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Dr. Isaias Barreto da Rosa

Dr. Isaias Barreto da Rosa is Chairman, Multisectoral Regulatory Agency of the Economy in Cape Verde. Before his current appointment, Dr. da Rosa was Commissioner for ICT for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Prior to joining the ECOWAS he worked as Software developer at the Center for the Study of Information Problems at the Portuguese Catholic University, Portugal; researcher and lecturer at Tallinn University, Estonia; professor at Jean Piaget University of Cape Verde for 13 years, where he also assumed several other responsibilities such as head of the unit (department) of science and technology, Director of the Technological Division; Director of the Digital Education Lab, Cisco Academy Manager, Microsoft IT Academy Manager, etc. Dr. Barreto da Rosa has several research papers published in journals and proceedings of international conferences.

He concluded his post-doc at the Tallinn University, Estonia, addressing the issue of enabling mobile access to digital libraries in digital divide environments. He holds an Advanced Studies Diploma and a PhD degree (Hons) in Education and Human Development (University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain), a Master degree in Management Development (Euro-Arab Management School, Granada, Spain), and a licentiate degree in Computer Science (Faculty of Science, University of Lisbon, Portugal). Dr. Isaias Barreto da Rosa is a Cisco Academy instructor by the University of Central England, United Kingdom and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa. He lives in Cape Verde.

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Dr. Marius Venter

Dr. Marius Venter is the founder and director of the Centre for Local Economic Development (CENLED) based at the University of Johannesburg. CENLED’s focal areas are economic development, in particular through entrepreneurship in local communities across South Africa. Dr Venter was appointed by the Minister as the deputy chairperson of the Small Business Development Agency (SEDA), established through an Act to implement the Government’s small business strategy through implementing a national delivery network for small enterprise development.

He has been the driving force in establishing a network of academics and practitioners in these fields in all South African universities, leading to the establishment of the professional body, the Economic Development Council of South Africa (EDCSA), which he chairs. Dr. Venter has more than 20 years’ hands-on experience in small business development and entrepreneurial activities, mainly in the local government sphere. He is the Director: PASCAL Observatory Africa, a global alliance that works in collaboration with city and regional and leaders to balance economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. He is a visiting professor at Philippines Normal University. Dr. Venter holds a PhD in Economics.

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Dorothy Gordon

Dorothy Gordon is Chair, Inter-Governmental Council, UNESCO Information for All Programme. Ms. Gordon served as the founding Director-General of Accra-based Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT from 2003-2016. She currently serves as an Associate Fellow with Chatham House. She is a specialist in technology for development, with over two decades of leadership in diverse projects and programmes to support Africa’s move from technology consumption to creating technology designed to meet the continent’s needs.

She provides consulting and advisory services to government, private sector, and civil society. The focus of her work covers capacity development; digital inclusion projects; innovation (including support to technology start-ups, digital content creation, copyright and intellectual property); gender and IT, and cyber-security. Her work as a specialist in international development spans over 30 years with increasing leadership and management responsibilities.

Her extensive experience within the United Nations is complemented by work in the private sector and with civil society organisations globally. She is actively involved at Board and advisory level in a number of global organisations working on defining our digital future. These include the World Summit Awards, Creative Commons, Global Commission on Internet Governance etc. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Cyber Policy as well as the International Journal of Gender Science and Technology. The present direction of her work relates to how best ICT can be ‘owned’ by developing countries. Capacity-building must set a sound foundation for innovation and cutting-edge research both to improve overall competitiveness as well as identify solutions for survival. She holds degrees from the University of Ghana and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) of the University of Sussex, UK.

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Fergus Maclaren

Fergus Maclaren is a sustainable tourism and cultural heritage management professional with 25 years of experience in Canada and internationally. His background includes a broad range of tourism planning, destination management and community development aspects including training, risk and gap analyses, performance indicators development, research, site evaluation, needs assessment, Internet marketing, communications plans, site branding, multi-stakeholder evaluation and participation, program design and evaluation, large group presentations and facilitation.

Mr. Maclaren has taught sustainable tourism at McGill University and lectured on the subject at post-secondary institutions in North America and Asia. He was elected President of the ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee in December 2017, and has acted as the Canadian National Expert Representative since 2008.

Mr. Maclaren has travelled to and participated in various initiatives in Africa. Among others, he has been to Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Tanzania.

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Sherry Lee

Sherry Lee is an experienced project manager, group moderator/facilitator and mediator with extensive background in post-secondary education, business-education partnerships, event coordination, planning, research and training. She has worked in the magazine publishing industry for the past eight years.

Throughout her professional career, Sherry has served in a variety of roles in the private, public and non-profit sectors and has done extensive consulting work at the community and government levels. A superb planner and organizer with strong executive and governance skills, Ms. Lee has worked in the areas of online learning, custom training, fundraising, community relations and communications. Sherry holds a BA with Distinction and an MPA in Public Management.

