Dr Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg


Dr Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg is the Director of African Women in Agricultural Research and  Development (AWARD). Wanjiru is also the Founder and past Executive Director of Akili Dada,  an award-winning leadership incubator with a mission to contribute to nurturing transformative  leadership in Africa’s girls and young women.

Dr Kamau-Rutenberg has received widespread recognition for her work investing in women,  including being honored as a White House Champion of Change, named one of the 100 Most  Influential Africans by New African magazine, recognized as a Ford Foundation Champion of  Democracy, awarded the United Nations Intercultural Innovation Award, and named one of  Kenya’s Top 40 Women Under Age 40 among others.  

Born in Kenya, Kamau-Rutenberg holds a PhD and a Master’s degree in Political Science from  the University of Minnesota, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics from Whitman College in  Washington, U.S.A. Dr Kamau-Rutenberg also served as an assistant professor of Politics at the  University of San Francisco and a lecturer in International Relations at the Jesuit Hekima  College, a constituent college of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. Her academic  research and teaching interests centered on African politics, gender, international relations,  ethnicity, and democratization, and the role of technology in social activism.

Professor Carlos Lopes


Professor Carlos Lopes is a Bissau-Guinean development economist and civil servant. He has occupied  several leadership positions across the UN system, including policy director for Secretary General Kofi Annan and executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa. Carlos  Lopes is an honorary professor at the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance based at  the University of Cape Town. In 2018 he was appointed High Representative of the Commission  of the African Union. 

Lopes took a PhD in history from the Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris, and has a research  master’s degree from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in  Geneva. He has honorary doctorates from Hawassa University in Ethiopia and from the  Universidade Cândido Mendes in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

From 1988, Professor Lopes held various positions with the UN. He has been a representative in Brazil as well as Zimbabwe; he was director of Political Affairs in the office of the Secretary-General, and he was director for Development Policy at the United Nations Development Programme. Carlos was also the director of the United Nations System Staff College as well as an Executive Director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.

Adnan Amin


Adnan Z. Amin is a development economist specializing in sustainable development and is a national of Kenya. Adnan Amin is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center working on the Geopolitics of the Energy Transition. Adnan has had a distinguished career at the United Nations, including most recently his appointment by the Secretary General of the UN as a member of his High-Level Advisory Group on Climate Change in September 2020. 

Adnan has served as the first Director General of the  International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and was granted the honorary title of Director-General Emeritus by the 2019 IRENA Assembly, in recognition of his leadership and outstanding service to the Agency. IRENA is the first universal treaty-based multilateral organization headquartered in the Middle East in Abu Dhabi, UAE, which participates regularly in the work of institutions such as the G7, G20 and the United Nations .  

Adnan Amin is currently the Chair of the Global Council on SDG 7, an initiative by the UAE to advance the implementation of the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda. He is a member of the OECD High Level Advisory Group on Aligning Development Co-operation with the Objectives of the Paris Agreement. He is also a Distinguished Fellow of the Atlantic Council, a member of the Jury of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, a member of the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee, a member of the Stanford University Global Energy Council and of the Global Commission to end Energy Poverty-MIT/Rockefeller Foundation. He was recently accorded an Honorary Professor of Practice at the University of Sussex Business School.

Clarisse Iribagiza


Clarisse Iribagiza is the CEO and Co-founder of DMM.HeHe (previously known as HeHelabs), a leading  technology company that develops innovative technologies that enable businesses to optimize  their operations and reach more customers anywhere and on the go. DMM.HeHe serves over 2  million users across Africa, enabling business to offer their products and services on-demand  and guaranteeing great customer experience to the last-mile. Her company has partnered with  GirlHub in an initiative that aims to inspire ambition in Rwandan girls. They teach them about  not just ICT, but technology and design in general and in critical thinking. Clarisse is one of the  UNCTAD‘s seven “eTrade for Women Advocates from the developing world” 

She founded her business in 2010 at the age of 22 as a junior at University of Rwanda’s College  of Science where she was pursuing a BSC in Computer Engineering. This was after a  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) incubation program. Clarisse is also a member of  the Presidential Youth Advisory Group at the African Development Bank.