|AGENDA||SPEAKERS||SPONSORS AND PARTNERS|
UNEP FI hosted its Regional Roundtable on Sustainable Finance for Africa and Middle East as a virtual event on 22–23 June 2021, with the support of RepRisk. The virtual event helped define the role of banking, insurance and investment in shaping ambitious responsible and sustainable strategies to proactively address the challenges and opportunities of a green recovery whilst transitioning to a low-carbon, inclusive and sustainable future in Africa and Middle East.
Read the panel summaries here.
Regional Coordinator for MENA, UNEP FI
Nuran Atef is the Middle East and North Africa Regional Coordinator at the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). Atef has over 7 years of sustainable banking experience prior to joining the UNEP FI. Through her professional experience, Atef has been exposed to a spectrum of sustainability initiatives dealing with different sectors through the banking system. Atef’s experience entails social and environmental risk management, capacity building, and strategy development. Atef holds both a Bachelor’s Degree in Architectural Engineering, and a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Development, both from the American University in Cairo (AUC).
Programme Leader, UN Environment Programme’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative
Butch Bacani leads UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative (PSI), the largest collaboration between the UN and the insurance industry. Endorsed by the UN Secretary-General and insurance industry CEOs, the PSI is a global framework and initiative for the industry to address sustainability issues—as risk managers, insurers and investors—and to build resilient, inclusive and sustainable communities and economies.
Butch leads activities supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the Financial Stability Board’s climate risk disclosure recommendations (TCFD). These include a global initiative to develop “Insurance Sustainable Development Goals”, the largest gathering of insurers to pilot the TCFD recommendations, and working with the California Insurance Commissioner to develop the world’s first sustainable insurance roadmap. He co-led the development of the first global sustainability guide for the insurance business, led the creation of the Insurance Industry Development Goals for Cities, forged the PSI’s partnership with the world’s inclusive insurance community, and co-led the creation of UNEP’s Sustainable Insurance Forum for supervisors and regulators. Butch is involved in the InsuResilience Global Partnership, Vulnerable 20 Group of Finance Ministers, California Climate Insurance Working Group, Insurance Development Forum, and Microinsurance Network. In 2020, he was included in InsuranceERM’s inaugural list of the most influential people leading and shaping the insurance industry’s response to climate change.
Butch led the global process that created the PSI in 2012, and UNEP’s insurance and investment programmes from 2006 to 2010, including activities with the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative (PRI). He has shaped global insurance industry initiatives to address climate change, disaster risks, tobacco risks, illegal fishing and plastic pollution; and to protect natural and cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Butch has authored pioneering studies on sustainable insurance and responsible investment. Previously, he was in the insurance industry for over a decade, working with leading insurers and reinsurers worldwide.
Sustainable Finance Manager, Bank of Africa - BMCE Group
Amal Benaissa is Sustainable Finance Manager at Bank of Africa – BMCE Group, a regional leader and pioneer in sustainable and inclusive finance. Part of the Bank’s Sustainability team, Amal’s work involves developing innovative financial products, services and partnerships that yield positive environmental and/or social impacts. Amal further contributes to the implementation of the Sustainability & Climate Strategy across the Group, driven by the emergence of sustainable Impact-based financial innovations. In parallel, Amal Benaissa is particularly interested in how social enterprises can generate both financial and environmental/social returns, and she regularly connects with social entrepreneurs in Morocco. Amal is an Atlantic Dialogues Emerging Leader and a lifetime member of the US-based National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Amal is also a member of the Board of the Global Clean Water Desalination Alliance. In 2017, Amal Benaissa received the Desmond Fortes Scholarship for excellence in sustainable finance awarded by FMO, the Dutch Development Bank. Growing up between Morocco and the United States, Amal pursued her higher education in Boston University (BSc 2006) and later at the London School of Economics to complete Masters and PhD (2012).
TCFD Programme Lead, UNEP FI
As a member of the UNEP-FI team, David is coordinating Phase 2 of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). This work engages over thirty financial institutions in developing and implementing a set of best practices to evaluate and address climate risk. David is also leading learning modules on transition risk for the participating institutions.
