Uzodinma Iweala is an award winning writer and medical doctor who is currently the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Ventures Africa, an online and print magazine focused on Business and Entrepreneurship in Africa. He is the author of Beasts of No Nation which won numerous awards including the John Llwellyn Rhys Prize, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Sue Kaufman Prize, the Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers Award, amongst others. His has published a second book, Our Kind of People as well as numerous short stories and essays and is the author of the article “Stop Trying to Save Africa”, which has been syndicated in many newspapers and textbooks around the world. He currently lives in Lagos, Nigeria and New York City.
Jide Bello was born in Kano, Kano State, March 13, 1963, attended University of Jos [LL. B Hons], 1991 and was admitted to the Nigerian Bar Association in 1992. He worked in Aluko & Oyebode, Lagos, 1992 to 1996 and is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association. He speaks English, Yagba, Hausa and Yoruba. He is a partner at ABFR & Co, Lagos.
CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grew up in Nsukka, Nigeria. Her work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared in various publications, including The O. Henry Prize Stories, 2003, The New Yorker, Granta, the Financial Times, Zoetrope and Farafina magazine. She is the winner of numerous international prizes, including a 2008 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the 2007 Orange Broadband Prize for Half of a Yellow Sun, and the 2005 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Purple Hibiscus. Americanah is her latest book.
Muhtar Bakare is the Executive Director of Kachifo Ltd. He started his career at Citibank Nigeria, where he spent 10 years before joining Trust Bank of Africa (now Sterling Bank) as an Executive Director. He left banking in 2004 to start a publishing business – Kachifo Limited and has since published some of the best contemporary Nigerian writers, most notably Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. He is a founding member and a trustee of KOWA Party. Most recently, Muhtar was an Executive Producer of Half of A Yellow Sun, the movie adaptation of the best-selling Chimamanda Adichie book by the same name. Muhtar has an architectural degree from the Obafemi Awolowo University.
Gbolly Balogun is a property developer, development manager, & real estate consultant with over 24 years experience in management. His career began in 1985 exporting fruit to Europe from Oshogbo. In 1996 he set up the Moorhouse Properties Limited, a Development Management company in partnership with a Corporate Lawyer, Koye Edu. He also sits on the boards of various other companies currently. Gbolly is a champion of the arts. He is an active supporter all artists from photographers, musicians, filmmakers, authors, publishers and others. He has a degree in Economics from Howard University, Washington DC and a post-graduate degree in Philosophy and History from the University of Lagos.
Olufunmilola Aduke Iyanda popularly known as Funmi Iyanda was born on July 22, 1971. She is an award-winning broadcaster, journalist, columnist and blogger. Funmi entered into Television presentation when she produced and presented Good Morning Nigeria. She was also the presenter of the T.V show known as the “Street Life”. In the year 2000, Funmi began to produce and host a program called the New Dawn. Funmi writes regular columns in Tempo Magazine, and served as guest columnist for Farafina Magazine, PM NEWS, The Punch, Daily Trust and Vanguard Newspapers.
Louis Edozien is the current Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Power. Before his appointment, he was the Executive Director, Engineering & Technical of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), where he was responsible for the technical and project management of the federal government’s $8 billion investment in the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs). Edozien has a combined Mathematics and Social Studies Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a Master’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in California, USA.