Mandela Washington Fellowship at Purdue University Young African Leaders Initiative

Fellows

Abrahame Endrias

Abrhame Butta

Ethiopia

Abrhame Butta has more than nine years of experience working in academics and entrepreneurship. He focuses on agripreneurship, rural innovation, and smallholder livelihoods. Currently, Abrhame owns and manages his own company, Green Agro Mechanization, which offers services including mechanization, crop chemical and pesticide supplies, a farm credit service, and financial-literacy training. It aims to provide a one-stop farming solution and introduce a farm credit service in which poor farmers pay 40% in cash, with 60% paid without interest after the harvest. Abrhame received an MBA from Addis Ababa University and engaged in various consultancy, community, and entrepreneurship programs. Upon his return from the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he will expand on the farm service center project, with a focus on harmonizing all company services and reaching out to more young and women smallholders.


Boipelo Precious Laetsang

Boipelo Laetsang

Botswana

Boipelo Laetsang is a young poultry farmer based in Kanye, the southern district of Botswana. She is the secretary general of Menoms Poultry Association whose mandate is to produce, process, sell chicken meat, and protect poultry farmers. Boipelo holds a degree in Computer Science: Software Engineering, and has undertaken a number of professional courses including IT service management, enterprise risk management, poultry production, as well as entrepreneurship. Having worked as a system analyst for seven years, she has an appreciation of business processes and the role IT can play in the enhancement of these processes. Boipelo embarked on her poultry farming journey years back, and her interest and driving motivation is to merge agriculture and technology, and to derive maximum efficiency from agricultural processes through the use of IT. Upon returning home, she will educate and motivate other farmers on the use of technology in their farming activities.


Bongekile Z. Radebe

Bongekile (Bongi) Radebe

South Africa

Bongekile Radebe has over five years of experience occupying spaces within youth leadership development and using social entrepreneurship to further advance young women's economic empowerment and progression. Currently, Bongekile is the founder of Taste of Legends (previously known as Her Destiny), an African tea lifestyle and business network brand that focuses on tribute teas, wellness, and boutique tea events. She is often invited as a guest speaker, panelist and panel facilitator on a number of youth and media platforms. Bongekile holds a Finance and Investments degree from the University of Johannesburg. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she plans to further build her knowledge and work around tea agriculture, and use that to strengthen the use of tea as a driver for women’s inclusive economic progression across the continent.


Charity Isa Gwandzang

Charity Isa

Nigeria

Charity Isa Gwandzang has over three years of experience in various fields in the agricultural sector, including poultry, livestock production, fisheries, vegetables, and crop farming. She is the founder of Nkwandi International Ltd, where she focuses on youth empowerment through agribusiness. She also volunteers in her local community to train and employ youths in agribusiness.   Charity is also a lecturer and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. She is currently a master's student in Economics with a thesis on the impact of government expenditure on agricultural production in Nigeria. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Charity plans to continue her work on youth empowerment through agribusiness by creating jobs for the youths, enabling them to become self-reliant entrepreneurs in order to reduce poverty and unemployment levels in Nigeria.

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Charlene Mathonsi

Charlene Mathonsi

Zimbabwe

Charlene Mathonsi has over seven years’ experience in agriculture. She currently manages beef and crop production on a farm in Kadoma. Charlene is passionate about community-based transformation and ensuring food security in rural areas in Zimbabwe using sustainable agricultural practices. She helped developed and currently manages a flower seed production project as a cash crop in Chemagora and Nkayi rural areas. Since the project began in 2011 the extra income has seen an improvement in the livelihoods of the growers in the community and given the community economic dignity. This project will see great expansion due to the knowledge and expertise gained during the Mandela Washington Fellowship.

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Collins Nyamadzawo

Collins Nyamadzawo

Zimbabwe

Collins Nyamadzawo is a sustainable development professional with three years’ experience in the fields of energy, waste management, and education. He loves to read and debate and holds an undergraduate degree in Fuels and Energy Engineering from Chinhoyi University. Collins is the co-founder of CG Waste Management, and serves as the company’s operations manager in charge of innovation, product development, and operations. He also serves as an energy consultant at Energy and Information Logistics, specializing in energy efficiency and designing energy management programs. Collins is the incoming president of the Rotaract Club of Avondale and is involved in grassroots volunteer work, which focuses on education and leadership training, and in the process encourages strong socialist attributes. Upon his return from the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he intends to scale up the waste-management enterprise as well as make strides in the field of energy management and green buildings.


Daliso Chitundu

Daliso (DC) Chitundu

Zambia

Daliso Chitundu has more than four years’ experience in media, and is currently the founder of AgriComm Media. This Zambian agriculture communications company is dedicated to growing local farmers and agricultural value chains through strategic, engaging, and high-impact communications. Daliso sees an Africa that feeds itself and becomes the main food producer of the world by 2040. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Daliso plans to continue his work in growing the agriculture sector by supporting businesses, NGOs, government, and local farmers, with a focus on improved extension service delivery using media and information and communication technology.


