Knowledge acquired improves a person. Knowledge applied improves the world.
For the second year, a group of 25 leaders from the continent of Africa were at Notre Dame as part of a five-year partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders program. After a six-week course focusing on entrepreneurship and leadership, these men and women returned home to apply their knowledge to better their respective corners of the world.
Meet the 2015 Fellows.
Abdimalik Yussuf Aden
Abdimalik Yussuf’s experience spans the fields of banking, strategic finance management, and social entrepreneurship. He is currently field officer for the Women Enterprise Fund, where he champions economic empowerment and financial inclusion or rural women. He is founder and managing director of Green Equity Africa, a capital finance service provider with a special focus on promoting sustainable green pastoralism and women’s financial inclusion in Kenya. He also manages a community-owned initiative, Lagdera Youth Force, within the HIV/Aids movement. Abdimalik holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Mount Kenya University, a diploma in Community Development and Social Work from NEP Technical Training Institute, and a professional certificate in Business Investment Opportunities from Kenya’s Institute of Business Training. Upon completion of the Fellowship, he plans to use new skills to strengthen the microfinance banking concepts of Accumulating Savings and Credit Association Revolving Fund (ASCAs Revolving Fund) that he initiated in Northeastern Kenya.
Abel Carvalho Chipepe
Abel Chipepe has over five years’ experience in English training and translation. He has also founded several ventures including Pretecno, Angolan Freelancer Academy (AFA), and a professional training and service provider specializing in Excel, translation services, distance learning, examination venues and invigilation, and web and mobile app development. With the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Abel wants to acquire enough knowledge and experience to solidify AFA, whose profits will be used to sponsor and support Pretecno, extending its mission and vision to lead African communities to self-sufficiency. He expects to achieve his goals through promoting education, self-empowerment, high self-esteem, massive marketing, and effective communication channels so people are able to survive, regardless of external and government help.
Abosede Oluwaseun Lewu
Abosede Lewu is a medical doctor with over ten years' experience in various community oriented programs and projects. An advocate for health education, environmental development, and sustainability, she currently works in Lagos University Teaching Hospital as a registrar in obstetrics and gynecology, and runs Acme Healthpoint where she focuses on formulating policies, creating projects, and exporting business models with a special focus on health and the environment. She volunteers in her community by organizing seminars and screenings on health, hygiene and lifestyle. Abosede holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery with the University of Maiduguri, a postgraduate certificate in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and certificates in health economics including Primary Health Care, World Bank Institute and Health For All, John Hopkins University. Upon completion, she intends to commence execution of a public school toilet project primarily focused on improving the hygiene and health of children in public schools.
Adama Gorou is a passionate entrepreneur, coach, and trainer in leadership, entrepreneurship, and self-growth. He has over 10 years' experience in advertising, media, and training and is currently the chief executive officer of A+ Coaching, a company that helps people grow by providing them with inspiration and tools. He works closely with youth organizations to empower them through free training sessions in leadership and entrepreneurship. He believes that the youth are the solution for Africa. He volunteers in many organizations supporting causes like climate change, youth leadership, and women’s empowerment. Upon completion of the Fellowship, Adama plans to launch an incubator for creative entrepreneurs, namely in social business, and inspire one million young people to become the solution for Africa.
Aissata Mazou has over four years’ experience in various fields in business development, impacting young women in particular. She co-founded and co-owns A Nous Niamey, an event agency that specializes in services for private sector promotional launches and catering for government conferences and events. A Nous Niamey empowers women through employment, training, collaboration, and mentorship. Aissata holds a Bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering from the University of Cardiff Metropolitan, and when she is not running her business, she serves as a sales engineer for a private IT company. Aissata is also passionate about livestock and owns a small farm where she employs about five people to supply milk to ten medium-sized retailers. Her plan is to grow and modernize the traditional farming business. Upon completion of the Washington Fellowship, she plans to collaborate with peers for a vision, culture, and environment that fosters African cooperation.
Balayneh Nekatibeb Begna
Balayneh Nekatibeb holds a Master’s degree in Development Studies from Addis Ababa University. For over 10 years, he has designed and managed a number of agricultural growth and economic development programs and projects with NGOs, donor agencies and the Ethiopian government. He is currently working in Ethiopia as capacity development advisor to the Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development of Canada. He volunteers as a board member for KMG Ethiopia, a community-based organization that helps thousands of rural women, girls, and marginalized communities emancipate themselves from violence and discrimination. He seeks to learn about business opportunities that can benefit small farmers in Ethiopia and beyond. He believes that the Mandela Washington Fellowship will help him acquire the skills, networks, and resources he needs to establish a socially viable, prototype agribusiness centre in Ethiopia on his return.
