Featured Speakers

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José Eduardo Agualusa

Agualusa is an Angolan journalist and writer of Portuguese and Brazilian descent. His book A General Theory of Oblivion was nominated for the 2016 Booker Prize and his earlier novel The Book of Chameleons won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize after its 2007 translation.

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Renaud Barret

Renaud Barret is a French film director, writer and sound engineer, known for Benda Bilili! (2010), Victoire Terminus, Kinshasa (2008) and Système K (2019).

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Violaine Binet

Violaine Binet is a French writer and editor. She was Editor in Chief of the Literature section for French Vogue for 13 years, and authored Diane Arbus, a groundbreaking biography of the iconic 20th century photographer. 

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Rokhaya Diallo

Rokhaya Diallo, is a French journalist, author, filmmaker, and activist for racial, gender and religious equality. She is a BET-France host and has produced and/or directed documentaries, TV and radio programs.

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Yvonne Ike Fasinro

Yvonne Ike Fasinro holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics. She started her career as an auditor with Ernst and Young International and has been an FSA registered representative since 1994. She was a Managing Director at JP Morgan, where she spent 15 years of her career until 2009. She founded the Adara Foundation, a nonprofit social enterprise that seeks to contribute to Africa’s development by catalyzing the transformation of women, education and African art.

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Rakia Finley

Rakia Finley is an American software executive, Women in Tech Leader, full-stack developer, Salesforce MVP, mother, private investor, and philanthropist. She is best known for her work with the Obama Administration on their "Girls in STEM" initiative and was named FemTech's 2016 & 2017 Powerful Woman Programmer.

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Claude Grunitzky

Claude founded TRACE and TRUE Africa, a media tech platform championing young African voices all over the world. In 2017, TRUE Africa was funded by Google’s Digital News Initiative. TRACE, which now reaches an audience of more than 200 million people across 160 countries, was successfully sold to a French investor group in 2010. Grunitzky was raised between Lomé, Togo; Washington, DC; Paris and London. Growing up, Grunitzky, who speaks six languages and carries three passports, was exposed to many different cultures. These foreign interactions shaped his transcultural philosophy and informed the creative energy of his media and communications ventures.

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Misan Harriman

Misan Harriman is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of What We Seee, a network of over 27 media brands across web and social platforms reaching over 300 million people around the world. It has clocked up over 2 billion video views in the last two years. What We Seee aims to fulfil the cultural promise of the internet: to surface and amplify uplifting and inspirational stories in a curated stream of the best output from a diverse, eclectic and exclusive array of voices, artists, archives and brands raising the tone of online conversation.

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Abubakar Adam Ibrahim

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim is a Nigerian creative writer and journalist. He was described by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle as a northern Nigerian "literary provocateur" amidst the international acclaim his award-winning novel Season of Crimson Blossoms received in 2016.

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Max Lobe

Max Lobe is a Cameroonian-born author based in Switzerland. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Prix de la Sorge (2009) and the Ahmadou-Kourouma Prize for his novel Confidences in 2017.

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Melina Matsoukas is a music video, film, commercial and television director. She is a two-time Grammy Award winner and four-time MTV Video Music Awards winner for her "We Found Love" and "Formation" music videos. In 2016 and 2017, Matsoukas directed several episodes of the critically and publicly acclaimed television series Master of None and Insecure. Matsoukas made her directorial debut in film with Queen & Slim, starring Jodie Turner-Smith and Daniel Kaluuya, and written by Lena Waithe. It was released on November 27, 2019, by Universal Pictures.

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Enuma Okoro

A Nigerian-American writer, lecturer and creative consultant, her work explores Identity, Arts and Culture, Africa and the Diaspora, and the transforming Power of Story and Narrative. Raised in Cote D’Ivoire, England, North America and Nigeria, she speaks, lectures and presents globally at universities, organizations, corporate institutions, and conferences. Her TED talk focused on Global perceptions of women, identity and the power of cultural diversity. In 2018 she was listed as one of 100 Most Inspiring Women in Nigeria. Currently at work on a novel, Okoro has published four books of nonfiction, and her articles and essays have been featured in The New York Times, CNN African Voices, AEON Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, The UK and US Guardian, The Washington Post, Essence Magazine, and other media outlets. We are thrilled to count her among the AFRƎE culture Literary committee.

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Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor was born in Kenya. She is the author of the novel Dust, which was shortlisted for the Folio Prize. Winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing, she has also received an Iowa Writers’ Fellowship. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s and other publications, and she has been a TEDx Nairobi speaker and a Lannan Foundation resident.

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Gil Robertson IV

Gil Robertson IV is a journalist, film critic, and bestselling editor of 3 anthologies that examine black life in America. A veteran entertainment and lifestyle journalist, he is also the founder and president of the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA).

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Taiye Selasi

Taiye Selasi is an author, photographer and screenwriter. Her novel Ghana Must Go received praise from the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian. Her iconic TED talk "Don't ask me where I'm from, ask where I'm local" has garnered over 3 million views.

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Isha Sesay

Isha Sesay is an American journalist of Sierra Leonean and British descent. From 2005 to 2018, she worked as an anchor and correspondent for CNN International. In addition, she was the presenter of the 360 Bulletin on Anderson Cooper 360°. She left CNN in 2018 to support a girls education project called W.E. Can Lead for African girls, to write her book Beneath the Tamarind Tree: A Story of Courage, Family, and The Lost Schoolgirls of Boko Haram, and to follow various other personal projects.

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Adrianne Smith

Adrianne is the Founder and Visionary of the Can: Diversity Collective, a non-profit organization created to provide access and exposure to young adults of color and under-represented communities to global thought leadership conferences on advertising, marketing, creativity, economics, innovation, and technology. In 2017, she launched the first iteration of the Diversity Collective, the Cannes Can: Diversity Collective (CC:DC) which provides rising stars in the advertising and creative industry the opportunity to attend and participate in the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

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Chika Unigwe

Chika Unigwe is a Nigerian-born Igbo author who writes in English and Dutch. In April 2014 she was selected for the Hay Festival’s Africa39 list of 39 sub-Saharan African writers aged under 40 with potential and talent to define future trends in African literature.

 

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