We select our consultants and analysts from backgrounds in international affairs, academia, and investigative journalism, or for their experience in business or diplomacy across the continent. Our company includes a dedicated team of researchers, trained in-house and equipped with all the resources that are needed to maintain a detailed knowledge of events on the continent.
Tara O’Connor brings to ARC 25 years of specialist information-gathering and risk management experience. Tara’s areas of particular expertise are francophone and southern Africa. Since founding ARC in 2006, she has advised at board level on pre-investment and expansion strategies for Algeria, Angola, Nigeria, Congo-DRC, Cote d’Ivoire, Republic of Congo (ROC), Guinea-Conakry, East Africa and the Horn (as a region); the Franc Zone (as a region) Gabon, Liberia, Libya, Senegal, South Africa, Zimbabweand Zambia. She has also structured and managed a series of cases that include due diligence investigations into companies and people, asset tracing, litigation-support, political profiling and political risk assessment. These also include more complex investigations, often spanning several countries.
Formerly, as Managing Director of Kroll Associates’ Africa Practice, Tara ran a business unit of specialist investigators and political analysts based in London and Johannesburg. Before Kroll, Tara spent 11 years at Control Risks in several senior management roles. She spearheaded the group’s expansion in Africa before taking a similar role for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Tara’s career began as a political researcher with the Social Change Assistance Trust, a Norwegian and Commonwealth funded NGO based in South Africa, before moving into journalism. Born in Zimbabwe, brought up in Zambia, Tara is a graduate of the University of Cape Town.
In the telecommunications sector, Eva Kavuma played a key role in MTN Group’s aggressive Africa expansion strategy as General Manager International Business Development from 2001 to 2006. During this time, Eva led multi-disciplinary teams through complex in-country due diligence processes across Africa, conducted company valuations, and developed compelling business cases in anglophone and francophone markets resulting in the successful acquisition of profitable mobile operations in Côte d’Ivoire, Zambia, Cameroon and Republic of Congo (ROC).
From 2006 to 2015, Eva held diverse strategic positions and led cross-functional and inter-operational teams in the implementation and embedding of major strategic and transformational initiatives across the 21 markets where the MTN Group operates. Eva is a graduate of Ithaca College, New York (US) and has a Masters of International Management (MIM) from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona (USA). Eva is based in Johannesburg and is proficient in French.
Mark Sorbara has 10 years’ investigative and political assessment experience. Since joining ARC in 2006, Mark has worked on confidential investigative due-diligence projects and corporate pre-investment decision investigations for the financial services, private equity, oil & gas, telecom, agricultural, mining sector companies in East Africa and the Horn (including Somalia, Kenya and Madagascar); West Africa (mainly Nigeria, Liberia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Guinea) and Southern Africa (including South Africa, DRC, Zambia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique and Malawi). Mark is the Mozambique commissioning editor of ARC Briefing. Mark has worked, studied, volunteered and travelled in 30 African countries.
Before joining ARC, Mark was a freelance writer and researcher on Africa issues and had articles published in several specialist journals as well as newspapers and magazines. He was also principal Africa researcher in office of the deputy chair of Canada’s Senate standing committee on foreign affairs while it completed a study on Africa’s security and development. Mark holds a bachelor’s degree in history with honours from Queen’s University (Canada) and a master’s degree in politics of sub-Saharan Africa from London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Mark is also an anti-monetary laundering specialist with certified designation from the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (ACAMS).
Ed Hobey joined ARC in 2012, and has since managed and supported numerous investigative due diligence and political risk cases across East and West Africa for financial, extractives and telecommunication sector clients. Having conducted research on and worked in the Horn of Africa, Ed is the commissioning editor for ARC Briefing's East Africa countries (Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda) in addition to Egypt and Nigeria.
