Don’t miss the first Africa’s New Cities Summit
Africa’s New Cities Summit, hosted by the Charter Cities Institute in association with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the Africa Infrastructure Development Association (AfIDA), brings together all facets of the international development community – developers, builders, governments, academics, and more – to address the pressing issue of rapid urbanization in Africa. The summit serves as a platform for discussing challenges, finding solutions, and optimizing opportunities related to urbanization.
The desired outcomes of Africa’s New Cities Summit are as follows:
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Iyinoluwa Aboyeji is a faith-driven investor and entrepreneur. He is passionate about partnering with mission-driven innovators and investors building an African future where prosperity and purpose are within everyone’s reach. He is currently the CEO and General Partner of Future Africa, an early-stage venture capital firm with a portfolio of 100 companies collectively worth over $6 billion. Before founding the Fund, he was the founding CEO of Flutterwave, a billion-dollar global payments platform connecting African businesses and individuals to the global economy. He was also the co-founder of Andela, a billion-dollar business that matches Africa’s top engineering talent to global technology companies. Andela is also backed by top global investors like Spark Capital, Google Ventures, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and SoftBank amongst others.
Clare Akamanzi is a prominent figure in Rwanda, with a diverse background in law, public administration, business, and politics. Since February 4, 2017, she has held the position of Executive Director and CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, a cabinet-level appointment made by the President of Rwanda. In this role, Akamanzi is responsible for overseeing economic growth in Rwanda by fostering the growth of the private sector.
Akamanzi has over fifteen years of experience in economic development, specializing in trade and investment policy, business law and strategy, economic development policy, and private sector growth and FDI promotion. She has worked for the Rwandan government as a diplomat and special trade negotiator and the World Trade Organization. She is also a founding board member of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Dr. Leonard Wantchekon is the James Madison Professor of Political Economy at Princeton University, as well as a Professor of Politics and International Affairs. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a member of the Executive Committee of the International Economic Association, and has served as Secretary of the American Political Science Association and on the Executive Committee of the Afrobarometer Network. Wantchekon is also the Founder and President of the African School of Economics, which opened in Benin in 2014 (and has since added campuses in Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria), and the Founder and President of the Pan-African Scientific Research Council. He previously served as a professor at New York University and Yale University and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern University.
Corey Gray is the Global CEO of the Smart Cities Council, an influential network dedicated to promoting sustainable and innovative smart cities worldwide. With almost three decades of industry experience, Gray is also a qualified Illumination Engineer and serves as a director and treasurer on the board of the Global Technology Interoperability Organization and LMI. Additionally, Gray founded and chairs LVX Global, a leading provider of smart city solutions. He is also the founder and chair of LVX Global, a leading provider of smart city solutions. He is a respected thought leader, advocate, and policy expert in the field of smart cities, sought after by organizations worldwide for his expertise.
Magatte Wade is an entrepreneur and advocate for African dignity and prosperity. Her TED talk, “Why it is too hard to start a business in Africa – and how to change it” has been seen by more than 600K people. She is a Forbes “20 Youngest Power Women in Africa”, a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum at Davos, a TED Global Africa Fellow, and a “Leading Woman in Wellness” award winner by the Global Wellness Summit. In 2014 she was featured on the cover of Forbes Afrique for being the person in Francophone Africa having the greatest positive impact on the future. She serves as the Director of the Atlas Network’s Center for African Prosperity.
Wade is a member of the board of Directors of Conscious Capitalism Inc. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Whole Planet Foundation, of Whole Foods Market. She has written for The Guardian, HuffingtonPost.com, and Barron’s, and has been profiled by the NYT. She has spoken at numerous high-profile venues including the U.N., The Clinton Global Initiative, the Aspen Institute, TED, Conscious Capitalism, and many dozens of universities including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, MIT, UC Berkeley, Dartmouth, and the Wharton School of Business.
Daniel Yu is an entrepreneur and software developer with extensive personal and professional experience working and traveling across 70+ countries, primarily in emerging economies (Africa, the Middle East, Central America, Brazil, Southeast Asia, and China). Daniel is the founder and CEO of Wasoko, a tech company transforming the $600 billion market of essential goods sold through mom-and-pop stores in Africa through on-demand ordering, delivery, and financing. Backed by over $100M in investment from Tiger Global and other leading investors, he is based in East Africa with ultimate responsibility over all businesses serving tens of thousands of merchants across Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia while partnering with leading manufacturers including Unilever and Procter & Gamble.
