Adwoa is a project management expert with over eight years of combined experience in microfinance, nonprofit management, and entrepreneurship. She is the founder of the W.I.N.E. Project, Loop Consulting, and CitiFoods Limited, each of which creates economic and empowerment opportunities for women. Throughout her career, Adwoa has managed skills-training for over 200 women-led businesses; trained and provided scholarships for over 800 women and girls in rural communities; and employed numerous young girls, as well as women farmers and traders.
Throughout the Fellowship, Adwoa says she is looking forward to interacting and collaborating with successful entrepreneurs in the U.S. and exchanging knowledge and skills with them and the other Fellows. “This will be an enriching experience for me. I hope to become a better business leader that can provide more work and empowerment opportunities for women, as well as support for micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
Affouet Carole Attoungbre
Affouet is a strategy consultant, an educational technology expert, and the country director of Eneza Education’s office in Côte d’Ivoire. Eneza Education—a startup originally based in Kenya—aims to spread “quality affordable education via readily available mobile technology.” In her role, Affouet has built a partnership between Eneza Education and the two largest telecommunications providers in the country, acquired the support of the Ministry of Education, and brought Eneza Education’s content to over 500 students living in rural areas.
Throughout the Fellowship, Affouet says she hopes to gain the tools needed to return home and successfully bring Eneza Education together with partners from the broader YALI network, which includes thousands of Fellowship alumni. She also hopes to learn how to develop her own ventures. “In three to five years, I want to develop and launch an incubator that will provide assistance and training to social entrepreneurs, while linking them with key stakeholders. I want to build an ecosystem for social entrepreneurship in Côte d’Ivoire.”
Ambrose is a student pursuing agricultural science at Makerere University (MU), Uganda’s largest and third-oldest institution of higher learning. At MU, Ambrose has established a track record of successful leadership through managing the European Union (EU-ACP EDULINK II), PREPARE BSC, and ACCELERATE projects, where MU collaborates with regional universities in Africa, as well as other institutions outside of the continent, such as the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Additionally, Ambrose leads the social enterprise SafeBangles, which are worn on the wrist and allow women and girls in dangerous situations to discreetly push a button that sends an alert to up to five trusted contacts, or plays a loud alarm to secure nearby, immediate help.
Throughout the Fellowship, Ambrose says he hopes to continue developing his leadership skills and hopes to learn how to scale up SafeBangles. “I want to use this platform to create awareness of violence against women and girls and challenge the cultural beliefs and norms that have permitted this unacceptable behavior.”
Babatunde Gabriel Oladosu
Babatunde is the CEO of EduBridge Academy, which aims to help students, recent graduates, and career professionals learn new, in-demand skills that are required for careers in investment banking and/or consulting. At EduBridge Academy, he designs academic programs, recruits and trains entry-level staff, and advises regional universities on how best to prepare their students for today’s competitive job market. In 2018 alone, he helped more than 300 unemployed youth find work and over 25,000 others adapt their education to the needs of the market.
Throughout the Fellowship, Babatunde says he hopes to learn more about general management skills and strategies in order to establish workforce development academies throughout Africa upon his return. “Eradicating poverty and increasing social equality is only possible when young people find meaningful work. I want to bring workforce development academies to five cities in Nigeria, as well as four countries in Africa, all by 2021. I hope the Fellowship will help me do that.”
Bertha Sakhile Sithole
Bertha is an expert in business and public relations and the director of Startup Grind’s Mbabane Chapter. Startup Grind is “the largest independent startup community, actively educating, inspiring, and connecting more than 2,000,000 entrepreneurs in over 600 chapters [and] nurtures startup ecosystems in 125+ countries through events, media, and partnerships.” Bertha also facilitates her own workshops and events on entrepreneurship, which are specifically designed for unemployed and/or out-of-school youth and women interested in starting or growing their own businesses.
Throughout the Fellowship, Bertha says she hopes to learn how to reach more youth; obtain new funding to facilitate mentorship programs and lectures on entrepreneurship and business; organizer bigger, more successful events for Startup Grind; and grow her business to employ young people. “I want to learn more about being a thought leader and learn how to effectively bring sustainable, positive change to the youth in my country.”
