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Meet the 2019 Fellows

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Eklou Amemassovor

Eklou Amemassovor

Togo

Eklou Amemassovor has over seven years of experience in fab labs management and computer science. He is the co-founder and fab manager of Minodoo, which trains young people on computer science skills and the development of digital solutions for rural people. To equip hospitals and to improve healthcare in his country, Eklou has created a health tech company named Ocurelab in 2018. This company develops digital solutions to better address healthcare issues. Moreover, Eklou also serves as a consultant for many organizations.

Nyasha Thelma Bandason

Nyasha Thelma Bandason

Zimbabwe

Nyasha Thelma Bandason has over ten years’ experience in the pharmaceutical sector. Currently, Nyasha is a Consultant at Health Data Hub, focusing on strategic market consultancy, health economics, and health information technology in Zimbabwe. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from Rhodes University and a master’s degree in Public Health, specializing in Health Economics from the University of Cape Town. She has served on key committees in the pharmaceutical sector and is committed to addressing gaps in research in the health and pharmaceutical sector. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Nyasha plans to improve access to information on market activity, drug pricing, and drug utilization. Furthermore, she plans to develop information technology solutions in the health sector.

Ngah Tse Ngah Benoit

Ngah Tse Ngah Benoit

Cameroon

Ngah Tse Ngah Benoit is a software engineer and entrepreneur with over six years' experience in the field of Information and Communication Technology. He is the founder and chief executive officer of CleBea Group Inc., A holding company with subsidiary companies that cut across software, media, electronic commerce and animation. His companies create opportunities for employment and capacity development for young people in information technology. Ngah holds a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Engineering from the University of Buea, Cameroon. He volunteers in training startups on how to start businesses with little or no capital. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he hopes to have gained enough skills, experiences, ideas, and strategies which will help him improve the way his companies deliver solutions and tackle social issues using technology and innovation.

Claudin├ęcia Leomildina Gomes Cabral

Claudin├ęcia Leomildina Gomes Cabral

Guinea-Bissau

Claudinécia Leomildina Gomes Cabral has more than eight years of experience as the head of the purchasing department for a telecommunication company. She is a social entrepreneur, co-founder, and program and resources manager at InnovaLab, the first Bissau-Guinean startup incubator. Innovalab aims to foster the entrepreneurial ecosystem development and create social impact by supporting venture creation and entrepreneurship. Claudinécia is passionate about sports, and advocates for causes such as fairness, equality, and transparency. Claudinecia a degree in Management and Finance, and dreams of being the first female president of the Guinea-Bissau..

Kitso Dube

Kitso Dube

Zimbabwe

Kitso Dube has three years of experience in microfinance supporting agricultural lending in rural communities. She currently serves as a loan officer at FBC Holdings, overseeing the management of a branch, and helping marginalized communities in Zimbabwe access financial services. Kitso holds a degree in Management from the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe and received a certification in Microfinance from the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in Germany. She is committed to learning more about how to help build sustainable companies that meet the needs of all its customers. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Kitso will continue to help develop Zimbabwe’s financial sector and expand her work to support small businesses.

Dieu Merci Ezbora

Dieu Merci Ezbora

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Dieu Merci Ezbora is the owner of Losako Shop, one of the most used electronic commerce platforms in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He has over six years’ experience in the development of web solutions and digital footprint for important firms in the private and public sector, including faith-based organizations and local civil society organizations. His work has also contributed to major political digital campaigns during the 2018 DRC elections. Dieu Merci is also highly involved in his community as SRC president and a volunteer with local youth movement for which, upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he plans to develop a business model to promote youth employment and directly impact youth skill development in ICT.

Neftalem Fikre Hailemeskel

Neftalem Fikre Hailemeskel

Ethiopia

Neftalem Fikre Hailemeskel has over six years’ work experience in renewable energy, non-governmental organizations, and the technology industry in Ethiopia. As a founder of his marketing firm in Ethiopia called NSDM Digital, for the past two years, Neftalem has been overseeing the day to day activities of his team who work on expanding the companies’ brand value to the set consumers via several digital platforms. Neftalem has a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from United States International University, a master’s degree from Aalborg University in Denmark with a focus on migration studies and is a certified Digital Marketing Consultant accredited by Dot Native, a digital marketing platform. He is driven by how innovation and free enterprise, coupled with public and private partnership investments, can be a tool for solving so many of the world’s problems. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Neftalem plans to continue working on addressing youth unemployment, climate change, and food security by focusing on systems that merge public-private partnerships with innovative solutions.

