UBC Africa Business Club 5th Annual




On the 2020 Forum: Inspired By The Heart Of An Emerging Continent


The UBC Africa Business Club is honored to present the 5th Annual UBC Africa Business Forum. This year’s edition is slated for January 25th, 2020 at the UBC Vancouver campus. 

Our theme for 2020 is “New Frontiers – Integrating Current Models into the Future of Business in Africa.” As we ascend into a new decade, we are once again reminded of the constantly changing face of business and the need to keep level with global developments. With the rise of new innovations, the beckoning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the entrance of new power players to the forefront of world politics and commerce, the need to adapt quickly and seamlessly to this “new age” of business is more important now than ever before. 

This heralds an exciting time for Africa, as the rise of new technologies and a growing shift in mindsets makes the continent a hotspot for innovation and flexible business models. And while businesses in Africa face a unique set of challenges, our conversations will centre around how organizations and individuals are thriving and disrupting the scene despite these challenges. Africans are finding creative ways of using the structures and resources already available to them to stay abreast with the latest advancements in business and technology. Whether it’s in music streaming, payment solutions, sustainable energy, ride hailing platforms, context-based innovations are driving business and entrepreneurship on the continent. 

This year, we are proud to feature two new panels, namely Energy & Sustainability and Entertainment. These are sectors that have experienced immense growth and are pivotal when discussing the diversification of economies in Africa. Whichever of our five panels you decide to attend, will feature unique individuals who have made way in revolutionising the business scene while simultaneously empowering other African in their endeavours. These are the shapers of the future of Business in Africa. At the end of it, the forum poses a question inviting the audience to contemplate in what capacity they want to be shapers of the African landscape.

We hope that your attendance of the 2020 UBC Africa Business Forum will be filled with meaningful conversations, life-long connections and inspiration.

Yours Sincerely,

Chawa Kaluwa & Agang Tema 

UBC Africa Business Club Co-Chairs 


Africa Business Forum 2020

6133 University Blvd, Vancouver BC

Saturday, January 25th

9AM – 5PM

Early Bird Ticket: $30

General Ticket: $40


The Africa Business Club is a business focused club that aims to connect people in the diaspora and North America to events, market trends and opportunities unfolding in the Africa Business landscape. While our focus is enterprise in Africa it is important that we also take into account the diverse cultural, political, institutional and economic climates within the continent. 

Our specialization is therefore using business solutions to address pressing present day phenomenons within the African continent. We believe that this is what makes our forum unique and relatable.




The Scramble for African Entertainment: Maintaining control of the African Music Industry

Speakers: Karungari Mungai, Tonye Aganaba, Michael Akiko & Teon Gibbs


(ABC Talks) Raw Perspectives on the Industry + Live Acoustic session

Speakers: Karungari Mungai, Tonye Aganaba & Michael Akiko




Profits, Impact, Ethics (P.I.E): Ingredients for Success in Entrepreneurship.

Speakers: Catherine Mahugu & Asha Wheeldon


Ideation Lab

Groups will be ideating solutions for five to six current, africa-centred cases using the ‘Opposite Thinking’ methodology. The facilitators will guide groups in their process and provide feedback for proposed solutions.

Speakers: Catherine Mahugu & Asha Wheeldon




Sustainable Energy: What’s Next for Africa’s Growing Economy?

Speakers: Solomon Atta, Michael Tarney & Chike Ukaegbu


The Politics of Energy: Who Is Really Winning? 

Speakers: Solomon Atta, Michael Tarney & Chike Ukaegbu




Charged & Ready: How Tech is Changing the Business Landscape in Africa

Speakers: Soji Adeshina & Judah Okwuobi


FinTech in Africa: Revolutionizing the financial industry

Speakers: Elizabeth Howard, Michael Moll, Judah Okwuobi, Aly El Shalakany, Abeba Turi




Bet On Africa: Roads to Growth

Speakers: Aly El Shalakany, Elizabeth Howard, Ahmad Mazhar, Hossam Raouf


FinTech in Africa: Revolutionizing the financial industry

Speakers: Elizabeth Howard, Michael Moll, Judah Okwuobi, Aly El Shalakany, Abeba Turi








