Who we are
The Africa Centre is a charity with a Council of Management that takes all the decisions relating to the operation and its future. The following are the current Trustees and their backgrounds:
Council of Management (Trustees)
Oliver Andrews is the Chief Executive Officer of TCI Infrastructure Limited (TCII) and has been chair of The Africa Centre since 2004. TCII is an Infrastructure developer and project finance company, which specialises in the provision, development and financial engineering of infrastructure projects in emerging markets with a focus in Africa. An entrepreneurial transport economist with a background in engineering, business development and corporate finance, Oliver has over 30 years experience in the transport sector and 20 years as an infrastructure project developer and strategic adviser. Oliver holds an MBA from Cardiff Business, University of Wales, and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Chartered Institute of Transport. As the Chair of the Africa Centre, Oliver has been instrumental in leading the Centre’s redevelopment, which has had stakeholder consultation and the development of strategic partnerships at the core of its strategy.
Mark Artivor is the founding director of Uplands Investment Ltd, a boutique consultancy firm specialising in executing business development transactions in sub-Saharan Africa. Clients include Credit Suisse, Helios Investment Partners, and Citi Venture Capital International. He has significant experience in finance, information technology & entrepreneurship. He is an effective team player with international exposure who has commercial acumen and a structured approach to responsibilities coupled with the ability to influence in a multi-cultural environment. Mark has an MBA in finance from the London Business School.
Audrey Brown is a South African journalist, curator and cultural commentator based in London. She presents the BBC World Service’s flagship morning programme to Africa: Network Africa. Her love of the continent and curiosity about the people of the world provide delightful conversations in the most unlikely places. Most recently she found out how hard it is to laugh and reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro at the same time. She managed to do one and not the other. Audrey has a Masters in Journalism from the University of Wales and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and African History and Politics from Rhodes University in South Africa. She also has a diploma in film criticism and documentary film-making from Varan Institut, Cinema Direct in Paris.
Wayne G. Callender is a Management Consultant and Construction Project Manager; he has training in surveying, international relations and business administration. He has designed, organised and delivered training programmes and modules for construction technicians, graduate engineers, construction professionals, contractors and other practitioners in the Built Environment at technical colleges, and in public and private sector companies and development agencies in the UK and the Caribbean. Wayne was a member of the team, which was responsible for the implementation of the Egan Report, “Rethinking Construction”, dedicated to improving the performance and efficiency of the UK’s construction industry. Wayne specialises in delivering Best Practice in supply chain management, procurement, lean project delivery system and project management.
Steve Cameron is the Director of Cameron Maritime Resources. He is chair of the UK panel on container issues at the chamber of shipping, and also represents the UK at the International Chamber of Shipping. Steve has a proven record in developing and auditing business processes, operational and container asset management, strategic planning, cost benefit & trade analysis. He has more than 35 years experience in the maritime industry. 10 years were spent at sea as a cargo officer and navigator and then ashore with Cunard Cargo Shipping; 20 years were spent developing a specialist roro/container line serving Africa as operations and container logistics director; and 6 years as principal of Cameron Maritime Resources, providing management consultancy to ports, terminals and container logistics operators.
Godson Egbo is a partner with architect practice Studio Seventi. He graduated from Portsmouth University in 1992, following which, he worked at James Cubitt Architects in Lagos. It was whilst working here that Godson became enthralled by the frenetic energy of this huge, complex and vibrant African city. Having returned to London in 1994, he eventually joined Gaunt Francis Architects in 1999 and was named project architect for the British Council building in Cairo. Godson, along with three colleagues, established Bukka Education and Research Trust (www.bukka.org) as a registered charity in 2003, to address the challenges of the modern African city. Bukka ran its inaugural African Architecture Summer school in Lagos in August 2009. As someone shaped by two cultures (English and Nigerian) and their challenges, Godson is keen to help shape buildings and environments which are more viable, harmonious and, in the case of Africa, more culturally appropriate.
