Advisory Board

The Advisory Board is made up of leading project developers and financiers from business and government working in Africa. Advisory Board members ensure the Forum remains at the forefront of facilitating industry insights among leading stakeholders across the infrastructure project development industry.

Hubert Danso

Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman, Africa investor

Hubert is Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of Africa Investor (Ai) Group. He is responsible for advising institutional investors, governments and development finance institutions on major infrastructure and private equity investments in Africa. He is also the Managing Editor of Africa investor magazine.

Bart Nnaji

CEO, Geometric Power Limited

Professor Bart O. Nnaji is the Chairman/CEO of Geometric Power Limited, the first indigenously owned private sector power company in Nigeria. Geometric Power develops and invests in power plants, sub stations, electricity distribution infrastructure as well as gas pipelines.

Prof. Nnaji served as the Honorable Minister of Power (2011-2012). Prior to that, he served as Special Adviser to the President on Power & Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Power (2010-2011). During this period, he developed the Roadmap for power reform in Nigeria. He subsequently led the implementation of the Power Roadmap as well as privatization of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), the state-owned utility monopoly, as Honorable Minister of Power. During his tenure as Minister, he was a member of the National Economic Management Team, chaired by the President and includes Senior Ministers and select Captains of Industry. He also served as a member of NEM’s implementation Committee of Senior Government officials, chaired by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy. He served as a member of the Presidential Advisory Council (2010-2011) and was the Chairman of the Power committee of the Council.

Mouhamadou Niang

Managing Director, Meridiam Infrastructure Africa

Mouhamadou Niang is managing director of Meridiam Infrastructure Africa, an infrastructure fund targeting developing and investing in infrastructure assets in Africa. Mouhamadou has more than 20 years’ experience in project finance and investment funds structuring, and has worked for the International Finance Corporation, African Development Bank, and Islamic Development Bank. He was most recently director for private sector operations for the African Development Bank in Tunis. In that position, Mouhamadou was responsible for the management of a team of experts who sourced and structured investments in the infrastructure, oil and gas, mining, health and education sectors across the entire continent of Africa. He closely worked with regulators and ministries and coordinated technical, financial and legal advisers, engineering firms and other industry specialists. Before his most recent position, Mouhamadou was a senior structured finance specialist and acting head of the structured finance unit at the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah where he led a wide variety of projects globally, including a toll road project in Malaysia, a gas pipeline in Indonesia, and advised on an airport and port in Gabon.

Vishal Agarwal

Managing Director (Developments & Investments), GE Africa

Vishal Agarwal is managing director of Developments and Investments at GE Africa.

Vishal is a career investment banker . He has been PwC’s Regional Deals Leader based in Nairobi Kenya. Until recently, Vishal also led PwC’s Infrastructure Finance and Public Private Partnership product offerings for the sub-Saharan Africa region.

With 20 years of experience, Vishal has participated in over $9 billion-worth of financings worldwide across a full range of infrastructure sectors, primarily in emerging economies. Additionally, he has extensive experience X-sectors in transacting high value and growth opportunities – primarily for PE and strategic investors. He has worked on deals in over 30 countries in Africa and has led deals in 14 countries in the past 10 years alone. Vishal’s previous deals experience extends to Central America, Asia and Eastern Europe.

Helen Tarnoy

CEO, Aldwych International

After working in general management for the start-up operation of a British engineering company in Central and Eastern Europe, Helen worked for a number of years as a researcher and business consultant before joining The AES Corporation in 1997. There she led business development efforts in Central and Eastern Europe and subsequently Africa, including the financing of the successful Songas project in Tanzania. Helen subsequently spent two years as Director General of the Cameroon integrated utility, Sonel, with a workforce of 3500 people and a turnover of some $180m. Helen is a BA and MA arts graduate from Oxford University.

Tas Anvaripour

Partner, Abraaj

Tas Anvaripour is a Partner in the Energy Infrastructure Team. Prior to joining Abraaj, Ms. Anvaripour was the Chairperson at THEMIS, a project development and transaction advisory company focusing on economic (power and transport), industrial (heavy industries, oil and gas), and social infrastructure projects in the transitioning countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. Before joining THEMIS, Ms. Anvaripour was the CEO of Africa50, an infrastructure delivery initiative sponsored by the African Development Bank. Prior to this position, as Director of Business Development at the African Development Bank, she led the design, structuring, fund raising and establishment of Africa50 among other initiatives. She was also the Head for Private Infrastructure Finance where she was in charge of African Development Bank’s private sector investments in the Energy, Transport, Water, and ICT sectors. Ms. Anvaripour honed her deal origination and portfolio management skills at the Asian Development Bank, Manila, Arthur Andersen LLP, New York and PriceWaterHouse Coopers, Chicago. In 2014, Ms. Anvaripour was decorated as a Commander, National Order of Merit of the Republic of Ivory Coast. She holds a BSc in Finance from Ankara University in Turkey and an MA in Economics and Policy Management from Columbia University, United States.

Edu Okeke

COO, Azura Power Holding Limited

Edu is the COO of Azura focusing his time on managing the senior relationships across the stakeholders in the business.

