Kabiru Abdullahi Yusuf
Kabiru Abdullahi Yusuf, the chairman and founder of the Media Trust Limited (MTL), Nigeria, is the new Chairman of the board of African Media Initiative. He succeeds the late Wale Aboderin of the Punch Group of Nigeria. Yusuf brings into the organisation several decades of experience in the media industry, where he has had varied roles as a journalist, manager and academician at the continental level. MTL, which publishes the Abuja-based Daily Trust, Weekly Trust and Sunday Trust news publications, the pan-African news magazine Kilimanjaro, the house language Aminiya, a women’s magazine, Tambari, and a sports publication, Golf Digest, is one of Nigeria’s leading media houses. Born in the mid-50s, Kabiru had his early primary education in Kano, the city of his birth and later enrolled at Government College in Kaduna moving on to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he obtained a BA degree in History and Political Science. Further studies in Canada, at the University of Toronto, earned him a Masters of Arts degree in political science. Back in Africa, Kabiru returned to his alma mater, where he served as an assistant lecturer in the Department of Political Science from 1980 up to 1984 when he left to take up the role of deputy editor at the Sunday Triumph in Kano. This marked the beginning of his journey in the media industry. Kabiru has since served the industry in various media capacities as editor, Daily Triumph, Kano, (1985-1986); Today newspaper, Kaduna (1986-1988); Foreign Correspondent (Zimbabwe, Namibia); Today; Newswatch Magazine; BBC Africa Service Harare & Windhoek (1988-1990); and Editor-In-Chief/M.D, Media Trust Limited, (1998-2007), the position he moved from to take up his current role as MTL’s chairman. An ardent scholar, Kabiru has a number of publications to his name. These include, The illegal migration expulsion in the context of Nigeria’s membership in ECOWAS” (1983); SADCC & South Africa: The Economics of the Liberation Struggle (1984); Comparative study of the struggle for Liberation in Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zaire (a CODESRIA-commissioned project) 1989; and How Swapo Won in Namibia (1989-1990). Kabiru has won a number of accolades, among, them the University of Sokoto Graduate Fellowship tenable in Canada (1981-1982); and a University of Sokoto Research grant to study Economic Integration in five Southern African Countries (Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Botswana, Mozambique &Swaziland) 1994 among others. Beyond his media work, Kabiru is an active member of the Lagos-based Associated Bus Company (ABS), the Fate Foundation, and the International Press Institute (IPI), Vienna – Austria. He is also the Deputy President of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) and the Chairman of Nigeria’s National Committee of the International Press Institute.
Dr Roukaya Kaysanally
Roukaya took over the stewardship of AMI as the organization’s Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 2018, replacing Eric Chinje, who stepped down after completing his three-year tenure. Previously, she served as AMI’s Director of Programmes and Knowledge Management (2012 – 2014) and Senior Advisor (2015-2017). Roukaya is also a democracy scholar and asenior lecturer on Media and Political Systems at the University of Mauritius.She has wide experience working in Africa as a consultant for a number of international and pan-African institutions on media and democratic governance.Since July 2015 she has been a board director of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA).
She has authored/ co-authored a number of publications on media and democratic systems. She has been a Regan Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy (Washington DC) (2011 – 2012) and a Draper Hills Democracy Fellow at Stanford University (2015). She holds a PhD from the University of Sheffield and is fluent in English and French.
Board member, representing Central Africa
Eric Chinje is the immediate former CEO of AMI, having served the organization in that capacity from July 2014 to December 2017. Before then, Eric was a Senior Advisor at KRL International LLC, a Washington-based consultancy specialising in the emerging markets. He has also worked as the Director for Strategic Communications at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, a position he took up at the start of 2012, and as the World Bank’s Communications Manager for Africa. In the latter role, he also led the Global Development Program at the World Bank Institute (WBI) and, in that capacity, launched the IMAGE (Independent Media for Accountability, Governance and Empowerment) capacity building program for development journalism in the Bank’s client countries. Eric spent four years at the African Development Bank in Tunis as head of that institution’s External Affairs and Communications Unit. He studied at the Universities of Yaounde (Cameroon), Syracuse (New York) and Harvard (Cambridge, Massachusetts). Other previous positions include journalistic activities, e.g. as Editor-in-Chief of Cameroon Television and contributing reporter for CNN World Report. Eric has received several awards and distinctions. He is an Officer of the Cameroon Order of Merit and an Officer of the Dutch Order of Orange Nassau.
