Sanjaykumar R Maharaj holds a Baccalaureus Artium (B.A.) degree and Baccalaureus Legum (LL.B.) degree from the University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. In 2017 he obtained his Masters degree (LL.M.) in Information and Communication Technology Law from the University of Oslo, Norway. He founded a South African commercial law-firm in 2009 and represented international corporations, national companies, financial institutions, prominent individual clients, and developing companies. In 2019 he founded a Tech-business of which the core aim is to provide products/services to enable sustainable and scalable solutions through innovation and technology. The business also provides legal consultancy services in the ICT sector. He has been instrumental in establishing and promoting strong ties between South African and Nordic business Communities. In addition, he is promoting study opportunities in higher education between South Africa and Norway. He was also recently been appointed to the advisory board of the Basic Internet Foundation, which aims to make digital inclusion accessible to improve the life of every single human, by providing free access to the Internet and information – furthering the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Mthunzi Perry-Mason Mdwaba holds a Baccalaureus Artium (B.A.) degree and Baccalaureus Legum (LL.B.) degree from the University of the Witswatersrand (WITS). He is the founder, President and CEO of TZoro IBC that operates across 27 countries, dedicated to Computer Technical Training Solutions (the largest partner for Cisco and Microsoft). He has held the position of the Chairman of Employer Organisations, namely, the BITF (Black Information Technology Forum) and for two terms was President of the ITA (Information Technology Association), which consisted of all the major IT and Telecoms companies such as Cisco, SAP & Siemens. He was a board member of the Business Women’s Association in South Africa, Vice President for Professionals that comprised members of the professional organisations of Business Unity South Africa and Vice President of the Uni-sectoral Sector (which included Technology, hospitality, banking and mining). He currently holds many strategic positions within the global employer arena, including that of IOE Vice-President to the ILO, Vice Chairman of the ILO GB, ex-officio member of the Global Commission on the Future of Work, Employer Spokesman for the PFA (Program, Finance & Administration), member of the B20 Task Force on Employment & Education, Chairman of the CSR & Business and Human Rights Policy Working Group of the IOE. At present in South Africa he is the Chairman of Signum Alliance (Telecoms & Fibre Optic OSH Association). Mthunzi also holds the position of Chairman of the University of the Western Cape, as well as Chairman of Productivity SA (a creation of the Employment Services Act, reporting into the Minister of Labour).
Tshego Nesvag is a strong business professional with an Executive MBA focused on Energy and Green Growth from BI Norwegian Business School. Her primary focus is within the energy sector in Sub Saharan Africa. Skilled in project financing, business networking, leadership as well as business management primarily from the banking sector in leading banks in South Africa such as Standard Bank and First National Bank and in Norway working for SEB. Her interest and skills are in helping to build responsible businesses with greater business values integrating the triple bottom lines (financial + environmental and social, or “profit + planet, people”). Other interests that gets Tshego’s spirit to come alive is working with women empowerment, alternative energy solutions and most recently, blockchain and machine learning.
Prof. Sunniva Whittaker is the rector of the University of Agder (UiA) for the period 2019 to 2023.
As rector, she is also the Chair of the University Board. She represents the university externally in matters connected to UiA and higher education in general. She is also frequently consulted on various issues by private and public sector stakeholders locally, regionally and nationally.
Prof. Whitakker aims to create a culture of learning where students feel like partners in a community of knowledge. She works to achieve close collaboration with students through cooperation with student organizations and associations and by having her own student mentors.
Ensuring good research conditions for research groups and individual researchers is also a top priority.
In line with UiA’s vision of co-creation of tomorrow’s knowledge, she stresses the importance of further development of collaboration between industry and public institutions in the region, including ensuring that students are connected to the labour market during their education.
An important aspect of this collaboration is promoting the knowledge that is co-created with industry and society. She works to strengthen the position of knowledge in the public debate, and consequently contribute to understanding and solving challenges in society.
