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African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) – How can Startups help to realize it?

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Josephine Ndao
African Development Bank Group, Chief Entrepreneurship and SME Development Officer

Development economist with regional expertise in West, Central and East Africa. Experience with MDBs and inter-governmental and civil society organisations.

Technical focus on economic empowerment and creating employment opportunities for youth and women through enterprise development. Experience in agribusiness and local content - leveraging extractive sector investments to deliver socio-economic impact.

Michael Goldberg
Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship at Case Western Reserve University, Executive Director

Michael Goldberg is an experienced venture capitalist and entrepreneur whose teaching is focused on the fields of entrepreneurship and early stage finance. Goldberg is an Associate Professor of Design and Innovation at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. Goldberg is also the inaugural Executive Director of the Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship at Case Western Reserve University. With support from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, Goldberg created a massive open online course (MOOC) called Beyond Silicon Valley: Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies, which has attracted over 175,000 students from 190 countries with subtitles in 16 languages (most on Coursera platform). Inc.com named Beyond Silicon Valley one of the top online classes that "will make you smarter and more interesting." Beyond Silicon Valley was also named by the AACSB as one of its 25 winners of its Entrepreneurship Spotlight Challenge (2017) and Innovations That Inspire (2020). Goldberg spoke about the impact of his MOOC at TEDxHeraklion in Crete (February 2015) and TEDxFulbright in Santa Monica (September 2015). He is also the author of Beyond Silicon Valley: How One Online Course Helped Support Global Entrepreneurs.

Goldberg co-founded the Bridge Investment Fund, a venture capital fund focused on investing in Israeli medical device companies that have synergies with the leading health care industries and institutions in Cleveland.

Goldberg was the Director of International Business Development for America Online, responsible for structuring and negotiating international partnerships in Asia, including AOL’s joint venture with Lenovo to develop interactive services for the China market. Goldberg spent several years in South Africa working for the National Democratic Institute, designing and implementing voter education programs for South Africa’s historic first democratic election in 1994.

Goldberg has deep experience teaching entrepreneurship in international markets. He was awarded Fulbright fellowships to teach entrepreneurship at the National Economics University in Hanoi, Vietnam (2012), the Polytechnic in Windhoek, Namibia (2015) and Asociación Emerge in the Canary Islands, Spain (2018). He has conducted seminars on behalf of the US Department of State on entrepreneurship in 28 countries across Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe.

Isabelle Byusa
Wheaton College Massachusetts, Director, Youth Development Programs

Isabelle Byusa is a Master's Candidate in International Education Policy at HGSE. Prior to joining Harvard Graduate School of Education, Isabelle was leading IDEA for Africa as country director in Rwanda, where she focused on developing youth entrepreneurial leadership programs. Isabelle's experience also includes working with Babson College, the leading entrepreneurship university in the world, to create education materials geared to improving teaching activities in classrooms related to entrepreneurship. Isabelle holds a B.S in Business Administration from Babson College '13. 


Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly
World Bank, Country Director for South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini

Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, a French national from Martinique, is the Country Director for South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini.

Since joining the World Bank in 1994, Marie-Nelly has held a variety of positions focused on public enterprise restructuring, support to private sector development, regional integration, and management of the oil sector. Marie-Nelly has held a number of leadership positions, including Country Director in the Maghreb and Malta (2015-2019), Country Director for Nigeria (2011-2015) and Country Director for the two Congos (Brazzaville and DRC) from 2008 to 2011. Marie-Nelly was also Director of the World Bank Group Program for the Chad Petroleum and the Chad-Cameroon pipeline project (2004-2007) and Director of the regional integration program in Africa from 2000 to 2004.

Marie-Nelly is a Certified Public Accountant, a graduate of the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Nantes (France) and Bowling Green University (Ohio, USA). She has also completed several management programs at Harvard University in the US, worked for many international firms and was advisor to several governments before joining the World Bank.


African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) – How can Startups help to realize it?