Omar Ben Yedder
Board member, representing African Diaspora
Omar Ben Yedder is the Group Publisher and Managing Director of IC Publications, a leading publishing, events and communications group.The organization has more than 50 years’ experience in publishing magazines, country supplements, industry reports and market intelligence on Africa. It now offers a full suite of communications services as well as organizes a number of key events across the continent. Having previously been an Associate Vice President in the Equity Finance team at Merrill Lynch, Omar brought a new and dynamic approach to IC Publications. Under his leadership, African Banker magazine as well as IC Events were launched. Today the group also carries out communications advisory, media relations and contract publishing. Omar’s work and personal interests include media, development economics, leadership and education.
He has chaired the Africa Story Challenge competition, a programme driven by the Africa Media Initiative. He also sits on the board of Brand Africa. He hopes to help AMI build on the solid foundation it has created so that this important institution can have a meaningful impact in transforming the media landscape for the better. Omar studied Economics and Languages at Durham University and also is a Chartered Management Accountant
Rebecca E. Enonchong
Rebecca Enonchong is founder and Chief Executive Officer of AppsTech, a leading global provider of enterprise application solutions. She recently cofounded I/O Spaces, a shared work space for entrepreneurs. She is Chairman of ActivSpaces (African Center for Technology Innovation and Ventures). She also sits on the boards of Venture Capital for Africa (VC4Africa) and of Salesforce.com Foundation. She is a cofounder and board member of Cameroon Angels Network and African Business Angels Network. Rebecca currently serves as a mentor/advisor to several Africa based technology startups. A recipient of numerous awards, Rebecca was also named a Global Leader for Tomorrow (GLT) by the World Economic Forum of Davos, Switzerland. The world’s first Oracle Financials Certified Professional and with nearly 100 Oracle certifications, Rebecca holds both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Economics from the Catholic University of America and is fluent in English and French.
Board member, representing East Africa
Julie Gichuru is an entrepreneur and media personality with investments in media, fashion retail and entertainment sectors. She is an independent director on the boards of Brand KENYA and Acumen Communications Ltd, and is a Fellow and Trustee of the Africa Leadership Initiative EA. Julie’s career in the media over the past 15 years has seen her work across the fields of broadcast, print and digital media. She has also pioneered an impressive number of television shows, from the first Kenyan investigative TV series — The Inside Story — on KTN, to various current affairs shows at NTV, including political and current affairs programs Showdown, On the Spot, You The Jury and The People’s Voice, and the celebrated news program Sunday Live.
Also in the list are peace and reconciliation programs such as Fist to Five at Citizen TV and the celebrated post-election peace specials Voices of Reason. Through ARIMUS Media Limited Julie now oversees the production of quality African content such as Africa Leadership Dialogues, high school debate platform Great Debaters Contest and entertainment series Maisha.
Board member representing North Africa
Laeed Zaghlami is a professor in the Faculty of Information and Communication, Algiers University. He was an Associate Professor at Algiers National High School of Politics, and an expert at Diplomatic Institute and International Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.He also served as a consultant at the National Institute of Global Strategic Studies Algiers from 2008 to 2013. Other roles are expert at the European Union/Algeria Media Program January 2003 and also an external Examiner at Mauritius University to date. Laeed has served as a correspondent and freelance journalist at the Africanews TV. He was also a journalist, Reporter and Newscaster of Algerian Broadcasting, Specialised Chief Editor, Assistant to the Director General.
