The World Economic Forum has honoured 199 young leaders from 70 countries for their professional accomplishments and commitment to society. The Young Global Leaders (YGL) Class of 2013 is composed of honourees from all sectors of society, with 50 percent from business and 50 percent from arts and culture, academia, civil society, government, media and non-profits; 42 percent are women.

The YGLs will join and co-create a community of insight and action that is committed to improving the state of the world. 21 young Africans made the prestigious  list of  Young Global Leaders 2013. In no respective order Ventures Africa takes a look at the young Africans honoured.

Solomon Assefa, Research Scientist IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center (Ethiopia)

Dr. Solomon Assefa is a member of IEEE, OSA, and APS. He has filed over 25 patents, published over 30 articles in technical journals and 60 conference proceedings, and delivered over 30 invited presentations. He has also received a Technical Accomplishment Award and several Invention Achievement Awards from IBM.

Assefa was also named as one of the Top 35 innovators Under 35 by the influential MIT Technology review magazine. He co-founded the MIT Africa Internet Technology Initiative (AITI), a student-run program that sends MIT students to teach Internet skills to African students and teachers. The program has sent 30 MIT students to Kenya, Ethiopia, and Ghana over the past five years and reached about 500 students and 30 teachers in Africa.

Soulaymane Kachani, Vice-Dean and Professor Columbia University (Morocco)

Kachani is the Director of Master of Science Program and Director of Executive Education at the prestigious Columbia University.  Moroccan by birth, Prof. Soulaymane Kachani holds a Master of Sicence in Opearations Research from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a Diplôme d’ingénieur in Applied Mathematics from École Centrale Paris.

Kachani is the Chief Strategy Advisor of the Strategic Capital Allocation Group, a multi-billion dollar investment management firm in Boston. He served on the advisory board of Response Analytics, a Phoenix-based firm focused on helping financial institutions acquires, retain, and expand profitable customer relationships. He also served as Chief Scientist of Vendavo, the leading provider of price management and optimization software for business-to-business companies worldwide.

Jesmane Boggenpoel, Founder and Director Harvest Advisory Services (South Africa)

Ms. Jesmane Boggenpoel owns Harvest, an advisory company. She has experience in corporate finance and private equity acquired with KPMG, Anglo American and Brait. She is a shareholder and director of African Women Chartered Accountants Investment Holdings and Atos, its investee company. Jesmane is also a non-executive director of Senwes and Land Bank. She is the chairperson of the Audit Committee of the Department of Environmental Affairs. Jesmane is a Chartered Accounted (SA) and holds Bachelors in Commerce and Bachelors in Accountancy degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Ndubuisi Ekekwe, Founder and Chairman First Atlantic Semiconductors and Microelectronics Nigeria

Ekekwe has authored four books and holds a U.S. patent. A regular contributor to Harvard Business Review, he founded First Atlantic Semiconductors & Microelectronics – West Africa’s leading embedded systems company with design services partnerships with Altera and Microchip. Dr. Ekekwe, an MBA graduate, was formerly a Banking Executive with Diamond Bank Lagos and has spoken in leading conferences on technology, entrepreneurship and Africa.

He’s also the founder of African Institution of Technology (AFRIT), an institution he founded to bridge the gap between Africa and developed economies in the technology race.

Dorcas Gachari, Chief Executive Officer Openworld Ltd Kenya

Dorcas Muthoni Gachari an entrepreneur and computer scientist; CEO and founder of OPENWORLD Ltd, a leading e-Government and Business Technology Solutions firm in the Eastern Africa region. Ms Muthoni is also the founder of AfCHIX, a technical capacity building initiative for women in the region.

Andrew Kuper, President and Founder LeapFrog Investments Ltd (South Africa)

Dr. Andrew Kuper is President and Founder of LeapFrog, the world’s first microinsurance fund, which he founded in 2007, inspired by his extensive experience enabling entrepreneurs in emerging markets, and then co-built the firm with a team of former CEOs and pioneers in emerging markets insurance. He was previously a Managing Director of Ashoka, a support organization for social entrepreneurs. He has worked with microfinance institutions Grameen and BRAC, and is the author of two books on globalization. He holds a PhD from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

James Mwangi, Global Managing Partner Dalberg  (South Africa)

James Mwangi is young Kenyan consultant at the helm of affairs as Dalberg’s Global Managing Partner, overseeing the activities of the firm’s 11 offices and more than 120 staff from his base in Johannesburg. He has served a wide range of clients including governments, multilateral institutions, private foundations, major investors, and corporations across Africa and around the world. James has helped new organizations ranging from think tanks to private equity funds to develop business plans and implement launch strategies.

