Conference Team

Conference Chairs

Vivian Ojo

Born in Zaria, Nigeria to a Yoruba chemist and an Otjiherero teacher from Namibia, Vivian is a proud ‘Namgerian’ deeply enchanted by both my homes on the continent. She has a particular interest in inclusive pan-African development. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in African and Latin America Natural Resources and International Development from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and isnow pursuing my masters in Public Policy at Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government. Most recently, she has worked for Africa Careers Network as part of the African Leadership Academy, where she supported the placement of hundreds of internships and jobs across Africa, managed key partnerships, strategic grants and tracked and analysed data.

Biruk Terrefe

Biruk Terrefe is from Germany and Ethiopia and is currently an MPhil Candidate at Oxford’s Department of International Development (ODID). He holds an undergraduate degree in Global Economics and Management from Jacobs University Bremen, Germany including a semester at Sciences Po Paris, where he developed a sharpened interest in Africa’s economic potential and trajectory. Prior to starting his postgraduate studies in the fall of 2016, he spent 7 months at the World Health Organization in Copenhagen. His research interests are broadly at the nexus of economics, health and development in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Sophie Kin Seong

Sophie Kin Seong is an MBA candidate at Said Business School. She completed a double major in International Management and Accounting at McGill University and is a qualified Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant. Prior to this, she was working for a social justice NGO in Uganda, implementing data collection processes and program improvements for the public justice system. She was also a consultant with EY in New York and worked on a range of Fortune 100 clients. Currently, she also serves a member of a project team launching a business incubator in Uganda. Sophie believes in driving development in Africa through empowering local businesses as the foundation of sustainable economies.


Conference Team

François-Xavier Ada – Marketing and Public Relations

François is an MSc student in African Studies at St Catherine’s College. He holds a BSc in International Relations from Girne American University (Northern Cyprus) and a Master of Letters in International Security Studies from the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He’s very interested, and has garnered experience in Communication for Development (C4D) through internships and work experience with the United Nations and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). His research interests are African politics and security, social production and reproduction, youth and leadership development.

Teemt Bekele – Sponsorship

Teemt Bekele is an MSc candidate in the African Studies Department at the University of Oxford. She has a BA from Cornell University and an MA from the Institute of Peace and Security Studies. She has worked extensively in East Africa, implementing peacebuilding interventions for regional organizations, and organizing forums related to peace and security issues in the Horn of Africa. She also recently established a company trading raw agriculture products. Her current area of research looks at the relationship between security, religion, and political mechanisms in the continent. She is looking forward to building partnerships for this year’s conference.

Jacob Omorodion – Programme

Jacob Omorodion is a MSc student from Toronto in the Global Governance and Diplomacy Program. A Political Science graduate from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, he has always been curious about different peoples, geographies and narratives of the world, and the political, social and historical interactions between them. He has worked in the fields of indigenous peoples’ advocacy, diplomacy and new cities, and finds the interactions of the global “North” and “South” to be a topic of particular academic interest. Part of this interest stems from that, in being Nigerian-Canadian, he has existed somewhere between both worlds. At Oxford, Jacob’s research is focused on the record and trajectories of ECOWAS, and hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of regional integration and supranational bodies and South-South cooperation.



Iyone Agboraw – Speakers

Iyone Agboraw is from the United Kingdom and is currently reading for an MSC in African Studies. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences at Sciences Po Paris, with a focus on transatlantic relations. During her undergraduate degree, she was primarily interested in how art can be used as a vector for both socio-economic and political change, and co-founded a conference to explore the topic. She has worked in the orphanage sector in Ghana and has published some writing on the topic. Her research interests are health policy in West Africa, African diasporic identity and communities in the West, and African economic development.

Gayathry Venugopal – Logistics

Born in India and raised in Uganda, Gayathry is currently pursuing an MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy at Oxford. She completed an MA in International Relations and Psychology at the University of St Andrews in 2016.  Her research primarily explored the influence of identity on international affairs, especially with regard to violent conflicts. She has also worked for the Economic Policy Research Centre, in Kampala, focusing on mainly East African agricultural and tax policy analysis. Gayathry is particularly interested in improving institutional transparency and accountability, and plans to focus her research on cross-national differences in the framing of corruption discourse and its policy implications.

Fiona Tokple – Events

Fiona is from Germany and currently pursuing an MSc in Environmental Change and Management at Oxford. She completed an BSc and MSc in Mechanical Engineering with specialisation in renewable energies at RWTH Aachen, National University of Singapore and Tsinghua University. In Oxford, her focus lies on Energy Systems and Governance. Fiona is seeking to develop a holistic understanding of technological, economic and political aspects of sustainable development. Following her interest in sustainable development, she worked at Robert Bosch in Stuttgart, the United Nations Environment Programme’s Division of Technology and Economics in Paris and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in Beijing. There she worked on i.a. private sector compliance with environmental regulations, sustainable consumption and production, and sustainable transport, particularly electromobility in China.

Hanna Amanuel – Events

Hanna Amanuel is an MSc student in African Studies from New York City. She completed her BA in Social Anthropology, Global Health & Health Policy, and Pre-Medicine at Harvard University. She has conducted research on women’s rights interventions, reproductive health, and the state in Eritrea, Mexico, South Africa, Sudan, and the United States. Her long-term interests lie at the intersection of ethnographic research, medicine, and social interventions in the Horn of Africa and its diaspora.

Moreangels Mbizah – Innovation Fair

Moreangels is from Zimbabwe and is in the 4th and final year of a DPhil in Zoology at the University of Oxford. Her research is on lion ecology and behaviour and her interest lies in carnivore ecology as well as the economic empowerment of communities living alongside wildlife. She first came to Oxford in 2012 for a Postgraduate Diploma in International Wildlife Conservation Practice and then started her DPhil a year later. Besides wildlife, she is also passionate about education and the empowerment of women and girls. She is involved in various charities and organisations working on women empowerment and is currently a 2016-2017 UN Women: Empower Women Champion for Change.  She is seeking to develop ideas of sustainable income generation projects for rural communities living alongside wildlife in Zimbabwe as a way of promoting coexistence between wildlife and people.