ǼLEX 16th Annual Lecture: Meet The Speakers!

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Dr Segun Aina is a global professional banking leader, internationally rated fintech thought leader, ecosystem builder, change driver and respected futurist. He has three decades of distinguished banking career and voluntarily retired from active banking service after a six-year tenure as Bank MD/CEO.



He is also the inaugural Chairman of Global Council of Global Banking Education Standards Board (GBEStB) 2017 to date, former Chairman of Odua Investment Company Limited and past President of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN 2012 to 2014).

An innovation visionary who set up Fintech Associates Ltd as far back as 2002, he is founding President and Chairman BoT, Fintech Association of Nigeria (FINTECHNGR), initiator and founding President of the Africa Fintech Network (AFN), Founder/Chairman, The Fintech Institute (TFI) and Opolo Global Innovation Limited, and host of fintech related businesses. Dr. Aina who has been variously described as Nigeria’s finTech envoy and Africa’s Fintech Grandmaster incubated a number of successful fintech startups and sits on the Boards of various institutions in Banking, Insurance, Agriculture and Technology sectors. He also serves as a member of the UK-Africa Fintech Investment Group, a UK Govt initiative co-Chaired by the Lord Mayor of London and UK Prime Minister Ambassador for Business Fintech.

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Dr. Aina is a distinguished alumnus of University of Lagos, University of Ibadan, INSEAD France, Harvard Business School (HBS), IMD Switzerland, and the Lagos Business School (LBS).

His contributions to the academic sector is legendary – he was a member of the pioneer Advancement Board of Obafemi Awolowo University 2006 to 2012 and currently Chairman Advancement Board of Federal University of Technology Akure (2011 to date), co-Chairman National Think Tank on Research for Innovation and Policy (initiative of University of Ibadan Research Foundation of which he is a member) and Member, Osun State University Advancement Board.


Dr Aina is Fellow of London Institute of Banking and Finance, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators, Institute of Directors, Nigerian Institute of Management as well as Member, Toronto Region Board of Trade, Canada and Canadian Council for Africa.


He holds the Nigeria National honor of Officer of the Order of Federal Republic (OFR) since 2010 and has received honorary doctorate degrees from four renowned Universities.


He will be moderating the session at the 16th lecture.


Dawn is the government affairs and public policy lead for Google in Nigeria. In this role, she is focused on co-creating the structures, frameworks and programs that will accelerate digital transformation and the sustainable growth of the country’s digital economy.


Prior to Google, she was a consultant to government agencies, the private sector and development partners in West Africa, advising them on policy interventions and investments to address strategic priorities in technology, healthcare, finance, agriculture and broader socio-economic growth. She has also previously worked at a government agency in Abuja, Nigeria, and at the Office of Legal Affairs of INTERPOL in Lyon, France.


Dawn is a qualified lawyer and holds a master’s degree in international law with a public administration emphasis from Panthéon-Assas University in Paris.

Outside of work, she enjoys African literature and performing arts, travelling and volunteering on causes she is passionate about. She sits on the boards of two health-centered non-profits – Haima Health Initiative, which is working on bridging the blood supply gap across Nigeria, and Akena Plus Health, which is focused on evidence-based sustainable solutions for community health in West Africa.


Oswald is currently the Senior Special Assistant to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Digital Transformation. He is the lead on the Nigeria Startup Act (NSA) – a project that is strategic to the growth of Nigeria’s tech ecosystem and digital economy.  He is a member of the Presidential Council on Digital Economy and e-government.


Oswald is a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Edo Innovates – the engine hub to drive technology and innovation in Edo State by providing strategic policy guidance, leverage on skills development, investment promotion and tech advancement in the state.


He is the founder of DBH Africa – a building infrastructure and technology solutions provider in West Africa. He actively supports startups in business strategy, operations optimization, and technology.


His goal is to influence the economic narrative of Africa for good, through helping to build sustainable businesses that contribute to economic development, job creation, and thrive inclusively in an interactive ecosystem.


As an African who is passionate about addressing development issues, he believes that startups and SMEs must take the lead to unlock potential, drive, and sustain economic value on the continent. This is evident in his published body of works, primarily in his book – In Pursuit: Journeys in African Entrepreneurship. https://theinpursuitbook.com/


Guobadia holds a Masters in Telecommunications from Pace University and Bachelors in Biology from Wesley College.


Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, the Director General/Chief Executive Officer (DG/CEO) of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), is no doubt one of the ‘young turks’ spearheading the country’s aggressive drive to develop a world class IT industry. From his vantage position as DG of NITDA, the soft-spoken Abdullahi has been leading an explosive growth in the development of IT infrastructure and the Nigerian digital economy.


As Nigeria’s Chief Information Technology Officer (CITO), his unique and enviable personality has positioned him to be a role model for Nigerian youths who consider him “a worthy youth ambassador in governance”.


Mallam Abdullahi is a thoroughbred IT professional with an impressive resume in public and private sector IT development, policy formulation, and IT governance. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi. He holds various executive certificates from top-notch universities such as Harvard University, USA, University of Cambridge and Oxford University, UK. Mallam Abdullahi is also an alumnus of the prestigious IMD Business School, Switzerland and a trained strategist from the world-famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He equally holds many professional certifications in telecommunications, service management, networking and solution design.


Mallam Abdullahi, being the first Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) in Nigeria’s public sector, also has over 15 years of professional IT and management experience. He started his professional career at Galaxy Backbone Ltd where he served as a Network Engineer and Senior Network and Lead Solution Architect. In 2014, he joined the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a Technology Architect where he was part of the team that developed the bank’s Technology Architecture Repository (TAR) and executed software license rationalization that has increased cost savings for the bank in licensing annual subscription. He joined NITDA in 2017 as the Technical Assistant to Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, the then Director General/CEO and now Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy and has significantly contributed to the Agency’s growth and development.


Early 2020, when the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic presented a major challenge to all countries around the world, the distinguished strategist rose to the challenge by developing various digital educational content and accessed remotely by thousands of Nigerians as well as crafted remote working strategies to assist the government in continuing its public service to Nigerians. Mallam Abdullahi or simply ‘Kashifu’ as he is fondly called by friends, colleagues and associates, continues to provide able leadership to NITDA in discharging its onerous duty of catalysing the growth of the Nigerian IT sector and digital economy.


The ǼLEX Annual Lecture was instituted in commemoration of the ǼLEX partnership formed in 2004 and forms part of the firm’s commitment to raising awareness on critical economic, political, social and developmental issues in Africa.


The 2022 lecture builds on the successes of the past 15 editions during which ǼLEX has brought together distinguished speakers, panellists, and participants to dissect the various challenges facing Africa in leadership, politics, amongst other things, while proffering solutions to these challenges.


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