Our esteemed communications and HR specialists have been carefully selected as Jury members for the African Excellence Awards to ensure a fair and balanced evaluation of all applications. The Jury members’ range of expertise covers a wide scope, from the perspective of both in-house and agency communication and HR departments. During an online voting session the Jury decides which entries are shortlisted, and who the recipients of the Excellence Awards are. The Jury evaluates the innovation, implementation, strategy and impact of the projects submitted, to reward the best in PR and HR communications.



Rudolf Hetzel

Communication Director
Rudolf Hetzel is publisher of international Communication Director magazine, which is distributed worldwide. He is founder and CEO of Quadriga University in Berlin and Helios Media GmbH – the publishing house of Communication Director magazine. Rudolf studied political science at the Free University of Berlin, where he later taught.

Our PR Experts

Chose Choeu

Divisional Executive Corporate Affairs
Chose Choeu, a Fulbright Scholar, has numerous degrees including a Masters Degree in International Relations (University of Denver) and a Masters Degree in the South African Political Economy from the University of Port Elizabeth (now Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University).Chose Choeu has firmly established himself as one of South Africa’s finest Corporate Affairs Directors with an extensive career served in world-class corporations and Fortune 500 companies.The broad remit of his function has seen him lead highly skilled and specialist teams, including: Academic, Stakeholder Relations, Media Relations, Investor Relations, Government Relations, Public Affairs, Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainable Development, Risk Management, Community Affairs, Legal and Regulatory activities, Change Management, Internal Communications, Corporate Governance and Reputation Management.

Doug de Villiers

Interbrand Africa
With over 25 years local and international business & branding experience, Doug is a passionate & globally respected branding professional.Having returned to Africa after many years in Asia and Europe, Doug joined Interbrand Africa in 2006 as CEO, with the responsibility of delivering all Interbrand services in sub-Saharan Africa. Leveraging the experience & capabilities of the 34 offices around the world, and running offices in Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi and Port Louis, Doug is driven by the role that brands play in delivering direct business results.Doug has a broad academic background in Industrial Psychology, Economics, Marketing and Business (Rhodes, UNISA, UNISA SBL, WBS, HBS), and is a Chartered Marketer. He also holds multiple academic and advisory positions including an Executive Fellowship and Visiting Professorship at Strathmore Business School, a guest lecturer at MBS, UNW and UJ Masters level, and a member of the Henley Business School Africa advisory board. A previous member of the Marketing Association SA board (MASA), and a founding member of the Brand Council South Africa, he is a regular media commentator and presenter and contributed to the ‘Business in Africa’.Doug’s clients include several governments in Africa, many global brands present in Africa, and of course a huge selection of Africa’s leading brands.

Robyn de Villiers

Burson-Marsteller Africa
Chairman and CEO
Robyn has worked in public relations and corporate communications across the continent for 25+ years and through Burson-Marsteller Africa, the network of in-country communications consultancies she founded, provides local and international clients with market relevant communications in 50+ African markets. Robyn’s experience in issue and reputation management, communications strategy development, crisis communications, public affairs, investor relations and communications skills training has earned her continent-wide respect.She is called upon by business associations such as the international communications associations IPRA and APRA and in-country associations across the continent to facilitate training for communications professionals, public relations and corporate communications students and corporate audiences. She has also served on the adjudication panel for the annual Adfocus Awards in South Africa for the past two years.Robyn is a Chartered Public Relations Practitioner, is a member of prominent communications and business associations and represents Africa on the Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East and Africa Leadership Team.

Thierry Delvigne-Jean

United Nations Children’s Fund
Chief of Communication for West and Central Africa
Thierry Delvigne-Jean currently leads communication, public advocacy and external relations for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in West and Central Africa. As Chief of Communication for West and Central Africa, based in Dakar, he provides strategic guidance and oversight to communication teams and country directors in 24 countries on issues ranging from programme design and strategy to partnerships, talent recruitment and crisis communication.He brings 20 years of international experience to this position, having previously in South Africa, Mozambique, Senegal, Haiti, and the United States of America (New York), where he managed integrated teams promoting human rights and social change. Before joining the United Nations, he worked in the private sector in the United States of America and Canada.Mr. Delvigne-Jean has a Master of Information Studies from McGill University and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) specialised in executive management and system thinking from the University of Cape Town. His undergraduate studies were in Linguistics.

Jill Hamilton

Weber Shandwick
Managing Director, Africa
Jill is a communications professional with a broad background in international affairs, public relations and strategy design for developing economies. She has worked in over 25 countries, lived in 11 and travelled to more than 70, with a special focus on Africa.Jill has worked for numerous corporate, public and international non-governmental organizations, demonstrating an ability to build and protect reputations; create and implement development strategies; engage policymakers and in-market influencers; generate high level media results; establish a consistent brand across multiple platforms; and connect with internal audiences.Currently she is the Managing Director for Weber Shandwick in Africa, the world’s largest public relations agency, and oversees a large portfolio of partner agencies, consultants and affiliates that cover 30+ nations across the continent. She supports public and private sector developmental strategies for organizations looking to expand their presence or establish a footprint on the continent. Through having led multinationals and not-for-profit institutions in their set-up, growth, and strategies, she has in-depth knowledge of the challenging and diverse working environments associated with developing markets.Jill is passionate about applying international best practices in uniquely African landscapes, and as part of the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) leadership team, she regularly advises colleagues and global management on strategic growth opportunities across the continent.

Donald Kau

Head, Corporate Affairs
Donald is a Corporate Communications specialist with extensive knowledge and skills in Media Relations, Brand Management and Stakeholder Relations. His career spans 20 years working as a communications specialist in various capacities within the Transnet group, a senior PR consultant, Executive Director and Managing Director at leading PR firm Meropa Communications, and as the current Head of Corporate Affairs at Santam.His academic qualifications include a Public Relations National Diploma from the University of Johannesburg, Graphic Design from the AAA School of Advertising as well as further studies in Media Management and Project Management. He has also successfully completed the Gordon Institute of Business Science and University of Pretoria Executive Development Programme (MAP).Donald has served on the judging panel of the Mail and Guardian’s Greening the Future Award and as well as on the Advisory Council of the Salvation Army and is a current Chairperson of the board of trustees of Boys and Girls Town South Africa.He enjoys public speaking and fills the remainder of his time pursuing an eternal passion for books; reading and occasional writing as well as hiking. A Johannesburger living in Cape Town, he has discovered the joys of running along the shadows of Table Mountain.The aspiration remains to one day publish. Towards this he has completed a course on writing for fiction and befriending his favourite authors.

Janet Kimani

Levanter Africa
Co-Founder and Managing Director
Janet is a co-founder and Managing Director of Levanter Africa, where she works with clients to achieve measurable results from their strategic communications and business development activity.Her experience cuts across market research, corporate communications and marketing. She has built corporate brands, led sales and marketing campaigns and managed complex communication and change management projects targeted at clients, regulators, government and the public across East Africa. She has held key positions in a variety of industries, most notably development, professional services and telecommunications.

Moky Makura

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Deputy Director for Communications Africa
Moky Makura joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as the Deputy Director for Communications Africa in January 2015.  In this regional role which is based in South Africa, she is responsible for building and managing the Foundation’s reputation on the continent. Since July this year, Moky has taken up the role of Interim Country Representative.  Before joining the Foundation, Moky worked in communications for the Tony Elumelu Foundation in Nigeria. Prior to that she was a well-known TV presenter, producer, publisher, author and actress.

Sandrine Martin

Malaria Consortium
Regional Public Health Communication Specialist

Sandrine Martin is currently Regional Public Health Communication Specialist at Malaria Consortium. As Social and Behaviour Change Communication expert, she lead the design and implementation of community mobilization strategies for the CIDA-funded iCCM project across three African countries and her contributions included the testing of a unique Community Dialogue model for generating local demand for community-based child health services. She is a multi-lingual Communications specialist with over fourteen years international experience in the design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of strategic advocacy, behaviour change communication and social mobilisation in the development sector, with a focus on Malaria, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Mother & Child Health, Nutrition. She has a proven track record in applying behaviour change theories and conducting operational research for effective programme design, message development, audiences segmentation, and materials design. She is fluent in Portuguese, English and French.

