2023 mandela washington fellows
Hillary Widanama Adare
Hillary Adare has more than eight years of geomatic engineering experience and five years of agripreneurship experience. Hillary is the founder of Wonfliki, a startup that promotes farm productivity and sustainability through technology and enables farmers to access farm value and financing through derived farm data. She has also worked as the lead for a research and development unit in software product development, volunteered with an organization that cares for the social needs of orphans and the marginalized, and supports communal programs that focus on empowering women and youth to gain skills training and employment. Hillary has a Bachelor of Science in Geomatic Engineering. She is committed to value creation in the industries she works in, and she is dedicated to enhancing farm productivity and farmers and lives in Ghana and throughout Africa, which drove her interest in the Leadership in Business track of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. After completing the Fellowship, Hillary plans to use her knowledge, skills, and partnerships to grow her venture and help businesses in her ecosystem establish structures to promote change.
Meet Christian (Chris) Agbalekpor, an experienced IT and environmental professional with 7+ years of software industry experience and 10 years of expertise in sustainable natural resources management. As the head of operations at SCYNETT, a prominent Software Company in Ghana/Germany, Chris leads his team in delivering innovative software solutions to streamline business operations. He is a Co-Founder of Xlab Foundation, an emerging technology hub in Ghana that promotes tech development and youth empowerment. As the IT Director of Agrointroductions Ghana (AIG), Chris leverages on modern technologies to implements innovative environmental projects that target sustainable environment funded by partners such as UNDP, US Department of State, GEF, Prince Bernhard Foundation, Green Climate Fund, and others. Chris's recent project has been on utilizing drone technologies to monitor vegetation health and wildlife species, and marine ecosystems along the Northern Atlantic Ocean in Ghana. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources Management and is pursuing his Master of Science degree in Information Technology both from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, along with a certificate in Leadership from the Kansas State University, USA.
Terese Shadrach Akpem
Akpem Terese Shadrach has more than seven years of experience in veterinary medicine, social entrepreneurship, human resource development, digital innovation, agriculture, and sustainable development in Nigeria. Terese is the founder of Vet Konect Ltd., which uses technology to advance access to animal care for livestock farmers and pet owners. He has trained and mentored more than 15,000 youth as a digital innovation lead at Mind the Gap. As the advocacy and engagement lead at the Nigeria Youth SDGs Network, he has led several successful initiatives, including Youth Dialogue 2019, SDGs Playbook, and Skills for Employment Program. Terese is a business mentor with Up-Skill Digital and mentors’ entrepreneurs across Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana. He is the project officer at Benue Agribusiness Innovation Hub, which is the first of its kind to crowdsource innovative ideas for addressing challenges impacting agriculture. Terese holds a bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine. He is passionate about addressing the challenges of animal care and plans to provide coverage to 100 million Africans by 2030. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Terese plans to further deepen his work on leveraging technology to provide animal care coverage, One Health, agriculture, and sustainable development.
Soume Bouraima has more than a decade of experience in the field of livestock production. Currently, Soume is a technician in charge of supporting livestock breeders and cooperatives at the Fédération Nationale des Professionnels de la Filière Bétail et Viande du Togo, a national organization that helps livestock breeders carry out sustainable livestock production. Soume has also more than four years of experience in the poultry farming business, and he founded the Bouraimas poultry farm in 2020. Soume holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Law. As a rural development agent, Soume is committed to meeting the challenges facing rural livestock producers. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Soume plans to bring innovation to the traditional ways of producing livestock in his Togolese community.
Wenmanegda Elie 2E Jumeau Dipama
Wenmanegda Elie 2E Jumeau Dipama has more than five years of experience in sustainable agriculture, climate change mitigation, and project management in Burkina Faso. Currently, Elie is cofounder and manager at Green Field Consortium, a startup that operates in the agriculture and environment fields. He is a volunteer senior tutor and junior expert in carbon offsetting for Greening Africa Together. Elie chose to work in the fields of agriculture and the environment because African countries are facing food-security challenges that are correlated with the effects of climate change and that require a change in production and consumption patterns. Elie holds a master's degree in Agroeconomics with a specialization in Policy Analysis and Planning of Agricultural Projects. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Elie plans to develop innovative solutions in the agricultural field and to train and accompany small farmers and agripreneurs in smart and sustainable agricultural practices.