Tesi Rusagara leads Kigali Innovation City, whose mission is to nurture and accelerate Rwanda’s innovation ecosystem to position Rwanda as a pan-African hub. She was previously with Deloitte Consulting in San Francisco advising financial services clients on digital transformation, growth strategy, and divestitures.
Ms. Rusagara has also worked as the President of Rwanda’s Strategy and Policy Unit where she focused on technology, urbanization, and private sector development. Prior to this role, she worked for the Bank of Kigali, Rwanda’s largest commercial bank. Ms. Rusagara holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Business Science in Finance from the University of Cape Town.
Michael Castle-Miller is a Partner and special economic zones and governance reform Lead at Albright Stonebridge Group. He specializes in designing institutional frameworks to govern special economic zones (SEZs), cities, semi-autonomous jurisdictions, and localized policy reforms. With over 35 countries under his belt, he assists clients in drafting laws and regulations, creating administrative agencies, developing policies, and structuring public-private partnerships.
Michael also leads Refugee Cities/SDZ Alliance, a non-profit organization that creates special zones to provide opportunities for refugees and other forced migrants to legally work, start businesses, and build homes and communities while displaced. Prior to this, Michael led Politas Consulting, as well as provided legal and policy advice to government and private-sector clients, and worked at Locus Economica and the World Bank.
Darl Uzu is the Founder, Managing Director, and CEO of Crown Realties Plc. He is a prominent figure in the Nigerian real estate industry and also serves as the lead consultant for Enyimba Economic City. At 70 years of age, Uzu possesses a wealth of knowledge and experience, having previously served as the Head of Development for Knight Frank & Rutley in the 1980s, as well as teaching at Harvard University before establishing Crown Realties Plc.
Crown Realties Plc is spearheading the PPP project for Enyimba Economic City, which involves collaboration between the private sector, the Abia State Government, and the Federal Government of Nigeria. This project aims to develop a greenfield city spanning 9,464 hectares that will foster growth in various sectors such as manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, entertainment, education, innovation technology hub, commercial, lifestyle residential, and aviation. The overarching goal is to create a self-sustaining business hub that will integrate Nigerian businesses into regional and global value chains.
With a distinguished career spanning over 27 years in the property sector, Willie Vos has emerged as a seasoned senior executive with expertise in real estate, property management, and asset management. Throughout his extensive career, Vos has demonstrated success in various domains such as business development, revenue generation, cost and operations management, and risk mitigation. His strategic acumen and adept leadership have consistently propelled organizations to new heights, earning him a reputation as a transformative force in the industry.
Vos’s passion has found its culmination in the dynamic field of smart city planning, development, and management. Notably, he stands as a driving force alongside his partners, shaping the trajectory of the newly rebranded 2,200-hectare Waterfall City. This ambitious endeavor has emerged as a testament to innovation and excellence within Gauteng, with hopes to emerge as a thriving economic hub that rivals established giants such as Sandton and Johannesburg’s central business district.
Chirag Shah is the Founder and CEO of 1 International FinCentre Associates, an institution that supports governments and investors in creating and operating new economic cities and clusters worldwide. The company aims to bring the experience of world-class cities like Dubai to other markets, and develop world-class infrastructure, both legal and physical, that enables individuals, businesses, and investors to enjoy high economic and social benefits.
With over twenty-five years of experience in various leadership roles, including Strategy, Business Development, Investment, and Consulting, Chirag has achieved double-digit growth and high-impact influence in significant emerging market blocks of the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Central, and South America. He has worked in the Government sector for 12 years in Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai, in the Financial Sector with American Express, and Consulting with Andersen.
Leander Moons founded his own design and project management consultancy company, Leander Moons Inc., in 2019 in New York. As the project portfolio grew rapidly, Leander, together with Andreas Trampe-Kieslich, established OMT Architects GmbH in Berlin in 2021. Both companies work seamlessly together from the concept design phase through the project delivery on-site, with a goal to create and implement sustainable, equitable, and empowering design solutions for building projects. The most recent projects have placed a special focus on the innovative integration of locally sourced, sustainable building materials, particularly timber.
Before starting his own businesses, Leander worked for leading architectural offices in Europe (Baumschlager Eberle Architects), Africa (Bowman Architects Associates), and North America (nbbj). He supervised the Berlin-based team of Baumschlager Eberle Architects and the Nairobi office of Bowman Architects. He has been leading international consultant teams for complex projects around the globe. Leander has contributed to the realization of numerous projects in different building typologies and his works have received multiple architectural awards.
You won’t want to miss the first-ever Africa’s New Cities Summit!