Djeneba Ouane

Djeneba Ouane

Mali

Djeneba Ouane has taught Computer Science in private Universities of Bamako since 2010. She is convinced that the key to the success for young Africans is through capacity building followed by concrete action.    Djeneba holds a master’s degree in Management of Information Systems from the University of Fez, Morocco, where she learned best practices in information system management for companies. Nowadays she’s database administrator at OCHA Mali. She’s member of several associations that offer development opportunities for young people by giving them the ability to create positive change. She has participated in national information caravans, in the awareness of and mobilization for peace, and in activities aimed towards national reconciliation in Mali. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Djeneba plans to continue her work in youth capacity building and to establish an NGO assisting people in need in Mali, particularly those affected by food insecurity and malnutrition.

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Gambah Labopou Kpante

Gambah (Nathalie) Kpante

Togo

Gambah Labopou Kpante has over eight years of experience in various fields of food processing and the social development sector. Labopou co-founded Chocotogo, a handmade-chocolate cooperative, which is the first beans-to-the-bar cocoa-processing company in Togo. In this role she focuses on directing the production, doing new experiences and working on administrative issues. She also founded a group for teen girls and participates in the training of women and girls on cocoa farms. Labopou holds a Bachelor of Arts in Project Management and is preparing for another in Sociology. In her studies she focused on planning, writing up, and managing projects, as well as the contracting process in both government and public enterprises. After the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Labopou plans to continue her work in agribusiness and extend it to other fields.


Garfield A. Konneh

Garfield Konneh

Liberia

Garfield Konneh has over five years of experience in business operations and management, specifically sales and administration. Currently, Garfield is an auditor at Parker & Co LLC, a certified public accounting and business advisory firm, where he focuses on performing auditing and accounting services for several organizations. Garfield also consults with many small-business owners on how to manage their businesses by providing them with basic skills such as planning, cost monitoring, sales, and financial analysis techniques. Garfield served a three-month internship under the sponsorship of the USAID Food and Enterprise Development program and he is a candidate for a master’s degree in Finance at the Cuttington Graduate School in Liberia, with a focus on financial analysis and risk assessment methods and their impacts on investment. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Garfield plans to launch his business in the agribusiness sector with a focus on value additions.

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Jonas Kwedibana

Jonas (Jay-Jay) Kwedibana

Botswana

Jonas Kwedibana has over three years of hands-on experience in agribusiness as a pig farmer. He has a passion for agriculture and agribusiness promotion. Currently, Jonas works as a lecturer in an emerging private agricultural vocational school called Entrepreneurial Agriculture Techniques (EAT), which aims to impart practical and entrepreneurship skills on students so that they are able to venture into business.   Jonas holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from the University of Botswana and a postgraduate certificate in Vocational Education and Training. He is accredited by the Botswana Qualifications Authority as a trainer. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington fellowship, Jonas plans to establish an agribusiness consultancy company in Botswana. He hopes to offer business advice and planning, and the monitoring and mentoring of agribusinesses, particularly youth-owned businesses, in order to support farmers in sustainable and profitable farming operations.

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Joshua Ngalande

Joshua Ngalande

Malawi

Joshua Ngalande is an inventor, CEO and founder of the Nsima Cooker. Nsima is the staple cornmeal product widely consumed in Malawi, and across Africa, traditionally prepared over an open fire. He invented the automated Nsima Cooker in 2010, and now has a registered business, which is in the process of commercializing his technology. He is confident that in 10 years, his Nsima Cooker company will have spread to all African countries. The company will also diversify into research and development of other sustainable technologies that solve Africa’s challenges. Joshua holds a master’s degree in Renewable Energy and Innovation obtained at Murdoch University, Australia. In his free time he volunteers teaching electronics and computer programing to underprivileged youth. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Joshua plans to continue working on his Nsima Cooker project’s commercialization phase.


Jules Malonga Bibila

Jules Malonga Bibila

Republic of the Congo

Jules Malonga is an industrial engineer working in the oil and gas industry. Three years ago he decided to play a role in the decrease of local food prices and became involved in farming. He bought a piece of land 25km from Pointe-Noire, where he started cultivating mango, pineapples, and oranges. Jules also works for a project aiming at reusing empty bottles of beer to build small houses. Upon completion of the Fellowship, Jules plans to develop his activities by cultivating more crops and creating a distribution network. In five years’ time, Jules wants to create a transformation plant.

