Chief Ojo Maduekwe was appointed Foreign Minister of Nigeria on July 26, 2007 by President Umaru Yar'Adua. He is National Secretary of the ruling political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Previously under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, he was Culture and Tourism minister 1999 and Minister of Transport in 2001.
In less than a decade, NBCC President/CEO and co-founder Harry C. Alford has established himself as perhaps the nation’s preeminent champion of African American business empowerment. His courage and leadership have been noted by all in the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. His relentless energy and advocacy is helping forge international business opportunities for African Americans and emerging entrepreneurs in Africa, the Caribbean, South America and the rest of the Black Diaspora. After earning top honors as Company Commander in the Army’s Officer Candidate School class (OC3-72), Mr. Alford put his leadership skills to work in a series of key sales and executive positions at Fortune 100 companies such as Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and the Sara Lee Corporation. Mr. Alford has led large trade missions to Brazil, Ghana, Kenya and various nations in the Caribbean.
Mr. Arnold Ekpe, CEO, Ecobank
Arnold Ekpe has been Chief Executive Officer of the Ecobank Group since 2005. Ecobank currently has operations in 27 African countries and is still growing. With over 28 years in the industry, Mr. Ekpe has held several senior positions in African and international banking. As CEO between 2002 and 2004, he led the turnaround of United Bank for Africa (UBA), before its merger with Standard Trust Bank, to create one of Nigeria’s major banking institutions. Mr Ekpe has led the ongoing transformation of the group into the leading Pan-African banking institution that it is today. His abiding passion is promoting African private-sector initiatives across the continent, particularly in the financial services sector. Mr Ekpe holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration from Manchester University and Manchester Business School, respectively. He was the 2008 recipient of the African Business Leader of the Year Award.