The International Students Conference for Africa (TISCA) 2019

Theme: African Students & Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Date: April 5th – 7th, 2019


Lancaster University

Lancaster University

About TISCA 2019 theme: In an era where global concerns about the next issues are at a peak as shown by the current drive of high level international and national government authorities, business corporations and the international community towards sustainability, Africa and indeed African students have a role to play.

According to The Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 put together by the World Economic Forum, The World Bank Group and The African Development Bank, there is a growing international attention focused on Africa as an investment destination and mounting talk of an African economic renaissance. With over a billion people and averaging growth rates of over 5 percent in the last decade, increasing industrialisation, exploration of natural resources and projected population to reach 2.5 billion by 2050, the continent needs to think and act on a sustainable agenda a lot more creatively.

Since the youth are the future for Africa, considering African Students in the UK and their role towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), becomes crucial and non-negotiable. This forms the thrust of the theme for TISCA 2019.

The International Students Conference for Africa (TISCA) is a premiere Conference for students in the United Kingdom. Previously tagged the International Conference of Nigerian Students in diaspora (ICONS), it was First convened in 2007 by XN Foundation, a charity formed by a group of Nigerian students at Lancaster University. The conference has since been held annually for the last ten years. It was first hosted by Lancaster University, and other host universities include University of Hull, University of Kent, University of Northampton, Coventry University, University of Central Lancashire, Sheffield Hallam University & University of Leicester.

TISCA is organised by XN Foundation, a UK charity established in 2007. The diversity of skills and experiences of African students in the United Kingdom has and continues to be the launchpad for the foundation’s activities.

In an era where Africa is undergoing rapid changes and huge developmental activities and reforms not to mention the status of the continent as a preferred investment destination, there is a need to align the lives and activities of African students in the diaspora for value creation and impact. This is the paramount agenda of Xn Foundation and TISCA is a good platform for these conversations.



Ibrahim El-Mayet

Ibrahim is an experienced consultant and business development professional with a track-record of making ideas a reality. As part of the Global Engagement Directorate (GE) within University of London, Ibrahim heads-up regional engagement across the Middle East and Africa. His role includes building local networks and partnerships to drive sustained and long-term development. This comprises close engagement with teaching institutions, governments, funding agencies, professional bodies, alumni, the corporate sector and related organisations. In previous roles with Westminster Business School and LEAD Training Services, Ibrahim worked extensively on the design and delivery of executive development short courses and leaderships programmes both in the UK and MENA region. Ibrahim has experience in International Development having managed a major UNDP funded campaign on behalf of a consortium led by BBC Media Action North Africa.


Professor Kirk T Semple

Professor of Environmental Microbiology | Director of International Engagement, Lancaster Environment Centre Lancaster University

I am a Professor of Environmental Microbiology with over 25 years of research experience. I was first appointed as a Lecturer in Environmental Microbiology and Ecotoxicology into the Department of Environmental Science in 1995, promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2002 and Reader in 2004. In March 2008, I was appointed as Associate Director of the Lancaster Environment Centre and administratively responsible for all postgraduate activities. In 2010, I was promoted to Professor of Environmental Microbiology, following the awarded of a personal chair. In September 2015, I was awarded a CRC CARE Fellowship by Prof Ravi Naidu (Managing Director and CEO of CRC CARE) for my work with CRC CARE in the area of bioavailability research. Most recently, as Director of International Engagement, I have become involved in international activities and partnerships for LEC and the university. In support of this, I have completed two leadership programmes: Deans Professorial Programme (2016-17) and Bonington Leadership Programme (2017).


Dr Ifeolu Omoniyi Akintunde

Dr Ifeolu Omoniyi Akintunde has a law degree from the University of Lagos and a masters and Ph.D in international politics from Lancaster University. Since completing his doctorate, he has taken on several roles, including Executive Secretary of XN Foundation from inception till 2011. Among the many positions he holds, he is: Vice chair of the Sunbeams Music Trust, A Cumbrian music therapy charity which won the Northwest charity of the year in 2006, National publicity secretary of the Overseas Fellowship of Nigerian Christians, (where he is also the special needs coordinator and editor of the annual magazine), Director of Starchildren Initiative and secretary of the board of trustees of his church.


Dr Akanimo Odon

Acting CEO, Xn Foundation and CEO, Envirofly Consulting UK Limited

Dr Akanimo Odon is the Acting CEO of Xn Foundation and CEO of Envirofly Consulting UK Limited and an international environmental management and business strategy expert with a specialization in knowledge transfer and sustainable business development models as well as bridging gaps between research, policy and the private sector. He has been an Adviser to the British Government on international education policies under the National Student Forum, consultant to the British Council, Local Content Adviser to BG Group, Grow Creative Consultant to the European Regional Development Fund, Business Consultant to City and Guilds and Africa Strategy Adviser to Lancaster University, Aberystwyth University, University of London and a host of others.


Dr Saskia Vermeylen

Dr Saskia Vermeylen, based at the law school at the University of Strathclyde, is a socio-legal scholar who has almost 15 years of experience working in many different countries and cultures across the African continent. She is particularly interested working at the interface of law and culture and increasingly she is seeking to engage with wider calls for decolonising law. This resonates with her research on the use of storytelling and other cultural practices as sources of law which she applies to land reform processes and cultural heritage protection. She has worked for many years with the Khoisan peoples in Southern Africa and has stayed extensively for longer periods of time in the Kalahari desert in Namibia and Botswana working on issues related to land restitution and intellectual property rights protection of indigenous peoples’ cultural practices. More recently she also started to use dance and other performative practices in her
legal research and at the moment she’s an apprentice of West African dance.
Her talk focuses on her experience working with very localised legal practices and uses oral storytelling, ritual dance and theatre, ceremonial masks and iconic liberation poetry as transgressive conduits to transform more meaningfully the Sustainable Development Goals across different legal cultural contexts. This ties in with her wider research interest to use localised practices of lawmaking as a way to reflect critically upon post-colonial and neo-colonial legal processes that, sadly, are still enshrined in many international legal processes.