Boussoura Talla Gueye
Boussoura Talla Gueye is a network and telecommunication engineer with seven years’ experience working in ICT projects deployment, project management, team management, and sales. She is currently working at CFAO Technologies as key account manager. She is the cofounder of SetTIC, the first e-waste recycling center in Senegal and is very engaged to protect environment in Senegal, as well as sensitizing the resident population. SetTIC provides e-waste collection and dismantling services as well as sensitization for populations, public, and private sectors to e-waste’s potential impact on health and environment. She believes that managing e-waste in Africa is not only an opportunity to preserve the health of the environment, but also to create green jobs, especially for the youth and disabled. After completing the Fellowship, her goal is to develop SetTIC activities in Senegal and at a regional level.
Evelyn Zalwango has over eight years’ experience working in different areas of marketing, information technology, and community development through skills. She is the founder of the Awaka Foundation for landmine survivors’ victims, women groups, and youth and works at Awaka Limited as the managing director where she is responsible for directing all company activities. Evelyn holds a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology from Sikkim Manipal University of India and a diploma in Interior Designing. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Evelyn intends to continue her work with the landmine survivors’ victims around the country and to work with different organizations to skill women and the youth to fight unemployment.
Farai Peter Chizengeni
Farai Chizengeni has over three years’ experience in corporate finance and is currently a corporate finance executive at Vunani Capital in Zimbabwe. In this capacity, he is responsible for proactively engaging with financial institutions and other relevant third parties to identify suitable investment and advisory opportunities. Farai is also responsible for conducting reviews of investments and managing investments at various stages during the investment cycle. In this role, he has been an adviser to listed South African entities entering the Zimbabwean market, which involved navigating the investment laws and structuring suitable investments. He holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Witwatersrand and is a CFA Level 1 candidate. Upon completion of the Washington Fellowship, Farai intends to use the experience to empower his local community and use knowledge attained during the fellowship to facilitate greater participation of Zimbabwean youth in entrepreneurial activities.
Helen Plinser Duo
Helen Plinser Duo has experience in a variety of different practices ranging from bedside nursing to health counselling and at present, health administration and supervision. She is currently the owner and administrator of Mini Clinic where she focuses on providing care for maternal and child health (although she cares for people of all ages). She believes in giving hope through care and is involved with counselling young girls about the importance of teenage pregnancy prevention whilst she provides those services for them. She holds a Master's degree in Nursing Administration from the Cuttington University Graduate School and served in a clinical supervision capacity at various hospitals in Monrovia. At the end of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Helen intends to continue work at her clinic while improving the health services provided to meet the emergency health needs of the people especially those with low income.
Jackson Saya Ndonga
Saya Ndonga is a Kenyan researcher, speaker, and author with 10 years’ experience in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship. Saya holds a BSc in Zoology, MSc in Medical Parasitology, and PGD in Sustainable Entrepreneurship. He has blended his science and entrepreneurship experience to develop a novel eight-step innovation and personal development framework called, Think Like a Parasite. He has founded and works for The Motivation Lab, which uses the framework to design and deploy clear, applicable, and relevant solutions to address the innovation, personal development, and entrepreneurship needs of individuals, communities, and organizations. Upon return from the Washington Fellowship, he is keen to roll out two initiatives including an integrated call center offering dedicated business process outsourcing solutions, tailor-made for startups and SMEs, and an entrepreneurship program for secondary school students drawn from faith communities.
Juscelina Carla Maria Guirengane
Juscelina Guirengane has seven years' experience as an entrepreneur and business consultant and is the founder and chief executive officer of Sahane Consultoria and Serviços, a business and ICT consultancy and training provider where she is responsible for leading the company and supporting clients in competitively achieving their goals. She is CEO of the National Youth Entrepreneur’s Association, a non-profit organization that advocates for and builds the capacity of youth entrepreneurs, and partners with government, private sector and NGOs to promote inclusive and sustainable programs for building youth businesses. She holds a business commerce honors degree in Technology and Finance from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa which developed her leadership, communication, negotiation, and technology management skills. She is also a university lecturer. Upon completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Juscelina plans to implement a highly competitive youth entrepreneurship program to foster innovative business development and job creation.
