Speakers

 

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View our lineup of speakers who are thought leaders, innovators, and visionaries in their respective fields.

Lavina Ramkissoon

Lavina Ramkissoon

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Lavina Ramkissoon, is a tech Advisor to the African Union. She is also the Chairperson of the Board at Fintech Association of South Africa, as well as a former Managing Director at Founder Institute. She has over two decades of IT leadership expertise, with extensive experience across Africa and Europe. She’s an adept strategist driving AI solutions, digital transition, and technology adaptation across sectors like Agritech, Fintech, Healthtech.

Abdoulaye Diack

Abdoulaye Diack

PANELIST

A Program Manager for Google AI 🤖 in Accra, where he leads talent building programs and applied AI research projects. He was previously a Program Manager for Google Brain 🧠. With expertise in AI/ML research and research Ops, Abdoulaye has accumulated more than 20 years of engineering and management experience in various countries, focusing on mobile financial services, payments, and big data solutions for Telcos. He holds a BSc degree in Computer Science from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, and is originally from Senegal. In his current role, Abdoulaye is part of a team that focuses on AI impact-driven research and innovation, with a particular focus on sustainable development in Africa.

Pelonomi Moiloa

Pelonomi Moiloa

PANELIST

Pelonomi is a visionary data scientist with 8 years of experience leading machine learning solutions in finance. Holding Biomedical and Electrical Engineering degrees, she earned an MSc from Tohoku University, researching deep learning applications for neurophysiology. As CEO of Lelapa AI, a socially grounded research lab, she drives AI for Africans by Africans to enhance the continent’s quality of life. An ardent community organizer, Pelonomi co-directs The Ungovernable NPC, empowering youth through initiatives like the Code Kamoso coding academy and a community garden. Her passion for connection and community informs her quest for a better future.

Bonaventure Dossou

Bonaventure Dossou

PANELIST

Bonaventure Dossou is a Ph.D. student at McGill University, specializing in Deep Learning for Computer Vision and NLP. With a strong academic background in Mathematics and Computer Science, he holds degrees from Kazan Federal University, Russia, and Jacobs University Bremen, Germany. Bonaventure is currently conducting research at the Research Center of Intelligent Machines, focusing on Probabilistic Vision under the supervision of Prof. Tal Arbel. He has also contributed to projects in Drug Discovery using Deep Learning at Mila Quebec AI Institute and worked as an NLP Data Scientist at Roche Canada and a Research Scientist at ModelisLabs, tackling Health/Pharma-related challenges.

Additionally, Bonaventure is also a research scientist at Lelapa AI and is passionate about developing NLP language technologies for low-resourced Sub-Saharan languages and has created Afro-centric NLP systems like FFRTranslate, AfroLM, and the Okwugbe ASR Python library.

Dr. Tobi Olatunji

Dr. Tobi Olatunji

PANELIST

Tobi Olatunji is a physician turned Machine Learning Scientist focused on Clinical Natural Language Processing (NLP). He founded Intron, Africa’s first speech-powered medical record, accelerating the transition to digitized care for clinicians of all typing speeds. Intron provides technology infrastructure and financing that eliminates technology adoption barriers. Over the past decade, he has worked as a Clinical NLP Scientist at Health AI, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon, the world’s largest employer; Enlitic Inc, a Radiology AI startup in San Francisco; Cambia Health Solutions, a 100+-year-old health insurance provider in the pacific northwest; and consulted for various startups and healthcare institutions in the US and Africa. His research cuts across accented speech recognition, algorithmic bias, neural and ontology-augmented information retrieval, negation & uncertainty detection in radiology reports; Radiogenomic multi-modal models combining imaging (pathology and radiology), genomics (RNA, DNA), unstructured text, and cancer biomarkers to create learnable patient representations. He has published at Neurips, MIDL, EMNLP, and other machine learning conferences/workshops.

Samuel Osei Afriyie

Samuel Osei Afriyie

PANELIST

Samuel Osei Afriyie is a passionate IT professional specializing in enterprise solutions. With extensive certifications in enterprise technologies, he excels in directing teams and providing IT guidance. He has a strong expertise in end-to-end data science architecture, machine and deep learning workflows, cloud and traditional infrastructure, hybrid IT, and DevOps systems.

