HE Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye

Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Republic of Ghana

Jacqueline Alder

FISHCODE Manager, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, FAO


Abou Bamba

Executive Secretary, Abidjan Convention Secretariat, UN Environment


Leila Basti

Assistant Professor, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology

Yuvan A. Beejadhur

International expert on sustainable development and international relations

Mehdi Ben Abdallah

President, Tunisian British Chamber of Commerce

Joshua Brien

Special Counsel, Cooley UK LLP


Manuel Castiano

SWIO-Sustainable Fisheries Program, WWF Mozambique 


Bernhard Friess

Director, DG Mare, European Commission

Sanjeev Gupta

Executive Director, Financial Services, Africa Finance Corporation

Captain Peter Hammarstedt

Director, Sea Shepherd

Paul Holthus

Founding President & CEO, World Ocean Council

Christine Holzbauer


Maximilian Jarrett

Adviser, Filmmaker, Honorary Fellow, Moderator, Motivational Speaker


Claire Jolly

Head, Innovation Policies for Space and Oceans, OECD

Dr Frannie Léautier

Chief Operating Officer, Asset Management Executive Director, Trade and Development Bank (TDB)


Dr Ruth Leeney

Communications Coordinator, Blue Ventures

Marta Marrero Martín

Oceans Governance Director, The Nature Conservancy

Marc Naidoo

Sustainable Finance Secondee, Standard Chartered Bank


Lydia Ngugi

International Maritime Lawyer, Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC)-Africa


HE Olivier Poivre d’Arvor

French Ambassador to Tunisia

Angelique Pouponneau

CEO, Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT)


Ipeleng Selele

Vice President, African Women in Maritime


Mark Spalding

President, The Ocean Foundation


HE Samir Taieb

Minister of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries, Republic of Tunisia

Dr Sana Taktak Keskes

Tunisian Ambassador, International Association for Women in the Seafood Industry (WSI)

Torsten Thiele

Founder and Managing Partner, The Global Ocean Trust 

Peter Thomson (Video)

Special Envoy for the Ocean, United Nations

Imed Zammit

CEO, Institut Méditerranéen de Formation Aux Métiers Maritimes (IMFMM)


Jean Chiazor Anishere

President, African Women in Maritime (WIM Africa) 


Zied Limam

Publisher and Journalist, Afrique Magazine

Christian Neumann

Programme Leader Ecosystems, Economies and Sustainable Development, GRID-Arendal

Mark Eddo

CEO of Mark Eddo Media Ltd


HE Mokhtar Hammami


HE Kweku Ofori Asiamah


Kais Hammami

Expert, La Prospective


Dr Kais Hammami


HE Hichem Ben Ahmed

Minister of Transport, Republic of Tunisia

Elizabeth Naa
Afoley Quaye

Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Republic of Ghana

Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye is the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Republic of Ghana. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agribusiness from the Central University College. She also obtained a National Diploma in General Agriculture from the University of Ghana, and a certificate in General Agriculture from the Kwadaso Agricultural College. For over 20 years, she has worked as the Principal Production Officer at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. She was also a Member of Parliament for the Krowor.


FISHCODE Manager, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, FAO

Jacqueline Alder leads the Blue Growth Initiative at FAO and is the director of the FISHCODE programme. The Blue Growth Initiative covers the spectrum of the work of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department with a focus on capitalizing on the value of aquatic resources while generating social benefits and maintaining or enhancing ecosystems and their services. She is also overseeing and coordinating many Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects and developing the Departments Green Climate Fund portfolio, as well as the development of projects under the African Package, and the Blue Hope Programme. She has a background in fisheries and marine policy as well as marine protected area management and integrated coastal management. She has worked extensively in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Australia and Africa. She was the Head of the Freshwater and Marine Ecosystem Branch for the United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi, Kenya for 6.5 years before joining FAO in 2015. She earned her PhD from the James Cook University in Australia and is a graduate of Lakehead University in Canada.


