East Africa: Using a bottom-up approach to tackling poverty

Although most East African economies have continued to grow over the past few years, income inequality remains high. More than 75% of East Africa’s population lives in rural areas, the majority being smallholder farmers living on less than $2 per day. Urban areas are equally challenging with 60% of Nairobi’s population living in slums and lacking basic services like water, sanitation and electricity.

Acumen started investing in East Africa in 2001 and now our East Africa portfolio is one of our largest under management. Our investments span from solar energy, to mobile-enabled supply chain solutions for farmers, to long lasting anti-malarial bed nets, to cotton ginning, and more.

A model for innovative development

East Africa investments span from solar energy, to mobile-enabled supply chain solutions for farmers, to long lasting anti-malarial bed nets, to cotton ginning, and more.

44,000

Jobs created & supported

improving livelihoods and economies

$29.5

Million invested

in breakthrough innovations

23

Companies

Providing choice not charity

82

Million Lives Impacted

With dignity not dependence

Meet the Team in East Africa

Acumen opened its East Africa office in Nairobi in 2007.  Our team on the ground provides ongoing management support to our investees. In addition to benefiting from Acumen’s global networks, we’ve built a valuable set of local advisors and supporters. See if we’re hiring.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 AGhassmi

    Afshin Ghassmi

    “Acumen's ability to take risks, think outside of the box, and constant introspection is a refreshing and pleasant change from traditional views of development and poverty.” [READ MORE]

    Afshin Ghassmi joined the Acumen East Africa office in September 2010 and his primary focus is to build Acumen’s portfolio in Tanzania across all priority sectors. In addition, Afshin works on the agriculture and low cost housing portfolios, looking at new opportunities across the rest of East Africa. Before joining the Acumen, Afshin worked as a Junior Investment Manager for DEG (Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH) in their East Africa regional office. He holds a Master of Science in Economic Analysis from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom.

    CONTACT

    T:+245 716 252 802
    E:aghassmi@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 DMutemwa

    Dorcas Nditi Mutemwa

    “Dorcas joined Acumen in August 2009 as the Administrative Assistant for the East Africa office.” [READ MORE]

    Dorcas joined Acumen in August 2009 as the Administrative Assistant for the East Africa office. In her role, she is responsible for meeting coordination, scheduling, and administrative organization for the entire office. Dorcas graduated from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya and is a entrepreneur herself. Dorcas is also a trained banker and has worked for both Standard Chartered Bank and CfC Stanbic Bank in Kenya.

    CONTACT

    T:+254 20 3861559 x 60
    E:dmutemwa@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer joy

    Joy Gikandi

    “There is nothing more rewarding than knowing another person’s life is better because you were there. This is what Acumen is doing the world over – impacting lives and making a difference – and it is amazing to be part of a team that is empowering game-changers and emerging leaders who are driving real change in their communities.” [READ MORE]

    As the East Africa Fellows Associate, Joy manages the program administration, recruitment and selection, business development and communications for East Africa Fellows Program, as well as supports +Acumen and the Global Fellows Programs locally. Previously, Joy has worked with the Kenya Institute of Management in training and administration, in Kenya and Rwanda. She holds a Bachelor of Education (Arts) degree, and is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Development Studies.

    CONTACT

    E:jgikandi@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer kimk

    Kimathi Ikiao

    “Acumen harnesses the entrepreneurial spirit by putting people first and making social impact investments aimed at reducing poverty.” [READ MORE]

    Kimathi Ikiao joined the Acumen East Africa office in November 2013 as a Senior Portfolio Associate. He is responsible for the Agriculture and Affordable Housing sectors.

    Kimathi joins Acumen with over 7 years of experience in the investment sphere.

    His prior role was as a Senior Investment Analyst at the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC), overseeing the Corporation’s equity investments.

    Kimathi began his career in the capital markets as an Intern at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, and later moved to Standard Investment Bank in Kenya as a Securities Dealer. Having developed an affinity to private equity and its role in development, Kimathi served a short stint with Centum Investment Company prior to pursuing his post-graduate studies.

    Kimathi holds an MBA from The University of Tulsa. While pursuing his MBA, he served on the University’s Student Investment Fund as the fund’s secretary in 2007. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration from the United States International University and participates in the CFA® program.

    CONTACT

    T:+245 716 252 802
    E:kikiao@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 RGawande

    Rohit Gawande

    “Acumen's core business is inextricable from its core values. To me, Acumen demonstrates the power of a vision whose execution is dependent upon listening to those it serves.” [READ MORE]

    Rohit joined Acumen’s New York office in 2011. As an Impact Associate, Rohit supports Acumen’s efforts to better understand and measure the social impact of our patient capital investing. He is responsible for the design and implementation of Acumen’s new impact measurement and evaluation systems, and works closely with the Portfolio Team to collect social impact data and generate insights from Acumen’s investees. Prior to this role, Rohit worked as an Analyst on Acumen’s Global Portfolio and Business Development Teams.

    Prior to joining the Business Development team in 2011, Rohit was an intern with Acumen’s Fellows Program. He has also worked for the International Water Association in The Hague, and on urban environmental issues for ISLES, INC in Trenton, New Jersey. Rohit received an A.B. in Public Policy from Princeton University at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where he conducted field research in India on inequality in urban water and sanitation delivery.

    CONTACT

    E:rgawande@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 SShah

    Sapna Shah

    “Businesses that Acumen invests in consider the poor as profitable customers, no different from you or me, changing the way the world views these individuals; with dignity not pity.” [READ MORE]

    Sapna is based in the East Africa office and is focused on the post investment management of the portfolio. She works with investees across the portfolios, formulating post-investment priorities for the investees, developing a pool of resources for management support and managing critical post investment projects.

    Prior to joining Acumen, Sapna worked with Lloyds TSB in the UK and HSBC in Jordan in distressed asset management, risk, restructuring and turnaround. She has helped turnaround a vast array of companies in diverse industries ranging from financial services to football clubs. Her achievements include ensuring continued operation of some of the Icelandic banks in the U.K. during the financial crisis and managing HSBC’s exposure to the largest restructuring in the Kingdom of Jordan. Sapna studied Government and Economics at the London School of Economics.

    CONTACT

    T:+245 716 252 802
    E:sshah@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 CKapkusum

    Christine Kapkusum

    “Dare to be somebody that creates a positive difference in underprivileged people’s lives.” [READ MORE]

    Christine Kapkusum-Mbae currently manages Acumen’s Health Portfolio in East Africa. She also oversees the origination and assessment of new investment opportunities as well as provide post investment support to Acumen’s investees. Christine has over six years experience in corporate and project finance. Before joining, she headed the finance team of a project company within the IPS (K) Group. Prior to that, she provided management and technical support to companies within the IPS group where she handled assignments relating business valuations, business planning/budgeting, financial modeling, group financial reporting, due diligence, and transaction structuring. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Kenyatta University and a post graduate degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the United States International University with a major in Finance. She is also Certified Public Accountant (CPA-K).

