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Adebisi Araba

Director - Africa Region, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Nigeria

Director for Africa at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), member of the Malabo Montpellier Panel, former Senior Technical Adviser on Environmental Policy to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Nigeria and team leader of the Environment and Climate Change Unit in the Ministry (2012-15).


Regular columnist for the Mexican daily El Financiero, the Spanish daily El País and The New York Times. In 1997, he was appointed Global Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Latin American Studies at New York University. Board member of Human Rights Watch (HRW) since 2003.

Lade Araba

Africa Region Representative, Finance Convergence, Nigeria

Africa Region Representative at Convergence Finance and Co-Chair of the Board of EED Advisory.


Technical Adviser to the former Minister of Finance of Nigeria and former Head of the Strategic Monitoring Unit. She was also an Adviser in the Power Sector Team at the Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (NIAF), a Technical Assistance Program funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Prior to NIAF, she was Technical Adviser to the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) where she advised on the building blocks for financing regional infrastructure projects and promoting intra-African trade. Former Senior Investment Officer at the African Development Bank and Enterprise Development Specialist at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 

Rudolph Atallah

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council, USA

Retired Lieutenant Colonel of US Air Force, non resident Senior Fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center and CEO of White Mountain Research, a private firm providing tailored international security solutions to clients focused on Africa and the Middle East.


Former advisor of the Secretary of Defense and senior US officials on African national security, counter-terrorism and cultural intelligence, he was an Air Force Defense Attaché accredited to six West African countries and Director of the Sub-Saharan Africa Orientation Course at the Joint Special Operations University.

Lloyd Axworthy

Chair, World Refugee Council, Canada

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada (1996-2000), known for his work to ban landmines, former Minister of Employment and Immigration (1980-84), current Chair of the World Refugee Council and Board Chair of CUSO International, a Canadian based international development agency.


Former President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg, where he pioneered for 10 years community learning programs for Aboriginal and low income youth.

Rym Ayadi

Director, International Research Centre on Cooperative Finance (IRCCF), Canada

Professor Rym Ayadi is Honorary Professor at CASS Business School, Founder and President of the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA) and Founder and Scientific Director of the Euro-Mediterranean Network for Economic Studies (EMNES).


She is an Academic Member of several high-level international expert groups at international organizations. She authors several books and scholarly articles and is member of several editorial boards. Rym Ayadi holds a Ph.D. in Economics and Finance from University Paris Dauphine.

Zeinab Badawi

Director, Kush Communications, Sudan

Journalist and presenter of BBC’s HardTalk program, Global Questions and World Debates.


Producer and presenter of many programmes, including the TV series of African history in association with UNESCO. Current Chair of the Royal African Society, a Queen’s appointment to the Board of the Historic Royal Palaces trustee of BBC Media Action (the charitable arm of the BBC) and the Hampstead Theatre, Vice-President of the United Nations Association UK, board member of the African Union Foundation and member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council for Africa.

Abdelhak Bassou

Senior Fellow, Policy Center for the New South, Morocco

Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South, previously known as OCP Policy Center, who focuses on Security Studies and Strategies and Defense. He occupied several offices within the Directorate General of the Moroccan National Security where he was Borders’ Division Chief from 1978 to 1993. 


Abdelhak Bassou occupied several offices within the Directorate General of the Moroccan National Security where he was Borders’ Division Chief from 1978 to 1993. He was the former Director of the Royal Institute of Police in 1998. He also served as the Chief of Regional Security (Errachidia 1999-2003, Sidi Kacem 2003-2005) and was also Head of the Central General Intelligence from 2006 to 2009. He also contributed to the output of several international organizations endeavors including the Council of Arab Interior Ministers from 1986 to 1992, where he represented the Directorate General of National Security in several meetings. Abdelhak Bassou holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science and International Studies from the Faculty of Law, Economics and Social Sciences of Agdal in Rabat.

Abdoul Salam Bello

Special Advisor to the Executive Director for Africa, The World Bank Group, Niger

Visiting Fellow at the Atlantic Council's Africa Center since 2015 and Advisor to the Executive Director at the World Bank since 2014.


Former Chief of Staff to the African Union New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AU-NEPAD) Agency in South Africa (2012-14). Co-author of a domestic resource mobilization study with ADB, UNECA and UNDP.

Mohamed Benaissa

Secretary General, Assilah Forum, Morocco .

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Morocco (1999-2007), former Minister of Culture (1985-92), Founding Member and Vice-President of the Council of Arab and International Relations (Kuwait 2009).


Elected Mayor of Assilah since 1983, he sits on the advisory boards of the Bahrein Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (DERASAT), the Arab Forum Thought, the Aspen Foreign Affairs Forum, the Aspen Institute Food Security Strategy Group and the Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development (CIRSD).

Rafael Benke

Vice-Chairman Emeritus, Brazilian Center for International Relations, Brazil

CEO of Proactiva, a consultancy firm focused on sustainability, risk management and strategy for investments in Brazil and abroad.


Former Global Head of Corporate Affairs of the mining company Vale, he has held various posts at the Foreign Trade Secretary of Brazil, the Organization of American States (OAS), the World Trade Organization (WTO), Steptoe & Johnson LLP and FIESP (Business Federation of Sao Paulo). He has been a member of Royal Dutch Shell’s External Review Committee on Sustainability, the board of FIESP, AmCham-Rio, the BRICS Business Council and a Vice-President of the China-Brazil Business Council, as well as a Theme Leader for Natural Resources in the E15 Initiative.