Mandela Washington Fellowship at Purdue University Young African Leaders Initiative

2017 Mandela Washington Fellows


Atinuke Bodunde Lebile (Nigeria)

Atinuke Lebile, a young female farmer, has over five years' experience in agriculture and its value chain. Her passion for feeding the nation and ensuring food security has made her the Chief Strategic Officer for Ogunmod Farms and Farmers' Academy and the COO and Production Manager of Cato Foods and Agro-allied Global Concepts, an organization committed to food security, agricultural value chain development, and post-harvest loss reduction. Atinuke works with rural communities to mentor young, out-of-school girls on various entrepreneurial and leadership skills through her initiative called MAGIC (Mentor A Girl Child) and SheAgric Initiative, where she encourages potential female farmers and empowers and motivates women and youth in the area of agriculture value chain to ensure food security, poverty reduction, and curbing unemployment in Africa. Atinuke is presently the Program and Membership Mobilization Officer for Youths Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD), Nigeria. She holds a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Ilorin.Upon completion of Mandela Washington Fellowship, Atinuke sees herself proffering solutions to food insecurity issues, developing policy for sustainable agribusiness for young people, and raising young female agripreneurs to solve emerging challenges.


Ben Wokorach (Uganda)

Ben Wokorach is lead Co-Founder and CEO of Fruiti-Cycle Limited, a startup with the mission to reduce 45% post-harvest losses in fruits and vegetables in Uganda. He graduated from Makerere University and was awarded as Best Final Year Student in the Architecture program by Uganda Society of Architects; however, he realized his passion is not in corporate architecture, but rather as a social innovator and a leader to inspire millions of youths across Africa. In 2016, he was selected as 100 Brightest Young Minds in Africa by Amalgamated Banks of South Africa and 250 global young leaders by the 14th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.


Daliwa Joseph Bainamndi (Cameroon)

Daliwa Joseph Bainamndi is a production manager of Agri-Invest, a company that specializes in rice production. He manages employees and advises and implements new production techniques. He has a strong passion for agriculture, with five years experience with NGOs and associations fighting for the protection of wildlife and environment. Daliwa is a touristic guide in his country. He promotes the education of youth, especially in North Cameroon. Daliwa Joseph is a personal resource of Save-Elephants and is currently a Ph.D. student in the field of Physics. As a leader, he has trained over 1,000 youth and villagers in scientific courses, self-development skills, and environment problems. He has a Master Degree in Sciences and Technology from the Ngaoundere University of Cameroon. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Bainamndi plans to use the knowledge and experience acquired to create a big company related to Agro-Industry, then an NGO for youth where he will continue to fight for the protection of the environment and to improve youth's daily life.


Delia Carmen Diabangouaya (Togo)

Delia Carmen Diabangouya has 4 years of experience in the food industry. Currently, she is a Quality Control Manager in the cooperative Chocotogo, where she focused on producing raw, handmade chocolate with local ingredients. Above all, she is in charge of the food safety control and the quality management system of chocolate products in all the processing steps. The cooperative also empowers rural women and young people by giving them additional income. Delia holds a B.S. in Food Analysis and Control and a M.S. in Cell and Microbial Biotechnology. She is committed to increasing the African economy by the valorization of agricultural raw materials in innovative foods. Upon completion of Mandela Washington Fellowship, she plans to continue her work by improving enterprises to produce safe foods and valorize local food products.


Dina Andrew Kikuli (Tanzania)

Dina Kikuli has over four years of experience in the agribusiness sector. Currently, Dina is Managing Director of H.D Agribusiness. She works with rice processing and distribution, focuses on developing strategic plans, and oversees daily operations and business finances. H.D Agribusiness provides business development services to women in agribusiness who cannot easily access or afford services. Dina holds a Bachelor's degree in Home Economics and Human Nutrition from Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA).Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Dina plans on using knowledge, skills, and experience obtained to impact positive changes to the agribusiness sector in Tanzania. She hopes to empower and inspire more women and youth to engage in agribusiness.


Efe Anthony Omudu (Nigeria)

Anthony Efe Omudu has over six years of experience in animal farming as well as machine fabrication, focusing on utilizing recycled scrap material. He is the founder and Manager of Galaxy Integrated Aqua-Poultry Republic which has three subsidiaries: Galaxy Integrated Farm, Galaxy Agro-Machine Fabrication and Galaxy Special School of Agriculture. He provides free training to members of his host community to acquire modern agricultural skills. Anthony Efe Omudu holds a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical and Production Engineering from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria where he specialized in Machine Design and Production. Efe struggled with unemployment for more than five years after receiving his degree, which caused him advocate for youth employment and empowerment through business and entrepreneurship. He hopes to collaborate with both the local and international communities to expand his business and become Africa's highest labor employer in 20 years' time.


