Abdourahim Mbae Aicha has more than three years of experience in entrepreneurship. She currently works as a consultant at the National Agency for Digital Development and Innovation in Comoros, focusing on project development and management. Abdourahim is also manager of a medical tourism agency. She co-founded a rental car company and has been the company's communication and marketing director, a job that has developed her passion for communication, marketing, and management. She intends to pursue a career in entrepreneurship. Abdourahim is also passionate about empowering youth and women through education. She teaches biology in local schools. Abdourahim holds a master's degree in Biotechnology. She is committed to creating business solutions and career opportunities for youth in leadership. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Abdourahim plans to use the resources acquired to create her own company, which will give education and career development opportunities to youth.
Chamlesh Kissoondharry has over four years of experience in the field of business. Currently, Chamlesh is a sustainability analyst at EcoVadis Mauritius, focusing on the corporate social responsibility management systems of different international companies. In addition, Chamlesh is an entrepreneur and owns a pre-primary school that implements a play-based curriculum from the United States. He also worked with the International Organisation for Migration as a business consultant. Chamlesh holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Mauritius. He is committed to strengthening small and medium enterprises (SMEs). After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Chamlesh plans to offer consulting services to Mauritian SMEs to help them build a resilient business, all while working on CSR issues in business with EcoVadis Mauritius.
Cheikh Tidiane Sy
Cheikh Tidiane Sy has more than five years of experience in business development, logistics and administration, art projects, and start-up program support. Tidiane is project manager at Modupeola Inc., where he focuses on art exhibitions, essays, discussions, games, and mentoring that aim to highlight the challenges of education and governance through creative collaboration and art. Tidiane holds a bachelor's and master’s degree in International Management. He was appointed by the United Nations Children's Fund in Senegal as a youth delegate for the One Million by 2021 Initiative in Ethiopia and was an invited panelist at the conference of the Commonwealth Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa in Rwanda. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Tidiane plans to use the skills he has acquired to establish more partnerships with start-ups and to connect more students with their first internship or job.
Etuhole Nangombe Efraim has over eight years of experience in information technology (IT). Etuhole lectures at the International University of Management, where she helps with curriculum review, examination moderation and papers, and supervising fourth-year projects in the Electronics and Communications Department. Etuhole completed an internship at Daimler AG, focusing on application management planning, information roadmaps for Europe, the Americas, and the Asia-Pacific, and communication between different regions. As the STEP ambassador to Namibia, she mentors young students in preparation for internships abroad. She holds a bachelor's degree in Systems Administration and Networks from the National University of Sciences and Technology and is pursuing a master's degree in Information Technology from the International University of Management. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Etuhole aims to use the new skills to provide technology solutions in education, businesses, and government organizations in Namibia.
Evandra Martins Neves is a financial educator, chief executive officer, and co-founder of Fin Academy'Academia de Educação Financeira. Evandra is also a lecturer and trainer with more than 15 years of experience, with seven of those years as a university professor of management, finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, and financing alternatives for micro, small, and medium enterprises. As a financial educator, she helps people and businesses deal smart with money and develop a sustainable relationship with money. She loves to understand behavioral patterns and encourages people to change their bad habits regarding the use of money. Evandra holds a master's degree in Finance from the University of Minho in Portugal. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, she intends to focus all her knowledge, skills, and actions on the development, success, and happiness of the people who seek her work.
Gisele Umutoniwase has more than four years of project management experience in women empowerment and women's rights programming. Currently, Gisele is projects coordinator at Rwanda Women's Network, a non-governmental organization that focuses on improving the livelihood of women in Rwanda. In addition to her career in gender and development, Gisele is also co-founder and country manager of KOKO, a social enterprise that strives to empower coffee farmers and artisans in Rwanda through community entrepreneurship. Gisele believes sustainable entrepreneurship is the solution to gender inequalities and violence against women and girls. Gisele holds a bachelor's degree in Pharmacy and has participated in a student exchange program in Lyon, France. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Gisele hopes to apply her new skills and knowledge in her work and enterprise to meaningfully contribute to the socioeconomic development of rural women in Rwanda.