Senior Manager, Green Finance, Industrial Bank Co., Ltd. (CIB)
Francis is a senior manager at Industrial Bank （CIB）working on green finance. His responsibility includes conducting environmental and social risk evaluation to Industrial Bank’s project financing (the Equator Principles evaluation) and green finance product innovation. He has been actively participating in the issuance, management and investor engagement of Industrial Bank’s over 100 billion RMB worth onshore and offshore green bonds. He also contributes to in-house research, professional knowledge support and external partnership engagement in green finance. He holds a BA and a MA degree from Brandeis University, as well as a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from Columbia University. He is a CFA Charter holder.
Head of Key Account Management, RepRisk
Sergio Dias joined RepRisk in 2020 and is responsible for managing the team of key account managers in order to deliver high-quality services to clients globally. He and his team establish long-term relationships with key clients and develop mutual growth opportunities.
Prior to joining RepRisk, Sergio worked as a Strategy & Origination Manager at Swiss Re, where he led several global growth initiatives and implemented market strategies around the world. Previously, he worked as a Client Manager and Business Originator at Rothschild Private Banking and Credit Suisse, working mainly with high-profile clients.
Sergio holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland, and a professional football coaching certification – the UEFA A license.
Director, West Asia Office, UN Environment
Sami has extensive UN experience that covers a wide range of operations from high level management, administration and decision making, to corporate and partner relations, information and technology operations and programmatic management. He worked at UN New York Headquarters, as well as in the Hague, Beirut, Hamburg and Nairobi.
A Lebanese-Canadian national, Sami earned his Bachelor degree in Information Technology from Ottawa University and his Masters in Management from Waterloo University in Canada.
Group Head of Corporate Citizenship, Standard Bank Group
Wendy Dobson is the Group Head of Corporate Citizenship for Standard Bank. Prior to joining Standard Bank in 2009, Wendy held executive positions at the Department of Trade and Industry and the National Economic Development Labour Council (NEDLAC). She is an alumnus of the University of the Witwatersrand, with a BA Honours (Industrial Psychology), a Masters of Management Degree (Public and Development Management). Wendy recently completed a Masters of Arts (Applied Ethics for Professionals) focusing on the ethics of corporate lobbying. In her current role at Standard Bank, Wendy leads the bank’s approach to advocacy, stakeholder engagement, sustainability and shared value with the aim of building trust between the bank and its stakeholders. Her particular areas of interest are Business Ethics, Business and Society, Corporate Citizenship, and the political role of corporations in emerging markets.
Climate Lead, UNEP FI
Remco Fischer joined UNEP FI in October 2006 and coordinates the Initiative’s activities on climate change (through the UNEP FI Climate Change Working Group). These aim to increase the understanding of both the implications of climate change on financial performance and the roles of the finance sector in addressing climate change; as well as to advance the integration of climate change factors, both risks and opportunities, into financial decision-making. Activities include research, advocacy, awareness raising, capacity building and the development of guidelines and tools for financial institutions.
Prior to joining UNEP FI, he worked as an investment management assistant for the German Development Finance Institution (DEG; KfW Group of Banks), designing structured deals in infrastructure project finance (predominantly renewables).
He holds a British BA Honours in Business Administration and Economics from Napier University in Edinburgh, a Spanish Licenciatura from Alicante University and a German Diploma (MSc equivalent) from Aachen University of Applied Sciences.
Project Coordinator, Sustainable Blue Economy Finance, UNEP FI
Dennis is the coordinator and manager of UNEP FI’s Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative, aiming to engage investors, banks and insurers on the topic of ocean health and sustainable finance. The Initiative’s goal is to raise awareness, share practices and develop tools to support the adoption of the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles.
Executive Director of the Regional Center for Sustainable Finance (RCSF)
She has an overall professional experience of over 13 years in the diversified field of development. Her Accumulated experience encompasses sustainable development, environmental, and economic policy and community stakeholder engagement research. She has strong research skills and have been consulting for environmental studies in Egypt for the past 7 years.
Sina has two Masters Degrees in International Affairs and Development Studies from the Lebanese American University and The London School of Economics respectively.
