KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Dr. George Ayittey - Free Africa Foundation, Ghana

George Ayittey is a Ghanaian economist, author of several books on Africa and president of the Free Africa Foundation in Washington DC. He is a retired economics professor at American University, a Fellow at the Independent Institute, Atlas Network, and an associate scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He was ranked among the “Top 100 Global Thinkers” by the Foreign Policy magazine in 2010.

June Arunga Kimani - Usafi Comfort, Kenya

June Arunga Kimani is an entrepreneur in film production, mobile payments software platforms, and most recently in sanitation. Her new company Usafi Comfort, is currently positioning itself to bring to market, in Kenya and East Africa, affordable, mass-market alternatives to traditional sewer systems, for dwellings located off the sewer infrastructure. In 2007, June became a founding partner of Black Star Line, a Ghana-based technology solution provider in the fields of cell phone-based payments and money transfer with a strong focus on the African market. These efforts, among others, led to her recognition in 2010 as one of the ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’ by Fast Company Magazine. In 2011 she was named by Forbes Magazine as one of its 20 Youngest Powerful Women in Africa. For the last decade, June has combined her business pursuits with public policy advocacy as a strong supporter of policies that promote technologies that positively transform intra-African trade, migration, and secure property rights for wealth creation in Africa. She has contributed to a number of notable television programs including two globally broadcast BBC documentaries: one featuring her Cairo-to-Cape Town journey that covered conflict and business, and another on her fourteen-day road trip across Africa with Jerry Rawlings, former president of Ghana, having an intergenerational dialogue between herself and four African heads of state on why the continent is poor and what can be done to uplift its people in the future. She is a University of Buckingham law graduate.

ADDITIONAL SPEAKERS

Evancy Exaudy Nkya - Liberty Sparks, Tanzania

He is a young-motivated development practitioner with strong leadership abilities. He has spent years working with African Students for Liberty, Uhuru Initiatives for Policy and Education, business personalities, Organizations and other key development stakeholders. He is currently a Founder and Executive Director of Liberty Sparks and Executive Board Member with African Students for Liberty in Tanzania. He is a risk taker who embraces the core values of equality for all, individual rights, integrity, and growth. In 2017, he was selected as one among the top 50 global leaders with Students for Liberty. He joined the liberty movement following a conference by Students and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA) in August 2010, and co-founded the African Liberty Students Organization-University of Dodoma Chapter serving as Secretary-General. He also served as Chairperson for Youths of the United Nations (YUNA) Dodoma chapter in 2011. Evans speaks, trains and organizes various Liberty events in Tanzania and outside. Evans aspires to become a salient international development practitioner advocating for economic, social and environmental well-being for all.

Dr. Tom Palmer - Atlas Network, USA

Dr. Tom G. Palmer is the executive vice president for international programs at Atlas Network and is responsible for establishing operating programs in 14 languages and managing programs for a worldwide network of think tanks. On Nov. 10, 2016, Dr. Tom G. Palmer was named the George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty at Atlas Network. He is also a senior fellow at Cato Institute and director of Cato University. Before joining Cato, he was an H. B. Earhart Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford University, and a vice president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. He frequently lectures in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, India, China and throughout Asia, as well as the Middle East on political science, public choice, civil society, and the moral, legal, and historical foundations of individual rights. He has published reviews and articles on politics and morality in scholarly journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Ethics, Critical Review, and Constitutional Political Economy, as well as in publications such as Slate, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Die Welt, Caixing, Al Hayat, the Washington Post, and The Spectator of London. He is the author of Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice (expanded edition 2014), and the editor of The Morality of Capitalism (2011), After the Welfare State (2012), Why Liberty (2013), Peace, Love & Liberty (2014), and Self-Control or State Control? You Decide (2016). Palmer received his B.A. in liberal arts from St. Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland, his M.A. in philosophy from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and his doctorate in politics from Oxford University.