Annette Fisher has over 25 years of experience in design and construction, working in the UK, USA and Africa. Since 1983 she has worked for major London practices, including TP Bennett, Rolfe Judd, and Whinney Mackay Lewis. She was a founding member of The Littler Fisher Partnership in 1994. In 1997 she formed Fisher Associates. The practice work has included commercial leisure, offices, retail, restaurant and residential projects. She is a Director of FA Project Management (FAPM) and was recently appointed a Director of TP Bennett LLP in the Health and Education Sector where she will develop the retail and leisure sector as well. In 1997, Annette was awarded the Nat West Award for African Professional of the year. In 1999 she was elected to the RIBA Council and from 2000-02 was RIBA Vice-president of Communication. In 2000 and 2001 she was a National Judge for Civic Trust Awards. She is a Places for People Group Diversity Board Member: Former Chairman of the Kush HA Board 2005-2008. She has also been a CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) enabler since 2005.
Dr Jabuni currently works for Oxford based ACE Centre Advisory Trust as Chief Executive. His professional background is in Psychology, Occupational Therapy and Psychotherapy. He is a graduate of the University of London where he was awarded a doctorate with commendation in psychology following his first and second degrees at the same university. He also holds a post-graduate qualification in Business Administration from Henley Business School. He is a Chartered Scientist and an Associate Member of the Royal Society of Medicine. Dr Jabuni has previously worked in the UK National Health Service both as a clinical therapist, specialising in the treatment of mental health problems and as a General Manager. He has a track record of general management in Local Authority Social Services and lecturing at the Charing Cross Hospital Medical School and the Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Queens Square. Dr Jabuni hails from northern Ghana and has a deep interest in African history and the history of science and psychology in Africa.
Adebimpe Nkontchou is a solicitor. She is a partner in charge of Marketing and Business Development at Addie & Co, a niche practice established in 1998, which focuses on clients doing business in sub-Saharan Africa (mainly Nigeria), as well as African clients with business & personal interests in the UK. Adebimpe has participated in numerous conferences relating to business in Africa and is a member of various professional bodies including the Executive Board of the West Africa Business Association (WABA) in the UK; the Nigerian Bar Association; the British Nigeria Law Forum; the Law Society of England and Wales; and the Employment Lawyers Association.
Oba Nsugbe QC is a barrister with an international practice,(with an emphasis on Africa), comprising extensive advocacy and advisory experience on behalf of private and institutional clients both here and abroad, in business and general crime, corrupt practices, commercial litigation and health and safety. His work abroad is mainly in Africa advising companies doing business and litigating on this continent, particularly in Nigeria. He regularly advises the Nigerian National Petroleum Company in contractual disputes as well advising the Nigerian government on the legal consequences of corrupt or tainted contracts He has been called as an expert witness several times in cases involving Nigerian Law. He has worked in jurisdictions as disparate as Germany, Cayman Islands, Nigeria, Malawi and Tanzania. He has also undertaken work for the DTI, including insolvent trading and directors disqualification. He has prosecuted regularly for H.M Revenue & Customs.
Akin Olukiran is an accountant with over 15 years’ senior management experience in the Third Sector in the UK. He is currently the CEO of Disability in Camden (DISC). He was at various times in the past the CEO of CultureLink Ltd; Head of Finance & IT of SHP (Housing Association); and Executive Director of Adzido – one of the largest and most successful black arts group in Europe. Among other charity positions he presently holds is the Chair of the Board of DanceAfrica Ltd and a member of the Hampstead Heath Committee of the Corporation of London. He holds an MSc degree from the London School of Economics and a BSc Honours degree in Political Science from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
Mark Thomas is an experienced senior management accountant and IT project manager, currently specialising in the integration of social care client management software with corporate financial systems, with a particular emphasis on the Personalisation Agenda. Born in 1964, Mark read Economics and History at the University of Leeds, from where he graduated in 1985. Mark went on to study for the professional examinations of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, passing his finals in 1989. He is now a Fellow of the Association (FCCA). Throughout his career, Mark has combined a solid financial management background with experience in the implementation, development and administration of a number of IT solutions. He has worked in a number of sectors, including energy and local government, but the longest period of his work history to date was spent at BUPA. Mark left BUPA in 1992 to pursue a career as a self-employed IT project manager, and has worked for a number of local authorities, on both a full-time contract and part-time consultancy basis. He has also carried out consultancy work in relation to reporting on the progress of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) infrastructure and Short-Term Action Plan (STAP).
