Recent Speakers
Westminster Africa Business Group Bringing together both business and political activities across Africa
Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development Justine    Greening    leads    the    Department    for    International    Development    (DFID)    -    the    government    department responsible   for   administering   overseas   aid.   The   purpose   of   DFID   is   to   end   extreme   poverty   worldwide   and   save   lives during   humanitarian   emergencies.   Justine   leads   the   ministerial   team   and   sets   the   overall   strategy   and   direction   of the department. She has final authority over all DFID business and its £12bn budget.
High Commissioner of Mauritius, His Excellency Mr Kundasamy H.E   Mr   Kundasamy   is   the   High   Commissioner   of   Mauritius   to   the   United   Kingdom.   He   has   a   wealth   of   knowledge about   Africa   having   been   appointed   as   the   High   Commissioner   to   no   less   than   ten   Southern   African   countries.   He   is accredited   to   the   Southern   African   Development   Community   (SADC)   and   the   Common   Market   for   Eastern   and Southern Africa (COMESA) secretariats as well as the UN regional office in Nairobi.
Lady Olga Maitland Lady   Maitland   is   the   Chair   of   the   Algeria   British   Business   Council,   having   previously   enjoyed   a   career   in   journalism and   politics.   Maitland   was   a   reporter   for   the   Fleet   Street   News   Agency,   the   Blackheath   and   District   Reporter,   and   a columnist   in   the   London   Sunday   Express   (1967–91).   In   1983   she   was   founder   and   thereafter   lady   chairman   of   Families for   Defence,   and   from   1992   was   President   of   the   Defence   and   Security   Forum.   In   1992   Lady   Maitland   became   a conservative MP.
Ethiopian Ambassador, His Excellency Ambassador Berhanu Kebede Berhanu   Kebede   is   the   current   ambassador   of   Ethiopia   to   the   United   Kingdom.   He   was   appointed   in   March   2006.   He joined   the   Ethiopian   Ministry   of   Foreign   Affairs   in   1978,   serving   as   Ethiopia/EEC   Relations   Desk   Officer.   In   1983   he transferred   to   the   Diplomatic   Mission   in   Brussels,   with   the   title   of   economist.   Berhanu   participated   in   negotiations leading   to   the   1981   and   1985   extensions   of   the   Lomé   Convention   –   an   agreement   concerning   international   aid   and trade   between   the   African,   Caribbean   and   Pacific   countries   and   the   European   Union   –   as   well   as   participating   in the committees that managed this convention. In   1992   Berhanu   returned   to   Addis   Ababa   to   lead   the   Western   European   Division   at   the   Ministry   at   the   rank   of Counselor,   before   taking   on   the   role   of   Acting   Director   General   for   International   Organisation   and   Economic Cooperation    in    1993.    Later    that    year    he    was    promoted    to    Director    General,    and    it    was    in    this    role    that    he represented   Ethiopia   at   all   of   the   Organisation   of   African   Unity   Council   and   Summit   conferences   held   between   1992 and   2000,   as   well   as   the   Economic   Commission   for   Africa   Ministerial   Conferences   held   in   this   period,   chaired   the Economic   and   Social   Council   meeting   of   the   African   Economic   Community   in   June   1998,   and   served   as   deputy leader of the Ethiopian delegation to the United Nations from 1993 to 2000.