Brad Lips - Atlas Network, USA

Brad Lips has served as Atlas Network's Chief Executive Officer since 2009, after previously acting as its Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Atlas Network in 1998, Lips conducted equity research for Smith Barney Inc. and policy research for the Progress & Freedom Foundation. He co-founded an Internet startup (subsequently sold to DoubleDutch), after spending his first years out of college at an online service provider while writing for music magazines. Lips is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society and chaired the Organizing Committee of its 2016 General Meeting in Miami. He is a member of the John Templeton Foundation, Templeton World Charity Foundation, and Templeton Religion Trust. His articles have appeared in The Daily Caller, National Review Online, Forbes, Fox News, American Spectator, American Thinker, and RealClearPolitics. Lips speaks widely on free enterprise as a solution to poverty, and on the international freedom champions connected by Atlas Network.

Dr. Lyall Swim - Atlas Network, USA

Dr. Lyall Swim is the director of training at Atlas Network. In his role, Lyall provides leadership for the entire suite of Atlas Network training offerings. For the past 17 years, he has engaged with more than 20,000 adult learners in dozens of organizations around the world. His focus has been to build increased leadership and operational capacity and enable organizations to successfully navigate various forms of change. He is a sought-after speaker on ethics, leadership, innovation adoption, and education innovation. As the director of operations for Sutherland Institute, Lyall helped lead a redesign of the organization that enabled the Institute to better leverage the strengths of each staff member and increase the profile and influence of the Institute in Utah. Lyall holds a Doctorate of Education with an emphasis in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University. He also holds a bachelor’s in communications and an M.B.A. from Brigham Young University. His research and writing on leadership, ethics, education reform, adult learning, and innovation adoption have been published in a range of peer-reviewed journals and various local and national outlets. Above all, Lyall enjoys spending quality time with his wife and three teenage children.

Tarun Vats - Atlas Network, USA

Tarun joined the Atlas Network team in June 2016 and currently serves as Associate Director of Training. He grew up in India and graduated from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, India, with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. His previous work experiences include being the senior associate for development and strategy at Center for Civil Society; a Smith Fellowship and internship with Atlas Network; president at Make a Difference; and Bid Management Engineer at Schneider Electric. He loves traveling, playing with his dogs, and talking with people about measuring social impacts.

Linda Kavuka Kiguhi - Students for Liberty, Kenya

Linda Kavuka Kiguhi is the African Programs Manager at Students For Liberty International (SFL). Linda holds a Bachelor of Law from the University of Nairobi and a Postgraduate Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law. Linda was admitted to the Bar in Kenya in 2016 and is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya. She practiced law in Kenya at Muma and Kanjama Advocates between 2015 and 2017 before joining SFL staff. Linda began promoting the ideas of liberty actively in 2013 after joining SFL’s Charter Teams Program, the then volunteer entry program for students outside of US and Europe. She is among the team of young professionals who assisted in growing the student libertarian movement in Africa with her focus in the Eastern African Countries currently with presence in over 20 countries in Africa. Linda has been invited to speak at several Libertarian and Free Market conferences in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, USA, Nigeria and Burundi. Linda has represented Students For Liberty in partner projects including the Fostering Issue Based Political Dialogue Towards 2017 General Elections in Kenya August 2016 to November 2017 on invitation by Liberal Alliance Denmark, representing the youth interest. She was also part of the team that organized and hosted the 10 day Principles of Free Markets Colloquium in Abuja Nigeria, for 90 Fellows brought together by the North East Regional Initiative in April 2018. Linda was featured in the Atlas Networks Freedom Champions Magazine, Winter Edition 2018 as the Alumni in Focus in honor of her work advocating for the ideas of liberty and free markets in Africa.