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Tonye Aganaba

Tonye Aganaba  is a multidisciplinary artist, musician, and performer. They were born in London, England to parents of Nigerian and Zimbabwean descent and moved to Canada at the age of 13 where they later went on to attended the University of Victoria’s Phoenix Theater Program. Tonye’s style, like their gender, is fluid (or at the very least non-binary) – but can be described as Soul/Neo-Folk/R&B, and although unique – they have been likened to musicians like Lauryn Hill, Ani DiFranco and Chaka Khan. 
Their list of accolades runs long, from being a Much Music Video Award recipient to the founder of AfroScience : a multidisciplinary performance experience addressing themes of identity, race, sexuality,gender, addiction, healing, faith, and expression. Their new album, “Something Comfortable” is an intentional and devotional endeavor inspired by their battle with Multiple Sclerosis. Tonye now refers to MS as the best thing that ever happened to them, a wake up call offering a new lease on life and more importantly, a shift in perspective. It is Tonye’s personal testament to the power of a public health approach – and how it can change lives. Every performance is unique, spontaneous and intuitive, with deep-running emotion and authenticity.

Michael akiko

Michael is a music industry veteran who began his career 15 years ago at Dallas Austin’s Rowdy Recording while he was still a student at Morehouse College. Since graduating he has worked with many acclaimed artists including The Jonas Bros, DJ Mustard and David Guetta. He has experience as the Senior Director, A&R at Atlantic records, Global Head of Artist Relations at Redbull Media house and in late 2017, he joined the music team at Youtube + Google Play where he was responsible for managing key relationships with artist partners in the US and Africa.

Most recently, Michael worked at Universal Music Group Nigeria, where he led the A&R team from a creative and managerial perspective; identifying artists in Africa that could be relevant throughout the world and artists from all over the world that could be relevant in Africa. His unique blend of A&R, Marketing and management talents brings a multi-dimensional perspective to the world and business of Entertainment.

Karun mungai

Karun Mungai is an alternative R&B musician based in Nairobi, Kenya. Formally known as the first lady of Nairobi’s BET nominated hip hop group Camp Mulla. Karun is also a Berklee College of Music alumni, and is featured on the Forbes Africa Top 30 Under 30 list of 2019 . Karun has most recently released hit R&B records like ‘Roses’, a feature with Ukweli of East African Wave, ‘Make Believe’ featuring the much sought after Blinky Bill, and ‘Glow Up’ a self love anthem promoting body positivity and female camaraderie. ‘Glow Up’ is the first single off of her next project Dubbed ‘The Glow EP’ set to be released later this year. Since embarking on her solo career, She has released 2 solo projects; Her Debut Album ‘Sun & Moon’ (2014) of which the song ‘Interlude (Sun)’ was featured in an episode of Fox TV’s ‘The Resident’ (S02E12) and her ‘INDIGO’ EP (2016) of which the single “Need U the most” was premiered on the revered FADER Magazine.

Teon Gibbs

Teon Gibbs was born in Botswana, grew up in Kelowna and has lived in Angola, England, South Africa and Toronto before coming back to B.C. He has been involved in production, sessional musician work, songwriting and engineering for almost 10 years – and has the network, the ambition and the talent to be Western Canada’s flagship artist.  

As an artist, his goal is not only to bring as much musicality and artistry to the stage as he can, but also to shift culture and shine a light on Western Canada’s talent . He believes in keeping like-minded artists in his circle, growing together and opening doors. On the heels of this, and together with his friends, he founded “The 100 collective” – a multi-faculty, physical and digital community in which Western Canadian artists are able to showcase their work and talents, find resources and collaborate – whether it is music, videography, photography or even business.


Asha Wheeldon is the founder of Kula Foods. Her journey began in Kenya where sharing food with her community was an important part of every day. She migrated to Toronto as a young teenager where she was introduced to West African, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern cuisine and culture. After moving to Vancouver, she was inspired to create something unique that is reflective of her experiences by connecting people to their food and community. Ever since, Kula Foods has been a leader in the plant-based food industry in western Canada.