Executive Secretary, Abidjan Convention Secretariat, UN Environment

Mr Abou Bamba is since March 2010 the Executive Secretary of the Convention for Co-operation Protection and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Atlantic Coast of the West, Central and Southern African Region (Abidjan Convention, 1983) which, brings together 22 African coastal countries and is administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). He is also the Regional Coordinator of the UN Environment Action Plan for the Protection and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Atlantic Coast of the West, Central and Southern African Region
Before joining UNEP, he served from 2003 to 2010 as Coordinator for the Africa Region of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, Gland, Switzerland
He was formerly Technical Advisor at the World Bank / International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) in the framework of the preparation of environmental policy documents (NEAP) in Sub-Saharan African countries with the Network for Environment and Sustainable Development in Africa from 1994 to 2000 and from 2000 to 2003 Coordinator of the same Network at the African Development Bank (AfDB).
During his career he was a consultant for the Ford Foundation in New York, Chemonics International, Inc.. Washington DC, the International Development Research Center (IDRC, Ottawa) and has published several studies in the field of environment in Africa
He has received several academic awards and honors including the Excellency Award of the University of Quebec, the Excellency Award of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Government of Quebec, the Bourse de la Francophonie and Hewlett Packard Award from of the University of California at Berkeley.
Mr Abou Bamba holds an undergraduate degree in Port and Maritime Administration, a Master’s degree of Science in Economics and Management (maj: integrated oceans management) from the University of Quebec, Canada, a degree in Sustainable Management of the Environment at the University of California at Berkeley, United States, and several certificates in political economy of the environment from the World Bank Economic Development Institute, Washington D.C., USA…..
He is a citizen of the Ivory Coast.


Assistant Professor, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Japan International Program Chair, World Aquaculture Society

Leila Basti, is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Marine Resources and Environment, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT), Japan. She is the first Arab and African woman to have a faculty position in marine sciences, as part of the Japanese governmental tenure-track program, funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). She is currently member of the steering committee of the World Aquaculture Society, and has been appointed the International Program Chair of the World Aquaculture Conference 2020, Singapore.
She obtained her Eng. (Hons.) from the National Agronomic Institute of Tunisia. Her research on coastal ecology and shellfish stock assessment, using GIS, earned her the Engineer Laureate Prize from the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Agriculture, Tunisia, 2004. She later on obtained her MSc and PhD in Marine Sciences from Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Japan. She is the recipient of the Japanese Governmental Scholarship (Embassy recommendation 2004, 2007), the Strategic Young Researcher Postdoctoral Fellowship (TUMSAT 2010), the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowship (JSPS 2013), the National Shellfisheries Association Award (USA 2013). Dr. Basti was a visiting scientist and a visiting professor to several world-leading research institutes and universities in USA, UK, Netherlands, France, Germany, Japan, and New Zealand. She has been a Principal Investigator in several research projects covering the ecophysiology of aquatic invertebrates, harmful algal blooms and their impacts, aquaculture, and climate change. She has a proven record of peer-reviewed publications, book contribution, and several presentations and scientific session chairing at over 30 international conferences and symposia held in Oceania, Asia, Europe, Africa, USA and South America.

Yuvan A.

international expert on sustainable development and international relations

Yuvan A. Beejadhur is an international expert on sustainable development and international relations. He has technical and cross-sectoral expertise in climate change, ocean economy, agriculture and environment. He has worked in over ten countries and is fluent in English, French, Hindi and Creole (and speaks basic Mandarin).

He is a former Team Leader (Natural Resources Management Specialist) on the ocean economy and climate change, having provided a range of advisory, analytical and programmatic work at the World Bank Group (Washington DC, USA). Mr. Beejadhur also served on special assignment (special World Bank Group support to Executive Office of the UNSG) as an Adviser to the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoys on Climate Change (2013-2014). His experience spans international organizations, the private sector, NGOs and academia.

Between 2004-2006, he was an associate professor of International Relations at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations (GSD) and worked under the guidance of Dr. Colum Murphy, President and founder of GSD and former Spokesperson and former Director Political Affairs, UN in Bosnia Herzegovina. Mr. Beejadhur is a graduate, Bachelors of Arts International Affairs and Minors International Economics (American University of Paris), Diplome d’Etude Approfondie (Masters/Mphil Level) in national and European policies of the European Union (Universite de la Sorbonne, Paris III), a PhD Candidate (EU Policies of Development to Africa (Universite de la Sorbonne, Paris III). He also holds a negotiations Executive Education at Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University, 2007).


President, Tunisian British Chamber of Commerce

Mehdi is a senior executive with almost two decades in the Energy Sector and in International Trade and Commercial Diplomacy.

Mehdi is currently the Founder and Managing Partner of Excalibur International Advisory (EXIA), an independent firm focused on supporting businesses and governments in investment and trade.

He is also the President of the Tunisian-British Chamber of Commerce and Board Member of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce (London).