Harmonious Moyo has more than six years of experience in microfinance, credit analysis, financial analysis, and business development. Currently, she works at First Mutual Microfinance, where she focuses on value chain financing, small and medium enterprise lending, and consumer lending. She is actively involved in the community by providing mentoring and business acumen knowledge to youth and women to assist them in seizing self-employment opportunities. Harmony holds a master's degree in Finance and Investment. She is passionate about financial literacy, inclusion and diversity, and the use of digital finance as a mechanism to foster financial inclusion. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Harmony plans to use the knowledge and skills acquired to contribute to the economic prospect of Zimbabwe by providing digital finance solutions to enhance access to financial services for underserved communities.
Ismael Zerbo has over eight years of experience in the field of aviation. Currently, Ismael is air traffic controller at the Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa. He also helps non-profits empower youth by teaching mathematics, coding, and English, and coaching basketball. Ismael holds an associate degree in Computer Science and a professional diploma in Air Traffic Control. He is committed to improving his community's educational system, using information technology (IT) to make the system inclusive and equitable, and empowering boys and girls with tech skills. On completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Ismael plans to create a revolutionary IT training center that will serve as a hub to help children embrace technology and bring more girls and women into the field of IT. The center will also work on digitizing community educational programs so that it can build the next generation of African educators.
Ivawa Victoria Shimweefeleni has over seven years of experience in brand and marketing management. Currently, Ivawa Victoria is brand strategist and television presenter at the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation. She focuses on brand building and management, marketing, customer service, events planning, project management, media, and public speaking. She founded Ivawaful Foundation, a non-profit organization that empowers women and youth. She provides mentorship to students in Havana High School, located in one of Windhoek's rural and impoverished localities. Ivawa Victoria holds an honors degree in Marketing and a certificate in Transformational Leadership and is currently pursuing a master's degree in Creative Brand Leadership. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Ivawa Victoria plans both to grow her marketing consultancy business to help small businesses and African labels build their brands and create employment opportunities, and to extend her youth mentorship and women empowerment programs across Africa.
Jessica Ndjadila has written over 500 articles about social and economic issues that affect sub-Saharan Africa, recently placing third in an essay competition sponsored by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa (YALDA). She has contributed to The Bright Continent: Africa website and Data Reporting for LL Medical Supplies and Services. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Economics (honors) degree and completed an apprenticeship with the UN Social Affairs and Economics Commission for Africa. She won an award from the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization and the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding. She is developing a financial application that uses quick-response scanning and encryption codes for financial intermediaries. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Jessica plans to start an organization that supports women and girls in rural areas in developing entrepreneurship and leadership skills.
Kuhle Dumeduze is a chartered accountant living in South Africa. She is currently working in the financial services sector. Kuhle is passionate about creating sustainable solutions to close the equality gap in education in South Africa. She is always seeking new ways to grow and thrive in this regard. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, she plans to pursue a master's degree in Education, Public Policy, and Equity. She aims to use the skills and knowledge acquired to contribute to the economic prospects of South Africa by providing accessible, innovative solutions to strengthen education.
Leslie Makwembere has more than five years' experience working with youth in microfinance and banking. Currently, Leslie is a business development officer for the Agricultural Finance Corporation, where he focuses on rural development financing. Leslie is also founder of Pundutso Financial Education Trust, an organization that trains youth and women on financial literacy and business startup and management. The organization offers free training to youth in Zimbabwe and has also helped some youth in Zambia. Leslie holds a master's degree in Business Administration and Leadership. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, he intends to expand his financial literacy training program and to help youth and rural women become successful entrepreneurs. He also plans to build a network of young people trained in business skills that will encourage trade across Africa.
Mariano Capiliku has three years of experience in web development and data analysis. Currently, Mariano is front-end developer and data analyst at PCs Net, an Angola-based firm that develops web applications. He is also founder of the Yelise project, which aims to develop intelligent robots to help Angola's demining process. Mariano holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Science. Passionate about technology and youth development, he believes that technology can be used to make the world a better place. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Mariano plans to create a training academy for young people in technology, especially in the field of artificial intelligence.
