Remarks at the Shield in the Cloud gala dinner at the US Institute of Peace, Washington DC, 27 February 2018

It gives me great pleasure to welcome so many friends and partners of the Peacetech Accelerator to our awards dinner for the Shield in the Cloud global anti-corruption challenge.

Why did C5, a specialist venture capital firm; Amazon, the world’s leading cloud computing company; SAP NS2, the world’s largest software company; the Peacetech Lab; and the US Institute for Peace partner to launch the first global anti- corruption innovation challenge?

I want to share four reasons tonight by addressing following questions-

What is peacetech?

Why are innovation and corruption two diametrically opposing forces?

Why does collective security matters?

Why is corruption corrosive to our national security?

  1. What is Peacetech? And why did we call this challenge Shield in the Cloud?

I had the privilege of growing up in the arid beauty of the Karoo desert in South Africa. In the Karoo, when you see a cloud, it is good news, because it carries the promise of rain that transforms the desert into the bloom of the brilliant colours of many flowers.

Similarly, cloud computing today is transforming our world with unprecedented opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship.

What is cloud? Cloud is taking the computing power we have come to know first on our personal computers and on premise servers, and industrializing its capacity with computing infrastructure on a global scale for everyone’s benefit. Amazon pioneered this by investing billions of dollars to build multiple industrial size computing centres around the world, and networking them cost effectively with high speed fibre optic cables. This means that we need less capital and less infrastructure to grow organizations. We can displace capital with technology to build, scale and innovate globally on an unprecedented scale.

Cloud computing is an integral part of the U.S.’ leadership of the global economy and the free world today. The U.S. not only created cloud computing, but continues to lead and innovate cloud. The first fifteen cloud computing companies in the world today are all American. Cloud computing’s power to scale innovation, to reduce the cost of computing, and to increase its accessibility to everyone is increasingly one of the drivers of growth in the global economy.

Cloud will become as important to the stability of the global economy as the U.S. dollar is as our global reserve currency.

How does PeaceTech fit into cloud?

At C5, as investors, we have to look for the far horizons. Since we are the custodians not only of our own money, but also that of others, we have to think like stewards. This is why Peacetech matters to us at C5.

Peacetech is the purposeful application of the innovation that cloud computing enables for good and not for evil.

Peacetech is the strategic application of cloud-enabled innovation to sustain national and international security gains, build a strong peace and secure our children’s future.

It is this unprecedented opportunity that led us to launch the first global anti-corruption challenge to focus on a pillar of strong peace- combatting corruption. A strong and lasting peace in post conflict countries is not possible without good governance.

  1. Why are Innovation and Corruption Two Opposing Forces?

In our experience as venture capital investors in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, corruption and innovation are opposing forces. Where one is present, the other is invariably absent. Innovation thrives on good governance. On the other hand, the destructive economics of corruption kill innovation and opportunity. It wastes the talent of entire generations. In leading this challenge we want to strengthen the virtuous cycle between good governance, innovation and opportunity, which the entrepreneurs with whom we partner as investors need to thrive.

  1. Why is Collective Security the Best Security Model for the 21st Century?

One of the purposes of the global challenge is to find and support the leaders who are innovators in the fight against corruption and its causes.

As General Keith Alexander says, “In a networked world, collective security is the best security model.”

Fighting organised corruption is one of the loneliest tasks. Invariably, perpetrators seek to isolate, target, and diminish those working towards the greater good. The same perpetrators often have reach, hiring lawyers, investigators and public relations advisers of their own. The bigger the syndicate, the further their influence extends.

With the Shield in the Cloud global challenge, we want to connect organizations fighting corruption to build collective security. We also want to accelerate the pace of anti-corruption innovation by sharing best practices across this network.

It is our great privilege to have several leaders and innovators with us present here tonight who are helping to build good governance and combat corruption from around the world.

In expressing our gratitude to these leaders tonight, we are also expressing our gratitude and appreciation to everyone involved in fighting for this great cause, as well as those who are not with us tonight. We are honouring them for their courage even in their absence.

  1. Why is Corruption Corrosive the National Security?

Finally, in leading this challenge we want to highlight the threat of corruption.

No one can ever be complacent about corruption. As Solzhenitsyn wrote, “the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either- but right through every human heart.”