Mehdi has held several senior leadership positions within multinational companies including General Manager with Shell in Tunisia and Vice-President (and acting President) with BG Tunisia. He was entrusted to lead several hundred-million, complex government and commercial negotiations with high value impact, and lead sensitive stakeholders’ engagements for various critical issues in sensitive times.

Mehdi was also the Executive Director in charge of International Relations at UTICA (The Tunisian Employers’ Association) where he helped to reposition the Tunisian private sector internationally and supported alongside the government the negotiations of several bilateral and multilateral investment and trade agreements.

Mehdi holds a Master’s Degree in Commercial Diplomacy (MACD) and a Master’s Degree in International Business Administration (MBA) from MIIS in the US. He also obtained a Master Degree in Finance from IHEC in Tunisia.

He is married with two daughters.


Special Counsel, Cooley UK LLP

Joshua is a Special Counsel with Cooley U.K. LLP who specialises in public international law, with a particular emphasis on the Law of the Sea.

Prior to joining Cooley, Joshua was a Principal Legal Adviser with the Office of International Law of the Australian Attorney-General and later became the Head of the Oceans and Natural Resources Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, where he led the oceans and the blue economy work of the organisation from 2010 to 2017.

During that time he worked closely with a range of States in the African region including Cameroon, Kenya, Mauritius and Seychelles on the development of the blue economy and related law of the sea matters and continues in his current role to advise a range of States throughout the world on aspects of the blue economy.


SWIO-Sustainable Fisheries Program, WWF Mozambique 

Manuel Castiano has worked for WWF since 2013 and in 2017 was appointed Regional Coordinator for the South West Indian Ocean Sustainable Fisheries Program which geographically benefits four countries namely Kenya, Mozambique, Madagascar and Tanzania. He is one of the African voices promoting laws and policies to prevent Illegal fish from entering ports or crossing international borders, helping fishermen, industry, and governments adopt tracking systems to monitor fishing activity and to document catches. The Monitoring, Control, and Surveillance as an executive arm to combat IUU fishing was a flag activity in Southern Africa and with his support most of Southern Africa Development Community countries have ratified or acceded the Port State Measure Agreement and the Minister of this region have adopted a Charter for the establishment of a Regional Monitoring Control and Surveillance (MCS) Center.

In his capacity Manuel Castiano carried out policy advocacy activities vis-à-vis relevant enforcement authorities, fisheries ministries, and MCS institutions at both national and regional scales in view to increase awareness of the IUU problem and transparency-related solutions among stakeholders, decision makers, and the general public. He still keeps abreast of emerging issues in the area of sustainable fisheries and has supported some African countries in building up their voluntary commitments for the implementation of SDG14 including in their participations in the UN intergovernmental Conference for negotiations of an International treaty for areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Before joining WWF, Manuel Castiano worked for the Government of Mozambique from 2000-2013 and successively occupied the post of Chief of Department of MCS, General Deputy Director of National Fisheries Administration and Director for Fisheries Law Enforcement. Manuel Castiano is also a Lawyer by profession and continues to work on the side as a regular lecturer at the University Eduardo Mondlane.


Director, DG Mare, European Commission

Since January 2017, Bernhard Friess has been the Director of the Directorate “Maritime Policy and Blue Economy” of the European Commission’s Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Directorate-General.

Mr Friess studied Law at Munich University. His career with the European Commission included assignments in the areas Internal Market Policy, Competition Policy, Maritime Policy and Fisheries, and Education and Training. 


Executive Director, Financial Services, Africa Finance Corporation

Sanjeev Gupta is Africa Finance Corporation’s (“AFC”) Executive Director for Financial Services. He is responsible for Treasury, Trade Finance & Syndication and Corporate Advisory lines of business within AFC. Mr. Gupta has over 25 years’ experience in Investment Management, Private Equity and Corporate Advisory Services. Sanjeev’s forte has been to blend together global and indigenous corporates, financial investors, and governments to develop commercially viable business and development models that leave a sustainable impact on emerging market economies.

Prior to joining AFC, Mr. Gupta was the Managing Partner of Emerging Markets Mergers and Acquisitions Center of Excellence at Ernst and Young. He was also the Chief Executive Officer of Sanlam Investment Management Emerging Markets operations and a Founder and Managing Partner of Emerging Opportunity Consulting, a boutique advisory firm specialising in SME financing.

Mr. Gupta holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Calcutta, India and is an Alumnus of the Said Business School, University of Oxford, England. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, India (FCA).


