Elizabeth Bintliff is the CEO of JA (Junior Achievement) Africa. She is a development professional with 17 years of experience working in developing countries and emerging economies. Formerly the vice-president of Africa Programs at Heifer International, she managed a multi-million dollar portfolio in 12 sub-saharan African countries, including the Gates Foundation-funded East Africa Dairy Development Project. Elizabeth is committed to development, especially for people in Africa, where she believes that giving three things – choices, voices and opportunities - are key to changing the trajectory of development on the continent. Her commitment to community development is testament not just in her work abroad, but also in the US where she served on the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Foodbank and the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, which promotes women in philanthropy and the empowerment of young girls in the state. She currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Make Every Woman Count, an African-led, UK-based organization that aims to become the most comprehensive and up-to-date source of information about African women’s rights, status, opportunities and participation. Elizabeth is a passionate advocate for under-served people and a thought leader in development, especially how the interaction between public and private sector and civil society can contribute to development. Born and raised in Cameroon, Elizabeth earned a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs from Kennesaw State University in Georgia, and has a Masters in African Studies from Yale University. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Zanzibar who started her career at the Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta, GA. She is fluent in English, French, Swahili and West African Krio. Elizabeth holds a Master’s Certificate in Non-Profit Management from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and is a graduate of Leadership Arkansas; a program of the Arkansas Chamber of Commerce.
Heather de Haes was born in Australia and educated in Australia and New Zealand. She holds a university degree in Arts and in Music, and has performed as a professional flautist, in particular with the New Zealand Concert Programme series and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. She has also taught and lectured in literature and music. Upon her arrival in London some twenty-five years ago, she set up a number of highly successful business enterprises associated with the arts, and in particular, fine painting. She subsequently added high-quality residential real estate to her commercial interests, using her artistic skills to add value to prime properties in London, western Switzerland (around Lake Geneva) and Manhattan. The website Arts Global Enterprises setails Heather's achievements in business and commerce. In 1999, Heather decided to "give back" to the arts, not as a performer but through fostering the careers of outstandingly talented young musicians from around the world. Arts Global is the result: "a foundation empowering emerging artists and advancing social change." Arts Global is a registered charity in the UK, Switzerland and USA, and in 2015 will add an Australian chapter. In addition to working in the field of music, Arts Global is becoming increasingly active on the broader world stage, assisting and partnering in humanitarian projects in Africa, India and South America. Heather's address to the Global African Investment Summit, held in London in October 2014, presents an investment style which combines commercialism, philanthropy and education so as to generate substantial and sustainable benefits for populations in need. From 2008 to 2014 Heather was Chairman and International Director of the Australian Music Foundation, which offers financial support to talented Australian music students wishing to pursue post-graduate courses in leading music education institutions in Europe.
Peter Petrou is the Managing Partner at Aspen Morris Solicitors and an International Award Winning Lawyer who has won several awards for his International work. Peter has been described by Forbes as having "formidable high level political and business contacts throughout Europe, US, Middle-East and Africa and seen as the go to person when doing deals in Africa." The European has described him as "Influencing Global Business". Peter is listed in the Global Law Expert Guide 2016 and prestigious Legal500, he has also been instrumental in leading Aspen Morris to the "UK Law Firm of the Year Award for International Law" at the Corporate LiveWire Global Awards 2015 and 2016 and Aspen Morris being named to the "European's FAST50 Companies 2015". Peter commenced his legal career at leading US Law Firm Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP where he joined their Capital Markets department. Peter’s main practice involved advising on a wide range of equity, equity-linked and debt capital markets transactions, including IPO’s and Stock Market listings. He was involved in several multi-million and billion-dollar transactions for several blue chip clients. Peter then moved to Trowers & Hamlins LLP, a law firm based in Central London, which is consistently ranked as one of the leading law firms in the Middle-East. During his time at Trowers & Hamlins LLP, Peter assisted his clients in Africa, Russia, India and the Middle-East on several real estate, corporate, project finance transactions and litigation.
Abla Dzifa Gomashie is a native of Avoeme-Afloa in the Volta Region of Ghana. She was born on the 25th of July 1967 at Burma Camp in Accra. Dzifa holds a Master of Philosophy in African Studies from the University of Ghana and a Bachelor of Fine Arts with First Class Honors from the same University. She has passion for Creative Arts and Culture and has dedicated nearly all her adult life to projecting and promoting Ghanaian and Africa culture. Prior to her appointment as a Deputy Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Dzifa worked as the Chief Executive of Values for Life, a non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting the Creative Arts (Performing Arts) and Culture amongst the youth through Vacation Camps. She also manages a family restaurant and works as a television show host with TV Africa, projecting male role models. She has excellent human relations and is a good communicator. Dzifa has worked in the Creative Arts industry for nearly two decades and has produced and directed many Ghanaian television productions including the popular story telling program ‘By the Fire Side’. She is one of Ghana’s most talented performers and has received several awards for her work.
Carl Manlan was appointed as Ecobank Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer in May 2016. In this capacity, his responsibilities include strategic direction and management of the foundation activities across Africa. He is an economist with over ten years of experience in health, finance and project implementation. He has worked with communities across Africa and developed systems to improve public health financing while at UNDP and at the Global Fund. He was responsible for a portfolio of more than USD 500 million as a Fund Portfolio Manager at the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. In 2014, he worked on policy development on the implementation of the economic transformation of the African continent as a Mo Ibrahim Foundation Leadership Fellow at the Economic Commission for Africa. Subsequently, he worked with the African Union and New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD) on a private sector initiative to assist the African Union fight Ebola in West Africa. As the first Executive Secretary of the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust, he worked with multiple stakeholders in the fight against Ebola.
Aissatou Diajhaté is currently the West Africa Regional Manager for the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), implementing President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative and Mandela Washington Fellowship Program. She covers 21 countries in West and Central Africa, working with public and private sector organizations to promote youth engagement in the socio-economic transformation of their countries. As an International Development professional, with experience in several areas including Education and Health, Youth Engagement and Capacity Building, Program Management and Organizational Development, Ms. Diajhaté has managed partnerships with government organizations, academic institutions, funding agencies and community-based organizations in the United States, Canada and Africa. Ms. Diajhate’s life mission is to educate, teach, mentor and facilitate transformative interventions that lift survivors of social injustice to a position of leader and change agent. Prior to her current post, Ms Diajhaté worked at the Center for Development and Population Activities in Washington DC as Senior Program Officer in Capacity Building and Country Coordinator for Francophone Africa. She also served as Director of Programs at the Stephen Lewis Foundation managing grant- making programs and capacity building initiatives in 15 African countries, hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Most recently Ms. Diajhaté worked at the MasterCard Foundation in Toronto, Canada, where she managed the Scholars Programs with partner universities in the US and Canada. Ms. Diajhate is a freelance translator and interpreter in English and French.