As Admiral Mike Mullen says, “corruption is corrosive to national and international security.”

Increasingly it is a damaging effluence from the toxic stream of illegal narcotics that is flooding global trade routes to poison our nations. These same illicit global trading routes and networks that carry heroin, cocaine and opioids across them, carry multiple threats, ranging from human trafficking to terrorist finance.

These same illicit trading networks are exploited by state actors like North Korea to destabilize national and regional security. They increasingly form part of the lines of attack that adversaries are pursuing against our nations, while camouflaging their deadly hostile intent in a twilight between war and peace.

This clear and present danger and the complexity of its threat require new tools and models to combat it.

A vivid illustration of this phenomenon is the largest heroin case in history, which the US Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Agency are prosecuting in the Southern District Court of New York right now against an East African syndicate. This case involves a group called the Akasha brothers which attempted to smuggle 99kg of heroin into the US. The heroin was sourced from the Taliban in Afghanistan by a drug lord based in the UK posing as a legitimate Gulf-based businessman. The heroin supply was clandestinely transported from Afghanistan through Pakistan, and concealed in oil tankers to East Africa for onward shipment to the US and Europe. The syndicate used modern technology to evade detection including Skype and encrypted USB sticks. Along the way, its drug trade and money laundering helped to fuel conflicts in multiple countries in different ways- from the Taliban in Afghanistan, terrorist organizations in Pakistan, ethnic violence in Kenya, to state capture in South Africa.

The syndicate was too big for a single state to combat. It required a law enforcement alliance using new tools and methods. Only the innovation and persistence of the Special Operations Division (SOD) of the DEA brought them to justice in the US. This case is a vivid illustration of why we are honouring the SOD for bold leadership in the fight against corruption.

In conclusion, Vice President Biden said, “fighting corruption is not just about good governance. It is patriotism, it is self defence.”

In honouring these leaders tonight we ask you to join us in this challenge and invest alongside us in the future to innovate the fight against corruption.

Inaugural Nelson Mandela Lecture

The U.S. Institute of Peace is honouring Nelson Mandela’s life, work, and passion for peace by
establishing the Nelson Mandela Lecture series. Nelson Mandela embodied much of what the USIP
teaches and trains about conflict resolution: an understanding of when and how to negotiate and the
courage to assume the ultimate responsibility for peace.

The inaugural Nelson Mandela Lecture took place on February 28 2018. Keynote speaker, former Deputy
Secretary General of the African National Congress, Cheryl Carolus, said Nelson Mandela’s example
calls nations and political elites to examine their failings in providing justice and hope to people
worldwide. Carolus said, “Nelson Mandela acted in response to the hurt that apartheid and colonialism
inflicted on him. But he understood that his own humanity and his own dignity existed only in the
context of humanity and dignity of all of his people and indeed of humankind”.

Further excerpts from Carolus’ keynote speech are available on the USIP site, along with a video
recording of the event below.

André Pienaar closed the lecture, reinforcing that the USIP is a unique institution with deep knowledge
and expertise of African policy. He then thanked the USIP team for organising the lecture and hopes
that the Nelson Mandela Lecture will go on to take place on an annual basis.

C5 Accelerate hosts 150 leaders in impact investing, social entrepreneurship and peacebuilding at Washington D.C.

Participants in Venture Peacebuilding Symposium to meet C5’s Peacetech Accelerator entrepreneurs

Washington D.C. 23rd January, 2018 – C5, the specialist technology investment group with offices in Washington, London, Munich, Luxembourg and Bahrain, has partnered with the IPSI Institute and Creative Learning to host Venture Peacebuilding Symposium participants in Washington D.C.

In partnership with the PeaceTech Lab, Amazon Web Services and SAP NS2, C5 has established the world’s first Peacetech Accelerator in Washington D.C. to scale startups on the cloud to solve problems relating to peace, stability and security worldwide. The participants of the Venture Peacebuilding Symposium are gathering in the afternoon of 23rd January to discuss how innovation can improve efforts to create a more peaceful and sustainable society. Symposium attendees will meet with more than 17 peace ventures, including Accelerator alumni and current cohort companies, comprising entrepreneurs from all over the globe. These entrepreneurs are working in a wide range of spheres to improve the lives of civilians in conflict and danger zones, develop lasting solutions to build peace, and to effect a demonstrable social impact in communities and among refugees.