Gounou Bachirou Sariki Imorou (Benin)

Gounou Bachirou Sariki Imorou has ten years of experience in teaching physics, chemistry and technology in Benin secondary and high schools. Currently, he is an accountant at CEG2 Perere, where he focuses on the management and the accountability of the college. He works as the Executive Director of AJECED-ONG, an NGO involved with peacekeeping and local development. Gounou Bachirou has a Master's degree in Management, Finance and Accountancy, and a Master's degree in Economy and Management of Local Development both from the University of Parakou Benin. Gounou is the manager of his personal company, SSKINGS Constructions and Trade Group Sarl. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Gounou Bachirou plans to focus on his business and building a stronger company.


Grace Ngosa Musonda (Zambia)

Grace Ngosa Musonda has over three years of experience in agricultural research, rural development, nutrition-sensitive and climate-smart agriculture. She is currently working on her start-up farming and food processing business and a faith-based initiative called Propel that aims at addressing real issues girls and young women with broken backgrounds face. She hopes to inspire them to be change agents in their communities and empower the vulnerable ones with skills. Grace holds a bachelor's degree in agriculture from the University of Zambia. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Grace plans to use the experiences she will have acquired, the networks, and the doors of opportunities opened by the program, to establish and expand her farming and food processing business which will create employment opportunities for the youths, empower rural smallholder farmers, and contribute to increased and sustained food security in her country.


Issa Konate (Cote d'Ivoire)

Issa Konate has over eight years of experience in international trade and logistics, agri-commodities, supply chain management and sustainable development. He is currently General Manager of Logistics and Procurement at Olam International, a global agribusiness company. Issa manages cashew procurement operations, coordinating logistics and shipping, developing corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives and focusing on company public relations. Previously, Issa worked at Maersk Line Cote d'Ivoire where he served as Customer Service Agent.Konate holds a Master's degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from National Polytechnic Institute Felix Houphouet (INP-HB) of Yamoussoukro in Ivory Coast. Upon completion of the Washington Fellowship, Issa plans to improve the livelihood of the farming community, and to mentor and educate young students in Africa.


Jacob Paarechuga Anankware (Ghana)

Currently, Anankware is the founder and CEO of AnePaare Farms where he focuses on insect rearing for food, feed, and nutrition. Dr. Anankware holds a Master's and Ph.D. in Entomology. He is also a Post-doctoral scholar at the University of Michigan in the USA. Anankware is passionate about malnutrition, food insecurity, and poverty. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Dr. Anankware plans to return to Ghana to rear nutritious edible insects for a food secure Africa.Dr. Jacob Paarechuga Anankware has over six years of experience in research and business.


Joel Reagan Siamito (Kenya)

Joel Reagan Siamito is a young man passionate about youth development. He has over three years' experience in the community welfare sector. Currently, Reagan is a Youth Leader and Director for Enlighters Youth Iniative, where he focuses on capacity building and training young people in business and investing. Reagan holds a master's degree in Social Entrepreneurship from Tangaza University. He is driven by his commitment to harness youth potential for better change in Africa, and plans to continue to be more engaged upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship.


Jona Ambuga Ambuga (Namibia)

With my education focussing on marketing at the International University of Management, I am currently employed as the Project Manager for the Windhoek Life Change Centre.  Here I am working in the community teaching the out-of-school youth basic technical skills e.g. carpentry, housekeeping in preparation for the job market. I am also the founder for Tatekulu Investment CC, a company that focusses on consulting NGO’s on strategies and fundraising, agriculture and motor vehicle industry. It is my hope to successfully complete MWF and go back to my community to create employment and improve the lives of the young people.


Kangoma M Turay (Liberia)

Kangoma Turay has over five years of experience in business and entrepreneurship. Currently, he is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Lofa Young Farmers Association that focuses on offering agricultural extension services to local farmers in Lofa County, Liberia. Kangoma holds a diploma in General Agriculture and several other certificates in Business and Entrepreneurship.Kangoma is motivated by the strength of Africa’s youth population, upon whom the future of the continent lies. He believes that the young people of Africa are capable of transforming the economy of the continent through agriculture when empowered. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Kangoma plans to return to Africa to transform lives.


