Made in AfricaTM brings African Culture
to a global audience.
Made in Africa (MIA) is a global luxury group and platform for African creatives. We define Africa mainly by the culture shared by those of African descent, whether they currently reside in Accra or Atlanta. In this regard, Africa is everywhere. MIA initially began in 2013 as an initiative of Liberty & Justice (L&J), Africa’s first Fair Trade Certified apparel manufacturer. After winning the top prize from the 2014 Hague Institute for Innovation in Law for human rights innovations within the fashion industry, MIA was spun out as a new business under the leadership of L&J’s CEO, Chid Liberty.
In 2018, Kojo Annan became co-founder, co-lead investor, and Chairman of Made in Africa. Liberty and Annan quickly built momentum around the idea of an African luxury group by securing a $190 million facility from Africa’s Import Export Bank (Afreximbank) and investments from leading families in fashion, entertainment, and philanthropy. The group’s strategy has since centered around buying and transforming existing fashion houses, as well as the development of new houses that serve cultural tastemakers.
Made in Africa is committed to best practices in corporate governance and global citizenship. Under the leadership of the board’s governance committee, and its chair, fifty percent (50%) of our board seats will always be held by women and 50% will also always be held by people of African descent. These commitments are not quotas, per se, they are based on decades of research proving that diverse boards generate higher financial returns for shareholders in the long term. Additionally, these commitments fortify MIA’s non-negotiable commitment to a non-extractive relationship with African art, culture, and heritage.
Made in Africa also has an unwavering commitment to sustainability and human dignity. The board’s sustainability committee, and its chair, provide oversight for all aspects of the company’s strategy as it relates to ethics. For Made in Africa, environmental sustainability and human rights are synonymous with luxury. We are pioneering a new era in fashion and luxury devoid of modern-day slavery, child labor, and exploitative practices more broadly. Instead, MIA’s strategy is built upon building beautiful partnerships with artisans and creatives, as well as all other participants in our value chain such as farmers and textile workers.
While historically, global luxury has been largely a European phenomenon, a massive shift is taking place in art and global culture reorienting our ideals around aspiration and value. No longer are antiquated notions of superior art or craftsmanship only expected from a limited number of regions within our diverse and beautiful world. The lines have blurred between streetwear and luxury. Artisanal work from Varanasi outdoes its competition from Paris. We do not believe this is simply a moment, it is a movement. And we predict this will become the most important movement in fashion’s history. Largely led by the Liberty and Annan families, with private shareholders from all over the globe, our greatest commitment is that the future of luxury will be Made in Africa.
To be announced
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chid Liberty CEO, Executive Committee
Chid Liberty is an award-winning social entrepreneur and impact investor. In 2010 he co-founded Liberty & Justice after a career in entertainment, technology, and finance. Chid was born in Liberia, West Africa, but left as an infant when his father became the nation’s ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, with residence in Bonn. His family was later exiled in the United States.
In 2009, Chid returned to Africa after 28 years abroad. Inspired by the Nobel Peace Prize winning Liberian Women’s Peace Movement, Chid co-founded Africa’s first Fair Trade Certified apparel factory to provide economic opportunities for internally displaced women, who on balance, were vulnerable to rampant unemployment and economic exclusion. In addition to his work at Liberty & Justice, Chid served as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Liberia’s Monrovia Business Startup Center (BSC). The BSC was founded by Spark, a Dutch NGO, for whom Chid managed the Ignite Fund – an equity investment fund making strategic investments in companies with high growth potential in conflict-affected states. Chid speaks internationally on social entrepreneurship and impact investing – recently at Stanford, Columbia, and Princeton Universities, as well as the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia and IE in Madrid, Spain.
Chid was recognized by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in her 2011 State of the Nation Address for his leadership in shaping trade policy and indigenous Liberian entrepreneurship. He is a 2020 Ashoka & Ikea Dela Globalizer Fellow and a 2018 C&A Fabric of Change Fellow, both awarded to social entrepreneurs pursuing system level change in retail supply chains. He was also named by Quartz (a division of Atlantic Magazine) as one of 30 groundbreaking African Innovators of 2017. He was a 2014 Salzburg Global Fellow, a 2011 SVN Social Innovation Award winner, and a 2010 Cordes Fellow. Chid also works as an advisor and board member to a number of high-impact organizations including The Unreasonable Group and Unreasonable Capital, Sorenson Impact Foundation, Transform Finance, B Lab, and the Georgie Badiel Foundation, which was founded by his wife, former Miss Africa, top model, author, and activist Georgie Badiel-Liberty to bring clean drinking water to communities in her home country of Burkina Faso.
Chid studied business at the Lubar School at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is completing graduate studies at the Saïd School of Business within the University of Oxford.
Kojo Annan Chairman, Executive Committee
Kojo Annan is a serial entrepreneur and investor, with an extensive global network and strong track record of growing new businesses across international markets. He is the Chairman and a Co-Founder of Made in Africa (MIA), and currently manages Vector Global, a single family office centred primarily on two main pillars: a regional focus within West Africa; and a global interest in Innovation, Lifestyle and Wellbeing.
