Our Advisers


Alain Taieb

Alain Taieb completed his military service as a technical assistant at the Department for Cooperation in Cameroon. He then joined the CEREN (Centre for Economic Studies and Research on Energy) before moving to Procter & Gamble. Alain then joined the family Group AGS as Chief Executive Officer and became Chairman. He has promoted the international expansion of the Mobilitas Group, which operates in 79 countries with 156 subsidiaries and branches and employs more than 3600 people worldwide including full coverage of the African continent.


Alan Furness


Alan Furness CMG is a retired British diplomat with considerable experience in West Africa, serving first at the British Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, from 1972 to 1975. He was British Ambassador in Dakar from 1993 to 1997, assigned to Cape Verde, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Mali, as well as Senegal. He also served in British diplomatic missions in India, Indonesia, Poland and Brussels. 

From 1998 to 2008, he was Resident Representative in Dakar of the West Africa Business Association, and from 2000 to 2011 he was also Ambassador to Senegal of the Sovereign Order of Malta. Alan now lives in London.


Andrew Holmes


Andrew spent over thirty years in West Africa with construction giant Taylor Woodrow in Sierra Leone and Nigeria, and for twenty years as MD of its Ghana subsidiary Taysec. Operations included general contracting, real estate and gold mining. He was also a director of TW’s associate companies in Zimbabwe and South Africa. He is currently Chairman of Taymin Nigeria Limited, a private company undertaking commercial developments in Nigeria, and is an adviser on Ghana to the Business Council for Africa.


David Hampshire

David Hampshire started his career in the Scottish knitwear industry. Moving to Zambia, he worked for the government in the National Import and Export Corporation. He then moved to the Copperbelt to become Managing Director of Speciality Foods, part of JL Morison Son and Jones which was acquired by Guinness.

In 1981, David became Managing Director of Guinness Cameroon, moving back to London to become Managing Director of Guinness Africa in 1988 and then Diageo Africa in 2000. He retired from Diageo in 2005 but has continued his involvement with Africa in various non-executive roles, acting as an adviser to the Business Council Advisor and, most recently, as chairman of Dashen Brewery in Ethiopia.


Douglas Chikohora

Douglas has over thirty years’ experience in the mining sector and has been responsible for identifying and developing some of the largest gold deposits in Africa. He was appointed managing director of Cluff Mining (West Africa) Ltd and later became technical director of Cluff Gold plc.

In 2010, he co-founded Cluff Africa Associates where he is the Chief Executive Officer. He has wide experience from working in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Senegal, Mali and Cameroon.


Dr. Jonathan Lawley

Senior Adviser

Jonathan’s career has been dominated by Africa, including Zambia (administration), DRC (mining training), Mauritius (training and consultancy), and Zimbabwe (British Election Supervisor). 

For 13 years, Jonathan ran a pioneering Rio Tinto funded programme to develop local African technical managers for the mining industry as a whole in southern Africa. This led to his PhD ‘Transcending Culture: Developing Africa’s Technical Managers’. 

After retirement, he was appointed Africa Director of BESO and later the first Director of the Royal African Society. He is currently Business Council for Africa Southern Africa consultant.


Iain Duncan

Iain is a Partner at the international law firm Simmons & Simmons LLP in the firm’s Corporate and Commercial department. He has worked for many years on projects and transactions around the world in the mining, oil and gas, power and infrastructure sectors, with a particular focus on Africa. Iain has worked on secondment at an oil and gas major, as well as a major mining company in South Africa and sits on the Council of MinSouth (the London based society for the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining). His recent Africa related work includes advising Mainstream Renewable Power on a $1.9bn pan-African renewable energy joint venture with Actis. He has also advised on mining projects/transactions in countries such as Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Zambia and the Republic of Congo and advised AES Corporation on the development and financing of the 216 MW gas fired Kribi IPP in Cameroon.


John Brown


John Brown studied Economics at Edinburgh University and began his career at the United Africa Company Limited in Sierra Leone. He has been Managing Director of Guinness Sierra Leone, Guinness Nigeria, Whitbread Nigeria and Group MD of Jos International Breweries, Nigeria.

John was chairman of the West Africa Business Association until 2007. During this time, he was a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Nigeria and participated in Prime Minister Blair’s Commission for Africa (2005) contributing to Capacity Building. In 2003, John was bestowed the rank of Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic, the highest award given to foreign nationals, by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


Jonathan Howard

Jonathan Howard  is the former CEO of the Business Council for Africa which facilitates trade and investment in sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on 36 countries in Western and Southern Africa. Born in Kisumu, Kenya, he served 35 years in the Army which included appointments in Germany, Hong Kong, Australia, Bosnia, Kuwait, The Sultanate of Oman and culminating in 2004 in Ghana as the Defence Adviser to the British High Commissioner. He was also responsible for Togo and Cote d’Ivoire whilst travelling extensively through West Africa. He is an Associate at Philip Mostyn Associates where he assists with leadership training at the University College London Hospital Staff College. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. 