Samuel has served as a trusted adviser to numerous Fortune 100 enterprise IT leaders, offering valuable insights and strategic direction. With a focus on making technology more accessible and equitable, Samuel is dedicated to building an ecosystem that will revolutionize the tech industry in developing nations.

Eliot Pence

Eliot Pence

PITCH JUDGE

Eliot is the Chief Commercial Officer of Cambium, a venture-backed company that develops next generation high performance materials and products for aerospace and defense. Most recently, Eliot led global growth for Anduril Industries, a defense technology company. As one of the first business development hires at Anduril, he created the international GTM strategy and led its execution, bootstrapping international growth and hiring a team of business leaders in three continents. After leaving Anduril, Eliot founded Tofino Capital, a venture capital firm investing in frontier markets. Prior to Tofino and Anduril, Eliot was a senior director at McLarty Associates, an advisory firm. He is a member of the United States Trade Representative’s Advisory Committee on Africa and a 2021-2022 international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Eliot received his M.A. from Yale and B.A. from University of Victoria. He is based in Washington, DC.

Dr. Chinasa T. Okolo

Dr. Chinasa T. Okolo

PITCH JUDGE

Chinasa has a Computer Science PhD from Cornell University, with a specialization in explainable AI, global health, and ICT for development. She has conducted research in software engineering, human-computer interaction, and bioimaging while studying abroad in Budapest and leading campus organizations.

Her research focused on ethnographic methods to understand how rural healthcare workers in India perceive AI. She also contributes to projects examining FATE in AI-enabled technologies in emerging markets, particularly in healthcare. She is dedicated to promoting representation and involvement of marginalized populations in AI systems. Outside of academia, she enjoys reading, providing startup advisory services, and making micro-investments in tech startups.

Aramide Abe

Aramide Abe

PITCH JUDGE

Aramide Abe champions African entrepreneurship for economic growth. Managing a €7.5M fund from Europe, she bolsters businesses in Climate Adaptation across Africa.

A tech-savvy computer scientist with an INSEAD MBA, Aramide strategically led projects for ETI-Ecobank Group across 36 countries.

A mentor and influencer, she guides entrepreneurs through Google and Microsoft programs, while shaping policies on the UN committee for private sector development and AfCFTA.

Ope Awoyemi

Ope Awoyemi

PITCH JUDGE

Opeyemi is a Nigerian serial technology entrepreneur and investor, currently serving as the General Partner of Fast Forward, an impact venture studio and pre-seed fund. He co-founded Moneymie, a neobank for immigrants, and is recognized for his role as a co-founder of Jobberman, the largest online recruitment platform in Africa. Opeyemi played a crucial part in the success of Jobberman and its acquisition by Ringier One Africa Media (ROAM), where he served as Head of Jobs division across multiple countries. Additionally, he briefly worked at Indeed, leading teams in the areas of Jobseeker APIs and Gigs. Opeyemi’s work has garnered recognition from prominent sources such as Mark Zuckerberg, and he has made significant investments in over 50 tech startups while also serving as a Venture Partner and advisor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering and has participated in executive education programs at reputable institutions like CIO Institute, Haas Business School, and Wharton Business School.

Zion Pibowei

Zion Pibowei

WORKSHOP FACILITATOR

Zion is a data science technical leader and AI practitioner with rich experience across data analytics, machine learning, natural language processing and computer vision. He leads the data and AI practice at Periculum Nigeria, building data analytics solutions and AI products that enable businesses and individuals to automate process and make better and faster decisions with data. He has developed cutting edge Generative AI products, leveraging the latest advances in large language models and generative deep learning. Outside of work, he enjoys playing chess and table tennis.

Chris Adolphus

Chris Adolphus

WORKSHOP FACILITATOR

Chris is an experienced digital product enthusiast, with over half a decade of experience at the intersection of design, product development and strategy. Throughout his career, he has successfully collaborated with various brands and government institutions to develop solutions across different industries. He is also the CEO and co-founder of http://CoverAI.co, where he leverages AI to provide job seekers with solutions that give them competitive advantage in the job market. Currently focused on bridging the gap between digital experiences and artificial intelligence, Chris continues to research and drive solutions and conversations to create meaningful impacts with AI.