    CONTACT

    T:+245 716 252 802
    E:ckapkusum@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 DOnyango

    Duncan Onyango

    “Any far reaching development can be achieved by implementing what we believe: That the promise of a continent can be achieved when the full human potential is unleashed” [READ MORE]

    Duncan Onyango joined Acumen as Director of East Africa in September 2012. He has been a long supporter of Acumen and informally served as an advisor to the East Africa team over the years, as well as being actively involved in the Fellows Program.

    Duncan most recently served as the Group Chief Finance Officer of Rift Valley Railways, where he led the structuring of a $287M debt and equity capital investment in the rail sector. He began his career with over ten years at Abbey National, a major international bank in London, gaining cross-functional business experience in both the retail and corporate arms of Abbey, including serving as the bank’s Head of Training & Management Development for the Wealth Management Division. Building on that experience, Duncan moved into consulting at Strategic Workforce Limited in London, before returning to East Africa where he founded Quantum Africa in 2006, working with many small businesses and entrepreneurs. He has expertise in strategic & business planning, organizational alignment and business transformation. Duncan holds an honors degree in Computing and Retail Management from Oxford University.

    CONTACT

    T:+245 716 252 802
    E:donyango@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 KMacharia

    Kenneth Macharia

    “We are constantly learning and in doing so enriching the lives of individuals and communities we are working with to develop sustainable solutions.” [READ MORE]

    Kenneth is based in the East Africa office with responsibility for leading the Business Development and Communications strategy across the region.

    Prior to joining Acumen, Kenneth spent over 12 years developing and executing international business development and institutional fundraising strategies both in Kenya and the UK working across the private, public and not for profit sectors.  Most recently he worked in London for the Shaw Trust where he led the organizations business development strategy, developing and maintaining key relationships with senior executives in local, national and international partner and funding organizations. He drove the identification of new markets and services including setting up sustainable community based social enterprises.

    Kenneth is a Chartered Marketer and a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). He holds an MBA from the University of Glamorgan, UK.

    CONTACT

    T:+254 (0) 736 073 036
    E:kmacharia@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 MSagala

    Minayo Sagala

    “The Acumen model embraces and celebrates individual strengths and weaknesses, weaving a beautiful tapestry of talent that seeks, awakens, empowers and inspires stories of dignity.” [READ MORE]

    Minayo is legal counsel based in the Acumen East Africa office in Nairobi, which currently manages investments in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia. She holds an MSc in Education for Sustainability from the London South Bank University and an LLB from the University of Nairobi. Prior to joining Acumen, Minayo was a senior associate at Anjarwalla & Khanna Advocates, a top tier corporate commercial law firm in Nairobi and also spent about a year and a half as a senior associate in its affiliate office, Adept Chambers, in Dar es Salaam Tanzania.

    CONTACT

    T:: +245 716 252 802
    E:msagala@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer Rosemary

    Rosemary Lore

    “‘The future depends on a new breed of leader, ready to solve the world’s most challenging problems.’ I am privileged to be part of Acumen’s Leadership work in shaping the next generation of East Africa’s leaders.” [READ MORE]

    Rosie joins Acumen from Unilever where she worked in Research & Development in the Foods Business for a period of 9 years across several geographies including Europe, Africa and North America. Prior to working in the FMCG corporate sector, Rosie had an academic career spanning more than a decade in medical research (Public Health & Nutrition). Additionally, Rosie is a certified life coach, passionate about helping people discover and leverage their dependable strengths at work and in their personal lives. She is a consummate connector and networker, persuasive communicator and open to self-discovery and new experiences.

    The essence of what working at Acumen means for me is captured in the words of the Holy Scriptures “To him whom much is given, much is required – Luke 12:48”.

    CONTACT

    T:+245 716 252 802
    E:rlore@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer winnie

    Winnie Odhiambo

    “My strong conviction has always been to offer my acquired professional and technical skills to impact the society. At Acumen, I have not only found the perfect opportunity to do so, but also a new paradigm shift on how to change my view on tackling poverty by empowering entrepreneurs to make that change” [READ MORE]

    Winnie Mandela Odhiambo serves as a Senior Portfolio Associate at Acumen East Africa, and is charged with the Energy, Water and Sanitation docket. She brings with her a wealth of experience that spans close to 8 years in the Financial & Investment Sectors in East Africa.

    Prior to joining Acumen, she served as a Financial Analyst at The Eco Bank Group, in the Corporate & Structured Finance team covering the East African and Southern African Regions for a period of 1year. She also served as an Investment Manager at Co-op Trust Investment Services, a subsidiary of the Co-operative Bank Group for over 6 years.

    Winnie is an Economist from the University of Nairobi, Kenya and is currently pursuing the Chartered Financial Analyst qualification from the CFA© Institute

    CONTACT

    T:+245 716 252 802
    E:wodhiambo@acumen.org

As a part of their nine-month field placement, Global Fellows work with one of our investee companies. These Fellows are currently gaining on-the-ground experience in East Africa.

  • Close Drawer Adedotun Eyinade

    Adedotun Eyinade

    “Adedotun Eyinade will work in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania with Husk Power Systems. Husk uses innovative biomass technology to convert abundant rice husks into energy that provides...” [READ MORE]

    Adedotun Eyinade will work in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania with Husk Power Systems. Husk uses innovative biomass technology to convert abundant rice husks into energy that provides power to rural villages. Adedotun is from Nigeria and has worked for KPMG for over four years, most recently as a Senior Associate in Financial Risk Management. He holds a Bsc in Microbiology from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria and an International Certificate in Banking Risk and Regulation.

  • Close Drawer Joanne

    Joanne Schneider

    “Joanne is used to being an outsider and navigating new cultures. Over the course of 15 years, she went from a Mandarin-speaking preschool in Singapore, to an international...” [READ MORE]

    Joanne is used to being an outsider and navigating new cultures. Over the course of 15 years, she went from a Mandarin-speaking preschool in Singapore, to an international school in Switzerland, a rural high school in New Mexico, and then college in New England. These diverse experiences fostered her strong sense of identity as well as her ability to build relationships with new communities across lines of difference.  Joanne brings this and her experience in entrepreneurship, product management, marketing, and communications to the Global Fellows Program.

    A force in the tech sector, Joanne spent the last three years at Google working to build and bring products to market for small businesses. Whether it’s founding a healthcare startup, organizing a women’s hackathon, or helping an accelerator manage deal flow, Joanne is always pushing herself and others to create greater impact by leveraging technology to do more with less. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Environmental Economics and Latin American Studies from Dartmouth College.

    Joanne will spend her Fellowship with agriculture investee Esoko in Nairobi, Kenya.