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Laud Anthony Basing

Laud Anthony Basing

Ghana

Laud Anthony Basing has more than seven years' experience in laboratory testing, where he combines strong analytical skills with practical knowledge. He is managing director of Incas Diagnostic Services Ltd, a company which provides high-quality routine and specialized medical and industrial laboratory services in healthcare and agricultural environments.   He volunteers for the Upper West Akim District in building capacity for laboratory workers and organizes mentorship programs for several youth groups in Kumasi. He is the American Society for Microbiology’s Young Ambassador to Ghana, an executive member of GABMLS, a board member of Guzakuza, a firm that seeks to grow women agripreneurs, the president of YALN-Ghana, and a member of the Alliance for Young Entrepreneurs-Ghana. His dream is to expand his company into a biotech company with specialized areas of research and diagnostics in food safety, while impacting the lives of young people through an expanded mentorship program.


Marigold A. Adu

Marigold Adu

Ghana

Marigold Abiss Adu’s entrepreneurial life started at the age of seven. She noticed an opportunity at her grandparents’ shop and started selling refreshments to the mechanics who purchased from there. In secondary school she collaborated with her peers to creatively sell at school funfairs. While at university, she joined her mother in starting Global Bamboo Products Ltd (GBPL), a bamboo-cultivation and processing business.   After her bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Marigold moved into corporate life to gain experience outside of GBPL. Marigold remains a principal of the business and is active as executive director responsible for business development and operations. She is interested in business development and marketing. Marigold plans to use the Mandela Washington Fellowship experience to transform the company into a market leader in West Africa. She aims to enter the next phase of product development by offering bamboo as an alternative material in agriculture, construction, and textiles.

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Muhibbat Abdullahi

Muhibbat Abdullahi

Nigeria

Muhibbat Abdullahi has over five years of experience as an entrepreneur and poultry farmer. She is the founder and CEO of Muhibbaty Global Enterprises, an agribusiness company, where she oversees, monitors and coordinates operations and day-to-day activities.  Muhibbat holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Nigeria and an entrepreneurship certificate from Enterprise Development Center, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, Nigeria. She is a recipient of many awards, including the YouWIN Grant from the Federal Government of Nigeria. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she intends to use her newly acquired knowledge, experience, skills and links to expand her agribusiness. She aims to create more jobs, to train and empower rural women in specific skills, to encourage access to education for the girl child, and to mentor the younger generation of women in North East Nigeria.

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Sanusi Idowu Dauda

Sanusi Idowu Dauda

Nigeria

Idowu Sanusi has successfully carved a niche for himself within ten years of his related work experience at managerial levels in portfolio management, banking, consulting, and the agribusiness sector with emphasis on agro-allied processing. A graduate of Accountancy and Finance from Yaba College of Technology, Idowu is an associate member of ICAN and ACCA, London. As the senior executive assistant to the chairman and financial analyst leading the background integration of Dansa Holdings Ltd in agribusiness development, he focuses on project-to-market development of agricultural value chains in pineapples and tomatoes, and biomass energy development. After the capacity building and mentoring of over 100 entrepreneurs, he was certified as a trainer in small and medium enterprise capacity building (ToolKit) by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), through the Entrepreneurship Development Center at Lagos Business School. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Sanusi plans to continue his work with his employer focusing on agribusiness development and supporting his own product launch with other entrepreneurs.

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Simon Titus Malugu

Simon (Simon Tito) Malugu

Tanzania

As the board chairman of Simon Tito Foods Co Ltd, Simon Titus Malugu is a diligent entrepreneur and committed professional economist. Since 2013, Simon has worked on innovations involving inverting an electric bird incubator, with the result that a technical prototype, the STRU 14 model, has now been patented. He received an Innovation in Gender Equality award, facilitated by USAID, Land O' lakes International Development, and the Coalition for Advancement of Women in Agriculture Tanzania. He participated in a technical showcase at the United Nations office in Nairobi, and was also invited to represent United Nation Women’s multi-country office in South Africa during the South African Renewable Energy Conference (SAIREC). Simon holds a first degree in Economics. He worked as a full-time intern at the President’s Office Planning Commission, as well as in the Prime Minister’s office, and the regional commissioner in the United Republic of Tanzania.


Soukeyna Cissé Diop

Soukeyna Cissé (Keyna) Diop

Senegal

Soukeyna Diop is a young Senegalese woman who was born and raised in Dakar. After receiving her Bachelor of International Management, she traveled to the UK to continue her studies in Business Administration, convinced that she would come back to her home country to contribute to its development. That’s how she started working, after her return to Senegal, for a new regional e-commerce office of a multinational company in Senegal for a few years. She then left to set up her own business.  At 26, Soukeyna is now the founder of Quali’Volaille, a brand that supplies quality poultry at an affordable cost to her community. Soukeyna wants to participate in the achievement of food self-sufficiency in Senegal and in Africa, and to promote poultry farming amongst the youth, using her example.