Director, Sea Shepherd

Born in Sweden, Peter Hammarstedt, 33, sits on the Board of Sea Shepherd Global and is Chairman of Sea Shepherd Australia. He is the captain of the marine conservation ship ‘Bob Barker’ and as the Director of Campaigns for Sea Shepherd, oversees the development of programs to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing around the African continent.

For the past several years, Sea Shepherd has under Peter’s leadership, provided civilian offshore patrol vessels, under so-called ‘ship rider’ agreements, to the African coastal states of Liberia, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe and Tanzania. 

Joint patrols between Sea Shepherd and the law enforcement agents of African coastal states have resulted in the arrests of over 21 illegal fishing vessels over the past three years; detecting and deterring IUU fishing activity while also monitoring legal compliance by licensed fishing operators.

The civilian offshore patrol vessels – provided at no cost to partner countries – have served as critical platforms for capacity-building of armed forces in increasing monitoring, control and surveillance capabilities in the maritime domain.


Founding President and CEO, World Ocean Council

Paul Holthus founded and leads the World Ocean Council (WOC), the international business leadership alliance on “Corporate Ocean Responsibility”. Through his work at the WOC, he brings together shipping, fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, oil/gas, offshore renewables, seabed mining, submarine cables, ports, investment and other sectors to create business community leadership and collaboration in addressing ocean sustainable development. 

Prior to the WOC, Paul held senior positions with the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and with several international environment organizations, including as: Deputy Director, IUCN Global Marine Programme; head of the Asia Pacific Marine Program, The Nature Conservancy. He has worked in over 30 countries, with companies, communities, industry associations, UN agencies, NGOs, foundations and governments to develop practical solutions to ocean sustainable development.

He is a graduate of the University of California and University of Hawaii, with advanced degrees/certificates in marine resources and international business. He was a Fulbright scholar in Australia and is an East-West Center alum. He is a frequent speaker at the international ocean and industry conferences, was invited to be on the UN Secretary General’s ocean expert advisory panel for Rio+20, and is the only ocean industry organization representative to have addressed the UN General Assembly.



Christine Holzbauer is a freelance Reporter specialized on Africa working for Le Monde Diplomatique and as a Correspondent for Financial Afrik in Paris. She was formerly Regional Correspondent for West and Central Africa at L’Express, La Croix and La Tribune, firstly based in Mali and then in Senegal. She also worked for New African, African Business, African Banker and New African Women. She is a graduate from Sciences Po. Paris; holds a DESS from La Sorbonne and did her Ph.D. studies in International Relations, Development and Communication at American University in Washington, D.C. 


Adviser, Filmmaker, Honorary Fellow, Moderator, Motivational Speaker

Maximilian Jarrett is the Founder of Abundenta Divina (Media) Ltd, a political affairs, government relations and strategic communications advisory services firm. As an independent consultant, he is retained to provide advisory services to several high-profile clients across the world. This includes serving as Special Adviser to the Chair of the Africa Progress Group, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In the academic realm, he serves as Honorary Fellow at Murdoch University, in Perth, Western Australia and Honorary Fellow at the Research Centre for Governance, Leadership and Global Responsibility, at Leeds Business School and Leeds Beckett University in the United Kingdom. His volunteer roles include serving as a member of the International Council of the United Kingdom’s Creative Industries Federation and as an active supporter of the Malaika Foundation school for girls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Maximilian has three decades of professional experience in the field of African and international political affairs, multilateral diplomacy, intergovernmental policy coordination, media production, speech writing and strategic communications, including serving most recently as the final Director-in-Charge of the Geneva based Africa Progress Panel, chaired by the late former UN Secretary General and Nobel Laureate, Kofi Annan, and over a  decade as a regular daily current affairs radio programme presenter and senior producer with the British Broadcasting Corporation World Service, where he began his career in 1990. A passionate Pan-Africanist and internationalist, he was born not very far from the Atlantic Ocean in Monrovia, Liberia.