Maya Mame Fifame Tertulienne Dohou
Educationist in Geography and environmental management, Maya Dohou is passionate about the environment, and promotes environmental protection. Maya has a very enriched entrepreneurial journey. Indeed, she has 12 years of experience in Agribusiness with two agricultural companies in her charge. She is Co-Founder of AfriCereal Group, an agritech company that rents machines to producers and facilitates their access to markets. To this end, she currently coordinates the mechanization of cereals operations in 14 municipalities in Benin for the benefit of more than 10,000 producers. Since November 2021, she has been Founder of AgroLogistik Services, a company that deals with the transport of agricultural products as well as logistics around agricultural activities in rural areas. Maya is also a Women's Rights Activist, especially those in the most disadvantaged areas. She supports actions related to their empowerment. Executive Director of the NGO "Acting for a Smile", Maya makes her heart speak for the agricultural world whom she supports with some vital needs. Through all her activities, she has a single concern: to reinvent cereal farming in Africa and make agriculture attractive to young people. As hobbies, she enjoys reading, dancing and traveling to discover other places and dream of a prosperous Africa.
Bignon Priscille Bijou Dossou
Bignon Priscille Bijou DOSSOU has more than 10 years of experience in community activities related to environmental protection, ecological agriculture and good nutrition. With a master's degree in bio-engineering of food processes, Priscille is currently the founder of the startup Houéfa Green Energy; she has built her empire in the valorization of food waste into biogas since 2020 with a team of very committed young people. Daily impacted by the energy insecurity that prevails in her country, she decided to contribute to MDG 7. Her desires were strongly reinforced thanks to the DAAD through the summer school on the nexus water-energy-food organized in Germany in 2020. This is the beginning of a great adventure for her who believes in the law of conservation "nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything is transformed". At the end of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Priscille plans to propel her company into the top 10 of companies that strongly contribute to a green and healthy society that uses renewable energy freely and cheaply.
El Moustapha El Abass
Moustapha Abass has more than seven years of experience in marketing, sales, and management in agribusiness. Currently, Moustapha is acting chief executive officer at Sadarane SA and focuses on growing quality fruits and vegetables for the Mauritanian market. Previously, he spent five years in sales and marketing at Schneider Electric, a multinational company that specializes in energy management and automation in France. Moustapha holds a master's degree in Mechanical Engineering with a specialization in Fluid Mechanics and a master's degree in Business Administration. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Moustapha plans to expand his work in the agribusiness sector and build opportunities in Mauritania and Africa.
Theodore Junior Essono Belibi
Essono Belibi Theodore Junior is a Cameroonian, CEO of SIMC which is an agro-processing company-based Douala dealing with the transformation and commercialization of spices and fish feeds under the brand name « SPICY ». SUSI Alumni and Bachelor Graduate from the Catholic University of Buea, he pursued a Master’s program in Ouagadougou. He launched his factory activities ending 2019, today employs directly 30 young Cameroonians and 7 products which are sold on the market. His company is present in 2 regions of the country with ambition of opening agencies in all the 10 regions. He firmly thinks part of African development will pass through massive industrialization of its nations. His mission is to contribute to economic growth by providing youth employment both in rural and urban areas as his company transforms and commercialize local products. His vision sees more African local actors take part in the industrial development of their nations. His goal is to produce and market products that have been accepted and commercialized worldwide.
Phindile Tarnia Gosha
Phindile Tarnia Gosha has more than eight years of experience in agribusiness and entrepreneurship. Currently, Phindile is director at Newleaf Fusion, focusing on growing indigenous poultry birds, producing organic feed, and empowering more individuals, especially women, to assume leadership roles in the agricultural sector. Phindile is founder of Women EmpowerZW, which focuses on equipping women with information about how to be successful entrepreneurs. Phindile holds a master’s degree in Strategic Management. She is driven by the equal-opportunities-for-everyone initiative; she chose the Leadership in Business track of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders so she can be fully prepared to uplift others. After completing the Fellowship, Phindile plans to create a network of goal-driven and empowered individuals who will take leadership roles within the agriculture industry to uplift communities, create employment, and fight hunger and food insecurity. She aspires to improve social and economic development by creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem that drives local economic vibrancy and national economic growth. She hopes to do so by building a fertile environment for new and growing companies to thrive, especially in aligning agriculture and technology so that Zimbabwe can partner with and benefit from the international market.