Kojo is one of the driving forces for Vector Innovation Fund (VIF). It is a Reserved Alternative Investment Fund (RAIF) specialising in support for technology companies able to transform and protect global markets, notably in global healthcare, enabling technology, sustainability, and longevity.
Kojo co-founded Meridian Port Services (MPS) in partnership with Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority, Bolloré and Maersk (APM Terminals) to develop a modern container terminal in Tema, Ghana. Their world-class Container Terminal services contribute to Ghana’s trade facilitation, providing connectivity to new markets and trading routes. MPS has created thousands of jobs that contribute to the social security, national health, provident funds, education schemes and created several opportunities to outsourced services and supplies to local vendors. The last financing round of MPS was $1.5 Billion USD lead by the IFC.
From a young age, Kojo has had a love for sport. In the period between 1999-2003 he served as the President of Vevey Sports FC in Switzerland and through his companies undertook the marketing campaign of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 1999 in Nigeria and the African Cup of Nations in 2000 (co-shared between Ghana and Nigeria) as well as became a marketing partner to the Ghana national football team from 2000 to 2003.
In 2016, he founded Africa 10 (A10), a social enterprise dedicated to developing African youth through sports and education. A10 has commenced operation by providing scholarships to young Africans in order to attend established sports education university programs in the UK.
Kojo holds degrees in Economics and Political Science, is fluent in both French and English and proficient in Yoruba.
He has three beautiful children with his wife Shanthi and he whilst being a global traveller, is primarily based in Ghana.
Bisi is currently the senior director of legal at Box and was most recently commercial council at LinkedIn. She is an experienced attorney and business executive providing sound and practical legal advice. She has broad subject matter expertise in the following areas: Mergers & Acquisitions, Venture Capital financings, Public Offerings, Commercial Contracts, Intellectual Property Licensing and Securities Law and Compliance.
Bisi is passionate about making an impact in any community she finds herself and she loves to build and foster relationships with clients. She has lived and worked internationally- London, Aberdeen, Scotland, Lagos, Nigeria, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Houston, Texas and California. She is a member of the California Bar, the Law Society of England and Wales and admitted as a Barrister in Nigeria.
Jonathan Cropper Sustainability Committee, Compensation Committee
Jonathan is the founder of Futurlogic Advanced Concepts. He has designed and implemented innovation strategies with the leadership of Aston Martin, Credit Suisse Private Bank, Airbus, Feadship, Sir David Adjaye, Four Seasons (Private Jet Program), Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, BIG Architects, S3, ITV, Bugatti, Hearst, Zaha Hadid Architects, and Ralph Lauren, to name a few. Most recently, Jon was the Head of Global Real Estate, Aviation & Marine Partnerships for Aston Martin Lagonda.
Jon began his career at MTV: Music Television, where he helped design the business plans for MTV’s expansion into Asia, Latin America, and South Africa. After MTV, he was recruited by cultural icon Quincy Jones, to serve as Director of Business Development for his media company at Time Warner. Jon was recognized by Brandweek Magazine as the “Best Marketer Under 40 in America” for his marketing innovations. He was also the Chief Marketing Officer for Badboy Worldwide Entertainment Group, Sean “Diddy” Combs’ collection of companies. During his tenure, Jon was instrumental in developing partnerships with Estee Lauder (launched the "Unforgivable" fragrance that became the #1 men's fragrance in the U.S.), Sprint, and Diageo (designed the repositioning strategy for Ciroc Vodka, one of the biggest successes in recent spirits industry history). Jon received his BA in International Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Emmet Dennis Sustainability Committee; Finance Committee
Emmet Dennis was Chief Community Officer of Sundial Brands, which was acquired by Unilever in 2018. He was the lead executive responsible for overseeing the communication of the brand promise, core values and product efficacy through brand development, brand management and community building. Sundial proudly participates in a number of US based women’s empowerment initiatives, as well as, investing in ethically sourced shea butter from women’s co-ops in Northern Ghana.
Prior to joining Sundial, Emmet was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the leading edge boutique marketing agency, Brand Architects, based in New York City and Washington D.C. Emmet also served as the Senior Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Business Development for Sean “P. Diddy” Combs at Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group. It was during his tenure at Bad Boy that Emmet emerged as an urban marketing mastermind. While overseeing the strategic business development and brand entertainment initiatives at Bad Boy, Emmet leveraged their unique access, understanding and proximity to urban, African-American and youth culture to create highly successful campaigns. Fully integrated influencer marketing, grassroots marketing and event marketing were created to launch numerous new products for RJ Reynolds (“Stir the Senses Tour”), Anheuser Busch (“World Select”), Sean John Clothing Company (“Be Campaign”), Absolut Vanilla Vodka (“White Party”), Calvin Klein (“Crave“) and many more. Other high-profile campaigns managed by Emmet included the ubiquitous “Vote or Die!” campaign during the 2004 Presidential election cycle, “Diddy Runs the City” ING New York City Marathon fundraising effort that brought in Pepsi, Nike, McDonald’s, and a host of other corporate support for education initiatives for New York City school children. Emmet holds a BA in Economics with special concentration in Philosophy and African-American Studies from Rutgers College (Class of 1986).