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Amine Laghidi

Amine Laghidi is President, National Commission in Charge of Immaterial Capital and Immaterial Economies of Morocco. Mr. Laghidi is an internationally recognized expert in business creative strategies and new trends of globalization. Mr. Amine had a successful career that led him to four continents where he held important positions in the private and public sectors: Director of the SNTL (Leader in Logistics Infrastructures, Transportation and Supply Chain in Morocco and the Region/ State Owned), Maersk Group (World Leader of Maritime and Logistics), Colas / Bouygues Group (Infrastructures/ Railways/ Tramways/ Ports/ Roads), Agent Representative of Key Multinationals in Morocco and Africa, Jacobs Engineering (World Leader), OLAM (Agriculture Development), as well as important financial institutions. Mr. Laghidi is also a Professor who covers a large scope of subjects: Business Strategy, Business Intelligence, Logistics Engineering and PPP.

He is a writer and frequently speaks at international conferences. He is also an entrepreneur and a representative of the African and the Moroccan Business Associations as Vice President of the ASMEX (Moroccan Foreign Trade Federation of Federations and Chambers), as well as President of Poles for the African Chamber of SMEs, among other distinctions and responsibilities. He is a true believer in Africa, and in the potential of South-South cooperation.

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Jacinta Nzioka

Jacinta Nzioka is a passionate tourism executive in Kenya’s tourism industry. Until her appointment as the Acting National Coordinator for the National Convention Bureau, Ms. Nzioka was the Director of Marketing at the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), where she was charged with the responsibility of leading Kenya’s global marketing strategy. With over 15 years’ experience in Destination Marketing at the tourist board, she has led several projects and initiatives to turn around the sector and position Kenya globally as a preferred tourist destination and achieving recognition of KTB as Africa’s Best Tourism Board 6 years consecutively. Jacinta’s warm and charismatic demeanour and well-known passion for her work earned her a steady rise to the top of the tourism board and is a familiar face in most global events where Kenya tourism is represented. Within the East African region, Jacinta’s contribution has been under the Joint Tourism Marketing Committee that led to achievements of Marketing Destination East Africa, support to the Rwanda and Uganda tourism board chiefs in formulating their tourism strategies as well as support for the Development of Sustainable Tourism Model in Ethiopia.

Last year, Jacinta was appointed by the World Tourism Forum, Lucerne as Africa’s first Advisory Board member and recognized by South Africa’s CEO Magazine among top “Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Public Sector”. Jacinta is a member of the ICOMOS International Committee on Tourism and Culture, the International Women Corporate Directors (WCD), Women in Tourism International (WITIA), one of the founding Executive Directors of the Kenya Association of Women in Tourism (KAWT), and a Board member of the Ecotourism Kenya (EK) the association championing sustainable tourism in Kenya. She holds a Masters of Business Administration in Strategic Management, Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management, Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing and has undertaken several professional executive courses in Leadership, Project management, and international relations among others. Her passion for cultural tourism and sustainable development has seen her participate in various international conferences and forums as speaker, presenter and mentor as well as guest university lecturer in Kenya, Ethiopia and the UK.

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Dr. Fred Olayele

Dr. Fred Olayele’s diverse career spans banking, government, international development, management consulting, and academia. As Chief Economist with New York City Economic Development Corporation, he leads economic research and policy initiatives aimed at making New York City the global model for inclusive growth and innovation. He has consulted widely and advised many public and private organizations in Canada, United States and Africa –including startups, multinational corporations, and international development agencies.

A Research Professor at the Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Canada, he has taught strategy and international business in the MBA program; and applied and theoretical economics classes at the University of Regina, Canada. Prior to his current role, he was President & Chief Economist with the Global Economic Institute – where he championed internationalization through the triple helix approach. A First Class Honours Economics graduate, his research interests are in trade policy, economic development, energy and climate policy, political economy, and strategic management. He earned his Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Victoria in Canada, and a PhD in Economics from Lancaster University, United Kingdom.

Dr. Olayele is a frequent speaker on trending economic and public policy issues, and has published in reputed international journals.

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Jeff Finkle

Jeff Finkle is a Special Advisor to the Steering Committee. As President and CEO of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), Jeff Finkle is a recognized leader and authority on economic development. With the formation of IEDC in 2001 following the merger of the Council for Urban Economic Development (CUED) – where he was president for 15 years – and the American Economic Development Council (AEDC), Jeff set the course for a more effective and influential organization. Today IEDC is the world’s largest economic development membership organization and is a $5 million annual operation that is renowned for its leadership in professionalizing and diversifying the field of economic development.

Jeff previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and has received numerous awards over the years for his commitment to making sustainable economic development a priority in communities of all sizes. Significantly, in 2011 he was lauded by the U.S. Department of Commerce for his 25 years of stewardship over CUED and IEDC. Moreover, as a longtime leader in community service and philanthropy, in 2005 Jeff organized 250 economic development volunteers to work in Gulf Coast communities endeavoring to recover from Hurricane Katrina. In 1989 he also founded the Bollinger Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to children who have lost a parent who worked in the field of economic development.

A frequent lecturer and author of numerous articles, Jeff has appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, Fox television and the Journal Report on PBS. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in communications in 1976 from Ohio University in Athens and pursued graduate studies in business administration at Ohio State University. He maintains a strong connection with Ohio University’s Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs.