- Listen to a brief introduction
to ReadDillon Britain
- Listen to a brief introduction
to ReadDillon Africa
Founder - Director
|Dr. Kaire Mbuende
ReadDillon SADC Region
CEO - Director
ReadDillon East Africa
Founder - Director
ReadDillon South Africa
|Ghislain de Castelbajac
Associate Senior Executive
Executive: International Projects
Associate Senior Executive
John has 23 years experience of corporate communications, political affairs and running major international campaigns.
He has specialised in national and international campaigning; corporate social responsibility; crisis and issues management and media relations. His career has spanned senior positions in both in-house and consultancy environments.
During his time in consultancy - working for Hill & Knowlton and Burson Marsteller in London - he advised senior level clients at De Beers, British Airways, The Football Association, HSBC, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, the Abu Dhabi Government, Sky News, Tesco and the Rugby Football Union. He has also lived and worked in South Africa, and has a detailed knowledge of many of the issues on the African continent. John has also worked extensively in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
John was Director of Corporate Affairs for one of Britain’s Top 6 universities, the University of Warwick, for five years and, subsequently, Director of Corporate Communications for the England cricket team from 2000-2004. He has managed national and international campaigns covering a diverse range of issues including:
- A three year political campaign on behalf of the four major sports
in Britain - football, cricket, rugby union and tennis. This was seeking
Mandatory Rate Relief for Britain’s 110,000 community amateur sports
clubs. In 2003, the campaign was won, and The Treasury brought in fiscal
concessions worth £14m a year to local sports clubs;
- A two year ‘anti-synthetic diamond’ international campaign in 14
countries for De Beers, the world’s largest diamond producer;
- An international election campaign for HRH
Princess Haya of Jordan, who was standing for
the position of President of the FEI, the world
governing body of equestrianism. She was elected
to this post in May 2006;
- A campaign on behalf of the major food retailers
in Britain to persuade the government to make
‘Sunday trading’ legal – this was eventually
- A two year media and political campaign in 19 European countries working for the Iraqi National Congress, the UN-backed Opposition to Saddam Hussein. The campaign highlighted the atrocities being committed by the Saddam regime, and urged temporary members of the UN Security Council to vote to maintain the oil embargo against Iraq.
Tim Hughes has worked and researched in 20 African and 17 non-African countries.
After undergoing Royal Naval Officer’s training at Dartmouth, Tim earned a BA (Hons) and MA from Africa’s leading university, the University of Cape Town (UCT). He tutored and lectured in Political Studies at UCT until 2001. He was a researcher at the Institute for Public Policy and for the Second Carnegie Inquiry in South Africa. He has delivered research papers at universities such as Princeton, Cambridge, Jerusalem, Lancaster and Dar es Salaam.
Tim has been a consultant to the BBC since 1994, working as an adviser on national elections, Zimbabwe and Nelson Mandela in particular. Tim has been a member of the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) since 1989. In 2001 he established SAIIA’s parliamentary office in Cape Town and ran its southern African Parliament’s Programme. Tim also founded SAIIA’s Governance of Africa’s Resources Programme which examined the mining, oil, forestry and fisheries sectors in Africa.
He has served as an adviser to the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum. He has also drafted scenario papers for the South African Presidency. He was also lead author of the United Nations Instraw Project on migration in Southern Africa. He has written a book on South Africa’s foreign policy in the post-apartheid period, and is the editor of some 22 publications on Africa. He has also written a study on terrorism in Africa as well as poverty policy in Africa.
Tim has consulted to numerous African governments, including the government of Malawi on the development of its tourist sector, and has been a consultant to European Parliament MPs on sub-Saharan Africa and presented to the European Council and Commission in 2009. In 2009 he served as rapporteur for the Ditchley Foundation on Nigeria. He has conducted risk analysis and research for some of the world’s leading companies in the mining, petroleum, communications, and airline sectors as well as for international trusts, aid agencies and foundations in Africa. Tim is a regular consultant to most of the major Embassies operating in Africa, particularly the European, American and Scandinavian.
Tim has completed research programmes in 20 African countries, including Morocco, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, as well as the United States, Britain, Norway, France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Taiwan, Singapore, the Gulf States, Israel and Palestine.
A regular author of newspaper opinion pieces,
Tim is a frequent expert commentator for the
BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, ETV and the South African
Ambassador Dr. Kaire Mbuende has enjoyed great success in his academic, political, business and diplomatic careers, culminating as Namibian Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Namibia to the United Nations in New York (2006-2010).
During his tenure at the UN, Ambassador Mbuende chaired important working groups on the reform of the UN such as the Mandates Review and the System-Wide Coherence. He also represented Africa on the Bureau of the Commission on Sustainable Development as Vice-Chairman of CSD-17. He served as Rapporteur for Doha Conference on Financing for Development.
Ambassador Mbuende served the Southern African region as Executive Secretary (1994-1999) of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) during a crucial period in the history of the organization that involved among others the incorporation of South Africa into the organization and the development of new instruments for cooperation and integration. During his tenure of office Ambassador Mbuende developed thriving partnerships with popular constituencies such as academia, NGOs and the private sector to promote the process of integration. He also served as co-chairman of the Southern African Summit of the World Economic Forum.