  • Close Drawer Luis Lopez Martinelli

    Luis Lopez Martinelli

    “Luis will work in Nairobi, Kenya with Virtual City, a company that increases rural farmers’ incomes through mobile technology. Luis is from Mexico and has worked as a Business...” [READ MORE]

    Luis will work in Nairobi, Kenya with Virtual City, a company that increases rural farmers’ incomes through mobile technology. Luis is from Mexico and has worked as a Business Unit Manager at Det Norske Veritas, a climate change and environmental services company. He worked as a Commercial Strategy Analyst for CEMEX in Mexico and the USA. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Entrepreneurship from the University of Alberta in Canada.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 NGrillon

    Natalie Grillon

    “My fellowship was crucial; I have the courage to start my enterprise, honing my leadership style in training and experience at GADC and supported by my cohort and Acumen family”

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 NIden

    Nicole Iden

    “It takes more than passion and smarts and a good business model for a social entrepreneur to succeed. Most of all it takes guts and unshakeable commitment.” [READ MORE]

    Nicole is working in Nairobi, Kenya with Juhudi Kilimo, which provides micro asset financing to smallholder Kenyan farmers, enabling them to acquire assets that boost their productivity and provide long-term economic stability and growth.  Nicole is evaluating the current IT infrastructure and developing a more streamlined tech strategy in order to improve farmer mobile finance and date reporting.  Nicole is from the US and has worked with Capital One as a Bank Vice President, Grameen Foundation, and Accenture. Nicole holds a B.A. in Economics from William & Mary, and an M.S. in Management of Information Technology from the University of Virginia.

  • Close Drawer ramya

    Ramya Waran

    “When Ramya met a young war widow from an impoverished region in Sri Lanka, the woman represented an alternate version of herself. Born to Sri Lankan parents who immigrated...” [READ MORE]

    When Ramya met a young war widow from an impoverished region in Sri Lanka, the woman represented an alternate version of herself. Born to Sri Lankan parents who immigrated to Australia before the civil unrest in the 1980s, Ramya was humbled by how different the young woman’s life was from her own, having not grown up there. After that meeting, she promised to return to Sri Lanka to understand and address the consequences of conflict on disempowered communities.

    Ramya stayed true to her promise. After working as a financial management consultant, Ramya joined Palmera, a non-profit that empowers vulnerable communities in Cambodia and war-torn regions of Northern Sri Lanka. She also started a social business, It Starts with a Stitch, which donates 100 percent of its profits to war widows in Sri Lanka.

    Ramya holds a Bachelor’s of Commerce and Science from the University of Sydney, and brings strong management skills and a deep commitment to social impact to the Acumen Global Fellows Program.

    Ramya will spend her Fellowship with agriculture investee KZ Noir in Kigali, Rwanda.

  • Close Drawer Tammy

    Tammy Warren

    “Originally from a small town in rural Georgia, Tammy spent the last 12 years volunteering and working across three continents – in Guatemala, Kenya and Cambodia. Her natural...” [READ MORE]

    Originally from a small town in rural Georgia, Tammy spent the last 12 years volunteering and working across three continents – in Guatemala, Kenya and Cambodia. Her natural curiosity, coupled with her deep sense of empathy, propelled her to travel to and work with under-resourced communities in different parts of the world, listening and learning from each experience abroad.

    Tammy has over 15 years of consulting experience in the corporate sector, including her most recent role as Project Management Consultant for Target Corporation. She has worked on portfolio and risk management in many different industries including healthcare, education, retail and banking for CedarCrestone and Capgemini.

    Tammy holds a Bachelors of Business Administration [MC1] from the University of Georgia and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame.

    Tammy will spend her Fellowship with agriculture investee Mekelle Farms in Tigray, Ethiopia.

  • Close Drawer Aliyah Kurji

    Aliyah Kurji

    “Aliyah Kurji will work in Nairobi, Kenya with d.light design, a company that makes low-cost solar lights that provides cleaner, safer, and cheaper lighting to families living...” [READ MORE]

    Aliyah Kurji will work in Nairobi, Kenya with d.light design, a company that makes low-cost solar lights that provides cleaner, safer, and cheaper lighting to families living at the bottom of the pyramid. Aliyah is from Kenya and has worked with Accenture as a Senior Consultant for over six years in the UK. She has also worked with SmallWorld Cambodia and is a member of RAPID UK Urban Search and Rescue. She holds a BA from the University of Warwick and has pursued her MBA from Oxford.

  • Close Drawer Justus Kilian

    Justus Kilian

    “Justus will work in Gulu, Uganda with Gulu Agricultural Development Company (GADC), which provides market access to smallholder farmers in northern Uganda. Justus is from...” [READ MORE]

    Justus will work in Gulu, Uganda with Gulu Agricultural Development Company (GADC), which provides market access to smallholder farmers in northern Uganda. Justus is from the US and has worked as a Senior Financial Analyst at Merrill Lynch, and as a Global Securities Technician at the Northern Trust Company. He holds a BSc in Business Administration and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He is also a CFA Charterholder.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 FShelot Fellow

    Mohammed Fahim Shelot

    “Through the Fellowship, I've had to step out of my comfort zone and go the extra mile to appreciate the power of risk taking and achieving things which I could never imagine before.” [READ MORE]

    Fahim is working in Kitale, Kenya with Western Seed, a Kenya-based company whose mission is to address the lack of maize productivity among smallholder farms in East Africa. He will work towards improving financial processes at the organizational and customer levels. Fahim is from Pakistan and has worked with Al Meezan Investment Management as an analyst, with Ernst & Young’s Global Islamic Finance team in Bahrain as a consultant, and with Capital Management House in Bahrain in private equity. Fahim holds a B.Sc. in Accounting and Finance from the Lahore University of Management Sciences and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder.

  • Close Drawer Nicolas

    Nicolas Guillen

    ““Growing up in Quito, my older sister always said I would be President of Ecuador one day. My sister was biased, but what she saw was my passion for helping others. By the...” [READ MORE]

    “Growing up in Quito, my older sister always said I would be President of Ecuador one day. My sister was biased, but what she saw was my passion for helping others. By the time my family and I moved to the U.S., my bags were packed with dreams and I was starving for opportunities to explore my impact in the world.” Nicolas moved from Quito to New York City when he was 15 years old and the experience of being surrounded by those who were disadvantaged never left him, nor did his desire to shape his community.

    Upon completing university, Nicolas was selected as one of 154 members worldwide to advise the Ecuadorian Department of Immigration on the needs of immigrant families abroad, through the Ecuadorian International Center. A dynamic self-starter, Nicolas spent five years working in risk management at Morgan Stanley and later launched his own software company. Nicolas comes to Acumen from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.

    Nicolas will spend his Fellowship with sanitation investee Sanergy in Nairobi, Kenya.

  • Close Drawer Rajanthi Manivannan

    Rajanthi Manivannan

    “Rajanthi will work in Nairobi, Kenya with M-KOPA, which provides financing for mini solar home systems in Kenya. Rajanthi is from Canada and has worked for Cuso International...” [READ MORE]

    Rajanthi will work in Nairobi, Kenya with M-KOPA, which provides financing for mini solar home systems in Kenya. Rajanthi is from Canada and has worked for Cuso International in Ghana as a Strategic and Organizational Consultant. Previously, she worked as a Senior Financial Analyst for Rogers Communications in Toronto. She holds a BA in Economics from the University of Waterloo and is a Certified Management Accountant.

  • Close Drawer Saad

    Saad Latif

    “Raised in Pakistan, Saad has a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges in Pakistani society. It was this exposure that drove Saad to apply his skills and education...” [READ MORE]

    Raised in Pakistan, Saad has a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges in Pakistani society. It was this exposure that drove Saad to apply his skills and education to create social impact and is what brought him to the Acumen Global Fellows Program.

