Bodour Al Qasimi

Bodour Al Qasimi is President of the International Publishers Association. She sees publishing as a conduit that connects people, places, and ideas. Her work has already led to Sharjah’s recent success as the UNESCO World Book Capital in 2019/20, where the emirate has created a number of initiatives that utilize books as a way to unite people, break down barriers and help understand other cultures and other points of view. She is a moderniser with a desire for change – particularly when it comes to the empowerment of young women and the position of all women in publishing – and in 2019 established PublisHer, an informal networking body that seeks to increase the number of women in leadership roles within the publishing industry.

She is a trailblazer in the global publishing scene, Bodour Al Qasimi is creating a positive impact on the world through freedom to publish, enlightenment of children, and empowerment of women. She encourages human expression through creative arts, and publishes works from different authors who push the boundaries of social conversations. She is an avid advocate of the role of books and literacy to enlighten children, and has led, through her own Kalimat Foundation for Children’s Empowerment, a number of campaigns to provide thousands of books for refugees and children affected by conflicts and hardship around the world.

Passionate about supporting entrepreneurship, she established Sheraa (Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre) in UAE in 2016 as a platform to cultivate a generation of changemakers in her community positioning it globally as a vibrant start-up hub. Bodour has a Bachelor’s degree in Archaeology and Anthropology from Cambridge University and a Master’s degree in Medical Anthropology from London’s University College London. She has also completed publishing courses in Yale and Columbia University. She is a mother of 4 children and enjoys climbing mountains in her spare time.

Mamadou Kwidjim Toure

Inspired by the wisdom of his ancestors, Mamadou Kwidjim Toure believes that co-creating a better world is possible when diversity is nurtured and access to opportunities is evenly distributed. This philosophy was the driving force behind establishing Africa 2.0, a non-for-profit pan African civil society organization with the aim to create a sustainable vision for the transformation of Africa. Named one of the top 10 Most Influential Men in Africa by Forbes Magazine in 2014, Mamadou founded the Ubuntu Group in 2015 and built on his global network and investment savviness to launch socio-economic projects throughout the continent of Africa.

His recent venture, Ubuntu Tribe, a platform promoting shared economy through digitization of gold and other mineral resources as a means for financial inclusion and wealth redistribution received in 2019 a distinction as finalist at the African Bankers Awards. Over the past 20 years, Mamadou worked in instituons such as KPMG, BNP Paribas Investment Banking, IFC (World Bank Group) and finally General Electric as Managing Director in charge of Investments and Project Finance for Subsaharan Africa. He has worked on infrastructure, mining, agriculture technology projects exceeding a combined value of US$ 30 billion, thus creating opportunities and hope for many people in Africa. He has been at the forefront of international high finance and remains a strong proponent for digital economy as an engine for emancipation and shared wealth creation.

Mamadou is a global citizen, passionate of culture, art and avid reader of history books, he continues to advocate for a bright future for humanity through pushing the boundaries. He believes in the power of collective action to build lasting enlightenment and prosperity. Mamadou holds MSc in Finance and completed education programs at Harvard Kennedy School on « Public-Private Partnership » in 2010, and« Global Leadership and Public Policy for 21st Century » as World Economic Forum Young Global Leader in 2018

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