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Nejat Abdella

Analyst, Dalberg Advisers, Ethiopia

Nejat Abdella works as an analyst at Dalberg Advisers, a leading strategy consulting firm focused on international development based in Addis Ababa. At Dalberg, Nejat specializes in the areas of humanitarian assistance, food security and migration.


Nejat is also the co-deputy of Dalberg’s global Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance practice area (CSHA). Her recent engagements at Dalberg include carrying out a business review for the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) Community Based Complementary Feeding Program in Ethiopia and conducting a Sustainability Assessment of NTD programs in Ethiopia for the Ministry of Health.

Prior to joining Dalberg, Nejat worked with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNWOMEN), International Labor Organization (ILO), Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA) and the African Union Commission (AUC).  She also maintains active involvement in her community, currently serving as one of the co-founders of Megengana- a professional development platform aimed at fostering career development, matching demand and supply for skilled talent, promoting valuable career advice, building networks, and delivering social enrichment to its members. Nejat was a Chevening Scholar at the London School of Economics and a Global Citizen Scholar at Trent University, Canada.

Noura Alj

Chargée de Mission, SANAM Holding, Morocco

Noura Alj is currently project manager for a leading food industry group in Casablanca, Morocco. Prior to this she was part of a business unit implementation at Henry Schein, a leading medical distributor present in over 190 countries, that offers industry-leading solutions and services for dental practices in the UK.


Her previous professional experience includes coordinating conferences in Africa to promote tourism. While completing her Bachelors of Science Degree with a concentration in Tourism Development at New York University, Noura worked for a restaurant group with ambitions to grow and develop internationally.

Joana Ama Osei-Tutu

Head of Women Peace and Security Institute, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Ghana

Joana Ama Osei-Tutu is the Head of the Women Peace and Security Institute at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC) in Accra, Ghana. Prior to this she was a Deputy Program Head and Research Associate at the Peace and Security Studies Program of the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the KAIPTC.


Joana’s research work has focused on maritime (in) security; transnational organized crimes; the protection of civilians; and natural resource management and its security implications.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Psychology from the University of Ghana, and a Masters in International Studies (Development Cooperation) from the Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea. She has also worked with the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of Ghana as an administrative officer on an educational reform committee and later as a Confidential Executive Assistant to the Permanent Secretary. Joana speaks English fluently and minimal French.

Iraís Avilés García

Head of Multilateral Cultural Cooperation, Ministry of Culture, Mexico

Iraís Avilés García is the Head of Multilateral Cultural Cooperation at the Mexican Ministry of Culture. She is an Internationalist with more of 11 years of expertise in international cultural cooperation and with wide knowledge of geo-policy and international global agenda, as well as cultural topics.


She holds a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations and a Diploma in Public International Law, both from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. At present, she is working on his Master's degree in Cultural Management and Sustainable Development at Ortega y Gasset Institute Mexico. She is currently head of Multilateral Cultural Cooperation at the Ministry of Culture of Mexico. She also has worked at Mexican National Institute of Fine Arts as a Liaison of International Cooperation. She is interested in working on cultural issues and topics of international relevance and wish to continue further professional development in a global working context.

Touria Benlafqih

Founder and CEO, EMPEOPLE Sales Incubator, Morocco

Touria Benlafqih is a young activist that focuses on the role of youth in poverty reduction and social inclusion in Africa. She has been involved with social entrepreneurship and empowerment of youth and women for the past 12 years.


Working with non-profit organizations as a volunteer, a professional and a consultant, and with over 5 years focus on youth employability to solve one of the biggest issues of Africa : unemployment. In 2015, she created SIDE, Social Impact and Development Employment, a social business focused on youth employment, through volunteering programs for soft skills building, incubating early stage young social entrepreneurs to reach a scaling level, and providing HR services to companies who are looking for employable profiles. In 2016, she launched EMPEOPLE, that stands for Empower People, a sales incubator created by a group of business experts and consultants who mentored over 100 small business owners over 3 years in Morocco, this business and skills incubator focuses on capacity building of entrepreneurs and young business owners, scaling of those businesses to create sustainable jobs for unemployed youth. EMPEOPLE mentored 6 companies and cooperatives, and helped create 20 new jobs for youth, 7 of them are for youth at risk, who were not in education, training or employment.

In Healthcare, She started another social business, Al Maghreb Qudurat, a company that provides training and counceling for care giviers and professionals who work with kids with autism in Morocco. The company is working on creating a library for therapy tools and educational materials to provide to low income families who are supporting huge expenses because of autism. Touria worked on women empowerment, education, youth engagement in public affairs, rural development, oasis preservation, to finally focus her energy on youth empowerment.