Brian Kiberenge Kamasi
Brian Kamasi has more than six years of experience in merging technology with sustainable farming systems to support rural small-scale producers, in high-value cropping chains, to optimize yield and maximize income. Currently, Brian is founder of Fanikisha Farm, an enterprise that is facilitating farmer access to quality inputs, optimal on-farm agronomic support, and advisories through micro-input financing products. Brian holds a master’s degree in Sustainable Agricultural Technologies. He is committed to creating economic opportunities for resource-limited, small-scale producers in rural communities through input financing while enhancing climate resilience and adoption of sustainable production systems. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Brian plans to meet the input financing needs of more underserved rural farmers. In addition, he seeks to engage in farmer-led irrigation research and the development of smallholder agriculture risk-management tools.
Denise Litopoe Karway
Dumisanie Lawrence Mambiya
Dumisanie Mambiya has over 10 years of experience in Agribusiness. Currently, Dumisanie is the founder and CEO at Food & Agribusiness Development Company (FADC), a post-revenue social enterprise focusing on creating economic prosperity for smallholder farmers through capacity building, credit facilitation and contract farming, with over 4,000 farmers reached since 2020. Dumi also founded AGRIJOBS Malawi, a tech-driven company that is facilitating jobs for young people in the agri-food sector. Dumi holds a bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness Management. Dumi is driven to execute a strong inclusive business model that lifts smallholder farmers out of poverty, hence he is undertaking the leadership in business track at Purdue University. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Dumi plans to return home and expand his company’s network of farmers being included in value chains and multiply efforts towards job and wealth creation through agriculture.
Terence has over six years in Rural development, Rural Tourism and Agriculture. Currently, Terence is the CEO and Founder of KwaTerry, a business focused on promoting Rural Tourism through the KwaTerry Rural Restaurant, breeding improved roadrunner chickens, production and distribution of organic roadrunner meat, horticulture and goat farming. Terence is an advocate for zero hunger, food sufficiency, healthy living and changing the negative picture about rural areas. He plans to expand the operations of KwaTerry Restaurant and include more activities in the village that continue to attract people from the Urban areas to visit the Rural Areas. Terence wants to place KwaTerry on an international scale and thus he plans to start exporting the produce from the farm to outside the country. Driven by the desire to end early marriages and kids dropping out of school, Terence pays tuition and stationery for disadvantaged kids in his village. Terence has assisted over 300 youths in the rural areas of Zimbabwe with “free” roadrunner chicks to start their projects. He holds an Honors Degree in Political Science from the University of Zimbabwe.
Shadrack Sune Mulunga
Shadrack is the Farm manager at the Evergreen Fruits and Vegetables Farm Limited. He is a strong believer in a hunger-free nation and is working round the clock to fight food crisis facing the country today. Influenced by his belief that food security is a complex issue strongly impacted and influenced by climate change, Shadrack is promoting the adoption of climate-sustainable Agriculture. Under his leadership, the Evergreen Fruits & Vegetables Farm Limited has designed and implemented an agroforestry system, an approach that integrates farm profitability and environment conservation. Shadrack is also working with smallholder farmers in his rural community who are hard-hit by poverty and the effects of climate change. He provides training and advisory services on Agroforestry and other sustainable agricultural practices. Through this training, Shadrack is making the rural communities more food secure, which directly impacts rural livelihood. To create a bigger impact, Shadrack welcomes opportunities to network and collaborate with other leaders and agricultural stakeholders working to address the problem of food insecurity and climate change across the globe.
Hilaire Amini Mbogimbogi Muzibao
HILAIRE AMINI MUZIBAO, Graduate in Business and Information Technology at Kenya Methodist University in Kenya. Passionate in agricultural entrepreneurship and livestock keeping, monitor and trainer of farmers as well as youth entrepreneurs. With an experience of over 7 years in Project management in the sector of Microfinance and Food Security in DRC specifically in the Eastern province of South and Northern Kivu. He has also served as a consultant and coach of entrepreneurship in local and international organization (IITA and Asop asbl). Born in Bukavu town, he is currently the Project Manager at Wezesha Foundation in Bukavu. which works with vulnerables in the community in Microfinance project and Food security. He is also the C.E.O and co-founder of BAIC SARL, an agricultural investment company, involved in agricultural management, crop and seedling, harvest, agricultural value chain, crop transformation and distribution of agricultural products. Placed in Purdue University in Leadership and Business track, he hopes to return to his home country from Mandela Fellowship and become a pioneer in agribusiness in bringing solutions that will help reduce the extreme poverty that faces his community.
