Knowledge acquired improves a person. Knowledge applied improves the world.
For the third year, a group of 25 leaders from the continent of Africa will train 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. The six-week course focusing on business and entrepreneurship will prepare these women and men to better their respective corners of the world.
Adrienne Irma Rabemanantsoa
Adrienne Irma Rabemanantsoa is a dynamic young multitasker. She was a translator, an interpreter, a journalist, a communication consultant, an English teacher and a radio-producer — all at one time. When she realized she could not do it all, she decided to focus on her favorite activity: translation and interpretation, in which she has more than five years’ experience. In 2015, she founded Air Communication which provides translation, interpretation and English-teaching services. Adrienne has a degree in English for specific purposes and a master’s degree in journalism and communication for development. Since 2015, she has been providing translation and interpretation services for an organization combatting open defecation. Since then, she has become an active supporter of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal Number 6. Upon her return from the U.S., she plans to create a department fully dedicated to the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector in her startup.
Alex Kawooya has more than eight years of experience in the field of information communications technology, providing hardware and software solutions to individuals, organizations and government entities. Alex co-founded and currently holds the positions of operations director of Rackmount Ltd., and chief operations officer of Vunlimited. His expertise is in management, sales and marketing, business strategy, innovation and teambuilding. He also volunteers as the general secretary of the Wireless Applications Services Providers Association of Uganda (WASPAU), and does small-scale commercial farming on a 60-acre farm in the Mityana District. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Alex plans to return with the partnerships, skills and connections he's made to build his companies. He will focus his strategies in areas with the best opportunities to grow and prosper within the budding information and communication technology market. Alex holds a bachelor’s degree in information technology from Makerere University, Kampala.
Busiku Sulwe has more than eight years of experience in various fields of community development and stakeholder engagements. Currently, Busiku is head of corporate affairs for Mabiza Resources Limited, which operates Munali Nickel Mine in Mazabuka, Zambia. In this role, he focuses on social investment programs in the community. He is a champion in the fight against malaria and the improvement of education standards and perceptions in the community. Additionally, he assists orphaned children. Busiku holds a bachelor of science degree in urban and regional planning from the Copperbelt University, where he focused on the impact of mono-economic development on a local economy. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Busiku plans to continue his work influencing corporations to engage in sustainable socioeconomic livelihood initiatives and exploit micro-financing options that will benefit the youth, underprivileged and vulnerable in society through empowerment programs.
Constantine Nyanzero is an enterprise development specialist currently serving at Innovation Baraza as the Strategic Partnerships and Program’s development manager. He has been working in the enterprise development field for five years. He co-founded B2C Co-working Space in Harare. He sits on the Emerging Ideas board and is the co-founder of Pitch Night. He was principal in pioneering the fastest-growing partnership in the startup environment, between Telecel Zimbabwe and small-scale Zimbabwean entrepreneurs. Constantine has also participated as an organizer in Startup Weekend Harare and Global Startup Battle. He is the Head Africa.co fellow in Zimbabwe and does freelance research work for Global Entrepreneurship Week. When he returns to Zimbabwe, Constantine intends to host a regional Innovation Baraza in November 2016. He will build on the event to foster regional integration and intra-trade between countries within the South African Development Community (SADC) region and beyond.
Edinha Soares Lima
Sao Tome and Principe
Edinha Lima has four years' experience in areas related to justice and law, and currently works as a lawyer at her own law firm. She also teaches law at the most recognized university of Sao Tome and Principe. In 2011, Edinha launched a project aimed at bolstering the development of children in the poorest regions of her country. She holds a master’s degree in business law from the University of Nova de Lisboa, Portugal. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Edinha plans to develop as a young businesswoman. She aspires to be a reference in the legal framework by advising on the justice reform necessary to protect the rights and social and economic development of her fellow citizens.
Esther Safi Sola
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
Esther Sola has over two years of experience in project management. Currently, Esther is the administration assistant at the Embassy of Namibia in Kinshasa. She is also the founder and CEO of Proman House, a startup in project management consultancy, where she helps clients initiate, design, implement and evaluate projects in addition to developing training activities. She works on selected projects pro bono to encourage entrepreneurship for the creation of a middle class in the DRC. In addition, Esther is equally a member of the World Economic Forum as a global shaper for the Kinshasa hub. She also volunteers and runs an English book club for an NGO. Esther holds a national certificate in Java programming from Java Developer Academy in Midrand, South Africa, and a national certificate in project management from Damelin College in Pretoria, South Africa. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Esther plans to continue her work in project management and professional training with a focus on helping the economy of the DRC.
