Stefan Jacoby, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. spoke to students about challenges facing the automobile industry.

Speaker Bios


John Luiz

Abiola Lawal

Cyril Sibusiso Ndaba

Afam Onyema

Alison Germak Gatchev

Clyde Sotomey

Guy Kamgaing-Kouam

Charles Abramson

Dean Judy Olian

Mr. John Luiz | Director of International Programmes & Professor, Wits Business School

Mr. Luiz serves as the Director of International Programmes and is a Professor at the Wits Business School (University of the Witwatersrand), South Africa, specializing in Economics, Society, and Government.

Mr. Luiz has published over 50 articles in such publications as, Applied Economics, World Development, Oxford Economic Papers, Journal of Development Studies, the International Review of Law and Economics, the International Business Review, Journal of Applied Business Research, International Journal of Social Economics, the Journal of International Development, International Business and Economics Research Journal and the Cambridge Journal of Economics.

Mr. Luiz works as a consultant and has undertaken research for the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the Industrial Development Corporation, the Department of Trade and Industry, the United States Agency for International Development, the Johannesburg Development Agency, and the Centre for Development and Enterprise amongst others. He is active in management training and executive education at several leading multinational and South African corporations and public entities. He has lectured at various universities and programmes including the INSEAD My Globe Programme, the Grow Your Business programme and the Management Development Programme with Duke University.

Abiola Lawal | EVP & CFO, CAMAC

Mr. Lawal is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of CAMAC. CAMAC is a global energy corporation with three primary business activities: exploration & production; engineering services; and crude oil and refined products trading. Its primary business objective is to continue expansion into the African energy markets and selective opportunities around the world. CAMAC is headquartered in Houston and maintains offices in London, Lagos, Abuja and Johannesburg. CAMAC was founded in 1986 and revenues as of 2008 totaled $2.43 billion.

Prior to joining the company, Mr. Lawal served from August 2008 to April 2010 as the Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of CAMAC International Corporation ("CAMAC"), a privately-held $2 billion revenue international oil and gas company, and Allied Energy Plc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CAMAC.

Prior to CAMAC, Mr. Lawal served from July 2008 to August 2008 as Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of Innovatum Technologies, a privately-held technology outsourcing and training company headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria. Prior to Innovatum Technologies, from September 2005 to June 2008 Mr. Lawal was Group Chief Strategy Officer of Oando Plc, a $2.5 billion revenue Nigerian and Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed oil and gas company headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria. He also served during this period as Executive Director of Oando Plc's Gas & Power Division. During Mr. Lawal's tenure at Oando Plc, he also served as Director of several of its subsidiaries, including Gaslink Ltd, Oando Ghana, and Akute Power Ltd., and also represented Oando Plc management on the Oando Plc Board of Directors' Finance & Strategy Committee. While at Oando Plc, Mr. Lawal also served as the Chairman of its Management Tender Committee which was responsible for reviewing high procurement value items, as well as Chairman of the Oando Plc Investment Review Committee. Prior to joining Oando Plc, Mr. Lawal served in a number of strategic planning, technology implementation and consultative roles for several Fortune 500 clients: from February 2003 to September 2005, Mr. Lawal worked as a Senior Manager in the Business Strategy & Transformation Group with SAP America Inc. at its Irvine, California location; from May 2002 to February 2003, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of eWorldtrack Mobile Technologies, Inc., a development-stage GPS technology tracking and communications company located in Anderson, South Carolina; and from July 1996 to January 1997, he worked as a Financial Analyst on the Balanced Scorecard Project in the Financial Planning Department for Walt Disney Company out of its offices in Anaheim, California. Mr. Lawal also worked as a Manager for Ernst & Young LLP and later Cap Gemini out of its offices located in Irvine, California from August 1997 to May 2002.

Mr. Lawal holds an MBA from the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine, and a Bachelor of Science in Economics and minor in Finance from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria, and is a Member of the UK-based Institute of Directors ("IoD"). Mr. Lawal has written a number of articles in the business press and he is a regular contributor to CNBC Africa and CNBC America on energy issues and opportunities.

Cyril Sibusiso Ndaba | Consul-General, South Africa Consulate, Los Angeles

Mr. Ndaba is the Consul-General of the South African Consulate of Los Angeles. Prior to serving in this capacity he was Deputy High Commissioner of South Africa to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 2004-2010. His earlier assignments included being a diplomat in Rwanda from 2000-2004 and in New York from 1995-1998.

Afam Onyema | Chief Operating Officer, The GEANCO Foundation

Mr. Onyema is the Chief Operating Officer for the GEANCO Foundation. GEANCO's mission is to design, develop and manage medical, educational and athletic facilities in Nigeria. Mr Onyema handles all operational aspects of the foundation.

Prior to his work with the GEANCO Foundation, Mr. Onyema worked for Hill & Knowlton, Inc. a top public relations firm and Mayer Brown LLP, a leading international law firn in Chicago. Mr. Onyema received his B.A. from Harvard University and graduated from Stanford Law School.

Mr. Onyema has been profiled in Newsweek, American Lawyer, Daily Journal (Los Angeles), Young Lawyer Magazine, Harvard Magazine, Stanford Magazine and the Stanford Lawyer.