She is the former Program Director of Enactus Morocco, where she monitors the progress of 200 projects of teams of social entrepreneurs in 80 campuses of universities and vocational training centers, and accelerated 10 of them to become strong SMEs. Touria was previously the administrative and financial assistant of project conducted by the UNDP, related to Climate Change Adaptation in Oasis Areas in Morocco.

Jessica Berlin

Founder and Managing Director, CoStruct, Germany

Jessica Berlin is the founder and managing director of CoStruct, a strategy consultancy working at the intersection of business, technology, and economic development. CoStruct consults public, private, and nonprofit organizations on innovation strategy, program design for tech and entrepreneurship initiatives, and market entry in emerging and frontier markets.


An international policy expert turned entrepreneur, Jessica's passion for advancing sustainable business and tech solutions stems from her prior work in security, foreign policy, and development aid. She has lived and worked in Afghanistan, China, Germany, Myanmar, Rwanda, the UK, and the US. Her crosscutting experience gives her unique insight into the challenges and opportunities of building international partnerships to address interconnected global challenges.

In addition to founding CoStruct, Jessica is co-founder of MakerNet, an international consortium fostering networked local manufacture and digital design; BerLink, a business consortium linking the Berlin tech ecosystem to emerging innovation ecosystems in other countries; and Die Brückenbauer, a nonprofit initiative scaling economic and cultural inclusion programs to underprivileged communities in Germany. She holds an M.Sc. in Political Economy of Emerging Markets from King's College London and a B.A. in International Relations from Tufts University.

Reda Berrehili

Entrepreneur, CTO, onefinestay, Morocco

Reda Berrehili is the creator of startups including MixoTV and Tumbup. Réda is a veteran entrepreneur with experience across a variety of tech fields. Previously co-founder and CTO at Squarebreak.


He graduated with an MEng in Computer Science from INSA Lyon. Le Point has described him as a ‘French Mark Zuckerberg’ and the Challenge magazine as a 'Moroccan Mark Zuckerberg'. In 2015 he was made President of the Jury at La French Tech, a government-run entrepreneurship initiative.

His latest company, Squarebreak, got acquired by Accorhotels to join forces as CTO of onefinestay, the world leader in Luxury Private Rental. Réda is now active driving innovation and technology in the private rental world as much as investing in new startups as a Business Angel.

Bertrand Bio Mama

Research Officer, Presidency of Benin, Benin

Bertrand Bio Mama is an impact evaluation economist. He completed a Master’s degree in Public Economy and Applied Statistics at African School of Economics (ASE). He holds a good experience in designing, planning, implementing and evaluating projects, programs and public policies.


He has worked with organizations such as the Institute for Empirical Research in Political Economy, the Benin Prime Minister’s Office, the Presidency of Benin and the International Initiative of Impact Evaluation (3IE) to promote the use of impact evaluation as an evidence based policy making tool in Africa. Bio is also involved in community services. With respect to that, since April 2017, he is the Chairman of the executive board of the association “Youth Action Su Da”, an association of young Beninese who are part of a dynamic reflection action in favor of community services. Convinced that no development is possible without the implementation of effective public policies, Bio advocates for actions recognized as effective to meet the post-2015 agenda goals.

Cristian Botan

President, Coalition for Digital Economy, Romania

Cristian Botan is a digital entrepreneur and open government activist. After two years working on anti-corruption for Transparency International, Cristian launched an innovative, award-winning digital initiative aimed at combating nepotism in public sector recruitment in Romania.


He was then invited to join the Prime Minister’s new team focusing on digital government. He spent almost five years, working for three Prime Ministers. For his work on government transparency and integrity, he was included in New Europe 100, a list of the most important innovators in Central and Eastern Europe published by Google, Financial Times and other institutions in the region. As of September 2017, he’s the president of the Romanian Coalition for Digital Economy.

Anabella C Ron

Strategic Consultant, Analytical Contractual, Inter-American Development Bank, Venezuela

Anabella C Ron graduated as both an economist and industrial engineer, since then her professional and academic career have been focused on International Development. 


She first worked at the Organization of American States in the Secretariat of Integral Development, and then at the Strategic Planning and Development Effectiveness Office in the Inter-American Development Bank, where she is currently laboring with a focus on the assessment of development projects in Latin-America and the Caribbean. Currently, she is a fellow for the TFAS Public Policy Program in Washington, DC.