First Time in the Region
Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work ApplicationsGovernment of UAE United Arab Emirates
His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama
has been appointed as Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence in
October 2017, and then was appointed as Minister of State for Artificial
Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications in July 2020.
His responsibilities include
enhancing the government performance levels by investing in the latest
technologies and tools of artificial intelligence and applying them in
Omar Sultan Al Olama is Spearheading
UAE efforts to be positioned as a global leader in Digital economy, With the
focus to enhance UAEs digital economy contribution to the GDP.
His Excellency is also focused on strengthening the UAE’s position as a global
reference in remote work applications.
His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama
is currently the Managing Director of the World Government Summit. He is also
a member of the Board of Trustees of Dubai Future Foundation and Deputy
Managing Director of the Foundation. He is also Chairman of Dubai Chamber of
In November 2017, the UAE government announced
selecting HE. Omar Al Olama as a member of the Future of Digital Economy and
Society Council at the World Economic Forum.
During his work in the Future
Department at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, His Excellency participated
in developing the UAE Centennial 2071 strategy that aims to position the UAE
as the best country in the world. He also participated in developing the UAE
4th Industrial Revolution Strategy that aims to promote the UAE’s
status as a global hub for the 4th Industrial Revolution and
develop a national economy based on knowledge, innovation and future
technologies. Prior to his appointment, His Excellency worked on developing
the UAE’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy, making it the first such strategy
of its kind globally.
His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama worked
in several sectors including the banking sector, telecommunications, private
enterprises and government. H.E. also worked on developing and executing
strategies, risk analysis, change management and scenario planning.
His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama holds
a Diploma in Project Management and Excellence from the American University
of Sharjah and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the American
University of Dubai.
Chief AI ScientistHuawei Cloud China
Dr. Qi Tian is the Chief Scientist
in Artificial Intelligence of Huawei Cloud, an IEAS Academician, and IEEE
Dr. Tian joined Huawei in 2018
as the Chief Scientist in Computer Vision at the Noah's Ark Laboratory and
later joined Huawei Cloud.
In his over 20 years of
research career, Dr. Tian focuses on image content understanding, which is a
core area in computer vision. He has contributed to a series of influential
research in areas such as large-scale image retrieval, person re-identification,
automated machine learning, and pre-trained large models.
Dr. Tian has published more
than 650 international peer-reviewed journal and conference papers and won the
Best Paper Award/Best Student Paper Award at eight major international
conferences. As of April 2022, Dr. Tian's scientific works have been cited over
37,300 times by scholars worldwide, with an H-index of 91 and an I-10 index of
Vice Chairman & PresidentXPENG China
Gu joined XPeng Motors (XPENG), a leading Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer
and technology company, as Vice Chairman and President in 2018. Brian has held
various leadership roles concerned with XPENG's business, investment, and
international expansion strategies.
is a veteran M&A banker with 20 years of investment banking experience; he
has previously served as J.P Morgan's Managing Director, Chairman of Asia
Pacific Investment Banking, and a member of its Global Strategic Advisory
Founder & CEOPrimer United States of America
Sean Gourley is founder and CEO of
Primer. Previously, he was CTO of Quid, an augmented-intelligence company he
co-founded in 2009. Prior to Quid, Gourley worked on self-repairing
nano-circuits at NASA Ames. He holds a PhD in physics from Oxford, where his
research as a Rhodes Scholar focused on complex systems and the mathematical
patterns underlying modern war. This research was published on the cover of
Nature. He has served as a political advisor, briefed USCENTCOM at the Pentagon
and addressed the United Nations in Vienna. He is a two-time New Zealand track
and field champion.
VP EMEAMETA Germany
Gifford is the new Vice President for Meta in Europe, Middle East and Africa,
taking over from Nicola Mendelsohn, who earlier this year became Vice President
for the Global Business Group.
joined Meta in January 2020, and has represented Meta to partners,
policymakers, non-profits and community organisations across 34 countries in
Central Europe, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Benelux region as
well as Eastern Europe and Russia.
has over 30 years’ experience working for leading technology companies
including Hewlett-Packard (HP), where she led the software and digitisation
business for German-speaking countries, and Microsoft where she held a wide
variety of senior management positions across the region. Angie serves as a
member of the board of the German-American transatlantic association
“Atlantik-Brücke” and is part of the corporate supervisory board of
CEOTechnology Innovation Institute (TII) United Arab Emirates
Dr. Ray O. Johnson is Chief Executive Officer of the
Technology Innovation Institute (TII), which aims to be a leading global
research center dedicated to pushing the frontiers of knowledge. In this role,
Dr. Johnson will work on shaping the strategic direction of the Institute and
lead the execution of its growth strategies to achieve operational excellence.
