High-Level Panel

H.E. Mr. Thabo Mbeki
Former President of South Africa and Chair of the High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa

Mr. Thabo Mbeki was born on June 18, 1942 in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. He joined the ANC Youth League in 1956 at the age of thirteen and left South Africa for exile in 1962. Mr. Mbeki read Economics at Sussex University in England up to the masters’ level. He has been a member of the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) since 1975. He was appointed Deputy President of South Africa in 1994 and twice elected President in 1999 and 2004. In addition to being the Chair of African Union (AU) High Level Panel on IFFs from Africa, he has served as the Chairperson of the AU High Level Implementation Panel for Sudan and South Sudan as well as the AU High Panel on the Security of the Horn of Africa. He also chairs the Board of the South Center, a think-tank of the countries of the Global South. Upon his retirement as the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr. Mbeki set up the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, of which he is a Patron, to pursue the ideals of Africa’s Renaissance and through which he undertakes various activities consistent with these ideals. He is also currently the Chancellor of the University of South Africa.

Ambassador Olusegun Apata
Chairman of the Nigerian Coca-Cola Bottling Company Ltd and Member of the High-Level Panel

H.E. Ambassador Olusegun Apata, a former Nigerian Diplomat is the Chairman of the Nigerian Coca-Cola Bottling Company Ltd (NBC) the largest beverage manufacturer in Nigeria. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Network AREWA24, a Pan-Africa Television network that broadcasts in Hausa language only. Ambassador Apata served for over three decades in the Nigerian Diplomatic Service; and was Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United Nations in New York and to the Republic of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo.) He also previously chaired the Steering Committee of the Expert Group that led to the formal launching of the Africa Forum of former African Heads of State and Government. He is also a member Board of Global Financial Integrity, as well as, its Advisory Group on Africa. He is also a member of the National Council of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria; (MAN) and he is on the Board of a number of Philanthropic Foundations.

Hon. Irene Ovonji-Odida
Commissioner, Independent Commission for Reform of International Corporate Tax (ICRICT) and Member of the High-Level Panel

Honorable Irene Ovonji-Odida is a Ugandan lawyer focused on global financial integrity and development and is currently a member of the Illicit Financial Flows Task Force of the Pan African Lawyers Union, Tax Steering Group of the South Centre, in-coming Chair of the Board of Tax Justice Network, member of the Tax Justice Network Africa Advisory Board and the Independent Commission for Reform of International Corporate Tax (ICRICT). She was a member of the High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda (FACTI), co-chairing the Disputes Settlement Task Force, and formerly International Board Chair for ActionAid International, Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Association of Women Lawyers and vice-chairperson of the Council of Makerere University. As a regional MP in in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) from 2001 to 2006, Hon. Ovonji-Odida led initiatives for effective oversight by African legislators in international trade negotiations and regional conflict resolution. From 1994-2001 she worked in key government agencies which anchored major national initiatives in Uganda. She holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University, Uganda, and a master's degree in comparative jurisprudence from Howard University, Washington DC USA. She is married with two children.

Barrister Akere T. Muna
Founder and former President of Transparency International (TI) Cameroon and Member of the High-Level Panel

Akere T. Muna is the founder and former President of Transparency International (TI) Cameroon Former Vice Chair of Transparency International and former Chairperson of the Council of the International Anti-Corruption Conference. Called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1978, he is a lawyer by training. He was born on August 18, 1952. In 2007-2008, he was appointed member of the independent High-Level Audit Panel of the African Union. From 2008 to 2014, he was elected President of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC), one of the organs of the African Union – A position he held until 2014. He is a former President of the Pan African Lawyers Union (2005-2014) and former President of the Cameroon Bar Association. He is a former member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Advisory Group for Sub-Saharan Africa (2010). In January 2010, he was elected for a four-year term to the Panel of Eminent Persons, which oversees the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). He later became the Chairperson of this panel until the end of his term in 2014. In 2013, Akere Muna was appointed as the first ever Sanctions Commissioner of the African Development Bank and has also served as Chair of the Council of the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC). Currently an International Legal Consultant on Governance and Anti-Corruption he advises some Governments in Africa and other Institutions.