Chief Operating Officer, Asset Management Executive Director, Trade and Development Bank (TDB)

Dr Frannie Léautier is a finance and development expert, with long-standing global experience leading and transforming organisations in the private, public and not-for-profit spheres. Prior to joining TDB, she served as Senior Vice President at the African Development Bank, Vice President at the World Bank Group, and Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation. In addition to having founded two companies, Dr Léautier is a Board Member, Trustee, Special Advisor, Founder and Member of a number of prestigious international organisations, including the World Economic Forum (WEF), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), OCP Group, African Risk Capacity Ltd (ARC Ltd), African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), Institute for Security Studies (IIS), King Baudouin Foundation USA (KBFUS), Nelson Mandela Institute for Science and Technology (NM-AIST), and others. She is a well-recognised author and academic, having published numerous books, articles and papers in international development and having taught Masters-level courses at Sciences Po, MIT, Harvard, Duke, and the University of Tokyo. In addition to her Civil Engineering Degree from Dar es Salaam University and a Transportation Masters from MIT, Dr Léautier holds a PhD in Infrastructure Systems from MIT, and honorary degrees from North Central College and Lancaster University.


Communications Coordinator, Blue Ventures

Ruth H. Leeney is the communications lead for the outreach team of international marine conservation NGO, Blue Ventures. Blue Ventures develops locally-led approaches to marine management that benefit people and nature alike. By listening and responding to basic needs, Blue Ventures designs its models to catalyse and sustain marine conservation, unlocking the potential of coastal communities to manage their marine environments. Blue Ventures’ teams work in places where the ocean is vital to local cultures and economies, and are committed to advancing the rights of small-scale fishers throughout the coastal tropics.

Blue Ventures aims to develop scalable solutions to marine environmental challenges, through approaches that catalyse conservation action and make economic sense to coastal communities. Ruth interacts directly with the organisations Blue Ventures partners with in communities throughout Indonesia and the western Indian Ocean, to document and share learning, ensuring that their stories are told to global audiences.

Ruth earned her PhD and BSc (Hon) from University College Dublin, Ireland. She has worked for over 15 years in the fields of marine ecology, fisheries, socio-economics and science communication. She has worked extensively in both West and East Africa, as well as in Asia and South America. Ruth is a member of both the IUCN Shark Specialist Group and IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group; a New England Aquarium Ocean fellow and a National Geographic Explorer. She has published over 30 scientific papers and specialist reports and has created films, cartoons and toolkits aimed at diverse audiences from community members to international policy makers.


Oceans Governance Director, The Nature Conservancy

Marta has been directing the Ocean Governance programme at the Conservancy since 2016. She is an environmental lawyer with over 10 years of experience protecting nature through international and European Union policy and law. For over 6 years she has worked to tackle the issue of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing globally, as well as helping to establish groundbreaking legislation to protect the deep sea. She works with public and private partner organisations around the world to enable accurate fisheries management decisions and monitoring. Marta also brings experience working with the European Commission on multilateral environmental agreements. 

She holds a Masters degree in Environmental Policy and Management from the University Carlos III of Madrid, Spain; as well as a Masters in Energy and Environmental Law from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

The Nature Conservancy is committed to conserving and sustainably managing our ocean, seas and marine resources. We are working in Europe, Africa, Asia, North America, South America and Australia in order develop this global strategy. 


Sustainable Finance Secondee, Standard Chartered Bank

Marc Naidoo is a senior banking and finance associate at White & Case London. His focus is on emerging markets with a particular emphasis on Africa and sustainability. He has extensive experience in representing development finance institutions and boasts a broad practice experience which includes the provision of legal services in the areas of finance (debt and equity, including capital markets), general banking (operational and regulatory), property finance, project finance as well as general corporate services. Prior to joining White & Case, Marc was a leading associate at a major South African law firm. Marc has also worked at the African Development Bank as a private sector consultant in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, and was involved in setting up certain sustainability platforms which benefited the continent. In his current role, Marc has been seconded to Standard Chartered Bank to assist in policy and framework development governing Standard Chartered’s newly formed Sustainable Finance team, which seeks to catalyse sustainable finance where it is needed the most. In this role, Marc works closely with Daniel Hanna, who is global head for both, Public Sector and Development Organisations, and Sustainable Finance for Standard Chartered.


International Maritime Lawyer, Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC)-Africa

Lydia has been engaged in the shipping and maritime industry throughout her career. She is an International Maritime Law Lawyer also specialized in the field of Marine Environmental Law especially on matters Climate Change in the Shipping and Maritime Industry. For the last 6 years, she has worked with both private and public organizations as a Maritime legal expert. Lydia is currently the Head of MTCC- Africa a project funded by the European Union and implemented by the International Maritime Organization, the Global MTCC Network (GMN) – formally titled “Capacity Building for Climate Mitigation in the Maritime Shipping Industry”

She also brings experience working with the International Maritime Organization as an IMO Consultant on Marine Environmental Law issues. In addition to this, she lecturers Maritime Law in a Public university. She has also advised local and international organizations on Maritime related issues. She holds a Master’s degree in International Maritime Law from IMO- International Maritime Law Institute Malta; she has attended specialized trainings in the field of Marine Environmental Law with a focus on Climate Change in the Shipping and Maritime Industry among others.

Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre – MTCC Africa is committed to enhance global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping industry whilst relying heavily on improvements in energy efficiency and increased uptake of low-carbon technologies. Better energy efficiency means less fuel is used, and that means lower emissions in the Shipping and maritime industry.

Poivre d’Arvor

French Ambassador to Tunisia

Philosopher by training, Olivier Poivre d’Arvor started his career as a literary advisor in various publishing houses. He also worked as an actor and director and as a journalist. He is the founder of Tel, an economic and cultural weekly.

As a winner of the Villa Médicis “Hors les Murs” scholarship (United States, 1987), he held various positions within the French network abroad: Director of the French Cultural Centre of Alexandria (1988-1990), he successively reopened the French Institute of Prague (1990-1994), then directed the French Institute of the United Kingdom and served as Cultural Advisor to the French Embassy in London (1994-1999).

From February 1999 until the summer of 2010, he directed the French Association for Artistic Action (AFAA), which became Culturesfrance in 2006, and thereafter the French Institute. In 2007, he joined the Quai d’Orsay as Minister Plenipotentiary. He was appointed director of France Culture in the summer of 2010 and ran the public service radio station until September 2015 until he became Ambassador in charge of promoting France’s cultural attractiveness and launched the Grand Tour (January-July 2016).

In 2005, he produced the first edition of the “Word Marathon” in Toulouse, a festival at the crossroads of speech and text which has since become the second most important literary encounter in France.

He has been the President of the National Maritime Museum since 2014.

As a novelist and essayist, Olivier Poivre d’Arvor has published many books.

He was appointed Ambassador of France to Tunisia and took office at the beginning of September 2016.


CEO, Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT)

Angelique has always had a passion for advancing the sustainable use and conservation of our oceans. She was born and grew up in a fishing district, Bel Ombre, in Seychelles where she gained a firsthand perspective on the critical importance to preserve marine resources.

Angelique is a lawyer (Seychelles and UK) and she holds an LLM in Environmental law specializing in the law of the sea and natural resources law. Also, Angelique is a trained climate change negotiator under the AOSIS Climate Change Fellowship Programme at the United Nations.

Angelique has worked in different countries in the Caribbean, Pacific and the Indian Ocean on a wide-range of projects relating sustainable fisheries, sustainable management of marine biodiversity within and beyond national jurisdiction, and climate change, in particular, climate adaptation and climate finance. Further, she served as a legal expert of the African Group of Sixth Committee in works of oceans and law of the sea at the United Nations.

Moreover, Angelique has experience working with civil society as a co-founder for a not-for-profit organization in Seychelles and a Board member of a Commonwealth-wide youth-led organization. 


Vice President, African Women in Maritime

Ipeleng Selele is a qualified International Strategist and an entrepreneur. She specializes in foreign market entry strategies and execution across different sectors and markets in Africa and the globe. Ipeleng has interests in maritime affairs, LPG and LNG distribution, foreign market entry strategies, strategic consulting services, maritime ports training, agro processing, facilities management, ICT and Education.

She has worked on projects in South Africa, Kenya, Cameroon, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Namibia, Ghana, Rwanda, Nigeria, Angola, Singapore, US and the UK. Ipeleng’s sector experience is in Maritime and Ports, Oil and Gas, Telecommunications, IT, FMCG, Banking, Branding and Marketing, Pharmaceuticals, Infrastructure, Media, Insurance and Automobiles. She also has a solid experience in strategic nation branding, she conceptualized and executed the first Brand South Africa’s stakeholder engagement strategy programme and training globally that was showcased at the World Economic Forum in Davos-Switzerland. She assisted with the maritime annexure plan for maritime and women in maritime at the African Union in relation to Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy 2050 execution plan at the AU. She also conceptualized and launched the first ever portal of African Maritime Affairs that was launched at the African Union.

Ipeleng Selele holds an MSC (Master of Science) in International Marketing Strategy majoring in Foreign Market Entry Strategy from the University of London South Bank. She recently completed an African Leadership Executive Course from Oxford University as part of her TUTU Fellowship as well as a Strategy Execution Qualification from INSEAD, France.


