Why you should attend Social Media Week Lagos

Social Media Week Lagos has started and African Gist has been announced as one of the official sponsors of this year’s edition.

The SMW Lagos 2018 theme “Closer” will explore the intensifying conflict between community and individualism. The conversation will bring together a diversity of perspectives to discuss the most productive ways to harness these forces to drive innovation, improve consumer experiences and bring people together. Informed by the theme our debate will discuss the future of tech in Africa, access to international funds for tech startups and connection with the diaspora for business growth.

This session is part of the larger Social Media Week conference hosted in 12 cities around the world.    “How can we leverage on the diaspora to create more tech jobs in Nigeria?” will take place on the 27th of February from 3pm.

Our expert panel will discuss the importance of collaboration with the African diaspora for tech development and how to attract foreign investors.  Meet our panel of experts :

Gossy Ukanwoke

Gossy is a Higher Education Investor, supporting access to Learning and Education for young people in under-served communities. He has worked with African governments on the development of policies to assist in creating better access, quality and relevance of learning in higher education institutions.

Through BAU R&D, he founded Beni American University and BAU Executive Education. His investments in African universities are guided on the principle of transforming learning and institutions that will grow future leaders of the continent. BAU R&D has completed investments in two Nigerian traditional universities and is poised to grow its portfolio of institutions across Africa.

Ikenna Okonkwo

Ikenna Okonkwo is the CEO of Heels.com.ng, an e-commerce startup with a specific focus on retailing affordable female designer shoes.

An avid entrepreneur and angel investor, key among his portfolio is an early stage investment in Tempohousing Nigeria, a pioneer in the use of ISO shipping container frames as a basis for modular homes.


Cynthia Mukendy African GistCynthia Mukendy is the Director and founder of African Gist, an organization bringing together diaspora youth and growing tech hubs. Social entrepreneur with a background in Digital Marketing, she believes in the power of technology to support business growth in Africa.


Leye Makanjuola Leye Makanjuola is an entrepreneur, speaker and digital marketing professional. He laid his foundation in marketing communication from the prestigious Pan Atlantic University and University of Pennsylvania, Wharton. He has several marketing and business certifications and has consulted for and trained top brands like Leadway Assurance, CHI, Total Nigeria, Unity Bank, Multichoice Nigeria and Sovereign Trust Insurance.
Leye received the YTECH 100 award in recognition of his contribution to the Nigerian technology space in 2015. He is the Chief Marketing Officer of Intense; a digital marketing agency in Ikoyi, Lagos and community ambassador to Hootsuite in Nigeria.