Most recently, she is working on developing a comprehensive sustainability programme for Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute as a sustainability consultant. And holds the position of Advisor to the chairman of Egypt’s financial regulatory authority for sustainable development. Representing FRA, She is currently working with the UNEP FI to launch Egypt’s first sustainable insurance sector, this strategy is the first of its kind in the region. She provides a spectrum of sustainability trainings and is also working on launching a think tank under the authority for sustainable finance in Africa and MENA region. Additionally, she is currently working on supporting the finalization of regulations and partnerships to launch green bonds.
She has also worked with the IFC and the Egyptian Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation. Prior to her consultancy work, she assumed the position of associate director of the Gerhart Center for Philanthropy, Civic Engagement and Responsible Business at the American University in Cairo (AUC). Where she issued a two volume flagship publication highlighting CSR and sustainability in the industrial sector in Egypt in partnership with the ILO.
Prior to her work with AUC, She worked as a sustainable development expert for the Sustainable Growth Division, Centre for Environment and Development Arab Region and Europe, Cairo, Egypt starting 2013.
In 2010 and up till end of April 2012, Sina assumed the role of Corporate Social Responsibility Unit Head, National Bank of Egypt, Cairo, Egypt. She held several position while working at the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry. From September 2009 and till April 2010, Sina was the Program Manager, Minister’s Technical Office, at the Ministry of Trade & Industry. She was the Special Assistant to Minister’s Office, from October 2006 till September 2008.
Senior Program Manager for Seafood Finance, WWF
Lucy Holmes is the Senior Program Manager for Seafood Finance with the WWF-US Markets & Food team and is hosted by WWF-UK. As part of the commodity finance team, Lucy focuses on the seafood sector and understanding ways to align capital with sustainable seafood practices. This includes understanding financial flows and incentives as well as developing business cases for the transition to sustainability within the seafood sector.
Prior to joining WWF, Lucy managed the Marine Programme at the Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit (ISU) with a focus on sustainable Blue Economy and sustainable finance in the fisheries sector. She authored and contributed to a number of the ISU’s reports including: Towards Investment in Sustainable Fisheries, A Framework for Financing the Transition. During this time Lucy also worked with partners on the conceptual design and implementation of a ‘blue’ finance facility for Small Island Developing States in the Commonwealth.
Head of CSR and Sustainable Development, ALEXBANK
Laila Hosny is the Head of CSR and Sustainable Development at ALEXBANK, the Intesa Sanpaolo group’s subsidiary in Egypt. She is currently tasked with the development of the bank’s multi-faceted approach to sustainable business, community investment and value creation. In 2016, she founded the bank’s CSV flagship initiative “Ebda3 Men Masr EMM (Inspiration from Egypt)” which has changed the landscape of the Egyptian creative industry and heritage preservation. EMM has empowered thousands of craftsmen/women via a holistic development approach incorporating product development, artisans’ scalability access to finance, capacity building trainings and consultancy. Early 2020 Laila also recently launched “Ghalya” ALEXBANK’s platform of empowerment of multiple economic and social initiatives. The platform caters for all female-focused causes such as Early Marriage, Girls in Street Situations, Gender Equality and lack of Education, Economic Empowerment, and Health and Wellbeing. “Ghalya” is also endorsed and driven by the bank’s strategic partner in sustainable development; the National Council of Women (NCW) and its national women empowerment initiative “ ة ” تاء مربوطة supporting and empowering Egyptian women and local female entrepreneurs.
She is also a member of the Federation of Egyptian Banks Sustainability Committee in addition to serving as an advisor to many NGOs and Corporations on how to enhance their community investment programs. As a student, she was an advocate for Egyptian street children, launching several key projects in this field. Laila holds a bachelor’s degree in Humanities and Social Sciences from the American University in Cairo where she specialized in Sociology and Psychology, as well as an Executive MSc in Social Business and Entrepreneurship from London School of Economics (LSE).
Dr Dalia Abdel Kader
Chief Sustainability Officer, Commercial International Bank (CIB), Egypt
Dr Dalia A. Kader is a recognized expert in the fields of sustainable finance and branding. Currently, Dr Kader is Head of the Sustainable Development Committee at the Federation of Egyptian Banks. She is also Co-Founder, Vice Chairman and Board Member of “We Owe it to Egypt” foundation. She was earlier General Manager and Director of Sustainability & Marketing Communications at Arab African International Bank from 1997-2019. As adjunct professor at the American University in Cairo, she instructed courses on “Sustainability Marketing and “Egypt: Corporate Responsibility & Social Entrepreneurship” for the MBA program in 2013.