    Saad has a strong track record of leadership. He was the first President from the undergraduate program of the Students’ Council at the reputed Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). During his time at K-Electric (formerly Karachi Electric Supply Company) he developed strong technical and operational skills and was part of the team that transformed the utility that supplies electricity to more than 20 million individuals. Saad has also leveraged his passion for storytelling to help produce documentaries for the largest television network in Pakistan.

    He holds a Bachelors of Science [MC1] (Hons) in Economics from LUMS and brings experience in project planning, research, analysis, and management in addition to strong leadership skills to the Acumen Global Fellows program.

    Saad will spend his Fellowship with energy investee Husk Power Systems in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

  • Close Drawer Yulia 1

    Yuliya Tarasava

    “Yuliya arrived in the U.S. from her native Belarus in her early twenties with an aspiration to continue her education, $200 in her pocket, and a scant English vocabulary....” [READ MORE]

    Yuliya arrived in the U.S. from her native Belarus in her early twenties with an aspiration to continue her education, $200 in her pocket, and a scant English vocabulary. What she lacked in means did not stand in the way of her grit, resilience, and audacity. In nine months, Yuliya taught herself English, and was accepted into an American business school to study finance. That accomplishment is one in a long list of academic successes; earlier in her academic career, Yuliya achieved the top score on a national math exam, and later earned a perfect average at Belarus’ top university.

    Yuliya brings to the fellowship a decade of business experience in the areas of portfolio management, market research, risk assessment, and investment strategy evaluation. She worked at Summit Rock Advisors and Managers Investment Group and is both a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst.

    Yuliya will spend her Fellowship with agriculture investee Juhudi Kilimo in Nairobi, Kenya.

Acumen’s East Africa Fellows Program launched in 2011. These Fellows are the emerging social impact leaders of East Africa.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 ATemu

    Abraham Temu

    “Abraham is the Founder & Managing Director of KiBO Foundation.” [READ MORE]

    Abraham is the Founder & Managing Director of KiBO Foundation, which delivers applied ICT and leadership training programs to youth with a focus on creating work and entrepreneurial opportunities. Over 250 youth have undergone KiBO’s 15 week intensive training program, and they hope to reach 200 more each year. Abraham has worked as an Associate at Toronto Dominion Asset Management, as an Associate Vice President PricewaterhouseCoopers, and as a Senior Manager at Aexsys Corporation. He holds a BSc in Quantitative Methods and an MBA from the University of Toronto.

  • Close Drawer billow

    Billow Hassan

    “Billow is from Northern Kenya and is the Founder of The Mandera Times, a bi-monthly newsletter that seeks to provide access to information and current events to communities...” [READ MORE]

    Billow is from Northern Kenya and is the Founder of The Mandera Times, a bi-monthly newsletter that seeks to provide access to information and current events to communities living in Northern Kenya that the mainstream media ignores. Billow also works at the Ministry of Education of Kenya, and was a One Young World Ambassador in 2013. Billow holds Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from University of Nairobi, is a Certified Public Accountant, and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Finance & Economics from KCA University.

  • Close Drawer calvince

    Calvince Okello

    “Calvince is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Founder and CEO of M-Shamba, an interactive mobile platform that provides vital information to farmers and other stakeholders along...” [READ MORE]

    Calvince is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Founder and CEO of M-Shamba, an interactive mobile platform that provides vital information to farmers and other stakeholders along the agricultural value chain. M-Shamba has benefited over 4,000 farmers to adopt new sustainable farming practices and increase access to markets to trade produce. Calvince holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural, Biomechanical, and Processing Engineering from Jomo Kenyatta University.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 CKalama

    Charles Kalama

    “Charles is the Founder & Director of EcoPost.” [READ MORE]

    Charles is the Founder & Director of EcoPost, an integrated waste management company that utilizes waste plastic as a resource to manufacture aesthetic, durable and environmentally friendly fencing posts. EcoPost is curbing deforestation by providing an alternative to timber, recycling waste plastic, and creating jobs for the unemployed. Charles has experience as the Founder & Director of FinAfrika Web Creations and as an Account Manager with Advanced Solutions International. He holds an MEng in Biochemical Engineering and Bioprocess Management from University College London, and was named “Innovator of the Year” by IChemE in 2010.

  • Close Drawer david gatwech

    David Gatwech Lok

    “David is from Juba, South Sudan and is Deputy Director of Protocol at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs of Government in the Republic of South Sudan. In addition, David is a...” [READ MORE]

    David is from Juba, South Sudan and is Deputy Director of Protocol at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs of Government in the Republic of South Sudan. In addition, David is a Secretary of the Joint Border Commission, as well as the National Secretariat for Peace Negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan. Previously, served as the Representative of the South Sudan Referendum Commission in Australia. David holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Western Sydney, Australia, and a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Deakin University, Australia.

  • Close Drawer eda eslaba

    Eda Esilaba

    “Eda is from Nairobi Kenya and is the Founder and Director of Halisi Trust, an organization that seeks to challenge the vices that plague society and encourage transformational...” [READ MORE]

    Eda is from Nairobi Kenya and is the Founder and Director of Halisi Trust, an organization that seeks to challenge the vices that plague society and encourage transformational development in Kenya’s youth. Her book, called Mkenya Halisi, has sold over 1,800 copies, Eda has engaged nearly 6,000 people through outreach events and the Mkenya Halisi movement continues to grow. Eda holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Studies from Africa International University (Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology).

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 ENamara

    Evelyn Namara

    “Evelyn is from Kampala, Uganda and is the Country Director of Solar Sister” [READ MORE]

    Evelyn is from Kampala, Uganda and is the Country Director of Solar Sister, which brings light, hope, and opportunity to rural African communities through a woman-centered direct sales network. Solar Sister has established a network of over 200 women entrepreneurs in Uganda, and has impacted nearly 32,000 lives. Evelyn is an IT professional and has experience working in telecommunications, internet business, computer programming, and training. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Makerere University, and received the Anita Borg Change Agent Award in 2012.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 GMkwaya

    George Mkwaya

    “George is from Zanzibar, Tanzania and is the Project Coordinator of Zanzibar Initiative for Youth Association (ZIFYA)” [READ MORE]

    George is from Zanzibar, Tanzania and is the Project Coordinator of Zanzibar Initiative for Youth Association (ZIFYA), which is a community development organization that creates educational and employment opportunities for youth in Zanzibar. ZIFYA currently runs a prawn farming initiative that annually employs about 30 young people and trains over 150 people per month. George has experience in tourism, as a teacher, and as a community leader. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree from the Open University of Tanzania.

