Alumni Events

Join us along with fellow Development Finance alumni and faculty at Stellenbosch Business School as we connect, network and celebrate the achievements of responsible leaders on our continent.


Date: Wednesday, 24 August 2022

Time: 09h30 – 17h00 (SAST)

Venue: Online (Zoom)

Enquiries: Lizelle Kannemeyer | [email protected]



Prof Mark Swilling

Distinguished Professor and Co-Director of the Centre for Sustainability Transitions (CST)

Mark Swilling is Distinguished Professor and Co-Director of the Centre for Sustainability Transitions (CST), and Visiting Research Professor at the Environmental Justice Programme, Georgetown University, Washington D.C. His latest book is The Age of Sustainability: Just Transitions in a Complex World (London and New York: Routledge, 2020). He also co-authored Just Transitions: Explorations of Sustainability in an Unfair World (Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 2012), co-edited Untamed Urbanism (New York and London: Routledge, 2016), co-edited Greening the South African Economy (Cape Town: Juta, 2016) and was the lead author with Ivor Chipkin et. al. of Shadow State: Politics of State Capture (Johannesburg: WITS Press, 2018).

He is a member of UNEP’s International Resource Panel ( and co-lead author of The Weight of Cities: Resource Requirements of Future Urbanization, published in 2018. He is the Chairperson of the Board of the Development Bank of Southern Africa and in late 2021 was appointed by the President of South Africa as a member of the National Planning Commission. As of 2021 he had published 20 books, 84 book chapters, 64 peer reviewed articles, 50 reports and delivered 126 presentations.

Nnenna Nwabufo

Director-General: East Africa at African Development Bank

Mrs Nnenna Lily Nwabufo is currently the Director General, East Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office and doubles up as the Country Director (Resident Representative) for the Bank’s Country Office in Kenya.

As Director General, Nnenna is responsible for leading and advancing the Bank Group’s strategic objective of achieving significant and transformational developmental impact in thirteen countries in East Africa by ensuring operational efficiency, effectiveness and an overall healthy portfolio in the region.

Specifically, she leads high-level dialogues at country and regional levels and across Bank sector complexes as well as oversee the full implementation and integration of all aspects of the Bank’s work in the region. She also spearheads regional business development and investment; and fosters resource mobilisation efforts across the countries in the region to ensure focused growth of the Bank’s sovereign and non-sovereign operations. In addition, as the Bank representative in the region, she is tasked with building strong partnerships with countries, regional economic communities, and other development partners.

A Nigerian citizen, Nnenna is a versatile and seasoned executive with over 30 years’ professional experience in treasury and financial management, budget programming, planning and performance management, human resource and corporate services management, and country/regional operations.

She joined the Bank’s Treasury Department in 1991 where she worked at different professional levels for over a decade.  Subsequently, she took on progressive management level responsibilities including, Manager in the General Services and Procurement Department from March 2007, Director of Programming and Budget Department in January 2013, Acting Director, Human Resource Management Department and Acting Vice President for Corporate Services from May 2015 to May 2016.

She was on a special assignment to lead the Bank’s Annual Meetings preparation team from June 2016 until her appointment as Deputy Director General, East Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office in January 2017.  She was the Acting Director General for the region effective 1st October 2019 until her confirmation in January 2021.

Prior to joining the African Development Bank in August 1991, Nnenna worked as a Treasury Management Expert at the Chase Merchant Bank and Kapital Merchant Bank in Nigeria. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and a Master of Business Administration from Henley Management College, Henley on Thames, United Kingdom.

Mr. Denys Denya

Executive Vice President Finance, Administration and Banking Services

Mr. Denya is a Zimbabwean national who holds a Bachelor of Accountancy degree, an MBA from the University of Zimbabwe and an AMP from Harvard Business School. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ACIS). After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse Mr. Denya worked with Flexible Packaging Zimbabwe Ltd as Group Finance Manager for three years before moving to TA Holdings Limited as Group Financial Executive and Finance Director for TA Motors for another three years.

He then began his banking career in 1996 initially at First Merchant Bank of Zimbabwe as Relationship Manager before joining MBCA Bank Limited initially as Finance Director before being appointed Chief Executive and Managing Director till 2006. He was further promoted to the position of Nedbank Africa Managing Director in charge of 5 Banks in 5 Southern African countries based in Johannesburg South Africa until 2010.

Mr. Denya joined Afreximbank in May 2010 as Executive Vice President responsible for Finance, Treasury, Credit, Banking Operations, ICT and Administration, a position he still holds to date.

Leïla Farah Mokaddem

Director General, Southern Africa Region at African Development Bank

Leila, a Tunisian national, is a seasoned professional in International Finance. She has over 25 years of experience with multilateral development banks and international institutions.