Sustainable Finance is a core focus for her ongoing advocacy since 2003. Dr. Kader represented Egypt in the working sessions of the G20 Green Finance Study Group that issued the 2017 Green Finance Synthesis Report. In 2014, she helped launch MOSTADAM, the first platform for advancing Sustainable Finance in the Middle East with a focus on capacity building and policy advocacy. In 2018, she prompted Arab African International Bank to cooperate with the UNEF FI in launching the Principles for Responsible Banking.
Dr. Kader has managed to make AAIB the first and only bank in Egypt to join the Equator Principles in 2009 – introducing social and environmental risk management- and the U.N. Global Compact being part of Dr Kader’s serious efforts to leverage international networks to advance sustainable finance.
Substantiated with an inter-disciplinary exposure to finance, political science, economics and sustainability, Dr. Kader conceived the concept of “Humanizing Finance”; one that seeks to reinvigorate finance through revising accounting standards. She also introduced and lectured a proprietary postmodern interpretation of the Marketing discipline in international platforms. Dr. Kader lectured in several local and international conferences on sustainable finance and sustainability branding and the “Future of Marketing”.
Dr Aisha Usman Mahmood
Special Adviser to the Governor on Sustainable Banking, Central Bank of Nigeria
Dr Aisha Usman Mahmood is the Special Adviser to the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Sustainable Banking tasked with the responsibility of driving the sustainability agenda within CBN and the Financial Industry since the launch of the transformative Nigeria Sustainable Banking Principles in 2012.
She has held several key positions in both Federal and Bauchi State governments between 1984 and 2012. She started her career as a Lecturer of Food Science and Technology in Federal Polytechnic Bauchi in 1984 and rose to the post of Senior Lecturer. She was appointed the Honorable Commissioner for Agriculture and Women Affairs by the Bauchi State government between 1997 and 2002.
She joined the Federal Civil Services in 2002 and was posted to the Federal Ministry of Environment with the mandate of ensuring sound chemicals and hazardous wastes management including the implementation of relevant Multilateral Environmental Agreements.
She was also appointed the Director-General and CEO of National Center for Women development, one of the National Gender machinery, from 2006 to 2009 and charged with the responsibility of mainstreaming gender into the National Development Agenda and women empowerment.
Dr Mahmood is a graduate of Agriculture from the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Food Quality Control from University of Reading, UK and a Doctorate Degree in Biotechnology from University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.
Deputy General Manager at Casablanca Finance City Authority (CFCA)
Lamia Merzouki is Deputy General Manager at Casablanca Finance City Authority (CFCA), which she joined at its inception in 2010.
Before that, Lamia was part of AKWA Group, the largest private group in Morocco, within which she held the position of Director of Strategy and Organization for 7 years. She was also member of the executive committee and board member of 2 listed companies (Afriquia Gaz).
Lamia led the merger between the AKWA Group and the Oismine Group (Amhal family) on various aspects: strategy, finance, tax, legal and organization.
Lamia worked on the Green Morocco Plan within the Ministry of Agriculture and on the development of the Souss-Massa-Draa region.
Lamia is a graduate of ESSEC Business School and Harvard Business School. She started her career at Arthur Andersen in Paris as a banking, insurance and industry consultant.
With a keen interest in green finance and sustainability, Lamia was appointed in 2020 as co- Chair of the Financial Centers for Sustainability Network (FC4S). Lamia is also board member of the 4C (Center for Competences in Climate Change).
Lamia is an executive coach, a member of the Choiseul 100 Africa and the co-lead of the Africa CEO Network in Morocco and the North African cluster of the Women Working for Change network and president of the We4She Morocco association. She also recently obtained a certificate on corporate governance.
In her journey to becoming a personal development coach, Lamia has herself been through more than 15 years of personal and spiritual development, meditation and overall sustainable lifestyle with an organic diet and eco-friendly habits. Lamia truly believes that sustainability starts at an individual level.
Public Affairs Director and Sustainable Finance Lead, Kenya Bankers Association
Nuru has spearheaded strategic initiatives aimed at reinforcing the banking industry’s role of being a core driver of Kenya’s sustainable economic development. Her contributions towards policy formulation have led the industry towards adopting numerous progressive practices, particularly in Sustainable Finance, Gender Diversity, Digital Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities, and Consumer Protection.
According to the Dutch and German development banks, the Sustainable Finance Initiative that Nuru started leads in Africa. Most recently, she designed and convened the Kenya Green Bond Program, which established a green bond market in the country and facilitated the first certified green bond in East and Central Africa that was issued by Acorn Holdings. She also designed the industry’s Inuka SME Capacity Building Program which has supported more than 14,000entrepreneurs.
Nuru served on the National Treasury Taskforce on SME Finance that established the country’s first national SME Credit Guarantee Fund. She is the Chair of the Eisenhower Fellowships Kenya Chapter and a Founding Trustee of Graca Machel Trust’s New Faces New Voices Women in Finance network.
In 2015, Nuru became the youngest female to earn the Fellow of the Kenya Institute of Bankers (FKIB) designation for industry excellence and leadership. And in 2016 she was recognized by the Eisenhower Fellowships program and U.S. President Barack Obama as an emerging African leader.
She graduated with honors in Business Administration from Kennesaw State University (Ga.); and has an Executive MBA degree in Strategy from Georgia State University, Atlanta.
CEO, Zep Re
Ms. Hope Murera is the Managing Director of ZEP-RE and has previously served as General Manager of ZEP-RE. Ms. Murera holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Uganda, an MBA from IMD International, Lausanne, Switzerland and has over 20 years working experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry. Ms. Murera currently sits on the Boards of Uganda Reinsurance Company Limited, Africa Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) and the Organisation of Eastern and Southern Africa (OESAI).
CEO, ICEA LION Insurance Holdings
Caesar is the Chief Executive Officer of ICEA LION Insurance Holdings Limited, a leading financial services provider offering services in insurance, pensions, investments and trusts through its eight companies in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
He has a rich and varied professional career spanning over 30 years, elements of which include: Managing Director at the Centre for Personal Leadership (CPL Africa) where he focused on the development of high performance organizational cultures through research based organizational interventions, Managing Director of Sasini PLC, a leading public listed Agribusiness focused on growing processing and marketing of tea, coffee, horticulture and dairy products, Chief Executive Officer of Sunny Money, a Pan-African renewable energy social enterprise focused on elimination of the use of kerosene lamps for lighting in Africa and Associate Director for the Consultative Group in international Agriculture Research (CGIAR) responsible for risk Management in Africa and Europe regions.
Based on his convictions for a just and sustainable world, Caesar has served on various Boards such as the Kenya Climate Innovation Centre, the Kenya Climate Ventures Fund, the Kenya Markets Trust and the Strathmore University Council.
He has a PhD. in Organizational Performance and Change Management from the University of Johannesburg, an MBA from the Wits Business School in Johannesburg and a BA in Economics from the University of Nairobi. He is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)K, a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and a Certified Executive Leadership Coach (CELC).
CEO, African Risk Capacity
The African Risk Capacity Limited (the ARC Ltd) has appointed Mr. Lesley Ndlovu as its new Chief Executive Officer following the expiration of the tenure of Ms Dolika Banda, the former CEO, under whose tenure the company recorded impressive growth of its disaster risk pool portfolio.
Mr. Ndlovu was the former CEO of AXA Africa Specialty Risks, a Lloyd’s of London insurance syndicate and has extensive international experience spanning 14 years across corporate finance, audit, tax advisory, insurance and investment management sectors in several countries including Bermuda, Singapore, France and the United Kingdom.
Mr. Ndlovu is a graduate of the University of Oxford in England and at the Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD) in France. He is a CFA charter holder, a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales and a member of the Institute of Directors.
Sesilia Tshotshawo Nkoshi
Senior Underwriter for Non-life Reinsurance, Namibia National Reinsurance Corporation
Ms. Sesilia Tshotshawo Nkoshi is a Senior Underwriter for Non-life Reinsurance with Namibia National Reinsurance Corporation, having over 5 years’ experience in the re/insurance sphere and overall, 7 years in the financial sector. She has a deep passion and eagerness for change, leadership, innovation, and process redefinition/regeneration.