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Kamal Shah

Kamal is the head of Stephenson Harwood's Africa and India Groups. He specialises in international arbitration, litigation and fraud and asset tracing. He acts for a wide spread of clients from Governments, Banks, National Oil Companies, listed and private corporations to high net worth individuals. He has been included twice in the Lawyer's Hot 100 list of leading lawyers in England, in 2009 and 2014, and is highly regarded by the legal directories Legal 500, Chambers & Partners, IFLR.


Kissy Agyeman Togobo

Kissy is Partner and Co-Founder of Songhai Advisory LLP, a bespoke business intelligence consultancy focusing on sub-Saharan Africa, particularly the Gulf of Guinea. In this critical leadership role, Kissy is jointly responsible for global business development and overall company strategy across different sectors. Specialising in political risk in sub-Saharan African markets, Kissy was formerly Senior Analyst at IHS Global Insight. Kissy holds an LLB Law and French degree and a postgraduate in Risk Management in Developing Countries from Sciences Politiques, Bordeaux, France. She currently serves as an advisory board member of JLT's World Risk Review Service.

Mark Steeves

Mark Steeves

Mark Steeves

Mark Steeves has a wide range of contacts in several industries, notably financial services, the O&G industry, and, latterly, in agriculture.  He has worked in many African countries across the whole continent.  His business career started in the private sector and included a period when he owned, then successfully sold his own business.  Head of Africa at HSBC Insurance Brokers Ltd until 2010, he has since then offered advisory services based on his experience of multinational management, SMEs and company start-ups.  He is personally an investor in two African businesses ( one with an operation in Sierra Leone and one in Zimbabwe). He was a main board independent non-excutive director of Business Council for Africa from 2009 until 2015 when he stepped down voluntarily and before that of the Britain Nigeria Business Council from 2007.


Michael Monari

Michael Monari is the founder & CEO of Longitude Finance(LOFIN), a non-deposit taking FI and Venture Capital company; which he established primarily to raise funds and support small businesses and SMEs in Kenya and across the East Africa region. Prior to setting up LOFIN; he served at various commercial banks in Sub Sahara Africa for over 25 years in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana; and recently Uganda, where he was the Managing Director of Ecobank Uganda Ltd. He pioneered the entry of Ecobank Group into the East and Southern Africa region.


Nick Holme

Nick Holme ran a commercial farming operation in Zimbabwe, chaired the local Farmers’ Association and was the first chairman of the farming community’s National Environment Committee. The first Regional Executive for the Commercial Farmers’ Union of Zimbabwe, he also edited The Farmer magazine. Now UK based, Nick has a network of contacts in the agricultural, business and political sectors in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world. He has worked alongside corporates, NGOs, government departments, diplomats, financial institutions, SMEs, private equity firms and high net worth individuals. As well as being an adviser to the Business Council for Africa, Nick is an adviser to Ashberg Ltd (a multi-family office) and is a Trustee of the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir.

Olamide Olajide

Olamide Olajide

Olamide Olajide


Richard Herb

Mr. Richard Herb served as Managing Director of International Ore and Fertilisers, a division of Occidental Petroleum. He handled the sale of all NAFCON's products to international markets for a period of about 10 years. Herb is an entrepreneur with 35 years experience in the fertiliser industry, and currently serves as a Director of Notore Chemical Industries Limited. He is a director of the Nigerian Business Council, a position he has held since 2002 and is presently the Chairman of Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos. Herb graduated from the University of London with a degree in Chemistry.


Rolake Akinkugbe

Rolake Akinkugbe is Head of Energy and Natural Resources at FBN Capital in Lagos, Nigeria. She was previously Head of Energy Research at pan-African Ecobank for more than 3 years. Rolake has travelled extensively across sub-Saharan Africa. Earlier roles include Senior Africa Analyst at Control Risks Group, work at the International Crisis Group in its Dakar office and at the Foreign Policy Centre think-tank in London. She is a frequent media commentator and regularly reviews global newspaper headlines on BBC World News.  Fluent in French, she holds a BSc and MSc from the London School of Economics.


Terhas Behre

Terhas Berhe is the Managing Director of Brand Communications. Terhas has over 15 years’ experience in brand development and management, working across Africa and in Canada and the UK. She takes a pragmatic approach to creating and managing brands. Her hands-on management style ensures that Brand Communications’ diverse and collective thinking leads to a distinct customer experience for every client.

Terhas spearheaded the African Investment and Finance Conference in 2008 at the London Stock Exchange and has amassed an impressive portfolio of high-level contacts with the African media. She also maintains constant contact with leading figures in private and public organisations and has a strong track record in advising major corporations on engagement with diverse stakeholders.


Tony Strawson

Tony has had a long career, mainly within the Glaxo Group of companies, managing companies in the pharmaceutical industry that included ten years living and working in Kenya and Nigeria. He has recently retired as the BCA Regional Manager and has joined the advisory board.