Keynote Speakers


Ismail Ahmed

Ismail Ahmed is the Founder and CEO of WorldRemit, the leading digital money transfer company that's pioneering a mobile approach to sending money around the world. Ismail founded the company in 2010. Since then, it has secured $220 million in funding and has been named the fastest growing technology company in the UK. Serving previously as a compliance advisor to the United Nations, Ismail founded the company on the principles of strong compliance procedures, recognizing that the only way to meaningfully reduce the risks in the money transfer industry was to bring the entire process into the digital world. Ismail has been named third most influential black Britons in the UK and won EY Entrepreneur of the Year, London and South. Originally from Somaliland, he has worked with the UN in Nairobi and Dubai. He received a scholarship to attend the University of London and has a business degree from London Business School and a PhD in Economics.


Professor Kingsley Moghalu

Professor Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu is the Founder and President of the Institute for Governance and Economic Transformation (IGET), a new think tank based in Abuja, and the Distinguished Non-Resident Fellow at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Massachusetts, USA where he was on the full-time Faculty as Professor of International Business and Public Policy from 2015-2017. He also is the Founder of Sogato Strategies LLC, a global strategy, risk and macroeconomic advisory firm, and is a member of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) High Level Intergovernmental Expert Group on Financing for Development. As Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria from 2009-2014 Prof. Moghalu led the implementation of far-reaching reforms in the Nigerian banking system after the global financial crisis. He also worked for the United Nations for 17 years where he rose to the highest career rank of Director and led successful work in accountability and regulatory reform as a Member of the high-level Redesign Panel on the UN Internal Justice System appointed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2006.

Kingsley Moghalu holds a Ph.D and M.Phil from the London School of Economics and Political Science; a M.A. from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and an LL.B. from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (LL.B.). He is also the recipient of several honors including the Nigerian national honor of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (FCIB), and the Honorary Doctorate degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) Honoris Causa awarded him by Anambra State University.


Ngozi Bell

With an extensive multidisciplinary technology and business leadership background, Ngozi Bell an entrepreneur and investment partner at Trans-Sahara Investment Corporation, was Regional Advocate appointee in President Obama’s administration for the US - Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, representing the mid-Atlantic states. Prior to her appointment, Ngozi Bell was Vice President of Birchmere Ventures Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania an early stage Venture Capital firm focused on Clean Technology, Medical and Technology with over $160M under management. Prior to that, she was a director at LSI Corp and held senior management and technical roles in Agere Systems, Lucent Technologies, AT&T Microelectronics and R.W. Beck. Ngozi Bell holds a degree in Physics and a masters in Electrical Engineering and has more than 23 years of experience ranging from core technology development and support, marketing, corporate and business development and mergers and acquisitions roles. Bell who is also an adjunct professor of Business Law and Management is a speaker and has featured on Voice of America as an expert on Africa-US matters and most recently on TEDxLehigh-River. Ngozi Bell is currently an adjunct professor of Entrepreneurship, Business Law and Principles of Management at University of Delaware and Lincoln Carbon Community College. A lifelong learner and teacher, Ngozi Bell is also founder of Diaspora Bell and Miranet Entrepreneurship University, platforms that inform and teach globally.


Yinka Adegoke

Yinka Adegoke is Africa editor for Quartz. He oversees Quartz Africa coordinating its news, ideas, and events in partnership with an editorial team across the continent. As a journalist, he has reported from more than 10 countries across Europe, Africa and North America. Before joining Quartz, Yinka was deputy editor at Billboard where he ran the business coverage for the world’s leading music magazine brand. Prior to that, he was Reuters’_ _senior media correspondent covering the global media business where he focused on the digital disruption of the traditional media industry. Earlier in his career, Yinka was an editor at New Media Age in London covering the early days of the digital media revolution and a regular writer for The Guardian and The Financial Times. He has spoken at the World Bank, WTO, and numerous business and technology events around the world. He’s also a pundit on broadcast outlets including BBC, CNN and NPR.

Twitter: @YinkaWrites

We are excited to announce the 15th annual African Economic Forum (AEF) at Columbia University. We look forward to having you join us and our distinguished speakers while we explore this year’s theme — African Innovation: Leveraging the Present to Shape the Future.

07 April '18
Jerome Greene Hall
Columbia Law School
New York
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