Dr. Johnson brings to TII more than four decades of
experience in global technology leadership, making strategic investments in
disruptive technologies, and developing business strategies that resulted in
several new billion-dollar lines of business. He also holds outstanding
networking capabilities and has met with leaders in the highest echelons of
government, industry, and academia. He is frequently sought after as a speaker
at global forums on business, strategy, innovation, and education.
Prior to joining TII, Dr. Johnson was an Operating
Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, a top-tier American venture capital
company that has been part of 130 IPOs in the last 50 years. Founded in 1911,
Bessemer Venture Partners is the oldest venture capital firm in the USA. Earlier, he was Corporate Senior Vice President and Chief Technology
Officer of the Lockheed Martin Corporation, in Maryland, USA, where he was
responsible for operational performance and the associated board-reportable
metrics. He led Engineering and Technology, Production Operations, Global
Supply Chain, Program Management, and Logistics and Sustainment, while managing
more than 72,000 people working on over 4,000 programmes. He also led the
Advanced Technology Center in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, a profit and loss
(P&L) centre focused on generation-after-next technologies.
Previously, Dr. Johnson was Senior Vice President and
Chief Operating Officer at Modern Technology Solutions, Inc, where he developed
business strategies, implementation plans, and executive-level metrics to
refine the company’s strategic direction and vision. Prior to that, he was
Senior Vice President and Business Unit General Manager at SAIC, a premier
Fortune 500® technology integrator and leader of US digital transformation
efforts. In this role, he turned around and realigned four entities within the
company and led and won a competitive multi-year US$800 million program.
Dr. Johnson holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Electrical
Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in Ohio, USA. He earned
a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater,
Oklahoma, USA. He is a Full Academician of the International Academy of
Astronautics, and a Fellow of the International Society for Optical Engineering
and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Co-Founder & CEOKaspersky Russia
Eugene Kaspersky is a world-renowned
cybersecurity expert. He is a co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer of
Kaspersky, the world’s largest privately-held vendor of endpoint protection and
Eugene began his career in cybersecurity
accidentally when his computer became infected with the ‘Cascade’ virus in
1989. Eugene’s specialized education in cryptography helped him analyze the
encrypted virus, and then develop a removal tool for it. Eugene’s curiosity and
passion for computer technology drove him to start analyzing more malicious
programs and developing disinfection modules for them. This exotic collection
of antivirus modules would eventually become the foundation for Kaspersky’s antivirus
database. In 1997 Kaspersky was founded, with Eugene heading the company’s
antivirus research. In 2007 he was named Kaspersky’s CEO.
Today Kaspersky operates in almost 200 countries
and territories, and has 34 offices in 30 countries.
CEO EMEA & LATAMPalo Alto Networks United States of America
As CEO for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Latin
America (LATAM), Helmut is responsible for all go-to-market functions across
EMEA and LATAM. Prior to joining Palo Alto Networks in 2022, Helmut was CEO of
Orange Business Services (OBS), leading its global organization of 28,000
employees and supporting the digital transformation of enterprise customers
around the world. Prior to OBS, Helmut held leadership positions across Europe
at Avaya Inc., NextiraOne Germany and Alcatel Austria.
Helmut holds a Ph.D. from Vienna University for Economics and
Business (WU), and speaks English, French, German and Spanish.
Co-Founder & COOThe Sandbox France
Borget is the Co-founder and COO of The Sandbox decentralized Metaverse, a
virtual world where players can create, play, own, govern and monetize their
experiences using NFTs & SAND, the main utility token of the
platform. Sebastien also became the President of the Blockchain Game
Alliance in 2020, a non-profit organization of 300 key members of the industry.
