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The State of the Africa Region: Leveraging Innovation to Transform Agriculture and Energy

April 21, 2018

MC C1-250 (MC Café), World Bank Group Headquarters

  • As the Africa region’s premier event at the World Bank–IMF Annual and Spring Meetings, the State of the Africa Region seminar is an opportunity to reflect on the main trends shaping the continent’s economic landscape. Discussions will cover Africa’s ongoing economic recovery, the changing composition of public debt, and the ways in which African countries can harness and scale up disruptive technologies and innovations in the agriculture and energy sectors to leapfrog into a more prosperous future.

    Join African entrepreneurs, innovators, public sector leaders, and development partners as they address these issues and explore what it will take to achieve impactful technology leaps that will allow Africa to meet its energy needs and ensure food security.

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    Gugulethu Mfuphi

    Senior Anchor, CNBC Africa

    Gugulethu Mfuphi is a well-versed broadcast journalist, specializing in financial markets, economic data and current affairs issues. She is a regular speaker and moderator for industry analysts, political leaders and C-suite executives from across the African continent. Mfuphi is a Senior Anchor on CNBC Africa and presenter of Kaya FM’s prime time business show, Kaya Bizz. She also serves as a Conference Chair, Panel Discussion Moderator and Program Director, at various industry gatherings that impact the business and investment landscape. She is a regular participant of events such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and in Africa, and moderator for high level conferences.


    Makhtar Diop

    World Bank Vice President for Africa

    Makhtar Diop is the World Bank's Vice President for Africa since May 2012 where he oversees a portfolio of over 600 projects in Africa totaling $65 billion to help tackle development challenges such as raising agricultural productivity; increasing access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy; fostering women’s and youth’s economic empowerment and promoting high quality education for all. In addition to his international organization experience, Mr. Diop, an economist by training who started his career in the banking sector before joining the IMF and later the World Bank, has extensive private sector experience. He has also held government positions, most notably the position of Minister of Economy and Finance of Senegal. Makhtar Diop played a key role in instituting important structural reforms aimed at laying a strong foundation for Senegal’s sustainable growth in the late 1980s. From 2009 to 2012, Mr. Diop held the position of World Bank Country Director for Brazil, where he managed the institution’s biggest country portfolio. Under his leadership, the World Bank helped finance major infrastructure work and the quality of transport infrastructure played a key role in making Rio de Janeiro a contender for the 2016 Olympics and in its choice as the host city for this event. Before assuming these positions, Mr. Diop served as Director of Strategy and Operations and Sector Director for Finance, Private Sector and Infrastructure, with both positions being in the Latin America and Caribbean Region. Between 2002 and 2005, Makhtar Diop was the Bank’s Country Director for Kenya, Eritrea, and Somalia, based in Nairobi. In 2017, Makhtar Diop, a recognized opinion leader in the economic and social development field, was named one of the 100 most influential Africans in the world. In March 2015, he received the prestigious Regents’ Lectureship Award from the University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Diop holds degrees in economics from the Universities of Warwick and Nottingham in England.


    Albert Zeufack

    World Bank Chief Economist for the Africa Region

    Albert Zeufack, a Cameroonian national, is the World Bank Chief Economist for the Africa Region. He joined the World Bank in 1997 as a research economist in the macroeconomics division of the Research Department. Since then, he has held several positions in the East Asia and Pacific region, as well as in the Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management Global Practice with a particular focus on Africa, Europe and Central Asia. Mr. Zeufack’s main research interest is the micro-foundations of macroeconomics. Prior to his appointment as Chief Economist, he was Practice Manager in the Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management Global Practice and leader of the World Bank-wide Community of Practice for the Management of Natural Resources Rents, a group interested in sovereign wealth, fiscal rules, public spending patterns, and macro-modeling in natural resource-rich economies. Before joining the World Bank, Mr. Zeufack taught economics and applied econometrics at the University of Clermont-Ferrand, France, where he received his Ph.D. in economics. He holds a master’s degree in economic analysis and policy from the University of Yaoundé, Cameroon.


    Rebecca Miano

    Managing Director & CEO of KenGen

    Rebecca Miano is the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of KenGen as of October 2017. She is responsible for the operational running of the company and ensuring the execution of the corporate strategy for long-term competitiveness. Previously, from 2008 to 2017, she was the Company Secretary and Legal Affairs Director. She is a respectable lawyer with a career in law and corporate governance. She has been responsible for driving the corporate governance agenda in the company, providing guidance and support to the Board and has been the Secretary to the Board and all its Committees. Rebecca Miano holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree with Honours, a diploma in Law and Post-graduate studies in Comparative Law. In 2010, she completed the Advanced Management Programme from Strathmore University. She is a registered Certified Public Secretary of Kenya and is a member of the Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya (ICPSK) and the Law Society of Kenya (LSK). Mrs. Miano was awarded the Company Secretary of the Year award in 2010 under the auspices of the ICPSK Champions of Governance.


    Thierry Tanoh

    Minister of Petroleum, Energy, and Renewable Energy for Côte d'Ivoire

    Thierry Tanoh is Cote d’Ivoire’s Minister of Petroleum, Energy, and Renewable Energy since January 2017. He was formerly Deputy General Secretary in charge of Economic Affairs. Previously, served as Vice President of Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Western Europe at the International Finance Corporation (IFC). He oversaw IFC's European offices in developed countries. He also served as the Group Chief Executive of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated from 2013 to 2014, as well as the Chief Executive of Ecobank Group at Ecobank Nigeria. Tanoh is a graduate of the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce d'Abidjan and received an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is also a Certified Public Accountant in France.


    Esther Kunda

    Program and Operations Coordinator for Next Einstein Forum

    Esther Kunda is the Program and Operations Coordinator for Next Einstein Forum. She is building and managing the African community of scientists through various programs. Prior to that, she was supporting the Government of Rwanda to implement the Smart Education master plan as an Education Support Manager at Intel. She is experienced in product and business development in tech especially ICT for development. She is a member of Girls in ICT- Rwanda, where they work to raise awareness and get young girls to join the STEM field. She is passionate about science and technology and women in STEM. Kunda holds a master's degree in information technology from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Science from the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology.


    Ugwem I. Eneyo

    Co-Founder and CEO, Solstice Energy Solutions

    Ugwem I. Eneyo is the co-founder and CEO of Solstice Energy Solutions, a start-up company specializing in IoT and software to connect and intelligently manage distributed energy resources in emerging markets. Eneyo’s Nigerian heritage created a strong passion for addressing the challenges and opportunities across the African continent. As a Masters and admitted Ph.D. student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, she focused on the nexus of energy, environment, and sustainable development of emerging markets. Her previous research includes working in rural Tanzania with faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Nelson Mandela Institute of Science and Technology in Arusha, developing techniques for rural water treatment. Eneyo also spent time in industry working as an environmental and regulatory advisor at ExxonMobil, supporting projects in Chad, Nigeria, and Southeast Asia.


  • When: Saturday, April 21, 2018
  • Time: 11:00-12:30 ET, 15:00–16:30 GMT
  • Where: MC C1-250 (MC Café), World Bank Group Headquarters
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