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Congratulations to the
2019 Builders of Africa's Future Awardees

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The African Diaspora Network is delighted to announce the 2019 Builders of Africa’s Future (BAF) Awardees. Builders of Africa’s Future is a session that celebrates innovation and impact in early stage African enterprises. BAF serves to showcase and award entrepreneurs who are running early stage for-profit and not-for-profits that are addressing Africa’s unique needs through technology or differentiated business models. These unique needs are in health, education, energy, financial inclusion, gender inclusion, nutrition, commerce, industrial development, and other socioeconomic good. 

Africa’s future lives in these youth, given that 40% of the continent's working age are between 15 and 24. According to the UN, there are 200 million youth in Africa, expected to double by 2045. Therefore investing in African youth is urgent and critical. We at African Diaspora Network recognize the ingenuity and contributions of young African leaders and wish to amplify these youth's work through the BAF awards, while also encouraging the African Diaspora, friends of Africa, and Silicon Valley investors to invest in them. 

We welcome and congratulate our ten awardees. Register to meet them at ADIS2019! A special thank you to Twum Djin of Goodwater Capital, for your leadership in initiating and developing BAF, and to Innocent Shumba of Ernst & Young and Lydia Idem of FM Capital Group, for leading our competitive applicant process to identify our ten selected global leaders.  

As always,
Thank you,

Almaz Negash
Founder & Executive Director, African Diaspora Network
Executive in Residence, School of Global Innovation & Leadership, SJSU
Member of the United Nations Economic Council for Africa – HLPM
Register Today for African Diaspora Investment Symposium 2019!

Congratulations to the 2019 BAF Awardees

Pamela Anyoti Peronaci, Sunshine Agro Products

Pamela Anyoti Peronaci is a Ugandan with Italian citizenship. Founding Partner of Sunshine Agro Products and Owner and CEO of Asante Mama signature brand, which won the 2017 Eco Excellence Awards in the US as ‘Most Socially Responsible’ Brand.  She graduated in Political Science and International Law and later earned her MSc in Agricultural Economics from the University of London, Wye College (now Imperial College). She is a Social Entrepreneur with about 20 years of experience in both Agricultural Policy and International Trade. She worked for several years in FAO Development Cooperation Department in Rome before establishing her own Social Enterprise in Uganda.

Solomon King Benge, Fundi Bots

Solomon King Benge is passionate about education, design, business and technology. In 2011, he founded Fundi Bots, an education non-profit with a mission to accelerate science learning in Africa. Fundi Bots aims to promote better learning outcomes, improved career prospects and real-world technological advancement in African schools and communities through training and experimentation in hands-on, project-based and skills-oriented science disciplines, starting with robotics. Through his work with Fundi Bots, he was selected as a 2014 Echoing Green Fellow and a 2014 Ashoka Fellow. In 2017, Solomon was selected as an African Visionary Fellow by the Segal Family Foundation.

Joachim Ewechu, SHONA Group

Joachim Ewechu is the Co-Founder and CEO of SHONA Group, a company that grows impact focused businesses in East Africa. Prior to this, he co-founded Angels Initiatives, a group of socially responsible businesses meeting unmet market needs and tackling critical challenges in Africa. SHONA is transforming East Africa's economies and societies by growing East African Good Businesses. SHONA selects high potential entrepreneurs and surrounds them with the knowledge, tools, capital and connections they need to grow their businesses. 

Celestine Ezeokoye, WeMove Technologies

Celestine Ezeokoye is Founder/CEO of WeMove Technologies, a company focused on building innovative technology solutions for transportation in Africa. Having previously tried out a transportation technology start-up Tiketmobile, from 2012 to 2013, Celestine was abreast of the problems within urban transportation in Africa and how technology can help make them go away. After Tiketmobile failed (mainly due to lack of funding), Celestine joined Interswitch, Nigeria's premier fintech company, as a software engineer. While at Interswitch he worked with the Quickteller team and was responsible for a number of projects, including Quickteller/Western Union direct to account money transfer, Verve USSD, among others.

Mahmud Johnson, J-Palm Liberia

Mahmud Johnson is Founder and CEO of J-Palm Liberia (JPL), a Monrovia-based company that manufactures organic health and beauty products out of previously wasted palm kernels. JPL manages and operates mini oil palm mills in partnership with rural communities. In lieu of the labor-intensive and inefficient manual extraction technique, smallholders use JPL machines to process palm oil at no up-front cost. In return, they pay JPL 10% of the oils produced. The machines reduce processing time by 90% and increase extraction rates by 50%. As a result, over 500 smallholders with whom JPL work have seen their incomes increase by up to 264%.