He was a member of his country’s Constituent Assembly and subsequently National Assembly for two terms (1990-1993 and 2000-2005). He also served as deputy minister of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development (1990-1993) and Foreign Affairs (2002-2004).
Kaire obtained his PhD in Economic Sociology at the University of Lund in Sweden in 1986 and was the first Distinguished African Fellow at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) (2011).
Results driven, Gareth is one of Africa’s most experienced mining and management executives, enjoying 31 years of success in all aspects of mining, including government & community relations, public relations, legal affairs, human resources, crisis management, finance, continuous improvement and technical services (including capital projects), environment, security and health & safety.
An acknowledged government relations and community relations expert, Gareth has technical, general management and executive experience across Mali, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
In recent years, his key roles have included
a strong focus on government and stakeholder
engagement and negotiation, including liaison
with Government stakeholders in South Africa,
Tanzania, Mali and Namibia. Gareth has extensive
experience of operating in difficult legislative
and regulatory environments and has been at the
forefront of analysis, negotiation and advocacy
in response to proposed legislative amendments
in South Africa and Tanzania.
Gareth has been
an active participant in the Extractive Industries
Transparency Initiative as well as the development
of successful public relations campaigns to improve
industry and company profiles.
Ghislain de Castelbajac has 14 years experience in advising governments, investment authorities, sovereign-affiliated equity funds and large corporations in the Middle East, Latin America and Europe. He was a member of the French Prime Minister’s National Security Council (SGDN) as a Chargé de Mission from 1996 to 1998, and reported to SGDN’s Council’s daily briefings on various classified trans-national economic and political issues.
He lived in Abu Dhabi for five years from 2000, serving as a special advisor for the Federal Government of the United Arab Emirates. In Abu Dhabi he was co-founder and head of research of a dedicated systemic risk analysis model dedicated to the regional banking system, and also trained senior officials. Since 2005, Ghislain has been based in Dubai, advising governmental and corporate clients on investment origination and due diligence as a partner in Dubai-based consultancy firm, Applied Business Intelligence.
He supervised and managed a compliance scheme for the Dubai International Financial Exchange (now NASDAQ Dubai), and worked on several cross-border acquisitions and business development projects as well as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) facilitation for governments, and on various bilateral affairs involving the Middle East and Latin America. He is an experienced political lobbyist between worldwide governmental and corporate entities, and Middle East organizations in the field of FDI and bilateral affairs.
He holds a Masters Degree in International Affairs from the Sorbonne University in Paris. Ghislain is the author of numerous classified and non-classified International Policy papers presented to senior government officials in Europe and in the Gulf Region.
After years working as a corporate lawyer in the City of London, Leke has become a strategic consultant in the areas of politics, development, philanthropy, corporate, entertainment and also freelances as a writer and interviewer.
As a consultant, he has worked for Africa 10 (an entertainment and philanthropic entity) devising their strategic framework and for the Clinton Foundation providing advocacy and fund-raising support. Leke has also raised money for Centrepoint, the UK charity for homeless youth which has Prince William as its patron.
Leke has written articles for TMP Online and Think Africa Press about politics in Nigeria, how Ghana should manage its newly-found oil and the whole China/Africa relationship. He has interviewed Duncan Goose, the Founder of Global Ethics and the One Brand which creates products for the market-place, the profits of which are used to carry out like-for-like projects in the developing world.
Leke attended Keele University and graduated with BA Honours in Law and Latin (2:1). He subsequently completed a LLM Masters degree in International Law (Use of Force), Business Law (Company and Banking) as well as Evidence at Bristol University. Whilst there, he also submitted a thesis on the International Law aspects of the Nigeria - Biafra war (i.e. the proposed self-determination of the Biafran people and the recognition of Biafra - or lack thereof - by states internationally).
Leke is a sports and drama enthusiast which he engages in whenever he has free time.
Guy Makki is Founding-Partner of Applied Business Intelligence (ABI), based in Dubai. He is also an elected Counsellor at the Assembly of French Abroad for the Arab Peninsula, representing the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Yemen and Oman. He worked as a senior executive for Banque Paribas for many years, and between 1997 and 2004 was based in Dubai, before creating ABI.
ABI is a strategic management consultancy which specializes in advising institutional clients, due diligence and risk management, strategic acquisitions, political lobbying, crisis management, media relations and investment opportunities in the Middle East.
Guy has also been an advisor to the International Red Cross in Lebanon and, in 1975, helped set up the first mission of Medecins sans Frontieres. He is the special advisor for the Gulf to the UMP, the centre-right party in France, led by President Sarkozy, and also UMP delegate for the United Arab Emirates. In 2012, Guy will be a candidate for a seat in the French National Assembly for the Tenth District of the French Citizens Living Abroad, which comprises 46 countries in Africa and the Middle East.
Guy speaks French, English and Arabic and, in 2006, was awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur by the President of the French Republic. Guy has spoken at various high level international conferences and private seminars in the Middle East on the issue of global geo-politics and economics. Guy is the co-founder of the Rotary Club in Dubai.