Anne Friedman Sustainability Committee
Anne Friedman is an author and ordained Interfaith Minister who holds two degrees from Stanford University and an MBA from ESADE. Most of her professional background is in strategy and communications for non-profit organizations focused on ending cycles of trauma and oppression, but her passion is providing space—literal and metaphoric—for individuals, especially leaders, to experience deep healing.
She is a Managing Partner of Liberty Friedman, an impact-driven multi-strategy hedge fund manager that looks for opportunities to go long on justice and short systems of inequality and oppression. Anne and her family have helped shaped Levi Strauss & Co as active participants in the company’s governance through their familial connection to the company’s founder.
Heather Hiles founded Imminent Equity and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Heather’s leadership experience spans more than 20 years, during which they founded and led several private and public sector organizations. They were CEO of Calbright, the State of California’s online community college. CEO of Pathbrite, which they founded and exited to one of the company’s investors in 2015.
They were also Commissioner of San Francisco Unified School District. They served as the Executive Director of Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2), Chief Executive Officer of Hiles Group, Co-Founder of EARN, Chief Executive Officer of SFWorks, and the Chief Operating Officer of Break the Cycle. Hiles has served on the board of Black Girls Code; Social Venture Network; Alonzo King LINES Ballet; and Liberty & Justice. They received their BA from UC Berkeley and their MBA from Yale University.
Rutsel Martha is the principal of the London-based public international law firm, Lindeborg Counsellors at Law, a firm specializing in INTERPOL matters, treaty-based arbitration, sanctions, politically exposed persons, asset protection, and the law of international organizations. Dr. Martha was recently appointed by the King of the Netherlands to lead the formation of the new government in the Netherlands Antilles.
He has over 30 years of experience as a practitioner of public international law, including appointments as the General Counsel and Director of Legal Affairs of both INTERPOL and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (a UN specialized agency), and as a Counsellor in the Legal Department of the International Monetary Fund. Dr Martha has experience handling cases before international courts, arbitral tribunals and international administrative tribunals. From 1998 to 2002, he was the Minister of Justice of the Netherlands Antilles, and from 1990 to 1998, a Minister Plenipotentiary to the European Union. Dr Martha obtained his law degree at Leiden University. He then received a Master of Law (LLM) in international legal studies at Washington College of Law and a PhD at Leiden University. Dr Martha has a generalist perspective on international law, which can be recognized in his writings on various specialized topics, such as: The Financial Obligation in International Law (OUP, 2015), which was cited with approval by the High Court in Law Debenture Trust Corporation PLC v Ukraine  EWHC 655 (Comm); The Legal Foundations of INTERPOL (Hart Publishing, 2010); The Tax Treatment of International Civil Servants (Martinus Nijhoff, 2010); and The Jurisdiction to Tax in International Law (Kluwer, 1989). From 2007 to 2013, he was a Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore Law School.
Lupita Nyong'o Sustainability Committee
Lupita Nyong’o is a Kenyan actress and producer. Her first feature film role was in the film 12 Years a Slave, for which she received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress as well as multiple accolades, including the Screen Actors Guild Award, the Critics’ Choice Award, the Independent Spirit Award, and the NAACP Award.
She has since starred in Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ryan Coogler’s record-breaking box office hit Black Panther, and most recently in Jordan’s Peele’s critically acclaimed horror film Us. She is the author of Sulwe, a children’s book published by Simon & Schuster about about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Hampshire College and a Master’s in Fine Arts from Yale University.
Vincent Ottomanelli Board Treasurer; Chair, Audit Committee; Finance Committee
Vincent is the Chief Financial and Commercial Officer of Lafayette 148. As the former President and Regional director of Ferragamo USA, an affiliate of the global luxury fashion company, Vincent Ottomanelli oversaw all operations, sales and marketing of the company in North & Latin America. Joining the company in 2003 as Chief Financial Officer, Ottomanelli was promoted in 2005 by US Chairman Massimo Ferragamo.
Under Ottomanelli’s leadership, the company’s US revenues grew more than 100%, while profits grew 300%. In addition to streamlining operations, returning the company to profitability, and introducing a new brand strategy focused on elevating the company’s profile as a leading fashion luxury player, his major accomplishment were the expansion of the company’s retail network, growing the number of retail stores from 17 to 46 during his Ten -year tenure. Prior to Ferragamo, Ottomanelli served as Chief Financial Officer of Hugo Boss Fashions, Inc., the US affiliate of Hugo Boss worldwide. During his six years in this position, he helped to deliver unprecedented profitability to the company.Ottomanelli began his career at Deloitte & Touche, LLP. He graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration and Accounting from Bloomsburg University, and is a C.P.A with a certification from New York State. Vincent lives in Montgomery Township, NJ with his wife and three children.