President, The Ocean Foundation

Mark J. Spalding, President of The Ocean Foundation is a member of the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (USA). He is serving on the Sargasso Sea Commission. Mark is a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Blue Economy at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.  In addition, he serves as the advisor to the Rockefeller Ocean Strategy (an unprecedented ocean-centric investment fund) and is a member of the Pool of Experts for the UN World Ocean Assessment.  He designed the first-ever blue carbon offset program, SeaGrass Grow.  Mark is an expert on international environmental policy and law, ocean policy and law, and coastal and marine philanthropy.


Minister of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries, Republic of Tunisia

Samir Taieb was appointed Minister of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries of Tunisia in August 2016. He is a Professor in General Law and Political Science and has been teaching at the University of Law and Political Science in Tunis since 1995. After the 2011 revolution, he was elected as a member of the “National Constituent Assembly” in the elections of 23rd October 2011 and a representative of the Tunis 1 area.

He is also a member of the “Constitutional Laboratory” and a member of the research unit on “Government and Society and Culture” at the University of Law and Political Science. In July 2011, he obtained a degree of the “Fulbright Institute” of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and is also the founding member and vice-president of the “National Observatory of Democratic Transition”. He published many articles in Tunisian and foreign publications on constitutional law, political science, penal law and public finance.

Dr Sana
Taktak Keskes

Tunisian Ambassador, International Association for Women in the Seafood Industry (WSI)

Dr Sana Taktak Keskes has been working as a doctor at the Occupational Medicine Group since 1997, in charge of health, hygiene, safety and environment. She is the author of several national and international publications and received awards for best communications in 1998, 2004, 2005 and 2010, as well as an award in best practices in gender issues and sustainable development. She holds a Diploma and certificate in occupational pathology, health, safety and environment and sustainable development, integrated coastal management and gender and environment. Within the civil society, she is the founder and president of the Continuity of Generations Association (ACG), Industrial Pollution Regional Observatory Association (ORPIS) and Association of Women collecting clams (AFPD). She is active in national networks and associations including Tunwet, FTED and Water Dynamics, as well as international networks including “Ecole de la Paix Grenoble” and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). She is also a member of ECOSOC Wet Land National committee member and Ambassador of Women in the Seafood Industry (WSI) in Tunisia. Additionally, Sana acts as Coordinator and Director of several national and international projects on entrepreneurship, environment, climate change, biodiversity, international waters and sustainable development and is also a guest speaker and panellist in national and international conferences on environment and sustainable development.


Founder and Managing Partner, The Global Ocean Trust 

Torsten Thiele is Founder of Global Ocean Trust and a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam. As a Visiting Fellow at the LSE Institute of Global Affairs he leads the Blue Finance initiative. Torsten is also a Senior Advisor to the IUCN Blue Natural Capital Finance Facility. Torsten consults widely with public, private and civil society organisations on ocean governance, finance and blue economy issues.

Torsten is an expert in the financing of infrastructure and technology, with global experience in structuring debt and equity solutions. He worked in the City of London for over 20 years, both at development banks and at private sector firms. Until 2013 Torsten was Head of Telecoms Project Finance at Investec Bank plc.

His recent publications cover topics such as innovative finance for the High Seas, eco-system-based management mandates and deep-sea governance. Recent conferences included the Choiseul Africa Summit in Algiers, the Word Bank Financing Sustainable and Climate-Resilient Ocean Economies in Africa Conference in the Seychelles and the UN climate conference in Katowicze where he highlighted innovative ocean finance options.

Torsten holds graduate degrees in law and economics from Bonn University, an MPhil from the University of Cambridge and an MPA from Harvard University where he was also 2014 Advanced Leadership Fellow.


Special Envoy for the Ocean, United Nations

Peter Thomson is a Fijian diplomat who served as President of the General Assembly of the United Nations from September 2016 until September 2017. He was Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations between 2010 and 2016. For the year 2014, he was elected President of the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS). He led the Fiji team of diplomats that in 2013 chaired the Group of 77 and China – the UN’s largest negotiating group comprised of 133 developing countries. He was elected as President of the International Seabed Authority’s Assembly in 2011 and as President of its Council in 2015. In October 2017, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed Ambassador Thomson as the first UNSG’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, in which role he is driving the implementation of SDG14, the UN Sustainable Development Agenda’s goal to conserve and sustainably use the resources of the Ocean.