George William Bakka
George William Bakka is a passionate Afrocentric entrepreneur who over the last five years has led initiatives geared toward providing finance and business development support to small and medium enterprises in East Africa. Currently, George is the chief executive officer at Angels Initiatives, an enterprise-finance firm that raises capital for flexible financing to small and growing businesses in Africa. He focuses on fundraising, strategy and leadership for the company team. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, George plans to further expand Angels Initiatives’ work in providing flexible financing to small and medium enterprises in East Africa. His vision is to build the most influential finance house in the region.
Goddy Epie Ngene
Goddy Epie has over 10 years of experience in software engineering, enterprise architecture and technology adoption. Currently he is a research assistant at the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, where he focuses on the conception, development and implementation of systems for fauna conservation and wood traceability. He recently championed a national project to provide cloud-based software for more than 100,000 small and medium businesses in Cameroon. He gives lectures on IT strategy, enterprise architecture and digital transformation at the University of Yaoundé I. Goddy holds a master's degree in IT from the University of Madras in India. As a TOGAF 9-, SOA- and cloud-certified practitioner, he has an interest in designing resilient systems that work across Africa. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Goddy plans to launch a startup that develops technology, apps, Internet of Things for local communities in areas like agriculture, wildlife conservation, education and gamification.
Haoua Sawadogo has over four years’ experience in business and entrepreneurship, and more than eight years in translation and interpretation. She is the manager of WIZ Translation-Interpretation Services, a company she started in 2013 with two friends. She also teaches English and French, and is a learning coach for students with special needs. Haoua has mentored six people in her company. In her community, Haoua is the founding member of ADEJ, a nonprofit organization aimed at assisting children and youth, and promoting gender equality, environmental education, youth reproductive health and schooling. She has completed the general classwork for a master’s degree in translation and interpretation, and she also holds a bachelor’s degree in English studies and a certificate for an entrepreneurship program at the University of Ouagadougou. Upon her return, Haoua wants to strengthen and extend her business to better serve her community by providing job opportunities to young people.
Immanuel Charles Akhimien
Charles Immanuel Akhimien is the co-founder of MOBicure, producers of the multi-award-winning OMOMI mobile app platform. MOBicure is a social enterprise providing mobile technology solutions in health care for Nigeria and other developing nations. Charles is the head of operations and tasked with staff recruitment, marketing and organizing medical outreach for rural communities. He has represented Nigeria at two Global Entrepreneurship Summits: in Kuala-Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2013, and in Marrakech, Morocco, in 2014. He has over seven years of experience working in the public health sector, starting from his medical school days. He received his medical degree from the School of Medicine of the University of Benin. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Charles plans to continue his work in MOBicure, with a focus on ensuring that OMOMI expands to reach a wider audience.
Jonathan Nguerassem is a young telecommunications engineer who has three years of work experience. As a professional, he desires to change the face of telecommunications business and to make a difference. Jonathan has completed a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications engineering in Accra, Ghana. He works with Helios Towers Chad as a network operations center supervisor. His main duties are to manage critical outages, and to ensure efficient alarm monitoring and dispatch of third-party operations engineering support. Every year Jonathan plays a key role in his community by creating new opportunities for vulnerable children to go to school by providing school fees and books. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Jonathan plans to start a company focusing on fuel-delivery services to telecom BTS sites, thus creating jobs and promoting innovation and positive change for young people and help fight unemployment in Chad.
Khadijetou Abed has over four years of experience in developing web and mobile software in various sectors such as insurance, health care, education and voting systems. Khadijetou is a founder of Sky Technology, a small company that specializes in web and mobile applications in Mauritania. Since 2015, she has been engaged with the Mauritanian association in the fight against diabetes (AMLCD). She also works with four diabetologists seeking to improve monitoring methods for diabetic patients in Mauritania through a mobile solution. This project will help diabetic patients connect with their doctors directly via smartphones. Khadijetou holds a master’s degree in business informatics from the University of Lorraine, France, and an engineering degree in multimedia software engineering from the Higher Institute of Applied Engineering, Morocco. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Khadijetou plans to continue her work in health care with a focus on advanced software solutions for patient care.
