Speaker Profiles


Amadou Mahtar Ba is the Chief Executive of the African Media Initiative (AMI), an unprecedented pan-African effort aimed at providing the continent’s media owners and practitioners with the tools they need to play an effective role in their societies. AMI aims to strengthen the media sector in Africa to ensure the accountability of governments and other institutions and to promote social development and economic growth. Mr. Ba is also a Co-founder and Chairman of AllAfrica Global Media, Inc – owner and operator of Allafrica.com – an international multi-media content service provider, systems technology developer and the largest distributor of African news and information worldwide. Prior to starting AllAfrica, Mr. Ba served from 1996 to 2000 as Director of Communications and Marketing for BICIS Bank, a subsidiary of the French banking group BNP Paribas. From 1993 to 1996, Mr. Ba helped lead the successful restructuring and privatization of the Pan-African News Agency.


Craig Hammer is Program Leader of The World Bank Institute’s Global Media Development program, a partnership-driven initiative which focuses on information and media as drivers of good governance. A licensed attorney, his work at the World Bank has included strengthening laws, policies, and regulations to enhance the enabling environment for media, as well as collaborative approaches with media practitioners (journalists, editors, media owners/managers, students, developers, and more) to strengthen the role of media as a key driver of the global knowledge economy, and as a tech-enabled, institution of transparency and accountability.


Justin Arenstein is an award-winning investigative journalist and digital strategist currently helping Google and the African Media Initiative strengthen Africa’s watchdog media by working with newsrooms to implement better forensic research and evidence-based reportage. This includes helping media adopt digital tools and data journalism strategies. Justin manages the $1m African News Innovation Challenge, is spearheading the roll-out of HacksHackers.com chapters across Africa, and supports newsroom-based experiments with citizen reporting, mobile news, and augmented reality platforms. Justin is also a former Press Councillor in South Africa, and he continues to serve on a number of media industry bodies and think tanks. His investigative reportage has helped put a senator, two legislature speakers and a provincial cabinet minister behind bars, and contributed to the ouster of two provincial premiers and several other cabinet ministers and state officials on charges ranging from child rape to corruption.


Alfred Taban is Editor of The Juba Monitor (formerly The Khartoum Monitor) and Chairperson of the Association for Media Development in South Sudan




Albino Olak is a Communications Officer for the World Bank





Honorable Webber Chinyadza is Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Zimbabwe, Secretary General of SADCOPAC, and Member of Parliament for Makoni West, Zimbabwe.




Honorable Kassiano Wadri is is Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Uganda, Chairman of EEPAC, and Member of Parliament for Terego County-Arua District, Uganda.




Steve Ahern is an international media expert and consultant for Internews





Alistair Thomson is Senior External Relations Officer at the International Monetary Fund





Mitchell O’Brien is a Governance Specialist with the World Bank Institute, and leads WBI’s Parliamentary Strengthening program




Al Kags is founder of the Kenya Open Data Initiative, and is Chairman of the Kenya Open Data Task Force inaugurated by the Government of Kenya in 2011.