Abiola Fasehun is passionate about strategy and sustainability within the jewelry and mining industries. With experience as varied as working as a strategist at a global luxury jewelry house to managing design and production of collections, as well as advising jewelry and mining startups, Abiola understands the business and creative sides of the jewelry industry.
Abiola received her BA from Carnegie Mellon University and earned her JD from Columbia Law School, both with honors. Prior to working in jewelry and mining, Abiola practiced law for four years at a top-tier international law firm in New York City where she advised multinational corporations.
Abiola splits her time between New York City and London.
Arden & Newton BMC is a pan-Africa focused, multidisciplinary branding, marketing & strategic communications agency helping organizations create brand-driven growth. Arden and Newton work with corporate, place, and institutional brands to proffer solutions across traditional media and digital spectrum to help brands create meaning and engage their audiences creatively through strategy, design, innovation, and connected experiences.
Head of Department for Infrastructure, Industry and Mines.
The Integrated Development Authority of the States of Liptako-Gourma (ALG)
A geological engineer, with metallogeny option since 1999, Diadié Cissé graduated from the National Engineering School of Bamako (Mali). In 2001, he became a construction contractor to work in hydrogeology (boreholes, large-diameter wells, simplified drinking water supply, etc.) and civil engineering works (buildings (schools, health), micro dams, deepening of ponds, etc.) for eight years. He also had experience as a Director of the training center for the Intersectoral Promotion of Agricultural Trades (PRIMA) from 2008 to 2010, where he promoted the training of craftsmen in several trades (electricity, masonry, welding, mechanics, forging, etc.). Since December 2011, he has been the Head of the Department of Infrastructure, Industry, and Mining at the Integrated Development Authority of the States of Liptako Gourma (ALG), Intergovernmental Organization (OIG) bringing together Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger.
Founder, Kabara Community Development Initiative
Hadiza is an energy professional with over ten years’ experience in the Power and Oil & Gas sector. She started her career as a Process Engineer at Foster Wheeler UK, where she worked with several FEED and EPC projects notably for Saudi Aramco and Emirate National Oil Company.
Subsequently, she worked with Clearview Management in Nigeria as a risk and security consultant and was part of the Technical Committee led by Standards Organisation of Nigeria that created the Nigerian National Code of Practice for screening processes. She holds a BEng in Chemical Engineering from the University of Nottingham and an MSc in Environmental Technology (Energy Policy) from Imperial College London.
Kelechi Odu is a multi-disciplinary creative with over 20 years of experience in design, marketing, and branding in the luxury goods and services industry. An architect by training and noted menswear designer, he worked with NOUVELLE GARDE, a NewYork based strategic consultancy that counted Goyard, Delvaux, Marie Helene De Taillac and Barneys as clients.
Odu founded Oparanze Collective, a design studio that creates spaces, furniture, and objects in 2015. Since launching, highlights have included exhibiting at the London Design Festival and collaborating with Bloom Art Gallery and Audrey Silva Film Company. Additionally, he is a partner in Paraclete, a marketing and communications firm based in Lagos.
Passionate about social justice and using creativity, education, and the arts as a catalyst for change, Odu has extensive philanthropic experience, contributing to initiatives for UNESCO and the Rebuilding Afghanistan Foundation among others.
Kolade Apata is the Co-founder and Director of NoemDek Limited a diversified indigenous firm with portfolio companies in natural resources, marketing, and power.
He started his career with the Boston Consulting Group where he advised clients in several industries including automotive, consumer goods, industrial goods, and real estate across multiple geographies. At BCG, he also had the opportunity to work with a pioneer in intellectual property strategy on helping corporations develop a competitive advantage through patent analysis. He has worked with several international firms including Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. His work has led to companies saving significant amounts of money, creating niches in established markets, and improving profitability.
Kolade holds an MBA in general management from Harvard Business School and a BSc. and BBA in computer science and finance with highest honors from Emory University.
Àga Concept creates objects and furniture inspired by African traditions, narratives, and cities and inspired by Yoruba culture. From our base in Lagos, we collaborate with African artisans to make handmade products using locally available materials to preserve & rethink materials and traditional craft and culture with a contemporary design and minimalist aesthetic.