Prof. Whittaker is aware of the importance of the university’s role in societal debate. In 2018, she arranged a conference where researchers from Norway and abroad discussed what role researchers of philosophy, literature, history and other humanities subjects should play in the public debate.
Prof. Whitakker considers both Norwegian and English as her mother tongues. She is a full professor, holding a PhD in French Linguistics from the University of Bergen and was formerly the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education at UiA. She has also held positions as Department Head and Vice Rector at NHH Norwegian School of Economics. She has studied French, Literary Science and Russian and is also a trained conference interpreter. Her PhD dissertation, which was written in French, explores how argumentation is integrated into language structures.
While working at NHH, she studied macroeconomics, marketing, organizational psychology, management and organizational theory. Her background in the humanities has given her a high level of cultural competence and human understanding. Sunniva recognizes the value of her interdisciplinary background and works to strengthen interdisciplinary collaboration at UiA.
Expert Advisors to SANA Board
Dr. Rotem is an associate professor at the University of Agder (UiA) School of Business and Law in Norway, and serves as the academic director of the university’s Center of Entrepreneurship. He has a track record of over 15 years in entrepreneurship education. He has been leading the Nordic Crowdfunding Alliance of platforms (2014-2018), co-founded and serves on the board of the Norwegian Crowdfunding Association since 2017. He is currently serving as an affiliate researcher at the Cambridge University Center for Alternative Finance, and is a co-author to its annual European benchmarking Report. His research includes issues related to crowdfunding success, behavior and motivations, internet marketing, and cognitive aspects of entrepreneurship. He has over a decade long track record of teaching, researching and supporting entrepreneurship. Thus far, he has published in various academic journals, trade magazines and has contributed a number of chapters to research-focused edited books.
Dr Mnganga obtained her doctorate from the Wits Business School and her MBL from the University of South Africa. Her honours and undergraduate studies were undertaken at the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN). Dr Phumla Mnganga is the founder and Managing Director of Lehumo Women’s Investment Holdings, a women owned and managed investment holding company. Lehumo has investments in manufacturing, road infrastructure/technology, cement, mining and tyre warehousing. Prior to this she was employed as an HRD/transformation executive for the Tongaat Hulett Group, and previously as a change management senior consultant at Deloitte. Dr Mnganga was the Deputy Chair (2008-2011) and thereafter Chairperson of UKZN Council (2011-2015). She was also the secretary of the South African Forum of University Council Chairpersons and the past Chairperson for the Siyazisiza Trust a large rural community trust that benefits rural women and vulnerable families from 2006-2016. She currently serves as an independent non-executive director on the Boards of Directors of the Adcorp, Spar Group, Crookes Brothers Limited and Gold Circle. She is currently the Chairperson of the Boards of Gold Circle, the Tolcon Group and Crookes Brothers South Africa. Dr Mnganga also chairs the Remuneration Committee of Crookes Brothers limited, and is a member of the Spar Group Remco and Nomcom. She also chairs the Social and Ethics Committees of the Spar Group and Crookes Brothers limited.
Catherine Banet (Dr) is Associate Professor in petroleum and energy law at the University of Oslo, Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law, Norway. Her core fields of legal expertise include energy law (oil, gas, CCS and electricity), environmental law, competition law (in particular state aids), EU/EEA law and law of the sea (in relation to energy and mining activities). She wrote her PhD-thesis on “Tradable Green Certificates Scheme under EU Law and the Influence of EU law on national support schemes for renewable electricity generation” (UniPub 2012). Catherine has background from private law practice (Norway, France), the European Commission (DG ENV), U.S. diplomatic mission and academia. She is actively used as a lecturer at international universities (incl. Oslo, Firenze, Reykjavik, Malta, Cape Town) and conferences. She is the author of several articles and studies within energy law. Catherine is one of the four academic directors of the professional LL.M. programme North Sea Energy Law Programme (NSELP). She is a member of the Academic Advisory Group of the Section on Energy, Environment and Infrastructure Law of the IBA, board member of the company Becour AS (Norway), and member of the committee on energy and environmental law of the Norwegian Center for Continuing Legal Education. She is regularly used as consultant by national and international organizations, including the European Commission. Her collaboration with South African partners focuses on power market reform and mining/minerals regulation.