Sconaid McGeachin

Hill+Knowlton Strategies
President & CEO Africa, Middle East & Turkey
Sconaid McGeachin is President & CEO Africa, Middle East & Turkey for Hill+Knowlton Strategies and is responsible for H+K’s network of 16 wholly owned offices across this region.Sconaid has spent over 25 years working in international communications, with the last 17 years focused on emerging markets.  Sconaid previously established an office in Russia for Mmd, before becoming General Manager in Poland and then Regional Director for Mmd's South East Europe operations before Mmd's sale to the Huntsworth Group plc.From 2008 – 2012, Sconaid was COO of H+K Middle East and Turkey, before taking responsibility for the wider region including Africa. Sconaid has extensive experience of devising cross border corporate reputation programmes, stakeholder management and engagement plans as well as managing critical issues, advising clients including Intel, Dubai World Trade Centre, Etihad Rail, GAFI, Egypt Economic Development Conference, Emirates, Coca-Cola and MasterCard.Sconaid was Chair of the Middle East PR Association (MEPRA) in 2012 & 2013.  Sconaid supports H+K’s content partner role for the GCC Board of Directors and has been on the Injaz Al Arab Regional Board since 2012.

Daniel Munslow

International Association of Business Communicators’ International Executive Board
Daniel Munslow, CPRP, is a director at MCC Consulting; director on the International Association of Business Communicators’ International Executive Board for the 2016/18 term; outgoing regional chairperson for IABC Africa, and was the 2014/16 IABC Africa Regional Chairperson.He has 15 years’ experience in business communication consulting and media, and has worked across multiple industries in numerous African countries as well as in the Middle East, US, Europe, and Asia.He specialises in strategic communication and stakeholder engagement, measurement, crisis communication, and skills development for senior communication practitioners and business leaders for a global client base.Daniel has worked in banking and financial services, energy, aviation, retail, mining, healthcare and pharma, motoring, media, paper and pulp, medical, telecommunications, tertiary education, and for the United Nations. He has developed and implemented communication and reputation management strategies by partnering with key decision makers and adopting a participatory approach to stakeholder management; often coaching or siting with executive committee members as a strategic advisor on communication.In addition, Daniel is a multi-year judge on the IABC Gold and Silver Quills Judging Panel; the 2010/2011 vice-chairperson of the PRISA Public Relations Consultancy Chapter; and chief judge in the annual PRISA PRISM Awards. He speaks at local and international conferences on business communication, and was voted an All-Star speaker at the IABC World Conference in 2012. In 2016, Daniel was invited to Speak at the World PR Forum on communication trends in Africa, speaking to a global audience from 30 countries about local communication practices.Daniel is a graduate of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University, where he also majored in Industrial Psychology.

Jane Muriithi-Thomas

United States International University-Africa
Head of Marketing and Communications
Jane is a seasoned marketing and communications specialist with over 16 years of experience in various sectors- education, telecommunication, agency-airline, FMCG, NGOs and energy. In her current role at United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) she has revolutionized the PR department to a successfully functioning Marketing and Communications department that oversees the university brand, internal communication, digital communication and external and media relations. In her role she has rebranded the institution to commence its journey to being the premier academic institution with an African and global perspective. USIU-Africa is the first African university to received nominations and win awards from the renowned Marketing Society of Kenya Association and African Excellence Awards.In her previous careers she has led the development of retention programs for her customers, rolled out and sustained brands through creative marketing and communications activities and initiatives. Jane mentors students and peers in their career and personal development, as a way to give back the knowledge she has gained from her accomplishments and successful failures! Jane has a Master’s degree in International Marketing Management (Leeds University UK) and an Executive Master’s degree in Organizational Development (USIU-Africa).She in a believer that the people are the brand, as they can envision the endless possibilities. Her mantra is Believe It. Achieve It!