He was recently named #4 in the Top #100 2022 most influential people in crypto
by CoinTelegraph https://cointelegraph.com/top-people-in-crypto-and-blockchain/sebastien-borget. The Sandbox has been featured in TIME100 Top 100 most
influential companies of 2022 by Times magazine https://time.com/collection/time100-companies-2022/6159401/the-sandbox/
Global Innovation Officer & SVPCISCO Systems Inc. United States of America
Dr. Guy Diedrich is a Senior Vice President and the Global
Innovation Officer at Cisco, where he is responsible for its Country Digital
Acceleration (CDA) and Networking Academy programs. In this role, Dr. Diedrich collaborates
closely with government and industry leadership around the world to drive
mass-scale digitization initiatives that help increase GDP, create millions of
next-generation jobs, and develop sustainable innovation ecosystems. CDA
operates in over 40 countries and has more than 1200 active or completed digitization
projects since its inception in 2015.
Cisco’s Networking Academy operates in 180 countries and has trained
more than 13 million students in networking and cybersecurity skills over the
past 25 years. Dr. Diedrich continues to grow and evolve the programs into new
markets, and build trust with government, industry and academic stakeholders.
Prior to his current role at Cisco, Dr. Diedrich was a Vice
Chancellor at the Texas A&M University System where he was responsible for
research, commercialization, strategic initiatives, federal and state
President, EEMEAMastercard United Arab Emirates
Dimitrios Dosis is president of Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (EEMEA) at
Mastercard and a member of the company's management committee.
He is responsible for driving the company’s global strategy across 80+ markets and
leading Mastercard’s journey to bring new payment solutions and services to the
region, spanning safety, security, data, artificial intelligence, as well as advancing
social progress and inclusive growth. Under his leadership, Mastercard is advancing
its ambitions as the only true multi-rail technology company, collaborating with a
diverse range of public and private sector partners to enhance the region’s digital
Dosis was previously president of Mastercard Advisors, the company’s services arm,
where he accelerated the use of predictive technologies to advance the company’s
industry-proven problem-solving skills and leveraged data-driven insights and
analytics to help retail and banking customers solve pressing business issues.
Dosis has more than 20 years of experience in technology, transaction banking and
management consulting, and serves on the Board of Directors for ATHEX (Athens
Stock Exchange). He holds an MBA and PhD from the European Business School, as
well as a Master of Economics from the University of Hagen
VP Global Innovation Policy and CommunicationsAmazon United States of America
is Amazon.com’s Vice President for Global Innovation Policy and
Communications. An Amazon VP for over 22
years, Paul has long participated in Amazon’s history, culture, and methods of
sustained, customer-obsessed innovation guided by the company’s Leadership
Principles. He frequently represents
Amazon to external organizations and internal colleagues worldwide.
The founder of
Amazon’s global public policy organization, Paul built and led the team and
served as the company’s Vice President for Global Public Policy from February
2000 to May 2016. Paul has testified before the United States Congress over 30
times and dozens of times before other policymaking bodies around the world. He
has met hundreds of times with political leaders, heads of state, cabinet
ministers, US Representatives and Senators, US governors and mayors, and has
negotiated policy agreements with many of these governors.
Paul is both an
engineer, scientist, and attorney and has brought his expertise to advise
numerous policy and technology organizations during his career. He served as
Senior Legal Advisor to a commissioner of the US Federal Communications
Commission; co-founded and led the computer industry’s Internet Access
Coalition, which successfully blocked the imposition of telecom access charges on
Internet access; and chaired the technical subcommittee of the US Federal
Aviation Administration’s advisory committee that recommended allowing
commercial airline passengers to use portable electronics during taxi, takeoff,
Paul serves on the
board of a number of organizations in the US, advising on economic development,
technology, education, and public affairs. He lives with his family outside of
Washington, D.C. in the United States.
CEORIZEK & Barq EV
Award winning TV show host and international journalist - leading African media personality United Arab Emirates
Currently, a foreign correspondent
for one of Africa's leading news stations - Channels TV - she reports on
stories of global and African interest in the Middle East and has interviewed
several high profile personalities including CEO Dubai Tourism Issam Kazim,
Nigeria's Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Steve Harvey, Akon, world renowned
British artist Sacha Jafri (creator of the world's largest painting on canvas),
Congolese tycoon - Eric Mandala, World Heavyweight Champion - Francis Ngannou
and many others. With over 10 years of multi-media experience, a laudable TV
broadcasting career as well success in various leadership positions, Mayowa stands
as an expert in event compering (MC), public and motivational speaking.