Manager of Radio Net, ccorrespondent for Radio World International US Magasine from 1999-2015, Correspondent for United Nations Office Geneva &InfoSud Swiss News Agency from 1994-1996. He holds a PhD degree from Algiers University and a diploma from the International Academy of Broadcasting Montreux, Switzerland. He speaks Arabic, French and English fluently. He is a main contributor to the following books: Hand Book of Mass Media in the Middle East; Images of the US around the World, An Algerian Perspective;Women Journalists’ Attitudes towards ICTs Implementation-50 years of Journalism; Citizen Journalism & Democracy in Africa; Public Diplomacy and Soft Power in Algeria’s Foreign; among others
Board Member, representing Southern Africa
Ipeleng Selele is a qualified International Strategist and an entrepreneur. She specializes in foreign market entry strategies and execution across different sectors and markets. Ipeleng has interests in maritime affairs, LPG distribution, foreign market entry strategies, strategic consulting services, maritime ports training, agro processing, ICT and Education. She has worked on projects in South Africa, Kenya, Cameroon, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Namibia, Ghana, Rwanda, Nigeria, Angola, Singapore, US and the UK. Ipeleng’s sector experience is in Maritime and Ports, Telecommunications, IT, FMCG, Banking, Branding and Marketing, Pharmaceuticals, Infrastructure, Media, Insurance and Automobiles. She also has a solid experience in strategic nation branding, she conceptualized and executed the first Brand South Africa’s stakeholder engagement strategy programme and training globally that was showcased at the World Economic Forum in Davos-Switzerland. She assisted with the maritime annexure plan for maritime and women in maritime at the African Union in relation to Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy 2050 execution plan. She also conceptualized and launched the first ever portal of African Maritime Affairs that was launched at the African Union. In particular, Selele has played a pivotal role in driving the African Ports and Maritime development agenda. She was instrumental in conceptualizing and implementing the recent BRICS Maritime Investment Forum 2013 Summit which was held in Durban; South Africa focusing on the Maritime agenda.
She championed the BRICS Maritime Trade business seminar aimed at leveraging the BRICS partnership with an objective of developing Africa’s maritime trade and attracting investment into the maritime industry. Most recently, she spearheaded the conceptualization/owns and implemented the immensely successful inaugural Africa Maritime Investments Indaba 2013. Ipeleng Selele holds an MSC (Master of Science) in International Marketing Strategy majoring in Foreign Market Entry Strategy from the University of London South Bank. She recently completed an African Leadership Executive Course from Oxford University as part of her TUTU Fellowship as well as a Strategy Execution Qualification from INSEAD, France. She is the Vice President of the AfricaSoutheast Asia Chamber of Commerce based in Singapore. She is passionate about entrepreneurship development on the continent. She is the Vice President of African Women in Maritime.
Eugenie Aw Ndiaye
Board member, representing West Africa
A Senegalese national, Eugénie R. AW has been a journalist for more than 30 years. Shewas the first Secretary-General of the Association of African Professional Communicators and has worked with various developmental institutions, including All Africa Conference of Churches, WHO, UNICEF, UNESCO, and UNIFEM / UNFEMMES. Eugénie worked for the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), organising the first pan-African participatory radio network, the first community-based radio survey in Africa. She was president of AMARC (1999 – 2004) Eugénie was the UNDP Regional Coordinator for the Africa 2000 Network Program, a program to build local environmental capacity in some 15 African countries (more than 600 projects, mostly community-based). She also carried out missions in Cambodia (2001), for the UNDP, in Congo Brazzaville (1998 and 2000), Côte d’Ivoire (2003)to assess the situation of women victims of sexual violence during the war and to propose a relevant program for the same. The Carnegie Foundation invited her to Bosnia (1998) to share her experience. She supported the strategic plan and communication program of the Central African Religious Confessions Platform (Bangui, 2016); worked as the Gender Contributor and Program Manager of the Lester Pearson Peacekeeping Center and Training Coordinator for West Africa (2002-2005), and the Associate of the Canadian Foundation for Human Rights (2002-2004, 2011). In the academic field,Eugénie has taught social and cultural animation at the University of Québec, Montréal, in Canada.She holds a Master’s and PhD in Communication and Development from the University of Quebec in Montreal (2001) with specialization on Great Lakes Africa and issues of peace and security. Her thesis was on “Words of Rwandan women, from the culture of genocide to the culture of peace: 1994-1999” Sinceher return to Senegal in 2002,Eugénie has been teaching at the Center for Study of Sciences and Techniques of Information of the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar (Senegal). An institution that has employed her in various capacities ; first as the Director of Studies,then as Managing Director from May 2005 to May 2011. She has developed several inovative training courses for young social leaders with the West Africa Research Center (WARC), including a module on “Media, Conflict and Security in Africa” for some 20 African journalists. Since April 2010, she has been a member of the Scientific Council of the House of Human Sciences of Aquitaine (University of Bordeaux). Between2014-2016, shetaught media, peace and security in Africa at the Senghor University in Alexandria. Eugénie is a member of the Scientific Commission of the Dakar International Peace and Security Forum.She has received several awards: – Knight of the National Order of the Lion of Senegal – Gold Medal of the Governor General of Canada – Knight of the French Legion of Honor – Vermeil Medal of the French Academy