Natasha Mwansa has over 9 years of experience in Agriculture Research and Development. Currently, Natasha is an Agriculture Research Officer at the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute focusing on Researching Economically Important Food Crops in order to generate and adapt appropriate production technologies for their Sustainable Production. In addition to her studies, Natasha has established a vegetable seedlings initiative that empowers vulnerable women in her community where she provides them with the knowledge and resources needed to grow their own vegetable crops promoting healthy nutrition and food security for their families. Natasha is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Agronomy from the University of Zambia, holds a master's degree in Agriculture Risk Management and a Bachelor's Degree in Agriculture Sciences. Natasha is committed to advocating for Sustainable Development in her community and beyond as she believes that sustainable development is crucial for the future of our planet. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Natasha plans to collaborate with NGOs that focus on women's empowerment and agricultural development, establish her own business from her community initiative and continue to mentor students who are interested in pursuing careers in agriculture.
Alicia Mbalire Namakula
Alicia is an enthusiastic advocate for innovative solutions addressing gender-based economic disparities and climate change. With four years of experience, her motivation stems from growing up in a rural, female-headed household in Luwero, Uganda, reliant on menial labor. As co-founder and Operations Manager of Women Income Network, Alicia drives economic empowerment in Luwero by equipping women with maggot farming skills and mobilizing resources for infrastructure and market linkages. Her efforts have empowered over 110 individuals, with 60 being women, since establishing a maggot-demonstration farm in December 2021. Alicia earned a Bachelor's degree in Biotechnology from Makerere University in 2021, leveraging her knowledge to improve maggots' nutritiveness for her community. She was a grant winner of the 2022 Peer Learning Network program on data for climate resilience, a collaboration between Open Data Institute and Microsoft. This experience provided invaluable insights into data stewardship and collaborations for driving sustainable change. Alicia's notable achievements include being a 2023 Mandela Washington Fellow, a 2022 Echoing Green Fellow, a 2021 Resolution Fellow, a Millennium Fellow, and former campus director of the Millennium Fellowship at Makerere University in 2018. These prestigious programs honed her leadership and social entrepreneurial skills, attracting talent dedicated to eradicating extreme poverty and mitigating climate change's effects in marginalized communities.
Etienne Niyigaba is an agronomist and agripreneur with over 8 years of experience in agriculture development projects. Etienne is a Founder of YEAN (Youth Engagement in Agriculture Network) a youth led enterprise that focus on agriculture services provision, agribusiness incubation and innovation and fostering agriculture technologies adoption among farmers. Since 2014, YEAN has served 40,000 farmers and aim to reach 150,000 farmers in 2025 through provision of youth led agriculture services with a vision to create an enterprise that has the ability of providing a full cycle of agriculture services (Input, Mechanization, Extension Services, Market access) in Rwanda, East and Central Africa countries. With experience in managing agriculture development projects, Etienne served a number of development organizations including Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), CAB International, Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) and Harvest Plus. He is actively engaged in advocating for youth engagement in agriculture and he is the country co-representative of YPARD (Young Professionals for Agricultural Development). Etienne holds a masters’ degree in crop cultivation and farming systems from Northwest A&F University in China. Etienne is committed to advance the agenda of Zero Hunger with sustainable livelihoods.
Gislaine Matiedje Nkenmayi
Matiedje Gislaine is cofounder and chief executive officer at Mumita Holdings, which works with women and youths in rural areas to produce African indigenous vegetables (AIV). Through climate-smart solutions, she and her team won the 2021 YouthADAPT Solutions Challenge, which helped them increase productivity by 85 percent in some communities by reducing postharvest losses. Gislaine holds a master's degree in Agriculture. She is committed to increasing the productivity of farmers and establishing a year-round market for the sale of produce from smallholder farmers in rural communities, enabling farmers to make a better living from agriculture. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Gislaine intends to use her new leadership knowledge to bring farmers together to help them increase their production capacity and cut costs. Her new knowledge and skills will help her better structure Mumita and the AIV value chain to scale up. She will leverage her new networks and connections to acquire new international markets in which to sell African products.
Lavender Ogada Odeny
Lavender Odeny is an Agri-preneur enthusiast who is passionate about making impact through agricultural innovations. She is a graduate of Kenyatta University with a background in Agribusiness Management and Trade. She’s endowed with skills and experience in grant writing, market research, design thinking, and business plan development. She is currently the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at MashLav Foods Company. An agricultural company in Kilifi, Kenya that utilizes the Circular economy model to produce healthy delicious Oysters Mushrooms. Lavender is a proud beneficiary of various entrepreneurship programs and awards including the Tony Elumelu Foundation Program 2021, The United States African Development Foundation Award, The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs 2019, and the Ford Fund Fellowship Program 2021. Currently, a selected fellow at the Mandela Washington Fellowship 2023 for the business and entrepreneurship track at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. She has been a Coach at the Mombasa Plastic Prize. A competition that aims at encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs and leaders (ages 18-25) in Mombasa County Kenya to develop solutions that tackle the problem of plastic waste mismanagement within the informal settlement. Through this project, Lavender has coached 60 entrepreneurs in 14 teams on design thinking, idea and product development process, with one of her teams emerging as a top three winner, winning a grant equivalent to 10,000 USD.