  • Close Drawer !gerald otim

    Gerald Otim

    “Otim is from Kampala, Uganda and is the Senior Program Coordinator for Design and Training at Educate!, a pioneering an innovative model of secondary school education, combining...” [READ MORE]

    Otim is from Kampala, Uganda and is the Senior Program Coordinator for Design and Training at Educate!, a pioneering an innovative model of secondary school education, combining experienced-based training and mentorship to position youth to lead change and development in Ugandan as leaders and entrepreneurs. Otim works strategy and creation of training resources for an education program that is reaching over 10,000 youth in 250 secondary schools across Uganda. He holds a Bachelors of Development Economics from Makerere University.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 HMugume

    Herbert Mugume

    “Herbert is from Kigali, Rwanda and is an Analyst with KZ Noir” [READ MORE]

    Herbert is from Kigali, Rwanda and is an Analyst with KZ Noir, which is a fair-trade coffee business that supports smallholder farmers in rural Rwanda. KZ Noir has positively impacted 12,000 lives by connecting local producers with international markets. Herbert has also worked with the Rwanda Development Board and the Cooperation for Fair Trade in Africa (COFTA). He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the School of Finance and Banking.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 HMuraj

    Hital Muraj

    “Hital is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Corporate Affairs Manager of CISCO” [READ MORE]

    Hital is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Corporate Affairs Manager of CISCO, where she leads the Community Knowledge Center (CKC) initiative which brings internet connectivity and micro-economic opportunities to underserved communities across Sub Saharan Africa. The CKC initiative has provided management training to over 100 center managers and has increased internet access for nearly 170,000 people. She holds a Certificate in Systems Analysis & Design from Micrologic Computer Training Institute.

  • Close Drawer janemary

    Janemary Ruhundwa

    “Janemary is from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She is the Country Director for Asylum Access, Tanzania which empowers the unrecognized and marginalized urban refugee population...” [READ MORE]

    Janemary is from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She is the Country Director for Asylum Access, Tanzania which empowers the unrecognized and marginalized urban refugee population in Tanzania through legal services, livelihood and entrepreneurship training, and influencing public policy. Janemary holds a Master’s Degree in International Law and Human Rights from the University of Dar es Salaam.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 JKaranja

    Joan Wangui Karanja

    “Joan is the Regional Director for the COFTA.” [READ MORE]

    Joan is the Regional Director for the COFTA, which uses Fair Trade principles to promote the sustainable development of African producers into successful businesses. COFTA has registered 172 Fair Trade produces in 24 countries across Africa, and hopes to expand their capacity building, market access and advocacy programs to reach even more producers. She has experience in marketing, public relations, strategic planning, and fair trade, and is the Founder of both Orchid Media Ltd and Sueno Associates. She holds an MBA and an MSc in Strategic Planning from Edinburgh Business School and a BA in Communications from Daystar University.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 JKithendu

    Johnson Kithendu

    “Johnson is the Managing Director of Milango Financial Services.” [READ MORE]

    Johnson is the Managing Director of Milango Financial Services, which is a microfinance institution that provides one stop servicing for various financial and training needs. Milango has reached over 10,000 clients and given over 13,000 loans valued at $4.5 million. Johnson has worked in microfinance at the Center for International Development and Research, Faulu Kenya, and Focus Kenya. He holds a Bachelor’s of Education from Maseno University.

  • Close Drawer joram

    Joram Gichuki

    Joram is from Nyeri, Kenya and is the Chairman of Jijenge Sanitation Youth Group, an organization that aims to alleviate poverty through solid waste management by increasing...” [READ MORE]

    Joram is from Nyeri, Kenya and is the Chairman of Jijenge Sanitation Youth Group, an organization that aims to alleviate poverty through solid waste management by increasing incomes for recyclable waste collectors through direct market linkages. Joram also serves as the Head of Finance for Upper Gura Water Resources Users Association. He is currently pursuing an MBA from Acton School of Business.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 JIngabire

    Julienne Ingabire

    “Julienne is from Kigali, Rwanda and is the Co-Founder and Global Chief of Operations of Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE).” [READ MORE]

    Julienne is from Kigali, Rwanda and is the Co-Founder and Global Chief of Operations of Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE), which aims to increase educational outcomes by using a franchise model to produce and distribute affordable, eco-friendly, and high-quality menstrual pads. Since 2009, SHE has impacted over 50,000 girls across half a dozen schools in Rwanda. Julienne was previously the Operations Manager of Bourbon Coffee, and the Head of Internal Audit at the Rwanda Development Board. She is currently pursuing an MBA in Strategic Planning from Edinburgh Business School.

  • Close Drawer kahabi

    Kahabi Isangula

    “Kahabi is from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and is the Deputy Project Director and Senior Manager for Capacity Building at Management Sciences for Health, which works to strengthen...” [READ MORE]

    Kahabi is from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and is the Deputy Project Director and Senior Manager for Capacity Building at Management Sciences for Health, which works to strengthen the leadership and management capacity for central agencies of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University (USA), and an MD from Muhimbili University in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 KGikunda

    Ken Mwenda Gikunda

    “Ken is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of eMobilis.” [READ MORE]

    Ken is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of eMobilis, which is addressing the unemployment crisis in Kenya and Tanzania by providing training in mobile software development and entrepreneurship. eMobilis has directly trained over 700 young people, of which 70% have recieved full scholarships. Ken has experience in banking and business development from Barclays and Citibank. He holds an MBA from University of Victoria, and was selected as a Young African Leader as part of an initiative by the US State Department.

  • Close Drawer leonard

    Leonard Imanishimwe

    “Leonard is from Kampala, Uganda and is the Executive Director of Uganda Youth Forum, which challenges youth from ages 12-24 to take responsibility in creatively solving social...” [READ MORE]

    Leonard is from Kampala, Uganda and is the Executive Director of Uganda Youth Forum, which challenges youth from ages 12-24 to take responsibility in creatively solving social and economic problems in their communities through nationwide programs such as the National Youth Awards. Their programs have reached 1,000 schools and over 10,000 young people. Leonard holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Political Science from Makerere University.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 MMlagui

    Majala Mlagui

    “Being the change I want to see in the world can be a difficult challenge. The Acumen Fellowship has provided me with a vibrant support structure and tools to do good and do well.” [READ MORE]

    Majala is from Taita Taveta, Kenya and is the Founder of Thamani Gems, which works with artisans and small-scale miners on fair trade distribution channels and sustainable markets. Thamani Gems is working with over 100 miners to increase mineral education levels, sustainable mining practices and knowledge of the regulatory framework. Majala’s background is in business process optimization, change and project management, and financial systems. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering from the University of Sheffield.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 MMapenduzi

    Martin Ojara Mapenduzi

    “Martin is from Gulu, Uganda and is the Gulu District Local Government Chairperson, where he serves as the political head of the Gulu district” [READ MORE]

    Martin is from Gulu, Uganda and is the Gulu District Local Government Chairperson, where he serves as the political head of the Gulu district. He also leads the Gulu Centre for Economic and Social Transformation, which aims at promoting community participation and involvement in decision making and awareness creation on human rights and good governance. Martin was previously the District Speaker of Gulu, a Program Manager of Radio Choice 92.1 FM, and a secondary school teacher in Gulu. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Gulu University, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Conflict Transformation Studies from Gulu University.

  • Close Drawer nivi

    Nivi Mukherjee

    “Nivi is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Co-founder and CEO of eLimu, an interactive education technology venture that delivers engaging digital media content on tablets tailored...” [READ MORE]

    Nivi is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Co-founder and CEO of eLimu, an interactive education technology venture that delivers engaging digital media content on tablets tailored for the Kenyan curriculum. eLimu tablets are currently being used by over 1,000 primary school students. Previously, Nivi worked in the Kenyan IT training industry for 6 years and ran an initiative for underprivileged children called “Maisha ni Matamu.” Nivi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Ithaca College, NY.