Andre Pienaar, Founder, C5 Capital, said, “Impact investors and venture capital investors are increasingly pooling their investment capital to drive and scale innovation in Peacetech. The power of the AWS cloud provides unprecedented opportunities to make a difference in communities. This event is the premier forum for a meeting of minds and C5 is delighted to host it.”

Eva-Maria Dimitriadis, COO, C5 Accelerate said, “There are a number of ways that companies can help, whether they are large or just starting out. We seek to nurture and grow companies that are making a real difference. Being able to introduce them to the participants of this symposium and carry out a meaningful exchange of ideas and practices is very important to us and we’re looking forward to building even better relationships with the impact investment community, that is critical to this ecosystem.”

Present at the event will be the PeaceTech Accelerator’s incoming cohort, the third to enter the accelerator. These companies are:

    • ICMECadvocating, training and collaborating to eradicate child abduction, sexual abuse and exploitation.
    • OneRelief App – revolutionizing charitable donations through an app that collects micro-donations for humanitarian relief aid.
    • Pennywell – using small change to make a big difference.
    • SEaB Energy – the leading small waste-to-energy product. Transforming your waste on-site to make energy and fertiliser.
    • SuperFluid Labs – bringing tomorrow’s analytics capabilities to businesses today.
      • TerraBlue XT – building a complete Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem, consisting of proprietary hardware and software to address key gaps in the understanding and management of chronic and neurological disorders.

For press enquiries contact: John Merva at

André Pienaar from C5 Capital Leads Cybersecurity Panel

At the Imagine: A Better World conference held by Amazon Web Services, André Pienaar, Managing Partner and Founder of C5 Capital, led a panel of experts discussing the topic of cyber security for nonprofit companies. Alongside André on the panel were Mark Testoni, President and Chief Executive Officer of SAP National Security Services; Ronald Moultrie, US Chairman of C5 Capital; Maura Harty, Chief Executive Officer of the International Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and Joe Spiezio,
Solution Architect for Amazon Web Services.

Cyber security for non-profit companies is an often overlooked topic, but as André explains, cloud computing is part of the solution. Joe Spiezio notes that while non-profits often don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to security, the number of large corporations already using the cloud can benefit smaller non-profit companies. This is because larger corporations in industries such as finance and healthcare have stringent security requirements, allowing smaller companies and non-profits to leverage what’s already been put in place and focus their resources on higher level issues.

Asked by André what her perspective on cyber security is, Maura Harty says that the relationship between databases and donor information within non-profit companies is critical. Maura explained that if this data is breached in any way, they risk losing donors and there would also be a cascading effect across many other donor relationships. Although there are some costs associated with investing in cyber security, Maura advises that this is necessary because without the donors, they would be out of business.

André wrapped up the panel by asking what practices from the private sector could be applied to the not-for-profit sector. Ronald Moultrie states that he’d like to see a best practice framework for cyber security to be implemented within the not-for-profit sector. Maura Harty believes that leaders within non-profits need to continue to raise the importance of cyber security. Joe Spiezio emphasises the need for planning to ensure that best practices are followed, and Mark Testoni stressed that non-profits
should educate themselves and understand where the biggest risks and vulnerabilities within their company might lie, and take action to mitigate these risks.

André Pienaar at the AWS Public Sector Summit 2017

At the AWS Public Sector Summit 2017, held in Washington D.C., André Pienaar joined Max Peterson,
General Manager of World Wide Public Sector of AWS (Amazon Web Services) to discuss cyber security
and André’s thoughts on AWS, along with John Furrier and John Walls.

André explains that when C5 Capital first started investing in cyber security companies, the main
concern was that whether or not the cloud was secure, and if data should be moved. But with
developments and innovation being driven by AWS, André explains that people are now feeling more
secure with holding data in the cloud.

John Furrier considers the impact of the volume of data being amassed today from the likes of smart
cities and autonomous vehicles. André says the sheer volume of data being amassed necessitates new
models for securing and processing data.

With the CIA now adopting the AWS cloud platform, André says this will be a real game changer because
people will see that the US intelligence community have the confidence to feel secure using the AWS
cloud – so he believes other businesses will follow. André says businesses using AWS has become a
badge of quality, and an increasing number of venture capital firms such as C5 are looking for startups
that run on the AWS cloud.