Dinesh Harry has over two decades of Investment Promotion experience and holds a B-tech Marketing Degree from Cape Peninsula University of Technology. As an Investment Promotion Facilitator for WESGO (Western Cape Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency in South Africa) he facilitated many strategic foreign investments into South Africa, such as Hisense, Kimberley Clarke, PFNonwovens, NGK Ceramics and Atlantis Foundries. Dinesh is also a registered Immigration Practitioner and is able to guide investors and businesses on immigration regulations in South Africa. Dinesh’s role at Wesgro has allowed him to gain valuable insight into the Oil & Gas, Manufacturing and Energy sectors in South Africa.
Samson Esayas holds an LL.M degree in Information and Communication Technology Law from the University of Oslo (UiO) (2012) and an LL.B degree from the Hawassa University in Ethiopia. After completing the LL.M. program, Samson worked as a research assistant under the Internet governance 2 project and then as a researcher under two EU funded projects, RASEN and Coco Cloud, at the Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law (NRCCL), University of Oslo. Previously, he held the position of assistant lecturer at the Mekelle University (Ethiopia) (2008-2010). Samson was admitted as a PhD Candidate at the Department of Private Law, UiO, in March 2015.
Mr Jithendra Maharaj holds a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.) degree from the University of Kwazulu Natal. He also holds a Masters degree with specialisation in business administration (MBA) from Unisa and Open University Milton Keynes UK. He has served an academic and academic consultant to national and international business colleges. He has dealt with International Business and a plethora of business financial subjects in addition to project management modules at postgraduate level. His consulting in local government finance, compliance and operations where he has served National Treasury and the Western Cape Provincial Treasury on municipal finance improvement programmers and capacitation. His research has produced relevant conference papers dealing primarily with working capital finance and the administration thereof in municipalities within South Africa. His research into local government finance has culminated in his doctorate research proposal investigating the efficacy of government efforts to improve working capital finance and municipal fiscal capacities in improving infrastructure development and local business with relevance to international current practices in this field.
Ms Mpume Zwane is a business executive with over 20 years of experience in strategy, leadership, and portfolio management in the financial service industry, after having started her banking career through a Learnership Programme. She held the position of Regional Executive for Bidvest Bank KZN and is currently the Divisional Finance Director at Unilever. Ms Zwane is the Chairperson of Women in Business at Durban Chamber of Commerce and industry, and former Regional Chairperson of Businesswomen`s Association of South Africa.
Mpume holds a number of qualifications in Finance, Marketing, and Executive Leadership from various universities in South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Salim Essack is a South African based professional engineer who runs his own consulting service called Leanbiz Consulting. He has a career spanning FMCG, Nuclear and Innovation fields. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban, South Africa. He has also completed a Greenbelt in Lean Six Sigma in Germany and a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma from the USA. Salim has held several high-profile positions including being the principal design engineer on the Pebble Bed Nuclear Reactor, Systems Engineer on the Reactivity Control System, Group Engineering Manager for a large FMCG company, Business Improvement Manager for Westinghouse Electric Company, Project Director for a R500 Million greenfield New Build and Partner on a Disruption Innovation Programme for a large group of companies. He also serves as Mentor to the Innovation Hub and as an External Examiner of final year design for the University of Pretoria’s Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Department. In 2014, Salim founded Leanbiz Consulting, a Pretoria based company centered around delivering projects that optimize the client’s value stream. The company if focused on delivering operational and strategic value and prefers to partner with a few clients for the longer term. The company has considerable expertise in managing turn-key manufacturing build projects, delivering breakthrough improvement and conducting due diligence studies. In 2016, Leanbiz Consulting started to focus on disruptive innovation and the development and prototyping of technology solutions as a service for its customers.
