Discussion Panel

We are delighted and honored to present here below the speakers of this high-level panel:


Vimal Shah, CEO of Bidco Oil Refineries Limited and BIDCO Group


Mr. Vimal Shah is the CEO of Bidco Oil Refineries Limited and BIDCO Group, a business conglomerate involved in the manufacture of edible oil, detergents, soaps, margarine and baking powder. He is also a member of the 3GF (Global Green Growth Fund) Advisory Board and the Tony Elumelu Foundation Advisory Board.

Until April 2015, he was the Chairman of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance-the private sector body in Kenya, and is a former Chairman of the East African Business Council and the Kenya Association of Manufacturers. Mr. Vimal Shah was the 2012 recipient of the East African Entrepreneur of the Year award awarded by All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) in partnership with CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa. He was named Oshwal Entrepreneur of the Year and awarded the ‘First Class: Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (CBS) in December 2011 - the highest national honour for a private citizen in Kenya. Under his leadership, Bidco has received over 30 corporate awards in 15 years across various domains: energy management, business leadership and manufacturing.

Mr. Vimal Shah holds an honorary PHD awarded by the KCA University for his contribution to the growth of entrepreneurship in Kenya and degree of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance.


Pierre Gattaz, President MEDEF - French Business Confederation


French businessman Pierre Gattaz was elected president of MEDEF, the Movement of the Enterprises of France in July 2013. At the same time, he became first statutory vice-president of the Comité France Chine, an organisation which aims to promote knowledge and understanding between French and Chinese companies and China’s government. He has been chairman of electronics manufacturer Radiall since 1994, and is an entrepreneur committed to defending and promoting early stage businesses.

As head of MEDEF, Mr Gattaz’s top priority is creating employment by giving companies the means and conditions to be competitive in a safe environment – the only way to restore growth needed for economic recovery.

Previous roles have included managing directorships at Fontaine Électronique, Convergie and Radiall, and he has held the title of president at several organisations - namely the Professional Association for Electronic Components and Systems, the Federation of Electrical, Electronic and Communication Industries and the Industrial Federations Group.

He graduated in engineering from Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications de Bretagne and holds a certificate in administrative management from George Washington University.

Mr Gattaz is the author of Le printemps des Magiciens (Magicians’ Spring, 2009), Les 7 piliers de la Croissance  (The 7 Pillars of Growth 2013), and Français, bougeons nous! (Let’s Move, France! 2014), all published by Nouveau Monde. In addition, in April 2016, his reflections Faire gagner la France à horizon 2020 and La France de tous les possibles appeared in the édition Débats publics. A married father of four, Mr Gattaz is Knight of the Legion of Honor and Officer of the National Order of Merit.


Rebecca Stromeyer, Founder of eLearning Africa

Rebecca Stromeyer is director of ICWE, an international events and communications company. She is also co-founder and co-owner of ICEF, the global leader in international student recruitment and travel for education workshops. Ms Stromeyer grew up in an international environment and is multilingual. Born in Kuwait, she spent her formative years in different countries in the Middle East, going on to study Slavonic Studies, Comparative Literature, Business Administration and Media Studies in Berlin, Moscow and the UK. Against this backdrop, she launched her successful exhibition series on languages and multiculturalism, which have been organised in european cities including Berlin, Budapest, London, Warsaw, Moscow and Prague since 1988.

As an organiser of global education events in all parts of the world, she co-launched the Online Educa conference series in Berlin in 1995. This annual event is now regarded as an important networking event on the calendar of the international e-learning industry. In 2000, the event was launched in Madrid, to include the Spanish-speaking e-learning community.

Ms Stromeyer’s project, eLearning Africa, responds to the need for ICT-supported learning in Africa. The annual international conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training was first held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2006, and later held in cities including Nairobi, Accra, Dakar, Lusaka and Windhoek. It is attended by over 1,700 delegates from all sectors, and ministers from many African nations.

Ms Stromeyer is founding director of E-Cubed Communications, an agency for international communications, marketing and public affairs. She is an advisory member to law firm ELIG and vice-chair of the board of the Global Business School Network. In addition, she is chairperson of East Trust, a non-profit organisation that aims to make a lasting positive impact on education in Africa and a board member of the Drucker Society.

And moderator:

Chris Bishop, Managing Editor or Forbes Africa