Carroll Thompson was raised in the gospel tradition of her grandmother’s house, and the church she was minister for. Carroll started studying classical piano from the age of eight, and by the time she was 12 she scored first place in the National Youth Convention with her own composition ‘I know he is with me’. Carroll has been running her own production company and Record label since her late teens. Carroll is first and foremost a songwriter and producer. With the release of singles like ‘Simply in Love, ‘Just a Little Bit’, ‘Happy Song’ and ‘Yesterday’ and her classic debut solo album ‘Hopelessly in Love’, she was quickly established as one of the UK’s finest female vocalist affectionately dubbed the “Queen of Lovers Rock” selling over 250,000 worldwide. Her vocal background arrangements and coaching talents are still in demand and can be currently heard with acts that include M People, Robbie Williams, Supergrass, Tom Jones, Angie Stone, Kylie Minogue, and adverts.
Kaye Whiteman is a writer and journalist, specialising in west African affairs, but with wider interests in Europe-Africa relations, international organisations such as the Commonwealth and La Francophonie, as well as a general interest in African societies and culture. A graduate in history from the University of Oxford, from 1963-73 he was Deputy Editor of West Africa magazine, then moved to be a senior information officer in the European Commission in Brussels dealing with development issues, especially in Africa, for ten years. In 1982 Kaye was asked to return toWest Africa, (by then Nigerian-owned) first as Editor, then as Editor-in-Chief and General Manager. In 1999-2000 he was Director of Information at the Commonwealth Secretariat, and in 2001-02 he worked in Lagos first as Editor of a newsletter called Business Confidential then as Editorial Adviser to Nigeria’s new financial daily newspaperBusiness Day (Nigeria), a function he has continued to occupy since 2003 from London, where he continues as a freelance writer. Kaye is currently working on a book on Lagos as a “city of the imagination”.
Dr. Patrick Wilmot was born in Jamaica where he attended St Georges College. He studied at Yale and acquired his PhD from Vanderbilt. He taught for 18 years at Ahmadu Bello University until he was kidnapped and expelled by the dictator General Babangida. Patrick Wilmot has written several books, including Sociology: A New Introduction and Seeing Double, a novel. In 2006 he was appointed visiting Professor at three Nigerian Universities.
Dr Djibril Diallo is a corresponding trustee, based in New York. He is Senior Advisor to the Executive Director Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
He helps advance the priority of universal access to HIVA/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support. He works to mobilize support of prominent personalities, Member States, the media and other partners on key issues and strengthen the global response to the epidemic. He also coordinates a global network of youth leaders who are committed to efforts to the fight against HIV/AIDS and the achievement of the other Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Dr. Diallo was the Director of the United Nations New York Office of Sport for Development and Peace from 2004 to 2008. He spearheaded numerous initiatives that demonstrated the power of sport to mobilize the United Nations, its Member States and their governments, private sector partners, civil society, and other stakeholders for peace building and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. He chaired an UN Inter-agency Working Group on Sport for Development and Peace to build cooperation across the UN system, and was as a member of Steering Committee of the 2007 International Year of African Football.
Dr. Diallo serves as the chair of the Leadership Committee for the U.S. Launch of FESMAN 2010 (the World Festival of Black Arts), which will be held in Senegal in December 2010, offering an opportunity to strengthen to role of the arts in promoting development and peace. He is also the co-Chair of the World Affairs Taskforce of the U.S.-based National Association of Black Journalists, and is a Board Member of All for Africa, a U.S. non-governmental organization promoting African development.