Menggeh Lowe has over eight years' experience in tech and business ecosystems. Menggeh currently serves as the enterprise development support manager for the Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency. She is also start-up engagement consultant to the International Trade Centre under Youth Empowerment Project Tech, where she provides support to tech start-ups in The Gambia. Menggeh was elected secretary of the IT (Information Technology) Association of The Gambia. She has worked with IT service providers both regionally and internationally, servicing the digital transformation needs of the government, private companies, small and medium enterprises, and start-ups. Menggeh holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science (cum laude) from the University of The Gambia. She is committed to developing micro, small, and medium enterprises and creating sustainable solutions. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, she plans to help entrepreneurs innovate and build businesses that can compete globally.
Moitshepi Chalashika has over 10 years of experience in financial services. Currently, Moitshepi is investor relations and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) manager at Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited, where she drives the company's M&A and growth strategy and manages investor relations. She also sits on the Board of Ticano Group, a structured finance and enterprise development company. Moitshepi holds a Bachelor of Business Science (with Finance honors) from the University of Cape Town and a Master of Science in Strategic Management from the University of Derby. She is an Alumna of the Young African Leaders Initiative's Southern African Regional Leadership Center. She recently started an organization that aims to actualize her vision for a financially literate Botswana. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Moitshepi plans to further the agenda of financial literacy and economic inclusion of the disadvantaged.
Moshood Sanni is an innovator, disruptor, and tech-agropreneur who has been assisting the vulnerable out of poverty for over five years in Nigeria. Currently, Moshood is CEO of Smak-Consulting, a social start-up that specializes in equipping youth with vocational and entrepreneurship skills. He is co-founder of Smak-Inclusive Foundation, an NGO that focuses on capacity building for people with disabilities. Moshood holds a master's degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. Moshood is a recognized UI Scholar (a student living with a disability), and he is a Canvassity Pan African Youth Democracy Fellow. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Moshood plans to continue creating an inclusive social network that will unite young professionals to eliminate poverty among young people and to change the perception of people with disabilities from dependent to self-sustainable and employable.
Olaoluwa Oladapo Balogun is a global science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education advocate with more than 12 years of experience in coding and robotics education for students in grades K'12. Olaoluwa is CEO of Tanteeta Robotics, a Nigeria-based company that manufactures robotics education kits for African homes and schools. He is also the founder of the Eko Robotics Championship, a pan-African Olympic-style robotics competition that brings together young people between the ages of 6 and 23 to compete and collaborate in robotics and artificial intelligence. Olaoluwa believes the best economic plan Africa can have is to start preparing a workforce that cannot be replaced by robots and computer codes. On completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Olaoluwa intends to create a vibrant network of STEM educators across Africa to scale the impact of his robotics competition beyond West Africa.
Tanzania, United Republic of
Paulo Mpokwa is a social changemaker with over seven years of experience building innovative business models in renewable energy, digital technology, and social entrepreneurship. Currently, Paulo is co-founder and director at Fundi App, a solution that accelerates the digital transformation of Africa's informal economy through mobile technologies. He also is a member of the Impact Makes Advisory Board, under the Digital Opportunity Trust, where he works with early-stage founders in Africa and MENA to help them leverage the various resources of the social investment sector. Previously, Paulo was head of service at ZOLA Electric, where he helped connect over 1 million off-grid homes to solar power in East and West Africa. He holds a bachelor's degree in Electronic Science and Communication from the University of Dar es Salaam. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Paulo will continue building the next generation of innovative ventures in Tanzania.
Tanzania, United Republic of
Prince Tillya has more than five years of experience in business and entrepreneurship, with a focus on information technology, manufacturing, product development, and marketing. Currently, Prince is co-founder and team lead of FixChap. There, he deals with overall management of the digital platform, working to bridge the safety and trust gap on access to key home services such as repair and maintenance and the purchase and sale of secondhand items. Prince holds a Master in Business Administration from Mzumbe University, with a concentration in Product Development and Corporate Management. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Prince plans to have a positive impact on his community by building cutting-edge products and services that both have a central focus on the Sustainable Development Goals and contribute to nurturing the next generation of social entrepreneurs in Tanzania.
