The Governing Board is the main decision making body. It consists of all stakeholders that provide funding to the CONNEX Support Unit. The Governing Board has the principle steering responsibility and appoints the members of the Advisory Committee.
Germany is the founding and first member of the Governing Board since the launch of the CONNEX Support Unit in January 2017. It is represented by Günter Nooke, Personal Representative of the German Chancellor for Africa in the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Dr. Sören Dengg, Division Head of Energy, Infrastructure, and Raw Materials at the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Günter Nooke has been strongly involved with the G7 CONNEX Initiative from the very early days. He is one of the founding fathers of the CONNEX idea even before it was discussed among G7 Heads of States and Governments. His engagement is driven by experiences and discussions he had during various travels in Africa and around the world. He is convinced that durable and fair contracts lay the foundation for long-term mutual beneficial relationships between governments and investors and are hence a crucial driver for development. Mr. Nooke was also crucial in Germany’s decision to provide the seed funding of 6.5 Mio Euro that kick-started the CONNEX Support Unit as the implementation body of the G7 CONNEX Initiative.
Before his current post, Mr. Nooke served as Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office. Previous to that, he was a member of the German Bundestag and a civil rights activist in the former German Democratic Republic. Mr. Nooke is a trained bricklayer and studied Physics and Geophysics at Leipzig University.
Dr. Sören Dengg heads the Division of Energy, Infrastructure, and Raw Materials at BMZ. He has been a strong supporter of the CONNEX idea from the very beginning and strongly supported the founding of the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat with German funding.
Besides CONNEX, his division is engaged in several relevant global processes and projects crucial for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. CONNEX highly benefits from those linkages.
Prior to his current post, Mr. Dengg worked for Deutsche Post DHL as Vice-president Government Affairs, with the Federal Chancellery of Germany on issues of European integration and bilateral relations to European States, and served as a diplomat in the Foreign Office of Germany and the political division in the German Embassy, London.
The Advisory Committee is the key advisory body of the CONNEX Support Unit. It provides high quality advice to the Secretariat and the Governing Board and further helps to promote the CONNEX Support Unit.
The Advisory Committee currently consists of eight highly experienced individuals who work on a voluntary base and serve in their personal capacity. For the composition of the Advisory Committee, attention was paid to ensuring that members come from multiple jurisdictions, and from different relevant professional backgrounds. The public and private sectors as well as non-governmental organizations and academia are represented.
The members of the Advisory Committee are generally appointed by the Governing Board and serve for an initial term of one year. More information on the current Advisory Committee can be found below.
Karl P. Sauvant, PhD, is Resident Senior Fellow, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), Columbia University; Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School; and Guest Professor at Nankai University, China. Until February 2012, he was the Founding Executive Director of the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment, the predecessor of CCSI. Until July 2005, he was Director of UNCTAD’s Investment Division. At the UN, he created the prestigious annual World Investment Report and was its lead author until 2004. At UNCTAD and then Columbia, he proposed and pursued the idea of a negotiations aid facility for developing countries. He has published extensively, see www.works.bepress.com/karl_sauvant
Natty B. Davis, II, acquired over fifteen years of experience in distinguished public service at the highest level of the Liberian Government where he served, inter alia, as Former Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC), Chair of the Inter-Ministerial Concession Committee, Minister of State without Portfolio and head of the Liberia Reconstruction and Development Committee (LRDC), Founder and Lead of Liberia’s Philanthropy Secretariat, Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry, Acting Minister of Transport and Coordinator of Liberia’s Economic Financial Management Committee (EFMC). Since 2014, he has held the position as Sr. Partner of the Devin Corporation, which he co-founded in 1992. In July 2016, Mr. Davis reassumed the role of Managing Director of the firm. Mr. Davis has also consulted extensively outside of Liberia in the United States as well as Eastern and Southern Africa.
The CONNEX Support Unit is operated by a Secretariat responsible for the Unit’s day to day activities and the implementation of support. If you have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Juliane Weymann is the Coordinator of the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat. She joined the Secretariat in January 2017. Prior to this, she was based in Monrovia, Liberia, working as an advisor with the GIZ Resource Governance Programme in West Africa. Juliane has a background in political science with a focus on governance and development politics. She is a certified expert in organizational development and enjoys using her diverse experiences for the successful development of the CONNEX Support Unit.
Leon Riedel came aboard the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat in 2018. Prior to this, he took part in the German federal traineeship for development cooperation commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ). Combining a master’s degree in mining engineering with relevant experience in federal development cooperation, he adds great disciplinary diversity to the team. With that background, he appreciates being part of the successful implementation of the CONNEX Support Unit activities.
Dr. Olumide Abimbola joined the CONNEX Support Unit Secretariat as Specialist for Business Development in July 2018. Prior to joining the CONNEX Secretariat, he worked as Trade and Regional Integration Expert at the African Development Bank in Tunis and Abidjan, and on research coordination and business development at OpenOil, a Berlin-based open data and financial analysis firm working on extractive sector governance. Olumide has an MA in Development Studies and a PhD in Economic Anthropology. He is excited for the opportunity to bring his professional skills and experience to the successful implementation of the CONNEX Support Unit.