Samuel Dossou-Aworet was born in Porto Novo, Benin. He is the founder and chairman of the PETROLIN group, an international Pan-African oil, gas, energy and infrastructure company, founded in 1992. The Petrolin Group is active in areas of trading, exploration and production, with offices in Capetown, Cotonou, Geneva and Libreville. It has operations and/or strategic interests in Central and West Africa (Nigeria, Gabon, Congo, DRC, Ivory Coast), in the Great Lakes region (Burundi, Malawi, Zambia) and in the Middle-East. Petrolin was an early investor in the South African telecom, MTN.
Mr. Dossou-Aworet is a petroleum engineer by training from the French Institute of Petroleum (1972) and is a highly-respected businessman who, for more than 40 years has played an active role in negotiating numerous lucrative oil deals. Throughout his dynamic career, Mr. Dossou-Aworet has been entrusted with high-level positions such as Chairman of the OPEC Board of Governors and served as Strategic Advisor to many heads of state and international oil companies for more than 20 years. General Manager of Hydrocarbons in Gabon for more than 15years.
Whether as a partner or consultant, Mr. Dossou-Aworet has provided strategic input in the development of prominent international oil companies and government entities, notably in Cameroon, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria.\, Namibia, Burundi, South Africa and Uganda.
In the area of infrastructure, the Backbone Project in West Africa is the brainchild of Mr. Dossou-Aworet, who is the creator and promoter. The project includes the development of a Petroleum, Mineral And Commercial Port, (for which he has received a certificate of environmental and social impact fitness) the dry port of Parakou in Benin – which has just been completed, an international airport and the Cotonou-Parakou-Dosso-Niamey railway corridor (for which Mr. Dossou won the international tender) to transport cargo and mineral ores to/from Benin and landlocked countries including Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Northern Nigeria. The project is covered by a comprehensive Framework Agreement which is now being fully actualized. When completed this integrated infrastructure, project will impact the lives of over 350 million in the West African sub-region.
Mr. Dossou-Aworet has received many awards for his work in the oil industry as well as his many humanitarian endeavors.
N. Justin Chinyanta, a former Vice President at Citibank and HSBC Bank’s Africa offices cofounded the Loita Group in 1994 (www.loita.com), a pioneering pan-African investment banking and financial ICT group (headquartered in Mauritius), which through wholly owned subsidiary Loita Capital Partners International has advised on, structured and arranged in excess of USD 3 billion in various funding transactions, in addition to its activities in financial technology (through another wholly owned subsidiary Fintech International) as well as digital payments and switching space (Loita Transaction Services).
A past non-executive board member of numerous public and private sector boards such as Ecobank Malawi (Chair Risk and Credit Committee) and Johannesburg Securities Exchange listed infrastructure firm Group 5 (Member Risk Committee and Remuneration Committee), Justin presently chairs FinCredit Kenya and Uganda, and also serves as Executive Vice President (Southern Africa) for the Africa Business Roundtable. He is one of the pioneer members of General Colin Powell and Ms Madeleine Albright’s Initiative for Global Development’s Frontier 100 CEOs and in April 2013, became a member of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conference Leaders Forum. In December 2016 he was appointed by the Government of Zambia as Non-Executive Chair of the National Housing Authority, and has previously served as honorary member of Zambian President Mwanawasa’s Investment and Business Advisory Council.
Justin is a Fellow of Harvard University (Weatherhead Center for International Affairs) and a graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (International Business Transactions and Financial Law). He is an Advocate of the Zambian High Court with a LLB from the University of Zambia.
Mr. Goodie Minabo Ibru was born in Kano in 1942. He had his primary education at Yaba Methodist School, Yaba and later went to Ibadan Grammar School, Ibadan.
He proceeded to the Holborn College of Law, University of Lomdon and graduated LLB (London) in 1965. He was called to the English Bar in 1966 and enrolled at the Supreme Court as Solicitor and Advocate in 1968 after which he founded the Law Firm of G. M. Ibru & Company where he is principal partner. He became a Notary Public in 1973
He was the founder of Ikeja Hotel Plc, owners of Sheraton Lagos Hotel & Towers; The Tourist Company of Nigeria Plc, owners of Federal Palace Hotel and Casino, Hans Gremlin Nigeria Limited which acquired 51% equity stake in Capital Hotels Plc (owners of Abuja Sheraton Hotel & Towers), and Niger Delta Exploration and Production Plc.
He is on the Board of several other companies including Minet Nigeria Limited and DN Tyre & Rubber Plc.
Mr. Goodie Ibru is a past President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Nigerian Stock Exchange; Nigeria – Ethiopia Business Association; former Honorary Consul of Lithuania to Nigeria and Executive Vice President (West African Chapter), African Business Round Table (ABR) and past Chairman of NEPAD Business Group – Nigeria and Co-Chairman of NEPAD Business Group West Africa. He represented Nigeria, as the Co-Chair for UNWTO Committee on International Code of Ethics on Tourism.
