Africa50 names five new independent board members

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Africa50 shareholders have approved the expansion of the Board of Directors to include at least half independent directors.

The five new board members, hailing from France, Lebanon, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, are recognized senior experts in infrastructure or related fields, and have substantial experience as non-executive directors in Africa and globally.

“I am pleased to welcome the new members to the Board. They bring with them a wealth of experience at the highest levels in infrastructure, corporate governance, public service, law, sustainability, and development finance. I am convinced that they will make a substantial contribution to the work of our Board as Africa50 ramps up its activities to help close the continent’s infrastructure gap,” said Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Africa50.

They include:

Imoni Akpofure

Ms Akpofure is an experienced finance and sustainability professional with 30 years of developed and developing country experience. She is a generalist with wide industry and geographic coverage and has a deep understanding of Sub-Saharan Africa.

She most recently served as the Regional Director for Africa at CDC Group Plc, where she focused on investments in West Africa and in Lusophone Africa. Prior to joining CDC, from 1995-2013 she worked at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), rising to the rank of Director for Western Europe.

Within IFC, she also held senior positions in the Infrastructure, Environment and Social, and the Global Manufacturing and Services departments. Ms Akpofure is currently a Senior Associate with KINA Advisory Ltd, a socio-economic advisory firm.

In addition, she is a non-executive Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc Nigeria, and also serves on the Investment Committees of Africa50 and the Fund for Agricultural Finance in Nigeria (FAFIN).

Monhla Wilma Hlahla

Ms. Hlahla is an experienced director of companies and currently serves as Chairperson of the Boards of Royal Bafokeng Holdings and Denel SOC Limited, both in South Africa. She spent most of her career in infrastructure, starting from the Development Bank of Southern Africa where she worked in financing of bulk infrastructure projects, to her distinguished role as Managing Director of the Airports Company of South Africa between 2001 and 2011. Her governance experience extends to sectors including municipal infrastructure and services, transportation and logistics, bulk infrastructure development and operation, mining, development finance, civil aviation, and water supply.

Sophie L’Helias

Ms. L’Helias is an expert on governance and sustainability issues. She started as an attorney in M&A and stock market law in New York and Paris and has also served as Managing Director of an arbitrage fund.

She is co-founder of the International Corporate Governance Network, focused on institutional investors, and the founder of Leaderxxchange, which promotes diversity on corporate boards.

Author of The Shareholder Comeback, she frequently publishes articles and is a regular speaker at international business and academic forums on corporate governance, diversity and sustainability.

Ms. L’Helias currently serves on the Board of Kering SA and l’Echiquier Positive Impact fund and has been a member of several non-profit and academic boards in North America. She is a Senior Fellow at The Conference Board Governance Centre in New York and is a member of the Global Advisory Board at the Lazardis Institute in Canada.

Assaad Jabre

Mr. Jabre is an experienced corporate advisor. He worked at IFC from 1980 to 2005, serving as acting CEO after several high-level assignments, including Vice-President for Investments and Advisory Operations, and Vice-President for Portfolio Management.

He was also a member of IFC’s Corporate Investment, and Finance and Risk Management Committees. Currently he serves on the board of the Mobile for Development Foundation, and the Strategic Committee of Agence France Trésor.

Albert Mugo

Mr. Mugo has over 35 years of experience in the energy sector, including 10 years in operations and maintenance of power systems and over 20 years in planning and development of the generation and transmission of electricity supply.

Most recently he was Managing Director and CEO of Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), the largest power producer in Kenya, where he spearheaded several key projects, including 120 MW Kipevu III in Mombasa and over 370MW geothermal capacity development in Olkaria.

Mr Mugo has worked closely with Development Finance Institutions as well as equity and bond markets to raise funds for major projects. He previously worked at the Kenya Pipeline Company and Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC).

“I am pleased that Assaad, Albert, Imoni, Monhla, and Sophie have joined the Board. They combine top-level regional and sectoral skills with long service on the boards of other companies. This is a very important addition to Africa50’s governance structure. Combined with our Senior Leadership Team, which is now in place, they will help us accelerate infrastructure development in Africa,” said Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50.

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