Team & Supporters

Experienced entrepreneurs, investors, advisors and Africa experts - these are our Board and Team members:

Martin Schoeller Co-Founder, Family Entrepreneur, Schoeller Group

Martin Schoeller is Honorary Consul of the Republic of Togo AND AUTHOR OF "Africa First! Roadmap for a joint future". Regarding his professional career, Mr. Schoeller is Managing Director and owner of the Schoeller Group, Board member of the Bavarian Family Entrepreneurs, founder of the Munich Europe Conference and of the Desert Food Foundation (NOW "AFRICA FIRST FOUNDATION"). Mr. Schoeller studied engineering and economics at ETH Zürich (Dipl. Ing)

Dr. Ekkehard Franzke Co-Founder, Investor & Corporate Finance Advisor, Franzke Advisory

Ekkehard Franzke is an investor as well as a strategic and corporate finance advisor. Mr. Ekkehard Franzke has had several Partner positions within the consulting space - including being a Partner at Bain, Kearney and L.E.K. Consulting. Furthermore, he was Investment Manager at Deutsche Handelsbank. Mr. Ekkehard Franzke holds a MA. in Economics from the University of Regensburg and a PhD in Economics from WU Wien.

Ulrich Rieger Leitender Ministerialrat, Managing Director (AFN ), Africa First Network

As a senior ministerial councillor in the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ulrich Rieger has organised high-level delegations of companies and academia to more than 30 African countries over many years and has managed more than 100 visits by African ministers to Germany. He has extensive experience and personal contacts. Previously, he was responsible for international financial markets, banking and insurance for 7 years and worked for 10 years in the German Bundestag at the highest level.

Eric Agbo CEO, InnoVision Concepts GmbH

Eric Agbo has been working as a consultant and trainer at the interfaces between politics, economy, business and education since 2004. His focus is on socio-political consulting, diversity and interculture and communication. With his multicultural background he accompanies political bodies, companies, institutions and funded national and international projects. Mr Agbo studied political science, business education and modern history at the University of Augsburg.

Sheila von Hoerner Ambassador AFN Uganda

Sheila von Hoerner is an accomplished renewable energy developer and advisor with over a decade of experience working in Africa. She holds a Master's degree in Economics from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland and a Bachelor's degree in Finance from the University of Houston, USA. Throughout her career, Sheila has been dedicated to advancing Africa's transition to a sustainable economy by spearheading innovative renewable energy projects. Sheila has been instrumental in developing partnerships between local communities, governments, and international organizations to advance the adoption of clean energy technologies. Her ability to navigate complex regulatory environments and her deep understanding of local cultures and customs have made her an indispensable partner to those seeking to invest in the renewable energy sector in Africa. Her latest venture is the establishment of a facility for waste-based insect farming in Uganda to produce a local and sustainable source of animal feed. For Sheila, insect farming is a game-changing advance in the world’s efforts to address the climate challenge and to solve the net zero equation. Sheila is also an active member of her community, focusing on women's empowerment through job creation. She is committed to breaking down barriers and promoting gender equality, recognizing that empowering young girls is a critical step in creating a more just and equitable society.

Charles Mugarura Ambassador AFN East Africa/Uganda, Broadfield Enterpises Uganda

Charles Mugarura , 31 Permaculture social entrepreneur, Tuttor , designer, innovator and 17 years experience in permaculture eco –system design with background of Computer Science - Makerere University Business School and a number specialised expertise disciplines. he is Global Citizen based in the horn of East Africa - Uganda serving at national and global level, policy Advocate on youth Empowerment, Gender Equality ,Health and sustainable transformation through best and efficient alternatives from environment as i believe in reframing indigenous technologies using the permaculture approach. He has successfully applied his deep understanding of permaculture and works to develop various solutions for farming practices, education, leadership and life style using permaculture. Currently building up the fair trade links on premium plants both on bulk and retail value chains with focus to increase profit margin among small scale holder farming practising organic farming using permaculture and agroforestry. Leading consultancy and design in education agro tech, Caju Production and Research programing and Implementation. Charles Mugarura is BEU’s representative for Phase 2 of the permEzone pilot program. Currently with key collaboration with Morag Gamble , Angie Polkey, Matt Powers and other regional educators.

Oni Oviri Ambassador AFN Sub-Saharan Africa

Oni Oviri has a strong political and commercial background with extensive experience, knowledge and expertise in Public, Private and Third Sector Procurement, Supply Chain and Logistics Management. Sector specialism includes Health, ESG, infrastructure development and commodities. Oni has co-authored a number of pamphlets for international journals on the subject of boosting trade with sub-Saharan Africa. She has considerable political experience working on campaigns and missions in Europe and Africa. Oni holds a degree in Procurement and Supply and is qualified MCIPS.

Monika Czernin AFN Expert for Tanzania

Monika Czernin is a successful bestselling author and one of our AFN experts on Tanzania. While writing her book "Gebrauchsanweisung für Tansania" she was deeply impressed by the African philosophy of Ubuntu - defined by Desmond Tutu: “I am a person through other people. My humanity is tied to yours.” Throughout her research, she met numerous remarkable people and their fantastic projects - from sustainable tourism till growing corals and planting trees. That's why with her book she wants to give back too. Along with her friend and fellow writer Melissa Müller Monika Czernin co-founded "bookbridge" to connect books and the digital world. On Crestokia, Germany's pioneering platform for books and digital Collectibles/NFTs the artist created "Everyday Future", a fundraising projekt for The Ropes of Hope. 40 percent of each artwork are going to this NGO to save coral reefs in Tanzania. For a better climate, for biodiversity. Please help us to help:'s-What-You-See---More-Than-Hope.-Help!

Stefan Albat

Stefan Albat has been promoting a business-friendly environment all through his career and in particular while being deputy CEO of the Bavarian Business Association (vbw - Vereinigung der Bayerischen Wirtschaft) for more than 20 years. Both, the economy in general as well as international business relations have been each within the scope of his responsibilities. Hence, he represented the interests of Bavarian companies at regional, national, and international level in Munich, Berlin, and Brussels. Stefan also organised and hosted numerous international high-level delegations from and to all parts of the world during this period. For many years, he has been serving on boards of various economic development companies like Bavaria International, Bavaria Innovation, and Bavaria co2ncept, to name a few.

Ursula Buck Supervisory Board, Buckconsult

UB is Member of the Supervisory Board and Audit Comitee of SYMRISE AG, Member of the Senior Advisory Board of INTEGRATION CONSULTING and an investor as well as a strategic and top management advisor. Mrs. Buck was Member of Management Board of international Fashion and Luxury Companies (HUGO BOSS, VALENTINO, BOGNER, ESPRIT). Before she was 7 years with McKinsey&Comp. and studied Economics at Augsburg University (Dipl.oec.)

Daniel Schoenwitz Author

Daniel Schoenwitz, is an economist, business journalist and publicist in Düsseldorf. He has been writing for leading publications such as WirtschaftsWoche, Manager Magazin and Handelsblatt for 20 years. Daniel is particularly concerned with the question of how to establish the social market economy in developing countries.

Susanne Auernhammer Founder Helena Auernhammer UG, AFN

Susanne Helena Auernhammer, designer and entrepreneur. She studied design in Hanover. After various positions in the luxury and fashion industry (Richemont Group and the House of Cartier), she ventured into self-employment with her own label in 2012 and founded Helena Auernhammer UG. Creativity meets Africa: Through her enthusiasm for the continent, she has been contributing her entire input to the Africa First Network since December 2021.

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