As Director General, Southern Africa, Leila  drives high-level dialogue and Bank’s operations, ensuring the Bank operates efficiently, effectively and successfully in the relevant countries, within the region. She  leads and monitors adaptation to specific requirements of individual countries/operations with greater efficiency, cost effectiveness and value addition in the use of resources, with downstream gains for Regional Member Countries, and the private sector in the Southern Africa Region.

Leila joined the Bank in September 2002 and was appointed as Country Manager for Morocco in 2017. Prior to this appointment, she was the Resident Representative of the Bank in Egypt from 2014 to 2017 and Regional Resident Representative from February 2010 to December 2013, based in Dakar, Senegal. In these capacities, she successfully led the Bank’s strategic engagements and partnerships as well as high-level dialogue and operations.

Prior to her assignments in country offices, Leila held the position of Manager, Financial Institutions Division in the Bank’s Private Sector Department at Headquarters, where she designed innovative financial solutions for Africa, including the African SME Guarantee Fund, AfDB Trade Finance Initiative and the Women in Business Initiative. Leila managed multibillion investment portfolios in over 35 African countries, particularly in the private, infrastructure and financial services sectors. Leila also served as Board member at the Ouest African Development Bank (BOAD) and Advans Holding (Microfinance). She is currently serving as alternate Board member of the Afreximbank.

Before Joining the Bank, Leila was long-term fiscal advisor to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from August 1996 to December 1999. She started her career at the Ministry of Economy in Tunisia.

Leila holds a Diploma in Finance from the Institut des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) of Carthage, Tunisia and a master’s degree in International Trade from the Institute of High-level Management (Institut Supérieur de Gestion), Tunisia.

Prof Meshach Aziakpono

Professor of Development Finance at the Stellenbosch Business School

Meshach Aziakpono (PhD) is a Professor of Development Finance and Economics, and until recently the Head of Development Finance Programmes at the Stellenbosch Business School. Before joining the USB, he was Associate Professor of Economics and the Coordinator of Master’s Programme in Financial Markets in the Department of Economics and Economic History at Rhodes University, South Africa. Meshach Aziakpono has worked as a consultant among others for the OECD Centre, The World Bank and African Economic Research Consortium (AERC).

He has been a visiting scholar to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and INSEAD in Singapore. He obtained his PhD degree in Economics from the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein in South Africa. His PhD Thesis titled: “The Depth of Financial Integration and its Effects on Financial Development and Economic Performance of the Southern African Customs Union Countries” won the Founders’ Medal for the best PhD dissertation in Economics in South Africa.

He has vast experience in teaching, research, consulting and postgraduate research supervision. He is an NRF rated researcher. His research has focused on the broad areas of financial integration and financial sector development, development finance and monetary policy issues in Africa with strong emphasis on applied econometrics.

Patricia Ojangole

Chief Executive Officer Uganda Development Bank

Patricia is a professional accountant (FCCA) with 17 years’ experience in Banking and Development Finance. Currently, she is the Managing Director of Uganda Development Bank Limited.

Prior to becoming the Managing Director, she worked as a Chief Audit Executive at Uganda Development Bank and a Senior Internal Audit Manager at Standard Bank Group. She has specific competences in Strategy Development and Execution, Risk management, Corporate Governance and Management, Stakeholder management, Development Finance especially in the context of Africa and developing economies.

Patricia holds a first-class Master of Philosophy in Development Finance from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. She also holds an Executive Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Eastern and Southern Africa Management Institute, Arusha, Tanzania; a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) Degree from Makerere University, Uganda and has completed several leadership and management programs. She is currently undertaking her PhD studies in development finance at the University of Stellenbosch.

She is a member of the Board of Uganda Development Bank Ltd, Busitema University Fund Ltd, TradeMark East Africa and Liberty Life Assurance Uganda. She is also a member of the Management Board of the European Union Funded START facility and serves on the boards of the Association of Development Finance Institutions in Africa and in the Association of member countries of Islamic Development Bank.

Dr Olufunso Somorin

Regional Principal Office, African Development Bank//Eisenhower Fellow

Dr. Olufunso Somorin is a Regional Principal Officer at the African Development Bank. He leads the Bank’s work on climate change and green growth in the 13 countries of the Bank’s East African region. This includes supporting countries’ access to climate finance for implementing their climate actions, and mainstreaming climate change in all Bank policies and programs. He also leads policy dialogues with national/regional governments on developing policy frameworks for managing local/regional economic and social issues, climate change, renewable energy, resilience and inclusive growth.

Between 2013 and 2017, he coordinated the Bank’s work on addressing fragility and building resilience within the Horn of Africa. In the last 10 years, he has been directly involved in the design, appraisal, and supervision of more than 170 development projects worth about USD 15.4 billion.