A seasoned director/manager with 20 years experience in heavy, capital-intensive industries, Edu started his career with Guinness Breweries in 1995 as a Management Trainee in its Engineering division. He then joined Schlumberger in 1996 as a field engineer in its Drilling & Measurements division. During his stay with Schlumberger, he also had assignments in such diverse countries as Nigeria, USA, UK, Vietnam and Pakistan. Until he joined Azura, Edu was the Power generation Products Sales Director for Sub-Saharan Africa for GE Power & Water, after previously holding the position of West Africa Region Manager for GE’s Energy Business. Prior to GE, Edu also worked with Lafarge Cement where he served as the Strategy Manager for the South African operations as well as Commercial Director for the Nigeria WAPCO unit.

Edu holds an MBA in Management from the Imperial College, University of London and a B.Eng in Electronic Engineering from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Johan de Vos

Managing Director, Gigajoule Group

Mr. Johan de Vos serves as the Managing Director at Gigajoule Africa (Pty) Ltd. He also serves as the Chairman at Matola Gas Company SA, Petroline Holdings, and Gigajoule International (Pty) Ltd. He holds a Pr.Eng and a MBL Degree.

Marc Mandaba

Managing Director, Themis

Marc Mandaba is a Managing Director in the Energy Infrastructure Team at The Abraaj Group and Themis Energy. Mr. Mandaba was formerly with the African Development Bank (AfDB), where he was a Senior Investment Officer for Infrastructure Finance and PPP Division, responsible for infrastructure investments in the form of loans at the project level and equity in infrastructure equity funds. Mr. Mandaba was also previously the Operations Committee Officer at AfDB where he supported the Vice President in implementing reforms, monitoring and managing operations, and addressing queries from the Board of Directors. In 2014, Mr. Mandaba was decorated as a Commander, National Order of Merit of the Republic of Ivory Coast. He holds a Master degree in Management and Finance from EDHEC Business School in France and a Master degree in Mechanical Engineering from Université de Bretagne Sud in France.

Carlo van Wageningen

Chairman, Lake Turkana Wind Power

Mr. Carlo Van Wageningen is the Owner and Founding Father of Lake Turkana Wind Power Limited. Mr. Van Wageningen worked for the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and World Food Program since 1976 until 1988. He ended his career in the United Nations as WFP Assistant Representative. In October 1988, Carlo resigned from the UN and went into private sector business. He served in Nairobi (Kenya) as director for Africa for Fata European Group until 1993. Mr. Van Wageningen decided to undertake his own business activities as entrepreneur, his initial ventures in the Manufacturing Industry bore fruits and he carried on investing in Kenya.

Today Carlo’s investments in Kenya vary from major shareholding in a successful Private Bank (Chase Bank Kenya Ltd.), owner of a Chemical Indent Company (ANSET INTERNATIONAL), Shareholder of a Project Management and Development Company, (ANSET AFRICA Ltd.).

Gad Cohen

eleQtra’s Chief Executive Officer

Gad Cohen is eleQtra’s Chief Executive Officer and one of its three co-founding Partners. Gad has over 20 years’ professional experience in the development and financing of infrastructure projects in the power and transportation sectors.

Prior to co-founding eleQtra, he held a series of senior positions with ABB Equity Ventures, the development and equity investment arm of ABB Ltd, including Head of the Global Power Group where he was responsible for the development of and investments in power generation projects worldwide.  Gad began his career as an attorney at the law firm White & Case, where he advised financial institutions and project sponsors in connection with infrastructure financings worldwide.

Gad Cohen is a graduate of McGill University where he received a bachelor of law (LL.B) and a bachelor of civil law (B.C.L.).

Jasandra Nyker

CEO of BioTherm Energy

Jasandra Nyker is the CEO of BioTherm Energy, a renewable energy investment and project development platform focused on sub‐Saharan Africa. She is on the board of SAWEA (South African Wind Energy Association), and is one of just three South Africans on the World Economic Forum’s 2012 list of Young Global Leaders selected from 59 countries around the world.

Prior to this, Ms. Nyker managed the direct investment portfolio on behalf of the PCG Clean Energy and Technology Fund and played an integral role in transaction sourcing, due diligence, investment execution and post‐investment management. At part of this role, she reviewed and evaluated over 700 investment opportunities and invested in 13 companies across multiple sub‐sectors and geographies. Ms. Nyker was previously a board director on four portfolio companies (Brazil, US) and a board observer for three companies and played an active role in business development, fundraising and international market rollout. She also served as an advisor to a Middle Eastern National Oil Company’s Energy Venture Fund.

Prior to joining PCG, Ms. Nyker worked for Booz Allen Hamilton in London, where she focused on alternative energy and private equity related projects. A significant portion of her time was spent establishing an alternative energy fund for one of the leading national oil companies in the Middle East, for which she subsequently led multiple alternative energy investments.

Before that, she worked at Lehman Brothers in London. She also worked for Brait Private Equity and Nedcor Investment Bank in South Africa.

Ms. Nyker holds an MBA from the London Business School, where she was a Merrill Lynch Scholar, and a Business Science degree in Finance from the University of Cape Town.