Sesilia holds a B Com (Hon) Management Accounting, Stellenbosch University, CIMA Adv. Dip Management Accounting, a recent graduate from University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership as a Sustainability Practitioner, she is also currently a member and enrolled for a Diploma in Insurance with the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) UK, and a post graduate program in General Management with GIBS – University of Pretoria.
Amongst other things, Sesilia is passionate about sport: an avid golfer & marathon runner and an advocate for mental health, healthy lifestyle, climate Risk, and kindness. She pride her actions with the triple “P” bottom line: People, Planet, Profits.
Climate Finance Policy Advisor, National Treasury Kenya
Peter Oluoch Odhengo, holds Masters of Science in Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Bachelor Science in Ecology, Post graduate Certificates:- in Wind Energy Management, Sustainable Water Resources Management, Energy and Technology Life Cycle Assessment is currently Senior Policy Advisor on Climate Finance at the National Treasury and the founding Director of Greening Kenya Initiative Trust-a Public-Private-Partnership initiative whose mission is to promote green consumerism through diffusion of green technologies for the advancement of green economy in Kenya.
Mr. Odhengo is also the thought/Team Leader for development of the “Green Award Winner” of the combined Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Land Use Plan (LUP) for Tana Delta in Kenya under the Sustainable Management of Deltas Secretariat in Kenya and also the International Deltas Alliance Wing Coordinator for Kenya and a former advisor to the Prime Minister of Kenya on Climate Change and Green energy development. He is a Climate Change and Natural Resource management specialist, with multidisciplinary background and experience over 15 years in development and policy analysis with a focus on impact evaluation in inclusive green growth: agriculture, social and economic development, and environment and natural resources, climate change mitigation & adaptation. Mr. Odhengo is particularly passionate and committed to evidence-based policy research with experience in diverse areas of natural resources potential areas impact evaluation, efficient water use reviews; performance evaluation of projects, programs and policies; analysis and prediction of environmental impacts time use analysis; forecasting social and economic impacts of structural changes; and capacity building in these areas.
Mofifoluwa Ayokunnumi Olawumi
Sustainability Partnerships, Access Bank PLC
Mofifoluwa manages Sustainability Partnerships at Access Bank PLC in Nigeria. She has contributed to a number of the Bank’s notable initiatives including the achievement of the SSCI-status as the first African commercial bank, the issuance of the Bank’s first green bond and the development of the Principles for Responsible Banking. She supports the Bank’s role in its leadership position as the Chair, Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles Steering Committee; the Board of the Global Compact Nigerian Network; amongst others.
Chief Technical Advisor, SDG - Climate Facility Project (multi-partner)
Chief Technical Advisor/Project Manager (UNDP) of the regional “SDG Climate Facility: Climate Action for Human Security”, a multi-partner project in the Arab States.
Sujala Pant is an experienced international development professional currently based in Amman, Jordan, and brings over 15 years’ experience working on sustainable development, governance, and climate finance. Prior to joining the UNDP Regional Hub in Amman, Sujala served with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) where she supported countries in Europe and the CIS, and the Arab States region to access climate finance more effectively. Before that, she had a number of assignments with UNDP at the regional and global level, including in her role as Governance and Climate Finance Advisor supporting over 20 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as Special Assistant to the Head of Governance in UNDP Headquarters, New York. During her tenure with the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) Sujala was based in Bhutan and Nepal, working with national and sub-national entities to strengthen their planning and implementation capacities.
Sujala has a MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics, UK.
Head of Environmental and Social Risk, Climate Change, FirstRand Group
Madeleine Ronquest is the Head of Environmental and Social Risk Management in the FirstRand Group and her portfolio includes Eco-footprint Management, Green Finance and positive impact banking, Climate Change and Environmental and Social Risk Management in financing and investment.
Her professional background includes environmental science, risk management and environmental law. Her role is to ensure that FirstRand is positioned as one of the business leaders in climate change, natural capital management, positive impact banking, responsible investment and sustainable development finance. It is imperative that the Group plays a pertinent role in leading South Africa into a low carbon economy and that it has a verifiable positive impact on the economy, the environment and society.