Prior to joining the Bank in 2011, Somorin was an Associate Professional Officer with the Center for International Forestry Research, supporting climate-informed policies of six Central African countries through research. He has published more than 20 peer-reviewed articles on climate policy, natural resources management and environmental governance in many leading scientific journals.

Somorin holds a PhD in International Environmental Policy from Wageningen University, the Netherlands. He is an alumnus of executive education from Bradford, Cambridge and Oxford Universities in the UK. He gives guest-lectures at King’s College London, African Leadership University (Rwanda) and Strathmore University (Kenya). Somorin is a recipient of the Eisenhower Fellowships for his work on climate change in East Africa.

Valeta Mthimkhulu

Retail Director, Absa Bank Botswana

Valeta Mthimkhulu is a highly versatile senior business leader who was appointed Retail Director for Absa Bank Botswana from 1 January 2020. Previously she was Country Head of Retail Banking for Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe and Banking Director for Barclays Bank in Zimbabwe.

Valeta holds a Master of Philosophy in Development Finance from University of Stellenbosch Business School and a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Banking. She is also an alumnus of the IMD business school having attained certification for three Strategic Development  and Leadership courses with the  school.

Valeta brings significant value thanks to her diverse experience earned over a 22-year career in commercial banking, mostly in the areas of Strategy, Retail and Business Banking, Corporate Affairs and Marketing, Change and Customer Experience management.

Valeta currently serves on the advisory Board of Ba Isago University Faculty of Commerce advisory Board. She has previously served on the Boards of Junior Achievement Zimbabwe and IYF Zimbabwe Works Advisory Board.

Olusiji Aina

Board Member, US-Africa Trade Council, Co-Chairman, Economic Advisory Council, Kogi State Government, and Impact Investing Specialist and Development Economist

Olusiji Aina is a Development Economists and Impact Investing Specialist. He is a strategist with professional competency in building high impact market with relevant skills for economic development, creating employment and promoting economic growth in Africa.

He is a Partner with Impact Amplifier and Senior Development Consultant with North East Children Trust (NECT) responsible for Strategic Business Development Deepening, Economic Development, Stakeholder Engagement, and Project Management for Nigeria and Africa markets.

He has over 20 years’ extensive professional work experience spanning Strategy, financial inclusion, renewable energy, project management, agribusiness, enterprise development, human capital development World Bank, USAID and EU funded projects, and over 10 years of extensive banking experience in Institutional and Commercial Banking.

Olusiji is also a graduate of Statistics. He obtained a Masters in Development Finance (MDevF) from the Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa and EMP from Lagos Business School. He holds a Certificate in Enterprise Development through Value Chains and Market Systems from International Training Center Turin, Italy. He is a Chartered Development Finance Analyst (CDFA), Chartered Global Investment Analysts (CGIA), Associate, Chartered Institute of Economist of Nigeria (ICEN), Fellow Institute of Information Management (FIIM).

He is a research fellow and at final dissertation stage, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at UNICAF University. He has attended several leadership programs globally and recently with Institute of National Transformation (INT).

He received several global recognition award for outstanding humanitarian work, among which is global goodwill ambassador from Global Goodwill Ambassadors Foundation, United States, 2020. He was appointed Peace Ambassador by the United Nations Economic and Social Council under Consultative Status of WOLMI, to promote International peace, and global education.

Olusiji is now currently on the board of several national and international organisations providing strategic leadership among which are African Intellectual Resource Organization (AIRO), NewMoon Incorporation Canada, Inventivepreneur Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ICCI) India, U.S.-Africa Trade Council among several others.

He is a functional member in the Human Capital development, and Financial Inclusion & Financial Markets Thematic Groups  of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG)

Wiann Mans

Head: Learning and Development FNB, Namibia

Wiann Mans is a Human Capital professional, holding a B.Com degree in Human Resources Management and a B.Com Honors degree in Human Resource Management (Both Cum Laude) from the North West University of Potchefstroom in South Africa.

Wiann Mans is currently part of the FirstRand Namibia team as the Group’s Talent Enablement Head, a position he took up after 9 years of Human Capital experience at FirstRand Namibia. During this period he occupied various Human Capital roles. This includes roles such as Business Unit Human Capital Manager and Learning and Development Manager. As the Group’s Talent Enablement Head, he is responsible for Learning and Development, Talent Management and Succession Planning.

Japhet Justine

Commissioner: Sovereign Debt Management, Ministry of Finance and Planning, Tanzania; Former CEO: Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank and Tanzania Women’s Bank PLC

Japhet Justine is the Commissioner – Sovereign Debt Management in the Ministry of Finance and Planning in Tanzania. His expertise stretches in the areas of Sovereign Debt, Fixed Income, Digital Economy, Policy Advisory, and Board Leadership.

