2016 Mandela Washington Fellows
Ben (Benvindo) Gama Paulo, Angola
Ben is from the country of Angola. His areas of expertise include Geology and Technology Entrepreneurship. He holds a master's degree in Technology Entrepreneurship from the University College London, and has been exposed to different Public Works industries in both Angola and the United Kingdom. Currently he is involved in the development of Technology Solutions for challenges in Africa which include waste management, road construction, oil and gas. In the future he aims to become a leading technology solutions provider for the continent of Africa as well as help resolve common difficulties around the world. Through the Fellowship he hopes to connect with world leaders and other African leaders with whose help he can promote innovation and growth in Africa.
Gadza (Gadzanani) Makopola, Botswana
Gadza is an entrepreneur from Botswana. He started his first company at the age of 19. The company focused on print media at first, but eventually developed into an IT Support company. Later he branched out into different areas such as mining, bonds, and government project finance, in which he also created companies. His future goal is to promote the idea of an integrated regional synergy of good governance, youth development and economic growth in Africa. Through the Fellowship, he aspires to connect with likeminded leaders and entrepreneurs in order to further his goal of regional technological development in Africa.
Candice Muir, Botswana
Candice is a native of Botswana. She is a Botswana Qualifications Authority Accredited corporate trainer and facilitator in Business & Disability Etiquette. Currently, she is the training director and co-owner of The Art of Etiquette, a training consultant company. She has experiences as an art teacher, personal assistant, events coordinator and call center agent as well as a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Johannesburg and a post-graduate certificate in Teaching and Training. In the future Candice hopes to initiate a national campaign on changing attitudes towards disabilities, helping to create an all-inclusive Botswana. Upon the completion of the Fellowship she will have attained new skills that will help her run the campaign.
Mapendo Sumuni, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Mapendo is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since 2014 she is the owner of an art shop called Kivu Nuru. Mapendo has experience with working for the International Organization for Migration; however, her true passions are art and the promotion of the arts. Mapendo also holds a bachelor's degree in Science and Technical Development from Institut supérieure de management in Bukavu. In the future she wants to expand her business and provide a safe environment with training and opportunities for African artists. She plans to also invite international artists and thus provide opportunities for African artists to meet other artists from around the world. Mapendo believes that the Fellowship will teach her about entrepreneurship and business. Further she thinks that the fellowship will bring her in touch with other leaders that hold similar ideas and face similar issues, so that together they can find solutions.
Ghis (Ghislain) Kanga, Republic of the Congo
Ghis is an entrepreneur from the Republic of the Congo. He managed to start his own business while in the army. Currently Ghis is the owner and general manager of Africa Global Trading Group. His future plans include expanding his business and reducing poverty in Africa by providing jobs to young Africans. Ghis believes that the Fellowship will provide him with the necessary skills to survive in the increasingly competitive job market and also build connections to other leaders.
Essoh (Honore), Ivory Coast
Essoh is a movie maker from the Ivory Coast. In the past he has worked as a communication officer for an International NGO that fights for the rights of journalists around the world. Further he has been employed as a producer, reporter and manager of different radio stations in both the Ivory Coast and Senegal. Currently, Essoh is the managing director of Studio 6, his own company. His goal for the future is to build and manage an African Cinema company. Upon the completion of the Fellowship he wants to have connected with other entrepreneurs and have enhanced his own skills so that he can make his future businesses more efficient and global.
Asmeret Tesfahunegn, Ethiopia
Asmeret is from the country of Ethiopia. Asmeret is an experienced computer programmer as well as a pragmatic and visionary Entrepreneur with a passion for problem solving and technology revolution in Africa and beyond. She graduated in the field of Information Systems and Technology from United States International University. Through the Fellowship she aspires to gain more knowledge and skill sets, interact and connect with other leaders and build long lasting relations to attain her goal of building a world class Software Development Company in Africa.
Muluken Kebede, Ethiopia
Muluken is from Ethiopia. He is the founder and manager of Zana Landscape Design and Constructor Company, which aspires to create public spaces for community interaction, environmental awareness, and jobs for disadvantaged youth. His company Zana grew out of his involvement with street boys, youth mentoring, training and leadership programs, and consulting for local and international businesses. He plans to greatly expand his company in the future and provide training and jobs for the disadvantaged in the community. Upon completion of the Fellowship Muluken will have created contacts with the United States and gotten exposed to other business models and technologies that will enable him to expand Zana.
Ramatu Safiano Baba, Ghana
Ramatu is a native of Ghana. She is an IT Professional with a background in web/application development and marketing but currently she is working as a Business Intelligence (BI) Manager at Vodafone, where she is also the Team Leader overseeing the delivery of an Enterprise data warehouse (OBIEE). Ramatu is a certified project management professional and holds a master's degree in Business administration. During the Fellowship, Ramatu intends to boost her leadership skills and gain confidence so that she can become the executive of her own company in the future that will provide IT and Marketing Solutions to Small and Medium Enterprises.