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Griselda Tobogo MPhil ACA

Griselda is a multi-faceted entrepreneur, engineer and chartered accountant. She uses her vast experience with multi-national businesses to assist small and medium enterprises on ambitious growth targets. She trained as a chartered accountant with Deloitte LLP and holds an MPhil in Industrial Systems, Manufacture and Management from Wolfson College, Cambridge University.

She is a respected and impactful speaker and media commentator, with a passion for transforming businesses through the creation of innovative result driven programmes. As an expert on topics such as gender diversity, Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) and entrepreneurship, Griselda offers a fresh approach to diversity in leadership development.


Matthew Hornshaw

Managing Director, MGH Educational Consultancy

Matthew Hornshaw, who is the owner and Managing Director, MGH Educational Consultancy (, is no stranger to Africa having engaged with many African countries over the past 15 years in both a professional and personal capacity, and is a good friend of Xn Foundation. Having worked in senior roles at a number of major UK universities, including Hull, De Montfort & Leicester, Matthew established business partnerships in strategic African markets including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and Libya among others. In a personal capacity Matt set up “Kits for Africa”, working initially with the British Council to distribute football playing kits and equipment to schools and local communities to encourage children to engage with education and develop their key skills via team sports.

Matthew has been involved in international education since 1992 holding a number of senior positions in both the public and private sector and graduating with an MBA in Business Management. Matthew has provided the lead on strategy for business development in areas such as Trans National Education, student recruitment, strategic partnership development and sports management.

Matthew was a founding member of the British Council Nigeria Advisory Group and has been involved in the support of Nigerian youth through the International Conference of Nigerian Students in the UK and Tisca, with the Xn Foundation. Using his football coaching background, Matthew played host to the Ghana International Ladies football squad during his time at the University of Hull and became closely involved with the Ghana Football Association providing a number of support activities leading sports science, football coaching and charity projects with the GFA.


Joy Musa

A sales director who manages International recruitment for one of UK’s largest skills provider. They cover professional training, apprenticeship, consulting and higher education particular in the areas of Modern Technology & Cyber Security. Joy manages the International sales target, Marketing Outreach and strategy for the higher education division.
Joy started her career in Sales and have worked for FTSE 100 companies such as in BSKYB managing big national accounts. She ventured into recruitment consulting where she worked with employers within the health, hospitality, finance and IT sectors to find suitable candidates to fill in vacancies. Once ran her training consultancy, this involved delivering sales training, partnering with well renowned UK Universities to deliver bespoke training in Change & Project Management before venturing back into higher Education.
With a strong Public & Private sector experience, Joy holds 2 Masters Degrees. MSc Business with HR from Heriot Watt University Edinburgh, MSc Management Consulting with Leeds Metropolitan University and a BSc Business Administration from University of Abuja. Joy also holds a diploma in Image Consulting, once being a personal shopper in her spare time. Joy currently engages in public speaking around International Marketing strategies and a strong advocate for Cyber Security and Technological advancement.
I love travel and meeting new people. I believe every day is a new opportunity .Those who succeed are those who are resilient and develop themselves ready to take on the opportunities.

Thelma Bajowa 2

Thelma Bajowa MSc,BA(Hons)

HR, Motivational Speaker, Market Analyst, Sales and Customer Service.

Thelma is an HR Consultant with extensive industry experience in HR & Recruitment, Sales, Marketing and Customer Service. She is also a business entrepreneur in the Hair & Beauty sector, a motivational speaker, a freelance market analyst and an Illustrator .
She has a first degree in Business, Accountancy and Marketing BA(Hons), as well as a post graduate degree in International Marketing Management MSc, both from the University of Worcester.
Thelma enjoys empowering individuals through her social media platform by impacting transferable skills, knowledge and bringing out the potentials in others. This includes inspiring start up of small scale businesses and encouraging a fitness and healthy lifestyle living.

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Dr Foluke Ifejola Adebisi

Dr Foluke Ifejola Adebisi is a Teaching Fellow at the Law School, University of Bristol. Her research, which is pedagogical as well as jurisprudential, examines what happens at the intersection of legal education, law, society and a history of changing ideas of what it means to be human. This research places emphasis on the processes through which knowledge is produced and how this production shapes the content of our curricula, the structure of the university and the collective impact on society, especially in terms of law, both domestic and international. Foluke is particularly interested in academic concerns that arise from ensuring equality, inclusion and diversity within our teaching practice in law. She co-designed a Law and Race unit, which is one of the very few of its kind within the UK. In October 2018, Foluke was included in the Bristol BAME Powerlist 2018 – A list of Bristol’s 100 most inspiring people from BAME backgrounds. She is the founder of Forever Africa Conference and Events (FACE), a Pan-African interdisciplinary conference hosted in Bristol. The first of these conferences held in June 2018. The theme of the 2019 conference is ‘Building the Pan-African Inspired Multiversity.’ She blogs about her research and interrelated ideas on her website ‘Foluke’s African Skies’ at