  • Close Drawer Pauline Wanja

    Pauline Wanja

    “I had a chance to interact with a different kind of philanthropy, one that seeks to reach out to people in need without comprising their dignity. This makes true giving conceivable.” [READ MORE]

    Pauline is the Co- Founder & Executive Director of the LIST (Living In Shanty Towns) Initiative, which aims to unify young people living in informal settlements and prepare them for a productive and dignified adulthood and together work toward personal, social, economic and political justice. Pauline has worked at the World Youth Alliance, Kibera Community Development Agenda, and at the Kenya Human Rights Commission. She moderated the Global Youth Against Corruption Network (GYACN) for a year, and she is also currently working as a Youth Empowerment Program Assistant & Activista Coordinator at ActionAid Kenya. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from Moi University and studied Accounts at Strathmore University.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 RObiero

    Ramadhan Obiero

    “Ramadhan is the Director of the “We Are Watching You” project which engages communities through music and performances.” [READ MORE]

    Ramadhan is the Director of the “We Are Watching You” project which engages communities through music and performances to create a culture of vigilance and political accountability. Ramadhan has experience as the Coordinator for the Vumilia Youth Group, the Stage Manager for musician Eric Wainaina, the leader of the Kale Leo Band, and the Chairman of the African Cultural Research and Education Foundation. He holds a Diploma Certificate in Community Development from the Kenya Institute of Social Work and Community Development.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 RWanjohi

    Robert Wanjohi

    “Robert is from Nyeri, Kenya and is the Manager of Jitunze Environmental Group.” [READ MORE]

    Robert is from Nyeri, Kenya and is the Manager of Jitunze Environmental Group, which restores the environment and the community of the Mt. Kenya Forest World Heritage site through conversation and livelihood development. Jitunze has established fish farming projects serving nearly 300 community members and has rehabilitated over 100 hectares of forest. Robert has extensive experience as a facilitator/trainer, and has led workshops on business planning, agricultural development, and natural resource management. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from the University of Maseno.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 SKaranja

    Sarah Karanja

    “Sarah is the Project Manager of WelTel.” [READ MORE]

    Sarah is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Project Manager of WelTel, which leverages mobile phone technology to improve health outcomes for HIV/AIDS patients. WelTel’s technology has proven to be effective at increasing anti-retroviral adherence through clinical trials, and has helped hundreds of patients. She holds a Master’s degree in Medical Sociology from the University of Nairobi.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 SGrecaga

    Soiya Gecaga

    “Soiya is the Founder and Executive Director of “We The Change” Foundation.” [READ MORE]

    Soiya is the Founder and Executive Director of “We The Change” Foundation, which seeks to provide early childhood education and care to children in marginalized communities. “We The Change” aims to reach 500 children by year five and develop a model of holistic education to be replicated in government schools across Kenya. Soiya has served as Solicitor at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and Bates Wells & Braithwaite, and as the Executive Director of the Global Tribe Network (now the Global Youth Fund). She holds an MA in Modern History from the University of St. Andrews and holds a Diploma of Law and a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law in London.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 TNoorbhai

    Tayeb Noorbhai

    “Leaders need vision: this is a starting point. They also need pragmatism and resolve to see change through. The fellowship cultivates our visions, and trains us to enable change.” [READ MORE]

    Tayeb is from Arusha, Tanzania and is the Business Development Manager of SimGas, which combats climate change, deforestation, and indoor air pollution by developing biogas as an alternate source of energy. SimGas has established a manufacturing and distribution network with numerous sales partners across East Africa. Tayeb has also worked as a Renewable Energy Advisor with the Netherlands Development Organization(SNV). He holds a Master’s degree in Development Studies from the University of Oxford.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 WWaithaka

    Wambui Waithaka

    “Wambui is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the National Treasurer of the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists' and Dentists Union (KMPPDU).” [READ MORE]

    Wambui is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the National Treasurer of the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists’ and Dentists Union (KMPPDU), which is a trade union dedicated to reforming the health sector in Kenya through advocacy exposing corruption, industrial action, and lobbying. KMPPU has helped to increase the salaries of thousands of doctors in Kenya, and has contributed to the reduction of graft across the healthcare system. Wambui is also currently a Medical Officer with the Kenyan Ministry of Medical Services. She holds a Bachelor degrees in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Nairobi.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 AMusuuza

    Abubaker Musuuza

    “Abubaker is the Co-Founder and Director of Village Energy.” [READ MORE]

    Abubaker is the Co-Founder and Director of Village Energy, which runs energy micro-factories that utilize solar power to meet the energy needs of those without access to electricity. Currently, over 150 households use Village Energy’s solar system, providing an alternative to kerosene and saving families 15-20% of their household income. Abubaker has experience as the East Africa Representative of Ashoka, as well as the National President for AIESEC Uganda. He holds a Bachelor’s of Social Work and Social Administration from Makerere University.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 BMwangi

    Boniface Mwangi

    “Boniface is the Project Director of Picha Mtaani.” [READ MORE]

    Boniface is the Project Director of Picha Mtaani, which is a mobile photo exhibition held in towns across Kenya, showcasing photographs of the post-election violence that rocked various parts of the country in 2007/08. Picha Mtaani has reached over 500,000 individuals and plans to develop an online platform that will use photography as a catalyst for social change across East Africa. Boniface has worked as a photojournalist for the Standard, and has worked as a freelancer for Bloomberg, the AFP, Reuters, the Boston Globe, as well as a number of other media outlets. He holds a Diploma in Print Journalism from the East African School of Journalism, and has been recognized as a TED Fellow and twice as the CNN Multichoice Africa Photojournalist of the Year.

  • Close Drawer caren

    Caren Wakoli

    “Caren is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Founder and Executive Director of Emerging Leaders Foundation (ELF), an organization that works to develop the next generation of leaders...” [READ MORE]

    Caren is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Founder and Executive Director of Emerging Leaders Foundation (ELF), an organization that works to develop the next generation of leaders in East Africa through leadership, training, and mentorship. ELF has trained 500 university student leaders, and has reached over 3,000 students through motivational talks in schools. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the University of Nairobi.