CEO, Institut Méditerranéen de Formation Aux Métiers Maritimes (IMFMM)

Mr Imed Zammit has 27 years’ experience in the maritime field (Navy, Merchant Navy, Maritime Authority).
He participated in the elaboration and implementation of the Five Year Plan (1991-2001, 2002-2006) in maritime, port policy and strategy development, and strengthening of maritime safety and security. He is a member of the committees to reform and update the International Conventions, Code of Policy and Navigation at Sea, Ports Code (ISPS Code) and the Code of Merchant Navy.
He was head of Maritime and Inland Water Transport Unit at the African Union Commission and held several senior posts in the Ministry of Transport, Deputy Director General of the Tunisian Shipping Company, and Chief Executive Officer of the Merchant Marine and Ports Authority. 
Since 2011, he has been General manager of the Mediterranean Maritime Institute and is also Secretary General of the Tunisian Association of Maritime Law.
He is also a lecturer at the Naval Academy and School of Merchant Navy in the field of Maritime Legislation, Maritime Safety and Security, and Pollution for the Naval Officer and Coast Guard personnel over a 15-year period


President, African Women in Maritime (WIM Africa) 

Jean Chiazor Anishere graduated from University of Ife in 1985, where she bagged her Bachelor’s degree in Law. In 1986 she was called to the Nigerian Bar at the Nigerian Law School. 

In 1994, she bagged her Master’s degree in Law at the University of Lagos, Akoka and in 1996 she was sworn as the first female Notary Public by the then Chief Justice of Nigeria. In 1998, she bagged another Master’s degree in Transport Management from the Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho, Nigeria. 

She attended many International Courses and received Certificates of Merit from the Cambridge Academy of Transport, UK and Oxford, England. 

Jean served as a State Counsel at the Lagos State Ministry of Justice. She was Head of Chambers at the Law Firm Bayo Kehinde & Co until 1994 when she joined Olisa Agbakoba & Associates and served as the Managing Solicitor from 1994-1996. From 1996, she opened her own Law Firm at 4, Park Lane, Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria, where she currently practices.

She was awarded many laurels such as: International Woman of the year 1997-1998 award and International Professional of the Year 2005 by the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge, England, in recognition of her services to Law.

She served as a Maritime Legal Consultant to the House of Representatives Committee on Marine Transport, Nigeria. She is also a member of the Nigerian Bar Association; Nigerian Chamber of Shipping; International Bar Association; and a Founding Member and the immediate past President of Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association, Nigerian Chapter (WISTA-NIG.).

She was the first Vice President of African Women in Maritime (WIMAFRICA); the immediate past President of the Nigeria chapter of African Women in Maritime (WIMAFRICA) and presently serves as the Continental President of African Women in Maritime (WIMAFRICA). 


Programme Leader Ecosystems, Economies and Sustainable Development, GRID-Arendal

Christian Neumann works for GRID-Arendal, a Norwegian foundation collaborating closely with UN Environment. He’s joined the organisation seven years ago, and todays leads its Programme on Ecosystems, Economies and Sustainable Development, bringing together a range of projects focusing on the interface between healthy marine ecosystems and human well-being, both globally and with a focus on the Atlantic coast of Africa.

Christian has served as the chief editor of UN Environment’s 2012 Green Economy in a Blue World report, and has worked with hundreds of practitioners over the past years, to develop their knowledge on integrating natural capital and ecosystem services into marine planning.

Before joining GRID-Arendal, he was led the World Wide Fund for Nature’s initiative to create Marine Protected Areas in the High Seas.


CEO of Mark Eddo Media Ltd

Mark Eddo is an international journalist and CEO of Mark Eddo Media Ltd. Between 2006 and 2009 Mark was the Senior Correspondent Business and Economics for ITV News in London. On most week nights Mark joined Sir Trevor Macdonald on the News at Ten and kept ITV’s 5 million regular viewers informed on all the major business stories.

Before ITN, Mark spent 4 years working as a presenter and reporter at the BBC in London. He regularly hosted ‘World Business Report’ on BBC World. Mark provided BBC reports from Asia, South Africa, the USA and the Middle East. Until March 2012, he continued to work for the BBC as the roving reporter for BBC World’s Africa Business Report. Mark has also reported for Al Jazeera, CNBC, MSNBC, NBC in San Francisco and The Wall Street Journal TV in New York.

Mark is a respected public speaker who has moderated many major international business events such as the United Nations Habitat conference in Naples and Kigali and Economist Magazine Conferences in Abuja, Lagos and Addis Ababa. Mark is the son of a Nigerian engineer and a British nurse. He grew up in Lagos and London.