Following the recent successful completion of Equity-i’s capital raise from strategic gulf-based investors, the Company is pleased to announce the appointment of a group of renowned and well respected businessmen to its Advisory Board. The Advisory Board is comprised of industry leaders with long track records of success in the natural resources, real estate, telecom and infrastructure development sectors in the Middle East and Africa.
The new members of Equity-I’s Advisory Board are: His Excellency Mr. Fassine Fofana (Guinea), Mr Ahmed Ali M Al Araimi (Oman), Mr. Ahmad Haleem (UAE), Mr. Khaled Esbaitah (Kuwait), and His Excellency Mr. Karim Kawar (Jordan).
“I am delighted to join the Advisory Board of Equity-i. Investors from the Middle East region should become vital partners and investors in the growth of Africa in partnership with African businesses. Equity-i is very well placed to act as bridge between the two” commented Mr. Fassine Fofana member of the Board of Advisors.
“Our Advisory Board members are key partners and trusted allies of our Company with whom we have enjoyed long-standing relationships. Each member of the Advisory Board brings their own wealth of experience, industry and geographic knowledge as well strategic input in the telecom, natural resources and real estate sectors in the Middle East and Africa” commented Mr. Ziad Kawash, Managing Director, Equity-i.
“It is with great pleasure to see so many eminent and esteemed individuals sharing the vision of our Company and I look forward to the Advisory Board’s support and input in our key target areas. Having industry leaders such as these will only enhance Equity-i’s depth in its investment areas and expand our reach into new and exciting markets” commented Mr. Fawaz Halazon, Managing Director, Equity-i.
Mr. Ahmed Al Araimi
Mr. Ahmed Ali M Al Araimi is the Founder and Chairman of Qurum Investment Projects LLC, a financial and property investment group.
Mr. Al Araimi has served on a number of boards. Formerly he was Chairman of the College of Administrative Sciences, a member of Oman British Friendship Association, Director of Commercial Bank of Oman and Board Director of the Oman Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Middle East Regional Advisory Board of the London Business School.
Mr. Al Araimi is an Omani national, educated in England at Millfield School, Somerset. He holds an MBA in International Business & a B.S.B.A. in Finance from the American University (1985 – 1989). He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Luton in recognition of his determination and leadership in the development of mass higher education in the Sultanate of Oman (2000).
Mr. Ahmad Haleem
Mr. Ahmad Haleem is a Managing Partner of ZAS Management Consultants based in Dubai. Previous to this, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Wataniya International FZ LLC, a company responsible for leading the pursuit of global expansion opportunities as well as leveraging technical, financial and commercial synergies within the Wataniya Telecom group. Mr. Haleem had led the company into regional expansion, with the acquisition of 50% of the second GSM license in Tunisia (Tunisiana), the third GSM license in Algeria, its license for Asia-Cell in Iraq, a GSM and 3G license in the Maldives and the acquisition of 38% of Public Telecommunications Company (PTC) in Saudi Arabia.
He earned a Bachelors Degree of Science in Accounting from the University of Illinois, Chicago and obtained his CPA qualification in 1989. After 14 years of service with Motorola, he was appointed as CFO of Wataniya Telecom in Kuwait in 2001. In March 2004, he was appointed CEO of Wataniya International.
Following are companies in which Mr. Haleem served as a board of director; Orascom Telecom Tunisie, Asia-Cell Telecommunications Company, Wataniya Telecom Algerie, Public Telecommunications Company Ltd., and Wataniya Telecom Maldives. He served as Chairman of Warf Telecommunications, an undersea cable company in the Maldives and of Wataniya Palestine Mobile Telecommunications Company in Palestine.
Mr. Fassine Fofana
Fassine Fofana is Chairman of African Aluminium, a British company developing a 1.5 million tonne /year alumina plant in Sierra Leone, West Africa. He is an Executive Director of Energy Equity Resources, a Norwegian E&P oil company with an Africa focus, and a Non Executive Director of Carbon Reduction International, a British company engaged in the Clean Development Mechanism across Africa.
Between 1994 and 2000, Fassine Fofana was Senior Cabinet Minister of Natural Resources and Energy for the Republic of Guinea. As such, he was Chairman of Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee (CBG), a 49/51 JV between the Government of Guinea and major aluminium producers and then the world’s leading bauxite exporter. He was also Chairman of Friguia, the only alumina plant in Africa, and of several other resource companies involved in iron ore and gold developments.
Fassine Fofana holds a Master of Engineering degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toulouse (France), a Master in Business Administration degree from INSEAD (France/Singapore) and a Master of Science in Financial Economics from the University of London (UK). He also attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School (USA).
Mr. Karim Kawar
His Excellency Karim Kawar is the President of the Kawar Group of Companies, a leading business group based in Jordan and serving the wider MENA region. The Kawar Group has diversified interests and investments in shipping, logistics, travel and tourism, information and communication technologies, real estate, energy, multimedia, health insurance services, international trade and development and industry infrastructure.
Between July 2002 and January 2007 he served as the Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the United States of America and Mexico. Prior to that, His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein appointed him to the Jordanian Economic Consultative Council.
An entrepreneur by profession, Mr. Kawar was the founder and president of the Ideal Group which encompassed ten companies in the field of information and communication technologies. He was the architect of the REACH Initiative, Jordan’s blueprint for a knowledge economy. He was also the Founder and Chairman of the Information Technology Association of Jordan and President of the Jordan Computer Society. Additionally he was a founding member of several business associations and NGOs, including the AmCham and the Jordan Intellectual Property Association.
Moreover Mr. Kawar is a founder and a board member of the Jordan River Foundation which is headed by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah. He is a founder and president of Bridges of Understanding Foundation, a nonpolitical nonprofit organization that aims to support projects and initiatives that foster better understanding between the people of the US and those of the Arab and Muslim world.
Mr. Kawar was selected by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. He is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization. He holds a BSc in Management in Finance and Computer Science from Boston College and is an Eisenhower Fellow.
Mr. Khaled Esbaitah
Mr. Esbaitah is the Founder, Vice Chairman and CEO of Al Mazaya. Mr. Esbaitah founded Al Mazaya in 2004 and is responsible for its remarkable growth trajectory during recent years. Al Mazaya is currently one of the largest full scale private real estate companies in the Middle East region. It is listed on the Kuwaiti Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of $700m. In 2006 Al Mazaya’s revenues were $147m, profits of $81m and projects in the pipeline worth at least $2 billion. Al Mazaya also introduced the GCC’s first real estate publicly-listed index in late 2006.
Mr. Khaled S. Esbaitah has 20 years experience in the field of construction and real estate development first in the GCC. Under his leadership Al Mazaya, he has been responsible for the building of a number of landmark developments in the GCC such as Sky Garden (DIFC) and, Mazaya Business Avenue (Jumeirah Lake Towers).
Mr. Khaled S. Esbaitah, has a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from Florida A & M University. He also has an Associate Degree in General Studies from the Tallahassee Community College.