He is a proficient Development Finance Practitioner with wide experience in leading, managing and transforming banks at national and international levels. Prior to his current portfolio, Mr Justine was the Managing Director of the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank ((the only Agriculture Policy Bank in East Africa); Managing Director of Tanzania Women’s Bank Plc; NMB Bank; Regional Head African Banking Corporation in charge of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique and Rwanda, and Plc in Tanzania.

Rising from Financial Analyst to commissioner of sovereign debt, Japhet highlights his capacity to transform financial institutions to move beyond the transaction portfolio, and towards a more holistic approach that adds value to the ecosystems altogether. His approach not only repositions institutions towards a more strategic and competitive direction but also cultivates an enabling policy environment for collaboration and systematic resolutions.


Dr Nthabiseng Moleko

Chairperson: Board of Trustee of the National Empowerment Fund, South Africa; Senior Lecturer, Stellenbosch Business School

Nthabiseng Moleko is a faculty member at Stellenbosch Business School where she teaches Economics and Statistics. She is passionate about development economics and development finance, and her mission is to alleviate poverty and bring about positive social and economic change. She has also been appointed as a Commissioner for the Commission of Gender Equality (CGEwhere she is also the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission.

The CGE has the mandate to promote and advance gender equality in South Africa. Ms Moleko was appointed by the President of South Africa as the Chairperson of the Board of Trustee of the National Empowerment Fund- (NEF). The NEF is a national organ of state established to promote and facilitate black economic participation by providing financial and non-financial support to black-owned and managed businesses, and by promoting a culture of savings and investment among black people.

For Ms Moleko education is critical and is an important means for serving society, a vocation that saw her accept a 2014 Ministerial Council appointment at Ikhala TVET College where she served as Deputy Chairperson and member of EXCO. She has also served as a non-executive director of JoGEDA, interim chairperson of the Hamburg Artists’ Retreat and member of WSU Industry Advisory Board.

Through her roles as a former CEO at the Joe Gqabi Economic Development Agency (JoGEDA) and as project manager and researcher at the Eastern Cape Socio-Economic Consultative Council (ECSECC), she has worked extensively in the economic development landscape. At ECSECC she worked with regulators, policy makers, national and regional government, contributing to the design of economic development policies. ECSECC’s transition from a policy research think tank to a development agency enabled her to be involved in several regional projects in South Africa.

Reem El Sherif

Head of Strategy at RMB Namibia

Reem is seasoned strategist and socio-economic developer, with nearly a decade of experience in corporate strategy, national strategy and research. She currently leads Strategy at RMB Namibia, one of the leading pan-African corporate and investment banks. Through her foresight, intellectual curiosity, and analytical skills, Reem has successfully lead strategic transformation in RMB Namibia, from strategy formulation to strategy implementation. This included re-imagining the bank and spearheading its journey to become future-fit through the development and realisation of the bank’s purpose, vision, goals and business plans.


Reem worked on several initiatives included the establishment of new business units and products, organisational restructuring, leadership & culture development, as well as streamlining the group’s data and digitisation journeys. This also included partnering with clients to help solve their strategic challenges. These achievements allowed Reem to be known for her big picture thinking, appetite for complex problem solving and results-oriented capabilities. Her strategy skills expands to national planning where she contributed to the Namibian Presidency’s development plan, the Harambee Prosperity Plan 2.


Prior to that Reem worked with UNDP Namibia’s Economic Advisory Unit and Poverty Programme where she was responsible for providing research and insights to aid the country office’s efforts to eradicate poverty and drive economic development. During her time there, she assisted in drafting Namibia’s Fifth National Development Plan and built a database of national data and statistics. Reem also worked as a Research Assistant at the American University in Cairo, where she contributed to several novel research publications on corporate governance and social media and financial performance. She started her career as an Assistant Lecturer at the British University in Egypt responsible for teaching various finance major modules, as well as the team leader in the teaching and learning committee responsible for the department’s capacity management. Reem is a PhD Candidate in Development Finance at the University of Stellenbosch.


Her dissertation titled “Essays on Gender Spillovers from FDI: The Namibian Experience” aims to investigate the impact of foreign direct investment in Namibia’s manufacturing and services sectors through a unique gender lens. Her work has been presented at prestigious regional and international conferences, and has been produced and accepted for publication in international journals. She also holds a Master’s degree in Finance from the University of Leicester, and a Bachelor’s with Honours from the British University in Egypt, validated by Loughborough University in the UK. Her multi-faceted career path provides her with a unique ability to bridge the gap between the various disciplines of academia, development and corporate. In addition, she brings knowledge and expertise from various economies.

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