D4D Hub announces new chairs for advisory groups


In November and December 2023, the D4D Hub announced new chairs for its private sector and civil society and academia advisory groups. The chairs will help facilitate collaboration between stakeholders, help set priorities and work plans, and represent the groups in meetings with the D4D Hub and its members.

The advisory groups are formal structures of the D4D Hub that facilitate the implementation of a multi-stakeholder approach across all its activities. They allow the private sector, civil society, and academic actors to engage with the D4D Hub in a structured dialogue and contribute to the formulation of digital policies, programmes, and initiatives.

Through their participation in knowledge-sharing activities, advisory groups also provide multi-stakeholder expertise to the D4D Hub, ensuring that good practices are applied across digital interventions.

The appointment of the new chairs was done through an open and voluntary process coordinated by the D4D Hub Secretariat.

Civil society and academia advisory group

Chair: DepHUB

The DepHUB is the first independent think-tank founded by an indigenous African woman in South Africa. Its main objectives are to undertake rigorous public policy-oriented research and contribute to formulating evidence-based, forward-looking policies that leverage the multidimensional aspects of data and responsible AI for inclusive and sustainable development (AI4SD) in Sub-Saharan Africa. The DepHUB is a registered non-profit organisation based in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a pan-African footprint.

At the D4D Hub’s civil society and academia advisory group, the DepHUB is represented by Shamira Ahmed, its founder and executive director. Shamira is a policy entrepreneur, experienced quantitative economist, and interdisciplinary policy and research specialist with a track record of leading multi-country research projects, producing high-quality knowledge outputs, managing the data value chain, and working in multicultural, multidisciplinary, and dynamic work environments across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Private sector advisory group

To better account for the private sector’s diversity of members, it was decided to name regional chairs.

Chair for Europe: Aktors

Aktors is an Estonian software development company that is one of the creators of the e-government backbone of Estonia, which is called the X-Road. They concentrate on software development and consultations. Aktors has participated in large-scale information system development projects in the fields of e-governance, justice, finance and the creation of homeland security solutions and services.

At the D4D Hub’s private sector advisory group, Aktors is represented by Kedi Välba, CEO and Board Member of the Estonian software company. For the past decade, she has been a passionate advocate for digital transformation and is an active e-Estonia spokesperson. Kedi is also a member of the Global Gateway Business Advisory Group digital sub-group.

Chair for Latin America: Telefónica

Telefónica was founded in Spain in 1924 and is one of the world's leading telecommunications service providers. Telefonica currently operates in twelve countries, three in Europe and nine in Latin America, and it has more than 383 million customers and more than 100.000 direct employees. For more than thirty years, it has been committed to Latin America, contributing to the region's development and acting as a partner for digitalisation.

At the D4D Hub’s private sector advisory group, Telefónica is represented by Mario Coronado. Mario has more than 20 years of professional experience in the telecommunications sector. He was appointed in March 2021 as Director of Public Affairs at Telefónica Hispanoamérica, the branch of Telefónica that groups the operations in Latin America except for Brazil.

Chair for Africa: Zixtech HUB

Zixtech HUB is a Pan-African support organization founded in 2017. It is based in Cameroon with representation in Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Rwanda, Ivory Coast, and Tanzania. It focuses on nurturing and growing start-ups to tackle Africa’s rising unemployment. Its core mission is equipping young people with the skills, information, training, platforms, networks, and tools to create sustainable enterprises.

At the D4D Hub’s private sector advisory group, Zixtech Hub is represented by its founder Paul Mbua. Paul has over 17 years of experience working with national, regional, and international organisations across 17 countries.