Olumayowa Okediran - Students for Liberty, Nigeria

Olumayowa is a futurist, the West Africa Policy Fellow at South Africa’s top political and economic think-tank, the Institute of Race Relations and Founding Partner at the War Room Associates. He serves as Assistant Director of International Programs at the world’s largest youth movement for human freedom – Students For Liberty. His views on politics, economics and human freedom have been translated into 16 languages including French, Spanish, Czech, Portuguese, Serbian, Macedonian, Greek, Khmer and Vietnamese. He was listed on the 2016 YNaija PowerList as one of the most influential young Nigerians under 40 and nominated for the 2016 Future Awards Africa in Advocacy, an award the World Bank calls the "Nobel Prize for Young Africans". Olumayowa was educated at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta and completed a Masters degree in Humanitarian and Refugee Studies at the University of Ibadan. He is an alumnus of the Atlas Think Tank MBA. He also holds professional certification in Strategic Foresight from the University of Houston and in Financial Journalism from the Gordon School of Business Science, University of Pretoria. He is the Author of Navigate: A Prospection of Nigeria's Future to 2030.

Chukwuemeka Ezeugo - Global African Christians for Liberty Initiative, Nigeria

Chukwuemeka is the founder and president of Global African Christians for Liberty Initiative (GACLI), an organization founded in 2015 to promote peace in Africa, through advocacy of freedom and tolerance from the Christian perspective. He became interested in the promotion of all aspects of freedom in 2011 after studying The Road To Serfdom by F.A Hayek, a gift from Olumayowa Okediran, Assistant Director of International Programs, Students For Liberty. Chukwuemeka has continued to work with the African Liberty Students Organisation in Nigeria, and was a member of the International Executive Board of Students For Liberty, and functioned as the Programs Associate for African Students For Liberty till the end of July 2017. Chukwuemeka believes that when Christians are able to understand what freedom means to them, only then can they shine as the light of the world, respecting others regardless of faith, culture or ideology. This creates a tolerant spiritual environment that enables peaceful coexistence of any people, without hate or discrimination

Casey Pifer - Atlas Network, USA

Casey joined the Atlas Network team as an intern in 2014, transitioned into the Development and Events Associate before serving as Institute Relations and Programs Manager and now as Associate Director, Institute Relations and Programs. She grew up in West Virginia and graduated from West Virginia University with a bachelor's degree in Economics and Political Science. During college, she tutored students in economics, helped manage a catering company and was active in Students for Liberty. Before graduation, she spent a summer as a Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow working with the policy team at Citizens Against Government Waste. Casey loves playing ultimate frisbee, reading and talking with people about freedom.

Olumide Femi Makanjuola - The Initiative for Equal Rights, Nigeria

Olumide is a Sexual Health and Rights advocate with over a decade experience in sexual rights programming in Nigeria and wider range experience in capacity development for nascent sexual rights activists and organizations in Anglophone West African countries. Served as the Executive Director of The Initiative for Equal Rights, a human rights organization based in Nigeria with a specific focus on sexual rights and health of sexual minorities and currently the executive chairperson of The Future Project Nigeria. He has served as an independent expert to the European Asylum Support Office and has been invited to speak at several human rights platforms highlighting the role of the international community on Sexual rights advocacy, the implication of stigma and discrimination to AIDS-free generation and why human rights are key in HIV services and treatment in Africa. Alumni of the International Visitor Leadership Programmes, Associate fellows of the Royal Commonwealth Society, and honoree of Queen Elizabeth II.

Aimable Manirakiza - Center for Development and Enterprises Great Lakes, Burundi

Aimable Manirakiza is Founder and Chief Executive Director of Center for Development and Enterprises Great Lakes; Member of the Executive Committee of SFL in Africa. He is a former student of the Think Tank Navigator and others program at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in the United States and holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science and another bachelor's degree in International Relations at the University of Bujumbura. He is currently a Master's candidate in the Faculty of International Business Law at the same university. Aimable began to actively promote the ideas of liberty in 2015 after joining SFL's leadership in Africa as Local Coordinator of the ASFL as well as those of Europe and US and Country Director of SFL Burundi. He is part of the team of young professionals who contributed to the growth of libertarian student movement in Francophone Africa especially in the Great Lakes African region. In 2015, he founded Students For Liberty Burundi and made it a regional non-profit organization by founding Students For Liberty Rwanda, Students For Liberty Democratic Republic of Congo and the Students For Liberty Francophone platform, engaging more than 50 volunteers and affecting more than 2,000 individuals a year. He works as Regional Director of SFL in Francophone Africa especially in Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was nominated as Student of the Year 2017 by Students For Liberty in the United States of America in 2017, an award that Students for Liberty considers to be the "Best SFL Leader Award in the World".