Astrid Margrethe Hilde has a master of law degree with energy law as her field of expertise. She was elected Mayor of Sogne and currently holds this position since 2015. Preceding her current position she was a legal manager for Agder Energi Nett AS. She has also held the position as a deputy judge for the Norwegian Electricity Board, which is a Norwegian dispute settlement system for complaints from consumer customers. She is the deputy leader of Fellesnemnda, which is the board responsible for establishing the new municipality of Kristiansand. Her experience also extends to numerous board member positions for various companies and political parties.
Iva Tasheva, MBA and cybersecurity expert Iva Tasheva is a cybersecurity governance and policy expert. Her expertise includes cybersecurity, EU public policy, stakeholders relations, and advocacy. She is providing professional advice to organisations in the public and private sector on how to create a cybersecurity culture, governance framework, and policies. As for her academic qualifications, she is currently preparing a PhD proposal on the HR factor in cybersecurity risk management. She has obtained a Master in Cybersecurity degree (with distinction) and an MBA, specialised in International relations. Iva has leadership skills, speaks six languages and enjoys learning, thinking, writing, and building her professional network.
Shawn Munir holds a Master of Laws from the University of Oslo. During 2016 – 2018 he was a legal intern at top-tier Norwegian law firms – BA-HR, Wiersholm and Simonsen Vogt Wiig. In 2019 he joined Lawbotics, the leading legal technology company in Norway as a customer success manager. He has a passion for technology and innovation. Prior to his current position, Shawn worked as a legal consultant at The National Federation of House Owners in Norway (HL). By combining law and tech throughout his studies and work, Shawn developed a deep understanding about the legal sector and the technology sector. He also has experience from several board positions in various industries. In addition to Norwegian, Shawn speaks English, Urdu/Punjabi and Portuguese.
Wenzile Madonsela Masimanga is studying towards a Baccalaureus Legum (LL.B.) at the University of South Africa, Pretoria and is in her final year. During her time in the formal and informal sector, she has worked in the media space, social media content creation and stakeholder engagement.She is a budding human rights activist and a democracy defender. At 25 Wenzile had already held student leadership positions at Varsity College and the University of Pretoria whilst spearheading the #iamjackson campaign. During this time the university workers were in-sourced, and transformation policies were implemented for the “Afrikaans must fall” campaign. She has served as the transformation officer at the Black Lawyers Association. Wenzile is also a dedicated team member at the Thuli Madonsela Foundation and her role involves extensive legal research. She has founded a leadership training program for women called the “Princess Chronicles” which seeks to train young women on self-acceptance, living consciously, acting with integrity, living purposefully, being assertive and adapting to the digital revolution and functioning within a fast forming global village. Wenzile is managing an non-governmental organisation that is working alongside alongside trek4mandela where she is travelling with 100 girls to all 7 continents by 20/20. She is an activist and currently the Director of Unafundo (Pty) Ltd.
Gerald Tinonetsana has vast experience working across multiple sectors including management consulting, development finance, FMCG, pharmaceutical manufacturing, supply chain and logistics, and state owned enterprises. His key strengths and experiences are in strategy development and execution, operational efficiencies, stakeholder and change management. Gerald also has extensive experience in project design and scoping, project management and strong communication skills. Demonstrated experience include: Solid experience in designing and delivering large scale strategic projects, Extensive experience in leading diverse teams and leading client engagements, In-depth experience in managing customer relationships and cross selling, Proven experience in strategic planning and execution, Strong analytical and problem solving skills, and; Investment appraisal and credit risk management.