Ronie Tushabe has over four years of experience in technology, innovation, and business incubation. Currently, Ronie is founder and executive director at Empower Youth in Technology, where he focuses on empowering young people in Uganda to identify ideas and develop sustainable innovative businesses. Ronie holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from Mbarara University of Science and Technology. He is a 2021 Techpreneur of the Year Africa under 30 Award winner, a 2020 Young African Leaders Initiative Transformation Grant winner, and a 2018 Funds for Internet Research and Education Africa Grant winner. He was recognized among the 2021 Alumni raising the Mbarara University of Science and Technology flag. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, he plans to use his knowledge to make Empower Youth in Technology the leading technology and innovation hub in East Africa.
Ronnie Brian Otieno has over seven years of experience in finance, administration, and entrepreneurship facilitation and training. Currently, Ronnie is CFO at Venus Kenya Sacco. He is also interim director of finance and administration at the Africa Youth Union Commission, Kenya Chapter, where he trains and mentors youth and women who have limited formal education about financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and market links. Ronnie also has over ten years' experience advocating against child labor and gender-based violence, and is motivated by his desire to empower the lives of young people. Ronnie holds a bachelor's degree in Business Management (Finance and Banking). For his commitment to service and community, he was named Young Male Leader of the Year by the county government of Kisumu. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Ronnie plans to use his new skills to better address the daily challenges of young people.
Tanzania, United Republic of
Rukia Hatibu has over four years of experience in educational and cultural program management. Rukia is head of the Science-In-To-Use (SITU) Department at AfricAcademy Arusha Science School, which builds young people's confidence and competence in STEM through hands-on learning programs. Since SITU's launch in 2020, Rukia has successfully coordinated STEM workshops in robotics, 3D printing, extended realities (both augmented and virtual), and computer programming for students across Tanzania's Arusha Region, and has overseen numerous, award-winning student projects. Rukia conducts confidence-building and soft skills training for high school students, including professional presentation and communication, design and critical thinking, and business idea pitching. A TEDx speaker, Rukia emphasizes the importance of creativity and hands-on learning to better prepare Tanzanian youth for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. After the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, she plans to set up spaces for competence and confidence training across the Arusha Region and beyond.
Ruth Poni Nyombe
Ruth Poni Mori Nyombe has over five years of experience in community mobilization and service. She is pursuing a master's at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, focusing on food security and sustainable agriculture. Previously, Ruth was program officer at Brac South Sudan, where she mobilized communities in 'back to school' campaigns, participated in the establishment of learning centers and community-based education, and provided the necessary support to implementing partners in Central Equatoria State. As a volunteer at Central Equatoria State Women's Union, she helped to minimize gender inequality and gender-based violence and promote sexual reproductive health and rights. Ruth holds a bachelor's degree in both Veterinary Medicine and Business Administration. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Ruth plans to start an organization that implements agricultural projects with a focus on training local farmers in sustainable farming of edible insects to minimize food insecurity.
Stella Ajige has over eight years of experience in business development, advocating for more young people to be entrepreneurs, and helping to shape the environment to enable business growth. Currently, Stella is vice president for business reforms and ease of doing business at the Nasarawa Investment and Development Agency. She focuses on implementing and tracking policies that make it easy to carry out business in the state. She is a Fellow at the African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative. She is co-founder and CEO at SKDC Global Links Limited. She is also founder and creative director at J_ELL's Fashion and Academy. She helps start-up founders build an organizational culture that inspires every member of the team to produce premium value. Stella holds a bachelor's degree in Soil Science. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Stella intends to help community members develop their businesses into climate-resilient and sustainable ventures.
Titose Chembezi is co-founder of Altery, a financial technology start-up in Botswana that focuses on financial inclusion by providing credit scores for those in the informal sector so they can access loans from financial institutions. Altery has won the Southern African Development Community Financial Inclusion Innovation Challenge and the 2020 Botswana Innovation Hub Letshego Pitch Competition. Titose is one of 20 global XRP Ledger Campus Ambassadors overseeing the African continent, in which role she empowers and educates students about blockchain and channels foundation grants to fund innovative student or community projects. Titose is currently pursuing her master's degree in Fintech at the University of Cape Town, specializing in Data Science and Blockchain Technology. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Titose plans to continue coaching African student entrepreneurs through the Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship on Entrepreneurship.