Prof. Mehdi ABBAS est maitre de conférences en économie à l’Université de Grenoble (France) et chercheur au sein du laboratoire Energie, développement durable, environnement (EDDEN-Cnrs). Titulaire d’un doctorat en Economie Internationale, ses enseignements et recherches portent sur l’Economie politique internationale, les relations économiques internationales et l’Economie politique du développement. Il est spécialisé sur les questions de l’OMC et de la régulation commerciale multilatérale. Il développe également une expertise sur les négociations climatiques internationales et sur les stratégies de développement des pays arabes riches en ressources naturelles.
Honorable Axel Marcel Addy has served as Minister of Commerce and Industry under Her Excellency, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf since April 2013. In his current capacity, Mr. Addy is also Commissioner on the National Investment Commission, Statutory Member of the President’s Economic Management Team, Statutory Member of the Board of Directors of the National Port Authority, Statutory Member of the Board of Directors of the newly established Liberia Revenue Authority. Furthermore, he is the Representative of Liberia to the World Intellectual Property Organization and Chief Negotiator for Liberia accession process to the World Trade Organization, among others.
Mr Cheick Sidi Diarra of Mali served as the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. Mr. Diarra has over 25 years of professional experience in international relations, law and development. He has advanced and first-hand knowledge and experience of bilateral and multilateral relations and proven skills in international negotiations and international consensus-building. He was also involved in the national reconciliation efforts of Mali which paved the road to the country’s peaceful and democratic development. Mr. Diarra has been actively involved in furthering African integration efforts and the African development agenda at the international level. He has served as one of the lead negotiators on these issues at the African Union summits since 1982.
Dr. Carlos Lopes is the 8th serving Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, an outfit of the United Nations established in 1958 that has grown to become the most influential think tank in the continent. His current rank of United Nations Under Secretary General crowns a career in the organization that includes being its Representative in Zimbabwe and later in Brazil, Director of Policy in the UN Development Programme, Executive Director of the UN Institute for Training and Research, Director of the UN Staff College, and Political Director for Secretary General Kofi Annan. Dr. Lopes has actively contributed to research on development issues. Specialized in development and strategic planning, he has authored or edited 22 books and taught at Universities and academic institutions all over the world. He is affiliated with a number of academic networks, and has helped establish various non-governmental organizations and centers for social research, in particular in Africa.
Mr. Kako Nubukpo served as the Minister for Long Term Strategy and Public Policy Evaluation by the President of Togo between 2013 and 2015. He has worked at the Head Office of the West African States Central Bank (BCEAO) in Dakar, Senegal, and has held senior positions at the Institute of Sahel in Bamako, Mali, and at the School of Management in Lyon, France. He is managing director of the Centre Autonome d’Etudes et de Renforcement de Capacités pour le Développement au Togo (CADERDT) that has just been set up by the Government of Togo with the support of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF). He is also former Head of Economic Analysis and Research Division at the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), and Head of the Department of Post-graduate Studies and Research in the Faculty of Economics and Management at the University of Lomé in Togo. He is also a Research Fellow at The Agricultural Research Centre of International Development (CIRAD). His publications cover a range of issues related to central banking and finance in West Africa, and the economics of cotton industry in that region, among others.
Diana Ofwona is the Regional Director of UN Women for sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to her current appointment, she served as Representative of UN Women in Rwanda since 2013 and has to her credit over 25 years' experience working in the areas of socio-economic policy development, peace and security. Diana Ofwona holds a Master of Arts (hons) degree in Political Science and Languages (University of Nairobi, Kenya), a postgraduate diploma in mass communication (Kenya Institute of Mass Communication) and is currently engaged in doctoral research on governance in post-conflict economies. Ms. Ofwona is a recipient of honours and certificates from various leadership institutions around the world. Ms. Ofwona has held a number of senior posts in various organizations in countries spanning three continents (Africa, the Caribbean and North America). Diana has also served on high-level boards and committees, most notable being her appointment in 2006, by the United Nations Assistant Secretary General and UNDP Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA) to the United Nations high-level Strategy and Management Review Panel, commissioned to develop a new strategy for UNDP in Africa and to propose the supporting institutional framework and human resource capacity for its implementation.
Kostas G. Stamoulis is currently the Assistant Director-General, ad interim of the Economic and Social Development Department. Previously, he was Director of the Agricultural Development Economics Division in FAO (ESA), Secretary of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), and Strategic Programme Leader for the Hunger Eradication, Food Security and Nutrition Programme (SP1). Before joining FAO in 1989, he was Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Illinois. From 1985 to 1987, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California at Berkeley. His work includes issues related to the role of agriculture in rural development and rural poverty reduction in developing countries; the impact of changes in food systems on smallholder farmers and on rural poverty; and the linkages between the agricultural sector and the rural non-farm economy. Mr. Stamoulis has also carried out work on the assessment of the role of macroeconomic and exchange-rate policies on agriculture and the rural sector and the interdependence between exchange rate, financial and commodity markets. He has published a large number of papers, articles, books and monographs on a variety of subjects. Mr. Stamoulis holds a degree in Economics from the Economics University of Athens (Greece), a Master's Degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Georgia (United States) and a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.