Kula is a plant-based food producer in Vancouver, BC. They create Afrocentric plant-based foods that are rich in flavour, nutritious, and satisfying. their first product line is inspired by diverse Kenyan flavours. You can find them at Vancouver Farmers Market, and the following retail outlets: Vegan Supply, Juice Truck, Soap Dispensary, and Spent Grounds.


Catherine Mahugu is a globally acclaimed, award-winning entrepreneur. She is a software engineer by profession and changemaker by passion. Catherine is a seasoned techpreneur, changemaker, youth empowerment enthusiast and a strong advocate of gender equality and equity. She has been involved in various ICT for Development projects where she has applied design thinking for social innovation and is a certified human-centered design expert. 

Catherine has been recognized as: One of Forbes’ top 30 under 30 Globally 2016, BBC’s top 30 under 30 2015, Kenya’s top 5 Female Entrepreneurs under 40. Currently, she is the founder of Chiswara, which is an online retail platform and agritech venture that offers a more equitable coffee experience by selling specialty Kenyan coffee to the international market. Chiswara is reinventing the coffee supply chain to benefit coffee farmers and drinkers alike. 

For Catherine, however, it is not these accolades that define her. Rather, it is the impact that her work has on the lives of people world over.

solomon atta

Solomon was born and grew up in Ghana and graduated from the University of Ghana in 2011 with a Bachelor degree in Political Science and Sociology. In 2013, he started a career with the Local Government Service of Ghana as a Budget Analyst at the Ejura-Sekyedumase Municipal Assembly. For five years, Solomon played a significant role in improving the lives of rural folk through prudent revenue and expenditure management, as well as designing and implementing programs of the annual budget geared toward poverty alleviation and socioeconomic development for the Municipality. Currently, Solomon is looking forward to taking full advantage of the MPPGA program to shape his career path for global change as a policy analyst, with special interest in the nexus between decentralization and socioeconomic development.

Chike Ukaegbu

Chike is an Educator, Entrepreneur, Investor, Humanitarian, Biomedical Engineer and more who is passionate about empowering untapped communities and increasing representation through diversity and inclusion in tech, corporate, educational and entrepreneurial spaces.

As a leading voice on several topics relating to millennials and untapped communities (empowerment, engagement, diversity, inclusion, and more) Chike continues to develop and implement effective frameworks, models and novel methodologies relevant to effectively building inspiring and engaging audiences and communities.

Chike studied Venture Capital & Investments at Stanford, General MBA courses at UPenn Executive Leadership and Management at Cornell University, and Biomedical Engineering at The City College of New York. He also became the youngest person in Africa to officially run for the seat of the President as the 2019 youngest presidential candidate in Nigeria.

Michael J. Tarney

Nationality: British

Qualifications: Chartered Accounting and Engineering (Cambridge University)

Experience: Michael has been a director at CEC Plc since 2006. Previously employed as Audit Manager by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Michael has also worked for Marconi Corporation Plc and as Financial Controller-International Operations for National Grid Plc. During his time as Managing Director Corporate Development at CEC Plc, Michael was responsible for implementing CEC Plc’s growth strategy as well as identifying potential growth areas in the energy sector in Zambia and abroad. Michael sits on the following boards:

  • Batoka Energy Holding Limited
  • Zambian Energy Corporation (Ireland) Limited
  • Zambian Energy Corporation Limited
  • Madison Asset Management Company Limited
  • CEC-Kabompo Hydro Power Limited

soji adeshina

Soji Adeshina is a Software Developer at Amazon where he uses deep learning techniques to develop solutions for AWS customers, and contributes to tools that improve the machine learning process. He also builds educational materials on deep learning for students and developers, and is an instructor of the AWS Computer Vision course on Coursera.
Soji has worked on several projects for Amazon Robotics, Amazon Polly (the technology behind the voice of Alexa) and for AWS customers in the domain of computer vision, natural language processing and recommender systems. He also briefly worked at Uber in Lagos, Nigeria and gained some perspectives on the tech sector in Africa.

He attended University of California Berkeley, where he studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with an emphasis on Machine Learning and Optimization. At Berkeley, he was a recipient of the MasterCard Foundation Scholarship.

