Evidence Summit | Hosted by the Alliance for eTrade Development

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Evidence Summit 2023

Ecommerce is opening new opportunities for developing country micro, small, and mid-size enterprises (MSMEs) to engage in trade, grow, and create new jobs. The Alliance for eTrade Development II Activity (eTrade Alliance) is a Global Development Alliance (GDA) implemented in 2019-26 between USAID and 13 leading private sector partners, and supported by implementing partners Palladium and Nextrade Group, aimed to advance developing country MSMEs' use of ecommerce, including for cross-border trade.

On October 31, 2023, please join the eTrade Alliance and Marketlinks in welcoming Paul Fekete, Senior Trade Advisor at USAID and Kati Suominen, Founder and CEO of the Nextrade group, in discussing the relevance, methods, and results of the eTrade Alliance’s work on approaches to promote SME development and what this means for future key priorities. Panel discussions involving Alliance representatives will deepen the focus on ecommerce ecosystem development, ecommerce-friendly policy environments, and the future of private sector development through ecommerce.

Participants will also have an opportunity to hear the Alliance’s and its members’ lessons learned in managing a multi-stakeholder initiative involving a combination of global, regional, and local ecommerce ecosystem actors, and provide input and ideas to the Alliance. The summit will feature two breakout groups on the enabling environment for ecommerce and an open dialogue with the speakers on the results from those breakout sessions.


  • Abodunrin "Bods" Babalola, SSA Account Director, UpSkill Digital
    Abodunrin Babalola is an accomplished "social impact developer" renowned for driving successful digital transformation projects and forging robust transformative partnerships across Sub Saharan Africa. With a rich background in developing large scale impact programmes and managing complex CSR projects for companies like Google, Abodunrin excels in driving SME digitization and youth development in Africa. Leading and designing social impact projects across Africa, Abodunrin has equipped over 1 million youths and businesses with digital skills, securing substantial funding and fostering enduring client connections. With more than 6 years experience, leading and designing programmes that have impacted more than 10,000 businesses in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa Abodunrin stands out as a dedicated professional driving transformative initiatives.

  • Brett Johnson, Director, Inclusive Growth and Natural Capital, Palladium
    Brett Johnson is a solutions-oriented leader with a track record of driving business growth and managing large, diverse, and impact-driven teams in the U.S. and globally, focused on accelerating and sustaining impact through public-private collaboration, innovation and enterprise growth. 

  • Carlos Enriquez Montes, Senior Director for Regulatory Affairs, DHL
    Carlos Enriquez Montes is an expert in international trade and customs with over 20 years of experience in international trade negotiations, trade policy and trade facilitation reform, including relevant Customs international standards. He is a former trade negotiator and international Customs representative, and has collaborated with international organizations like the WTO, WCO, UNCTAD, OECD, and IDB, in developing policies, and designing strategies for the implementation of trade facilitation and Customs reforms in several countries.

  • Craig Kirkland, Director of Pacific Islands at Mastercard
    Craig Kirkland drives digital, eCommerce, business development and financial inclusion in amazing places - American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Guam, Micronesia, Northern Mariana Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

  • Devandran Muniandy, GoTrade Regional Coordinator – Asia Pacific, DHL
    Devandran Muniandy is the GoTrade Regional Coordinator – Asia Pacific at DHL. His role includes coordinating customs modernization projects and capacity building for local businesses to access global market. Prior to joining DHL, he worked as Senior Officer of Central Management Team at the ASEAN Secretariat. He has also worked in public sector as Project Manager for Cross Border Rail and Head of Land Freight Unit.  

  • Erica Libertelli, Executive Director at eCommerce Institute
    Erica Libertelli is a professional with 19 years of experience in business and technology-oriented education. She is an executive director at eCommerce Institute where she leads global projects and initiatives for the development and acceleration of the digital economy, including through the design of scalable and tailored training programs and MSME access to digital services.

  • Erik Churchill, Vice President of Public Affairs at UPS
    Erik is an experienced trade and public affairs professional working to help UPS advance its goals in Europe, Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East. He works on trade policy and sustainability through expert analysis, engagement with key stakeholders, and strategic communications.

