The following are profiles of the key participants in Brandhill Africa’s Africa Month Celebrations webinar which featured H.E. Wamkele Mene as the keynote speaker:
H.E. Youssef AMRANI, Ambassador of His Majesty the King of Morocco to South Africa (with non-resident Accreditation to Eswatini, Botswana and Malawi)
He was born in Tangier Morocco and holds a Bachelor in Economics from Mohammed V University of Rabat and a degree in management from the Boston University School of Management. He joined the Foreign Ministry in 1978 has had a long and distinguished career in public service.
2019. The following are some of his achievements:
2013: Member of the Cabinet of His Majesty the King.
2012: Minister Delegate of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
2011: Secretary General of the Mediterranean Union Barcelona.
2008: Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
2003: Director-General of Bilateral Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
2001: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of His Majesty the King of Morocco to Mexico, non Resident in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Belize.
1999: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of His Majesty the King of Morocco to Chile.
1996: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of His Majesty the King of Morocco to Colombia non Resident in Ecuador and Panama.
1992: Consul General to Barcelona.
1989: Chief of Staff and State Secretariat in charge of the Maghreb Arab Union.
1984: International Expert at the Islamic Centre for Development of Trade.
1981: Member of the Cabinet of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
1979: Member of the Cabinet of the State as Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
1978: First Secretary of Foreign Affairs.
• Encomienda de numéro de la ordendelmérito civil, conceded by His Majesty The King Juan Carlos of Spain, by Resolution of June, 23rd 2007.
• Order of “San Carlos”, conceded by His Excellency Don Andres Pastrana, President of the Republic of Colombia.
• La Grande croix Extraordinaire “Ordre de la démocratie”, conceded by the President of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Colombia.
• Order of Bernardo OHIGGINS, conceded by President Ricardo LAGOS of Chile.
• Ordre Mexicaine Aguila AZTECA, conceded by President Vicente FOX of Mexico
• Legion d’Honneur France, conceded by the President of the Republic of France.
Saul Molobi (FCIM)
This former SA’s Consul-General to Milan is touted by many as one of the foremost thought leaders on Africa’s competitive identity and public diplomacy with expertise in global marketing (tourism, trade and investment promotion); diplomacy; and the development of cultural industries. His areas of specialisation are the impact of a country’s nation brand on consumer and investor decision making.
He is a Fellow of the UK’s Chartered Institute of Marketing; and a member of the Marketing Association of South Africa and the Institute of Marketing Management (an affiliate of the African Confederation of Marketing).
In 2020, the World CEO Rankings Board nominated him as the “World CEO of the Year”. Then the World Brand Congress bestowed upon Brandhill Africa the Brand Leadership Award 2021.
He’s a Non-Executive Director at the Global Centre for the Promotion of International Trade (GCPIT); and a Trustee of the Dr Molefi Sefularo Foundation.
A DBA candidate, holds an MSc in Global Marketing (University of Liverpool); BA (Hons) and MA in Dramatic Art (Witwatersrand); a Post-Graduate Diploma (IMM Graduate School of Marketing); and a BA (Limpopo). He did short courses in diplomacy at the University of Southern California and Netherlands’ Clingendal Institute of International Relations.
He presents masterclasses on brand Africa arranged by Strategia Business School.
He has extensive experience. In the private sector, he worked as Publishing Director at Heinemann Publishers. In state-owned companies, as Senior Manager: Corporate Communication at Telkom; General Manager: Marketing and Communications, Trade and Investment Limpopo; and most recently as Group Executive: Trade, Investment and Regulatory Enablement, Gauteng Growth and Development Agency. in the public service, as Chief Director: Marketing Communications, Department of Trade and Industry; General Manager: Provincial Communication Services, Limpopo’s Office of the Premier; and Chief Director: Public Diplomacy, Department of International Relations and Cooperation. In the NGO sector, as Editor-in-Chief, Learn and Teach Publications.
A writer, poet, publisher and filmmaker, his latest book is titled “Sound and Fury: The Chronicles of Healing”, with the Foreword by Kgalema Motlanthe, former President of SA. He co-hosted a slot on Power FM to mainstream issues affecting people with disabilities.
He promotes “Made in Africa” brands through Jambo Africa Online news portal, and Biashara Services and Products Africa Conference.