Marc Severin Nkaya Passongo (Congo-Brazzaville)

Marc Severin Nkaya Passongo is a mechanical technician in the field of oil drilling and a computer programmer. However, Marc's true passion is in agriculture with a goal to fight hunger in his country. Having seen the drastic effects of the oil price drop, Marc strongly believes his country should diversify its economy to reduce its dependency on oil. A passionate believer in sustainable development, Marc is the President of Care Planet, an NGO he created to raise youth awareness on the danger of the country?s heavy reliance on oil drilling for its economic development. Since his country is blessed with favorable natural conditions, Marc believes the young generation of entrepreneurs should focus on agriculture. Marc believes the first step to development is food availability; therefore, Marc wants to create a business that will produce local food for local mass consumption. As he embarks on his leadership journey at Purdue University, Marc intends to learn technical and leadership skills that will enhance his competences as a young entrepreneur. Marc?s goal is to achieve food independence for his country, Congo-Brazzaville.


Mavis Zaina Banda (Malawi)

Zaina Banda is a chartered accountant with over 8 years' experience in finance, banking, and strategic management. She is passionate about the agricultural value chain and its potentially high impact reach for poverty alleviation and development. She is the founder and CEO of Kanjadza Acres, an agricultural enterprise that aims at becoming a world class entity that participates in the end-to-end agricultural value chain, thereby creating jobs and wealth for the community. Zaina employs ten locals and projects that this number will double within 2 years. She is also the founder of Beautiful Feet, a women's wellness group that focuses on leadership, mentorship, and growth of young women. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she hopes to have acquired knowledge and skills to improve her leadership approach, develop a solid client value preposition, develop market links and operational strategies. Moreover, she to plans to motivate the youth to actively participate in the untapped potential of agribusiness for the transformation of Malawi and Africa through an agricultural hub.


Miora Harifetra Rajaonasitera (Madagascar)

Miora Rajaonasitera is the Head of Operations at Madagascar Consulting, a company that promotes agricultural products from farmer organizations to numerous international markets. She creates and supports extensive networks of farmers who produce spices such as cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla. Her goal is to expand and empower the community of farmers to build sustainable supply chains. Miora holds a Master's degree in Agronomy Sciences and an MBA from the International Management Institute of New Delhi, India. She aims to develop rural economies by empowering farming organizations and women. She hopes that the fellowship will help her to enhance her abilities in the capacity building of rural communities.


Naomi Mohammed Said (Ethiopia)

Naomi Mohammed has over two years of experience in the manufacturing sector, focusing on the production of liquid detergents and disinfectants. Currently, Naomi is an Engineer and Production Manager for a private company called Beyeda Sustainable Manufacturing. She focuses on supervising, managing and training employees, designing equipment, and assisting in developing and modifying products. Naomi is also the General Manager of her own company called Hangebso Cassava Starch and Adhesive Manufacturing, PLC which will start production in 2018. Naomi holds a Bachelor?s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where she focused on process engineering within the education sector. Naomi plans to structure her company to be on a profitable path with constructive business management, creative entrepreneurialism, advanced communication, leadership, and management skills. She hopes to build an agro-industry enterprise that widely integrates agriculture and industry to manufacture sustainable and environmentally safe products.


Olaniyi Akinkunmi Eluwole (Nigeria)

Eluwole Olaniyi is an Entrepreneur and Agricultural Extension Officer with over nine years of experience running farms as a social enterprise to create jobs and support women and young people in agriculture. Olaniyi has Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Economics and Extension. He strives for sustainable poverty reduction through skills development in agribusiness for the youths in Nigeria. Olaniyi trains young farmers and links them to resources needed to succeed. He works with youth and women in agriculture to play key roles in alleviating poverty in his community through their enterprise ventures. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington, Olaniyi plans to establish an agro-processing industry to create value addition and value chain to support youth and women in agriculture.