Michael Okwiri

Airtel Africa
Vice President Corporate Communications & PR

Sharon Piehl

Managing Director
With over 20 years’ experience in the communications industry, Sharon Piehl was appointed as Managing Director of FleishmanHillard Johannesburg in May 2016. Prior to her recent appointment, Sharon spent four years as the lead of FleishmanHillard’s Brand Marketing portfolio. Having worked on an array of brands including Microsoft, Philips, Nokia, BMW, Nike, Commonwealth Games and Discovery Networks, Sharon’s expertise in brand positioning, creative counselling and reputation management has led her clients and her team to several PRISA PRISM awards. Sharon also heads up the Consumer Practice Sector for FleishmanHillard EMEA and runs the new business track for the Johannesburg.As an expert and thought leader, the industry often calls on Sharon to share her industry experience and trends insights on key topics, some of which include GIBS: Big Data, University of Johannesburg on the topic of the World of Communication, Integrated Marketing Conference for the Authenticity Gap and very recently being a judge at Loeries 2015.With the local media space, and the manner in which we communicate with them, constantly evolving Sharon believes the value and relevance of the media remain the same, even after 20 years. “What excites me is that communication and public relations are no longer a ‘support act’ but a clear driving force in the media environment. I believe more so than ever brands have the ability to shape conversations, ignite change and set agendas.”As a leader, Sharon inspires the team through her unwavering passion and self-commitment to excellence. She lives and teaches through her life’s philosophy, “Do it with passion or not at all. I believe that you should always push the boundaries and challenge yourself. Be proud of everything you do, no matter how small, and remember to have fun doing it.”Sharon is a mom to seven year old twins and spends all her personal time dedicated to them. She is also a professional ‘side-line’ sports enthusiastand fan to her Tri-Athlete husband. Her latest hobby and goal for 2016 is designing her new home – destination Utopia 2016.

Mitchell Prather

Djembe Communications
Managing Director
Djembe’s managing director brings over 25 years of international financial and corporate communications experience gained in Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and the Middle East. He joined Djembe from Grayling, where he led the agency’s African and Middle East operations. Prior to Grayling, Prather managed all communications related to M&A deals and international financing activities at Mubadala Development Company. In the past, he served as a Joint Managing Director of GolinHarris, where he co-lead a 28-strong Pan-GCC corporate communications consultancy and was also part of Burson-Marsteller and Ludgate Communications in New York, supporting ADR listings on the NYSE and NASDAQ exchanges. Prather graduated from San Diego State University where he studied marketing and political science.

Jordan Rittenberry

Edelman South Africa
Managing Director
Jordan Rittenberry serves as the Managing Director of Edelman’s South African office. Based in Johannesburg, the office serves as the hub for the firm’s work in Africa and has supported blue chip and emerging brands in more than 30 countries across the continent, including Barclays, GE, PayPal, PwC and Shell.An Edelman veteran with a decade of service, Rittenberry has held numerous leadership positions at the firm. Most recently, he lead Edelman’s Technology & Business Marketing practice in Chicago, where he played a lead role on a number of the agency’s key accounts, crossing both corporate and consumer-facing programs. He has also served as the client relationship manager for multiple global engagements and has supported organizations such as Bosch, Expedia, Groupon, eBay, Hilton, Motorola and Lockheed Martin.Rittenberry is on the steering committee of the firm's Data Security & Privacy practice, helping clients navigate the increasingly complex environment surrounding the collection, use and protection of corporate and personal data. He also developed Edelman’s Emerging Technologies practice in Chicago, which fostered deep, long-lasting relationships throughout the start-up community.His award-winning work at Edelman has been recognized by the Public Relations Society of America, International Association of Business Communicators and Business Marketing Association.Rittenberry earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations/advertising and graduated Cum Laude from the University of Houston.

