theme: 'Celebrating African Women, Their Voices'

Speakers Test

Passion. Experience. Diligence.


Keynote Speakers


Juanita Agard

Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH), USA

A sought-after cybersecurity expert, Juanita Agard is a Senior Consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the world’s leading information technology consulting firms. Her expertise spans the corporate and government sectors, and she has shaped cybersecurity policies and governance for some of the most innovative and significant organizations today, including FDA and NASA. As a speaker and panelist, Juanita lends her insight to discussions on the current state, trends, and evolution of the cybersecurity industry.

Juanita launched her career in information technology at IBM as an IT Specialist in 2005. An avid learner, Juanita seized the opportunity to expand her role and explore other professional paths on the cutting edge of the industry. It was during that discovery that she was introduced to the world of cybersecurity, and a fresh passion and interest was immediately ignited. A relatively new industry with few women at its helm, Juanita was committed to charting her own course to success. Where others would see obstacles, Juanita saw opportunity. She independently researched the emerging educational paths that would allow her to combine her experience in IT engineering with technology law, and in doing so, she learned of a cyber education partnership between the renowned Booz Allen Hamilton and local universities. Seizing her chance, she applied and accepted a position within the firm as a Software Requirement Engineer and, within a few months, earned a spot in the company’s coveted Cyber Cohort program. While studying for her master’s in cybersecurity technology, Juanita simultaneously completed the rigorous EC- Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) boot camp and CompTIA Security + curriculums to earn her cyber certifications. 

Deeply devoted to the diversification of the industry and lifting other women as she climbs, Juanita brings her voice and vision to platforms and stages across the globe. She was recently featured as a contributing author in the book, Women In Security, a collection of transparent and powerful stories from success-seeking women in the field who continue to break down barriers in the male-dominated world of cybersecurity. Juanita is also a founding member of The Sister Circle, a ground-breaking professional mentoring program created for minority women at Booz Allen Hamilton.

Juanita holds a Bachelor of Science degree in System and Computer Science, with a minor in Mathematics, from Howard University, a Masters in Cybersecurity Technology from University of Maryland University College, and a Cybersecurity Technology Graduate Certificate. A Seattle, Washington native, she currently resides in the Washington Metro area with her two sons.



Peter Dawkins, Prof.

Victoria University, President & Vice Chancellor

Peter Dawkins became the third Vice-Chancellor and President of Victoria University in January 2011.

This followed six years in high level leadership roles for the Victorian Government, and twenty eight years in the university sector, of which almost a decade was as the Ronald Henderson Professor and Director of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, at the University of Melbourne.

Peter was Deputy Secretary of the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance (2005-2006) and Secretary of the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (2006-2010)

His research, publications and advice to government have covered such areas as labour markets, unemployment, taxation and welfare, education and health. Since being Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University, his contributions to policy debates has largely been in the area of education, especially tertiary education.      

In 2015, the University Council extended his appointment as Vice-Chancellor and President of Victoria University for a further five years, and he released a strategic plan which leads Victoria University into the 21st Century as the ‘University of Opportunity and Success’, building on the core promise to deliver learning opportunities for students from diverse countries, cultures, socioeconomic and educational backgrounds; and ensure they find their own personalised success as measured by their employability, entrepreneurial mindset, and contributions to industry and community.



Habiba Cheikh

Former Director of Information and Communication
African Union Commission, Addis Abeba Ethiopia

Full Bio coming soon...



(E-man Kh-air)

Eiman Kheir

Policy Officer- Middle East, Asia and Oceania
Directorate of Citizens and Diaspora Organizations
African Union Commission

Ms. Kheir is a Diaspora Policy Officer with the Citizens and Diaspora Directorate (CIDO) responsible for the Middle East, Asia and Oceania regions. With a focus on Diaspora and development (D4D), Ms Kheir aims to establish, enable and grow a network of diaspora partnerships capable of effecting change in addition to supporting African Member States in establishing, enhancing and implementing effective Diaspora Policies and Engagement Strategies.

Ms Kheir comes with over ten years of international experience working with various UN Agencies and Peace keeping operations (DPKO) in Electoral Assistance, Conflict Resolution, Disarmament, Demobilization & Reintegration (DDR), Research and International Development.



(Ah- Maad El Ba-Sheer)

Ahmed El Basheer

Acting Director of the Citizens and Diaspora Organization
Directorate of Citizens and Diaspora Organizations
African Union Commission

Mr. Elbasheer is the African Union Commission's Acting Director of Citizens and Diaspora Directorate (CIDO), he is also the Head of the Diaspora Division and doubles as the Acting head of the Secretariat of the African Union's Economic, Social, and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC). He has served as the Head of the Diaspora Division for over 9 years with a goal to invite and encourage the full participation of the African Diaspora as an important part of our continent.

Mr. El Basheer, a law degree holders, is also a Civil Activist and founder of the grassroots organization Al Neeema Foundation which focuses on Community Development. Prior to joining CIDO Mr. El Basheer was the Assistant Registrar for the Office of registration of Political parties in Sudan.



(Chee-ree- tw-iee Os-ei)

Kyeretwie Osei

Policy Officer – Americas and Caribbean
Directorate of Citizens and Diaspora Organizations
African Union Commission

Mr. Kyeretwie Osei is the Policy Officer at the African Union Commission’s Directorate of Citizens and Diaspora Organizations (CIDO); with responsibility for the Americas and the Caribbean. He also has interim responsibility for the Europe Region. His career background is in international development and project management; with expertise in the development of diaspora partnerships, design and management of diaspora-for- development (D4D) projects, and diaspora mapping. He has also advised governmental and other development partners in the areas of diaspora policy and program development.

Prior to joining the African Union Commission, Mr. Osei 7 years with the Canadian development organization Cuso International including several years overseeing the African Diaspora Program.



Plenary Speakers


nkandu beltz.jpg

Nkandu Beltz

Author, International Speaker and Social Pioneer.
Founder and Managing Director: Centre for Leadership and Management. 

Nkandu Beltz is an award-winning leader and Social Pioneer. With a background in Journalism and News Writing, Nkandu loves to have inspired conversations with thought leaders, from interviewing his Holiness the Dalai Lama to running youth workshops in Schools, Universities and Corporate Companies. She teaches young people to unleash their potential and live a balanced life. She will challenge your perception of leadership and communication.

Nkandu is the founder and managing Director of the Centre for Leadership and Management. 



Women in Leadership. Balance! Why your happiness depends on it.


They say behind every successful man is a woman and behind every successful woman are women. I say behind every successful person are men and women.  Just as much as it takes a village to raise a child. It takes a community to create meaningful change. A support system for community leaders. 

Session Outline

Keynote will focus on: Leadership and women. How can we create more leaders. 
The basic individual hierarchy of values in the construction of leadership and maintaining it. The audience will learn:

  • How to unlock your potential-Opportunity 
  • Clarify your vision and mission 
  • Balancing your seven areas of life


  • Help women to identify their values
  • Help the audience to balance all the seven areas of their lives
  • Why personal leadership is very important before they step out in community leadership roles
  • Thinking like a champion