Africa Integrity was founded by Julian Fisher. Julian is a highly experienced intelligence operative and dedicated Africanist with some twenty years’ hands-on engagement on the continent. As an officer in a specialised branch of the British Diplomatic Service he completed postings in Kenya and Zimbabwe, mounted operations in challenging locations such as Egypt and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and undertook kiSwahili immersion training in Tanzania (mainland and Zanzibar), to become proficient in the language. After leaving government service, Julian was Head of Security Intelligence for HSBC before becoming Head of Africa for a leading international private security company. This latter role involved deployments to locations as diverse as the Niger Delta, South Sudan, Somalia, Mauritania and Angola, amongst many others. Tasks conducted during these deployments ranged across private and national security reviews, intelligence gathering, specialist training and project management. Julian is a Deployable Civilian Expert (DCE) of the British Government’s Stabilisation Unit (SU), covering Specialist Security, in which role he has received training in National Stabilisation Theory and Hostile Environments Awareness. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).
Michael Kearsey has been working with Africa Integrity since August 2014 and was made a director at the end of 2016. He oversees the majority of due diligence projects and works very closely with Africa Integrity’s investigatory team. Michael joined Africa Integrity as a Masters graduate from the London School of Economics (LSE), where he studied International History and developed a keen interest in African history, politics and economics. Before joining Africa Integrity, Michael worked as a research assistant for a Professor of Modern African History at the LSE. In this role he helped to develop an undergraduate course which examined Britain’s relationship with post-colonial Africa. Through this, and his studies, Michael acquired an in depth knowledge of the history and politics of a broad range of sub-Saharan African countries, which has developed further since he has been working at Africa Integrity. Michael developed Africa Integrity’s blog and is the primary contributor on this platform. Additionally, Michael has experience of working on the continent after previously working in Ghana as a volunteer for an international charity which aims to improve access to clean drinking water.
Our Head of Investigations Vincent Magombe is a uniquely well-qualified academic for intelligence work in Africa, as well as a communications and investigations expert. He was born and brought up in Uganda. Vincent previously worked with International PEN, the leading global writers’ organisation, and became the first African member of the executive board. He went on to become the President of International PEN’s African Writers Abroad Centre, travelling widely throughout the continent helping to establish and promote African PEN Centres. As a result, Vincent brings to Africa Integrity a wealth of experience and an extensive network of African investigators and sources, including journalists, writers, investigators and researchers. Vincent is also a lecturer in Global Cultures and Film studies at London South Bank University and is a published author and playwright, co-authoring the London-based Development Education Association’s Handbook on North-South Partnership in Development Education. Vincent runs our African Cultures Awareness Training (ACAT) programmes.
Jacob Cockcroft is one of the world’s foremost Anti-Bribery and Corruption (ABAC) professionals, with unrivalled credentials in the business intelligence field. He formerly led KPMG’s anti-bribery and corruption services for the financial sector, which involved managing a portfolio of global clients. In this role, he designed and implemented global financial crime solutions for: anti-money laundering; international sanctions regimes; politically exposed persons; and counter-terrorism financing. Prior to joining KPMG, Jacob worked for a global intelligence and risk consultancy, where he established the Africa Group. In this role, he managed numerous due diligence, political risk and asset-tracing assignments and co-authored a major paper addressing the “Risks and Responsibilities of Investing in sub-Saharan Africa”. Jacob is of Zanzibari descent and has travelled extensively throughout Africa on operational assignments.
Africa Integrity retains over thirty specialist investigators in Africa’s key capital cities. Between them, these investigators manage many hundreds of primary sources in the political, official, regulatory, commercial, diplomatic, NGO, academic and civil society sectors. Each of the investigators is adept at developing new sources as required for specific investigations. As a significant number of them operate in many different countries in Africa, they are between them capable of mounting investigations in all of the continent’s 54 jurisdictions. Taken together, they speak more than thirty languages, including: Arabic; Afrikaans; Xhosa; Zulu; chiShona; two variants of Ndebele; kiSwahili; Kiluo; Kikuyu; Yoruba; Igbo; Hausa; Kinyarwanda; Twi; Ga; Luganda; Ligala; English; Portuguese; Spanish; French; and German.
We protect the identities of our investigators carefully, in order to allow them to operate in their respective countries freely and securely. But we recognise it is important for clients to understand the types of people we have working for us. We hope the following descriptions provide a flavour.
Azinga is based in Nairobi. He is a political activist, investigative journalist and head of a human rights NGO in Kenya. In his various roles, Azinga has access to an exceptionally wide range of sources, including in Kenya’s Corporate Registry Service, the national police service, the office of the president and politicians on all sides of the house. He has worked with Africa Integrity since 2010, providing intelligence to support dozens of projects. He speaks three languages fluently.
Nana is Africa Integrity’s investigator in Accra. He was formerly editor of one of Ghana’s leading newspapers and is currently a freelance investigative journalist. He has lived and worked in numerous West African countries. Fluent in two local languages, as well as English and French, Nana has more than proved his worth over the years, assisting Africa Integrity with investigations from standard due diligence checks to complex asset traces, in Ghana and beyond.
Tom travels incessantly, but is primarily based in Johannesburg. A former intelligence officer in the southern-Africa region, he is adept at managing sources of all stripes – not least because he carries three local passports and speaks four local languages, as well as English. He has extensive operational experience, much of it conducted on Africa Integrity’s behalf, and has access to a source network beyond compare.
Gihad has supported Africa Integrity investigations in Egypt for many years. She is fluent in Arabic, French and the language of intelligence, and manages her way around an impressive array of contacts in the country’s public, private and civil society sectors. Gihad’s work has saved Africa Integrity’s clients money and reputational damage. She lives in Cairo.
Femi is Africa Integrity’s primary investigator in Nigeria, who specializes in the oil and gas industry in which he works. Highly experienced in investigative matters and a socialite in Abuja and Lagos, he is able to open doors that remain closed to others. He has been with Africa Integrity from the start and has provided unrivalled access and insights to a wide variety of investigations.
Michel is based in Gabon and is truly one of Africa’s International Elite. He is a close contact and family member of Ali Bongo (President of Gabon), and has dealings with various senior businessmen and significant commercial players across West and Central Africa. He has consistently impressed Africa Integrity’s clients with the length of his reach and the breadth of his knowledge in Gabon and beyond.