Matthew McDonnell, Senior Consultant, Willis Towers Watson

Matthew is a Senior Consultant in Towers Watson’s Organisational Surveys and Insights Practice, based in London. He has been with the firm for 15 years, and has designed and implemented employee engagement and culture research projects across a range of major global organisations across retail, FMCG, Finance, Media, Mining sectors.  He has in depth experience helping them identify and prioritise actions to improve their business performance through their people.

He has also worked on several survey engagements across Africa presenting results and working with local management teams in a variety of markets to understand some of the organisational challenges they have and implement action plans following employee survey results

Matthew is a chartered Occupational Psychologist. 

Jimmy Masinde, Associate Director, Management Consulting, KPMG

Prior to KPMG, Jimmy was a Service Transformation Leader in PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). He has over 15 years of experience in strategy, operations, human capital, service transformation and shared services projects in key sectors namely; government, telecommunication, banking, insurance, non-profit and agribusiness. He has held senior positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Safaricom, Co-operative Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank. 

Jimmy holds an MBA in Strategic Management from University of Nairobi and a diploma in Public Relations Management. He is also a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and the Institute of Customer Service Kenya.  

Joao Vaz, Partner & Regional Head of People & Change, KPMG

Prior to KPMG, João was a Partner in Deloitte‘s Human Capital leadership team for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), leading the business in Portugal and Angola. He has 20 years of experience in Management Consulting at global firms having held senior positions at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) and Heidrick & Struggles in addition to Deloitte and KPMG. His specialism is primarily in Human Capital and Strategy & Operations. João is a Member of the Editors Council of HR Magazine (the leading HR magazine in Portugal.

He holds a B.Sc. in Systems Engineering from Universidade do Minho in Portugal and is a certified Executive Coach by the International Coaching Federation.

Crispin Marriott, Client Relationship Director - Willis Towers Watson

Crispin has been consulting in the Human Capital arena for over 25 years. He is a recognised global expert on Employee Engagement. Crispin has delivered and managed some of the world’s largest and most complex global cultural assessment and Engagement survey systems. He has personally delivered such survey systems for clients in over 40 countries worldwide.

Crispin has a particular interest in the effective design and interpretation of survey data in a cross-cultural context.  Notably, Crispin was responsible for creating the first ever national Norms of employee opinion in South Africa and other African countries where he has conducted employee research since 1991.



Charles Kazuka, Chief Human Resources Officer, NMB

Charles Kazuka is the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) for NMB which is the largest and bank in Tanzania by total assets and with over 170 branches. It is a listed company on the Dar Es Salaam stock exchange. 

Charles has extensive Human Resources experience having spent 14 years in Senior HR leadership roles in both in Tanzania and other international assignments.

Prior to joining NMB, Charles has   headed HR for Barclays Bank in Tanzania and also Barclays in Ghana.  He has also worked with British Petroleum (BP) as Head of Human Resources for Tanzania before expanding this scope to cover East and Southern Africa (Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia)

 A certified HR Analyst, Charles is an honorary alumni of Makerere University and the University of Leicester in the UK where he pursued an MBA in Strategic HR Management.

With this unique experience, Charles brings invaluable strategic HR expertise at the highest level and  is a widely respected HR professional and a well-known life coach and mentor to upcoming HR and business executives in Tanzania.

Susan Maingi, Director Corporate Affairs, Communication & Sustainability, Development Director - LafargeHolcim

An experienced Communications and Human Resource specialist with a blend of experience in public affairs, external and internal communications, as well as Human Resources gained in both the manufacturing and service sectors. A skilled communicator; able to maintain cultural sensitivity, establish rapport and advocate positions with members of diverse groups, and promote team cohesiveness.

