The optimism surrounding Africa’s economic growth and political progress since the start of the millennium suggested that the much heralded African renaissance had indeed begun. However, the current slump in its development trajectory against the backdrop of increasing socio-political volatility, humanitarian crises and other pan-African challenges, points to mixed fortunes ahead. This panel forum will focus on the new opportunities for a dynamic Africa, as well as the challenges involved in navigating a changing and complex global and continental landscape.
H.E. Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya is the fifth Secretary- General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) since it was transformed from the PTA in 1994. He brings with him over 30 years of service in industry, regional and multilateral levels covering the public sector, private sector and quasi-government institutions.
Before his appointment, Mr. Ngwenya was the Assistant Secretary General of COMESA in charge of Programmes a position he held for ten years. In this position, he was responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of COMESA programmes. In addition, he oversaw and supervised the operations of COMESA established institutions such as the Leather and Leather Product Institute (LLPI), the Clearing House and the Regional Investment Agency.
In industry, Mr Ngwenya was involved in the design and implementation of programmes and projects in the road, airline and railway sectors. At the regional level, he was instrumental in the formulation of the PTA (now COMESA) regional integration programmes culminating in the launch of the COMESA Free Trade Area on 31st October 2000. He also worked on the establishment of COMESA specialized institutions, such as, the Eastern and Southern Africa Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank), the COMESA Clearing House and the PTA Re- He has edited two books on transport and communications and public service and is a regular contributor to several publications on economic cooperation and integration. He has also won many awards in recognition of his contribution to social and economic development and regional integration. In 2010 he was the winner of the Southern Africa Trust Drivers of Change award in the Government category and was cited by Judges for “His dedication to poverty eradication and equitable development in Africa through enabling broader markets by business. Through his leadership, a future is being crafted out for Africa that looks promising ”
In addition to serving as Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of COMESA , Mr Ngwenya sits on the following boards within Africa and internationally:
Mrs. Treasure Maphanga (Swaziland, Waterford Kamhlaba UWC, 1978-1983, UWC Adriatic College 1983-1985) is the Director for Trade and Industry at African Union Commission, where she is pursuing the establishment of a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). Prior to joining the African Union Commission, she was the Deputy Country Director for ICAP, Swaziland. She previously worked as the Chief of Office for Africa – International Trade Centre, a joint venture of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations in the Geneva Office. She had the role of coordinating the ITC’s strategy in Africa through policy reform. She holds a BA Economics from Trent University in Canada and an Executive Master’s Degree in International Negotiation and Policy making from the Graduate School of Geneva, Switzerland. Mrs. Maphanga attended her Form 1-5 at Waterford Kamhlaba UWC before joining UWC Adriatic College in Italy. She has served on Waterford Kamhlaba’s Governing Council.
Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mr. Richard Etemesi is the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Africa Region. He was previously the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, South Africa and Southern Africa, overseeing the bank’s operations in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mauritius. Mr. Etemesi also served as the chief executive of Standard Chartered Bank, Kenya and East Africa, overseeing operations in Uganda and Tanzania. He has served Standard Bank in various roles and locations including Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Singapore, Zambia and the UK. Before joining Standard Bank, Mr. Etemesi worked as a financial management consultant with Coopers & Lybrand Associates, now PricewaterhouseCoppers, (PwC), based in Kenya. He holds an MSc in Corporate Finance from Strathclyde Business School, Glasgow, and a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting from the University of Nairobi.
Tezzy Nhlengethwa, (Brown University 2013 – 2017, Waterford Kamhlaba UWC 2006 –2012) studied Development Studies at Brown University. Her studies have consistently been inspired by her love for the African continent and her wish to be a part of Africa’s development trajectory. Grounded in understanding the relationships and power asymmetries between multilateral institutions and African states, her academic interests have interrogated policy processes and citizen participation in governance. A published scholar in Africa and democracy, she has worked for the Common Markets for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). An accomplished debater and public speaker, Tezzy has broadened her intellectual curiosity by participating in the World Schools Debate Championship, Pan African Universities Debate Championship and North American Universities Debate Championship. Tezzy was judge at the World Universities Debate Championships in Malaysia in 2015, an active member of Brown Debate Union and a student representative in the Watson Institute’s Inclusion and Diversity Committee. Fresh out of university, she looks forward to finding her place in positively contributing towards Africa’s development.
Olawunmi Ola-Busari, (South Africa/Nigeria, WK 2003-2009) is a former Policy Associate at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab for Africa (J-PAL Africa). In her time at J-PAL Africa, she worked with policymakers and practitioners to promote evidence-based policymaking and the scale up of programmes that have been rigorously proven to be effective. In particular, she helped to provide technical assistance on the establishment of an asset-collateralised loan project in Rwanda and the scale up of debates between MP candidates in Sierra Leone ahead of the upcoming elections. Olawunmi is passionate about the development of evidence-based approaches to addressing inequality and promoting inclusive governance, particularly as this relates to Africa’s rapid urbanisation. Olawunmi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Bard College and is currently enrolled in the Master of Public Administration degree program at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She is a proud alumna of Waterford Kamhlaba and a 2017 Fellow of the Emerging African Leaders Programme, run by the Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice at the University of Cape Town.
Mr. Mubita Luwabelwa is an economist with a unique blend of experience at regional level and at national in the Treasury and Social Sectors. He is currently Director of Policy, Planning and Resource Mobilisation at the SADC Secretariat, a fifteen-member regional organisation, where he is specialised in strategic and operational planning and policy formulation for regional cooperation, poverty reduction and sustainable development. Before joining the SADC Secretariat, he had over 16 years of experience equally divided between the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Health equally at country level, during which he applied expertise in macroeconomic policy analysis, development planning and poverty analysis, health systems development and health care financing. He is an active researcher in the SADC region with various bodies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics, a Masters Degree in International Development, a Bachelor of Laws Degree and is a final year candidate for a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) Degree.
John Sibi-Okumu, has been a notable broadcaster in Kenya. Amongst his interviewees on television have been such newsmakers as Daniel arap Moi, Mwai Kibaki, Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila Odinga, Robert Mugabe, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Paul Kagame, Benjamin Mkapa, Joachim Chissano, Kofi Annan, Wangari Maathai and Jane Goodall. He was quiz master for The Zain Africa Challenge, an inter-university, general knowledge competition originally seen in eight African countries. He was chief anchor for JSO@7, a one hour TV News’ digest.
John has taken on about 40 lead roles on stage and appeared in local and international films, including The Constant Gardener, Shake Hands with the Devil and The First Grader. He has written and devised nine plays to date, and directed amongst several other productions Mo Faya! by Kenyan musician Eric Wainaina, which played to great acclaim at the New York Festival of Musical Theatre in 2009. He has narrated and voiced award-winning documentaries and commercials in English, French and Kiswahili. In 2017 he read the audio-book for Peter Kimani’s Dance of the Jakaranda. He is a published author for young readers and, as a print journalist, he is a longstanding columnist for a number of publications. He continues to serve as moderator for high level international conferences and is also an engaging public speaker. For his accomplishments, John is featured in the book Life Journeys, Scaling Heights – Conversations with High Achieving Men in Kenya .