Sonja Verwey

University of Johannesburg
Professor and Head:Department of Strategic Communication
Prof Sonja Verwey is presently the Head of the School of Communication as well as Head of   the Department of Strategic Communication at the University of Johannesburg.  Prior to this she was Executive Director: Human Resources at the University of Johannesburg where her responsibilities included professionalizing the Human Resources function and acting as key change navigator through the renewal and re-design of the University of Johannesburg. While she was Head of the Department of Communication at the previous Rand Afrikaans University,  she was seconded to act as strategic communication specialist and to manage the merger communication and re-branding process of the University of Johannesburg She specializes in the field of organizational communication/ communication management and she obtained both her masters and doctorate in this field. She is past and present editor of Communicare, the Journal for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa, and serves on the editorial boards of several national and international journals.  She also serves on the Advisory Board of Corporate Communication International. She is past president of the Southern African Communication Association. She has published various academic articles and is the editor/author of several chapters/ academic textbooks. She has taught across a broad range of communication disciplines at both local and overseas universities.

Helen White

Orbis Africa
Director of Communications & Fundraising
Helen has 18 plus years’ experience in strategic communications that shifts dramatically from managing leading South African publicity agency Marcus Brewster Publicity as Chief Operating Officer to building the brand of the Children’s Hospital Trust, South Africa’s leading paediatric fundraising organisation, for almost a decade. Helen joined international not for profit Orbis Africa in 2014. As a member of the Executive Management team Helen drives the communications and fundraising strategies to support programmes in Africa and realise the organisation’s vision to see a continent where no one is avoidably blind. Due to her wealth of experience in the design and management of communications and fundraising strategies for the development sector as well as the management of strategic partnerships across Africa, Helen is often called upon as a guest lecturer at a tertiary and executive level. Helen is the author of ‘Twenty principles for developing an effective brand’ in Striking the Rights Chord: Perspectives on Advancement from South African Non-Profits (Published by Inyathelo: 2012). Helen has been Project Leader on several award-winning marketing campaigns including the Direct Marketing Association 2011 Echo Leader award (Not-for-profit category) for the Careometer online campaign awarded at the DMA2011 Conference & Exhibition in Boston, MA USA.

James Wilson

Waggener Edstrom
General Manager
James Wilson is a communications and marketing specialist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. As general manager of Waggener Edstrom South Africa, he leads a team of integrated communications consultants based in Illovo, Johannesburg. He believes that technology is an enabler at every level of society and have enjoyed the variety and dynamism of working in South Africa, the United Kingdom and across the African continent, in key markets such as Kenya, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Mauritius. His local and international client experience includes: MTN, Cell C, HP, Microsoft, Nissan & FlySafair. James is a proud 'Johannesburger' and South African. He is an avid consumer of all forms of media and in my spare time renovate houses.

Soha Eissa

Talaat Moustafa Group
Head of Marketing Division, Al Rehab
Soha Eissa has been engaged in the Communication and Marketing Community for the past 18 years. Since her early high school age she held an absolute passion for the Job and realized how A WORD affects thousands communities, nevertheless how A PICTURE speaks louder than a thousand words.She put all her efforts and time in developing both practically and academically to better serve the community.Soha now works as a marketing and communication consultant for UN Projects, private owned business, and some rising entrepreneurs in Egypt while holding a full time managerial job in marketing at the leading real estate company in Egypt.

Nicola Nel

Atmosphere Communications
Founder and MD of Atmosphere Communications
Nicola Nel runs Atmosphere Communications, the most awarded public relations consultancy in South Africa. For the past two years running, it has been named South Africa’s best Mid-Sized Agency of the Year. It also secured the best PR Campaign of the Year in both 2014 and 2015 at the PRISMS (PR Institute of South Africa) awards ceremony. Over the past five years its brand campaigns have secured numerous local and international awards – both for effectiveness and creativity. Nicola has been on the judging panel of the South African advertising awards (the Loeries) and has been recognised as one of SA’s most influential women in business and government by CEO Magazine. Before moving into PR, Nicola was a financial journalist and presented business programmes for breakfast TV and for the main news bulletins. She holds a commerce degree from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.

Patricia Obozuwa

GE Africa
Director of Communications & Public Affairs
Patricia Obozuwa is the Director of Communications & Public Affairs for GE Africa – a position she has held since April 2012. She leads a team of communicators across Sub-Saharan Africa, building and protecting GE’s brand and image.Prior to joining GE, she was Head, External Relations, Nigeria and Corporate Communication Leader, Sub-Saharan Africa at Procter & Gamble (P&G). Patricia successfully pioneered the Public Relations function and built a team P&G West Africa.Before joining P&G in 2005, Patricia was the Arts and Sponsorship Manager for the British Council in Nigeria and before that she was the Assistant Curator of Nimbus Art Gallery in Lagos.Patricia likes reading, music and travel. She is passionate about Nigerian art and literature. She also serves as a teenage Class teacher at her local church.