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Stanford Chabaya

Stanford (Stan) Chabaya

Zimbabwe

Stanford Chabaya is a finance professional with nine years' experience at Deloitte Harare, Zimbabwe, providing advisory, assurance, and consulting services to clients and coaching trainees. He is currently responsible for financial management for telecommunications at the Dandemutande Group. Stanford was involved in successfully launching the uMAX Wi-Fi network in Harare, where he established and implemented the financial processes and internal controls to efficiently run the network. He is a director at African Dance and Wellness, a company preserving African culture through teaching dance, the performing arts, and dance fitness-training. Stanford sits on the board of the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe, which supports and invests in the creative sector, focusing on arts, culture, and heritage. He provides leadership to the Magis Networks, which focuses on youth development, mobilizing funds for programs, and planning and implementing activities. After the Fellowship, Stanford plans to apply the acquired skills to leading organizations and communities.

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Taita Ngetich

Taita Ngetich

Kenya

Taita Ngetich has over four years of experience in various fields of entrepreneurship, and innovation in particular. Currently, Taita is the co-founder of Illuminum Greenhouses Kenya, an award-winning startup that is enabling the 'Internet of things' to reach the pyramid base of farmers. He also the loves culinary arts and spends most of his free time training youths in entrepreneurship and business development in his home area Kericho.  Taita holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Nairobi in Mechanical Engineering, where he focused on the automation of processes while ensuring sustainability and reliability. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Taita plans to continue his work in innovation and entrepreneurship by providing more modern solutions to the agricultural sector in Kenya.

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Tangun Stephen

Stephen Tangun

South Sudan

Stephen Tangun has more than five years’ professional work experience in the nonprofit sector. Currently managing his own farm, deliberately named ‘Agro-Dollar Systems’, Stephen rears goats and grows crops and vegetables for the local market. He demonstrates to local farmers how farming can be run as a business. He founded an organization supporting and training farmers to supply produce for markets. He also co-founded a local secondary school in Yambio, where he teaches secondary school students on a part-time, voluntarily basis. Stephen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Kampala International University and is currently pursuing his master’s in Organizational Leadership and Management from Uganda Christian University. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Stephen plans to expand his farm to produce sufficient food products for wider markets and to develop it into a nationally recognized demonstration and learning entity.

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Vwanganji Amatende-Bowa

Vwanganji Amatende-Bowa

Zambia

Vwanganji is a Zambian social entrepreneur and business enthusiast with over 10 years’ experience in banking and finance, agriculture, and manufacturing. She is the current CEO and founder of Mighty Finance Solution, a social enterprise that seeks to transform communities one idea at a time through the provision of accessible and affordable financial solutions. She is the ‘ideator’ of a team that is establishing a community of smart and specialized entrepreneurs that connects and coaches innovators, entrepreneurs, and small and medium enterprises to grow and transform Zambia.   Upon her return from the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Vwanganji will be launching a micro-finance institute to accelerate the provision of affordable and easily accessible financing to individuals, innovative entrepreneurs, and startups, with a primary focus on women-owned small and medium enterprises. Vwanganji holds a Development Studies degree from the University of Zambia and is currently pursuing her MBA in Strategic Planning.

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Peter Oladipupo

Wasiu (Peter) Oladipupo

Nigeria

Peter Oladipupo is a first-class graduate of Chemical Engineering from the University of Lagos. He is the lead-founder of STEM-Ed, a social enterprise established to develop students’ abilities to solve local and global problems through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The organization is in the initial phase of establishing STEM hubs in four schools in Lagos State, and another one out of schools.   Peter has spent the past two years developing resources that can be used in classrooms to improve students’ learning experiences. In 2015, he worked with the Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative’s education team in Nigeria to develop fun and easy-to-learn content for 10 mathematics topics at the senior secondary-school level. Once he returns from the Fellowship, Peter will continue working to establish STEM hubs where students will be able to create workable and economic solutions to pressing current problems, including climate change.

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Wilfrid Marx Abidji

Wilfrid (Marx) Abidji

Benin

Wilfrid Marx Abidji is an agricultural professional with six years of experience in business and entrepreneurship, particularly in agrofood and input market development. Currently, Wilfrid is the startups’ market specialist with an incubator called SENS Benin in Dassa, where he advises, trains, and connects entrepreneurs to market opportunities. As an alumnus of the International Association of Students in Agriculture and Related Sciences (IAAS), he mentors local committees through English clubs and entrepreneurship awareness raising. He created and manages the Facebook group IAAS Alumni of Benin.   Wilfrid graduated in Agricultural Economics and holds a BA in English, both from the University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin. Once home after the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he will continue supporting startup entrepreneurs and sales agents in market-development skills and market strategies with SENS Benin.

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Bios of 2017 cohort will be available in June! 

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