Esalako Hillary

Esalako Hillary

Kenya

Esalako Hillary has over three years of experience as a youth transformation leader. Currently, Esalako is a lead digital skills trainer for the Western Kenya region, a trainer for Vihiga/Nandi community at Emobilis Mobile Technology Institute, and a trainer for the Google Digital Skills Program, focusing specifically on introductory level digital skills. Esalako focuses on guiding trainees through the implementation of digital skills knowledge and organizing meetups for trainees to share experience and collect program success stories. Esalako is the founder and CEO of StarBornLab, a technology hub, and early-stage business incubation center in Vihiga County working to support the growth of technology learning and small businesses for Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) trainees. Esalako holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Kenyatta University. Esalako is driven by commitment and passion for helping create opportunities for the underprivileged youth in rural settings and hopes to see a sustainable and transformed rural youth in our society. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Esalako plans to continue his youth transformation work with a focus in mobilizing opportunities for the youth in TVET Centers in Rural Kenya.

Tresford Himanansa

Tresford Himanansa

Zambia

Tresford Himanansa holds a degree in Computer Studies from Evelyn Hone College and has over nine years of experience in the technology sector, specifically in systems development. Currently, Tresford is the CEO of XYPNET, a company and school management system he founded that allows schools to automate their operations and have an e-library, even with limited resources. He has headed successful projects like the Times-Epaper, enabling Zambians in the diaspora to buy the Times of Zambia newspaper online, and Cadipay, a payment system to allow buyers to pay online using mobile money. Tresford is driven by his long-term dream of providing a platform where people can use technology to solve Africa's biggest problems. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Tresford plans to turn the school management system's e-library into a platform that will offer free and cheap educational materials to students in remote areas.

Alain Irankunda

Alain Irankunda

Burundi

Alain Irankunda has over three years of experience teaching English and Sign Language. Currently, Alain is the country coordinator of Twesetwige, a company that focuses on activity planning, and teacher recruitment. Once a week he works as a volunteer English teacher at the Gasorwe Refugee Camp in Muyinga Province. He holds a degree in Medical Laboratory, as well as certificates in Digital Marketing from Google and English as a Foreign Language from TESOL. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Alain hopes to open English and Sign Language centers across Burundi. He hopes that these centers will provide additional job opportunities for unemployed youth, while also accommodating students that are unable to study at the center through a digital e-learning platform.

Patton Kalunga

Patton Kalunga

Zambia

Patton Kalunga has over three years of experience in the finance industry. Currently, Patton is the managing director and co-founder of a micro lending company and is also working on insurance products to support the unbanked population. Patton has a degree in Economics from the University of Cavendish, Zambia. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Patton plans to continue to work on launching a finance company that offers credit, insurance, saving, and investment products.

Kudzai Kutukwa

Kudzai Kutukwa

Zimbabwe

Kudzai Kutukwa is the co-founder and CEO of Mobbisurance, a startup that develops mobile-based crop insurance products and other financial services for smallholder farmers. He also co-founded the Emerging Farmers Exchange, a marketplace that links large buyers of agricultural produce with smallholder farmers who are currently excluded from the value chain. Kudzai utilizes satellite imagery to conduct market analysis and help reduce costs for farmers. In 2017, Kudzai was recognized by Fast Company magazine as one of South Africa's top twenty young entrepreneurs under 30. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Kudzai will continue to help poor and underserved members of his community by bridging the digital divide and increasing their access to critical financial services.

Jodelle Mayoda

Jodelle Mayoda

Cameroon

Jodelle Mayoda is a creative entrepreneur, philanthropist, content creator, and public relations professional with over eight years of experience in communication and media. She is the founder of Weeklista, a platform dedicated to empowering young African women with financial literacy and business knowledge. Weeklista also encourages collaboration and partnership among women through mentoring and experience sharing. Jodelle is driven by the belief that education is a powerful tool to change people’s lives, especially women. The young entrepreneur holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from the Advanced School of Mass Communication in Yaoundé, Cameroon. She is currently completing an International Executive Master of Business Administration at St Jérôme Catholic University. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Jodelle plans to continue working to empower women to reach their full potential and contribute to the development of Cameroon and Africa as a whole.