Professional Development : Advanced Management Program Strathmore Business School/IESE Spain; Leadership Development program GIBBS South Africa; Practioner Diploma AOEC Executive Coach; Africa Sustainability Leadership Program Strathmore Business School

Carol Hondonga, Senior Talent Acquisition Director – GE Africa

Carol is a Global Human Resources leader with diverse experience living and delivering high impact people outcomes within Africa, Europe and North America for multinational organisations within electronic manufacturing, mining and banking sectors. Expertise in talent acquisition, talent management, diversity, organisational learning and development and generalist HR leadership. Currently the Senior Director Talent Acquisition, Diversity & Inclusion for GE Africa. Carol is an Economics Honours Graduate with a Master’s in Business Leadership and currently studying towards her Doctorate in Applied Leadership with a focus on Diversity & Inclusion.


Manu Chandaria, Chairman, SAFAL GROUP

Manu Chandaria, OBE, EBS, is Founding Chairman of the East African Business Council and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, an umbrella body representing over two hundred sectors and organizations. Dr. Chandaria is the Chairman of the Private Sector Advisory Council, Global Peace Service Alliance, Kenya. He has been appointed to numerous government boards and committees, including Chairman of the Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund, set up to reduce poverty, revive the economy through private sector initiatives, encourage technological modernization, and improve the lives of children. He is a Council member of the University of Nairobi which awarded him a Doctorate of Sciences. In 2003 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II conferred an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in recognition of his community work and promotion of Kenyan economic interests. His Excellency Hon. Mwai Kibaki, Former President of the Republic of Kenya, distinguished him with the honor of Elder of the Burning Spear (EBS) in 2003 in recognition of outstanding service to the nation.


He has been on the Nairobi University Council Board for 25 years representing Gandhi Smarak Nidhi Fund.  Appointed Chancellor of Technical University of Kenya in 2013 and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of United States International University (USIU).  He has been awarded honorary doctorates by five Universities, University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Kenya Methodist University, Technical University of Kenya and United Graduate College




Chandaria Accident & Emergency Centre & Day Theatre at the Nairobi Hospital

Chandaria Accident & Emergency Centre at the Pandya Hospital at the Coast

Chandaria MIHV Health Centre at Dagoretti Nairobi

Chandaria Mji Wa Huruma Clinic in Runda Nairobi

Many medical clinics in the rural areas

Chandaria Medical Clinic at the Getrude’s Childrens Hospital In Nairobi

Chandaria Bodi Health Centre & Chandaria Bodi Maternity Wing

Chandaria School of Business at the United States International University (USIU)

Chandaria Business Innovation and Incubation Centre at the Kenyatta University

And many other initiatives




James Mworia, Group CEO & Managing Director, CENTUM INVESTMENTS

James Mworia is the Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Centum Investment Company Limited, a position he has held since 2008.  Centum is the largest listed investment company in East Africa, with direct and third party assets under management of approximately USD 1.8 billion. The Group’s primary focus is on the development of investment grade assets of scale across key sectors of the economy, including real estate, power, financial services, agribusiness, education and healthcare, amongst others. During James’ tenure as CEO, the Group’s net asset value has increased sevenfold.

James is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, a Chartered Financial Analyst Charter Holder, a Chartered Global Management Accountant, a Fellow of the Kenyan Institute of Management and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya. He is also a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and an Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellow.

James serves on the boards of several organisations, including Sidian Bank, where he is the Chairman of the board, Nairobi Securities Exchange, Nairobi Bottlers Limited, General Motors East Africa Limited and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

James has received numerous awards in his career to date, including East Africa Business Leader of Year 2015 at the All Africa Business Leaders Awards, the Corporate Council for Africa, Africa Business Leader of the Year 2014 and the Africa Young Business Leader of the Year 2011 at the Africa Business Leaders Awards.

James is passionate about leadership and entrepreneurship, and is a mentor to many emerging business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Suleiman Kiggundu, Regional Director for Africa, CDC GROUP

Suleiman is Regional Director for Africa at CDC Group plc. Established by the UK Government in 1948, CDC is the world’s oldest development finance institution that is currently invested in over 1,300 companies supporting over 1.1 million jobs in various developing countries.