Denaya Dennis Manoah Nigo
Denaya is an award-winning musician and the co-founder of Alela Technologies, which trains organizational clients’ employees in critical information and communications technology (ICT) skills. Alela Technologies also designs, hosts, and optimizes websites for organizational clients. As a musician, he has won several awards for his compelling pieces on peace, youth empowerment, and entrepreneurship. He has collaborated on projects with other artists in South Sudan and Kenya, which have promoted positive, peaceful coexistence among youth.
Throughout the Fellowship, Denaya says he hopes to learn new skills and approaches related to working with young people through actively listening and exchanging experiences with others. “I want to be able to empower and train young people so they can bring their communities out of extreme poverty. I also want to empower internally displaced people (IDP) by teaching them financial and business skills, which they can use to live creatively as entrepreneurs and to support themselves and their families.”
Djemillah Mourade Peerbux
Djemillah comes to the Fellowship with over twelve years of experience as a journalist and editor and is currently a news editor at the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation, the national public broadcaster of the Republic of Mauritius, which includes the islands of Mauritius, Rodrigues, and Agaléga. In 2016, she founded The Ripple Project, which gives underprivileged—and often homeless—women and girls access to necessary sanitary products, including sanitary pads, soap, shampoo, and toothpaste. Djemillah is also the founder of The Strawz, a social enterprise that produces sustainable alternatives to plastic, such as bamboo straws and cups.
Throughout the Fellowship, Djemillah says she hopes to learn how to reach more youth, especially women, and empower them with the skills they need to initiate their own projects and businesses. “Upon completing the Fellowship, I want to set up a sanitary pad manufacturing company in Mauritius—which would be run by women from low-income backgrounds—that produces more environmentally friendly sanitary pads made of natural fibers.”
Elisabeth Tchionga Florentino Capingala
Elisabeth works for the Christian Lay Company, which imports products from Spain into the Angolan market. Recently, she completed a degree and certification in English Language Teaching from the Universidade Katyavala Bwila (UKB). She is the founder of a women’s liberation group, Conversas de Mulheres (“Women Talk”), where women gather in a safe, supportive environment and are able to build their self-esteem. Elisabeth also works one-on-one with women in the group by providing guidance or solutions to personal or professional challenges.
After the Fellowship, Elisabeth says she hopes to continue to build upon her work with the Christian Lay Company and Women Talk. “Women Talk has already changed the lives of so many people in my community,” Elisabeth explains. “Women with unbalanced marriages or homes, who feel rejected, have found new hope through this group. Giving these women hope and the satisfaction of providing a social good for my community motivates me to continue to improve myself through things like the Mandela Washington Fellowship.”
Emediong Bassey Nkanta
Emediong is the founder and managing director of Jestone Consulting Limited, which supports the transformation and productivity of private and public sector organizations. He is also the co-founder of Jestone Education Limited, co-founder of Jestone Agro Limited, director of Chikaluoge Global Farms Limited, and director of B’Lushed Projects Nigeria Limited, the latter of which runs a flagship program, #ProjectSponsorAChild, aimed at enrolling underprivileged children in schools. He is also an active, public advocate for global sustainability.
Throughout the Fellowship, Emediong says he hopes to learn how to quickly and sustainably scale up the startups in Jestone’s portfolio. “I am faced with the responsibility of transforming our startups into sustainable business groups in Nigeria in the next three to five years. In order to achieve this, I need to acquire relevant entrepreneurial knowledge and business leadership skills, because the changing role of business leaders across the world demands leaders who can effectively address the unique challenges in today’s dynamic business environment.”
Esrom Tadesse Afrasa
Esrom is an information technology consultant with nearly a decade of experience. He is also the managing director of Yelab Trading Solutions, which provides Ethiopian farmers with relevant and accurate information on weather and market changes in order to reduce crop damage and help farmers make other key decisions about their operations. Additionally, he is currently pursuing a second degree in software development.
Throughout the Fellowship, Esrom says he hopes to learn more about the relationship between technology and agriculture in the U.S., in order to bring new solutions to the agricultural community in Ethiopia upon his return. “I hope to learn how to make my software more user-friendly for my existing customers, but also so that it is attractive to new customers throughout the country,” he explains. “I also plan to find new ways to integrate technology—like low-cost sensors, drones, and artificial intelligence—into farming in order to ensure food security for Ethiopia.”
