Profile of Keynote Speaker, Alhaji Bature Masari

Alhaji Bature Umar Masari is the Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN). He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications and Masters Degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy.

A former Special Assistant to former House of Representatives Speaker, Alhaji Bello Aminu Masari, Alhaji Masari veered into active politics in 2004 and served as Sole Administrator and Executive Chairman of Kafur Local Government at various times. He was also Special Adviser to the Katsina State Governor on Employment Promotion and Vocational Training and later Poverty Alleviation, prior to his current appointment as Director General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
An erudite Journalist, entrepreneur and administrator, Alhaji Masari worked at various times in different capacities with the defunct Democrat Newspapers, Thisday Newspapers and the Nigeria Customs Service where he distinguished himself. He is a member of notable professional bodies including the Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM) and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and has participated in several local and international conferences and seminars.



Profile of Prof. Sarah Olanrewaju Anyanwu

Mrs. Sarah Olanrewaju Anyanwu is a Professor of Development Economics, Head of Department of Economics, University of Abuja. A former Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Gender and Development Issues, Prof. Anyanwu is a widely respected academic who began her teaching career at the General Murtala Mohamed College, Yola in 1981 before joining the Federal University of Technology, Yola, now Modibbo Adama University of Technology as Assistant Lecturer in 1982.

Her research interests include macro-economic analysis, poverty reduction, public sector economics, gender, project monitoring and evaluation/ impact assessment, trade promotion, strategic planning, public financial management, human resource and industrial economics and service delivery.

Prof Anyanwu is a life member of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES) and member, Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), African Institute of Applied Economics (AIAE) and Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG). She has served as Consultant to the British Council, World Bank, International Labour Organization (ILO), European Union (EU), and various MDAs.

A former Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship Development, University of Abuja, Prof Anyanwu has over 30 years experience in the university system with many publications in national and international journals to her credit.

Profile of Dr. Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien

 Dr. Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien is the President/Founder of Growing Businesses Foundation (GBF) established in 1999 to promote sustainable economic development. GBF is acknowledged as the largest 'Bottom of the Pyramid Platform' in Nigeria, managing CSR projects for multinational corporations across 37 states.

She has over 20 years professional experience in corporate strategy and sustainability, corporate governance, impact investments, microfinance and rural development, funds management and enterprise development spanning the private sector, public sector and the civil society.

Dr Nnoli-Edozien served the public sector as the CEO of Strategy & Execution Limited, engaged by the Federal Government to develop private-sector driven policies and programmes in Commercial Agriculture, Job Creation, Aviation, Power, Water Resources, Education, Telecommunications and Universal Service Provision since 2008.

Her appointments include director-level roles at Sectrust Asset Management, Nigerian Communications Commission, Interswitch Financial Inclusion Services and AB Microfinance Bank as a board member representing IFC. She pioneered some of the largest civil society-driven entrepreneurship development initiatives in Nigeria and her status as a social entrepreneur was recognized by the Bertelsmann AG to which she is affiliated as a Reinhard Mohn Fellow. She was a member of the Delta State Economic Advisory Team, the Lagos Angels Network including appointment to the Presidential Committees on Job Creation, Flood Relief and Rehabilitation.

An alumna of the London School of Economics with executive education from INSEAD and Wharton, she holds a PhD focused on corporate governance and sustainability in traditional African businesses from Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universitaet Frankfurt, Germany. Prior to her PhD, she served as Senior Lecturer of Business Ethics at the Lagos Business School and authored several articles and books including “Ownership and management structures in the economy”.

Profile of Prof. Julius Ihonvbere

Prof Julius Omozuanvbo Ihonvbere is Secretary to the Edo State Government. A former Special Adviser on Programme and Policy Monitoring to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, he holds a PhD in Political Economy from the University of Toronto, Canada.

Prof Ihonvbere began his professional career at the University of Ife, his alma mater, as an assistant lecturer on International Relations and lectured in several reputable academic institutions including the University of Port-Harcourt, the University of Toronto and Houston-Tillotson College, Austin, Texas, USA before joining the Ford Foundation as a Programme Officer on Governance and Civil Society.

His realm of expertise spans Africa with research experience in Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe covering African economic crisis, politics of oil, Nigeria's foreign policy, environmental degradation, ethnic and religious violence and democracy. His style of scholarship has been referred to as progressive in its avoidance of a historical ideal as its benchmark and thus linking theory to practice, therein shunning scholarship as an end in itself.

Professor Ihonvbere is also an award-winning academic and human rights activist, the recipient of the First Mario Zamora Memorial Award from the Association of Third World Studies. A prolific author, his works include: Labour, Capital and the State of Nigeria's Oil Industry (1998); Economic Crisis, Civil Society and Democratization: The Case of Zambia (Africa World Press 1996); and Nigeria: The Politics of Adjustment and Democracy (Transaction 1994).

Professor Ihonvbere' ability to translate theory to practice is further exhibited in his political activism. He was a profound participant at the Nigerian Diaspora pro-democracy movement as Vice President of the United Democratic Front for Nigeria as well as involved with Radio Democracy International, later Radio Kudirat. While with the Ford Foundation, he enabled the empowerment of many, notably in Africa, by availing funds to a substantial number of projects with a mandate to addressing the issues of centrality in the region. In so doing, Professor Ihonvbere contributed to enhancing the reputation of the Foundation with regards to its commitment to Africa.