She has been recognised as Media
Personality of the Year 2021 by Lovin Dubai, 1 of 12 Inspirational and
Entrepreneurial Women In The UAE 2021 by the UAE Africa Networking Group, as
well as Nominee, 100 Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) 2021
and Nominee, Future Africa Awards Nominee 2019.
She is the co-author of ‘The Black
& African Guide To Moving To UAE’ and is currently writing her first
United Arab Emirates
Abdelaziz Al Maazmi has played a necessary role in positioning and
defining the role of the Establishment since 2007
Driving the Establishment’s growth, Abdelaziz has significantly
contributed to Support the young entrepreneurs. Abdelaziz commitment
to spearhead an entrepreneurship culture among the UAE nationals has
generated tangible results.
As part of his aim to offer exclusive support to members of the
Establishment, Abdelaziz facilitated key cooperation agreements with
several leading private and public sector organisations.
Abdelaziz Al Maazmi became as well a part of Young Entrepreneur
Competition organizer and in the Young Business Leader Awards since
2008. His responsibilities as a member to support the Young students to
start their businesses and Evaluation projects and businesses who apply
for the Young Business leader award among the Middle East.
He has rich experience to know how Conduct studies & researches to
identify SMEs needs related to the requirements of start-ups, licensing,
partnerships and establishing companies.
Al Maazmi has more than 20 year experience working in several
Co- FounderBYJU’S India
Divya Gokulnath is the
co-founder of BYJU’S – the world’s leading edtech company. As a teacher
and member of the board, she is a firm believer in curiosity-led learning and
putting students in the driver’s seat. After playing a key role in
setting up and expanding brand BYJU’S in the Indian market, Divya is now
actively building and scaling BYJU’S international business across multiple
A strong supporter of
women at work, and mother to two young children, Divya strikes the delicate
balance between work and life perfectly.
Featured on Fortune 40
under 40 entrepreneur 2022 list, and winner of Fortune Most Powerful Women
(2022, 2021, 2020), Express AWE Awards - Woman Entrepreneur of the Year,
Education (2022), MAKERS Women Entrepreneur of the Year (2021), ASU GSV Power
of Women (2021) award, Business Today's Most Powerful Women (2019, 2020, 2021)
award, LinkedIn Top Voices in Education (2019,2020) (India and Global) and
Forbes Asia’s 25 Most Powerful Women (2020), Divya is a strong advocate of
cherishing childlike curiosity.
CIOSiemens Energy Georgia
Dr. Kian Mossanen studied Business Administration at the Friedrich-Alexander
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, where he also worked as a research
assistant to the Chair of Business Informatics during his doctorate.
In parallel Kian also worked as a doctoral student at Siemens AG. On
completion of his doctorate, Dr. Mossanen moved to the Benteler Group where
he was, in his last role, responsible for the IT of Benteler Automobiltechnik
From Benteler he moved to OSRAM Licht AG where he was Group CIO until the
end of 2017, after which he moved on to become CIO of the Dräxlmaier Group.
Kian then assumed his current role as CIO of Siemens Energy
FounderCAFU United Arab Emirates
SVP, International Secure PowerSchneider Electric Russia
Makarochkina is Senior Vice President (SVP) of the Secure Power Division at
Schneider Electric, leading more than 1000 seasoned professionals in delivering
innovative solutions to empower channel partners and support customers with
successful digital transformation projects and achieving sustainability goals.
Electric Secure Power Division provides complete physical infrastructure
solutions for data centers, distributed IT environments, and industrial
applications. As SVP, Natalya is responsible for business success within
multiple geographies - Asia Pacific, India, Middle East, South America and CIS.
is a passionate and charismatic executive with strong expertise within the IT
and Energy Management industries. Her previous leadership roles include senior
management and sales positions within major international technology companies
including HPE, Philips, Oracle, 3COM and others. She holds an Executive MBA
from the University of Antwerp, and Masters degree from the Higher School of
is a confident, credible and knowledgeable speaker, able to address a broad
range of topics from the digitalisation of sectors to emerging technologies
such as edge computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) and the decarbonisation of
data centers and IT services.
experience together with her time invested face-to-face with customers and
end-users in some of the fastest growing global economies, means she can speak
insightfully and at first hand to the challenges and successes of delivering world-class
digital infrastructure to meet the needs for speed, efficiency and
sustainability in the current age.