Lebohang Constance Selloane
Lebohang Selloane has eight years’ experience in the radiology field as a diagnostic radiographer, and in the sales and marketing of radiology equipment. She is currently the owner and managing director of a company, Visionary X-rays, established to offer onsite mobile x-ray services to business communities with employees prone to occupational lung diseases, and to offer advanced radiology services to rural areas via a mobile x-ray trailer. Lebohang holds a Diagnostic Radiography degree from the Central University of Technology and is a final year MBA student at MANCOSA Graduate School of Business. Through her community engagement she co-founded a non-profit organization, Dream Girls Foundation, and as chairperson she focuses on empowering young women through educational and entrepreneurial programs. Upon completion of the Fellowship, Lebohang plans to implement what she learns to develop and scale her business to other African countries and continue to empower young women through her foundation.
Mahamadou Seydou Souley
Seydou Souley is an economic journalist with seven years’ professional experience in economic magazines in Morocco, and international NGOs (Help, OXFAM). In 2014 he founded his own company, Impact Com and Media which produces a much appreciated economic TV program in Niger called Business Challenge. Until then most of Niger’s media dealt only with general information and political scandals and rumors, so the creation of Business Challenge introduced a new way of dealing with concrete subjects people wanted to know about (i.e. how to create and develop an enterprise, success stories of companies, how national finances laws are voted, how economic decisions are made at national level etc.). Seydou’s vision is to contribute to changing mentalities to be in favor of the social and economic development of Niger. After the Fellowship, he will spend six weeks at a business and entrepreneurship institute at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana.
Marshall Anusa Dyton
Marshall Dyton has been in the field of journalism and ICT for over five years and is the founder and CEO of Freelance Web Solutions Malawi, a company which provides affordable Web and ICT services to various companies and non-profit organizations in Malawi. His firm gives an opportunity to eligible non-profit organizations to apply for free websites and other ICT services. He is also a founder of the Malawi Muslims website, the first ever Muslim online publication in the country. Dyton also helped organize the inaugural Malawi Muslim Awards, an initiative which seeks to award Muslim individuals and organizations that have made an impact in society. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication with Amity University and upon completion of the Fellowship, plans to expand his business and continue with more social entrepreneurship.
Matthew N. Magare
Matthew has six years' experience in the practice of law and is also an entrepreneur. Previously, he worked for Coulson Harney advocates and later ran his own law firm where he advised clients on various corporate commercial transactions. Currently, he is engaged as a co-founder in a mobile startup. Matthew holds a degree in Law from the University of Nairobi, a Bachelor's in International Relations from the United States International University and is completing his Master’s degree in International Trade and Investment Law from the University of Nairobi. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Matthew plans to continue with his entrepreneurial pursuits in the field of mobile technology.
Merab Twahirwa is a software product manager for Pivot Access, a software company based in Kigali. Besides her full-time job she’s a member of Girls’ In ICT Rwanda, a group that mentors and speaks to teenage girls to encourage them to consider ICT as a career and also help them understand the importance of developing ICT skills in any career. Prior to joining Pivot Access, Merab worked as an Intern at IBM Research Africa, where she worked in a team to develop new business models for agribusiness value chains using mobile platforms. Merab holds a Master’s of Science degree in Information Technology from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Merab shall continue to engage other fellows to enhance her network focusing on bringing her company’s products to other African countries.
Mohammad Ilrshaad Goolamally
Ilrshaad Goolamally is a technopreneur, with a blend of expertise in innovative technologies. He has over twelve years' experience in IT, mainly as a project manager, and has worked in several organizations in Mauritius and in the UK. Currently lead partner for Keep Moving, a consultant for the public sector and a part-time IT lecturer, Ilrshaad holds an MBA from the University of Technology in Mauritius, a Bachelor of engineering in Network Technology from Middlesex University in the UK, a Diploma in ICT systems support from City and Guilds in the UK, as well as various technical certifications (e.g. CCNA, PLC, and ISMS Lead Implementer). Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Ilrshaad plans to continue his work in the information and communication technologies field with an emphasis on the how ICT can improve small and medium enterprises.
Nana Diaby graduated with a Master’s degree in Management and Strategies of Companies in France, is former director of Le Dourouni magazine, and is currently the managing director of Phiphi + Agency Communications, which she founded. She has eight years work experience in various countries including the USA, France, Germany, Burkina and Mali. She's a longtime member of the Foundation for the Childhood in Mali, as well as Global Shapers of Bamako Hub, both platforms for improving community living conditions. Diaby is currently producing her own monthly talk show on youth employment, leadership, and coaching which will be broadcast on national Malian TV. She is the first Malian woman to do this and has been dubbed ‘the next Oprah’ in Mali.