Vale Sloane - Atlas Network, USA

Vale Sloane started at Atlas Network in 2016 as the Institute Relations and Programs Manager. He participated in the Charles Koch Institute's Koch Associate Program in 2016-2017. Hailing from Sydney, Australia, Vale attended the University of Sydney where he received his Bachelors of International and Global Studies (2013) and Bachelor of Laws (2015). He worked in Australian politics throughout college and after graduation, including on local and national election campaigns between 2009-2015. Vale has also worked in the private sector as Business Development Manager at an eLearning company prior to joining Atlas Network. He lives in Arlington, Va., and enjoys reading, traveling, and watching Netflix.

Garreth Bloor - South African Institute for Race Relations, Canada

Garreth Bloor is a VP to the South African Institute of Race Relations, a classical liberal think tank in South Africa. Before relocating to North America, he set up a venture capital company in the country in 2016 and previously headed economic development for the City of Cape Town. As a member of the Mayoral executive he undertook numerous legislative reforms, including the repeal of over 300 outdated by-laws and policies largely inherited from the apartheid spatial planning era.

Japheth J. Omojuwa - Alpha Reach, Nigeria

Japheth J. Omojuwa is the founder of Omojuwa Foundation, the Alpha Reach, and Omojuwa.com. He is a former lecturer at the Free University, Berlin. He is a Nigerian thought leader and socio-political influencer, with features on national and international platforms including CNN, BBC, Aljazeera, Mail & Guardian and with articles translated into French, Portuguese, Greek, and Deutsch. He is a Brand Influencer in the Rémy Martin #OneLifeLiveThem global campaign.  In 2015, Omojuwa was named by Credit Suisse’s Bank’s magazine, “The Bulletin” as one of the “50 Movers and Shakers” of Africa. He is a regular delegate at several High-Level Dialogues organized by the African Union. His speaking engagements have seen him speak at Universities in Europe, North America, Latin America and Africa.

Manali Shah - Independent Facilitator, India

Manali Shah is an independent facilitator based in Delhi, India. She loves creating spaces for genuine connect. She facilitates a reconnect to purpose and co-creation of strategies to live that purpose more fully. She works with Atlas Network as the lead facilitator for its regional trainings in Asia and Africa. Previously having worked with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Delhi, she now works as a moderator for their 12 day long workshops on education policies and strengthening NGOs. Her journey with the liberal movement began as a college student in 2000 when she attended a student course run by Centre for Civil Society. She joined CCS thereafter for over seven years in running programs, operations, and human resources.

Rejoice Ngwenya - Coalition for Market and Liberal Solutions (COMALISO), Zimbabwe

Rejoice Ngwenya, Founder and Executive Director of Coalition for Market and Liberal Solutions (COMALISO), Zimbabwe. A 'graduate' of the Cato University and Friedrich Naumann Foundation liberal training; also a property rights researcher, advocate, writer and political analyst.

Dr. Denis Foretia - Nkafu Policy Institute, Cameroon

Dr. Foretia is co-chair of the Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation and Senior Fellow at the Nkafu Policy Institute, a leading Cameroonian think tank. Along with co-chair Lenora Ebule, he shapes and approves strategy, advocates for the foundation, and helps set the overall direction. He is also the Chairman of Merckshire LLC, an international holding company with operations in the US and Cameroon. A surgeon by training, Foretia has always been involved in philanthropic activities and issues related to international development. He is currently the President of the Association of Cameroonian Physicians in the Americas (ACPA). He is also the Co-Founder and pioneer president of the Cameroon Professional Society (CPS) – the premier institution for Cameroonian professionals in the United States focused on advancing economic opportunity and leadership development among Cameroonians. Denis is faculty in the department of surgery at Johns Hopkins University and staff acute care surgeon at Lifebridge Health in Baltimore. He is also an Associate in the department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He holds a Bachelor’s degree with honors in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, a Doctor of Medicine degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee. He also holds a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from Bloomberg School of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the Carey School of Business also at the Johns Hopkins University.