- Mphil Development Finance, University of Stellenbosch Business School (expected 2019)
- Master in Business Leadership, UNISA School of Business Leadership
- BSc (Hons) Chemical Technology, Midlands State University
Nonkqubela Noloyiso Mayatula Nonkqubela Noloyiso Mayatula holds an MBA (George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA, 2001) and B.Soc. Sci & Humanities (University of Cape Town, South Africa, 1993). Her entrepreneurial activities range from eco-tourism, wildlife management at Miarestate, (a wildlife estate in Haga Haga, East London, South Africa) and mining. She holds the Eastern Cape New Comer of the Year Award, won the Eastern Cape Lilizela 5 Star Service Excellence Award (in 2016 and 2017), and the Lap of Luxury Award Nationwide in 2017. She co-founded Motjoli Resources and was previously Deputy Managing Director of Coal of Africa Limited, a listed company. She served two terms as Chairman of Lafarge South Africa and has consulted for the Richard’s Bay Coal Terminal on coal export allocation issues. She has also advised blue chip ASX, AIM and JSE listed chip mining companies (including Anglo American and De Beers) on compliance with the mining law. She designed business processes for the implementation of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, and developed strategies for implementing the Mining Charter for the DMR. She is also the former Deputy Chairman of the Department of Mineral Resources Ministerial Advisory Board. Nonkqubela was the Chairman of the Maloma Colliery in Swaziland, the only operating mine at the time. She previously served on the New Africa Mining Fund Investment Committee, the board of the Central Energy Fund (CEF) that house Petro SA, Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF), the Board of the South African Mining Development Association (SAMDA). She was also a Mining Analyst at Mazwai Securities. Her professional career began with Accenture, consulting in strategy, business processes and change management for Spoornet, Eskom etc. Nonkqubela continues to provide strategic leadership on various boards and communities, including state organs.
Special Advisors to SANA Board
Øystein Djupedal held the position of member of Parliament in Norway for sixteen years and was a former Minister of Higher Education and Research. For six years he served as å Governor of Aust Agder and three years thereafter was appointed as a senior adviser to the Rector of University of Agder. As of March 2019 he shall take up his new position as Regional CEO of Husbanken. Øystein is also the founder and head of the program committee for Arendalsuka. He is also the leader of several boards in culture and business amongst which are IVRE AS, Det Andre Teater, Næs Jernverksmuseum and Falstadsenteret. He has also held the position of Vice chairman of Sosialistisk Venstreparti (SV) for 10 years.
is the highest profiled young female shipping executives globally, and fronted the first public global #MeToo discussions in shipping. She has advocated the next generation, diversity, sustainability and the need for change across the global maritime industry. Liodden is Director of Sustainability, Ocean Industries & Communication in Oslo Business Region. She heads the business program for Oslo as European Green Capital 2019. Liodden holds board roles in The Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue, RS Sea Rescue Academy, Bellona Foundation, WISTA Norway and is Chair of the Norwegian Organization for Electric Boats. She is on the Executive Committee of Polytechnic Association, and advisory council to REV Ocean and Southern Africa Norway Association. She is the first female Director of Nor-Shipping, Founder & first Secretary General of YoungShip International. Featuring on numerous leadership rankings, she was awarded Shipping Name of The Year in Norway (2012), several consecutive years at Kapital business magazine´s Most Powerful Women, Top10 Bridgebuilder on E24 100 leader talents and was a finalist for World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders 2018.
Mcebisi Jonas is one of four Presidential Investment Envoys, appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to attract USD100-billion to South Africa over the next five years. He is also currently a non-executive director in different company boards. Jonas previously served as Deputy Minister of Finance and as a Member of Parliament from 2014 to 2017, during this time he helped to steer South Africa’s economy through one of the country’s most difficult post-democratic periods. He also served as Chairperson and Non-Executive Director of the Public Investment Corporation, the state-owned pension fund manager and one of Africa’s largest investment managers. Before his appointment to national government, Mr Jonas played a key political leadership role in the Eastern Cape. Among other provincial ministerial positions, he served as a Finance MEC in the province. He served as Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), a state-owned entity, which successfully amalgamated various smaller development institutions. He also served as Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Investment and Marketing in the Eastern Cape, developing the investment promotion agenda for the province, which resulted in the establishment of the ECDC, the Coega Industrial Development Zone and the East London Industrial Development Zone. Mr Jonas’ activism has defined his political career. During the anti-apartheid years he led a number of political activities both within South Africa and in exile. He played a key role in the establishment of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in the Eastern Cape. Upon his return from exile in the 1990’s, Mr Jonas was central to establishing the ruling African National Congress (ANC) structures in the Eastern Cape. More recently, he played a seminal role in the civic activism against state capture.