High Commissioner for Mozambique, His Excellency Carlos dos Santos. Mr   dos   Santos   became   his   country’s   Ambassador   and   Permanent   Representative   to   the   UN   from   1996-2002.   ‘My country   had   just   come   out   of   a   violent   conflict,’   he   recalls.   ‘Fighting   had   ended   in   1992,   and   the   country   was   at   a time   of   national   reconstruction   and   reconciliation   and   looking   for   investments   to   build   infrastructure   and   revive   the economy. My job was to pass this message on to the international community.’ In   2003   the   opportunity   arose   to   become   Senior   Advisor   to   Mozambique’s   then   President,   Joaquim   Chissano.   He describes   the   job   as   ‘a   great   privilege   and   an   honor.   I   learnt   so   much   from   the   President,   who   was   also   the   Foreign Minister   for   11   years.   I   would   attend   meetings   with   ambassadors   and   dignitaries   –   it’s   a   great   advantage   to   have had that kind of relationship with a head of state.’ The   High   Commissioner’s   plans   include   not   only   strengthening   bilateral   relationships   at   the   political   level,   but   also working   with   grass-roots   organisations,   NGOs,   academic   organisations   and   others   to   encourage   more   people-to- people   interaction.   On   the   economic   side,   he   will   encourage   ‘the   UK   business   community   to   go   to   Mozambique   to see   firsthand   what   the   country   is   like,   what   kind   of   products,   resources,   strengths   and   challenges   we   have.’   He   also wants   ‘to   get   support   for   education,   health,   agriculture   and   agri-businesses   –   all   areas   that   are   fundamental   for Mozambique’s    development.    We    say    Mozambique    is    not    a    poor    country;    it    has    been    impoverished    by circumstances   and   history.   But   we   can   move   forward   if   we   have   the   right   education;   then   all   the   other   things, including economic development, will follow.
High Commissioner of Ghana, His Excellency Victor Smith After   the   2008   general   elections,   HC   Smith   became   a   Presidential   Staffer   to   the   late   President   J.   E.   A.   Mills   and   was later   posted   out   as   Ghana's   Ambassador   to   the   Czech   Republic.   During   his   tenure   as   Ambassador,   Ghana   Czech relations   experienced,   and   continue   to   benefit   from   his   diplomatic   and   business   acumen.   The   fact   that   Ghana's   oil and   Gas,   gold   mining,   industrial   equipment,   military   hardware   and   the   extractive   industry   remain   attractive   to Czech   business   interests   is   a   testimony   to   his   delicate   diplomatic   skills   and   Ghana's   use   of   soft   power   within   the   EU economic   block.   Two   years   into   his   posting   abroad,   President   Mills   recalled   HC   Smith   back   home   and   appointed him   presidential   Advisor   for   special   duties.HC   Smith's   international   exposure   and   deep   commitment   to   harnessing local   resources   to   build   human   capital   served   him   well   when   he   was   later   posted   to   the   Eastern   Region   as   Regional Minister. HC   Smith's   vision   in   his   new   role   as   Ghana's   High   Commissioner   to   the   United   Kingdom   and   Northern   Ireland,   with concurrent   accreditation   to   the   Republic   of   Ireland   is   to   help   rebrand   corporate   Ghana   as   a   mutually   beneficial investment   destination   for   both   British   and   Irish   organizations   and   skilled   Ghanaian   professionals   in   the   UK   and Ireland.   This   objective   is   within   the   larger   diplomatic   policy   of   creating   a   sustainable   commonwealth   which   through economic   bridges   and   soft   power,   promotes   and   deepens   trade,   cultural   and   political   diversity.Sitting   at   the   heart of    this    vision    is    an    all-inclusive    engagement    with    various    stakeholders    spanning    the    Ghanaian    diasporean community,   business,   politics,   culture   and   media.   To   achieve   and   sustain   this   vision,   HC   Smith   intends   to   extend   a hand    of    camaraderie    to    the    many    interests    and    groups    whose    collective    activities    impact    positively    on    the development efforts of Ghana.
Ambassador of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea to the UK, Her Excellency . Mrs. Mari- Cruz EVUNA ANDEME Her    Excellency    Mari-Cruz    Evuna    Andeme    has    been    the    Ambassador    Extraordinary    and    Plenipotentiary    of    the Republic    of    Equatorial    Guinea    to    the    United    Kingdom    since    October    2012.    Prior    to    her    current    appointment, Ambassador   Evuna   served   as   Chargé   d’Affaires   at   the   Embassy   of   Equatorial   Guinea   in   Belgium,   and   was   also accredited to Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden and the European Union. Ambassador   Evuna’s   Diplomatic   Service   began   in   1996   when   she   was   appointed   to   the   Embassy   of   Equatorial Guinea   to   the   United   States   of   America.   From   2008   to   2012,   she   worked   as   a   member   of   the   Equatorial   Guinea Committee   on   EPA   (Economic   Partnership   Agreement)   with   the   EU.   She   was   co-ordinator   of   the   General   Secretariat of   the   AU   summit   in   Malabo   in   2011.   In   the   years   2007   to   2012,   she   was   a   member   of   the   Communications Department of the PDGE’s National Congress. In    1998,    she    collaborated    on    several    large    infrastructure    projects    in    Equatorial    Guinea,    including    the    Sipopo Conference   annex,   the   establishment   of   a   fire   fighter’s   brigade,   and   the   new   airport   of   Mongomeyen.   She   is   also responsible    for    the    La    Roche    Scholarship    Programme    granted    to    Equatorial    Guinea    students,    in    Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania).