Moyo Ogunseinde, our creative designer is passionate about African culture and design. She has a desire to share materiality, textures and cultural energy through objects and furniture. This results in product design that is derived not only from cultural heritage but also from a place of self-expression and instinct. The rawness and simplicity of the forms evoke emotions of culture and a deeper connection to Yoruba culture and values she seeks to preserve. She is a chartered architect trained in the Bartlett school of architecture, UCL.
Nere Teriba is the Vice-Chairman of Kian Smith Refinery. As an Entrepreneur, Mediator & Strategist, she has worked for sustainable community solutions in several countries. She holds a BSE and MSE from Carnegie-Mellon University in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Kian Smith Refinery
Nicole Lauren Smith is the Gold West Africa Programme Manager and the Secretary & Head of Stakeholder Relations at the Africa Gold Council, a platform to develop Africa’s gold economy. In addition, she runs 54Africa Consult which offers tailor-made services to corporates, investors, governments, and individuals. She has over 17 years of experience in investment and trade promotion across multiple industries in both the public and private sectors in Africa. She is fluent in French and English.
Nicole Lauren Smith
Secretary & Head of Stakeholder Relations
Africa Gold Council
Oronce Hounkponou is a West-African based fashion and advertising photographer and also the founder of STRATAGEM Agency, strategic brand development and communications company that promotes fashion, art, culture and has helped many brands find their voice in an emerging market.
His passion for the industry has moved him for more than seven years now. Hard-worker and easy to collaborate with, he dedicates himself in order to achieve big goals.
Dr. Ousmane IIboudo is an Associate professor at the University of Ouagadougou where he is teaching extractive metallurgy and doing research. Alongside this occupation, he is leading the Permanent Secretariat of the West Africa Mining Activities Week, in charge of the promotion and development of the mining sector of Burkina Faso. Before this position, he led the Permanent Secretariat of the National Minerals Commission of Burkina Faso for two years.
The department is responsible for issuing mining exploitation licenses. Before this position, he was the technical advisor of the Minister of Mines and Quarries for two years. Jointly with his current position, he is leading the National Small Scale Mining Agency as the Chairman of the Board.
Permanent Secretary of SAMAO
Ministry of Mines & Quarries, Burkina Faso
Hausa Kiswahili Festival of Arts
Sada Malumfashi is an arts curator, writer and freelance journalist. He is a fellow of the Berlin Reporters Without Borders Scholarship Program and an alumnus of the Goethe Institut-Lagos ABC of Project Management Workshop. He is a winner of the Support and Connect – Nigerian Art and Culture Projects 2021 by Goethe Institut-Lagos.
He is the Founder of Open Arts, a literary collective where he curated the Open Arts Launch Festival: a gathering related to culture and exhibition of writers, painters, artists and their works to the public. He also curated the Sembene Across Africa Documentary Screening of Africa’s most tireless and forceful cultural hero in Kaduna simultaneously with 34 other cities reintroducing Sembene the filmmaker to Africa. He is currently the Project Director for the inaugural Hausa Kiswahili Festival of Arts (HAKFIFA) supported with a British Council Catalyst Grant as part of their New Arts New Audiences (NaNa) initiative.
Sadi is a multidisciplinary visual artist working in various mediums. He studied Creative Arts and has a BA from the prestigious University of Lagos. He has been practicing art since 2012 and has worked with masters of the Art industry that have carved a niche for themselves.
His passion is for facial expressions and moods embroidered with stories. He is visual artist and a professional painter, able to paint on anything he finds around him and using any medium
available. Sadi is inspired by and finds joy in the day to day life of humans. The words of his grandmother inspires his artistic practice: If you want to be a fish, be a big fish.
Solo Diarra was born in Burkina Faso. He’s a talented musician from a very well known Griot family of traditional musicians and storytellers. Solo composes his own music where he plays the djembe, kora, n’goni, balafon and sings. Through the music he brings further the Griot family’s old musical traditions, while at the same time mixing the music with new expressions. His music is a powerful blend between old traditions and new musical expressions like Afro beat and African Manding-music. Diarra sings about his own life experiences and things he has gone through. He wants to bring hope & strength to the ones listening to his music. Solo Diarra now resides in Norway, since 2010 where he works as a freelance musician.