• Currently, mainly an entrepreneur particularly in the energy industry and enterprise engineering services especially productivity services, namely:
o Sinakoyoli Consulting – focus on stakeholder relations particularly between public and private sectors;
o Mesereti International – enterprise engineering services
• Membership in industry organisations:
o From 2015 active in a number of energy industry associations
o From 2018 quite active in BRICS Business Council-SA:
- Manufacturing Working Group and
- Energy & Green Economy Working Group
• Board member – SA Renewable Energy Technology Centre
• Trustee in Johannesburg Inner City Development Trust
• Patron of the Production Technology of SA
• A former Member of Parliament (2004 to 2014)
o Deployed to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (2005 to 2009) and Pan African Parliament (2010 to 2011).
o Chairperson of Portfolio Committee on energy from 2011 to 2014
• Appointed as a research fellow, in the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development, by the Faculty of Economic and Financial Sciences – University of Johannesburg from 2015 to 2018.
Sisa graduated in 1993 with a Diploma in Applied Social Studies at Ruskin College, Oxford University in the United Kingdom. This was followed up in 2006 with a Certificate in Leadership Communication obtained from Rhodes University.
Ben Leyka is the Chief Executive Officer of the African Agri Council NPC (AAC). The African Agri Council is a Pan-African organization that promotes the development of African agriculture by facilitating investment into bankable projects across the value chain.
Over the years, Ben has worked with global stakeholders within the public and private sector across different industries. Working for the Pan African Parliament, African Leadership Academy and now the African Agri Council, combined with his experience working in the private sector for Capital Surge Inc, AFTI and Equitics Holding have allowed him to add his voice to the development of the African continent. His love, passion and commitment towards the development of Africa are the drivers behind his work on the continent.
Ben sits on various Board Committees and he is also involved with the Africa 1st Initiative and DRC Invest – all focusing on the creation and development of entrepreneurs and conducive business environments in Africa.
He has recently taken the role of Growth Africa Leader. This role encompasses all the expertise and knowledge that he has gained through the years in the African continent. He is responsible for the implementation and coordination of Infrastructure related projects in these areas.
Further to these responsibilities, he is also actively involved in strategic business development operations, marketing, general administration and coordination of international infrastructure projects globally.
Key focus areas of his role include the responsibility to increase profitability and market share by understanding and anticipating market movements with a long-term focus, incorporating and tracking delivery and process improvements, and supporting the people, their growth and the organic changes in the business.
A part of the role includes facilitating the integration between the Greater Africa Unit needs and requirements and the service unit leaders and experts, as well as winning work by strategically supporting, reviewing and approving proposals and key contract negotiations.
He is an expert strategic negotiator with a high performance in facilitating and creating mutual value by application of experience and expertise in negotiations with clients and stakeholders in multifaceted international infrastructure projects.
Josè’s duties also include attending and leading business development meetings and reports monthly progress of the pipeline and proposals to senior executives; tracking client opportunities and searches websites for business units; assisting senior leaders in development and implementation of strategic business development plans; overseeing the go/no-go decision-making process, ensuring all proposals are assigned to staff and overseeing workload to ensure consistency.
Furthermore, he manages strategic proposal efforts and/or large, very complex pursuits and leads development of strategies for proposals, qualifications, presentations, and any deliverables. This includes working directly with unit managers, project managers, project directors, technical experts and other firms in the pursuit of new opportunities.
He also works with business development specialists to coordinate all aspects of the proposal process from the lead/prospect stages to the proposal close-out, including analysing the RFP/RFQ requirements, writing non-technical portions, editing and organization of materials and ensuring compliance with corporate standards as well as participating in debriefs.
Furthermore, he works with technical specialists to develop proposal schedules and ensure strict adherence to these schedules, leads and participates in stage review meetings; reviews proposals and ensure all proposals are completed on time and compliant with corporate policies; drives and champions best practice bidding/proposal development and improves efficiency and effectiveness of bidding including pricing; and is responsible for high-level large project contract negotiations.
He holds a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from University of Pretoria (South Africa), which specifically focused on the successful management of diverse engineering teams in an international environment. This smoothed the progress of his active participation in the management team of Zutari by implementing specific international strategic group growth decisions. Moreover, he was directly responsible for the regional offices and operations in Great Africa.
He also headed up the strategic and business development initiatives in Great Africa which included numerous countries including Cameroon, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and the DRC. The staff complement contributing to his West Africa business unit within the group totals approximately 470 professionals.
Commensurate to his business development duties within Zutari, he created a local Angolan firm for Zutari fully owned by Angolan Nationals, ce AFRICON Lda, which he still leads as General Director.
He is fully compliant with the requirements of multilateral funding agencies including the World Bank, European Union and the African Development Bank. By working in association with a number of international consultants, funding agencies and major international contractors, resulted in gaining in-depth experience with the interpretation and application of various internationally accepted standard specifications, contractual documents, funding agencies’ requirements and FIDIC contractual conditions.