Suleiman is also Executive Chairman of CFS Group, a pan-African financial services group with interests in capital markets, investment banking and private equity. Until early 2014, Suleiman spent 10 years as Group CEO at CFS Group, focused on transforming it into a leading indigenously-owned financial services provider in sub-Saharan Africa.

Prior to this, he spent 10 years with the HSBC Group in several senior positions, including Head of Corporate Banking for Sub-Saharan Africa at HSBC Equator Bank plc and Head of Corporate & Institutional Banking at HSBC Bank plc. Coordinating HSBC’s debt and risk advisory offerings in Africa, he personally completed transactions in more than 15 countries across Africa.

Suleiman holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering and a BA in Economics (cum laude) both from Yale University, as well as post-graduate diplomas in banking, finance and corporate governance

Admassu Tadesse, President & CEO, PTA BANK

Mr. Tadesse is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Tadesse served as a top executive for 10 years at the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) where he was responsible for international finance and investment, as well as corporate strategy. Much earlier in his career, he served in various management and technical capacities with specialized UN agencies.

Mr. Tadesse is the vice-chairman of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AADFI) and a member of the Institute of Bankers and the Institute of Directors of Southern Africa. He serves on several international boards and trust funds.

An Economist and Banker, Mr. Tadesse qualified at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Wits Business School and the University of Western Ontario. He also trained in advanced management and banking at Harvard Business School and INSEAD.

Virginie Fernandez, Human Resources Director, LVMH

Virginie Fernandez is the Human Resources Director of Moët Hennessy for Latin America, Africa & Middle East and is the LVMH Group HR Coordinator for Latin America & Africa. She is Spanish, raised in France and has been based in Brazil for the past 15 years.

 Virginie has a double background in Business and Human Resources. She is graduated from a French Business School, ESSEC, and holds a Human Resources Master from Sorbonne University. She has been constantly reading and developing herself in the field of personal and organizational development with key interest topics being the ones assuming human being as infinite possibilities that should be developed, like Coaching, U-Theory, Design thinking, etc.

 She started her career in the Insurance sector, at AGF (now Allianz Group) coordinating international studies and development projects in Norther Africa, Near East and Gulf countries. She participated to the startup of AGF Bank in France, and went to Brazil to support the development of AGF Allianz in Latin America. In 2004, she joined LVMH Group, specifically at Moët Hennessy, moment when her career shifted to Human Resources management.

 Since 2006 she has been travelling extensively to Africa, to support development of Moët Hennessy in key African countries, and is thrilled by all talents she has met so far.


Freddy West, Investment Consultant- Human Capital, CDC Group

Freddy has founded, grown and led organisations in Europe and Africa.

Most recently Freddy co-founded an education & talent development company here in Kenya.  Before that she built an e-commerce company in the UK.   

Prior to this Freddy ran a Kenyan technology company and chaired AVP, a global NGO focused on education & talent development. 

Freddy began her career in media and marketing at WPP, Scangroup's parent company.

She is currently working with CDC, the UK's development finance institute.  

She is also an advisor to and investor in Nova Academies, Spire Education and ADMI (Africa Digital Media Institute).

Freddy holds a BA from Oxford and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Mary Waceke Thongoh- Muia, HR Consultant

Overall Winner Rising star Awards 2014- Private and Public Sector Category in Kenya.

An AABLA Judge- All Africa Business Leaders Awards- East Africa Region panel of Judges 2012 &2013 by CNBC Africa.

A (CWIA) Cartier Women Initiative Awards Coach.

Mary Waceke Muia is an Inspirational and Transformational Leader with recognized expertise in Organization Design & Development, Change & Performance Management, Leadership and HR. She has successfully led several Business and Culture Change Transformations both in Private and Public sector. She has worked for a Multinational oil company both in Kenya and internationally, was Head of Performance and Change in Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) and currently she is the HR Director & Transformation project Leader at Central Bank of Kenya.

