Ali Merifield - Consultant
Ali is a strategy consultant, with a focus on communications and stakeholder relations. She has more than fourteen years’ experience in the UK, US and Africa, advising multi-national companies, entrepreneurs and NGOs.
Having focused on the technology sector for much of her career, she is currently consulting to Tech4Africa, and is a part of the African Leadership Network (ALN), having spent as year as Network Director. ALN is a network of the most dynamic and impactful young leaders from the public, private and social sectors across Africa.
Ali moved to the continent with africapractice, a strategic communications agency with offices in UK, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Gabon, where she led pan-African campaigns for multinationals looking to launch, expand or consolidate their presence across the continent. Prior to africapractice she was a director at Bite PR and LEWIS PR, global high-tech PR consultancies, where she worked in the UK and US.
Ali studied Social Anthropology at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where she focused on East Africa.
Lai Yahaya is a lawyer, economist and policy entrepreneur who advises African governments on economic reform, energy sector restructuring, privatisation, public sector reform and public financial management issues.
He is currently Team Leader of the Facility for Oil Sector Transparency (FOSTER) a UK DFID-funded initiative designed to support the restructuring of the oil and gas sector and to increase transparency and accountability in oil sector governance in Nigeria. He also recently sat on the Presidential Task Force on Power and worked previously as Technical Adviser to the Minister of Power and as Deputy Director/Special Assistant to three successive Directors General at the Bureau of Public Enterprises in the Presidency in Nigeria. In this guise, he oversaw several key aspects of privatisation and sector reform processes in the power, telecoms, natural resources and services sectors.
Lai was previously an associate with the global energy project finance team of the leading Wall Street law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy and General Counsel of the LSE-listed African gas player, Gasol. In addition he currently advises the board of GADCo Coöperatief U.A, a leading African agri-business venture and is a board member of the African Leadership Institute in South Africa.
He received his BA (Hons) and MA from Balliol College, Oxford University, was awarded a Fellowship from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and was a qualified solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. He is a a Fellow of the ArchBishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Programme and was named a New Leader for Tomorrow by the Council of Europe-affiliated Fondation du Forum Universale.
Ronke is a seasoned businesswoman with over 23 years’ experience in the area of oil and gas operations, trading and marketing, and management. She brings complimentary skills in relationship building, strategy, business development and networking. She is the principal consultant at DRNL Consult Limited, UK and Delt-R Company Limited, Nigeria.
Ronke has acted as country director and in-country representative for BNP Paribas in Nigeria since 2005. She advises BNP Paribas and represents the bank’s entire service offering, specifically Corporate & Investment Banking, Asset Management and Wealth Management.
Ronke also acts as an independent consultant to FOSTER in Nigeria (Facility for Oil Sector Transparency and Accountability) an initiative of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), and as an agent for international clients in the energy, power and oil and gas sectors.
Ronke is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island, USA and has participated in various courses and programs in top rated business schools such as the Durham Business School and China-Europe International Business School, Shanghai (CEIBS), China. She is an alumnus of the Lagos Business School, (The Pan African University), Oxford University College of Petroleum and Energy Studies and the Said Business School at the University of Oxford.