Paulo de Sacadura Cabral Portas

Deputy Chairman // Comércio e Indústria Portuguesa (Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, CCIP)

The Impact of Russia´s Invasion of Ukraine - A New Era for Geopolitics?

Paulo de Sacadura Cabral Portas was Portugal’s Deputy Prime Minister from 2013 to 2015, Minister of State and Foreign Affairs from 2011 to 2013, and Minister of Defence from 2002 to 2005.

Born in 1962, has been one of Portugal's leading conservative politicians since the 1990s. He was the leader of Portugal’s CDS – People's Party (CDS-PP) from 1998 to 2005 and 2007–2016, on whose lists he was elected to the Portuguese Parliament in every legislative election between 1995 and 2015.

Since 2016, he is Elected Deputy Chairman of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with specific responsibility for the Portuguese chambers of commerce abroad.

Mr. Portas has received decorations conferred to foreigners from countries such as USA; Spain; Mexico; Brazil; Colombia; Peru; Poland; Romania among others.

He graduated in Law from the Portuguese Catholic University (in 1984) and is Professor of Geo-economics and International Relations on Nova School of Business and Economics (Nova University, Lisbon).

Stephen Ashcroft

Director General Services and Procurement // African Development Bank (AfDB)

Session 2: The Role of the AfDB in Bridging Africa’s Transport Infrastructure Gap

Mr. Stephen Ashcroft has more than 25 years of progressively responsible managerial experience in procurement and related fields. Since February 2022, Mr. Ashcroft leads real estate, procurement and related corporate services teams at the African Development Bank with the purpose to elevate the value of assets, resources, relationships and supply chain to further enable the Bank’s mission for sustainable development.

He previously had a career at AECOM, a Fortune 500 multinational infrastructure consultancy. His last role was as Commercial Director at NEOM, Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest construction program of any kind ($500bn), to build the most modern city in the world. His role was to lead the procurement, contract administration and change management strategy across every category of expenditure for the overall development.

Mr. Ashcroft holds a Master’s degree in Management from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom (2005) and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the University of Coventry, United Kingdom (1990). He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) and a recognised procurement expert and author of the CIPS textbook ‘Contracting in the Public Sector’, among many.

Paolo Ciccarelli

Head of Unit C4 Sustainable Transport and Urban Development, DG INTPA // European Commission

Session 2: Global Gateway - EU Strategy to Boost Sustainable Links around the World

Paolo Ciccarelli is an Architect who has specialised in development cooperation in the private and public sectors, having more than 35 years of experience in managing a broad range of infrastructure projects in Europe and Africa. His experience of living and working in Somalia, and in EU Delegations in Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia enable him to work in a multicultural and multidisciplinary environment. Having spent more than 25 years with The European Commission, he gained experience in policy and strategy negotiation in international forums as well as project appraisal and implementation in many sectors, particularly in the urban development, water and transport sectors.

He is now working in DG INTPA as Head of Unit "Sustainable Transport and Urban Development" managing a team of about 20 people.

André Dias

CFO // JAP International, JAP Africa Mobility Solutions

Sponsor´s Adress: Logistics Solutions for Africa´s Construction Sector

André Dias is a finance professional with a CEFA – Certified European Financial Analyst focused in Finance from EFFAS (European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies) and a history of working in the banking and automotive industry.

Since 2018, he is CFO of the International business of JAP Group, the official importers of the MAN Trucks & Bus in Angola, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and trading companies in Portugal, Dubai, etc. In his position, André Dias is leading the Shared Services team in Portugal and abroad with more than 70 effectives with a multi-language and multi-cultural environment. His main responsibility is to define and ensure the implementation of the Group best practices in financial areas such as Banks, Credit & Risk Control, Treasury, Accounts Payables, Accounts Receivables, Legal, Tax Services, Accounting & Reporting, Human Resources, Audit & Compliance, and IT.

Yoshi Ichikawa

Managing Director, Head of Europe, Structured Export Finance // Standard Chartered

Session 2: Private Financing Opportunities on Africa’s Infrastructure Market

Yoshi Ichikawa is Managing Director and Head of Europe at Structure Export Finance within the Structured Export Finance in Standard Chartered Bank (London office). He is expert for deal origination and execution of European ECAs for transactions in Asia, Middle East and Sub-Sahara Africa.

Yoshi joined Standard Chartered Bank in 2009. Yoshi has extensive ECA background from his previous positions in Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC, one of two Japanese ECAs) and in the OECD (as a member of Export Credit Secretariat in charge of intra-governmental ECA regulations).

Yoshi holds an MBA from London Business School with Distinction.

Marjeta Jager

Deputy Director-General, DG INTPA // European Comission

Session 1: The Impact of the EU Global Gateway Strategy on the Future EU-Africa Connectivity Partnership

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Marjeta JAGER is currently Deputy Director-General for the Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA). Ms JAGER has been working in the European Commission since 2005, starting as Director for Security in DG Energy and Transport and later being Director for international energy and transport files and coordination, as well as being Head of Cabinet of the Transport Commissioner.

