In 1987 Diane Abbott made history by becoming the first black woman ever elected to the British Parliament. She has since built a distinguished career as a parliamentarian, broadcaster and commentator. Born in London in 1953, she attended the Harrow County grammar school and went on to Newnham College Cambridge where she obtained a Masters degree in history. Upon leaving Cambridge, Diane joined Government as a Home Office Civil Servant. She went on to work for the lobby group the National Council for Civil Liberties, before moving into journalism. She worked extensively as a freelancer and then as a reporter for the breakfast television company TV-AM and Thames Television, as well as working as a public relations consultant. In 2008 Diane was awarded the Spectator / Threadneedle Speech of the Year Award and a Human Rights Award from Liberty. Diane is founder of the London Schools and the Black Child initiative, which aims to raise educational achievement levels amongst Black children.
Chukwuebuka Obi-Uchendu is a Nigerian lawyer and media personality from Okija in Anambra State, Nigeria. He is known for hosting the reality show Big Brother Naija, the long running Rubbin' Minds talk show on Channels TV as well as co-hosting The Spot and Men's Corner on Ebonylife Television.
Arkell Cox is a God-fearing woman and mother of two amazing daughters, Arkell, is defying the odds, breaking boundaries and calling all the shots as a successful woman.Brooklyn born and raised with an entrepreneurial spirit to solve problems, fill voids and make money while doing it, Arkell is not only the proud owner of three IHOPs but also a Franchise Developer for the entire borough of Brooklyn. With the upcoming launch of her clothing line and her first film and book deal in development, Arkell is no stranger to the entertainment world as the Vice President of Operations at One Africa Global, home of the largest Afro Beats concerts in the world. Never taking no for an answer and refusing to become complacent after any level of success, Arkell’s endless pursuit to conquer the next big challenge never interferes with those most important to her. When she’s not handling the day-to-day workings of being her own boss, or helping other women find their voices, you can find her spending time with those she loves the most: her beautiful daughters Jourden and Bailee, family and friends.
Teju is the Country Manager, Android Partnerships for Google in Nigeria. She is passionate about technology and its potential as an economic equalizer and ability to open up opportunities for people. At Google she has built relationships working in business development in Nigeria, established and led YouTube content business across 8 countries in Africa, and is now focused on growing Android Partnerships in Nigeria with a keen interest in facilitating affordable devices for Nigerians.
Mr. Sipho Dlamini has been Managing Director of South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa at Universal Music Group, Inc. since March 2016. Mr. Dlamini has a strong background in strategic brand marketing for the telecommunications industry, film investment and television production.
Sheila Nortley has written and produced several internationally award-winning productions including Zion, Victim and feature film David is Dying. In 2013 Sheila shot the independent hit Sable Fable which went on to win Best Film at the ABFF awards in Miami, Florida. In 2016, she won the Woman of the Future award in Arts & Culture for her work in film and was invited to Buckingham Palace.The following year her film Limbo was shot in Norfolk, Virginia and selected at various international festivals included Cannes Pan-African Film Festival. Following her invitation to 10 Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister, 2018 saw her become an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society. She wrapped feature film The Strangers and in 2018 and directed her first documentary in March 2019.
Patricia Lamour MBE is the CEO of Aspire Education Group and co-founder of the GEEDA network and consultancy (Gender Education and Enterprise Development for Africa). An international educator, gender expert and development consultant, she brings over 30 years of insight and experience of improving the lives of young people, women and professionals in the UK, Africa and Europe. In 2017, Patricia received an MBE for services to equality and diversity in education from the Queen and the African Achievers Awards as a role model for girls’ education. She is a Member of Education Development Trust and a former adviser to Ofqual the UK’s exam regulator. She has produced a report on Education for Wealth in the Gambia : a 10 year strategy and has been the keynote presenter at multi-stakeholder conferences in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and at the Houses of Parliament in the UK on transforming education and the fourth industrial revolution. In London, she delivers leadership seminars for University students and her team works with several partners across Europe on Erasmus+ programmes promoting Family learning for migrant children at school and open education resources and Apps for financial and economic literacy for entrepreneurship inclusion for migrant women (Femenin).
Crispin is the Senior Director covering Google Assistant built in partnerships, Actions on Google Assistant, Search and News technical partnerships and our Rey 1K work accelerating the mobile web. These areas are key areas for incubation and acceleration in our business so we call them collectively Velocity.
Michael is the Business Development Manager at Invest in Africa (IIA), a cross-sector, partnership organisation working with companies like Tullow Oil, Ecobank, GE, EY and the African Development Bank to give Ghanaian & Kenyan SMEs better access to the skills, markets and finance needed for growth across sectors. IIA’s flagship project is the African Partner Pool, an online marketplace that connects SMEs to markets, skills and finance necessary for growth and job creation. Michael is responsible for delivering a $4m business skills training programme to ensure SMEs can deliver to time, quality and scale. To date, SMEs on the APP have won $59m worth of contracts supporting 14,000 jobs Michael has worked in African affairs for over eight years. During this period, he has worked with Government, the Private Sector and Third Sector giving him a 360-degree experience of Africa. He has travelled extensively across Africa visiting Rwanda, Cote’d’Ivoire, Tunisia and Kenya. He has also lived in Senegal, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Yemen.
Hilary is the CEO of Virgo Consultancy Services Ltd, a law firm operating as an Alternative Business Structure (ABS) with offices in South Wales and South London. Hilary is extremely proud of the fact that as an ABS, Virgo Consultancy Services Ltd was able to expand the company beyond the traditional vision and operation of a Law Firm and was the first Law Firm in the UK to hold a Tier 5 Licence and is recognised as an ‘A’ rated Licenced Sponsor. This status enables Hilary to issue work permits for international artists/entertainers/sports people/motivational speakers and others within the creative and sporting industries as well as being able to assist with Visa applications to the UK for those attempting the daunting task of manoeuvring through the complicated and often unforgiving Immigration Rules hoping to gain entry to the UK. Hilary is acutely aware of the Wealth in terms of Talent that Africa is blessed with and feels the time is right to stimulate this emerging economy and ensure that Africa’s Talent yields a healthy return in terms of economic growth, value and world recognition that it deserves
Obum is committed to using technology to solve social problems and significantly improve the lives of people around the world. He has been with Google for over 12 years now and has launched several education programs that equip millions of students with the collaborative, coding and technical skills they need to succeed in building the future they want for themselves.