Aly El Shalakany

Aly El Shalakany is an active angel investor and Chairman of the Cairo Angels, one of the leading angel investor networks in the Middle East and North Africa region. He is also president of the Middle East Angel Investment Network (MAIN), an alliance of the leading angel investors, networks and funds operating in the MENA region. Aly has a stellar record for investing in, mentoring, and coaching early-stage high growth businesses across the continent. He holds a BA in Economics from the University of Toronto and a Master of Laws from the University of London.

Dr. Abeba N. Turi

Dr. Abeba N. Turi is a scholar with expertise in the Digital Economy. She obtained her PhD (with an international mention) specializing in the areas of the Digital Economy at the Rovira i Virgili University in Spain.

She has a Masters degree in Economics and Finance from Charles University in Prague and a BA Degree in Economics from Hawassa University, Ethiopia. Dr. Turi has served in various higher educational institutions and international projects. She has worked as an assistant researcher in a co-utility project, with a theme of “Conciliating Individual Freedom and the Common Good in the Information Society”  with the UNESCO Chair in Data Privacy, Spain. Dr. Turi has also participated in two preliminary CTI projects at the HES-SO Valais, Institute of Entrepreneurship & Managemen in Switzerland. The CTI projects she has taken part in are PACIOLI building trust company of the future and HEALTH LOTTERY. These are applied researches in collaboration with a Swiss Company WinBiz and the later with the HealthBank. Dr. Turi has been a collaborating researcher at the UBC working on the applications of the DLTs mainly on the economics of blockchain tech and its applications in the referral economy.

Dr. Turi’s research works have been presented in a number of international indexed conferences in Spain, Italy, Germany, the UK, Canada, and China. Dr. Turi is a co-author of the book Co-utility: Theory and Applications, published by Springer in 2017. Since recent years, she is actively involved in the disruptive tech space. She has attended a certified summer institute program on the Blockchain technology hosted by the University of British Columbia. Dr. Turi identifies herself as a “Disruptive Tech and Decentralization” Enthusiast. Her research interest areas include Digital/Collaborative Economy, Financial Technology Applications, Tech Policy Analysis, Mechanism Design, and Game-Theoretic Analysis, Economics of Blockchain and its applications, and Business Model Innovation and Design. Currently, Dr. Turi is an instructor at the University Canada West.


Mr. Okwuobi is a Machine Learning Engineer at IBM, one of the world’s largest technology companies, in a group focused on applying artificial intelligence and optimization at scale to tackle novel problems plaguing Fortune 100 & 500 companies.

During his tenure at IBM, he’s developed and used Artificial Intelligence to solve novel problems in energy and agriculture, earning him several awards including a “Rockstar” award given annually to a handful of young professionals in North America based on their innovation, leadership, and impact to IBM and its clients.

He is a strong advocate for technology as an agent of development and growth in Africa and recognizes artificial intelligence as a unique catalyst for the continent to leapfrog the rest of the world technologically.

Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth founded LelapaFund after five years in sovereign and financial risk analysis for consulting firms and brokerages.

A French-South African binational, she specialized in applied econometrics for emerging stock markets and became a full-time entrepreneur after Lelapa Fund was selected for Stanford University’s Ignite programme.

Elizabeth is an advisor to African regulators on equity crowdfunding regulations and is a founding director of the African Crowdfunding Association. She holds a B.Com Honours degree from the University of Cape Town and a Masters in Economics from Sciences Po Paris.

Michael moll

Michael is a social commerce visionary who dreams of using technology to transform human activities. He is obsessed with the power of co-creation; he has created, implemented and launched 3 successful startups in the last decade.

He grew up in Kenya and was awarded a full scholarship to study at University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business in 2008.

Michael’s expertise in marketing business and technology led him on the path to co-creating REITIUM, an asset-backed blockchain real estate investment marketplace.

Dedicated to educating millennials, the unbanked and investors on the power of smart contracts, Michael sees tremendous possibility and growth potential in worldwide real estate investing.

Ahmad Mazhar

Ahmad Mazhar is Managing Director at Fairfax Africa Holdings. Fairfax Africa is an investment holding company which invests in public and private equity securities and debt instruments of African businesses or other firms where their business is primarily conducted in, or dependent on, Africa. Ahmad has over 11 years of private equity experience and has worked across several growing markets including North and Subsaharan Africa. He holds a BE in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.