Adulai Bary, Guinnea-Bissau
Adulai is from the country of Guinea-Bissau. He is a computer engineer and young entrepreneur. He is a graduate in Computer Science applied to Business Management and has over four years' experience in computer engineering and telecommunications with the Sonatel Group (Orange-Bissau). Adulai is the founder of the first FabLab in Guinea-Bissau as well as the co-founder of BigTechnologies Saul. Currently Adulai is the President of the Association of Young Club RFI Bissau. Upon completing the Fellowship Adulai intends to continue pursuing his challenging career and becoming an African leader in the IT sector.
Mark Wambui, Kenya
Mark is an Enterprising Filmmaker from Kenya. He is the Founder and Managing Director of Re-tuning Cinema in Africa as well as the Founder and Creative Director of Chromatic Pictures Africa. Mark is also a Lecturer at Africa Digital Media Institute. In the future he plans to expand Chromatic Pictures Africa so that it will be the main production house in east and central Africa. Further he wants to build the largest network of Secondary Schools that focus on film development in Africa and offer financial aid to African filmmakers. Through the Fellowship Mark hopes to make connections to other leaders with similar interests in order to fulfill his future plans.
Gakii (Ivy) Biriri , Kenya
Gakii is a native of Kenya. She is a social and business entrepreneur with a background in business management, management of non-profit organizations and public administration. She is the founder and executive director of AHI (An Honest Intention) and also the managing director of B & B (K) Ltd. Gakii is helping her community through AHI, by setting up businesses in schools within the slum to generate revenue to fund education projects. The Fellowship will equip her with the skills needed to meet her goals, broaden her perspective and provide vital networking opportunities. Further Gakii plans to continue creating sustainable strategies for solving human problems while upholding human dignity.
Joalane Mohobane, Lesotho
Joalane is from the country of Lesotho. She is the founder and Managing Director of Creative Properties, a Real Estate and Property Management Company based in Maseru. Joalane is highly passionate about housing, properties and maintenance management practices. Upon completion of the Fellowship, she intends to grow the Property Development sector in Lesotho and market her own company into a well-known and trustworthy brand. Further she would like to build a home for vulnerable women and children.
Lalta Neufville Wei, Liberia
Lalta is a trained professional secretary with practical experience in government. Not satisfied with the level of knowledge acquired, she decided to pursue another profession in financial management. She's a trained financial manager with 2 years of technical and practical training in the public and private sectors. In ten years she sees herself as an entrepreneurial woman with an eye for opportunities and intelligence to advance in commerce, with perseverance and above all, a person willing to take business risks. She also sees herself as an entrepreneur in large enterprise with all the necessary educational and professional qualifications, taking initiatives and managing the business as well as any man can do.
Kabir Olajide, Nigeria
Kabir is a young entrepreneur from Nigeria. He is a graduate student of Physiology, the owner of ERG limited and founder of the Awaiting Admission Soft Opportunity (AASO) project. His passion is finding solutions to social problems in the community. Kabir built his own water factory using AASO in order to tackle the problem of school drop-outs in his community. Kabir believes that the Fellowship will offer him networking opportunities, technology and leadership skills needed to expand his current factory and build new factories all around the country of Nigeria. His goal is to make AASO into a success and provide jobs for the youth of Nigeria.
Babacar Birane, Senegal
Babacar is from the country of Senegal. His entrepreneurial journey began as a CD retailer in military school. He then went on to University in Grenoble, France. After receiving his education, he worked for Schneider Electric and Airbus before returning to Senegal. There he co-founded and has managed Baobab Entrepreneurship for two years. He is also the co-founder and leader of CONCREE, a collaborative platform to help entrepreneurs start their own business. Upon completing the Fellowship, Babacar will return to Senegal where he plans to have a macro-entrepreneurship role in the future. He would like to advise countries and public organizations to design successful entrepreneurial systems in order to revolutionize the economy.
Raymond (Makgoana) Ledwaba, South Africa
Raymond is from South Africa. He is an accountant by profession and a filmmaker by heart. Currently he is working for Barclays as Vice President of Africa Finance (Change). He is responsible for coordinating and managing Barclays' change projects across the African continent. Raymond also co-founded Diski Nine9, a social enterprise that empowers youth through soccer. Raymond holds an MBA from the University of Cape Town (class of 2013/14) and was selected as one of 100 global students to participate in the 2015 MBA World Summit in Barcelona, Spain. In the future he hopes to be a social entrepreneur operating multiple businesses and producing films highlighting the positive aspects of Africa. Raymond plans to use the knowledge, network and partnerships he will gain from the Fellowship to organize and deliver a distinctly African MBA World Summit in 2018.