SVP - Head of RTB and PMOKotak Mahindra Bank
Chief Executive OfficerMicroavia United Arab Emirates
FinTech Sector Head DIFC
SVP – Digital IndustriesHuawei Middle East United Arab Emirates
AdaptiKa & Lecturer, Stanford UniversityCEO of Tech United States of America
CEO Bayut & Dubizzle (AE) United Arab Emirates
CEOBe Mobile Africa
Director, Regulatory Policy Development Capital Market Authority
Head of Trends and Innovation, Knowledge & Impact SectorAbu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority United Arab Emirates
CEOT-Hub Foundation (IN)
Director of ExpansionAstroLabs United Arab Emirates
Chief Technology Officer Spring Health (US)
CEO and Managing DirectorSelfdrive.ae United Arab Emirates
Selfdrive.ae is the largest car rental
subscription platform in UAE.
Making it the region's first car rental & leasing platform to
offer cars direct from the dealerships.
From the concept that stated from a one-desk workstation, Soham has
led Selfdrive.ae to several milestone & has achieved 2 million days of
reservation, Expanded its operations in 6 countries in GCC & the platform
manages assets worth of 500 million US dollars.
Vice PresidentIBM Cloud and Cognitive Software , IBM United Arab Emirates
Head of Business Development of the Free ZoneDMCC United Arab Emirates
Belal Jassoma is the Head of Business Development of the
Free Zone arm of DMCC, the most interconnected Free Zone in the world, and a
leading trade and enterprise hub.
After joining DMCC in January 2011, Belal assumed the
roles of Products & Services Development Manager and Senior Business
Development Manager before taking on his current position in January 2018.
Belal has been instrumental in expanding the Free Zone
offering, introducing new products and services, member engagement programs,
and developing key strategic relationships which resulted in both business
growth and member retention. As part of his current responsibilities as Head of
BD, Belal leads several key functions for DMCC including corporate sales,
business setup, partnerships, and product development. DMCC is now home to over
18,000 businesses and was named Global Free Zone of the Year by the Financial
Times’ fDi Magazine for 7 consecutive years.
Belal holds a Bachelor of Science in Business
Administration from the American University of Sharjah and brings over 15 years
of experience in real estate, investment and government administration.
Software ArchitectDigital Dubai Authority United Arab Emirates
MD East AfricaNorrsken Rwanda
Technical Lead Digital Dubai Authority United Arab Emirates
Software EngineerDigital Dubai Authority United Arab Emirates
Solutions ArchitectDigital Dubai Authority United Arab Emirates
Core Developer for Pandas, Release Manager for Pandas 1.5.0, VP InfrastructureNumFOCUS Vietnam
Senior Developer Advocate MENAAmazon Web Services United Arab Emirates
Lead Mobile EngineerDigital Dubai Authority United Arab Emirates
Head of Sector Development - Digital Economy at Luxinnovation GIEGovernment of Luxembourg Luxembourg
Executive Director AI Asia Pacific Institute United Arab Emirates
FounderDubai AI Society United Arab Emirates
Délégation Générale à l’entreprenariat rapide des femmes et des jeunesSenegal Senegal
Having always had a passion for
humans and driven by a desire to support and transform territories, Mame Aby
Seye turned early on to sociology and demography. With a doctorate in
Sociology-Demography, she joined the NGO ENDA Tiers-Monde in Senegal in 2004,
an experience that made her able to apprehend and work on issues specific to
Senegalese territories. After a few years in France in consulting positions,
Mame Aby Seye joined the Senegalese Caisse des Dépôts et de Consignations as
Project Manager for two years, then Head of the Territorial Development
Division for two more years.
