Mo Ibrahim is an expert in mobile communications and founder of one of Africa’s most successful companies, Celtel International. Founded in 1998, Celtel International has brought the benefits of mobile communications to millions of people across the African continent. The company operates in 15 African countries, covering more than a third of the continent's population, and has invested more than US$750 million in Africa. In 2005, Celtel International was sold to MTC Kuwait for $3.4 billion.
In October 2006, Dr. Ibrahim launched the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to support good governance and great leadership in Africa. In 2007, Dr. Ibrahim stepped down as Chairman of Celtel International to concentrate on this initiative.
Sudanese by birth, Dr. Ibrahim has received a number of awards which recognise his work as an academic, businessman and philanthropist. Among them are the GSM Association Chairman's Award (2007), the telecommunication industry's highest accolade, and the BNP Paribas Prize for Philanthropy (2008). In 2008, Dr. Ibrahim was listed by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Lord Cairns is currently Chairman of the Board of the UK’s Charities Aid Foundation. He has had a distinguished business career leading some of the UK's most successful investment banks. A development economist by training, Lord Cairns was Chairman of Allied Zurich and BAT Industries plc and also Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SG Warburg. He has also chaired Actis Capital LLP (formerly CDC Group plc), one of the largest emerging market venture capital operations, with investments in agriculture, financial services, industry and infrastructure in eighteen African countries.
Alongside Cyril Ramaphosa, Lord Cairns founded and chaired the Commonwealth Business Council at the request of former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa. The organisation continues to provide a platform for governments and the private sector to work together to increase trade and investment across the Commonwealth, with a particular focus on Africa.
Between 1981 and 1992, Lord Cairns chaired Voluntary Service Overseas, the organisationresponsible for placing over a thousand volunteers each year on a range of education, health and infrastructure projects. Lord Cairns has also served as Chair of the Overseas Development Institute, which under his guidance more than doubled in size and significantly increased its range of work.
Nathalie Delapalme is Executive Director of Research and Policy at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. She was previously a French senior civil servant and she specialises in Africa and development policies. Her most recent position was Inspector General at the Inspection Générale des Finances.
Prior to this, Mme. Delapalme served the French Government as an advisor on Africa, Development and Humanitarian policies, in the offices of various Foreign Affairs Ministers, between 1995-1997 and 2002-2007. She also served the French Senate as advisor for the Finance and Budgetary Commission, where she assessed a number of public expenditures and policies, notably in the development aid, foreign affairs, defense, education, environment, health and media sectors.
Educated in Paris at the Political Studies Institute and University Panthéon-Assas, Mme. Delapalme specialised in the public sector division and received a post-graduate diploma in applied economics. She focused particularly on the impact of demographic changes and international migrations.
Mme. Delapalme belongs to the editorial committee of the publication Commentaire and sits as a member on the boards of trustees for AMREF-France, Agrisud and the Elle Foundation. She has published several articles on the strategic evolution of Africa and relations between Africa and Europe. In 2010, Ms Delapalme was awarded the Légion d'honneur, France’s highest decoration, by President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Hadeel Ibrahim is the Strategy and External Relations, founding Executive Director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation
In addition to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Hadeel is a member the Boards of Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice, the Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development (UONGOZI Institute) in Tanzania and the Carter Center UK.
Hadeel is a Trustee of the Museum for African Art in New York and a Patron of Restless Development, a youth led development agency.
She previously spent time with the Africa Section of Actis Private Equity Investors and with EMP Africa. She was formerly a Board Member of Refugees International and of LEAP (UK).
Hadeel has a degree from Bristol University in Politics and Philosophy
Abdoulie Janneh is Executive Director, Liaison with Governments and Institutions in Africa for the Mo Ibrahim Foundation; the former UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), prior to which he was UNDP Regional Director for Africa. Mr Janneh is a strong advocate for aligning development efforts to Africa’s priorities.
Mr Janneh remains engaged in supporting the African Union vision, NEPAD, the African Peer Review Mechanism and the climate change agenda.
He chairs the Governing Bodies of the African Institute of Economic Development and Planning and the African Trade Policy Centre and also serves on the Boards of the African Governance Initiative, Global Green Growth Initiative and the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa.