Linda Kamau, AkiraChix (Kenya)

Linda Kamau is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of AkiraChix. For eight years working as a software engineer, she found herself being the only woman of color in a leadership position working with people from over ten different countries. With this inspiration, she co-founded AkiraChix. As a way to address poverty, AkiraChix’s mission is to provide hands-on technical training and mentorship to young women, girls, and children to increase the number of skilled women in tech and positively impact the community.  We believe that access to education and training is of paramount importance for young women.

Barbara Birungi Mutabazi, Women in Technology Uganda

Barbara is a groundbreaking Ugandan social entrepreneur, technologist, consultant, mentor, International speaker and IT project manager. She is the Executive Director and co-founder of Hive Colab,  Uganda’s first innovation hub, business accelerator and incubator for East African technology startups and whose mission is to build local tech capacity and scale up ideas with positive social and economic returns. She has a managed and developed Hive Colab into Uganda's leading Innovation and Technology Hub and developed relationships with Government, Development partners, International organizations such as Microsoft, Intel, Google and others. . She is also the founder of WITU (women in Technology Uganda) an Organization that transforms and empowers lives of women and girls using STEM education and digital jobs.

Faraja Nyalandu, Shule Direct (Tanzania)

Born and raised in Tanzania, Faraja is a resourceful social entrepreneur passionate about developing cutting edge social and educational programs that empower youth and children. What inspires her most is working collaboratively in social development and educational industry to develop and deliver innovative resources and solutions that prepare children and youth for a sustainable future. With over 15 years experience in engaging young people, she has dedicated her professional career and personal life to empowering them to achieve their full potential. In 2013, she established Shule Direct, a thriving organization providing comprehensive web and mobile educational platforms offering learning content across multiple subjects to over a million in and out of school youth.

Navalayo Osembo, Enda Athletic, Inc. (Kenya)

Navalayo Osembo comes from a village near Eldoret, Kenya, a major center for Kenyan running which is dubbed “The City of Champions”. A graduate of the London School of Economics, Navalayo is trained as both an accountant and a lawyer. She is the co-founder of Enda Athletic, Inc. Enda is bringing Kenyan athletic greatness to runners around the world. We are producing the first made-in-Kenya performance running shoes that espouse the spirit of running from the home of running champions. She previously worked on risk-management and results-based management as an Associate Project Management Expert with the United Nations.

Kwami Williams, MoringaConnect (Ghana)

Kwami is a Ghanaian MIT and NASA trained rocket scientist turned social entrepreneur. In 2013, he went from aerospace to agriculture to co-found MoringaConnect, a vertically integrated supply chain improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. MoringaConnect turns the leaves from their moringa trees into superfood tea and green protein powder, branded Minga Foods, and the oilseeds from their trees into moringa oil based hair, face, and body beauty products, branded True Moringa. It has planted over 2 million moringa trees and served over 5,000 farming families growing the moringa tree across Ghana. Kwami is a Forbes 30 Under 30 and Quartz Top 30 Africa Innovator.

Partial List of Registered Attendees

Join these 50 registered organizations and register for ADIS2019!
The Camden Trust
Epic Africa
Step Up Capital
Global Fund for Women
Flame Tree Initiative
Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies
Ernst & Young
Dietel and Partners
Blended Value
Diasporas in America Fund
Segal Family Foundation
Hilton Foundation
Fife Avenue Partners
Distinguished Careers Institute, Stanford University
Koniku, Inc.
Sorensen Group
American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative
MCE Social Capital
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Global Catalyst Innovation, Inc.
U.S. African Development Foundation
AAR Africa for AAR
Draper Venture Network
Intel Corporation
DIA Fund
1847 Philanthropic
IDP Foundation, Inc.
The African Academy of Sciences
Omidyar Network
Goodwater Capital
King Baudouin Foundation United States
American Homebuilders West Africa
Global Catalyst Foundation
Moya Technologies, Inc.
Donor Circle for Africa
Cilker Family Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
African Enterprise Project
U.S.-Africa Housing Finance
Register Today for the African Diaspora Investment Symposium 2019!

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Cilker Family Foundation

Individual Sponsors
Agnieska Winkler and Art Lund

Twum Djin, Goodwater Capital

Joshua Ghaim, PhD, Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies

Carolyn Gannon​
Abbey Omokhodion, Intel

Regga Tekeste

Theresa Samuel Boko

Charlie Adams, Wells Fargo Advisors

Dave Wilde, HP

Jan 24-26


Register Today!

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