Osato Omo Osemwingie has more than five years of experience working in business management, fast-moving consumer goods, and nongovernmental organizations. Osato is founder and chief executive of El Gazelle Foods Limited, focusing on making protein snacks more available to Africans by turning different livestock animals into kilishi, a kind of jerky; El Gazelle Foods also empowers local female livestock farmers while reducing postharvest costs and deforestation by using technology to aid proper food drying. Osato spends her free time volunteering to provide sanitary pads to girls in low-income communities and reaching out to the underserved. Osato holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Covenant University, as well as certificates in Food Systems from Harvard University and in Deep Business Learnings from FATE Foundation, 360 Woman Africa, Lagos Business School, and WomHub (South Africa). Since age 22, Osato has been driven to make an impact in the kilishi industry by using mechanized and solar drying, after she almost lost someone who consumed contaminated sun-dried kilishi. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Osato plans to integrate her learnings to create more innovative solutions to improve the agricultural and nutritional landscape of Nigeria, especially in the kilishi industry.
Miarizaka Fabien Randriamananjara
Miarizaka Fabien RANDRIAMANANJARA is an Engineer in Agro Management at Our Challenge for Madagascar (OCM), graduated from the School of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (ESSA) of the University of Antananarivo. He got his Master of Science (MSc) in Agro Management Engineering at the age of 21 years-old, and upon his graduation, he founded with other fellow graduates, a non-profit association called OCM, which provides Sciences and market-based solutions to challenges facing Rural Development in Madagascar. In 2019, Miarizaka participated in the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) programme held in the regional leadership center in Pretoria South-Africa, under the Business and Entrepreneurship Development (B&ED) track, through which he became part of a regional network of Agricultural economists in the Southern African Democratic Community (SADC) region. As an artist and an agronomist, Miarizaka also promotes education and equality, especially among illiterate people in the countryside by spreading essential messages through cartoons and animations (2D/3D). One of his campaigns focused on becoming resilient in the face of climate change in North-western, South-Western and Central Madagascar. Miarizaka takes this part of Nelson Mandela’s legacy to heart: wisdom and humanity. The cartoonist promotes education and equality through his drawings to those who are illiterate. He credits his international experience for influencing the youth of his community to develop their skills and talents with an eye to the future. He hopes to strengthen his business acumen through participating in the YALI Fellowship, and would like to focus more on his field of specialization: Agribusiness. Upon returning home, he will keep on working toward the betterment of the rural communities of Madagascar, through providing market opportunities which will benefit the trade relationship between Madagascar, continental Africa and the United States of America (USA).
Muhammad Abdullahi Usman
Muhammad Usman Abdullahi has more than three years of experience in project management; monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL); and aquaculture. Muhammad is a MEL officer at Wacot Rice Limited focusing on developing MEL plans, validating data, monitoring projects, and generating reports. Additionally, Muhammad has experience in fish production, and he holds a master’s degree in Fisheries. Muhammad is committed to monitoring development projects to ensure that they achieve their objectives and that they ultimately benefit the sponsors and beneficiaries. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Muhammad plans to manage or monitor development projects in the environment and agriculture sectors.
Temangweni Zwane has more than five years of experience in agriculture and agribusiness management. Currently, Temangweni is founder and owner of Agrolife Nursery and focuses on producing high-quality vegetable seedlings for commercial and small-scale farmers in Eswatini. She has worked as an intern with the Central Bank of Eswatini and as a volunteer with the Sustainable Farmer's Institute, Green Team, AEM Society, and Woman Farmer Foundation. Temangweni holds a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Management. She is passionate about being a great leader and motivating other young female entrepreneurs in her community. She is also committed to strengthening food security and improving livelihoods in Eswatini. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Temangweni plans to advocate for establishing centers for excellence in rural areas to equip youth with basic business skills, to grow Agrolife Nursery, to encourage teamwork and collaboration among youth, and to encourage self-employment in her community. She believes that self-employment will reduce social challenges, such as poverty and teenage pregnancy, and contribute to improving the economy.