Alison Germak Gatchev | Public Information Officer, Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Ms. Gatchev is the Public Information Officer for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). OPIC is an Agency of the U.S. Government that provides financing and political risk insurance to U.S. companies to facilitate their business expansion into emerging markets overseas.

In her role, Ms. Gatchev provides details on OPIC's mission, financial products, and activities to potential investors, business organizations, government agencies, and the general public. She is also the point of contact within OPIC for screening investors' overseas investment projects for eligibility for OPIC small and medium-enterprise financing.

Ms. Gatchev holds an M.A. in International Commerce and Policy with an emphasis in Global Business from George Mason University's School of Public Policy and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Susquehanna University.

Clyde Sotomey | CEO, Sterling Energy Partners

Mr. Sotomey's company is currently in the pre-development phase of facilitating a100MW solar plant in Ghana. The power produced from this plant will mainly target commercial entities such as mining companies, aluminum manufacturing plants, and other utilities, whose production output is adversely affected by inadequate power supply. The company is currently in the planning stage with other countries in the region to facilitate similar power plants.

Sterling Energy Partners is a strategic development partner with the IFC/WBG "Lighting Africa" campaign. This campaign seeks to provide power to remote and rural communities throughout the continent with no access to the national grid.

Originally from Ghana, Mr. Sotomey received his B.S. in Economics from City University of New York.

Guy Kamgaing-Kouam | Founder & CEO, MobileXL

Mr. Kamgaing-Kouam is the Founder & CEO of MobileXL. MobileXL is a California-based technology company focused on building value added services to mobile users worldwide. Mobile-XL provides emerging markets of Africa, Latin America and the Middle-East with affordable access to communication and relevant information with the ultimate goal of putting these areas on par with parts of the world that have readily available access to PCs, the internet and WAP.

Prior to founding MobileXL, Mr. Kamgaing-Kouam worked for Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Management Consulting advising companies on restructuration, financial risk management and operational improvements. Until 2006, Mr. Kamgaing-Kouam successfully supplied telecom equipment to MEA operators like MTN, Celtel, Econet, Vodacom, Telecel, Etisalat, STC and other telecom companies (ISPs, VSAT providers and integrators).

Originally from Cameroon, Mr. Kamgaing-Kouam has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Paris Curie University in France and a long career as an entrepreneur.

Charles Abramson | President & CEO, Terra Endeavors

Mr. Abramson is the President & CEO of Terra Endeavors. Terra Endeavors is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that is devoted to collaborating with communities in developing regions to help them adapt & utilize emerging technologies to sustainably produce a variety of urgently needed outputs - village-scale renewable electricity, readily available fresh drinking water, clean-burning cooking fuel and organic fertilizer, while removing CO2 from the environment and providing entrepreneurial & employment opportunities.

Further, Terra Endeavors collaborates with rural farmers to start an entirely new Spirulina industry from Spirulina's region of origin - beginning in Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi & Malawi. Terra Endeavors will be creating the first environmental- & social-cause organic "superfood" brand for export to the US, EU, Australia/New Zealand & Asia where superfoods are fast becoming very popular, as well as distributing the product locally via food-aid organizations to fight malnutrition.

Mr. Abramson has an MBA from the University of Chicago, and an PHD in Marketing from the University of California, Irvine.

Judy D. Olian | Dean and John E. Anderson Chair in Management at UCLA Anderson School of Management

Judy D. Olian, Ph.D., is the eighth dean of UCLA Anderson School of Management and is the John E. Anderson Chair in Management. She began her appointment on January 1, 2006 after serving five and a half years as dean and professor of management at the Smeal College of Business Administration at Pennsylvania State University.

Under her leadership, UCLA Anderson is executing a comprehensive strategic plan to expand the school's global presence and partnerships and is engaged in an aggressive growth campaign, which will result in hiring a record number of faculty from the world's best research institutions. The school is developing a global foot print with a series of targeted global partnerships, especially in China, India and Mexico. Since arriving at UCLA Anderson, the School celebrated the launch of the Laurence and Lori Fink Center for Finance and Investments, the newest of the School's six research centers. Dean Olian is expanding the School's Board of Visitors, attracting executives who bring diverse functional and global perspectives. The school is also in a significant campaign to assure its financial footing as one of only two public schools of management included routinely among the ranks of the leading schools of management in the world. Olian served as the chairman of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), the premier business accrediting and management thought leadership organization in the world. She also has chaired two industry-wide AACSB commissions addressing the future of management education, and the looming crisis of shortages in business Ph.D. graduates. Olian has been widely published in journals on human resource management and business alignment of management systems, wrote a weekly syndicated newspaper column and hosted a monthly television show on current topics in business. She is a sought-after speaker and has consulted for major corporations. Olian's honors include the American Council on Education Fellowship and the Maryland Association for Higher Education Award for Innovation.

As dean of UCLA Anderson, Judy Olian leads a school that annually provides management education to more than 1,700 students enrolled in MBA, Executive MBA, Fully-Employed MBA and doctoral programs, and to more than 2,000 professional managers through executive education programs. The school has several widely recognized research centers and more than 35,000 alumni worldwide. Prior to her tenure at Smeal, she served as acting dean, senior associate dean and professor of management and organization at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Born and raised in Australia, she holds a B.S. degree in Psychology from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Industrial Relations from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

2011 Africa Growth Conference