Cathrine G. Jahnsen holds a Master of Business and Marketing degree from the Norwegian Business School and has completed the master courses Green Growth as Competitive Advantage and Digital Communication Management from the same institution. Ms. Jahnsen has more than 20 years’ experience from international trade with negotiations, CSR, anti-corruption, green technology, management training and political advocacy. She has held positions as buying and category manager in various Scandinavian retail chains with key supplier in Europe and South-East Asia. Over the last ten years she has worked at Virke, the Enterprise Federation of Norway where she has been responsible for programme management including management training programmes funded by Norad, various trade promoting programmes aimed at increasing export from developing countries to Norway and Scandinavia and heading the policy work for the Agenda2030. Her experience also includes management of official and state visits around the world on behalf of Virke and its members, with development of seminars and networking opportunities. Ms. Jahnsen has served as a board member the last three years at Norwegian-African Business Association (NABA) and is co-founder of the NABA Women Business Network. She founded Sustainable Partners, a consultancy firm advising on strategic partnership and sustainable opportunities. In addition, she is a member of the Norway-Hong-Kong Chamber of Commerce Senior Advisory Board. Ms. Jahnsen is passioned about sustainability, on both a local and global level, she is a driving force through chronicles, workshops and social media: Ranked on Global Top 500 influencers CRS, Sustainable, Green & Ethical Business.
Paal Bjornestad is an economist and Columbia University graduate who has served as secretary of state and deputy minister at the Norwegian Ministry of Finance (2013 – 16). He was a senior advisor in the Prime Minister’s office (2011 – 12)and has held several positions at the Norwegian Foreign Service.
Most recently, Bjornestad was minister counsellor and deputy head of mission (2017 – 19) at the Norwegian embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, and deputy head of mission (2006 – 08, 2009 – 11) at the Norwegian embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He also served as second secretary at the mission of Norway to the EU in Brussels (2001 – 04). He was an advisor to the Swiss Executive Director of the African Development Bank in Tunis in 2008-9. He served as a city councillor in Bergen and as an alternate member of the Norwegian parliament between 1989 and 1993. He attended the University of Mannheim, Germany; the University of Oslo, Norway; and Columbia University, New York, where he took a Masters in international affairs, economic policy management.
Stein Christian Salvesen is a trained engineer with construction as his field of study. He is a former leader of the Kristiansand Labor Party and a member of the board of the Vest-Agder Labor Party. He has also been a member of the International Committee of the Norwegian Labor Party and is a member of the International Committee in the Agder Labor Party. Stein Christian Salvesen has also been Secretary-General of the European Movement in Norway and leader of the Vest-Agder Red Cross.
He is currently a senior adviser at the Arkivet Peace and Human Rights Center.
Communications advisor to SANA Board
Mava Ndamase is a seasoned entrepreneur & a philanthropist. He is a teacher by profession and studied towards communications and Theatre Studies from the University of Stellenbosch. He holds directorship in the following companies; Inclusive Investment Group & Taconic Fisheries. He has expertise and experience in diverse fields ranging from Oceans Economy, Renewable Energy, Food Security, Cannabis & Telcos. Mava is passionate about community development & inclusive growth. As part of his Traditional leadership role, Mava supports Rural vulnerable Women, disabled & people living with HIV & AIDS.