Kiswendsida Nadege Legma
Kiswendsida Nadege Legma has over four years' experience as a translator-interpreter. She is currently a translator at Xpertis Consulting, an agency for resources mobilization, where she translates information on social, political and economical aspects for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She also volunteers at the Scouting Association of Burkina Faso, where she trains children in environment preservation, citizenship and personal development. She also tutors girls in French and English. As a volunteer, she often visits and cares for children who have been orphaned. Nadege holds a master's degrees in translation, where she focused on how to capture the essence of a message, and in business communication, where she learned how to build and promote company values. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Nadege plans to work in a nursery in order to contribute to women's professional development as well as the physical and psychological growth of children.
Levit Barry Nudi
Levit Nudi has over five years of experience in various fields of technology, digital health in particular. Currently, Levit is the founder and research scientist at Notonlab Inc., where he focuses on developing new, innovative medical devices and software solutions. He is involved in community-development activities such as empowering women and girls in technology by building simple financial-tracking software tools, and training women and girls to use them so that they may become more financially accountable and improve their economic status. He has also volunteered significant time and resources helping individuals and startups in science and technology to research and develop their prototypes and products. Levit is in the final year of forensics study at Kenyatta University. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he plans to continue empowering his community by creating more opportunities through technology.
Lungile Yolanda Mzizi
Lungile Mzizi has had an interesting mix of experiences. She has worked with various small- and medium-sized enterprises and nonprofit organizations, and has more than five years’ experience in the private sector in a managerial role. Her current responsibilities include creating value propositions for her target market and growing and retaining that market. She has extensive experience as a marketer developing compelling marketing plans and using analytics to understand the needs and behavior of her customers. She is passionate about women's economic development issues. She aims to use the fellowship to deepen her understanding of how business and entrepreneurship principles can result in lasting economic empowerment solutions, particularly for women in Swaziland. Lungile has a postgraduate degree in management and a degree in marketing. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she aims to harness the networks and the knowledge she gains to implement a women's leadership and economic empowerment organization.
Mamadou Ba is a native of Niombato, Ndoumboudji, on the border of Senegal and Gambia. Born in a rural area and raised in a peri-urban area that provided a strong foundation of his success as a young entrepreneur, Mamadou worked to improve his community life. Living between these different areas did not deter him from finishing his studies. Mamadou went to middle school in Toubacouta and high school in Demba Diop of Mbour (LDD). He did his tertiary education at Dakar University of Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD). Attending school in these different places enabled him to improve his academic and professional life. Mamadou holds a master’s degree in British studies and commonwealth. He works as a freelance translator and interpreter, the co-founder and project manager of Nafen Naftoren (Mutual Aid), and founder of Modern African Times.
Marie-Anne Assanvo-N'Guessan has over 10 years of experience in English-French translation and interpreting. A sworn translator at the Ivorian Court of Appeal since 2012, she is currently the CEO of Myrhann Enterprises, a company involved in French-English translation, interpreting and linguistic coaching. Her passion for English led to the design of the Girl English Empowerment Program (GEEP), which helps create jobs for young women graduates in English while offering a fun learning environment for youth. The program supports a cause that is dear to her heart: breaking language barriers and addressing the cultural complexity that prevents Francophone African women from developing their talents, ideas and skills so that they are able to play a full role in the concert of nations. After completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she envisages expanding GEEP by opening youth English camps in French-speaking countries throughout Africa and beyond.
Nadine Maalum is a translator, interpreter and French teacher with over seven years of experience. She is currently the CEO, administrator and teacher at Skas French International, which focuses on teaching French to clients, training translators and interpreters, and writing and publishing French study materials. She also translates French documents for students. After the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Nadine plans to renew, innovate and expand Skas French International, opening branches in other states of Nigeria. Nadine holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Dschang, Cameroon.
Nawsheen Ahmend Ahmine
Nawsheen Ahmine has been practicing as a barrister with Balgobin Chambers for four years. She is involved in the management of the chambers, business development and client relationship. She does litigation and advisory work and has a wide practice including arbitration, banking and finance, mergers and acquisitions, restructuring and corporate law. She is also the manager and program coordinator of BC Executive, which is the training branch of Balgobin Chambers. Nawsheen also volunteers for the SPEAK Human Rights and Environmental Initiative. Nawsheen read law at the University of Liverpool, U.K., and completed her bar vocational course at Northumbria University, U.K. Last year, she received an award in recognition of her achievements in the business and professional services sector from CEO Global's Most Influential Women in Business and Government awards. Upon completion of the fellowship, Nawsheen intends to develop her practice and impart her new skills to other professionals.
