After launching Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa in April 2018, the Obama Foundation has announced 200 participants who will be a part of the 2018 class. The 200 were selected from nearly 10,000 applicants who applied from across the continent, and 22 of them are Nigerian. This one-year leadership development and civic engagement program will train and support 200 promising young leaders across Africa working in government, civil society, and the private sector.
Participants in this one-year leadership development and civic engagement program will gather on 14 July in Johannesburg, South Africa, for a five-day convening designed to train, support, and connect emerging African leaders working across different sectors to create positive change in their communities.
According to the Foundation’s website, selected participants have already demonstrated an extraordinary potential for impact, a clear commitment to integrity, and a capacity to advance the common good within their spheres of influence. They represent 44 countries and every region in Africa and are working in a range of disciplines including health, agriculture, media, government, education, business, and technology, and on issues such as climate change, conservation, entrepreneurship, food security, and girls’ empowerment.
From July 14th through 18th, participants will take part in plenary sessions, problem-solving workshops, leadership sessions, and skill building training to increase their capacity to drive positive change, which Africa desperately needs now, all from an African perspective. The majority of the convening’s speakers and facilitators are African, and the agenda and activities are focused on regional and local challenges, opportunities and solutions. They are also to complete a group service project to honour Nelson Mandela on the 100th anniversary of his birth and to underscore the important relationship between leadership and service.
President Obama will be in South Africa to deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture also in commemoration of the 100th anniversary on July 17th so the participants will get the opportunity to be a part of a town hall event with the former U.S. president.
Meet the 22 Nigerian fellows who represent the largest number from a single country
Simi is Nigeria and Africa’s first female skeleton Athlete, as well as the first black female athlete in the sport of skeleton. She is focused on empowering women and leveraging sports as a game changer for societal transformation. She is also a visionary business leader, and a sports and social justice advocate.
Omolara, who is an e-commerce/FinTech professional currently serves as the country manager of JumiaPay in Nigeria. JumiaPay enables Nigerians to securely pay for goods and services from their bank account using SMS technology.
Noel Ify Alumona
Noel sighted his being from a poor rural community as influencing his passion for helping vulnerable children. He is the founder of Hope for African Children Initiative, an NGO that expands and improves comprehensive early childhood care and education.
Kehinde and Taiwo Ayanleye
Kehinde and Taiwo Ayanleye both co-founded Stutern, an online platform that connects interns with employers.
She is the founder of Pearl Recycling, a social-oriented organization that recycles solid waste into beautiful works of art. The company aims to reduce environmental toxicity, ozone layer depletion and create wealth for the poor and downtrodden by teaching them how to turn waste to wealth.
Moses is the Founder of SonoCare, a healthcare company that offers convenient, affordable, and accurate testing with mobile diagnostic medical imaging services. He is a social change enthusiast/entrepreneur contagiously passionate about transforming the African healthcare landscape, especially in maternal and infant mortality.
Victoria earned an MSc in International Public Policy from University College London(UCL) and a First Class Honors degree in European Languages(French) from the University of Lagos. She has years of experience working in development across Nigeria and the United Kingdom and currently works with Synergos Nigeria as Coordinator on Synergos in Nigeria. Her focus is on providing ‘best fit’ solutions to policy and development problems of governments and institutions.
He is Founder/CEO at Econergco(Eco-friendly Energy Company) helping electricity users reduce the high cost of electricity supply and ensure access to cost-effective and reliable, clean and sustainable electricity service.
Temitope is an award-winning writer, Entrepreneur, Developer and Economist. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University and is currently the programs manager at AfriLabs, a pan-African network of more than 90 technology hubs, and co-founder of LYFE. He is a Leadership Fellow of the Frances Hesselbein Institute and was an Advisory Panel Member, Queen’s Young Leaders Programme 2016.
An entrepreneur and a writer, Bryan is the co-founder of Lifestores Pharmacy, a chain of disruptive pharmacies focused on delivering low-cost healthcare products and services that empower low and middle-income Nigerians.
Chinenye is a law graduate from the University of Benin and the Nigerian Law School. She is the founder of Metro woman Limited, a multimedia company that provides information, empowerment and inspiration to the modern African woman. Chinenye is an associate member of the International Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria(ICSAN).
Peter is a Nigerian journalist by profession and a human rights activist. He recently started AVoice4Us, a civic media project which increases the media reporting on human rights and social justice in Africa. He is a Fellow of Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative of United States Consulate General, Lagos. As a result of his effort in youth mentoring and development, he was awarded the 2015 Associate Fellowship of the Royal Commonwealth Society, London, by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
Mark is a graduate of George Washington University, USA. He was re-appointed Commissioner for Economic Planning, Budget, and Development Partners in Anambra State, Nigeria. He has experience in governance, policy formulation, public sector financing, public budget analysis and corporate finance.
Uche is on the TEAM-Leadership Capacity of Edufun Technik STEM Center, where she focuses on developing children’s potential skill-set and talents by providing quality hands-on training in coding, programming and robotics. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and an innovative business/entrepreneurship certificate from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Illinois, USA.
Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi
Seun is a young leader with 5 years working experience in the development sector. She is the Executive Director of Stand to End Rape Initiative(STER), an award-winning, youth-led human rights organization advocating to end gender-based violence.
After a Bachelor’s degree from Covenant University, where he earned a First Class degree in Computer science Femi went on to the Manchester Business School where he got an MSc degree in Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship. He is a development professional who currently serves as the acting executive director of LEAP Africa-Nigeria, a non-profit organization focused on youth leadership development.
Nichole Onome Yembra
Nichole was listed on the Forbes list of 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa in 2017. She is the CFO of Venture Garden Group, a FinTech holding company, and partner at GreenHouse Capital, its investment arm. This has allowed her to match her passion for innovation and service-centric personality with her career.
Paul is the co-founder and director of research and development at HACEY Health Initiative with over 9 years of experience as an international development and public health expert.
She is an arts manager and professional arts administrator with over 10 years of experience in festival and theatre. She has served as the producer of Lagos Theatre Festival since 2014.
Pamela, an LGBT rights advocate, is the Executive Director of Equality Hub, A nonprofit organization working to advance the rights of female sexual minorities in Nigeria. Her interests are photography and filmmaking.
She supports entrepreneurs and innovators. She believes entrepreneurship will catalyse African development and emphasizes the need to adopt innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to make real change in Africa.