Emang Mochwanaesi, South Africa
Emang is an entrepreneur from South Africa. He has a background in social organizations, entrepreneurship, sales and marketing and has been working with mostly small and medium enterprises throughout his career. Currently he is a business development executive at Motla Consulting Engineers and founder of Reagola Industrial Developers (RID). He has been part of many forums and since 2008 has been actively involved with the Black Management Forum. Until recently, Emang was the CEO of a business chamber in his local town and currently holds leadership roles in various community initiatives. Upon completion of the Fellowship, Emang would like to return to South Africa eventually getting his master's degree in Business administration and owning an international investment liaison company.
Vans (Evans) Oduho, South Sudan
Vans is a Kenyan-born South Sudanese serial entrepreneur. He is currently employed in a consultancy and has had a role in implementing clean drinking water projects in his home state and capitol. He is the COO of Navitas Global and EDAM Investments. He is involved with consulting for a large-scale rural agricultural program with a faith-based organization. In the future he plans to establish an organization for young entrepreneurs, he believes that the youth is the key to the development of a country. The Fellowship will enable Vans to broaden his skills and forge connections with politicians in his own country as well as abroad.
Gwaliwa Mashaka, Tanzania
Gwaliwa is from Tanzania. She has a master's degree in Geographic Information System from the University of Aberdeen (UK) and a bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering and IT from the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania). Gwaliwa is the owner of Splendid Co. LTD, an IT and GIS company. She was the Overall winner in the National Business Plan Challenge in 2011 and a YALI entrepreneur in 2015. The Fellowship will provide Gwaliwa with a platform to reach her goals of improved entrepreneurship, leadership training, marketing, human resource management skills, financial management and networking with experienced IT and GIS companies. Her main aim is for her software to match the international standard and thus reach the international customer.
Carolyne Ekyarisiima, Tanzania
Carolyne is a social entrepreneur from Uganda but now living in Tanzania. She has a bachelor's degree in Computer Science as well as a master's degree in Information Systems from Kampala International University. Carolyne is the founder of Apps and Girls. Carolyne's goals include empowering girls to pursue IT careers, giving girls the opportunities to create tech solutions for community problems, and helping them become role-models and technology leaders. Her ultimate goal is to create a female tech entrepreneurship hub with mobile labs and a school for training. Carolyne hopes that the Fellowship will help her gain knowledge, contacts, support and credibility so that stakeholders will make her entrepreneurship hub possible.
Nang'Amba Chintu, Zambia
Nang'Amba is from the country of Zambia. She holds a diploma in journalism from Evelyn Hone College, Zambia and is an entrepreneur in media consultancy. She has been working in the Journalism industry for ten years and has held various positions including District news and Information Officer, Deputy Radio Editor, Communications Officer, Accounts Clerk and Community Volunteer. In the future she would like to be an Executive Director of a Radio and Television station which will serve the local community and provide news and discussions on developmental issues and human rights. Through the Fellowship, Nang'Amba hopes to gain new experiences and knowledge that will help her achieve her goals.
Tracey Sibanda, Zimbabwe
Tracey is from Zimbabwe. She finished Journalism school in 2003, and then took her first steps regarding developmental film productions at the Africa Women Filmmakers Trust. In 2005, she joined ZBC as a Radio News Sub-Editor. She also read Radio News and Television News in 2008. Last year she started her own company Tungidza Communications. She is also a part-time anchor for Zimbabwe's premier breakfast program, Good Morning Zimbabwe. In the future she plans to own a Continental Mass Media and Entertainment company. The Fellowship will equip her with concrete international management skills and provide a solid foundation in the latest concepts for managing traditional and embryonic media platforms and thus prepare her to rise to the challenge of building her own international company.
Josephine Sellie , Liberia
Josephine is a social entrepreneur from Liberia. She is the director of the Liberia Institute of Hospitality and Customer Services Management (LIHCUSEM), which prepares students for entry-level positions in restaurants, resorts, and related organizations as a way of bridging the huge unemployment gap among young people. A trained media and communications strategist, she combines her media background with her current work, allowing her to deliver effective training to hospitality and marketing professionals in order to enable them to find employment. Upon her return from the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she hopes to expand LIHCUSEM and train more individuals to become skilled professionals.
Maï (Maïmouna) Diakhaby, Guinea
Maï is from Guinea. She has been working in the communication and PR sector for Mining companies and international companies based in Guinea. Maï is a graduate of Université de Montréal and currently studies Public Relations at the London Chartered Institute of Public Relations. Maï owns a communications and public relations agency named Agenda, where she oversees campaigns for many local companies and government bodies. She is also the President of Entre-Prendre Ensemble, a local NGO that focuses on the integration of women and youth in the democratic process and development of Guinea. Upon completion of the fellowship, Maï intends to return to Ghana and illustrate women's empowerment through her work in the male-dominated field of mining. She also plans to support art and artists which are often viewed negatively in her country.