Glenda brings nearly a decade of experience in the training and development space to the Fellowship. She is the co-founder and director of Career Active Training and Consulting, which develops holistic assessments and offers skills training for students, recent graduates, and career professionals. She is a recipient of the prestigious President’s Award for Youth Empowerment (TPA), a contributor to TEDx’s “100 Ideas 100 Millennials” program, and was nominated for Mail & Guardian’s “200 Most Influential Young South Africans” list. Glenda also regularly hosts community, youth, and corporate talks and workshops.
Throughout the Fellowship, Glenda says she hopes to build networks with social enterprises in the U.S. in order to learn how to grow and sustain her own enterprises. She also hopes to learn how to adapt social enterprise models in the U.S. for the climate in South Africa. “I want to open the first creativity wellness center in my community, which would provide career guidance and advance the holistic wellbeing of South Africans.”
Jessica Timane Jose Luis Manhica
Jessica’s background is in professional skills development, business development, and job creation. She is currently the CEO of a community-based business accelerator, IDEÁRIO Hub, where she co-founded the first women-only tech marketplace, TEKLA, as a gender inclusive employment tool. Throughout her career, she has trained over 200 young women in entry-level ICT and professional skills and is motivated by the potential to create equal and inclusive employment opportunities.
Throughout the Fellowship, Jessica says she hopes to gain additional, deeper knowledge on cultural competency, subject matter expertise, and self-reliance. “At IDEÁRIO Hub, our motto is ‘entrepreneurship done right is the answer to unemployment in Africa,’ and we believe we can create better entrepreneurial experiences through knowledge and technologies. I want to scale up my organization’s work on gender inclusivity and professional skills development for youth.”
Justina Paulo Guloia Luelo
Justina is currently in her final year of studying clinical psychology, with a focus on counseling and neuropsychology. She is also the founder of Limpo Limpo (“Clean Clean”), a social enterprise that provides housekeeping and childcare services. Limpo Limpo makes special efforts to hire women and men with little to no education and provides them with vocational training in order to broaden their career opportunities with or beyond the company. Justina has also long volunteered with a local children’s cancer hospital.
Throughout the Fellowship, Justina says she hopes to learn more about creating business plans and strategies, as well as organizational management. She hopes to continue to provide jobs and training to unemployed members of her community. “After completing the Fellowship, I want to build and run a center to help women who have suffered sexual abuse and domestic violence heal and grow professionally. I want these women to find and know dignity again and know that they are special and valued by society.”
Laurent Salehe Shilingi
Laurent is an actuarial scientist and currently an assistant lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), where he teaches and mentors junior researchers interested in agricultural insurance, micro-insurance, and/or quantitative finance. He is also the co-founder and managing partner of Lasash Tanzania, an agribusiness initiative that aims to increase the income of small-scale farmers through modern agricultural techniques, the reduction of post-harvest loss, and micro-insurance research.
Throughout the Fellowship, Laurent says he hopes to enhance his knowledge and skills related to human-centered design—a framework that develops solutions to problems by involving the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process—as well as product development. He hopes to return to UDSM and focus on researching and designing insurance products for small-scale farmers and entrepreneurs. “Through this Fellowship, I expect to enhance my leadership skills, which I will use to mentor my team and other youth throughout Tanzania.”
Lebogang brings over a decade of experience in social entrepreneurship, with an emphasis on environmentalism, to the Fellowship. She is the managing director of Sadibo Group, a company that provides marketing and strategic leadership services. She is also the founder of Powerhouse, a women’s empowerment initiative that aims to help young women meet their personal and professional development goals and pursue their own entrepreneurial ventures. In the past year, Lebogang launched Green Cleaning, a carpet and upholstery cleaning service that uses green certified products to clean carpets using 80 percent less water than other businesses.
Throughout the Fellowship, Lebogang says she hopes to learn how to sustainably scale up Green Cleaning and gain the skills and knowledge to launch and manage additional social enterprises. “I want to learn how to identify problems, opportunities, and entrepreneurial solutions based on clear human needs. I believe this Fellowship will empower me, as well as the community of entrepreneurs that I work with and will share this experience with.”
