Julian Fisher (Managing Director)
Julian Fisher founded Africa Integrity in 2010. Julian is a highly experienced intelligence operative and dedicated Africanist with some twenty years’ hands on-engagement on the continent: in a specialised branch of the British Diplomatic Service; as Head of Security Intelligence for HSBC; and as Head of Africa for Aegis Defence Services. He has worked in locations as diverse as the Niger Delta, South Sudan, Somalia, Mauritania and Angola, amongst many others. Julian is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).
Michael Kearsey (Director)
Michael Kearsey became a director of Africa Integrity in 2016. Michael oversees the majority of client projects, working closely with Africa Integrity’s investigatory team. Prior to joining Africa Integrity, Michael worked as a research assistant for the Professor of Modern African History at the LSE. Michael has in depth knowledge of the history and politics of many sub-Saharan African countries and has experience of working on the continent after previously volunteering for an international charity based in Ghana.
Vincent Magombe (Head of Investigations)
Vincent Magombe is Africa Integrity’s Head of Investigations. A Ugandan national, Vincent previously worked with International PEN, the leading global writers’ advocacy group, and became the first African member of its executive board. Vincent was tasked with establishing and promoting African PEN centres throughout the continent and, as a result of this work, brings to Africa Integrity a wealth of experience and an extensive network of African investigators and sources. Vincent is also a lecturer at London South Bank University and is a published author and playwright.
Sami Zahed (Analyst)
Sami Zahed joined Africa Integrity in 2019. Sami assists with client projects and is particularly concerned with developing the company’s open-source research capabilities. He is also working to expand Africa Integrity’s presence in North African and Arabic-speaking countries. Prior to joining the firm, Sami worked in the financial crime regulatory team at IBM in the City of London. Sami also has previous experience of working at a Middle Eastern affairs think-tank in Washington, D.C.
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 officials in 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.
Seray hails from Sierra Leone, where she has connections at the highest echelons of the country’s political and commercial worlds. She has helped Africa Integrity’s clients understand the country’s political developments and got under the skin of potential commercial partners active there. She is bilingual in English and Krio.
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.
Abebi 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, she is able to open doors that remain closed to others. She 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.