Mr. George Asamoah Amankwah
He is a Professional Mechanic and Farmer. He has been in the spare parts and farming business for almost 25 years winning many awards in farming and playing leadership roles in several organizations. He was the Chairman of the Dynamic Spare Parts Dealers Association between 2004 and 2010 and Founder and President of the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organization (SMIDO) from 2005 to 2012.
He was adjudged the National Best Farmer in 2014 and has been the President of PADO from 2013 to date.
Mr. Andani Alhassan
CEO, Stanbic Bank Ghana
Mr. Alhassan Andani, BSc,MA serves as the Managing Director Chief Executive and Executive Director of Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited. Mr. Andani served as an Executive Director of Barclays Bank of Ghana Ltd. until June 17, 2005. He serves as the Board Chairman of the Ghana CSIR (Council for Scientific & Industrial Research) and a director of SOS Villages Ghana. He has been an Independent Non-Executive Director at Gold Fields Limited since August 1, 2016. He holds a B.Sc. in Agriculture from the University of Ghana and a Master’s Degree in Banking and Finance from the Finafrica Institute in Italy.
Mr. Paul Ankrah
Principal, Winniwood Consulting
Mr Ankrah holds a Masters in Business Administration from Aston Business School, UK; having specialised in strategic business planning, marketing and strategy and has over 30 years international timber and forestry experience gained in a cross-cultural working environment in the UK, Finland, Sweden, Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brazil, Bolivia, Sierra Leone and Ghana. He also holds a BSc in Wood Products Technology from Brunel Chiltern University, High Wycombe, UK, and is an Associate level member of the Institute of Wood Science, UK. He has undergone training and certification in Project Feasibility and Investment Analysis by UNIDO, Vienna.
Previously, Mr Ankrah worked with the Timbmet Group and Saint Gobain Building Distribution; all in the UK. He has good knowledge and experience on the development of forest plantations in Ghana and other parts of the world; and is well grounded in the economic, technical, strategic, environmental and social aspects and needs of the Ghana timber industry. He has undertaken environmental impact assessments, due diligence and investment feasibility studies on behalf of plantation investors and international development finance institutions (AfDB, IFC and Finnfund. He is fluent in English and 3 Ghanaian languages and has good Spanish speaking skills.
Mr. Mads Asprem
Mr. Asprem established Green Resources in 1995 and took over as Managing Director in 2006. Prior to Green Resources his positions were: first VP, equity analyst and head of the global forest products and paper research team at Merrill Lynch 2000-2005. After that Mr. Asprem became Managing Director and head of forest products and paper global research team of Morgan Stanley 1991-2000. Equity analyst CSFB 1990-91. Consultant Monitor Company 1987-1989. Portfolio manager Storebrand 1984-1985. Mads Asprem has also acted an alternate for a Norwegian MP at a range 0f parliamentary meetings.
Consultant , Biodiversity Heritage Associates
Vincent Awotwe-Pratt is an Ecologist and the Regional Representative for Biodiversity Heritage Associates (BHA), Sub Saharan Africa. Mr. Awotwe-Pratt holds a Bsc in Biological Sciences and an MPhil in Animal Biodiversity Studies from the University of Ghana. He is a PhD Candidate, studying Conservation Science and Biodiversity at the Department of Animal Biology and Conservation Science, University of Ghana. Vincent has over 10 years’ experience as an ecologist and has carried out assignments in most parts of West Africa such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria. His work is in the areas of sustainable agriculture, ecological restoration, and application of science to policy and decision-making using geospatial and modelling tools.
Vincent is a member of the Working Group for the development of a Biodiversity Offset Project for Newmont Akyem Mine in Ghana with colleagues from Conservation Alliance, and other international partners. He currently provides technical assistance to the EPA in the development of Ghana’s Biodiversity Offset and Business Scheme.
Mr. Richard Fusi
Senior Investment Officer, African Development Bank
Richard Fusi is a Senior Investment Officer in the Private Sector Department of the African Development Bank Group and is responsible for originating, structuring and executing non-sovereign guaranteed operations across multiple sectors including: Manufacturing, Agribusiness, and Services. He has worked in international and multilateral financial institutions in Europe and Africa over the past 13 years and has a good knowledge of emerging markets. Richard has been instrumental in developing innovative and blended finance structures to promote private sector investments in sectors that typically face challenges with access to finance. He studied Banking, Finance, and Economics and holds a Masters in Development Finance from The University of Manchester, United Kingdom. He is also a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and member of the Project Management Institute (PMI), USA.
Mr. Jim Heyes
Managing Director, Criterion Africa Partners
Mr. Heyes is a Managing Director at Criterion Africa Partners (CAP), a private equity firm which invests across the African forestry value chain from plantation rehabilitation and management to the manufacturing of building materials and generation of biomass energy. CAP was established in 2017 by the Africa Sustainable Forestry Fund (ASFF) investment team and continues to manage the ASFF assets, which collectively supply more wood products to African markets than any other company. CAP’s strategic partners include the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment and Global Environment Fund (GEF).
Prior to the founding of CAP, Mr. Heyes worked for ten years at GEF, managing forestry investments and ESG for ASFF. Earlier, he worked for the New England Forestry Foundation, where he founded and directed a community-based forestry and economic development initiative known as North Quabbin Woods. Mr. Heyes has also worked at Heyes Forest Products, a family-owned sawmill in western Massachusetts.
Mr. Heyes studied community-based forestry in the Philippines as a Fulbright Scholar. He holds Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School with a focus on the environment and international development and a Bachelor of Science in Geology and Environmental Studies from Williams College. Mr. Heyes is also CFA Charter holder.
Mr. Paul Hol
Founder and CEO, Form International
Mr. Paul Hol is CEO of Sustainable Forestry Investments (SFI) with investments in large scale agro-forestry companies such as Form Ghana Ltd and SFI Tanzania Ltd. He is founder/owner and Executive Director of Form international (1993). In 2015 Paul Hol took the lead to organize the International Conference “Forests for the Future – New Forests for Africa”, held on 16/17 March 2016 in Accra, Ghana. This conference was a follow up of the COP21, 2015 in Paris, to talk about the implementation of the reforestation goals as set out in the AFR100 (African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative; ambition to restore 100 million hectares of land by 2030). More information on: www.newforestsforafrica.org. Paul has extensive international experience as a senior forestry advisor and is specialized in Sustainable Forest Management, reforestation and forest certification.
Mr. Finn Jacobsen
Mr. Finn T. Jacobsen is a graduate of the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland and his whole career has been dedicated to the forest industry with emphasis on the pulp and paper segments. During the last 20 years he has been active in Ghana and since 2007, together with Mr. Erling Lorentzen, he has developed a plantation and power project in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana.
Mr. Paul Jacovelli
Forestry Investment Advisor, Unique GmbH
Born in the red side of Manchester, Paul gained his forestry qualifications in UK at Wales and Oxford. Paul has over 30 years’ experience with forestry development, with an emphasis on commercial forestry in East & Southern Africa. Since Jan. 2016, he has been Head of Forest Investment Division at UNIQUE forestry and land use GmbH, based in Freiburg, Germany.
Paul has a broad, practical background and in depth knowledge of Sustainable Forest Management. His recent work in Africa (and Vietnam) has involved advisory and capacity building work in commercial forestry – from large-scale, corporate investors to the support of small medium growers. Paul was the principle driver of Uganda’s Sawlog Production Grant Scheme (SPGS) from 2003-2012.
Mr. Erik Knive
CEO, Green Resources
Cross-border, consensus-builder with continued success bringing new and declining businesses to profitability through sound, ethical business practices and long-term alliances with foreign business leaders, international financial institutions and governments. Experience living and working in US, Asia Middle East, South America, Africa, Europe and Scandinavia. Norwegian, TGMP, Harvard Business School, BSC in Business Management, the University of New Orleans, Certified pilot. Director Telematics, Managing Director Asia and Vice President of Global BD, Norconsult Telematics/Teleplan 1997 – 2005. Various positions and Group COO SN Power 2005 – 2016. Group CEO of Green Resources since June 2016.
Dr. Robert Nabanyumya
Dr. Robert Nabanyumya is Ugandan Forestry professional and an Independent Consultant with over 25 years in the fields of Forestry, Ecosystems and natural resource management and research in East Africa. He has vast experience working on Projects development, implementation, monitoring and evaluations; looking at biodiversity issues, protected areas, agricultural landscapes and commercial forestry. He is a highly exposed professional with advanced training in environmental management (PhD in Forestry and Ecosystems management, and, a Masters’ of Science in Environment and Natural resources Management) in addition to various training and skills in Forestry, Environment, people and projects management. Robert has worked in various capacities in Government, NGOs and inter government organizations. Among other responsibilities; he has served on various civil society boards and the private sector. He is now in the private sector working with Green Approaches Limited. Dr. Nabanyumya has authored and co-authored some interesting work in Forestry and natural resources management. He is a biodiversity conservationist professional who is very interested in Commercial forestry and tree planting. Robert is currently engaged in Private sector forestry; with a passion in developing private sector commercial forestry in Uganda.
Professor Dan Ofori
Chairman of Forest Plantation Investment Forum
Prof. Dan Ofori is a Project and Applied Management Specialist with considerable teaching, research and consulting experience in Strategy & Corporate Social Responsibility, Project Management, Human Resource Management, and General Management. He is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Ghana Business School, Legon where he teaches courses in: Project Management, Project Evaluation, Human Resource Management, Strategic Management, Business Policy and General Management at both the postgraduate (Executive MBA, MBA, MPhil and MA) and undergraduate levels. His research and consulting interests include firm strategy and policy, project management policies and methods, success and failure, corporate social responsibility and corporate governance. He has consulted for a wide range of clients including: the Ministry of Trade & Industry; Ministry of Lands, Forestry & Mines; the Ministry of Communications, the World Bank; German Development Organisation (GTZ-GIZ); Netherlands Development Association (SNV); Royal Netherlands Embassy; UNICEF; Reach for Change; and CDD-Ghana. He has also worked as a Project Manager with Dyslexia International; Senior Analyst with Lernout & Hauspie; and Market Analyst with Frost & Sullivan, all in Brussels, Belgium and with the Ministry of Work and Pensions in the UK. He has managed and led research, consultancy and governance assignments in the academic, public, NGO, SME and private sectors. He has numerous conference and workshop presentations both nationally and internationally and has published in Thunderbird International Business Review, Library Review, Corporate Governance, African Journal of Business and Economic Research and Acta Commercii, among others. He serves on boards and committees and as an external examiner nationally and internationally. He is a consultant with the National Accreditation Board (NAB), Ghana, and serves as an advisory Board Member of (USB-ED) the University of Stellenbosch Business School Centre for Business in Society.
Dr. Daniel Ofori
Director, CSIR-Forestry Research Institute of Ghana
Dr. Daniel A. Ofori, a native of Ghana, whose research interest is genetics and conservation biology, holds a B.Sc. Hons. Agriculture (University of Ghana), M.Phil. in Forest Tree Improvement (University of Edinburgh) and PhD in Forest Genetics (University of Aberdeen). He has 26 years of research experience and has over 120 publications. He is currently a Chief Research Scientist and the Director of the Forestry Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and Chairman of the Climate Change and Integrated Natural Resource Management programme of the CSIR College of Science and Technology.
Prior to these, he held other important positions, including; Tree Domestication Specialist of the World Agroforestry Centre, Deputy Director of CSIR-Forestry Research Institute of Ghana and part-time Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He is also the Ghana contact person for SAFORGEN – Food trees Network.
He has managed both local and international research projects and has work experience with public-private partnerships. He is the Technical Adviser on the Allanblackia domestication project being conducted in Eastern, West and Central African regions. He also managed the IGAD biodiversity management project in Kenya and Somalia and also worked as the ICRAF focal person for the CGIAR global programme on domestication and improvement of priority tree species.
Mr. Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie
Chief Executive, Forestry Comission, Ghana
Mr. Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie is a lawyer by profession and has over 36 years of experience. He attended the University of Ghana, Legon, from 1976- 1979, where he read Political Science and Law. From there, he proceeded to the Ghana Law School, Accra, to read the Professional Law Course (PLC).He was called to the Ghana Bar in 1981.
He then travelled to London, United Kingdom in 1986. The quest for knowledge did not allow him to rest. He furthered his knowledge in law at the Inns of Court School of Law, London. He was then attached to Gray’s Inn for practical training. He specialized in Immigration Law in the United Kingdom
He worked at the following boroughs as Principal Housing Officer: London Borough of Barking & Dagenham; London Borough of Newham Council; Slough Borough Council; Croydon Council; Boreham Wood Council and Redridge Council.
