About the Conference Annual Africa Conference on Social Entrepreneurship (AACOSE)

The Annual Africa Conference on Social Entrepreneurship (AACOSE) is an initiative set in place to foster the interaction between the key actors who contribute to creating favourable conditions for the growth of sustainable social enterprises in Africa Learn More

Meet our Conference Speakers

Maureen Mbaka

Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Kenya

Maureen Mbaka

Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Kenya

Maureen Mbaka is the Chief Administrative Secretary, ICT, Broadcasting and Telecommunications at the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, appointed by H.E. the President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2020.

She is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a Certified Public Secretary of Kenya.

She has formerly practiced commercial law at TripleOKLaw Advocates as well as in the commercial department at Daly & Inamdar Advocates. She has also led the commercial team at Gumbo & Associates in matters projects, contractual agreements, company compliance and corporate governance. Maureen was also previously engaged as a legal researcher for the International Development Law Organization as well as the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law.

She holds a Masters Degree in Energy Law (First Class Honours) from the University of Aberdeen, with her thesis focusing on Nuclear Energy Law. She is also an alumna of the University of Nairobi and Alliance Girls High School.

Pape Samb

Africa Director, Ashoka

Pape Samb

Africa Director, Ashoka

Pape Samb comes to Ashoka with seventeen years of leadership experience and an established record in strategic planning, program development and management, content management, fundraising, proposal writing, training and facilitation. At 13, he started a women’s empowerment and youth economic development organization, was president of CAP-Jeunesse, a Senegalese network of youth organizations; and was hired by the Senegalese government to train youth in entrepreneurship, business and grassroots organization management. He rose from the ranks of director of programs and COO to become the president and CEO of Phelps Stokes, America’s oldest (102 years) continuously-operating foundation. The youngest and first non-American to head the organization, he provided leadership and vision in globalization and investing in a new generation of global leaders, educators, entrepreneurs, students, and citizens, with particular attention on people of color and indigenous affiliation. A driving force and empowering ‘agent of change’ for youth globally, he not only serves as chairman, but founded, designed and developed the Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN), a youth-run and led network of over 5,000 young leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators and farmers in approximately 100 countries. Experienced in international development, he supported Sasha Bruce Youthwork in programmatic and development operations; designed, implemented and managed Africare’s online communications in 26 African field offices; and served as micro-finance director at Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI). Samb holds a Masters in Executive Leadership from American University and has won several awards including Leadership in Excellence and Next Generation of Leaders


Arif Neky

Senior Advisor, UN Strategic Partnerships and Coordinator – SDG Partnership Platform

Arif Neky

Senior Advisor, UN Strategic Partnerships and Coordinator – SDG Partnership Platform

Arif Neky is the Senior Advisor for UN Strategic Partnerships at the Resident Coordinator’s Office and the National Coordinator of the SDG Partnership Platform in Kenya - co-created by the UN system and the Government of Kenya. He has also helped in the co-creation of the SDG Accelerator Lab for Kenya. He is Chairman of the Task Force for the National Advisory Board (NAB) for Impact Finance in Kenya and a member of the Africa Venture Philanthropy Alliance SAG (AVPA).

He was the founding Coordinator of the first SDG Philanthropy Platform in Kenya, Founding Co-Chair of the EA Philanthropy Network and helped create the Kenya Philanthropy Forum. Arif is currently active in broadening the SDG Partnership Platform in Kenya to unlock significant private, philanthropic, intellectual and blended finance capital and collaborations to accelerate high priority SDG impacts.

As the former Regional CEO of the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) East Africa for over 13 years, Arif was directly responsible for a wide portfolio of programs in health, education, rural development and civil society enhancement across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Arif was previously the Regional Representative across Eastern Africa for the French & International Bank - Société Générale. He was also previously the founder and CEO of the Microsoft certified Academy of Learning in Vancouver, Canada.


Prof. David Wang'ombe

V.C Designate, Tangaza University College

Prof. David Wang'ombe

V.C Designate, Tangaza University College

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Prof. Mario Molteni

Chief Executive Officer, E4Impact

Prof. Mario Molteni

Chief Executive Officer, E4Impact

Mario Molteni is a Full Professor of Business Administration and Corporate Strategy at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan. He is a Founder of ALTIS, the Graduate School Business & Society of Catholic University, an international research and education institute on impact entrepreneurship and corporate sustainability.