Mamaroala Leah Molatseli Tsiane
Mamaroala is an attorney who brings nearly a decade of experience in legal technology to the Fellowship. She is the founder of Lenoma Legal, which specializes in commercial and labor law for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and allows SMEs to access legal services at an affordable price. She also serves as a council member for her alma mater, the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, and in 2017 Mamaroala was named the university’s “Young Alumnus of the Year.” Additionally, in 2018 she was named one of South Africa’s “Top 50 Most Inspiring Women in Technology” by CoCreate South Africa.
Throughout the Fellowship, Mamaroala says she hopes to learn more about financial management, negotiation, and communicating effectively. “I want to return to South Africa and impact and give back to fellow business owners in my community by providing necessary workshops and creating awareness about economic opportunities for other aspiring entrepreneurs.”
Michael Malusa Kimollo
Michael is a software engineer and digital marketer who focuses on product design, development, and branding. He is the co-founder and operations lead of Hype Interactive, a digital agency that develops software solutions and creative services for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Within Hype Interactive are two main teams: Hype Labs and Hype Studios. The former crafts “enterprise digital solutions, mobile apps, desktop apps, and websites,” while the latter engages in “branding, digital campaigns, and online advertisements.”
Throughout the Fellowship, Michael says he hopes to learn more about business development and building scalable, sustainable companies.”I want to learn more about putting together an official company growth strategy and want to learn how to graduate from a startup to a business that can expand and be profitable. And yet, I want my company to also leverage the power of digital technology to address the social-economic challenges facing my community. I want to create impactful solutions.”
Modupeoluwa Ruth Darabidan
Modupeoluwa brings over a decade of experience in the information technology (IT) sector to the Fellowship, with five of those years spent working with nonprofits. She is the CEO of iStarter Hub Limited, a three-year-old startup that supports nonprofit organizations and new businesses, particularly women-led initiatives, with relevant and critical IT skills. Among other things, iStarter Hub has collaborated with Intel West Africa and Wikipedia to train women between the ages of 18 and 35 on how to scale up and expand their small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Throughout the Fellowship, Modupeoluwa says she hopes to gain the skills and knowledge that will enable her to set up a new business design hub for female school leaders to train out of during their gap-year. “This Fellowship is going to give me the opportunity to work in a more technology-driven environment. I hope it will allow me to create and deliver sustainable, results-oriented projects in my home country, especially for women.”
Mpitseng Andrias Ntsoele
Mpitseng brings over seven years of experience in the cooperative development sector to the Fellowship. In 2016, she founded the College of Co-Operative Entrepreneurship and Business Studies, which offers entrepreneurial coursework focused on the production of food, cosmetics, and detergents. Last year, Mpitseng was chosen to join the 2018 class of Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurs from a field of over 150,000 applicants from across Africa. Additionally, she is a lecturer on cooperative development at the Lesotho Cooperative College, and a member of the Young Adults Fighting Depression, an NGO combating mental illness and stigma.
Throughout the Fellowship, Mpitseng says she hopes to strengthen her capacity to reach youth in Lesotho through her mentorship programs. “After the Fellowship, I hope to see a positive change and growth in myself, which I can then use to positively change and grow my business, those I help, and, ultimately, my country’s economy and overall welfare.”
Rasheed is an entrepreneurship coach and marketer who brings over a decade of experience to the Fellowship. He is the founder and CEO of Sanwecka Tech Companions, a company that aims to “bring unknown technology to the masses for the welfare of the people.” Sanwecka’s three main divisions include a vocational-technical school, an electronics store, and an electronics repair center. Rasheed started Sanwecka as a student with only $200 in startup capital and uses his story and experience to motivate other young entrepreneurs. To date, he has enabled 7,000 trained technicians to launch businesses, through which they have created over 15,000 jobs for other youth.
Throughout the Fellowship, Rasheed hopes to grow in his management skills, network with other Fellows and stakeholders, and learn how to scale up his business internationally. “Over the next five years, I want to impact over 50,000 youth throughout Sub-Saharan African countries by equipping them with vocational technology and entrepreneurial skills.”
