Our Council

Council


Zeinab Badawi

Chair

@TheZeinabBadawi

Zeinab Badawi is the current Chair of the Royal African Society. Born in the Sudan, her family moved to London when she was two years old. Zeinab has extensive experience in television and radio, and is best known for her work on the BBC’s 'Hard Talk', 'Global Questions' and ‘World Debates’. Through her own production company she has produced and presented numerous programmes, including currently the definitive TV series of Africa’s history in association with UNESCO.
Zeinab studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University and took a Masters Degree (awarded with a distinction) on History and Anthropology at SOAS - University of London. She has been awarded two honorary doctorates: from SOAS - University of London, and from the London College of Communications - University of the Arts London, for her services to broadcasting.
Her many awards include International TV Personality of the Year (the Association of International Broadcasters), the President’s Medal by the British Academy for services to broadcasting, the May Chidiac Lifetime achievement award, and the MVISA Movie and Video Industry Lifetime Achievement Award. She has been named several times in the 'Black Power List' as one of Britain’s top 100 most influential members of the black community. In 2018 she was one of the top 50 most influential African diaspora members according to African Leaders Magazine.
Zeinab sits on the Board of the Historic Royal Palaces and is a trustee of BBC Media Action (the charitable arm of the BBC) and Hampstead Theatre. She is a former board member of the National Portrait Gallery, the British Council, the Centre for Contemporary British History, the Overseas Development Institute, the African Union Foundation, the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council for Africa and a former Chair of ‘Article 19’.

Professor Chris Cramer

Vice Chairman

@CramerChristoph

Christopher Cramer is Professor of the Political Economy of Development at SOAS - University of London. His book Civil War is Not a Stupid Thing: Accounting for Violence in Developing Countries won the 2009 Edgar Graham Memorial Book Prize. He has served on the Advisory Council for the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance and has worked on the Africa Task Force set up by Joseph Stiglitz. He chairs the International Scientific Committee of the African Programme on Rethinking Development Economics (APORDE) based in South Africa. He has led widely publicised research on Fairtrade.

Jide Olanrewaju

Vice Chairman

Jide Olanrewaju is a Partner at TPG Growth focused on Africa investments. Prior to joining TPG Growth in 2015, Mr. Olanrewaju was a Partner with Satya Capital, an Africa investment fund, where he worked for 6 years focused on transactions in the Healthcare, Consumer and Financial Services sectors. Previously, Mr. Olanrewaju was at Morgan Stanley for over 6 years where he worked in both the Merchant Banking and Investment Banking Divisions. Before joining Morgan Stanley, he also worked briefly at Goldman Sachs and Shell International in Investment Banking and Gas & Power respectively. Mr Olanrewaju has an MEng from Imperial College, London with a specialization in Nuclear Reactor Technology.

Innes Meek

Honorary Treasurer

Innes Meek formerly worked for Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), where he was a Director. He has extensive experience in making investments in sub-Saharan Africa. He was born in Arusha and lived for three years in Lagos.

Dr Titi Banjoko

Elected Member

Dr Titi Banjoko is a healthcare professional with extensive experience in international development. She successfully pioneered the formation of AfricaRecruit a programme designed to build capacity in Africa using human capital as the main driver. Over the last 17 years she has successfully advocated the use of Diaspora capital as a developmental tool in Africa. She is actively engaged in advocating for Better Health in Africa working at strategic Global health level. Dr Banjoko serves on the board of the Nigerian Leadership Initiative.

Susana Edjang

Elected Member

@susananuages

Susana Edjang is a peace and security, international development, global health and policy expert who currently serves as Minister Counselor on Security Council Affairs, at the Permanent Mission of Equatorial Guinea to the United Nations (UN), in New York. Previously, she was a Policy & Advocacy Specialist at the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Liaison Office to the African Union and the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; was Economic, Social and Development Affairs Officer and as Project Manager for his signature movement Every Woman Every Child at the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. Before that, Susana was H4+ (UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNFPA, UN Women, WHO and the World Bank) Coordinator at the UNFPA to advance the health-related Millennium Development Goals by 2015, parliamentary advisor on global health and climate change at the UK Parliament, and promoted the institutional partnership between UK health institutions and their counterparts in Africa and Asia at THET, a UK NGO. Originally from Equatorial Guinea, Susana has co-founded and participates in various initiatives on global health and African Diaspora community innovation in Africa, Europe and Latin America. Susana is co-author of “Working in International Health" (OUP).