Phillip Peter has more than seven years’ experience in information and communication technologies, programming, systems administration, networking, and security. He is currently the Network and Hardware Infrastructure Manager at the University of Zimbabwe where he is responsible for managing, maintaining, monitoring, and securing the sturdy University wired and wireless network using a mix of mature open-source technologies, and Cisco Network Equipment. Phillip holds a Bachelor of Business Studies and Computing Science degree from the University of Zimbabwe, volunteers as head coach of the university’s Basketball Club, and has led the men's basketball team to two Zimbabwe Tertiary Institution Sports Union championships. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Phillip plans to continue active leadership in ICT through setting up a consultancy for universities in Zimbabwe and Africa to manage, monitor, and secure their ICT networks using mature open-source technologies, and to hold security workshops with Zimbabwean Universities.
Princess Sekyere is a corporate communications professional and news anchor at Etv Ghana, with over four years' experience in public and community relations. She is currently the director of Kingdom Concepts Consult, a media communications company that specializes in corporate social responsibility and where she advises, designs, and implements strategies and campaigns for companies and individuals. She also founded and leads Princess Sekyere Mission, a non-profit organization that focuses on mentoring both privileged and underprivileged youth, with specialized programs in communities and on radio. She holds a Master’s degree in Corporate Communications and Public Affairs from the Robert Gordon University in the UK, where she focused on CSR and crisis communication. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Scholarship, she will broaden her youth mentoring programs to cover more communities in the country and strategically position her company, KCC, to be the leading CSR consultancy in Africa.
Raindolf Owusu is a software engineer and IT entrepreneur. He graduated with an information technology degree at Methodist University and is the founder and CEO of Oasis Websoft, a software development house that provides IT solutions and technologies that aim to solve Africa's problems using frugal innovations. Some of his most recent projects include Anansipedia: an educative platform that allows the seamless sharing of educational resources to help less privileged students gain access to quality academic content, and Bisa: a mobile app that allows people to interact directly with medical practitioners. He has over eight years' experience in technology development and organizes workshops to nurture and train the next generation of software coders. Raindolf aims to expand his activities across other African countries after the Mandela Washington Fellowship, and also to create more job opportunities through his software development company.
Razikua Rodjesta Kaviua
Razikua Rodjesta Kaviua works as a senior magistrate for the Ministry of Justice in Namibia. Currently 29 years old, she previously worked as a candidate attorney with Koep and Partners, a leading commercial law firm in Namibia. As candidate attorney she concentrated on commercial work, specifically corporate transactions, competition law, and general corporate and commercial work. She holds a B Juris and LLB from the University of Namibia as well as an LLM in International Trade Law from the University of Cape Town. Her long-term goal is to be a leading legal adviser, contributing to the governance of her country and advising on international trade policies. She chose the track of business and entrepreneurship and upon completion of the Fellowship, intends to conduct workshops where she will educate small market entrepreneurs on business plans and means to be more productive.
Sam Musariri has over three years’ experience in electronic and mobile health and six in the health sector. He is a qualified medical doctor with a Master’s degree in Medical Informatics and Telemedicine from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, expected by end 2015. Sam's an entrepreneur at heart and has five years’ experience in business startups, and management. He has been instrumental in the setup of Teledoctor, a Zambian-grown health ICT organization that leverages technology to provide health care services. At present he is involved in the development of several m-Health and e-Health programs whose major aim is to broaden access to cheaper and more affordable health care services. Sam focuses and emphasizes on the sustainability and profitability of such social impact ventures. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he plans to continue offering leadership, business expertise, and mentorship in the area of m-Health in Zambia and Africa.
Veronica Affuah Da-Silva
Veronica Affuah Da-Silva has over thirteen years’ experience in the telecom industry. She began her career at Ghana Telecom in 2002 as a customer access network engineer, and is currently the enterprise business solutions Manager at Vodafone, Ghana where she leads a team of engineers to develop and deploy end-to-end telecommunication solutions for corporate clients. Veronica plays an active role in the community and is a social entrepreneur with a passion for developing young leadership talent. As a founder of the e-Inclusion Initiative, Veronica aspires to bridge Ghana’s gender inequality gap in ICT Education. She holds a Master’s degree in Engineering and Management from Coventry University, UK where she focused on the evolution of telecommunication in emerging markets and its impact on socio-economic development, specifically in Ghana. Veronica expects the Fellowship’s Business and Entrepreneurship track will enable her gain access to tools required to further build the e-Inclusion Initiative.