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Salem Afeworki

Program Director, Value Sustainability

Salem is the program director of Value Sustainability, a leading provider of advisory services in sustainability, climate change, and community engagement.

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She is responsible for the company’s integrated strategy to deliver customer solutions to meet their sustainability challenges and to operate in a way that advances environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic success. Applying her corporate and consulting experience to her client’s sustainability priorities, she challenges her clients to set increasingly higher targets that grow their business by making a positive difference in the world. Prior to that, Salem has held numerous management and senior consultant roles in engineering and financial services firms, both in the United States and internationally. She began her career with the United Nations, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication and MSc in Environmental Management & Auditing from Universidad de Leon, Spain.

Megha Aggarwal

Co-Founder, CEO, LEAP Skills Academy

Megha Aggarwal is the co-founder and CEO of LEAP Skills Academy. LEAP stands for Learning, Employability and Progress, and was founded to create opportunities and enable employment for motivated students in small towns in India. 

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It aims to help students achieve their career aspirations and connect them with livelihoods. Prior to LEAP, Aggarwal collaborated with several research and policy institutions like the University of Pennsylvania, the Asian Development Bank and the Indian Planning Commission on skill development related projects. She worked with Morgan Stanley in New York and London as an investment banker. She was a Chevening Scholar at the London School of Economics and is an alumnus of the University of Oxford and St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University.

Jihane Ajijti

Head of Projects and Development, OCP SA, Morocco

Jihane Ajijti works for OCP SA as the head of project and development for Southern Africa. She is a graduate of HEC Paris (Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales) and a candidate of Africa Business school executive master’s in business administration partnership with Columbia Business school. 

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She started her career in market finance as an assistant in sales for BNP Paribas Arbitrage in Paris, where she worked on structured products for major European institutions. Thereafter, she has joined Oliver Wyman, an international corporate strategy consulting firm where she had over five years of experience, mostly based in Paris. She has worked for several large-scale projects in various industries, among others waste and water management, consumer goods, transport and telecommunication, retail, and leisure industry. She has specialized in global transformation plans with a focus on value sourcing, organization redesign and operational optimization. Ajijti joined the OCP Group in December 2014, as a project manager within the Strategy and Corporate Development team before being appointed as head of projects of development for Southern Africa within the newly created subsidiary OCP Africa. She manages partnerships and development projects that aim at improving the ecosystem around smallholder farmers, particularly through offering a wider range of agro-services. Jihane is currently based in Casablanca.

Ahmed AlAhwal Tarek

Urban Program Director, Megawra

Ahmed is an architect with academic and professional experience in urban development. 

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 He has worked on designing and implementing projects related to open space rehabilitation, sustainable urban systems, and urban governance. He is a Cairo University graduate and currently works as coordinator of the Urban Program in Megawra, a part of the Athar Lina initiative, which aims at using heritage as a driver for development through citizen participation and regarding monuments as an unextractable part of the city’s physical and intangible heritage. The initiative works in partnership with the ministry of antiquities and Cairo governorate and is currently operating in several areas in Cairo as well as partnering in projects in other Egyptian cities.

Khadijetou Ba

Founding Member, Leadership-Ethics-Governance and Strategies for Africa

Khadijetou Ba is a citizen activist passionate about pan-Africanism and governance. She is a founding member of Leadership-Ethics-Governance and Strategies for Africa (LEGS-AFRICA), a Senegal-based CSO that promotes leadership qualities for Africans and a thinking model based on African values and principles. 

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She is also the Mauritanian chapter head of Africa 2.0, a community of more than 2,000 young leaders across the continent and diaspora, focused on capacity building and the promotion of entrepreneurship. In addition to her community work, Ba has worked on anti-corruption with GIZ in Mauritania, and on public financial management and accountability with the African Development Bank in Tunisia and Cote d’Ivoire. She currently works in Nigeria on elections and youth political participation with the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement.

Dana Bekri

NATO Security Investment Program, NATO

Dana is a member of the International Staff of the NATO Headquarters in Brussels. She is currently working in resource management for the NATO Security Investment Program, reinforcing the delivery of common-funded Alliance capabilities. 

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Prior to her position at NATO, Dana was working in community development for a Canadian public education institution managing an adult literacy program. She supported various community initiatives aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion, as well as the integration of new Canadians through government and civil society partnerships. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies from Western University, and a master’s degree in Development Management from the London School of Economics. Her main areas of interest are public sector integrity and improving transparency and accountability through institutional capacity building.

Rukmani Bhatia

Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia

Rukmani currently serves as the special assistant to the assistant administrator for Europe & Eurasia at the U.S. Agency for International Development. 

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She previously served as the inaugural Hillary Rodham Clinton Research Fellow at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace & Security, where she published extensively on women’s political participation and economic empowerment. In 2014, she was selected as the inaugural The Hague Symposium Fellow for the International Peace & Security Institute, where she developed a four-week symposium focused on post-conflict transitions and international justice. She also worked with Vital Voices Global Partnership’s Human Rights team, aiding their efforts to end human trafficking. Rukmani helped develop best practices from Eastern Europe, Latin America, South Asia, and West Africa on how to create and implement programs that seek to combat child sex trafficking.

Adam Bouhadma

CEO, Education Media Company

Adam Bouhadma’s passion for technology led him to found 9rayti.com in 2008. The orientation and education platform is dedicated to students and attracts millions of visitors every year. 

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Currently, Bouhadma is the head of Education Media Company, a startup working on the editing of educational websites. Bouhadma is also founder of anqabot, a tool used to audit any website, giving practical recommendations. In parallel, he is engaged in politics as a member of the left political movement: Clarté Ambition Courage, Member of Fédération de Gauche Démocratique in Morocco.

Harold Cardenas

Blogger and Project Manager, La Joven Cuba

Harold Cárdenas Lema is the founder of “La Joven Cuba” (The Young Cuba), a well-known blog platform for young people who want to exercise political participation in their country. 

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Currently, he is a Ph.D. student in political philosophy and a social sciences researcher. He has been a university lecturer and is often invited to social media workshops. In 2014, he became the first Cuban to be invited to the International Leadership Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists in the United States. Cárdenas Lema writes a weekly column on politics for the independent Dutch media El Toque and also writes for La Joven Cuba.

Karim Chbani

Investment Manager, SNI

Karim Chbani currently serves as an investment manager within the SNI investment fund in Morocco, where he is responsible for the structuring and execution of M&A transactions. 

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He has participated in a dozen major cross-border transactions and ECM operations in Morocco and Sub-Saharan Africa in the agribusiness, building materials and financial institutions sectors. He previously held the position of financial analyst with the Royal Bank of Scotland in London, where he was responsible for financing infrastructure investments on behalf of institutional clients. As former member of the Association of Moroccans in Grandes Ecoles (AMGE) in Paris, he co-founded the AMGE Alumni Association in Casablanca, of which he currently holds the chairman position. A graduate of the Ecole Centrale de Paris, he is an engineer of arts and manufactures. Karim also holds certificates in investments, issued by the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (U.K.).

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