In 2019, Mame Aby Seye was
appointed by H.E. President Macky Sall as Executive Director of the Fonds de
Financement de la Formation Professionnelle et Technique (3FPT), where she
carried the voice of vocational training in Senegal for almost three years and
reinforced the country's leadership at the pan-African level.
In 2022, Mame Aby Seye was
appointed by H.E. President Macky Sall as General Delegate for Rapid
Entrepreneurship of Women and Youth (DER/FJ), where she accompanies women and
youth in entrepreneurship, guided by a constant and sustainable focus on social
inclusion and territorial equity.
Editor in Chief Entrepreneur Middle East (AE)
Investment Associate, Delphos International; Investment Advisor, GIZEarly Stage Investor in Africa Morocco
Aya is an
investment professional at Delphos International - a Washington DC based
investment firm that targets impact investments in emerging and frontier
markets. Aya has experience in large infrastructure projects and early-stage
technology companies. She is also an early-stage investor focusing on pre-seed
and seed start-ups in Middle East and Africa. Aya sits on the board of several
companies in the African ecosystem in the areas of financial technology,
logistics, retail, and health technology. Aya is also an advisor to GIZ's SAIS
investment readiness program, which targets agribusiness and technology
companies in Africa. She is a rising angel investor, having been featured as a
shark on the Moroccan version of Shark Tank as the youngest investor on the
show. Aya aims to empower a new generation of investors on the continent.
COOWomen in AI United Arab Emirates
Founder and CEOFirstFounders Inc. Nigeria
SVP - Marketing & Comms EEMEAMastercard Italy
Head of Product OfferingCheckout ,Payoneer
Partner and DirectorVolition Capital Nigeria
Kola Oyeneyin sits at the intersection of Investments, Technology, Economic
Development, Public Policy, and People, as a serial entrepreneur, investor & business
leader. Kola is a Partner and Director at Volition Cap – an African-focused Private
Equity company & Co-Lead of Opportunik Global Fund.
As an impact-oriented business leader, he has founded multiple thriving businesses
through Venia Group – a venture creation company. Venia was recognized as one of
the "Companies to Inspire Africa" by the London Stock Exchange Group, after
pioneering two new industries in Nigeria; the Coworking & Insurtech sectors. At
Volition Cap, Kola drives strategic partnerships, deal origination and global growth.
At Volition Blue LLC, a US-based company, he’s focused on bridging the Africa and
the US Markets.
Kola holds a master of Public Administration degree, from the Harvard Kennedy
School and a Computer Science degree from the University of Nottingham. He’s an
Edward Mason & Gleitsman Fellow, and a member of the Harvard Center for Public
Leadership. He is also a Desmond Tutu Fellow. Kola was recently selected as one of
the "The Most Influential People of African Descent”.
Advisor of the General Director, Agence de Développement du DigitalADD Morocco
Moderator & CMOFluid Finance United Arab Emirates
Group VP,Tap Payments
Soliman Aldukhil is a Group VP at Tap Payments, working closely with the Group CEO to drive greater collaboration and implement strategies to scale the company further. After graduating from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia, he started his career in the banking industry focusing on accelerating digital transformation and providing a seamless service across banks like the Saudi Investment Bank, Bank Saudi Fransi, and Bank Albilad. He then moved to Saudi Payments, the operator of the national payment operator of the local scheme ‘mada’, and was involved in developing the digital payment ecosystem in Saudi Arabia. Soliman enjoys new challenges and is a deep believer in “There are no limits other than the limits that you put on yourself” which is precisely the mentality he brings in everything he does within his role.
General Manager250 Startups Rwanda
Charles is the General Manager of 250STARTUPS Incubator where he is responsible
for resource mobilisation, sustainability and overseeing all programs of the hub.
He is passionate about startups and entrepreneurship and is actively involved in
different mentorship programs with both local and international organizations.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of
Rwanda where he majored in Marketing. He then completed ‘’Mastering Design
Thinking’’ from MIT which is a global tool used while supporting startups, and he
hold an MBA in Project Management from Oklahoma Christian University from
Charles is the current chairperson of Unity Investment Board where the group
invests in real estate for the last 5 years.