Sabriino Clair (Mauritius)

Sabriino Clair has five years of experience in the agribusiness sector in research and project management with a focus on food manufacturing. He also owns a small poultry business. Sabriino is a Project Manager/Food Technologist on seven food processing projects implemented by the Rodrigues Regional Assembly and cooperatives. He is a charge of business management, food technology, food quality control, food safety, conflict management, research and new product development. Sabriino is a current Master's degree student in Nutrition at Open University of Mauritius and holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Food Science and Technology from the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Mauritius. Sabriino is committed to the development of a profitable agribusiness model and economic empowerment of other Rodriguan entrepreneurs. He expects a sustainable revolution in the Small Medium Enterprises (SME) sector in Rodrigues. Upon the completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Sabriino plans to set up an agribusiness while pursuing his higher studies. He will conduct research and development in the field of food nutrition to acquire more practical experience to empower others in development and management of innovative agribusinesses.


Sebastien Roger Ayimambenwe (Gabon)

Sebastien Ayimambenwe has over 8 years of experience in agricultural company management, working with cocoa tree and corn plantations.Currently, Sebastien is Founder and CEO at Sayiman Suarl where they focus on creating and developing plantations of cocoa tree and corn for local and international markets. Since 2014, Sebastien has also worked remotely as CFO at YMB Properties, a software company based in Dublin Ireland. Sebastien holds a master's degree in business from the University of Poitiers, France. Sebastien is motivated and committed to participating in the development of the agriculture sector in Gabon to fight against rural poverty and food insecurity.Upon Completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Sebastien plans on setting up a pasta factory in Gabon . The factory will buy local corn for the production of its pasta, aiming to ensure a revenue for the small corn farmers. My corn pasta factory made in Gabon will allow me to take part in the fight for food security in my country.


Sylvie Sangwa (Rwanda)

Sylvie Sangwa has over five years' experience in research, business and entrepreneurship, specifically focusing on sustainable agricultural production. Sylvie is currently working as the Managing Director of Sybash Ltd., a business she created that is engaged in sustainable agriculture. The first business of this kind in the country, Sylvie is designing, guiding, and managing the production of selected exotic tropical fruits and free range eggs, which are a sustainable agro-forestry activities. She values learning by doing and sharing with surrounding communities, especially women farmers. Sylvie holds a master's degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Nairobi, with a specialization in environment and natural resources management. Sylvie is committed to inspire the Rwandan community to learn from the established model and to adopt sustainable agriculture practices and she looks forward to see sustainable agriculture being a reference in terms of dealing with climate change variability and food insecurity in Rwanda. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Sylvie plans to scale up models, contribute, support and guide initiatives using permaculture and sustainable agriculture principles in order to ensure food security and deal with climate change in Rwanda.


Tanyada Ithuteng Maluwa (Botswana)

Tanyada Maluwa has over four years of experience in the business sector, specifically focusing on food-related businesses. Currently, Tanyada is the Managing Director and lead Facilitator of Within Nutrition. This organization formulates and implements workshops and programs to educate individuals and organizations on various aspects of nutrition, wellness, and food businesses. Tanyada volunteers her time to assist women in business through local NGOs. Tanyada holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Information Systems from University of Botswana and a post graduate Certificate in Small Scale Business Management, as well as Human Nutrition certificates. Tanyada is driven by seeing entrepreneurs conceptualize ideas and scale them into profitable enterprises that employ the nation. Upon her completion of the fellowship, Tanyada plans to expand her business and offer online courses to reach a wider audience.


Temwananani Phiri (Malawi)

Temwanani Phiri is an agricultural entrepreneur involved general farming. He plays a key role in contributing to food security through practical farming in Malawi. Temwanani works to improve his community, especially in the youth employment and entrepreneurship platform. He runs farming internships at his farms. Youth entrepreneurship and mentorship is the main keystone of his business philosophy.


Yemisrach Mesfin Bogale (Ethiopia)

Yemisrach Mesfin (Japi) is an experienced economist and business development advisor with more than eight years work experience in various development organizations and startups. She completed her undergraduate studies in Finance and Development Economics and followed with a Master?s degree in Social Works, both from Addis Ababa University. Currently, she is working as a Business Development Expert for Roha Ventures, a green field investment company that invests in and develops new businesses in Ethiopia as well as across Africa. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she would like to establish an innovative food-processing enterprise with a social conscience. This agricultural initiative will strive to ensure income certainty for urban and rural Ethiopian farmers. It will improve productivity through the introduction of modern farming, post-harvest technologies and create a sustainable market.


Zena Afework Demissie (Ethiopia)

Zena Afework is a knowledge management, extension communication and capacity building specialist who works in the agricultural sector. He has worked in international NGOs for more than five years. Currently, he is an Organizational Knowledge Sharing Consultant in the World Bank Group Ethiopia Country Office.

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