Mr. Goodie Minabo Ibru was the pioneer President of The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) as well as a past Chairman of the Board of Trustees. His leadership of the Federation gave a FTAN a strong presence in both the private and public space that culminated into FTAN being an acknowledged trade group in the country. As president of FTAN, Mr. Ibru made uncommon sacrifices and spared nothing, both material and financial, to ensure that the Tourism industry in Nigeria has a true virile, strong industry umbrella body as envisaged by the founding fathers of which he was one. As President, FTAN held its first ever international workshop in partnership with the government of Israel, Tourism Merit Award and created chapters in many states while actively partnering with practitioners, other trade groups, Federal & states governments as well as states and Federal Legislator to ensure that Tourism gets its deserved attention.
He is the President of Nigeria – Russia Business Council and a former member of the Governing Council of the Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo.
Mr. Ibru, has authored, co-authored and edited many books in Tourism, Law and the Nigerian Capital Market; he isa Member/ Fellow of several professional and social organizations, and a recipient of numerous awards including Officer of the order of the Niger (OON), National Productivity Order of Merit Award (2000), Doctorate Degree of Entrepreneurship (Honoris Causa), Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State, 2014.
Mrs. Amina GERBA, born NLEUNG-ABAH, is the Founder and President and CEO of Afrique Expansion Group and President and Founder of Kariliss Laboratories Inc. and co-Founder of Flash Beauté Inc / Kariderm®.
She arrived in Canada in 1986 as a student and earned a Bachelor of Administration (BBA), option Tourism Management and Intervention in 1992 and a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in 1993 from UQAM Business School. After working in business development for several Canadian companies, she decided in 1995 to create its communications firm, Afrique Expansion Inc.., Whose main mission is to promote investment in Africa. For Ms. Gerba, Africa is rich in resources just waiting to be valued. It is this belief that motivated her in 1998, after a meeting with women producers of shea butter from Burkina Faso, to create a line of cosmetics made from this raw material with many virtues. Made in Canada, Kariderm ® is the first worldwide to became certified for organic Shea butter and is ranked among the top 50 natural products in Canada. Mrs. Gerba is also the initiator of the Africa Forum, a biennial international conference on investment in Africa, held in Montreal since 2003. Winner of “OSCAR 2005” Carrefour des Communautés du Québec, Mrs. Gerba has been classified in 2008 among the “25 Most Influential Women in Quebec” by Le Journal Les Affaires. In 2010 she was awarded the “Entrepreneur of the Year” African Business Network of Entrepreneurs and Professionals and the Laureate of the Black History Month celebrated by the City of Montreal. Finalist in 2011’s “Price of Quebec Business Women”, she received in 2012 the “Recognition Award” from the University of Quebec at Montreal. Amina Gerba is involved in several boards (Université du Québec à Montréal, Canadian Council on Africa and African Business Round Table and Rotary International). was awarded the rank of Knight of “Ordre National du Québec” on June 18, 2014 at the Quebec Parliament. In 2018, Mrs Gerba as been nominated Chairperson of the Board of Directors for Entreprendre Ici, an organization committed to addressing issues faced by entrepreneurs from Quebec’s different ethnocultural communities, with a view to increase the number of ethnocultural diversity entrepreneurs.
In 1959, he served as Executive Officer at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Northern Nigeria. He subsequently, attended the London School of Economics to study Transportation and Economics. In 1965, he received his Master’s Degree in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. Upon his return to Nigeria, Alhaji Tukur was appointed Ports Manager of the Lagos Port Complex, and he served as the General Manager and Chief Executive of Nigerian Ports Authority from 1975 to 1982. In 1982, he left his position as general manager and soon contested the Gongola gubernatorial race, which he won.
Alhaji Tukur has held numerous national appointments in Nigeria, including the directorships of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, the Nigerian National Shipping Line, Nigeria Airways, Central Water Transportation Company and the Board of Customs and Exercise. Dr. Tukur is a member of the International Business Advisory Council (IBAC) of UNIDO and a member of the OECD Africa Investment Advisory Board. He was elected Chairman of the NEPAD Business Group in Monterrey, Mexico in March 2002. In the same year Mr Tukur was conferred with the National Honour of the Commander of the Order of the Mono (COM) by the President of Togo, His Excellency President Gnassingbe Eyadema, in recognition of his contribution to business in Africa. He was also appointed to the Ghana Investors Advisory Council by H.E. President John Agyekum Kuffuor in June 2002.
In December 2003, Mr Tukur was conferred with the National Honour of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) by His Excellency, President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria. He was once the governor of the old Gongola State, which encompassed Adamawa and Taraba States. He served as Governor for three months before the democratic administration was abridged by a military coup. After leaving the Gongola State House, he entered full scale entrepreneurship, and was the founder and chairman of BHI holdings (DADDO group of companies).
Dr. Bamanga Tukur was also a former member of the board of Trustees of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He came to national attention in the mid 1970’s, as the general manager of the Nigerian Ports Authority; it was a time the agency was having problems with congestion as a result of a massive cement importation scheme that was started at the twilight of Yakubu Gowon’s administration. During his tenure, the government built a few more seaports to ease the transaction cost associated with shipping and to ensure adequate facilities for Nigeria’s import and export needs. He was awarded CON in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in the year 2003.
Dr Bamanga Tukur is presently the Chairman, NEPAD Business Group; Chairman, BHI Holdings Limited; Chairman, Afripractice Group and Executive President of African Business Roundtable.