  • Close Drawer christine gitau

    Christine Gitau

    “Christine is from Nairobi, Kenya and is an enterprise coach and mentor at Craft Afrika, which provides business support services – such as training, endorsement for loans,...” [READ MORE]

    Christine is from Nairobi, Kenya and is an enterprise coach and mentor at Craft Afrika, which provides business support services – such as training, endorsement for loans, and creating market connections – to craft entrepreneurs, enabling them build viable and thriving businesses. She is also the East Africa Representative of ARTerial Network, Africa’s largest civil society organization for the Arts. Christine holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Literature from Moi University, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Media Production from Mohamed Amin Foundation.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 DOkello

    David Okello

    “David Okello is the General Manager of Coast Coconut Farms.” [READ MORE]

    David Okello is the General Manager of Coast Coconut Farms, which is a social enterprise providing sustainable employment in the coastal rural areas to alleviate poverty through coconuts based businesses. Coast Coconut Farms has reached over 1,200 people and hopes to establish market linkages with over 3,000 coconut farmers in the coast province of Kenya. David has experience as an Audit Assistant at Ernst & Young International, and as the Director of Finance at the Moi University Students Organization. He holds a Bachelor’s of Business Management from Moi University.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 EAgaba

    Edward Agaba

    “Edward is a Senior Business Advisor at TechnoServe Uganda, where he is leading the “Consolidating The Gains” project.” [READ MORE]

    Edward is a Senior Business Advisor at TechnoServe Uganda, where he is leading the “Consolidating The Gains” project, which aims to increase the incomes of smallholder farmers in southwestern Uganda by reducing the transaction costs along the banana value chain. The project has reached 26,000 farmers in the districts of Mbarara, Isingiro and Ntungamo in south western Uganda. Edward has experience in economic development, microfinance, banking, and as a high school economics teacher. He holds an MSc in Development Economics from Uganda Martyrs University and a BA in Economics from Makerere University.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 FMuigai

    Faith Muigai

    “Faith is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Director of Operations of Jacaranda Health.” [READ MORE]

    Faith is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Director of Operations of Jacaranda Health, which operates a network of mobile clinics and inpatient centers that provide care for pregnant women and families. Since recently launching, Jacaranda Health has already provided delivery services or antenatal care to hundreds of women. Faith is a registered nurse and has experience across the medical field including research, administration, and patient care. She holds a Master’s degree in Nursing and Administration from Towson University.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 GBakka

    George William Bakka

    “George is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Angels Initiative (AI).” [READ MORE]

    George is from Kampala, Uganda and is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Angels Initiative (AI), which is a business incubator, accelerator, and venture capital fund focused on supporting the growth of scalable social impact enterprises. AI has supported 40 entrepreneurs thus far, and hopes to impact thousands over the next few years. George is the recipient of the Golden Certificate from Educate!, the Anzisha Prize Fellows, and the African Leadership Network Fellowship for his work as a social entrepreneur. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Qualitative Economics from Makerere University.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 HNabbuye

    Hawah Nabbuye

    “Hawah is from Kampala, Uganda and is the Senior Program Coordinator of Educate!” [READ MORE]

    Hawah is from Kampala, Uganda and is the Senior Program Coordinator of Educate!, which provides training and mentorship to young Ugandans interested in launching enterprises and community-based organizations. Educate! works with over 3,200 students who participate in entrepreneurship training and leadership development. Hawah has personally mentored over 150 students in life skills and launching transformative projects. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Kyambogo University.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 HThuo

    Herbert Thuo

    “Herbert is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Chief Marketing Officer of Virtual Group” [READ MORE]

    Herbert is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Chief Marketing Officer of Virtual Group, which utilizes simple mobile tools to enable traders to access new internal markets by empowering the entire ecosystem with mobile money available across East Africa. Virtual Group has engaged over 100 merchants and has increased the income levels of over 1000 households in Kenya. Herbert is a branding and communications professional with expertise in sales and business development. He is currently pursuing an MBA from United Stated International University.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 IKeshavjee

    Irfan Keshavjee

    “Irfan is the Founder & Lead Partner of Karibu Homes.” [READ MORE]

    Irfan is the Founder & Lead Partner of Karibu Homes, a social enterprise that brings home ownership along with a secure, sanitary, and progressive community to low-income families. Karibu Homes hopes to build 10,000 homes and house 50,000 people per year. Irfan also co-founded Honey Care Africa, a social enterprise that has impacted over 10,000 lives. Irfan is also the Director of the East Africa Film Academy, Co-Founder of Galu Beach Retreat, and Managing Director of White Rose Services. Irfan holds a BSc-Eng in Civil Environmental Engineering from Queen’s University and an MBA from the University of Oxford.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 JEwechu

    Joachim Ewechu

    “I never knew I had this much potential; it has been a moment of learning and self discovery, great inspiration and encouragement, every leader needs this for progress in our time.” [READ MORE]

    Joachim is from Kampala, Uganda and is the Co-Founder and Chief of Business Operations of Angels Initiative (AI), which is a business incubator, accelerator, and venture capital fund focused on supporting the growth of scalable social impact enterprises. AI has supported 40 entrepreneurs thus far, and hopes to impact thousands over the new few years. Joachim is also a Founding Part of Mara Launchpad, another business incubator. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Kyambogo University.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 JWali

    John Wali

    “John is the Executive Director of Junior Achievement in Kenya.” [READ MORE]

    John is the Executive Director of Junior Achievement in Kenya, which empowers youth through hands-on programs on how to start and manage their own enterprises making them self sufficient and economically stable. Junior Achievement in Kenya has reached over 175,000 youth and aims to deliver programs in all 7,000 public secondary schools across Kenya. John has been involved at Junior Achievement since 2004, and holds a BA in Economics from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa and an Executive MBA from Moi University.

  • Close Drawer jonathan mativo

    Jonathan Mativo

    Jonathan is from Makueni, Kenya and is the Founder and Chief Strategist of ICT for Development (ICT4D) Kenya, an award-winning organization that provides ICT training at...” [READ MORE]

    Jonathan is from Makueni, Kenya and is the Founder and Chief Strategist of ICT for Development (ICT4D) Kenya, an award-winning organization that provides ICT training at the community level through a mobile training model. Nearly 200 of their youth graduates have secured jobs in the ICT sector. Jonathan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Statistics and Computer Science from Jomo Kenyatta University.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 JNganga

    Joseph Nganga

    “Joseph is the CEO of Renewable Energy Ventures, which produces and distributes affordable solar lanterns.” [READ MORE]

    Joseph is the CEO of Renewable Energy Ventures, which produces and distributes affordable solar lanterns. Renewable Energy Ventures has distributed over 4,000 solar lanterns and has created over 500 micro-enterprises through their retail network. Joseph has worked as a banking analyst at Bank of America, as an energy consultant at various organizations, and is Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Caroline for Kibera and a Consultant at InfoDev at the World Bank. He holds a BA in Finance and Marketing from Queens University of Charlotte.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 JDeSouza

    Julio De Souza

    “Julio is the Chief Operating Officer of Nuru Energy, a social enterprise that produces and distributes low-cost lanterns that are rechargeable through pedal generators.” [READ MORE]

    Julio is the Chief Operating Officer of Nuru Energy, a social enterprise that produces and distributes low-cost lanterns that are rechargeable through pedal generators. Nuru Energy has 12,000 light units sold in East Africa, and aims to reach five million lights sold by 2015. Julio has worked a Program Manager with the UNDP in Kenya on private sector development. He holds a Master’s Degree in International Development from the University of Oslo, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies and Economics from California State University.