Sir Ketumile Masire was Botswana’s second president, serving for 18 years from 1980-1998. Prior to this, he was a leading figure in the independence movement and then the new government, and played a crucial role in facilitating and protecting Botswana’s steady financial growth and development.
As president, Sir Ketumile Masire was responsible for the introduction of comprehensive social service programs which significantly improved Botswana’s education, communications and health indicators. Sir Ketumile Masire was able to increase nutrition levels in the country during the 1980s, despite Botswana experiencing a severe drought.
More recently, he has been involved with diplomatic initiatives in a number of African countries, including Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Lesotho.
Sir Ketumile Masire has received a number of awards and honours, including the Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991.
Jay is the Chairperson of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), a global foundation headquartered in Geneva that is committed to addressing malnutrition facing two billion people in the world. GAIN is a public–private partnership that brings together United Nations (UN) agencies, private businesses, philanthropic organizations, governments and civil societies around practical programmes in some 30 countries worldwide. (www.gainhealth.org)
Jay is the co-founder an investment and management company, J&J Group. In 2007 he set up the J&J Development Trust and dedicates himself full-time to voluntary work and social activism on a global scale.
He serves in an advisory capacity for a number of international organizations including the Broadband Commission of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Lead Committee of the UNSG on Nutrition. (www.scalingupnutrition.org ) He also serves on the Board of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation which focuses on Governance in Africa. (www.moibrahimfoundation.org)
From 1994 to 1999, Jay was the Minister responsible for South Africa’s Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) and Communications Minister in Nelson Mandela’s Cabinet.
He was the founding General Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the largest labour movement in SA, where he served three terms (1985 to 1993).
Jay was the recipient of the Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur (Legion of Honour), one of France’s highest decorations and many other awards.
He publishes a blog at www.jaynaidoo.org. Jay’s autobiography, Fighting for Justice is available in leading SA bookstores.
Mary Robinson has been a leading campaigner for human rights throughout her life. She served as the first female President of Ireland between 1990 and 1997. At the end of her tenure, in recognition of her commitment to justice and equality, she was appointed as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, a position she held between 1997 and 2002.
Dr. Robinson is widely recognised for having developed a new level of engagement between Ireland and the developing world during her Presidency. She was the first head of state to visit famine stricken Somalia, and the first to visit Rwanda after the genocide.
Since leaving the United Nations in 2002, Dr. Robinson has continued to champion developing world issues through the founding of Realizing.
Since leaving the United Nations in 2002, Dr. Robinson has continued to champion developing world issues through the founding of Realizing Rights, an ethical globalisation initiative focusing on developing fair and equitable trade, strengthening responses to HIV/AIDS and shaping more humane migration policies. She is in the process of establishing a new foundation to tackle issues around climate change and climate justice, to be called the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice.
Dr. Robinson has received widespread recognition for her efforts in the international arena. In 2004, she was made an Amnesty International ‘Ambassador of Conscience'. She is the honorary president of Oxfam International and a member of the Global Elders. In 2009 Dr Robinson was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honour, by President Barrack Obama.
Salim Ahmed Salim is one of Africa’s most senior diplomats and statesmen. He recently concluded service as the African Union’s Special Envoy for Darfur.
Dr. Salim began his political career in international diplomacy, serving Tanzania in numerous ambassadorial posts, including to Egypt, India, and China, and serving as Permanent Representative to the UN starting in 1970. Six years later, he was elected President of the United Nations Security Council and went on to serve as President of the Thirty-Fourth Session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 1979.
He returned to Tanzania to take up a major role in domestic politics, holding several senior ministerial positions as well as that of Prime Minister.
He then resumed his international work, serving as Secretary General of the Organisation of African Unity from 1989 to 2001, overseeing its transformation into the African Union.
As Chair of the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation, Dr. Salim helped entrench a new era of independence across the continent. A leading figure in the fight against apartheid, he served as the Chairman of the United Nations Security Council Commission on Sanctions against Rhodesia, President of the International Conference on Sanctions against South Africa and President of the Paris International Conference on Apartheid. In recognition of his contribution to Africa he has been awarded numerous national honours from an array of African countries, including Togo, Rwanda and Liberia.