Boko Inyundo

Elected Member

Boko Inyundo is the Technology Sector Senior Marketing Manager at DLA Piper and a commentator on issues pertaining to social, economic and technological growth in Africa. He is British/Kenyan with a professional background in Africa that includes a period with Ogilvy (Kenya) working with PepsiCo; Africa Online plc, the first pan-African ISP launched; and SAB Miller while they launched their new beer in Kenya. His UK experience includes Saatchi & Saatchi where he led communications for Lloyds TSB, RBS, Procter & Gamble, and the Central Office of Information; Deloitte where he also developed the firm’s TMT Predictions series and the Technology Fast 50 programme; and Lewis Silkin where he supported a major advertising holding company with Kenya and Nigeria acquisitions.

Obi James

Elected Member

@ObiJamesUK

Obi James is a Certified Team Performance Coach and Founder of Obi James Consultancy Limited. She has over 10 years’ in-house people development experience gained from large multinational financial services organisations such as Deloitte, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Northern Trust. Obi specialises in transforming how leadership teams work together, helping them to shape their organisational culture and drive performance. She has coached and advised global leaders, teams and boards in organisations such as Thomson Reuters, Women in Banking & Finance (WIBF), Farfetch, Mayor of London, the NHS and Royal African Society. She also runs workshops and speaks on topics such as Collaborative Leadership as a Competitive Advantage and Creating Intelligent Teams at events such as the recent Global Finance Transformation Summit. When she is not coaching or advising business leaders, Obi is exploring London with her two daughters or visiting family in Finland.

Nike Jonah

Elected Member

Nike Jonah is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Pan African Creative Exchange (PACE) - that launched July 2018 at the Vrystaat Arts Festival in Bloemfontein, South Africa - and a Visiting Research Fellow at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (2017-2019). She is currently employed at Counterpoint Arts on their PopCulture and Social Change initiative. From 2004 to 2012 Nike developed and produced the Arts Council England’s flagship diversity initiative: Decibel Performing Arts Showcase. As a keen champion for diversity and equality in the arts, Nike has led numerous discussions and workshops in USA, South Africa, Canada, UK, Denmark, Australia and The Netherlands. She is a Trustee for The European Cultural Foundation, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and The Bush Theatre.

Razia Khan

Elected Member

@RaziakKhan

Razia Khan is Chief Economist for Africa and a well-known commentator on African markets. She joined Standard Chartered in 1997. She currently serves on the WEF’s Global Future Council on Migration and on the Advisory Board of the Royal Africa Society, and was named one of the 100 most influential Africans in 2015’ by New African Magazine. Razia holds a BSc (Hons) degree in economics and an MSc (Econ) in development, including monetary economics and international trade law, from the London School of Economics.

Joel Kibazo

Elected Member

Joel Kibazo

Joel is Director of JK Associates, a public affairs and communications consultancy offering service specialising in Africa. He formerly worked as a journalist for the Financial Times and reported on Africa's business and financial sector, and was subsequently the Director of Communications and spokesman for the Commonwealth Secretariat. He is a member of the CNN Africa Journalist of the Year Panel; Policy Committee, the Centre for the study of African Economies, St Anthony's College, University of Oxford, and an Associate Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House.

Gregory Kronsten

Elected Member

Gregory Kronsten joined FBN Capital as head of economics in 2011. He previously had a similar role at another Nigerian finance house, CSL Stockbrokers. For several years he worked at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), latterly as regional director (Africa). He left the EIU in 1997, and was an analyst of bond and currency markets in Africa for both WestLB and Commerzbank. In 2007 he moved to Trusted Sources, an independent emerging markets research house, to set up an Africa top-down macro product. His first job took him to Zaire (DRC) as a lending officer for an international bank. Gregory is a trustee of Rainbow Development in Africa, which runs small-scale agricultural projects in Mauritania and Senegal.

Anne McCormick

Elected Member

Anne McCormick is a senior international executive and is currently Director for Global Public Policy at Ernst and Young. As an experienced leader, with twenty five years of experience in professional services and consumer goods, Anne has a strong track record of driving organisational performance and building corporate reputation.

Geetha Tharmaratnam

Elected Member

@G_Tharmaratnam

Geetha Tharmaratnam is the CEO and Founding Partner of Aequalitas Capital Partners. She is a Private Equity (PE) professional with 19+ years experience in Developing Markets PE, investing in Africa, impact investing and Global Insurance. Recently, as senior investment advisor to the UN Economic Commission for Africa, she developed a fund-of-funds to invest in female African Investors. Engaged in April 2019, the Africa Womens Leadership Fund launched in February 2020, with commitments from 3 African governments and several private investors. Previously Geetha was Partner - Africa & Global Head of Impact at LGT Impact. A member of Global Investment Committee, she was a deal partner with a focus on health, education, logistics, food & agriculture and financial services transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa. She worked in the global Portfolio Management team of the Abraaj Group, was head of Impact & ESG and was a founding member of the Global Health Fund, a billion dollar impact fund investing in Africa and Asia. As a principal at Aureos Capital, a preeminent Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) PE firm, she focused on group strategy and sustainable investing, developing the first PE sustainability index. Geetha was a founding member of the world’s first Base of the Pyramid Fund and Africa’s first dedicated health investment fund. She holds a BSc (Finance) from the University of Bridgeport, an MBA and MSc in Management Research from Oxford University (Private Equity as an instrument of development in Africa), is an Eisenhower Fellow and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Geetha is a VC investor in Africa with a portfolio ranging from health, Fintech, secure digital identification, data analytics to music.