  • Heba Shams, Vice President of Global Public Policy, Mastercard
    As Vice President for Global Public Policy Heba Shams leads multilateral engagement for a Fortune 500 company. In this role, she develops and leads the execution of engagement strategies with multilateral institutions on key policy issues in payments and digital development. She builds partnerships and bring the voice of business to bear in global policy conversations. She builds on over 15 years of highly diverse experience in international development at the world's leading development organization, where she honed her skills in diplomacy, public affairs, finance and investment policy, and government engagement strategy.

  • Hilda Kragha, CEO of the African Talent Company, ROAM
    Hilda Kragha is the current CEO at The African Talent Company, leading the amazing teams at Jobberman Nigeria and Ghana + Brighter Monday Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania as we tackle Africa's unemployment challenges by bringing transparency to the labour markets and improving workplace productivity.

  • Jehiel Oliver, CEO and Founder, HelloTractor
    Jehiel Oliver is responsible for the overall management and strategy of Hello Tractor, an agricultural technology company that connects tractor owners and farmers through a farm equipment sharing application. He has been honored with numerous awards for his work in social entrepreneurship including being recognized by Foreign Policy Magazine as a Top 100 Global Thinker for 2016. He was appointed under the Obama Administration as a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, where he chaired the technology subcommittee. Prior to Hello Tractor, Oliver worked in consulting and investment banking. Outside of work, Oliver remains active serving on the board of Shared Interest and H4H, both impact investment funds focused in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Julia de Macedo Meira, DHL Brazil

  • Kati Suominen, Founder and CEO of Nextrade Group and Technical Director, eTrade Alliance
    Dr. Kati Suominen is Founder and CEO of Nextrade Group and ideates and leads Nextrade Group engagements with the company's more than 50 clients.  Kati has ideated and built dozens of data and analytical products, pilot initiatives, and eight global initiatives and public-private-partnerships to support Nextrade's clients in enabling world rade through technology - including, most recently, the Alliance for eTrade Development I and II between 13 leading companies and USAID to enable SME ecommerce in developing nations, and the Prosper Africa Tech for Trade Alliance with 21 companies and U.S. government's Proper Africa initiative.

  • Maria Luisa Boyce, Vice President for International Policy for Global Public Affairs, UPS
    Maria Luisa Boyce serves as Vice President for International Policy for UPS Global Public Affairs, bringing over 20 years of experience and leadership in international trade, customs issues, and cross-border trade. In her current role, she advocates for UPS’s priorities on Capitol Hill, supports the company’s government affairs efforts in Latin America, is part of the UPS core team leading the UPS Women Exporter Program, and serves as a liaison for UPS to National Hispanic Organizations.

  • Michael Murungi, Governments and Public Policy Lead of Eastern Africa, Google
    Michael Murungi is Google's Lead for Government Affairs and Public Policy in Eastern Africa. He is a manager with expertise in public policy, government relations, ICT law and law reporting. In his current role, he contributes to better policy and law making for the ICT sector and helps shape Google's programs and policies to contribute to East Africa's growth and digital transformation.

  • Michael Poor, Senior Manager and Financial Services Lead, Nextrade Group
    Michael Poor manages Nextrade's development programs to enable trade through technology especially in Africa. He designs interventions and approaches with private sector partners, and leads project execution. With a background in working with leading financial services firms including AIG and its corporate clients, he also brings expertise in digital payments and digital finance solutions and policies.

  • Paul Fekete, Senior Trade Advisor, USAID
    Paul Fekete is the Senior International Trade Advisor at USAID. He primarily focuses on the development of trade-related technical assistance programs to support USAID Missions in building public and private sector trade capacity and promote developing countries’ participation in the international trade system. Prior to joining USAID in 2010, he worked for over 25 years as a consultant providing trade advisory services, technical assistance, training, and institutional strengthening and capacity building for various entities such as USAID, WTO, WCO, and the World Bank. 
  • Pierre Claude Blaise, CEO of AMVO
    Pierre Claude is an experienced intrapreneur and business architect with a 20-year track record in large companies and start-ups. He has 10 years of experience at the C-level, leading and promoting the transformation of organizations to succeed and grow in the digital environment. Currently, Pierre is the Chief Executive Officer of the Asociación Mexicana de Venta Online (AMVO), a leading ecommerce trade association in Mexico, where he is responsible to lead the development of e-commerce by sharing the best practices for the member companies in Mexico and the world.