From 1993 to 2008, he was the Scientific Director of ISVI, Institute for Business Values, a center of research for Corporate Social Responsibility promoted by important Italian universities, businesses, banks, and associations.

In 2006 he founded the CSR Manager Network, the Italian of CSR and sustainability managers from the principal Italian businesses. In 2015 he was named Ashoka Fellow for E4Impact (Entrepreneurship for Impact).

He is the author of numerous books and scientific articles on Corporate Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Social Entrepreneurship.


Dr. Olufunso Somorin

Regional Principal Officer, African Development Bank

Dr. Olufunso Somorin

Regional Principal Officer, African Development Bank
Dr. Olufunso Somorin is a Regional Principal Officer with the African Development Bank, based in Nairobi, Kenya. He oversees the Bank’s climate investment programs and policies across the 13 countries comprising the Eastern African region. He is directly involved in the design, appraisal and supervision of more than 120 development projects worth about USD 9.25 billion across the region. He leads the Bank’s dialogues with national and regional government institutions, development partners, civil society and private sector on strategic development issues across multiple sectors.   Dr Somorin is a Director at Profectus Capital Group, a boutique investment firm that provides world-class financial and advisory services to SMEs in Africa. He is the President of Mindosphere Institute, a leadership platform for mentoring young leaders and entrepreneurs in Africa. He sits on the Board of Emerging Leaders Foundation in Kenya. A frequent speaker in many development, leadership and entrepreneurship events across Africa. He gives guest lectures at Strathmore University (Kenya), African Leadership University (Rwanda) and University of Guelph (Canada).   He holds a PhD in International Environmental Policy from Wageningen University, Netherlands. As an Erasmus Mundus Scholar, he holds two Masters’ degrees from Finland and Netherlands. He has received numerous executive trainings on development issues at Cambridge and Oxford Universities in the UK.  

Noreen Nthiga

Head, SME Programme Management & Development, Office of the President Kenya

Noreen Nthiga

Head, SME Programme Management & Development, Office of the President Kenya

Dr. Lisa Hehenberger

Director, ESADE Entrepreneurship Institute

Dr. Lisa Hehenberger

Director, ESADE Entrepreneurship Institute

Dr. Lisa Hehenberger is an Assistant Professor in the department of Strategy and General Management at ESADE, and Director of the Entrepreneurship Institute. She is a renowned expert on (social) entrepreneurship, venture philanthropy and impact investment.

She is a member of the European Commission's Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship (GECES) and of the OECD's Social Impact Investment Expert group. She served on the French National Advisory Board and the Impact Measurement Working Group of the Social Impact Investment Task Force established by the G8. Until recently, she was the Research and Policy Director of the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA). EVPA is the pan European association for venture philanthropy and social impact investment. She set up and ran EVPA's Knowledge Centre, conducting and publishing research, and collecting and disseminating data and knowledge. She also coordinated EVPA's policy initiatives, facilitating the transfer of knowledge between policymakers and practitioners. Lisa is a strategic advisor to EVPA on research and policy.

Lisa is very active in the field of practice. She sits on the advisory boards of impact investing funds such as Creas, Social Impact Ventures, Oryx Impact Fund, People & Planet Partners and Seastainable Ventures. Lisa has advised organizations such as WWF, Repsol Foundation and Meridia Capital Partners on their impact investment strategies. She launched the Entrepreneurship Institute’s Social Entrepreneurship & Impact Initiative through which she engaged in numerous research projects (e.g. on migrant social entrepreneurship, social impact bonds, venture philanthropy, impact investing in Spain, etc.) and set up ESADE’s impact community to connect ESADE students with the impact sector. Lisa is a member of the Impact & Sustainable Finance Faculty Consortium set up by Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. She is a member of CNBC’s Disruptor 50 Advisory Council — a group of leading thinkers in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Dr. Hehenberger has a PhD in management from IESE Business School and a master's degree in business and economics from Stockholm School of Economics and HEC (CEMS). Previously she worked in investment banking at UBS and GB Investment Banking in London, Madrid, and Barcelona.


Thematic Focus

The conference seeks to uncover answers to critical questions that the governments, social entrepreneurs, development and private-sector stakeholders are grappling with, and have been hard hit because of COVID-19, including

  • Health Systems
  • Sustainable Food and Agriculture
  • Social Enterpreneurship Education
  • Technology & Sustainable Jobs
  • Economic Justice & Social and Impact Investing

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