Samantha Riggien

British American Tobacco
Global Communications and Engagement Lead
Samantha Riggien, with over 15 years’ experience in change communications joined British American Tobacco in 2010 and leads the global communications for Programme TaO. This includes overseeing a network of local communicators across 180 markets worldwide. TaO is a complex transformation programme that involves implementing a global SAP-based ERP solution and a new operating model. TaO is widely acknowledged by industry experts as one of the most ambitious SAP implementation programmes undertaken so far. Prior to that, Samantha held leading communication roles in the BBC, Siemens Business Services, BT Openreach and Sopra Steria. Samantha is also the co-founder and director of Where2Stay-SouthAfrica.com, a South African travel and accommodation website.

Delia Sieff

Director of Communications Middle East Africa
Delia Sieff is the Director of Communications for Microsoft Middle East Africa, a role she has held for a year since joining Microsoft as part of the Nokia acquisition. Her current responsibilities include managing a regional team of comms professionals, each focusing on a core area of Microsoft’s business, as well as providing functional leadership for the entire MEA comms community, most of whom are part of the local business subsidiaries.Prior to joining Microsoft, she spent seven years at Nokia as Head of Communications for South East Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and then Director of Communications for Middle East Africa. She also headed up marketing and communications for Intel Sub-Saharan Africa for three years and was the consumer marketing communications manager for Microsoft South Africa. Before moving into the corporate space, Delia worked for a number of PR agencies in Johannesburg and ran her own PR and Promotions Company, Purple Planet.She lives in Johannesburg with her husband, six year old daughter, and four dachshunds. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, writing and shopping.

Keri-Ann Stanton

Engage Joe Public
Managing Partner
Keri-Ann Stanton has over 20 years experience in the PR industry, both as a respected agency owner and as a global agency MD. She holds an Hons English from Unisa, and an impressive resume that tracks a career in journalism, corporate communications, post-production, marketing and PR.Stanton heads up the PR division at Joe Public United, bringing her experience of local and global corporate and consumer brands, across all platforms, to the table. Engage Joe Public’s purpose centres around growing brand belief, something that their case studies and credentials prove.Engage Joe Public was named as a SABRE EMEA 2016 finalist for Newcomer Agency of the Year (the only African agency against three European shops) and has won two Silver Prisms (Financial Services & Investor Relations and Best use of an event to build/change reputation as well as the group’s first silver Loerie for PR and Communications in 2016.The global Holmes Report refers to Engage Joe Public as a ‘new-age PR firm’, focusing on the kind of multimedia content creation that integrates well with its partner agencies within Joe Public United. The firm is split equally between corporate and consumer accounts but has not adopted separate teams, preferring instead to reflect the convergence of traditional practice areas.Joe Public United is ranked as one of the largest independent and fastest growing brand and communications groups in the country, offering brand design (Shift Joe Public), cross platform (Ignite Joe Public) digital (Connect Joe Public) and ATL (Joe Public) as integrated specialist agencies. It also boasts partner agencies in 14 different countries across Africa and one in Amsterdam.Stanton has a passion for content, and how the many different messaging platforms can unlock the creativity and innovation that has been missing from the PR industry. The group believes in Growthn – the exponential growth of our clients, our people and our country.