He is also Founder and CEO Next Africa Group which is a business consulting firm
that offers a 360 degrees business solutions ranging from Business development, ,
strategies for SME's, startups and Sustainability plan for hubs among other services
with the aim of helping organizations achieve the optimum effectiveness
FounderSUN Tsu Lab
FounderMENA FINTECH ASSOCIATIONMENA
CEOCreed & Bear
Regional HeadRegional - Middle East Freshworks (IN)
Co-Founder and Co-CEOJumia United Arab Emirates
Co-Founder and Co-CEOMoove
Senior Executive OfficerSeba Bank
CEOMena ,3S Money
Managing PartnerLegal Circle (AE)
Investment ManagerAUC Angels United Arab Emirates
Project ManagerCBDC, Bank of Israel
Africa Startups and SMEs LeadMicrosoft Kenya
As the Startups and SMEs Lead for Microsoft’s Africa
Transformation Office, Maithya leads a team focused on empowering these
organisations through digital technologies.
Based in Kenya, he has held various commercial roles in
multiple industry sectors in the last 20 years, most recently as the
Investment Director for ARCH Cold Chain Solutions East Africa Fund, one of the
ARCH Emerging Markets funds. Together with the Managing Director,
he was responsible for the management of the US$100 million East Africa Cold
Chain Solutions fund.
Prior to this Maithya held various positions at Barclays
Bank, where he gained experience in strategy, commercial
development, consumer and corporate banking. His most recent role with the
bank was as Head of Global Clients and Financial Institutions team for Barclays
Bank in Kenya, which later rebranded to ABSA Bank Kenya.
Earlier in his career, Maithya worked at
Cadbury Schweppes between 2001 and 2007 where he held positions in Sales and
Marketing with responsibility covering emerging markets in Europe, Middle East
During his career, Maithya has lived and
worked in Kenya, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, South Africa, Nigeria and Uganda.
He holds a BSc Physics and Mathematics from the University of Nairobi as well
as an MBA from London Business School, United Kingdom, and a Chartered
Institute of Marketing Diploma.
In 2005, Maithya founded the Precious
Sisters Charity in Kenya. The Charity supports bright individuals from underprivileged
backgrounds by paying their tuition fees through secondary school. As of January
2022, the charity had supported and actively mentored more than 320 girls in four
schools, with 96 percent of them securing admission to local and international colleges
and universities. In recognition of the charity’s impact, Maithya was awarded a
Barclays Global Citizenship Award.
CEOLaurendeau and Associates Estonia
Bernard Laurendeau is the Managing Partner at
Laurendeau & Associates. In Ethiopia, he’s advising clients in digital
transformation, startup ecosystem building, growth strategy for
startups. He also is an active angel investor with one of the portfolio companies
having raised the largest funding round in Ethiopia. Bernard
was also the Regional Director for Africa of a Silicon Valley based
big data analytics startup. At BNP Paribas, he was focusing on
offshoring and outsourcing strategies as Vice President of the Location
Strategy group in San Francisco.
Bernard draws from more than 15 years of global management consulting
experience, he holds a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from ENSTA
France, a Master of Science in aerospace engineering as well as a Master in
Business Administration from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Global LeadEndeavour Catalyst United States of America
Regional Vice President- Europe Amdocs
DirectorSharjah Business Women Council United Arab Emirates
Mariam Bin Al Shaikh, Director
of Sharjah Business Women Council leads formulating strategic plans for SBWC,
and plays a critical role in determining new opportunities for the council and
steering the team towards achieving its mission and vision.
Al Shaikh’s talent and
application were rewarded with a membership to the Sharjah Consultative
Council in 2019. As
member of the Financial, Economic and Industrial
Affairs Committee, she is part of an elite team of professionals who advise on
policies, laws and legislation as well as services and public utilities.
Al Shaikh holds a
Bachelors’ degree in International
Studies from the American University
of Sharjah. She is also a graduate of
the Sharjah Leadership Programme and has attended several management and
leadership programmes conducted by leading international universities.
from her profession, Al Shaikh is passionate about social work,
having been a Board Member of the social organisation 1971 Team since
2014, She helps organise social charity events such as ‘Ela Jary’ and ‘Food
Drive’ and coordinates with the Ministry of Youth and Ministry of Happiness
throughout the year on initiatives to help the underprivileged.
Founder Crypto Oasis