  • Pren-Tsilya Boa-Guehe, Head of Pan-African Institutions, Government Affairs and Public Policy, Google
    Pren-Tsilya Boa-Guehe is Google’s Head for Pan-African Institutions, Government Affairs & Public Policy, where she oversees policy engagement with the African Union Commission, UN Economic Commission for Africa, African Development Bank, among other regional organizations. For nearly two decades, Pren-Tsilya Boa-Guehe has helped to advance humanitarian, economic, health, environmental, and tech policies in Africa. This included through diplomatic roles as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Organizations, Bureau of African Affairs, and overseas assignments in Mali, Morocco, and Ethiopia. While serving as Economic Officer at the U.S. Mission to the African Union, Pren-Tsilya spearheaded U.S. commercial advocacy efforts on the African Continental Free Trade Area. Before joining the State Department, she led a non-profit organization that provided humanitarian assistance in Cote d’Ivoire.

  • Roger Libby, Vice President and Head of Corporate Public Affairs in the Americas, DHL
    Roger works across the entire Americas region to support the efficient movement of goods both domestically and across borders. He has served on several Federal advisory committees before the U.S. Department of Commerce, CBP, and TSA. He is a team oriented, global government relations executive with 26+ years of experience in legislative and regulatory affairs from both the public and private sectors. Recognized public policy expertise with broad network and a proven record of success across aviation, surface transportation, supply chain security, sustainability, and technology sectors.

  • Sarah Meinert, Head of Knowledge Management, DHL - GoTrade

  • Shannon Gaffney, Director, Nextrade Group
    Shannon designs and manages Nextrade's development programs to accelerate SMEs' digital transformation through trade. Her experience ranges from advising Congress and the U.S. Trade Representative on matters of international trade and competitiveness to serving as Chief of Party for two USAID-funded projects focused on digital trade, ecommerce, trade facilitation, and trade logistics for the digital economy.

  • Steve Pope, Group Head of Trade Facilitation, DHL
    Steven is Group Head of Trade Facilitation, (GoTrade) at Deutsche Post DHL and has been with the Group for 10 years, originally joining in 2011 at DHL Express as Vice President, Customs & Regulatory Affairs for Europe and Head of Trade Compliance for Europe, the Middle East & Africa. Before joining Deutsche Post DHL, Steven spent 26 years in the Public Sector, working for HM Customs, HM Treasury, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the IMF. He has worked in both the enforcement and policy areas on topics such as Customs, VAT and International Trade.

  • Sylvia Mbaabu, Partnerships Lead in East Africa at BrighterMonday
    Experienced Project Management and Coordination expert in development managing cross-country projects in East Africa. Demonstrated experience in effective and efficient project delivery in youth employment, skill development and agriculture development related project interventions.

  • Victoria Albanesi, Director of Public Policy and Alliances at AMVO
    Victoria focuses on the legal consulting of complex legal matters related to new technologies. She provides sophisticated, high quality advice to domestic and international companies regarding the regulatory and legal aspects of their innovative businesses, including e-commerce, financial technologies y last-mile logistics.

  • Wameek Noor, Director, Global Government Engagement and Development Finance, Visa
    Wameek Noor is Director, Global Government Engagement and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) at Visa and Visa Economic Empowerment Institute (VEEI) Fellow. Wameek has over fifteen years of experience in inclusive financial sector development. In his previous professional capacities at CGAP, World Bank, United Nations Foundation and Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), he has engaged public-private stakeholders to create a scalable and responsible digital financial services ecosystem in developing countries and make financial services universally available to low-income individuals.