Africa Forum Keynote Speakers

Eliya Limbani Nsapato – Tuesday 6 October

Headshot of Eliya Limbani NsapatoNsapato is a policy analyst, education advocate, project and business specialist, critical thinker and creative writer. He works as the chief executive officer and coordinator for the Africa Network Campaign on Education for all (ANCEFA), which promotes the right to quality education by working with groups like the African Union, UNESCO, the Global Campaign for Education, and a network of national education coalitions in 35 African countries.

For the past five years, ANCEFA has promoted inclusive quality education for all in the run up to 2015 – the target year for the Education for All goals. For the past three years, Nsapato has also represented ANCEFA and African civil society during high-level consultations on the post-2015 education agenda, thanks to his role on a UNESCO committee.

Born in Malawi, Nsapato now resides in Zambia. He has 14 years of professional work experience, predominantly in the education sector and at both national and international levels.

Nsapato holds master’s degrees in business administration and project management, a bachelor’s degree in education, and is currently studying for is doctorate in business administration.


His Excellency Dr. W. Aubrey Webson – Wednesday 7 October

Headshot of Dr. W. Aubrey WebsonWebson is the United Nations ambassador for the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda. Before his U.N. appointment in 2014 he served as director of Perkins International, where he provided leadership in the development and provision of services to children around the world who are blind, deafblind and those who are blind with additional disabilities.

Webson received his doctorate in management from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. He earned a post-graduate certificate in organizational development, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the management of non-profit organizations from the New School of Research in New York. He also received training on constitutional and criminal law and business management from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.

Before becoming director, Webson served as a consultant for Perkins International beginning in 1992. In 1990, he helped found the Institutional Development Program (IDP), which works to support Africans who are blind and the advocacy organizations that represent them.

Webson previously worked for Sightsavers International and Helen Keller International, where he advised African and Caribbean development programs. He also served as chief executive of the Caribbean Council for the Blind from 1981 to 1987, and has served as an adjunct professor or guest lecturer at colleges and universities in the United States and Africa.


Prof. Ruth L. Okediji – Thursday 8 October

Headshot of Ruth L. OkedijiOkediji is the William L. Prosser Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, where she teaches copyright, contracts and international intellectual property (IP) law.

She is an internationally renowned expert and scholar on the relationship between developing and developed countries in the international IP system, and on economic and human development issues related to the harmonization of IP rights, with a focus on international copyright law.

Okediji has authored an extensive array of articles, commissioned papers and book chapters and is regularly cited around the world for her work on IP and trade-related issues in developing and least-developed countries. She has served as a policy advisor to many inter-governmental organizations, regional economic communities and national governments on the formulation of copyright and patent policies, and on the impact of IP protection on development goals – providing expert assistance to Uganda, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Nigeria.

Okediji has received numerous teaching and service awards over the course of her career. She has previously taught at Emory University Law School, Duke University School of Law, the University of Haifa Law School (Israel), and University of Tilburg Law School (Netherlands), and has served on doctoral committees at Duke, the University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto and the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland.