Advisory Board

Sub-Saharan Africa Chamber of Commerce Advisory Board Members represent a broad spectrum of professional experiences across a variety of industries around the globe.

Mr. Kaushik (Kosh) Daphtary, President CEO, Chemtech International Inc. (USA)

Mr. Kosh Daphtary is the co-founder of Chemtech International, a manufacturer and global distributor of environmental control and materials handling products.Chemtech was the winner of the Pennsylvania Governor's Export Excellence Award in 2000 and the Pennsylvania Governor's Export Achievement Certificate in 2002.

The U.S Department of Commerce in Washington, DC awarded Chemtech the Export Achievement Award in 2004. Mr. Dephtary has more than 45 years of highly diversified technical and business management experience in engineering, product development and market expansion, with extensive experience in North America, Europe, Asia, South and East Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Australia. He has served on the Advisory Board of the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia since its inception in 2001.

Mr. Frank Ireri, Managing Director, Housing Finance (Kenya)

Afrter graduating in 1985 from University of Nairobi with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting, he joined Deloitte and trained as an Auditor and became a Certified Public Accountant. He stayed with Deloitte for 2 years, and then moved to Arthur Andersen, where he worked for 3 years before moving to Citibank, where he stayed for 10 years working in operations and IT.

Mr. Ireri then joined and left Commercial Bank of Africa as a General Manager in 1999. In 2002, he left and joined Barclays Kenya. There, he remained for about 4 years, first as an IT Director, then as Regional Service Delivery Director and finally Africa Operations Director .Mr. Ireri is an honorary counsel member of AIESEC and previously held the role of chairman to the AIESEC Advisory Board. He is also a Board member - Habitat for Humanity - Kenya. In 2006, Mr. Ireri was headhunted by Housing Finance and joined them in 2006 in his current position. 

 

Secretary Wilfred Muskens, Deputy Secretary for International Business Development, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (USA)

Deputy Secretary Muskens had served the commonwealth for more than seven years before his appointment as Deputy Secretary for International Business Development in August 2007. He was recently reappointed as Deputy Secretary for International Business Development in the administration of Governor Corbett. He was heavily involved in implementing Governor Rendell’s World Trade PA initiative. The program, a first of its kind for Pennsylvania, is aimed at accelerating and expanding the commonwealth’s trade and international investment activities.

Muskens leads a professional team of international economic development specialists who contribute to the growth and strength of the commonwealth’s economy by providing value-added international trade services to Pennsylvania’s businesses and ports by attracting foreign investment to the state.

His previous experience with the commonwealth includes serving as executive director of the Center for Direct Investment and director of foreign investment for the Governor’s Action Team. In that capacity, Muskens oversaw more than $500 million in capital investments and the creation and retention of more than 5,000 jobs by foreign-owned companies such as German energy giant Conergy, South Korean-based dental implant manufacturer Osstem, and the Spanish wind energy company Gamesa. Before coming to work for the state of Pennsylvania, Muskens was a project manager and public relations consultant for several organizations in Europe, where he oversaw new investment projects, proposed possible sites for companies considering expansion and developed communications strategies.

Muskens spent his youth in the Netherlands, earning Master’s Degrees from Bordeaux University in France and Utrecht University in the Netherlands. His undergraduate degree was also from Utrecht University but included a full year as an exchange student at Hull University in the United Kingdom. Wilfred’s native language is Dutch, but he is fluent in French, English and German.

About Pennsylvania (http://www.newpa.com/what-can-pa-do-for-you/about-dced/index.aspx) As the 18th largest economy in the world, Pennsylvania is no stranger to the international market. In an increasingly global economy, international opportunities abound. And with the largest international network of offices and representatives and more cross border projects than any other US state, the Commonwealth is uniquely poised to succeed. Pennsylvania is also the nation’s fastest growing exporter, and is home to nearly 6,000 foreign-owned businesses, employing nearly 250,000 people.

Mr. Aubrey Mutale, Founder & CEO, UniCapital Group (South Africa & Zambia)

Mr. Aubrey Mutale is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Unicapital Group, an investment and strategic advisory firm based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He started his career at the Central Bank of Zambia, and subsequently spent 15 years in commercial and investment banking at various banking and financial institutions. In addition, he held senior positions at Commerce Bank and Investrust Bank in Zambia.

Prior to founding Unicapital, he also worked for an investment banking firm in Johannesburg, Asset Investment Frontiers (AIF), as their Director of the Corporate Finance Division. As an Associate Member of the Association of Business Executives, Mr. Mutale serves on the board of the Association’s Council in London, UK and he is also a holder of an MBA from Heriot Watt University in Scotland. Mr Mutale has presented papers on Investment and Project Finance in Africa on various forums including the World Bank and Universities in the USA. He also sits on the Board of Directors of Akibba Mining South Africa Ltd, a mining consulting firm—and he is the Chairman of Sechaba Medical Solutions Zambia Ltd. With a principal office in South Africa, Sechaba is one of the largest medical management firms on the continent.

Mr. Charles Radier, International Trade Specialist & Director of Business Development, Empire State Development (USA)

Mr. Charles Radier is International Trade Specialist and Director of Business Development at Empire State Development (ESD), a key agency within the New York State Department of Economic Development. He develops foreign market access for New York State companies and he provides investment assistance to foreign companies to facilitate their Foreign Direct Investment into New York State.

Prior to this appointment, he was Investment Manager at ESD’s Environmental Services Unit and the Loan Fund Administrator at the Mid-Hudson Bankers’ Loan Fund. He was previously the Program Coordinator at Arbor Hill Development Corporation, a Researcher at UNICEF Urban and an Editorial Assistant at African Urban Quarterly.

Mr. Radier sits on the board of the Westchester World Trade Association. He is Vice President of the Hudson Valley International Trade Association (HVITA) and he was appointed to the International Trade Advisory Committee of the 20th Congressional District (by Congressman Ben Gilman, Emeritus Chairman of the House International Relations Committee). Mr Radier holds a Master of Regional Planning degree from SUNY Albany and a Bachelors in economics from SUNY New Paltz, with a concentration in International Economic Institutions.

Dr. Molly Roth, Development Director, The Library Company of Philadelphia; and Founding Executive Director, The Global Philadelphia Association (USA)

Dr. Molly Roth is an experienced not-for-profit administrator, with expertise in fundraising, board development, and governance. At the Library Company, she oversees fundraising for major capital and facilities needs and annual operating expenses from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies. Previously, she has served as Executive Director of OIC International, an international development agency founded by Rev. Leon H. Sullivan which managed a large portfolio of development programs on the African continent, and as Director of Trustee Affairs for the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Roth recently helped to found the Global Philadelphia Association, a private not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting internationally focused organizations and companies in the Greater Philadelphia region, raising awareness of the level of international activity among residents of the region, and promoting the region as a cosmopolitan global center.

Dr. Roth holds a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College and a doctoral degree in Anthropology as well as a certificate in African Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Juan Solana, Chief Economist and Director of New Media, Hispanic Business Inc.(USA)

Dr. Juan B. Solana is responsible for all management and analytical aspects of HispanTelligence®, the research and consulting division of Hispanic Business Inc., focusing on strategic projects and market oriented reports such as the Hispanic-owned Business Projections, U.S. Hispanic Media Markets, The U.S. Hispanic Economy, U.S. Hispanic Purchasing Power, Hispanic Business 500 and other tracking studies on the U.S. Hispanic Economy.

As Director of New Media division he manages HispanicBusiness.com, lead content initiatives for online properties, strategic development and secures corporate partnerships. For both divisions, he is responsible for P&L, budget planning, business strategy, forecasting and allocation of resources.

Prior to joining Hispanic Business Inc. in 2002, Inc, Dr. Solana worked for Quintiles Transnational, managing a Cross-Functional Research Team in Latin America whose primary responsibilities were marketing research and strategic acquisitions in Mexico.

From 1998 to 2000, Dr. Solana was director of Market Research for the GIC Group focusing on strategic market research projects involving international business and industry analysis. He led the efforts to launch a Private Equity Fund to Invest in Biotechnology companies in Latin America.

Dr. Solana has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Business from Universidad Complutense de Madrid in his native Spain, and holds a Master of Science degree in International Economics and a Ph.D. in Economics from Purdue University.

Since 2007, he is a National Judge for the “MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneurs Series Business Plan Competition.” He has also served on the Advisory Council to Certified Financial Planners’ Board and Microsoft’s Technology Partnership for Small Business Task Force.

Dr. Solana has appeared on CNN, NPR and Bloomberg to discuss key trends pertaining to the U.S. Economy as well as in print in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Miami Herald, Business Week and La Opinion.

Mr. Richard Swai, Director (South Africa and Tanzania)

Mr. Richard Swai is a Director of several private sector companies in the real estate and drilling/exploration sectors in Southern Africa. He was previously the Chief Investment Officer of the Southern Africa Enterprise Development Fund (SAEDF), where he served as CIO for over seven years.

SAEDF has achieved notable commercial accomplishments and has put more than $80 million to work in carrying out its mission, providing financing to 29 indigenous ventures across southern Africa which directly employ over 2,000 workers and leading to the creation of an estimated 50,000 jobs. Mr. Swai has more than 20 years experience in the finance industry, both in the USA and Africa, mostly in private equity. Prior to joining SAEDF, Mr Swai was a Senior Financial Analyst with Aquila Energy Corporation in Houston, Texas where he was responsible for leading an analytical support team within the transaction group that included screening, evaluating and prioritization of prospect opportunities. Mr Swai was also with Koch Energy Inc (the second largest private held company in the USA) in Houston, Texas. Mr Swai's experience includes tenures with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Washington DC , and Citicorp Securities (Citibank) in New York as an Associate in the Asset Backed Finance Group. Richard Swai holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from Wharton Business School.

Dr. Handy Williamson Jr, Vice Provost International Programs and Strategic Initiatives, U. Missouri

Dr. Handy Williamson Jr., currently serving as the Vice Provost for International Programs at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Prior to joining the University of Missouri, he served over ten years as a Professor and Department Head in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology at the University of Tennessee. While there, the scope of his work was both global and local, including institutional development, impact assessment and evaluation, and public policy.

Between 1985 and 1988, Dr. Williamson was Deputy Director for Research and University Relations, the Bureau for Science and Technology (S&T/RUR) at the Agency for International Development (AID), in Washington, D.C. in that capacity he allocated and provided oversight for a $10 million annual budget to support grants with U.S. universities in the fields of agriculture, education, public health, medicine, natural resources, and development.

From 1977 to 1985, Dr. Williamson was an Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics, Director of the Cooperative Agricultural Research Program, and Coordinator of International Agricultural Development Activities at Tennessee State University - Nashville. He worked for three years as an Associate Director of the Center for Rural Development Research and Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics at Tuskegee University-Alabama since graduating with a Ph.D. degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1974.

Dr. Williamson's research and publications include economic and rural development studies affecting land use, resource management, manpower training, research and extension development, and efficiency of small and large farms in diverse geographical settings. He has served on over twenty site visit teams to evaluate university programs and to conduct self study evaluations. He has been a consultant on many projects and review teams in Africa, the Caribbean, the Far East, and the United States. He served on the White House Committee on Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) and represented AID, broadly. He has testified before committees of both the U S House of Representatives and Senate. During the summer of 2006, Williamson was selected as a fellow discussant of the Salzburg Seminar, in Salzburg Austria. He completed the Harvard University Executive Leadership certificate in the Institute for Education Management in 2005. Nominated by Missouri 's senior senator, Williamson has participated in the Annual Congressional Leadership Summer in Capital Hill in Washington, DC. Sponsored by the American Council on Education, Dr. Williamson had a chance of being an Executive Fellow in the 1997-98 academic year in the Office of the Chancellor at the University of California-Davis and gained first-hand experience and preparation for leadership roles in higher education administration. Williamson received awards and honors, such as Distinguished Alumni Award by Alcorn State University and Tennessee State University, and the prestigious Faculty Alumni Award from the University of Missouri. He has been recognized among Outstanding Black Agricultural Economist, Outstanding Young Man of America, Who's Who in America, Tennessee Men of Achievement, and American Men and Women of Science.

Finally, Dr. Williamson is most thankful to his wife, Barbara (Herndon) Williamson. Her support has played an incredible part in his ability to achieve career success and a happy life.