Our HR Experts

Wale Adediran

Flour Mills of Nigeria
HR Director
Wale earned MSc Engineering (Hons, with distinction) in 1992 and joined Procter & Gamble (P&G) as a management trainee. He worked in Production, Organization Excellence, Personnel Administration, Industrial Relations, Reliability Engineering and, Storeroom Management till 2002 when he was appointed Group Manager, Sub-Sahara Programs. He was Senior Manager, HR for West Africa from 2002 to 2015. Then joined Frigoglass Group of Industries, a subsidiary of Frigoglass SAS, as HR Director, Nigeria. He was then HR Director for Guinness Nigeria, subsidiary of Diageo 2012 to 2014.He then became HR Director for the FMN Group till date. Widely travelled, attending conferences, as speaker and participant, within and outside Nigeria, he won awards nationally and internationally, including Global HR Excellence Award at World HRD Congress, Taj Lands End, Mumbai, India.He is on the Governing Council of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria where he chaired Annual Conference Planning Committee and currently Chairs the Strategic Planning and Implementation Committee. He had been on the Board of United Way Nigeria and the Board of Trustee of Guinness Foundation. 

Sharmila Govind

HSBC Africa
HR Head
Partnering closely with the CEO and Business Executives, setting and executing HR strategy which is aligned to the business, Sharmila can be described as an experienced, commercially aware HR Professional, with a proven track record in strategic HR and project management, change management, policy development and implementation within the financial sector, both locally and globally.Academically, Sharmila completed her BA (Social Sciences) and Honours in Sociology through the University of KwaZulu Natal. She then proceeded to complete her MBA, through the University of Wales.From 2004- 2009, Sharmila spent her time at the then Dutch Bank ABN AMRO. She started her career there as the Country HR Head, and she showed her flexibility by taking on the Communications role as well. During her tenure at ABN AMRO South Africa, Sharmila was seconded to the Head Office in Amsterdam. In 2009, given the depressed markets in Europe, Sharmila decided to return home, and in order to integrate herself back to South Africa and the HR space, she took on 2 short term roles, firstly as HR business partner at Absa (Barclays) Wealth and later joined Ericsson Sub Saharan Africa, as the HR Director for Multimedia, Core and Consulting division. In July 2010, Sharmila joined Citi Bank as it HR Head where she was responsible for supporting and driving the people strategies for South Africa and ensuring alignment between the business and HR strategies. Her leadership responsibilities included the development and management of the HR team and build its credibility by ensuring that they had the right skills for their roles. During this time, Sharmila was also responsible for leading and managing the HR projects across the 16 countries that Citi was present in Africa.Sharmila was asked by Standard Bank to join their team to help them drive their business agenda through their HR function for the Group IT, Group Vendor Management and Group Real Estate Services. As the HR Executive, she managed 25 seasoned HR professional who collectively represented 8000 of Standard Bank’s staff compliment worldwide.Currently Sharmila is the HR Head for HSBC Africa. In this role, she manages the end-to-end HR function with a team of specialist. Sharmila represents Africa in the EMEA HR Leadership Team.

Roy Masamba

Airtel Africa
Chief Human Resources Officer - Africa
Roy Masamba is the Chief Human Resources Officer – Africa with Bharti Airtel since 1st June 2016.Roy started his career at British American Tobacco in Zimbabwe in 1992 where he served in several roles of increasing responsibility starting off in Production before moving to Human Resources where he served as Group Human Resources Director – Zimbabwe and thereafter as Human Resources and Administration Director at British American Tobacco Angola.Roy started his telecoms career at the Zain Group in January 2006 as Group Human Resources Director Africa Operations based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  He then moved to Nigeria as Chief Human Resources Officer before being transferred to Bahrain as Group Human Resources Director – Strategic Change Programs.In December 2009 Roy joined Vodafone as Regional HR Executive Central Europe, Africa, Middle East & Asia based in London, UK.  In May 2011 he was promoted to the position of Vice President HR – Verizon Vodafone Enterprise Service also based in London, UK.  In November 2012 he was seconded to Safaricom Limited [an affiliate of Vodafone Group] as Director Resources [HR, Facilities, Fleet, Health and Safety], a role he held until accepting his appointment to join Airtel Africa.He holds an MBA General Management from Cranfield School of Management.  He also successfully completed the Advance Leadership Development Program from the London Business School.  An Engineer by training Roy holds a BSc Hons, Electrical Engineering degree from University of Zimbabwe.