Before joining the Commission Ms JAGER was more than a decade working on the accession of Slovenia to the EU for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and she was the first Deputy Permanent Representative (Coreper I) of Slovenia to the EU.

Rob Morson

Partner // Pinsent Masons

Session 1: Africa - The Need. The Gap. The Policy Network.

Rob Morson is an expert in project delivery and non-contentious construction matters. He has in-depth practical knowledge of construction, procurement and the development of complex Energy, Natural Resource/Mining and Infrastructure projects.

Over his 25 years in practice, Rob has acted for developers/owners, contractors/suppliers and consultants on projects spanning various industries, technologies and markets and the full spectrum of procurement, from full equity/on balance sheet to limited recourse project finance to turn-key/EPC to multi-package/multi-disciplinary/EPCM.

Rob has an Africa focus and his experience across the continent includes advisory work and project execution mandates in Botswana, Kenya, Ghana, Liberia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, with a supply chain from across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States.

Rob is ranked or endorsed by the leading legal directories, including as Star Individual by Chambers and Partners and is also a Visiting Senior Lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand, School of Construction Economics and Management, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment.

Lionel Rapaille

Director Lending Operations in EU Neighbouring Countries // European Investment Bank Global (EIB Global)

Session 2: The Role of EIB Global in Financing Infrastructure in Africa

Lionel Rapaille joined the European Investment Bank (EIB) in 2008 as a loan officer covering operations in the Middle East and Eastern European countries. He became Head of the division covering public sector lending operations in the EU Eastern Neighbourhood and Central Asia in 2016. Later on, he was responsible for the division covering financial instruments, infrastructure and public sector operations in Baltic States and Poland.

He was appointed Director for lending operations in EU Neighbouring Countries in April 2022.

Before joining the EIB, Lionel held various positions dealing with project and leveraged finance operations in the finance department of Veolia Water group and in the Telecom, Media & Technology practice of Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank.

He holds a Master of Science in Engineering from Telecom ParisTech (1998).

António Rebelo de Sousa

Chairman of the Administrative Board of Directors // Sociedade para o Financiamento do Desenvolvimento (SOFID)

Session 1: Opportunities for Strengthening the EU-Africa Economic Relations

António Rebelo de Sousa has a degree in Economics from the Institute of Economic and Financial Sciences of the Technical University of Lisbon since 1974, and a PhD with distinction and honour from the Lusíada University since 2004.

He is professor in International Economics at the Technical University of Lisbon, an associate professor at the Institute of Social and Political Sciences and a full professor at the Lusíada University of Lisbon.

He was a deputy to the Assembly of the Republic, elected by the PSD, from 1976 to 1980, and elected by the Socialist Party, from 1983 to 1985.

Mr. Rebelo de Sousa holds numerous executive positions in Portuguese Institutions and Committees.

Since May 2010 he is Chairman of the Administrative Board of Directors of SOFID,  Sociedade para o Financiamento do Desenvolvimento.

Maria João Ribeirinho

Partner // McKinsey & Company

Session 1: Solving Africa´s Infrastructure Paradox

Maria João Ribeirinho is a Partner at McKinsey & Company based in Madrid, focusing on the Construction, Infrastructure and Energy sectors. She is an advisor to senior management on strategic, operational and organizational topics, primarily serving clients in Europe, Africa and the Americas.

Maria João is the global leader (Managing Partner) of McKinsey´s Engineering, Construction and Building Materials Practice.

She  joined McKinsey & Company in 2004 in the Iberian Office, having been based in London in 2005-06 and in São Paulo in 2007-09. In 2011, she was elected Partner.

Between 1999 and 2002, Maria João worked in BPI (Banco Português de Investimento) as an Equity Research Analyst and Sell Side Sales.

Maria João holds an M.B.A. from INSEAD, the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) certification from A.I.M.R and graduated in Economics in Oporto University in Portugal.

Christian Yoka

Director Africa Department // Agence Française de Développement (AFD)

Session 2: Lessons Learned from AFD Financing for Africa’s Transport Infrastructure

Christian Yoka is currently Director of the Africa Department of the French Development Agency, a position to which he has been appointed in July 2021.

Regional Director for East Africa since August 2018 Christian Yoka has extensive field experience on the African continent. Before being at the head of this regional department with a dozen countries, he was regional director for Cameroon, the Central African Republic and Equatorial Guinea between 2016 and 2018 and previously regional director for Ethiopia, Sudan, South -Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia, from 2013 to 2016. He was also director of the AFD agency in the Democratic Republic of Congo, from 2009 to 2013.

A legal expert by training, Christian Yoka holds a DESS in law and taxation from the University of Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne and a master's degree in banking and financial law from Boston University.