Judges

We have assembled a diverse panel of judges who have a passion for Africa’s development in the context of technology, social and economic impact. They will help to select the top 10 most inspiring success stories that have been powered by the web in Africa. Learn more about the judges below. You can also find the criteria they will use in selecting finalists in the terms & conditions.

Adiel A. Akplogan

AFRINIC Ltd, African Network Information Centre (AfriNIC)

Adiel is an Electrical Engineer and holds a M.Sc. in E-Business and New Technology Management. A writer and a speaker, he is the C.E.O of AFRINIC Ltd., the Internet Numbers Resource Registry for Africa since 2004.

He has more than 15 years experience in the Internet Industry, he has previously worked as New Technology Director at CAFENet in Togo, which was the first private and independent Internet Service Provider that he pioneered in the West African region. Then as Information Systems Manager of Symbol Technologies in France.

He has served as member of the UN Secretary General Internet Governance Forum Advisors Group, in the African Technical Advisory Committee of the United Nation Economic Commission for Africa and in the OIF (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie) group of Expert on Internet Governance since 1999. Mr. Akplogan has served as the Chair of the Number Resource Organization Executive Council in 2009 and was involved with the setting up of several technical coordination bodies in Africa such as the African Network Operators Group (AfNOG) where he serves as a member of the Administrative committee.

Nardos Bekele Thomas

Resident Coordinator / Head of the U.N. System in Kenya, United Nations Development Program

Ms. Nardos Bekele-Thomas is the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system in Kenya. She is a seasoned and experienced UN official and was until recently serving in a similar capacity in Benin.

Nardos has conducted extensive research on private sector development, supported the strengthening of African business associations, provided advisory services and played advocacy role in the promotion of women and youth empowerment and the development and management of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises. Based on her strong belief, she has carried out policy studies and developed programs on the promotion of entrepreneurship and business skills training for employment and job creation. As Chief Technical Advisor, she has served the Government of Uganda (1994-98), and played an advocacy and advisory role in favor of youth enterprise development, private sector development, rural socio-economic transformation and effective Decentralized Governance.

Mrs. Bekele-Thomas has a Master’s Degree in Economic Development, Monetary Economics and Econometrics from New York University (NYU) and a Ph.D candidate also at NYU. She is the author of several papers and monographs and she is fully bilingual in French and English.

Dr. Towela Nyirenda Jare

NEPAD e-Africa Programme, New Partnerships for African Development (NEPAD)

Dr Jere holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kansas, an ACCA Diploma in Financial Management and is a qualified Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute (USA). She is currently the Programmes Manager with the NEPAD e-Africa Programme at the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA). Prior to this appointment she was the Projects Coordinator at the Malawi Polytechnic, University of Malawi the latter of which she was a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering.

She’s also held the position of Technical Director at ICT Networks Ltd, based in Malawi, where she managed several large ICT installations in the banking, academic and public sectors in Malawi. She has served as a United Nations Volunteer with the Cisco Networking Academy Program and as a facilitator for the British Council InterAction Leadership Program. A trustee of the Malawi Women in Science and Technology Network, Dr. Towela sits on the Malawi ICT advisory board and she’s also a member of several Engineering and Internet Institutions across the globe, such as the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Temilola Balogun

Radio personality, fashion photographer and singer with her band Soyinka’s Afro, Cool FM, Nigeria

Temi is multi talented. She has worked on plays, award winning films,in advertising and various radio stations. A t-shirt designer, Temi also known as Taymi B and Taymilistic, Taymi on air is a very complicated yet simple person, friendly and a tad bit crazy.

She studied across the world, from Austria to Trent University in the U.K studying media and creative industries to Queens college in Nigeria. A huge Ryan Seacrest and Marilyn Monroe fan, she believes that Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.

Leslie Sedibe

CEO, Proudly South African

Leslie is an admitted advocate for the High Court of South Africa. He holds a BA, LLB, LLM (Tax) from Wits University. Prior to joining Proudly South African as CEO, Adv Sedibe served as Head of Legal for the 2010 FIFA World Cup organising committee: South Africa. He later became the CEO of the South African Football Association during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Adv Sedibe has served on Boards of various companies including EMI, the SABC, SAFA and the 2010 FIFA World Cup LOC. He also served on the Film and Publication Board as the Deputy Chairperson and Chaired the Board of the Recording Industry of South Africa and the South African Music Awards. During his tenure at the World Cup, Adv Sedibe also served as chairperson of the National Rights Protection Program.

