H.E. Benjamin Mkapa
Benjamin W. Mkapa, a seasoned journalist, diplomat and politician, was elected President of Tanzania in November 1995, the third President of the United Republic of Tanzania since independence in 1961. On 21st December 2005, President Mkapa relinquished powers voluntarily at the end of his two five-year terms in office as President of United Republic of Tanzania. He continued to chair the ruling party (CCM) until June 2006, when he voluntarily handed the party leadership over to his successor, President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete.
Throughout his political career, President Mkapa worked to strengthen Tanzanian democracy, entrench civil rights and fight poverty, while increasing the country’s exposure to international trade and investment. He was active in conflict resolution in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, and an active player in regional economic co-operation within the East African Community, and the Southern African Development Community of which he was Chairperson for 2003/2004. In retirement, in early 2008, he was a member of the African Union Panel of Eminent Persons under former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, which successfully reconciled opposing political parties in Kenya after over 1000 people died in post-election conflicts.
In January 2002, President Mkapa was appointed, together with the President of Finland, Co-Chair of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation. In March 2004, he was appointed one of the Commissioners in the Commission for Africa established by British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
President Mkapa continues to be very active regionally and internationally. He is Chairman of the South Centre, a Geneva-based intergovernmental organization of developing countries. He is Co-Chair of the Investment Climate Facility for Africa, and Co-Chair of the Africa Emerging Markets Forum (AEMF). He is a member of the board of trustees of the Africa Wildlife Foundation (AWF), Aga Khan University, (2008-2011) and a Commissioner on the United Nations Commission on the Legal Empowerment of the Poor (2006-2008). President Mkapa is a member of the Board of the International Crisis Group (2010 - to date), Club of Madrid, InterAction Council, Africa Forum as well as of the current Chair of the Advisory Council of the Microsoft 4Afrika.
In 2005, he was a member of the Panel of Eminent Persons appointed by the UNCTAD Secretary-General to review and enhance the role of UNCTAD within the United Nations reforms. In 2006, he served as a member of the High-level panel on UN System-wide Coherence in areas of Development, Humanitarian Assistance and Environment, appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General. He was also partly associated with the work of the Commission on Growth and Development, an independent commission established with the support of the World Bank, the Swedish, Dutch and UK Governments and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. President Mkapa was appointed in 2006 to be Patron of the UN committee of 2008 International Year of Planet Earth.
Louis joined Microsoft in 1997 as Country Manager for Kenya,
helping drive one of the highest growth rates for Microsoft
subsidiaries worldwide. In 2002, he became the Director for
Business Operations & Marketing in WCA (West & Central Africa),
a position he held until 2004 when he moved to become Director
of Enterprise Sales in WECA. In 2007, Louis was promoted to
General Manager, East & Southern Africa, responsible for
sales, marketing, services and business development across 15
countries. In that role, he also served as part of the leadership
team for WECA and the Indian Ocean Islands. Louis lists many
accomplishments in his overall career but most notable is
the lead role he played in the localization of Microsoft Office
& Windows into Kiswahili – a first for an African language -
which paved way for the extension of the localization program
into seven other African languages. Before joining Microsoft,
Louis was a developer and rose to become Vice President,
Information Systems at EEC Financial Services Inc, a firm based
in New York & New Jersey, USA. Louis serves on the Kenya Vision
2030 Delivery Board as well as the Enablis East Africa Board. He
is also a member of a select group of CEOs in the IGD Frontier
100 program, an advisor to the Presidential Investor’s Round
table in Uganda and Tanzania, as well as in the Presidential ICT
round table in Mozambique. In addition, he is a member of the
East Africa Business Summit and served as chair of the American
Business Association in Kenya in 2005. Louis Otieno at WEF Africa 2015, talks
about Public Private Partnerships in Africa to create enabling environment for
technology to thrive
Akaliza Keza Gara
I’m really looking forward to joining the 4Afrika Advisory Council. I hope to help the 4Afrika Initiative better understand my country, to share the needs that exist here and to talk about the opportunities to use technology to impact people’s lives.
Akaliza a Multimedia Technology & Design graduate from Rwanda, is the founder of Shaking Sun, a multimedia company that specialises in graphic design, animation and web development.
She is also a mentor at kLab and Girls in ICT Rwanda. During her studies, she was only one of a few women taking ICT courses. There were hardly any female role models in the industry. She now encourages girls to pursue careers in ICT, sharing key insights with emerging tech entrepreneurs in Africa. She holds female empowerment, quality education and youth unemployment very close to her heart.
Akaliza’s dream has been to create cartoons and films targeting African children, specifically Rwandan children. She barely remembers cartoons representative of her culture and wants to create characters and settings that African children can relate to. She has completed her first cartoon as part of an educational series. The artists and the animators who brought the cartoons to life were all Rwandan.
I’m very excited to be joining the Council as a youth leader. As a telecommunications professional, I hope to bring affordable broadband access to the youth in Africa.
Tayeb is a Moroccan entrepreneur with a BSc in Computer Science, an MSc in Computer Networks and an Executive MBA in International Business.
Backed by strong technical expertise and knowledge of the telecom markets in Morocco and Africa, Tayeb founded B2N Consulting, a company offering a wide range of telecom services and solutions to its customers in Morocco and Africa. B2N Consulting is an Authorised Distributer of IXIA in Morocco.
Tayeb is also working on e-commerce projects and is a member of CEED, where he mentors young entrepreneurs to help them start their businesses. He is most passionate about bringing affordable internet access to Africa. He believes connectivity will play a big role in improving Africa’s competitiveness and independence, reducing Africa’s reliance on the West.