Phelane Patrick Phomane
Phelane Phomane is currently the chief of staff to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Lesotho. He is also the chairman of Citrus Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd., which has six subsidiaries operating in the fields of strategic advisory services, communications, project management, property, construction and water bottling. He has more than 16 years’ project management and communications experience at domestic and international level. Phelane holds an LL.B. from the National University of Lesotho and is an admitted advocate of the High Court of Lesotho. Phelane also holds a master’s degree in Olympic studies, and Olympic education, organization and management of mega events with the University of Peloponnese, Greece, where he focused on developing hybrid sports-management systems for developing countries. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Phelane intends to expand the geographical reach of his company and help other small- and medium-sized enterprises in Lesotho grow.
Rania Ibrahim Mohammed
Rania Ibrahim, the service development director for Telemed Medical Services, is responsible for planning, supervising, organizing and managing product development activities. At Telemed, a startup company that aims to increase access to health care for Ethiopians, she honed her skills of forging creative working partnerships with different organizations and individuals. She was a co-developer of the first TB/HIV patient-tracking system that helps patients adhere to their medication, and she is also the strategic and networking adviser for St. Paul’s Hospital, one of the largest public hospitals in the country. Rania also volunteers with Berhan Yehun, a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve living conditions for impoverished children. As a Mandela Washington Fellow, she intends to further develop her skills in business development, aiming to expand access to medical technology and to learn ways to fully develop different possibilities of public-private partnerships to improve the health care system in her country.
Reena Deelip Pandya
Reena Pandya has 17 years of experience in fields varying from construction to hospitality. Currently, Reena heads the marketing and Wi-Fi divisions for Raha, Tanzania’s largest internet service provider. One of the projects she is currently working on is providing internet connectivity to 30 remotely located schools with the aim of creating an enhanced quality of education for students. Reena speaks six languages including Hindi and Swahili. She graduated from Solihull College, U.K., in 2005 with a higher national diploma in information technology and has since completed a diploma in psychology, majoring in mental health studies and behavioral patterns. Upon returning from the Mandela Washington Fellowship with her newfound skills and knowledge, Reena will launch a human resource services company, which will focus on preparing individuals for job interviews and providing the necessary training, tools and recruitment services. She will also pursue her ongoing projects.
Sarah Kabiseni holds a business science degree and has over five years’ experience in the accounting and business sector. She is an entrepreneur and has run various business ventures in the fields of events management and waste management. Sarah plays basketball and is a co-founder of the Lady Hustlers community basketball team, which competes in the Harare basketball league. Currently, Sarah works at Total Zimbabwe and is an active member of Total’s Innovation team. Sarah is an advocate for the environment through her Green Earth Initiative, which is principally aimed at sustainable environmental management through proper waste management. Upon completion of the fellowship, Sarah intends to advance her work by establishing a waste management center in Harare. She hopes to engage companies which impact the environment and to expand operations across Africa.
Tania Teresa Manuel Levy
Tania Tomé is a multifaceted award winner, Mozambiquan President's Merit winner, and Academic Prize (Portugal/Africa) winner from Portuguese former president Mário Soares. She is an economist, entrepreneur, and bank and investment professional with more than 12 years’ experience. She has expertise in investment, credit risk mitigation, management, leadership and reward programs. She is the co-founder and executive director of Ecokaya, and volunteers as co-founder and president of NGO Culture for Development, where a social program had the support of Barack Obama. She is also vice president of MOVER/Green NGO, spokesperson for a national youth entrepreneurship conference, a TV personality, speaker and author. After the fellowship, Tomé will continue establishing Ecokaya Capital integrated solutions, an incubator, and a TV show for small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs. She created MozBusiness for woman and youth empowerment. Tomé holds a postgraduate degree in management control and economics from the Portuguese Catholic University.
Timothy David Marks
Timothy Marks has over 10 years’ collective experience as a filmmaker, cameraman and photographer with an emphasis on African narratives. Currently, Timothy is focusing on creating, developing and producing film and television productions that look at the natural and cultural heritage of Southern Africa. He also volunteers his technical and creative skills in his local community by training and mentoring aspiring photographers and filmmakers, as well as aiding a number of wildlife charities in their preservation and anti-poaching work. Timothy holds an extended diploma in media production and a degree in film arts from Plymouth College of Art, U.K. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Timothy plans to continue his work in creating African narratives as well as fostering a love and respect for the African bush by mentoring a passionate generation of young African storytellers.