Baroness Northover

Co-opted Member

Baronness Lindsay Northover is the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Angola and Zambia; she was a DFID Minister, and Minister for Africa, and served in other Departments as well in the Coalition Government. She is the Liberal Democrats’ House of Lords Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs. She is a member of Wilton Park’s Advisory Council, an Honorary Associate Professor at Imperial College’s Institute of Global Health Innovation, a former Council Member of the Overseas Development Institute, and a former Trustee of the Malaria Consortium, THET, and UNICEF UK. She was formerly a Lecturer at University College London and the Wellcome Institute.

Professor Myles Wickstead

Co-opted Member

Myles has a long history of involvement with, and working in, Africa. Between 1993 and 1997 he was based in Nairobi as Head of the British Development Division in Eastern Africa, responsible for British Government development programmes in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. He served on the Board of the World Bank (and as Development Counsellor at the British Embassy) in Washington from 1997 to 2000; and from 2000 to 2004 was based in Addis Ababa as British Ambassador to Ethiopia, Djibouti and the African Union. He was, from early 2004 to late 2005, Head of Secretariat to the Commission for Africa (CfA).
Having left Government service in late 2005, Myles has been Chair of CONCERN UK and One World Media and Independent Vice-Chair of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. He has been a Board member of the British Institute in Eastern Africa; the Crown Agents’ Foundation; the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET); the Development Studies Association; the Comic Relief International Grants Committee; International Inspiration; Enterprise for Development; the Baring Foundation; and Restless Development. He has been on the Advisory Council of Wilton Park, where he was from April-December 2017 also Acting Chief Executive; Honorary Vice-President of Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO); and Non-Executive Director of ‘Development Initiatives’. He has been a Specialist Advisor to the Parliamentary International Development Select Committee.
Myles is currently Visiting Professor (International Relations) at King’s College London and Honorary Associate Professor at the Strategy and Security Institute, University of Exeter. He has written extensively on Africa, aid and development. His book ‘Aid and Development: A Brief Introduction’ was published by OUP in June 2015. Myles has degrees from the Universities of St Andrews and Oxford and has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by Leeds Beckett University, the University of Ulster and the Open University (where he was also a Visiting Professor) in recognition of his work on Africa and development. In the New Year’s Honours 2006 he was appointed CBE.

Dr Peace Medie

Appointed Member, Ex Officio

Dr Peace Medie is Senior Lecturer in Gender and International Politics at the University of Bristol and a Research Fellow in the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy at the University of Ghana. She has published on the implementation of women’s rights policies and norms, civilian protection, and policing in Africa. She is a 2015-2017 Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellow and is also co-editor of African Affairs.

Professor Ricardo Soares de Oliveira

Appointed Member, Ex Officio

Ricardo Soares de Oliveira is Professor of the International Politics of Africa at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, a fellow of St Peter’s College, Oxford, and a fellow of the Global Public Policy Institute, Berlin. Ricardo is the author of Magnificent and Beggar Land: Angola Since the Civil War (2015) and Oil and Politics in the Gulf of Guinea (2007) and the co-editor of China Returns to Africa (2008). He is also co-editor of African Affairs.

Andrew Skipper

Elected Member

Having headed up the firm's global corporate practice for over 10 years, Andrew Skipper is now Head of Africa Practice, Hogan Lovells LLP, overseeing one of the most dynamic and entrepreneurial groups within the firm. As head of the global team, Andrew ensures that Hogan Lovells work and relationships on the continent are underpinned by four key pillars; to understand, operate, invest and respect Africa. He is on the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, and was previously a trustee of the Royal National Theatre Foundation.

Ambreena Manji

Appointed Member, Ex Officio

@AmbreenaManji

Ambreena Manji is the current President of the African Studies Association (ASAUK) and has been Professor of Land Law and Development at Cardiff since 2014, where she co-founded the Law and Global Justice Centre. Her research is strongly interdisciplinary and collaborative. She has published on land law reform in Eastern Africa, on the history of African legal education, on law in African literature and on women and the law. She was previously Director of the British Academy's British Institute in Eastern Africa (2010-2014). Ambreena is the editor of African Affairs, a member of the editorial board of Social and Legal Studies and sits on the advisory boards of the Nordic Journal of Human Rights and Feminist Legal Studies.