Kyle Walker - Students for Liberty, USA

Kyle Walker is the Senior Director of International Programs at Students For Liberty. He serves on the Board of Advisors for African Liberty and EndTheDrugWar.org. Prior to joining SFL, Kyle worked as an instructor at the Charles Koch Institute, where he taught and consulted on nonprofit management for a variety of organizations dedicated to advancing human freedom. He is a former Koch Fellow at Reason Foundation and Fulbright Fellow at the Vienna Circle Institute at the University of Vienna. He received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and psychology from Canisius College and his master’s degree in philosophy from Georgia State University. He currently lives in Washington, DC and enjoys practicing yoga at his Bhakti studio. 

Isack Danford - Uhuru Initiative for Policy and Education, Tanzania

Isack is a graduate of the University of Dodoma in Tanzania, where he focused on a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations). He joined the liberty movement following a conference by Students and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA) in August, 2010 at the University of Dodoma, and co-founded the African Liberty Students Organization-University of Dodoma Chapter. Isack is also a former Charter Team Leader for Students For Liberty in Tanzania from June 2013 to May 2014 also a former Executive Board Member for African Students For Liberty serving from May 2014 to June 2015. Currently, he serves as a Founder & Executive Director for a local free-market think tank by the name Uhuru Initiative. Isack hopes to become a prominent businessman, his main interests are public policy and enterprise development.

Kofi Bentil - Lex Praxis Incorporated (Lawyers and Advisors), Ghana

Mr. Kofi Bentil is a Lawyer, a Business Strategy Lecturer, and Consultant. He has lectured in Ashesi University, and the University of Ghana Business School, he holds many corporate training sessions each year in Business Strategy, Services Marketing and Management. Kofi is Senior Vice President and Policy Analyst with Imani Ghana, voted among the top think tanks in Africa and one of the leading Think Tanks in Ghana. Kofi is currently Managing Partner at Lex Praxis Inc. A law firm he founded. He continues to be a consultant with Bentil Consulting Limited. In 2005 he was honored by the World Bank with the Global Development Marketplace Award. In 2009 he was inducted into the Africa Leadership Network, part of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network. Previously, Kofi Managed Marketing and Business Strategy for I.T. Companies and was Business Development Manager for Enterprise Insurance, one of Ghana’s Largest Insurers. His professional interests range across Leadership, Policy and Governance, Law, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Business Strategy, I.CT. Project Management. He holds a B.A. in Geography and Resources Development, an MBA in Marketing and a second MBA in Think Tank Management, a Post Graduate LLB, and the QCL from the Ghana Law School.
 

Andrew M. Mwenda - Independent Publications Limited, Uganda

Andrew M. Mwenda is an African journalist and entrepreneur. Currently he is the Managing Director of Independent Publications Limited, the publishers of The Independent, East Africa’s leading current affairs newsmagazine. He has also invested in schools, is involved in microfinance, mobile money and strategic communications. On top of sitting on the boards of some multi-national corporations in Africa, Mwenda also sits on the Presidential Advisory Committee of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

Mwenda obtained his undergraduate degree in journalism fromMakerere University and his masters’ degree in development studies from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. He has been avisiting fellow at Yale University, University of Oxford’s Said School of Business, a John Knight Fellow at Stanford Universityand a visiting fellow at the University of Leiden’s Africa Study Centre.

Mwenda has written and continues to write opinions and commentaries for Al Jezeera and CNN websites, for the New York Times, Foreign Policy and other international newspapers in Europe on top of producing radio and television documentaries for BBC. He has also authored and co-authored articles for international academic journals like Africa Affairs, Journal of Modern African Studies, Review of African Political Economy, Journal of Commonwealth Studies, Journal for Contemporary African Studiesand theJournal of Democracy on top of publishing chapters in several books among others.