Ed was previously an analyst at The Elders from 2010 where he worked on North African and Sudanese politics. Ed was based in Cairo during the Arab Spring and briefed the former heads of state on political and security developments as they occurred. Prior to this, Ed was at the European Council on Foreign Relations where his work again focused on North Africa. Ed coordinated the international election observer mission for the 2010 Somaliland presidential election in Somalia. Ed retains a particular expertise on Somali politics and has provided support and expertise to the UK All Party Parliamentary Group< on Somalia and Somaliland. Ed holds an MA in Post-War Recovery Studies from the University of York
Shawn Robert Duthie joined ARC in February 2016. Shawn has worked on due diligence investigations for the financial sector in East Africa and political risk cases across South and East Africa. Shawn assists with the editorial and business development of ARC and ARC Briefing. Shawn is the Madagascar commissioning editor of ARC Briefing. Shawn was previously a lecturer in the Political Studies department at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and was editorial assistant for the South African Journal of International Affairs. Shawn holds a Masters in International Relations from UCT as well as a Bachelor of Science in Politics and International Relations from the University of London and an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Sociology from the University of Toronto. He has travelled extensively in Africa and Asia and resides in Cape Town, South Africa.
Augustine Booth-Clibborn came to ARC as a researcher with specialist knowledge of interreligious affairs in 2013. At ARC he has carried out political consultancy pieces on Mali, Morocco and South Africa, and has contributed to due diligence cases for power, agriculture, and retail sectors clients. He is ARC Briefing's commissioning editor for Algeria, DRC, Morocco, South Africa and Zambia. Prior to joining ARC, Augustine held a position as a research associate at the Woolf Institute for the study of Abrahamic faiths at the University of Cambridge and previously worked as an adviser to the UK government on domestic and international interreligious relations, as part of the Inter Faith Network for the UK. Augustine holds an MPhil in Religion and Politics from the University of Cambridge, which focused on church-state relations in China, India, and Swaziland, and a first class degree in Theology from the same institution. He has working competency in French.
Jane Nicholls is managing editor of ARC’s 20-country online service, ARC Briefing. She joined ARC at the inception of the ARC Briefing service in January 2013 and has worked with theARC team to build a library of briefings covering politics, business and operations in 24 African countries. Jane has over 20 years’ experience in writing and editing articles, reports and proposals for individuals, private business and non-profit organisations. She is a member of the Editors’ Association of Canada and an accredited member of TESL Ontario. Born in Tanzania, brought up in Kenya and South Africa, Jane holds degrees in Business Science and Law from the University of Cape Town. She speaks French, German and Afrikaans and has travelled extensively in East and Southern Africa, Europe and Asia. Based in Canada, she spends several months of the year in South Africa.
Eric Humphrey-Smith has been based in four countries across Africa since 2014, including South Africa, the Republic of Congo, Angola and most recently Côte d’Ivoire, in the context of the 2015 presidential elections. Previously, he worked in international development fundraising for Pan-American housing NGO Techo in Chile, in content sales for the New York Times in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, and advertising sales for AFA Press, providing a highly complementary, business-dominant skill set to ARC. Although a French national, he grew up in Australia, the Netherlands and the UK, most recently completing a BSc in International Management from the University of Bath. He focused on a Latin American business case study for his dissertation, in which he analysed change management practice during the course of a major company image revamp. His work and travel have enabled him to attain advanced fluency in five languages including French, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch.
Thomas Newman joined ARC in October 2016 as a research and sales assistant after an internship with ARC in 2015 researching political risk in Tanzania. He graduated from the University of Kent with a BASS in politics and international relations in 2016. He wrote his dissertation on the changing role of the Arctic Council and is learning the Russian language. He worked as an intern for the Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change. He has also worked as a manager and brand ambassador in the UK and South Africa.
ARC operates through a network of retained consultants, regionally based lawyers, business leaders and specialist information-gatherers. ARC’s network extends to over 40 of Africa’s 54 countries. Typically the background of ARC’s network includes journalists and commentators; retired CEOs with a long-standing presence and knowledge of financial services, oil and gas, fast moving consumer goods; Africa’s returning diaspora and emerging entrepreneurs; as well as retired and former government officials.