Accredited Executive Coach from the Academy of Executive Coaching –UK and Pacific Institute USA, a Certified Master Professional in Balance Score Card from George Washington University, a Certified Change Management Professional by Prosci USA, and a Certified Project Management professional with PRINCE II UK. She is also an alumnus of Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Strathmore Business School where she has undertaken several Leadership and Management programs including a one year Advance Management program. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Masters of Arts in Environmental Management with Focus on Sustainable Development.

She has been among the Top 40 under 40 successful Women in Corporate Kenya two years in a row and the Overall Winner of ‘Rising Stars Awards’ 2014 - Private & Public Sector Category.
Waceke is an Adjunct Faculty of Strathmore Executive Business School in Leadership, Strategic Performance Management, Change Management and Corporate Women’s programs. She is a sought after speaker at Local and International forums including the UN Annual Women Empowerment Principles in New York.

Specialties:Change Management; methodology and tools for successful transformation and projects.
Culture Transformation initiatives using the social learning theories & positive psychology to create a performance culture using Quality Conversations.
Designing organisational Leadership pipeline framework and supporting Leadership developement iniatives.
Implementing a value driven performance management system for strategy deployement and connecting employees through line of sight.

Alex Mugan, Managing Director, Global Career Company

Alex Mugan is a graduate of the University of Cambridge with an MA in history, whose curious professional background includes stints as a semi-professional football manager and a chef. Following this misspent youth, he undertook a degree in organisational psychology and accepted the truth that everything which matters is about people.

He has worked in talent attraction and engagement across Africa for more than five years, leading the GCC teams which launched the first pan-African employer attractiveness survey (Careers in Africa Employer of Choice) and the first pan-African conference and community for HR professionals (Talent Agenda Series). Alex regularly writes for African Business on human capital, especially around talent attraction and engagement, and has addressed the subjects at conferences in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire.

Alex is particularly interested in the importance of diversified employee experiences and value propositions tailored to the markets and demographics they are intended for. He believes that this is key to unlocking the potential of Africa’s diverse workforces, and that the HR and marketing functions should inherit the business world.

Bancy Gakuru, Head of Talent Management (Africa &Middle East), Syngenta

Bancy has over 10 years of HR experience across 4 industries (institutional, manufacturing, IT and Agriculture) at both Pan African and international environments. She has held senior HR positions as follows: Head of HR – Mabati Rolling Mills, Chief Talent Officer – Seven Seas Technologies and is now Head of Talent Management for Africa and Middle East at Syngenta overseeing Talent Management.

In 2011, Bancy received recognition by Business Daily as top40under40 women professionals in Kenya. She is agile and has been successful in developing HR strategies that are aligned to the different businesses across the different industries.

Bancy holds a Masters degree in HR from Nairobi University, she is also a Harvard Business School Alumni and a member of the Institute of Human Resource Management (K). She is passionate about talent and capability development.


Christopher Kirigua, Executive Director & Regional Head of Public Sector, Standard Chartered Bank

Christopher is the Executive Director and Head of the Public Sector for the Corporate and Institutional Business at Standard Chartered Bank. He is responsible for originating, arranging, advising and structuring funding solutions for State-owned Enterprises (“SOE”) and Governments. He has led various product teams, syndicate banks, law firms and external consultants to provide transformational solutions to his clients.

Since joining the East Africa Corporate and Institutional Clients business in 2011, Chris has been responsible for some headline transactions and has significantly grown the Government & SOE business by 500% in 5 years. He has led the largest syndicate in Kenya and his transactions have won a number of global awards.

Prior to his current role, Christopher was the Head of Strategy and Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer for Africa, where he also achieved a number of key milestones including opening the branch in Angola. Christopher was also the Head of Change Management for Africa Operations, where he drove the implementation of the core banking system in Africa. He has experience in multiple geographies including Kenya, United States, United Arab Emirates, India, Ethiopia and 8 other Africa markets.

In the 12 years with the Standard Chartered Bank, Chris has consistently been a member of the Bank’s high potential staff, which is sponsored by the Group Chief Executive. This is a group of a select number of highly talented individuals, who the bank has identified for key leadership positions.

Christopher holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Roosevelt University in Chicago, USA.