Temwani Mkandawire

Temwani Mkandawire

Malawi

Temwani Mkandawire holds a bachelor's degree in Information Technology from the University of Malawi and has over seven years of experience in various fields of ICT. Temwa is currently the co-founder and director at Techbello ICT Solutions, where he focuses on creating access to professional ICT services and resources for the local community through setting up one-stop ICT centers. Temwa oversees Techbello's social commitment to reduce unemployment among the youth in the community through its internship program. He also regularly writes personal development literature targeting young people, sharing it on his blog and social media platforms. Temwa is motivated by the desire to spur higher economic productivity among the youth in his country through employment, which he believes can be achieved through what he calls the "Eninped" approach (entrepreneurship, internship, and personal development). Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Temwa plans to utilize his new skills and network to grow Techbello and its social programs to promote youth empowerment through employment, including a campaign to encourage the adoption of his Eninped approach in his country and other countries in Africa.

Charifatou Moussa Gambo

Charifatou Moussa Gambo

Niger

Charifatou Moussa Gambo is the CEO of Communication Advanced and Technology (CA Tech), a company in the new technology field. Charifatou has a background in computer science and networks; she is the recurring laureate of the National Mathematical and Logic Games Competition. As a budding entrepreneur, she is also the winner of several entrepreneurial competitions. She is well known for her courage and determination in business and leadership. Sensitive to the problems of young people and women, she founded the Organization for the Promotion of Excellence (OPE) to promote work positivity while fighting unemployment in Niger. Through OPE she organized several youth capacity-building activities including trainings in computer science, web, and social media, leadership, and entrepreneurship. Charifatou is also an event promoter for SJEX, a youth forum for excellence with a national ''Miss Intellect Niger'' competition. "Miss Intellect Niger" includes subcategories of Miss Mathematics, Miss Literature, Miss ICT and Miss Entrepreneurship. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Charifatou will bring her strengthened leadership and entrepreneurial skills back to Niger. She will share her skills with colleagues at CA Tech and OPE so that young Nigeriens can use their full potential and enter the workforce. Her slogan is “because we believe that everyone has a talent, a dream, and a hope."

Morine Wairimu Mwangi

Morine Wairimu Mwangi

Kenya

Morine Wairimu Mwangi is a creative artist and writer on a mission to raise a generation of self-reliant individuals through mentorship, education, skills training. She is the founder and CEO of Literature Africa Foundation, a non-governmental organization that focuses on bridging the gap between education and economic empowerment among youth. She has over four years of experience in promoting access to inclusive and high-quality education programs. Wairimu has authored six educational books, five of which have been approved for use in schools across East Africa. She is also the Africa director for Kahini, a global writing program that provides a platform to create and revise new literary work. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Wairimu plans to continue developing her ed-tech project aimed at informing high school students about careers that embrace skills development for economic empowerment.

Mandisa Ngcobo

Mandisa Ngcobo

South Africa

Mandisa Ngcobo has over 13 years of professional experience in various fields in forensics, risk advisory, management consulting, and strategy consulting. Currently, Mandisa is completing her Master of Business Administration at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). She also volunteers in youth-based sports projects and HIV/AIDS outreach programs. Mandisa holds a bachelor's degree in Commerce and Finance from the Bond University in Australia and a post-graduate diploma from GIBS in South Africa. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Mandisa plans to continue her work in investment management, strategy consulting, HIV/AIDS programs, and sports-based youth projects.

Tokiso Nthebe

Tokiso Nthebe

Lesotho

Tokiso Nthebe holds a master's degree from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, where he focused research on the perceptions of retirement adequacy in Lesotho. Currently, Tokiso is pursuing a postgraduate diploma in Financial Planning Law. He has five years of working experience in banking and asset management and is the managing director of TKO Consultancy, an organization that focuses on driving financial literacy, coaching, and financial wellness. Tokiso also works as a sales manager at Vodacom Lesotho and is a member of the Lesotho Financial Education Steering Committee. Previously, Tokiso worked for STANLIB Lesotho and has published an academic article with the Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Tokiso aims to collaborate with financial service providers in Lesotho to increase the number of financially educated people.

Rasha Obaid

Rasha Obaid

Sudan

Rasha Obaid holds a degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Southampton and has a passion for electronic engineering. Rasha has been actively working in the field ever since she graduated from university, including in the areas of electronic payments, e-learning, telecommunication, and software. Rasha is also one of the founders of MEDICORP Co., which was established in 2014 to provide equipment, consumables, pharmaceuticals, and engineering services to the medical sector. Rasha is a certified business professional in project management and strategic planning, and a certified UNICEF-trained facilitator, allowing her to actively give back to the local community by sharing her knowledge through training sessions.