Wallace Kantai

Editor, Nairobi TV (NTV) - Nation Media Group

Wallace is the Business Editor at NTV, one of Kenya’s leading television stations, and part of the Nation Media Group, East Africa’s biggest and most respected media company. He also serves as host of the ‘NTV Business Agenda’, the highest rated business programme on Kenyan television, as well as being an anchor for the news bulletins.

Wallace is a columnist for the Business Daily and the East African, and has been a columnist for the Sunday Standard, and written for all of Kenya’s leading print publications, including the Daily Nation, Adam magazine and Sokoni magazine. He was the host of the well-received ‘The Platform’ talk show on the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, as well as being an analyst on CNBC Africa. He has appeared on BBC World Service television, the South African Broadcasting Corporation and BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. He created, wrote and produced the acclaimed ‘Top 40 Under 40’ series on the Kenya Television Network. He also edited the ‘Policy’ magazine for the Institute of Economic Affairs. He has held roles in the information technology, non-profit and public relations fields in Kenya, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Franklin Leonard

Hollywood Film Exec, Founder, The Black List

Franklin Leonard is the founder of the Black List, the yearly publication highlighting Hollywood’s most popular unproduced screenplays and the startup birthed to continue its mission. Over 225 Black List scripts have been produced as feature films earning more than 175 Academy Award nominations including three of the last five Best Pictures and seven of the last twelve screenwriting Oscars. Franklin has worked in development at Universal Pictures and the production companies of Will Smith, Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella, Leonardo DiCaprio, and John Goldwyn. Since 2010, he has been named one of Hollywood Reporter’s 35 Under 35, Black Enterprise magazine’s “40 Emerging Leaders for Our Future,” AOL Black Voices “30 Black Hollywood Game Changers,” the Wrap’s “12 Innovators Who Are Changing Hollywood,” and Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business.”

MI Abaga

Musician/Artist + UN Ambassador, Chocolate City

M.I, born Jude Abaga is a Chocolate City signee, Vice President of the Chocolate City Group, and a founder of the Loopy Music entertainment company. In 2013, M.I became an ambassador for the Nigerian telecommunications giant, GLOBACOM and also emerged as the first Nigerian artist to become a Lagos State-Nigeria ambassador for Energy. He served as a moderator for the Lagos State, Governor Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, first ever Google+ Hangout, connecting citizens from Lagos and fans around the world to discuss energy conservation in Nigeria. He is also an advocate of the Jostified campaign against violence in Jos in his home state - Plateau State, Nigeria.

M.I, has won several prestigious awards including the Best New Act- MTV Africa in 2009, he was nominated for the Best International Act-BET Awards, 2010 and was appointed a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador in 2012.

Ory Okolloh

Director of Investments, Omidyar Network

As director of investments for Omidyar Network’s Government Transparency initiative in Africa, Ory brings a unique blend of experience in the fields of technology, transparency, public policy, and governance.

Prior to joining Omidyar Network, Ory was Google’s policy manager for sub-Saharan Africa. She was responsible for managing government relations and driving the implementation of policies that increased Internet access and supported the growth of local online content. Previously, Ory was at the forefront of developing technology innovation as a founding member of Ushahidi. Ory is also the co-founder of Mzalendo, a website that tracks the performance of Kenyan Members of Parliament. She is a board member of the Africa Media Initiative, a member of the World Bank’s Council of Eminent Persons, an advisory board member of Code for All, and a member of the World Bank Service Delivery Indicator Committee.

Doha Marzouk

Head, Marketing, Sub-Saharan Africa, Google

Ms Doha Marzouk is Regional Head of Marketing for Sub-Saharan Africa at Google and brings over 15 years experience identifying and commercialising consumer and business opportunities, designing regional marketing strategies and campaigns, and developing high-return growth strategies and partnerships.

Prior to joining Google, Ms Marzouk held various senior marketing, product innovation and business development roles at global industry leaders including Senior Director of Marketing for EMEA at Yahoo, Head of Innovation at Thomson Reuters, various senior marketing roles at Vodafone, and venture capital roles in the USA.

Ms. Marzouk holds a BA in Political Science from The American University in Cairo, Egypt, and a Master of Laws (LLM) in International Business Law from Lancaster University, UK.