  • Close Drawer kdwJd9vnJXssh0rIbu2Jhyucc3WHpbtBsfLRed_-AQVWcRTomYkwsfnKcbsXSobRqQ=w876-h477

    Kamanda Kamiri

    “Kamanda is from Kigali, Rwanda and is the Operations Manager at Gardens for Health International, an organization that works to provide agricultural solutions to chronic malnutrition....” [READ MORE]

    Kamanda is from Kigali, Rwanda and is the Operations Manager at Gardens for Health International, an organization that works to provide agricultural solutions to chronic malnutrition. Kamanda was previously a Global Health Corps Fellow, and also worked at the Bank of Kigali. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from the School of Finance and Banking (SFB) Kigali, Rwanda, and is currently pursuing an MBA from Mount Kenya University.

  • Close Drawer kennedy

    Kennedy Oloo

    Ken Oloo is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Founder of Filamujuani ("Films in the Sun" in Swahili) which trains and mentors students from informal settlements - such as...” [READ MORE]

    Ken Oloo is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Founder of Filamujuani (“Films in the Sun” in Swahili) which trains and mentors students from informal settlements – such as Mkuru-Kwa-Njenga, Kibera and Kangemi – to tell their own stories using video and photography. He is also a director of Zindua Ltd, a social enterprise that creates television shows, commercials and documentaries. Ken holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications from Daystar University and is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship for Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

  • Close Drawer q8eFEjDMRFtdYLOocxBE8UkXsYExS8_q_-i1_J4M_-pU_mqiDGHq9nY_3h9xvw4fEw=s190

    Lucy Mukuria

    “Lucy is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Head Psychologist under the Department of Mental Health at the Ministry of State for Defense. She is addressing the mental and behavioral...” [READ MORE]

    Lucy is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Head Psychologist under the Department of Mental Health at the Ministry of State for Defense. She is addressing the mental and behavioral needs for uniformed personnel and their families, and aims to standardize these practices at military schools and hospitals across Kenya. Lucy holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from the United States International University.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 MMoon

    Marion Moon

    “Self-discovery, deepening of maturity, sharpening of tools and expansion of network – what an amazing experience! It is liberating to know that I am not normal but I am sane.” [READ MORE]

    Marion Atieno is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Founder and Managing Director of Wanda Organic Limited, which manufactures and distributes low-cost organic fertilizers that increase productivity while restoring soil health. Marion has worked in tourism, media, banking, and marketing. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Macquarie University.

  • Close Drawer neha

    Neha Pandya

    “Neha is currently working in Kampala, Uganda as the Acting Deputy Executive Director at International Law Institute-African Centre for Legal Excellence which works to build...” [READ MORE]

    Neha is currently working in Kampala, Uganda as the Acting Deputy Executive Director at International Law Institute-African Centre for Legal Excellence which works to build Africa’s legal infrastructure through responsibly drafted laws, systems for dispute resolution, capacity building, and improved governance. She was previously an Associate Attorney at the law firm Duane Morris, LLP. Neha holds a Bachelor’s Degree from New York University, and a Doctorate in Law from Temple University.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 PJumi

    Patricia Leila Jumi

    “Patricia is the Managing Director of GrowthAfrica Capital.” [READ MORE]

    Patricia is the Managing Director of GrowthAfrica Capital, which assists small business owners and entrepreneurs grow their businesses into strong and profitable companies through mentorship, training, and patient capital. GrowthAfrica has helped over 1,500 clients, and hopes to expand their training-of-trainers program across East Africa to reach 5,000 entrepreneurs annually. Patricia has worked at Metrocomia International and also as the Vice President of AIESEC Uganda. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Makerere University and an MBA from Copenhagen Business School.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 RGichinga

    Rachel Gichinga

    “Rachel is the Co-Founder of Kuweni Serious, which is an online platform that focuses on creating a corps of everyday changemakers.” [READ MORE]

    Rachel is the Co-Founder of Kuweni Serious, which is an online platform that focuses on creating a corps of everyday changemakers among young, educated, middle class Kenyans. Rachel has experience as the Project Manager of Penya Africa Ltd, and also as the Program Coordinator/Producer at Rainmaker Ltd. Rachel holds a BA in International Relations from the United States International University.

  • Close Drawer richard

    Richard Zulu

    “Richard is from Kampala, Uganda and is a Founder, Lead and Program Manager of Outbox Uganda, an innovation hub and incubation space that supports people to turn their ideas...” [READ MORE]

    Richard is from Kampala, Uganda and is a Founder, Lead and Program Manager of Outbox Uganda, an innovation hub and incubation space that supports people to turn their ideas into sustainable businesses. Outbox currently works with over 20 startups, and has reached over 900 individuals through their community business trainings. Richard holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology from Makerere University, Uganda.

  • Close Drawer sachin

    Sachin Gathani

    “Sachin is from Kenya and is currently based in Kigali, Rwanda where he is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Laterite Ltd. Laterite conducts socio-economic and policy...” [READ MORE]

    Sachin is from Kenya and is currently based in Kigali, Rwanda where he is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Laterite Ltd. Laterite conducts socio-economic and policy research to help organizations in underserved markets deliver social change and effective development interventions. Previously, Sachin has worked in East Africa, South America and the US for the World Bank, Booz & Co, Silver Oak Solutions and IDEX. Sachin holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California – Berkeley, and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University.

  • Close Drawer sarah

    Sarah Matindi

    Sarah Matindi is from Nairobi, Kenya and is a Program Officer at MEGEN (Men for Gender Equality Now), an organization that engages men, boys and institutions to end gender-based...” [READ MORE]

    Sarah Matindi is from Nairobi, Kenya and is a Program Officer at MEGEN (Men for Gender Equality Now), an organization that engages men, boys and institutions to end gender-based violence and promote gender equality. She holds a certificate in counseling from the Amani Counseling and Training Institute.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 SMutai

    Stephen Mutai

    “Stephen is the Chief Accountant at Juhudi Kilimo, which provides financial services to rural smallholder farmers.” [READ MORE]

    Stephen is the Chief Accountant at Juhudi Kilimo, which provides financial services to rural smallholder farmers by micro-leasing wealth generating assets, like a dairy cow. Juhudi Kilimo currently has 7,000 borrowers and hopes to reach 50,000. Stephen has held various finance and accounting positions at K-Rep Bank. He holds a BBA in Accounting from Maseno University and an MBA from the University of Nairobi.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 WMiringu

    Wagikuyu Miring'u

    “Wangikuyu is the Marketing Coordinator for Kickstart International.” [READ MORE]

    Wangikuyu is the Marketing Coordinator for Kickstart International, which aims to transform Africa from subsistence to commercial agriculture through low-cost capital equipment. Wangikuyu’s role at Kickstart is to promote the “Farming is my Business” campaign, which promotes the aims to lift up the image of the farmer to be a legitimate and proud businessman. She holds a BA in Communications from Daystar University.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 WLochi

    William Lochi

    “The Good Society readings inspired me to be more committed to the institutionalization of core governance principles, such as sound public policy, liberty and the rule of law.” [READ MORE]

    William is from Chukudum, South Sudan and is a Policy & Institutional Advisor to the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs for the Republic of South Sudan. In this capacity, William works with the ministry to strengthen institutional structures and develop strategies for implementing change. Previously, he worked as an oil and gas policy advisor with the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly, and also played a key role in managing the out-of-country voter registration and voting during the 2011 Southern Sudan Referendum in Western Canada. William holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Windsor.