Lord Popat Lord   Popat,   born   in   Uganda   and   came   to   the   UK   in   1971.   Since   then   he   has   had   a   colourful   and   varied   career.   He   is a great supporter of both SME's and trade with Africa.
Abubakar Sani Bello the Governor of Niger State, Nigeria Abubakar   Sani   Bello   was   sworn   in   as   the   Governor   of   Niger   state   on   29   May   2015   following   a   successful   career   in business.   His   combined   political   and   commercial   experience   have   helped   to   shape   his   economic   priorities   as   he   tries to rebalance the state’s economy.
Her Excellency Yamina Karitanyi, High Commissioner for Rwanda HE   Yamina   Karitanyi   very   kindly   agreed   to      give   us   an   introduction   to   Rwanda.   Rwanda   has   undergone   a   startling transformation   in   recent   years,   emerging   from   a   horrific   past   to   become   a   beacon   of   transparent   government, women’s rights,  infrastructure and technology development.
Her Excellency Professor Joyce Kakuramatsi Kikafunda, High Commissioner for Uganda HE   Professor   Kikafunda   has   been   High   Commissioner   since   July   2013,   before   which   she   was   a   professor   of   agriculture and   food   science   at   Makerere   University.   She   will   hence   be   bringing   both   her   experience   as   a   High   Commissioner and   her   expertise   in   an   area   of   ever   increasing   importance,   both   to   Uganda   and   to   the   rest   of   Africa.   Following   on from   Lord   Popat’s   excellent   talk   last   year,   HE   Professor   Kikafunda   provided   further   insights   into   this   fascinating   business destination.
On   Monday,   September   12th,   2016,   As   in   previous   years,   we   bought   together   businesses,   High   Commissioners,   Ambassadors,   Ministers,   and members of Westminster with an interest in Africa at our annual terrace event at the House of Commons.
On   Wednesday   8th   of   February   2017,   we   hosted   our   Annual   Dinner   with   Priti   Patel,   at   the   House   of   Commons.   The   Groups   first   Annual   Dinner   was held    in    the    Churchill    Room    at    the    House    of    Commons,    London.    Our    Special    Guest    this    year    was    the    Secretary    of    State    for    International Development, Priti Patel.
Westminster Africa Business Group, Regent House, Sandiacre, Nottingham, NG10 5DJ © Copyright - Westminster Africa Business Group
We   were   pleased   to   have   HE   Dr   Mohammed   Sheriff   the   Liberian   Ambassador   to   the   UK   speak   at   our   lunch   on   the   13th   July.   Dr   Sheriff   has   held ministerial   posts   in   Liberia   and   has   recently   completed   his   term   as   Liberian   Ambassador   to   Italy.   Dr   Sheriff   spoke   regarding   opportunities   in   all   areas and has a special interest in the Oil and Gas, Agricultural and Financial sectors.
July 13TH 2017 EVENT
Following   the   success   of   the   previous   events,   this   year   our   focus   was   looking   at   ways   to   maximise   trade   between   the   UK   and   Africa.   The   informal environment   created   a   unique   opportunity   for   representatives   from   the   business   community   to   mingle   with   UK   politicians,   NGO’s,   Ambassador’s and High Commissioners.
Sept 11TH 2017 EVENT
Westminster Africa  Business Group