Sabelo is a certified tax accountant, lecturer, and author. He runs a tax consultation services company, Nare Tax, and offers tax lectures for students enrolled in professional courses, as well as university students doing block release—an arrangement where career professionals spend periods of time away from their job in order to study for a qualification. With over a decade of experience in taxation and tax law, he is the author of two textbooks, Tax Law and Practice in Zimbabwe, of which 10 editions have been published, and Taxation Skills and Techniques Zimbabwe ACCA F6, of which two editions have been published. He is also an associate member of the Institute of Certified Tax Accountants (AICTA), as well as the Institute of Administration and Commerce (AIAC).
Throughout the Fellowship, Sabelo says he hopes to gain the skills and knowledge to set up his own educational organizations. “I want to establish a business school, a tax institute, diversify my business interests, and set up a trust to help my former primary and secondary schools build their capacities.”
Simbarashe Lovemore Mubvuma
Simbarashe is a human rights and constitutional law attorney, a technologist, and a self-taught HTML coder who is passionate about the integration of legal services and technology. He has successfully launched two legal companies, Lexware, Inc., and LawBasket, respectively. Lexware provides attorneys with a suite of essential tools for legal practices—all within a seamless user interface—including time recording, billing, and case management tools. LawBasket is “an online legal marketplace bringing together hundreds of lawyers in over 200 practice areas to deliver quality and affordable legal services online ... [and] breaking the geographical barriers associated with the legal practice, to liberate lawyers from the traditional law office.”
Throughout the Fellowship, Simbarashe says he hopes to learn how to scale up both of his businesses in a sustainable way. “I want to examine case studies in the U.S. and relate their challenges and solutions to an African context. I want to build a truly continental tech company: the Uber of legal services.”
Solide Aganze Amuli
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Solide is a software developer and information and communications technology (ICT) expert. He is the founder of TeknoHands, an ICT solutions firm that provides different computer services and technology solutions to organizations by developing and implementing web-based systems and mobile applications. Solide is passionate about youth and established and runs a recreational gaming center where young students get free games in exchange for getting involved in community service activities. Additionally, he offers free mentorship in English and computer skills to youth at the Hope Foundation in Panzi.
After completing the Fellowship, Solide says he hopes to continue his work to design technology solutions so that organizations—including NGOs, schools, hospitals, and government agencies—can increase their productivity and efficiency. “I want to create ‘discovery facilities,’ where young people are taught to turn their natural gifts into businesses and opportunities while being guided to discover their purpose and talents.”
Thandeka Charlotte Msipa
Thandeka is a finance and legal expert and over the last four years has served as managing director for Imara Fiduciary (Private) Limited, a subsidiary of Imara Capital Zimbabwe. She serves on Imara Fiduciary’s Corporate Social Responsibility Committee and is the youngest leadership figure in her organization. Thandeka has significant experience in the structuring and management of syndicated collateral arrangements in the context of project finance, trade finance, and syndicated loans. She also has a keen interest in debt financing and has previously worked with the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange on the reestablishment of the local bond market in Zimbabwe.
After completing the Fellowship, Thandeka says she hopes to participate in rebuilding Zimbabwe by addressing its infrastructure, as well as by creating a foundation for economic development. “I hope to make use of financial innovation to break down the barriers to financing faced across all sectors in our economy, thereby making it easier to achieve complete financial inclusiveness alongside this financial prosperity.”
Tsigereda Woldemichael Mekuria
Tsigereda is a lecturer at Hawassa University (HU) and a certified entrepreneurship trainer for the Entrepreneurship Development Center of Ethiopia. In her capacity as a trainer, she also works with the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), the UN Industrial Development Organization, and UNCTAD-EMPRETEC, a program of the UN to promote the creation of sustainable, innovative, and internationally competitive small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Through these various groups, she has helped thousands of people start their own businesses, or helped existing business owners expand, modernize, legally formalize, and/or increase their profits and employees.
After completing the Fellowship, Tsigereda hopes to start her own center for entrepreneurial training. “I want to become a better leader that brings positive energy to the people I work with. I want to motivate others to action and impact my community at large by standing out as a role model.”