She is an eternal student and an international speaker and has taken leadership roles in the Global Steering Committee and other board committees of UNEPFI (United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative), the South African Advisory Committee on Environment and Society (National Business Initiative), the NBI Advisory Committee on Green Finance, and the Sustainable Finance Forum of the South African Banking Association (BASA)
Dr. Nasser H. Saidi
Founder and President of Nasser Saidi & Associates and Chairman of the Regional Clean Energy Business Council
Dr. Nasser H. Saidi is the Founder and President of Nasser Saidi & Associates and is Chairman of the regional Clean Energy Business Council.
Dr. Saidi holds a number of directorship and board roles including Deputy Chairman of Eureeca Capital, a member of the IMF’s Regional Advisory Group for MENA, Co-Chair of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) MENA Corporate Governance Working Group, and member of the Advisory Board of the OMFIF. Dr. Saidi is the former Chief Economist of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and is also the Founder and former Executive Director of the Hawkamah-Institute for Corporate Governance and The Mudara Institute of Directors.
Previous roles include the Minister of Economy and Trade and Minister of Industry of Lebanon between 1998 and 2000. Dr. Saidi was the First Vice-Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon for two successive mandates, and was a Member of the UN Committee for Development Policy (UNCDP) for two mandates over the period 2000-2006.
Prior to his public career, Dr. Saidi served as a Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics in the University of Chicago, the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales (Geneva, CH), and the Université de Genève.
Dr. Saidi holds a Ph.D. and a M.A. in Economics from the University of Rochester in the USA, a M.Sc. from University College, London University and a B.A. from the American University of Beirut.
Judith Sidi Odhiambo
Group Head Corporate Affairs, KCB Group (Kenya)
Judith Sidi Odhiambo occupies the position of Group Head-Corporate & Regulatory Affairs at KCB Group Ltd. Ms. Odhiambo received a graduate degree from United States International University (Kenya) and an undergraduate degree from Daystar University.
Regional Principal Officer, African Development Bank
Olfunso Somorin is a Regional Principal Officer at the African Development Bank Group. He leads the bank’s work on climate change and green growth in the 13 countries that consitute the Bank’s East African region. This includes supporting countries’ access to climate finance for implementing their Paris Agreement commitments and mainstreaming climate change in all bank policies and programmes.
Head, UNEP Finance Initiative
Eric Usher currently heads the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative, UNEP FI, a global partnership bringing together the UN with 230 banks, insurers and asset managers working to develop the sustainable finance and responsible investment agendas. Eric oversees governance, strategy and day-to-day management of UNEP FI’s work programme and global network development. Over the years UNEP FI has established some of the most important sustainability oriented frameworks within the finance industry, including the Principles for Responsible Investment (2006), the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (2012) and work now underway on the establishment of Principles for Responsible Banking. Since joining in 2015, Mr. Usher has focused on accelerating the deep integration of sustainability risks into financial practice, including addressing climate change, natural capital loss and human rights abuses, as well as building out the frameworks for positive impact finance needed to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Eric sits on several industry bodies including as UN representative on the Board of the Principles for Responsible Investment, as a member of the Evaluation Council of the French sovereign green bond, as Director for the impact fund REPP Africa and founder of the Seed Capital Assistance Facility.
Prior to leading UNEP FI, Mr. Usher has over twenty years of experience in the low carbon sectors, spanning technology commercialisation in Canada, solar rural electrification in Morocco and financial sector development across emerging markets. During 2011, Mr. Usher worked on the establishment of the Green Climate Fund and led efforts to create its Private Sector Facility. Eric has been an editor of the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment report published annually with Bloomberg and was lead author for finance of the IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources. Before joining the UN, Eric was General Manager of a solar rural electrification company based in Morocco.