Yves Mayilamene

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated
Group HR Head – Africa Affiliates
Yves joined Ecobank Transnational Incorporated in 2012 as Group Head, HR Affiliates/HRBP GCOO reporting directly to the Group DCEO & COO and the GHHR. In that capacity, he is responsible among others for defining and implementing HR strategies across the group and he is also the Business Partner to the Group COO and Country Managing directors.Yves is currently combining the role of Head Human Resources Ecobank Nigeria  with his current regional  role.He came to Ecobank in 2012 with more than 14 years of experience in the field of Human Resources covering all aspects in Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2010, he was the Chief Human Resources Officer – Africa for Airtel Africa. Prior to that role, he worked with Zain Africa in 2009 as Chief Human Resources Officer – Francophone Africa where he was responsible for developing local leadership, defining and executing HR strategy and plans for all French speaking countries in Africa.Before joining Zain, Yves started his professional career at Rothmans International Congo in 1998 covering all area of the business. With focus on Human Resources, he held senior positions in various companies including British American Tobacco (Congo, Switzerland and West Africa) and Celtel International, Netherlands.He also holds a Master degree in Economics, Finance and Management (Commercial Engineer) from the University of Mons Hainaut, Mons, Belgium.

Prashantan Moodley

HR Director for West East and Central Africa & Indian Ocean Islands
Prashantan is an HR professional having gained experience as a lawyer and in HR in multinational organisations that include Unilever Plc (FMCG), Barclays Bank (global financial services) and Microsoft (technology) .  He has worked across Africa and in South East Asia (SEA).Prashantan has gained experience in various HR disciplines which include but is not limited to Business Strategy, Performance Improvement, Graduate Recruitment, Building Talent Supply, Industrial Relations, Negotiations, Leadership Development, Capability Building, Policy Formulation, Change Management and Restructuring. His experience in HR has covered both expertise (Change Management, Industrial Relations and Resourcing ) and business partnering across various functions, countries and geographies.

Bedelia Theunissen

Head of Human Capital Advisory Africa
Bedelia is a qualified HR Professional and Industrial Psychologist with over 16 years’ experience in a generalist and specialist capacity. Bedelia is well qualified with the following degrees BA Social Science, Honours Psychology, Honours Industrial Psychology, Masters Psychology.Bedelia has a great track record in various leadership roles in the Financial Services Sector, inclusive of Absa, Nedbank and Standard Bank and have recently joined PWC, one of the big consulting firmsShe has gained credibility as a strategic business partner and have operated on board and executive levels. Bedelia believes that HR should be integrally part of the business agenda and shaping the future of the organization. She has a great track record in transforming the business agenda. Her key strengths are organisational development, strategy development and planning, change management, executive coaching as well as talent management.Her favourite quote is : "Be the change you want to see".

Isubel Venter

Schenker South Africa
Human Resource Business Partner
Accomplished human resources leader who has more than 20 years hands-on HR generalist experience (both Transactional and Transformational) within various international companies and various industries.  Partners with business leaders and senior executives as a strategic and operational generalist.My responsibilities focus on HR service delivery in the domains of Recruitment & Induction, Remuneration, Recognition & Rewards, Performance Management within the business, Transformation/Change Management, Labour Relations, Budget preparation and control, and Career Management (Talent Management, & Learning & Development), Wage negotiations, Union negotiations, Mobility Management (managing expats), Payroll management etc. I developed various Human Capital functional/strategic plans and managed the speedy execution thereof against set KPIs.Worked in the following countries: South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and Islands, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Siguiry, Mali, Senegal, DRC, Oman, Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, France, Egypt, Thailand etc.Experienced in complex international and multicultural environments, with ability to identify people’s strengths and placement in “right roles”. Creates a climate where people want to do their best by reaching clear goals through accountability and performance management.Focus on the people side of change – including changes to business processes, systems and technology, job roles and organization structures. Creating and implementing change management strategies and plans that maximize employee adoption and usage and minimize resistance to drive faster adoption, higher ultimate utilization and greater proficiency of the changes that impact employees in the organization to increase benefit realization, value creation, ROI and the achievement of results and outcomes.


Any questions? Please contact us:
Anna Augsburger
Team Lead Awards Management
+49 (0)30 8485 90