Who we are

The aké|partners team comprises experienced professionals in the field of government relations, public policy and development, regulatory law, finance and financial markets.

Each member of the team has a wealth of experience working with governments at a senior level across sub-Saharan Africa.

Our advisory board chair is His Royal Highness, Alake of Egbaland,  Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo III

Adedotun Gbadebo.jpg


The team is led by:

Boye Gbadebo
 is responsible for business development and project execution in sub-Saharan Africa excluding South Africa.  Boye was a senior lawyer at Barclays Africa with responsibility for supporting product and business expansion within sub-Saharan Africa. He is a practicing England and Wales qualified lawyer and has extensive experience working for global law firms such as CMS Cameron McKenna in London and the former Soviet Union.  He was Head of legal and compliance at the Liquid Capital Group;  the largest independent derivatives market maker in Europe. As a Nigerian, he has  established ties on the continent, particularly in West Africa and has extensive experience dealing with regulators and public bodies across Africa at the highest level.  A Russian, French and Yoruba speaker, he has over 20 years’ experience advising clients on entering and operating in markets across sub-Saharan Africa.
+234 (0)802 342 7022 or  + 27 (0)82 975 49 62


Paul Bijleveld is responsible for client relationships in Europe, North America and Asia. He has been an investment banker for more than 25 years with Barclays, Morgan Stanley, UBS and ABN Amro in London, Johannesburg and Amsterdam. He was Head of African Investment Banking at Barclays/ABSA, based in Johannesburg.  As an investment banker he has been involved in many M&A, IPO and Corporate Finance transactions for large corporates and governments.  He is on the board of Nots Impact Enterprises and was on the board of the Responsible Mining Foundation. Paul is a Dutch national and holds a Law degree (LLM) from Leiden University.
+31 (0)62 384 8849 or + 27 (0) 79 618 33 42


Dr Peter da Costa is based in Nairobi, Kenya. He has worked in and on African issues for more than two decades. He was a former senior adviser at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and has worked with the OECD, World Bank, the UK Department of International Development and the U4 Anti Corruption Resource Centre advising on a range of socio-economic issues. He is currently a senior adviser to the Africa Progress Panel, which is chaired by the United Nations former Secretary General Kofi Annan and trustee and board member of the African Leadership Centre at King’s College University of London. He has consulted extensively with multilateral and bilateral development agencies and private and corporate philanthropic foundations across the continent and has a strong personal interest in social enterprise. He holds a Ph.D. in Development Studies and in addition to English speaks French and Wolof.
+254 (0)70 415 32 80


Xolani Mbanga is South African and based in Johannesburg. He is a University of Pretoria MBA graduate with a diverse career spanning more than 22 years in Chemical Engineering, Business Analysis, Development and Consulting.  Xolani Mbanga started his career at Sasol, as a Chemical Engineer. Post Sasol Xolani has worked for Standard Bank, Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, BDO and Deloitte South Africa. Xolani is also head of the South African Intensive Energy Users Group.  Xolani’s experience across different industries, local and national government has enabled him to understand and manage multiple stakeholders across all levels.

+ 27 (0) 11 026 22 92


Folasade Doherty is  based in Lagos and a lawyer with over 30 years’ post- call experience at the Nigerian Bar. She has worked both in the public and private sectors. Folasade was a lawyer with the State Ministry of Justice (Departments of Civil Litigation and Public Prosecutions). She is an accredited mediator and a member of the Panel of Neutrals of the Lagos Multi-door Courthouse. She is also an Assessor attached to the Family Courts of Lagos State implementing the Child’s Right Law.  She possesses two LL.M qualifications; the first from the University of Lagos (1984) and the second as a British Chevening Scholar from Queen Mary, University of London (2002) where her specialism was International Business Law. She has advised numerous multinationals, domestic corporates and non governmental organisations on a wide array of legal issues in Nigeria. folasade.doherty@akepartners.com                                                                                                                          +                                           +234 (0) 803 335 8123