Programme Manager, Ocean Finance Initiative, Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Melissa is an independent consultant working on blue finance with the Asian Development Bank, Micronesia Conservation Trust, and other clients. She co-leads the Ocean Finance Paper for the High-Level Panel on the Sustainable Ocean Economy and leads the Conservation Finance Alliance working group on Coastal and Marine Conservation Finance. She holds a BS in Chemistry and Marine Science (University of Miami), MS in Oceanography (University of Hawaii), and PhD in Marine Conservation Finance (James Cook University).
|Geneva - 12:00|
Kenya - 13:00
• Juliette Biao - Director and Regional Representative for Africa, UN Environment Programme
|Geneva - 12:05|
Kenya - 13:05
|Next steps to financing a green and inclusive recovery in Africa and Middle East
• Olufunso Somorin - Regional Principal Officer, African Development Bank
• Nuru Mugambi - Public Affairs Director and Sustainable Finance Lead, Kenya Bankers Association
• Amal Benaissa - Sustainable Finance Manager, Bank of Africa - BMCE Group
• Dr Aisha Usman Mahmood - Special Adviser to the Governor on Sustainable Banking, Central Bank of Nigeria
• Reuben Wambui - Regional Coordinator for Africa, UNEP FI
|Geneva - 12:45|
Kenya - 13:45
|The role of finance institutions in financing a circular economy
• Madeleine Ronquest - Head of Environmental and Social Risk, Climate Change, FirstRand Limited
• Mofifoluwa Ayokunnumi Olawumi - Sustainability Partnerships, Access Bank PLC
• Peter Odhengo - Climate Finance Policy Advisor, National Treasury Kenya
• Moderator: Peggy Lefort - Resource Efficiency Coordinator, UNEP FI
|Geneva - 13:50|
Kenya - 14:50
|Mapping ocean finance for a new decade: Sustainable Blue Economy Finance
• Lucy Holmes - Senior Programme Manager Seafood Finance, WWF
• Francis Chen - Senior Manager, Green Finance, Industrial Bank Co., Ltd. (CIB)
• Melissa Walsh - Program Manager, Ocean Finance Initiative, Asian Development Bank (ADB)
• Moderator: Dennis Fritsch - Program Coordinator, Blue Economy Finance Initiative, UNEP FI
|Geneva - 14:40|
Kenya - 15:40
|Harnessing insurance for the Sustainable Development Goals (iSDGs)
• Dr Caesar Mwangi - CEO, ICEA LION Insurance Holdings
• Hope Murera - CEO, Zep Re
• Sergio Dias - Head of Key Account Management, RepRisk
• Sesilia Tshotshawo Nkoshi - Senior Underwriter for Non-life Reinsurance, Namibia National Reinsurance Corporation
• Butch Bacani - Programme Leader, UNEP Principles for Sustainable Insurance
|Geneva - 12:00|
Kenya - 13:00
• Sami Dimassi - Director and Regional Representative for West Asia, UN Environment Programme
|Geneva - 12:05|
Kenya - 13:05
|Achieving net-zero for Africa and Middle East
• Judith Sidi Odhiambo - Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs, KCB Group Plc
• Dr Dalia Abdel Kader - Chief Sustainability Officer, Commercial International Bank Egypt
• Davinah Milenge Uwella - Principal Programme Coordinator, African Development Bank
• Moderator: Remco Fischer - Climate Lead, UNEP FI
|Geneva - 12:50|
Kenya - 13:50
|Addressing climate risks through UNEP FI's TCFD programme
• David Carlin - TCFD Programme Lead, UNEP FI
• Maheen Arshad - TCFD Programme, UNEP FI
|Geneva - 13:50|
Kenya - 14:50
|Financial inclusion and risk protection for a resilient society
• Lesley Ndlovu - CEO, Africa Risk Capacity
• Laila Hosny - Head of CSR and Sustainable Development, ALEXBANK
• Moderator: Rachael Mpashi-Marx - Project Manager, UNEP FI
|Geneva - 14:40|
Kenya - 15:40
|Projects and partnerships to advance sustainable finance in MENA
• Sina Hbous - Executive Director, Regional Center for Sustainable Finance (FRA)
• Lamia Merzouki - Deputy General Manager, Casablanca Finance City Authority (CFCA)
• Sujala Pant - Chief Technical Advisor, SDG - Climate Facility Project (multi-partner)
• Dr Nasser H. Saidi - Chairman of the Regional Clean Energy Business Council
• Moderator: Nuran Atef - Regional Coordinator for MENA, UNEP FI