SABA Board

The Board provides corporate governance on behalf of SABA’s members and partners. It establishes and maintains the association’s vision, mission and values, approves the strategy, annual business plans and budget.

Chairman – John Paterson

John is a former CEO with extensive international experience in Oil & Gas, Industrials and Consumer Goods working for multinationals, private and private equity owned businesses. He comes from a finance background and has extensive experience in general management, strategy development, accelerated growth, marketing and distribution, key account management, new market entry, M&A and joint ventures.

He has a passion for Africa with its diverse cultures, huge natural resources and exciting business potential and has visited the continent many times on business and pleasure including Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.

John is also a Chairman of a Scotland based PE-owned technology business and an Associate of 2020 Marketing in Kenya.

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Elaine Alexander

Elaine has over 20 years’ experience working in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries sector development in Sub Saharan Africa in both the public and private sectors. During her tenure the in public sector Elaine held the positions of Deputy Director-General: Economic Development International Trade and Marketing, for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Chief Director: Sector Development Agriculture and Agro-processing in the Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

Elaine was responsible for the development of the developmental strategy for the full values chains, farm to fork, which included various interventions for sustainable production intensification, human capital development, cooperative and enterprise development, market/trade access, including regulatory/technical compliance, to support the expansion of these sectors.

She was part of the executive team which reviewed and reworked the South African National Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Strategy and advised on the development of South Africa’s master plan for the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program. Elaine also facilitated and advised on the development of small farmer interventions with donor funders e.g. FAO (World Food Program) and the Japanese Small Holder Entrepreneur Program (SHEP).

In private sector Elaine currently provides strategy development, project management, facilitation and advisory services to companies and governments in developmental trade strategy, market access and new business development focused on Africa. She recently provided expert advisory inputs into the development of the Aquaculture Marketing Strategy for South Africa. Elaine was the Executive Director of the South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) and Chairman of the government’s food quality and safety export governance body, the Perishables Products Export Control Board (PPECB).

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Chris Low – Banking and Fintech

Chris is an international banking, digital transformation, risk management and emerging markets leader, with more than 30 years of proven strategic delivery at Board and C-suite levels. He holds a Chartered Accountancy qualification and has worked in the UK, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Currently, he advises the HM Government on strategies for engaging with the UK banking sector to promote trade and investment. Also, he holds a Board seat on the Bank subsidiary of a public quoted East African Banking and Insurance Group while advising the Group as well as a number of early-stage FinTechs based in West and East Africa. Chris’s focus today is on building his portfolio of Non-Executive and Advisory roles where he can add value to transformational growth strategy, digital disruption, good governance, culture change and top team development.

Chris’s last Executive role was as Group CEO at Letshego Holdings Limited, one of Botswana’s largest public listed groups, with an 11 country presence in Southern, East and West Africa. Prior to that, he worked for Arthur Andersen, Goldman Sachs, Standard Chartered and National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) where he gained experience of executing regional/country strategies, new country entry, franchise development, mergers and acquisitions, due diligence and integrations. During his 19 years with Standard Chartered, his roles included CEO India and Nepal, CEO Tanzania, GM/CEO East Africa/Kenya and CEO South Africa. At NBK he was Deputy CEO for their international businesses in New York, London, Paris and Singapore.

Chris read Zoology at St Peter’s College, Oxford and his outside interests include art and antiques, travel, sustainability and charitable fundraising.

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Craig McLaren, ex MD Johnson & Johnson Medical, Africa & Middle East

Brought up in the Copperbelt region of Zambia, schooled in Scotland then spent over 20 years working in the Middle East for Johnson & Johnson. Now back in the UK Craig is a Leadership and Healthcare advisor as well as an Executive Coach, Charity Trustee and a GlobalScot (Scottish Development International).

He is always looking for the next big adventure having recently climbed Kilimanjaro, and the trip to Ushuaia will also help him come to terms with recently having to sell his beloved Mustang Shelby GT500 in Dubai.

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Joyce Onuonga, Managing Director at John White & Son, CEO Kinnotech

The is the MD of John White & Son (Weighing Machines Ltd) the oldest family business in Scotland that has been with the White family for over 300 years. Joyce acquired the business three years ago after working at JWS for over 20years. Joyce’s with her two sons who work in the business are inspired is to grow the JWS legacy they have inherited into a successful Scottish- Kenyan business.

Joyce is passionate about Renewable Energy and in particular contributing to eliminating the use of toxic fossil fuel for lighting in off-grid areas. She founded Daima Energy which has offices in Nairobi and headquarters in Scotland and (Kinnotech for product development). They have delivered energy projects in Kenya; GIZ, Kenya government (REA), Last Mile Connectivity among others.

Joyce ‘s experience growing up in rural Kenya combined with working with universities on projects for the industry has used the Scottish technology to develop a modular solar lamp that will be launched soon. She has a wealth of experience in international business, HR and enjoys mentoring the youth.

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Roger Mullin – Director of Momentous Change and former Member of Parliament

Roger is an Honorary Professor at Stirling University, a Director of Momentous Change Ltd and chair of the board of Revive Campaign CIC that deals with the humanitarian consequences of explosive violence.

He is a former member of parliament and has undertaken 29 international assignments mainly for United Nations agencies, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and directly for governments. Sixteen of the assignments were in Africa.

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Susan Walsh BA (Nurs), M.Ed, M.Sc, FRSA, OBE

Susan Walsh retired in 2017 having served as a College Principal for 15 years in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Originally a nurse, she specialised in neuromedical/surgical nursing and emergency care before moving into Further and Higher Education where she maintained her interest in health and social care, through her role as national Lead Principal for Health, Social Care and Early Years.

Susan has extensive governance, strategic and operational management experience.  She has served on a number of Boards including Convenorship of the Qualifications Committee of the Scottish Qualifications Authority, Quarriers Scotland, Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and the Lothians and many others. She was until recently a Non-Executive Director of HIS and served as a member of the Audit and Risk Committee and Staff Governance Committee.

She has a particular interest in organisational health and well-being and at the request of NHS Scotland was the co-producer of the NHS Governance Framework which the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Jeanne Freeman, has now rolled out across Scotland.

Susan provides consultancy services, specialising in governance, strategic and organisational change and individual development.  She also provides pro bono coaching to third sector clients, including Mary’s Meals UK and International Leadership Academy.

In 2014 Susan was appointed OBE for services to Further Education.

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James Crawford

James Crawford has been Kuro Consulting Services Managing Director since April 2019. Prior to this he spent time as an independent consultant for a year after leaving his role as Marathon Oil Regional Vice President in Equatorial Guinea.

James previously had a 20-year career with Wood where he served in several senior leadership roles including President of the Asset Solutions business unit for the Europe business and managing director for Wood Group PSN’s UK and Africa business.

With more than 30 years’ industry experience, he has spent the past 18 years in a variety of senior leadership, operations management and contracts management roles within the Africa region as well as in Europe, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Brunei and the Philippines.

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Upcoming Events

Africa Energy Series

The Africa Energy Series from SABA and KURO is a range of webinars that explore the energy industries of key African markets providing a complete portrait of each country’s energy sector via the perspective of government, industry and trade professionals.

SABA Partnering With HMG On A Mozambique Agriculture Webinar

Following the highly successful round table meeting on legal services SABA organised for HE Nomatemba Tambo in Glasgow, the High Commissioner intends to attend a series of round table business events in Scotland, covering...

South Africa in Scotland
Series of Meetings 2020

Following the highly successful round table meeting on legal services SABA organised for HE Nomatemba Tambo in Glasgow, the High Commissioner intends to attend a series of round table business events in Scotland, covering...