Chukwuwezam Riomachi Obanor

Chukwuwezam Riomachi Obanor

Nigeria

Chukwuwezam Riomachi Obanor is the co-founder and CEO of Prepclass, an Edtech organization that connects learners to professional tutors. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Lagos. Since its launch, Prepclass has created over 4,000 tutoring jobs, helped underpaid teachers earn more than 60% of their salary, and assisted students in achieving their learning goals. Prepclass received recognition for innovation and excellence from multiple professional organizations, and Forbes Africa listed Chukwuwezam as one of the most promising entrepreneurs in Africa. Outside of Prepclass, Chukwuwezam invests his time and resources in media, agriculture and infrastructure companies. He is a firm believer in the development of human capital through education and mentorship. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Chukwuwezam plans to launch a fund for training and supporting teachers to further bolster Nigeria's education system.

Olugbenga Ogunbowale

Olugbenga Ogunbowale

Nigeria

Olugbenga Ogunbowale holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Obafemi Awolowo University and is a social entrepreneur and alumnus of the Enterprise Development Centre. Inspired by the plight of millions of unemployed youth, Olugbenga founded Epower.ng, a digital agency passionately growing businesses and accelerating the application of digital skills for economic prosperity across Africa. Olugbenga is a fellow of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, and the founder of Africa’s biggest orphanage outreach volunteer coalition, The Orphan Empowerment Society (formerly December to Remember). Olugbenga is also a co-founder of the communication and leadership organization, Pacesetter´s Leadership Club. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Olugbenga plans to continue his work on deploying digital skills for economic prosperity and connecting citizens with decision makers to foster Africa’s development.

Melvin Pather

Melvin Pather

South Africa

Melvin Pather is a technology entrepreneur as well as an educator at the University of Cape Town. He has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from the Durban University of Technology and received further education in Graphic Design, Animation, Arts Administration, and Project Management. He has also completed programming for the Internet of Things Development. He is currently completing a postgraduate degree in Higher Education Studies. Melvin has co-founded multiple startups including Pather Technologies and The Virtual Galleries. He is also a co-owner of Hope Smiles Dental, a practice and dental brand that promotes painless and affordable dentistry. He is active in the entrepreneurial space, focusing on sustainable and innovative technologies to attempt to solve the major issues within South Africa and the greater African continent. Melvin’s current projects involve developing smart water devices to assist with the recent water shortages in Cape Town, using virtual reality as a method of archiving museum displays and art galleries for educational purposes, as well as using augmented reality and indoor navigation to enhance the retail sector experience.

Thato Edwin Rammoko

Thato Edwin Rammoko

Lesotho

Rankhasa Thato Edwin Rammoko (Thato) holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the National University of Lesotho and has three years of experience in the IT sector, specifically in software development. Thato currently offers digital training workshops to small business owners to help them manage and grow their businesses. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Technify, an IT company that offers IT and digital media services, training, and software development. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Thato plans to empower youth by equipping them with digital skills that will enable them to access online learning, career, and business opportunities.

Amadou Abdoulaye Mare Sylla

Amadou Abdoulaye Mare Sylla

Senegal

Amadou Abdoulaye Mare Sylla has over five years of experience in small and medium enterprise project management. Currently, he is a consultant for multiple non-governmental organizations, and a co-founder of Cotizel, a web platform for billing and claims recovery. At Cotizel, Abdoulaye oversees business development and partnership management. He is a permanent volunteer at LISCA Senegal, a member of Sunucause, CouvPourTous, Africtiviste, and the co-founder of Solvers Education Funds. Abdoulaye holds a bachelor's degree in Accounting and Management from Dakar University and a master's degree in Project Management from Centre Africain d'Etude Supérieur en Gestion. He is committed to solving problems related to African small business financial inclusion and believes that these companies must be connected to the international financial system to grow and be sustainable. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Abdoulaye plans to expand Cotizel across the continent, and connect all the local based organizations to their clients/donators all over the world.

Sbukeli Zuma

Sbukeli Zuma

South Africa

Sbukeli Zuma holds a Post-Grad Diploma in Financial Planning from Milpark Business School and has over seven years of experience in the financial industry. He worked as an auditor for four years before founding his own company, Personal and Business Wealth Solutions. Sbukeli established his company to help salaried individuals, households, and companies in South Africa tackle challenges through financial literacy training, financial planning, debt management, and investing services. An entrepreneur at heart, Sbukeli has been involved in numerous business initiatives outside of finance and serves as operations officer for Umvithi Youth Development, an organization that develops youth through sports, arts, education, beauty, and fashion. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Sbukeli plans to continue his work as a financial planner, focusing on financial literacy training, financial planning, and investments, to advocate for economic freedom amongst all Africans. .

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