Mr. Owusu Afriyie’s specialty in Immigration Law led him to establish the Commonwealth Welfare & Immigration Advisory Centre in 1994, where he was the Head of Chamber. This organization provided immigration advice to numerous immigrants in the United Kingdom. He also formed the Ghana Welfare Association in the United Kingdom, where he served as a legal consultant to the Ghanaian community in the UK.
In July 2002, he returned to Ghana, where he established a private legal company, Sir John Chambers, in Adum, Kumasi, which is still operating . He also worked at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) as Director of Legal & Administration , then as Acting Managing Director from 2002 – 2004.
His love for party politics was manifested from 2010 – 2015, when he was elected as the General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party. He played that role very well, much to the admiration of all party members. Then he helped in the management of party issues till he was appointed as the Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission in March, 2017.
Mr. Juho Penttilä
Mr. Penttilä holds a master’s degree of Forest Ecology and Management from the University of Helsinki. His key expertise areas include forest resource assessment, forest investment due-diligence, and wood product markets. He has experience from variety of forest investment projects varying from local and regional assignments to global scoping studies. Mr. Penttilä has participated in several projects in Ghana. These and other projects in the region have provided him knowledge on the region, its characteristics, planted forests, its growth and performance. Furthermore, his field experience includes working in eucalyptus plantations in Uruguay and Lao PDR, and in pine plantations in Tanzania.
Mr. Gareth Phillips
Chief Climate and Green Growth, African Development Bank
Gareth is Chief Climate Change and Green Growth Officer at the African Development Bank based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Gareth has over 20 years’ experience in climate change and sustainability. Originally a forester, he has worked on GHG accounting, inventory verification, CDM and EU ETS. In 2006 he joined a project development company focusing on clean energy, land fill, coal mine methane and biomass in SE Asia. Following a short spell as a consultant, he joined the African Development Bank in May 2015. Gareth is currently working on the development of an Adaptation Benefit Mechanism to facilitate private sector finance in adaptation.
Mr. Darius Sarshar
Darius Sarshar is an independent consultant based in the UK specialising in sustainable forestry and agricultural investment. He has extensive international experience in both developed and emerging markets spanning over 20 years including 5 years at Director level. He currently works as a consultant for a range of clients including a number of private equity and debt funds in forestry and agriculture, in Asia, Africa and Europe, helping to put together investment strategies, fund structures, develop pipeline, raise capital and recruit staff. His work includes the $400 million private debt agriculture and forestry fund recently launched by the Government of Norway, IDH and Unilever at Davos (https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/01/10-achievements-davos-2017/) that will invest in West Africa, Brazil and Indonesia. He recently returned from Singapore having completed seven years with the Australian asset management firm New Forests ($2bn AUM) where he set up and ran their environmental markets investment programme, before moving on to raise and co-head a $170 million Asian PE forestry fund and sit on a number of investee company boards. The fund received the top sustainability rating from Mercer UK and his last deal for the fund received an Environmental Finance Deal of the Year award. Prior to joining New Forests Darius worked for SGS, WWF, CDC, and ran a UK-based forestry contracting and management firm. Darius has degrees from the University of Cambridge and Oxford in the UK and an MBA from the Melbourne Business School in Australia. He is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Mr. Rik Sools
Deputy Director, Form International
Mr. Rik Sools is Deputy Director of Form International, a Dutch Forest Management and Services Company that manages 30,000 hectares of (agro)forestry assets in Ghana and Tanzania and advises clients worlwide on sustainable forest management. Mr. Sools is specialised in forestry investments and has ample experience with project design, business plan preparation, due diligence, forest asset valuation and forest asset management. Mr. Sools holds an MSc degree in Forest and Nature Conservation from the Wageningen University in the Netherlands and has over 10 years of international forestry experience.
Mr. Pieter van Zyl
CEO, York Timbers
Mr. Pieter van Zyl has considerable experience in manufacturing and the solid wood processing industry. He has a successful track record in delivering complex change and returning companies to profitability. His leadership in cost optimisation and knowledge of market dynamics distinguishes him in the industry. His vision and ability to inspire teams are significant in executing growth strategies. This, coupled with his skill in identifying strategic investment opportunities, provides a solid platform for success. Pieter has a wealth of timber and sawmilling industry knowledge and expertise. His diverse skills cover manufacturing, marketing, change management, investment banking, people and strategy development.