at low cost.
Andreas Voss is Head of Trade Finance Financial Institutions for Sub Saharan Africa. He is also Chief Country Representative for Nigeria and based in Lagos. For Deutsche Bank’s Global Transaction Bank he is coordinating the West African activities. He has more than 12 years’ experience in commercial, project and trade banking. Since 2011, he is working in different emerging countries. He joined Deutsche Bank from Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), which is a subsidiary of the German KfW. Prior to DEG, Andreas worked in the corporate banking with German commercial banks.
Andreas studied Economics and Business Administration in Hanover (Germany) and graduated with a diploma in Business Administration. Before graduating, he completed a bank trainee apprenticeship.
Deutsche Bank’s Trade Finance and Cash Management teams provide a combination of commercial banking products and services for corporates and financial institutions, dealing with the management and processing of domestic and cross-border payments, risk mitigation for international trade and asset and liability management. Our customers are supported in their domestic, regional and global trade finance and cash management programs through Deutsche Bank’s extensive global network of offices.
Steen Hadsbjerg is the Regional Chief Executive Officer of Arla Foods in Africa and Vice President at Danish dairy multinational company Arla Foods Amba.
Besides building and developing Arla Foods presence in Africa he is the founder and trustee of the Milky Way to De-velopment Foundation in Nigeria, which aims at developing local dairy production in partnership with NGOs CARE, Action Aid and other international NGOs.
He is the former Managing Director of Fan Milk PLC in Nigeria and played a substantial role in the sale of the Fan Milk group to Dubai based private equity company, Abraaj Group, and French dairy company DANONE in
2013/2014. Prior to this he was Managing Director and Country Cluster Director of A. P. Moller – Maersk Group in-land activities in West-central and Central Africa.
Before entering the commercial world he had long military career in the Danish Armed Forces and NATO. He has been posted abroad several times including Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm, Kosovo during Operation Allied Forces. He retired from the Army as a Senior Officer and with the rank of Major when joining the A. P. Moller – Maersk group in 2003.
His international experience includes numerous general management positions, programs and consultancies in Den-mark as well as oversea in complex business environments in Central- & Southeast Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Steen holds a M.Sc. degree in Strategy and Management from the Danish Defence College in Copenhagen, and a Mas-ter of Business Administration degree from Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. As part of his Master of Busi-ness Administration programme he followed studies in sales and marketing at Stanford and Berkeley universities in California and in strategy at the Shanghai University.
Arla Foods is an international cooperative based in Viby, Denmark, and the largest producer of dairy products in Scandinavia and the UK. Arla Foods was formed as the result of a merger between the Swedish dairy coopera-tive Arla and the Danish dairy company MD Foods on 17 April 2000. The name Arla derives from the same word as the English word “early” and is an archaic Swedish term for “early (in the morning)”.
Arla Foods is the fourth largest dairy company in the world with respect to milk volume, seventh with respect to turn-over. More than 13,000 farmers across Western Europe, UK and Scandinavia own the cooperative.
Arla Foods has three major global brands: Arla dairy products, Lurpak butter and Castello cheeses that are all pro-duced and sold worldwide. In Africa Arla Foods is operating under the Arla DANO brand.
Arla Foods incorporates Arla Foods Ingredients. The company develops and manufactures milk based ingredients, primarily functional and nutritional milk proteins, bioactive phospholipids, minerals, permeate and lactose for the food industry.
Mary Ojulari, FCCA
Mary Aderinola Ojulari is the Deputy Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Weststar Associates Limited (Mercedes-Benz Nigeria). She obtained her Accounting and Finance degree from the London South Bank University and is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Mary has over 18 years’ experience and has worked in several senior management and director level roles within the hospitality, media, services and automobile sectors. She is a result orientated and strategically focused CFO with an impressive track record of optimising shareholder’s value, effectively leading teams and implementing change management.
She started her professional career with KPMG UK and thereafter moved to Whitbread PLC, the largest hospitality company in the UK. At Whitbread PLC, she was part of the team that implemented change management and carried out the due diligence for the sale of 160 restaurants to a Venture Capitalist. Mary worked in the media industry for 12 years (British Broadcasting Company (BBC), CNBC Africa & Forbes). She worked in leadership roles at the BBC, CNBC Africa & Forbes providing strategic direction and ensuring short to medium and long-term plans for the companies were viable and implemented. Mary joined Weststar in 2017 as the CFO and is currently the Deputy Managing Director (DMD) and CFO. As the DMD, she supports the Managing Director in implementing the strategy of the Board, ensuring efficiency targets are achieved and providing direction for the business.
Weststar is the sole Authorised General Distributor for Mercedes-Benz in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Weststar coordinates Daimler AG‘s business activities in Nigeria including Sales, Dealer Support, Network Development, Fleet Management Support, After-Sales Services, Warranty, Marketing, Corporate Affairs, Technical and Non-Technical Trainings, and the Assembly Plant for Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles.
Mr. Imrane Barry is a Civil Engineering graduate of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Travaux Publics in Ivory Coast. He also holds a EuroMBA.
He began his work career with several Civil Engineering firms in Guinea and Gabon and joined Elf Oil Guinea Conakry in 1996 as the Deputy Operation Manager. He went on to work with other Total affiliates in Kenya and Ivory Coast in an Operations Manager capacity till 2006 when he became the Technical and Transport Director at SEP-Congo. In 2010 he moved to Paris as the Strategy and Development Senior Officer before becoming the Deputy Executive Vice-President of Total Africa & Middle East in 2012.
Imrane was named the Managing Director of Total Uganda in 2013, Total Cameroon SA in 2015 and Total Nigeria Plc in 2018.
Ambassador Ketil Karlsen– Honorary Member of the Board
Ambassador Ketil KARLSEN is the Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) since September 2017. He was EU Ambassador to Honduras before his current posting.
Until 2013, Ambassador Karlsen worked in the Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he served in various capacities within and outside his home country. He was at various times Chargé d’affairs, Royal Danish Embassy, Zimbabwe; Deputy Ambassador, Royal Danish Embassy, Nicaragua; Head of Unit, Royal Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, COP15 Secretariat.
Ambassador Karlsen also served as Associate Professional Officer at the UNODC Regional Office, Mexico from 1998-2001. He is married and has two children.