James has also led strategic reviews of several financial institutions seeking to stimulate development in Southern Africa via their investments. He has advised East Africa’s largest bank on its overall strategy and helped two West African heads of state to create new decision-making processes.

Prior to joining Dalberg, James was a consultant at McKinsey & Company. He holds a degree in economics from Harvard University and has been awarded the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellowship by the African Leadership Institute.

Hisham El Khazindar,  Managing Director and CoFounder Citadel Capital SAE (Egypt)

Prior to co-founding Citadel Capital, Mr. El-Khazindar was Executive Director of Investment Banking at EFG Hermes, where he advised on key transactions, and where he started his career in 1996. In 1999-2000, he was on secondment to Goldman Sachs in London, advising firms on strategic options and M&A transactions. Mr. El-Khazindar sits on the. He is a member of the Advisory Committee of EMPEA, is a founding member of EPEA, a board member of the Egyptian Capital Markets Association, and a member of the board of advisors of AUC’s School of Business. He holds a BA in Economics from the American University in Cairo (1996) and an MBA from Harvard Business School (2003).

Amy Jadesimi, Managing director LADOL  (Nigeria)

Dr. Jadesimi received her first degree from Oxford University, where she earned a BA in Physiological Sciences. She then attended Oxford University Medical School, from which she graduated as a medical doctor (MD).

 After Oxford, Dr. Jadesimi joined Goldman Sachs International in London as part of the Investment Banking Division, specializing in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. She then attended Stanford Business School, from which she earned her MBA in Business Administration. While at Stanford, Amy completed an internship with Brait Private Equity in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she worked as a transaction executive in Private Equity. 

After graduating from business school Amy moved to Nigeria where she set up a financial consultancy firm before joining the Management Team of LiLe as Managing Director.

Marieme Jamme, Founder SpotOne Global Solutions (Senegal)

Born in Senegal, Marieme is a London-based CEO, blogger, technologist and social entrepreneur. Marieme has a passionate commitment to empowering her fellow Africans through education, leadership, social entrepreneurship and economic development. She assisted Appfrica International and the State Department in the USA to organise the Apps4Africa contest. She is currently CEO of SpotOne Global Solutions, which helps Technology organisations gain a foothold in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. An international speaker on Technology in Africa, founder of the Think Tank iConscience and Co- Founder of Africa Gathering, the first global platform bringing together entrepreneurs to share ideas about Africa.

Alex Okosi,  Senior Vice-President and Managing Director Viacom International Media  Networks Africa (formerly MTV Networks Africa) (South Africa)

Nigerian-born, US-educated media executive Alex Okosi is the senior vice president and Managing Director of MTV Networks Africa. He championed the MTV’s move to set up MTV Base in Africa in February 2005, at  a period when many didn’t believe there was opportunity on the African continent.

He has also spearheaded the launch of other localized Viacom brands in Africa encompassing Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. Okosi’s mission in Africa, has always been to develop content and experiences for audiences that not only entertains and showcases the best of African music and entertainment; but also serves to socially empower audiences in Africa and around the world. Currently, he is responsible for managing the growth and development of the Viacom International Media Networks Africa business – a multichannel portfolio that reaches over 100 million viewers and includes MTV, MTV base, Nickelodeon, VH1, BET International and Comedy Central. Okosi is the creative force behind the MTV Africa Music Awards, a high-profile event that has helped talented African artists raise their international profile and status.

Marc Wabi,  Senior Special Adviser to the President Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie (Côte d’Ivoire)

Marc Wabi, 39, is an Ivorian accountant who graduated from the School arts and crafts of Paris and the School of Management at the University of Toulouse. He is an adviser to President Alassane Ouattara, influencing  policies to boost the national economy in his capacity as Senior Special Adviser to the President Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie of Cote d’Ivoire. He’s also ahead of global auditing firm Deloitte Côte d’Ivoire unit.

Marc Wabi has a reputation for building knowledge networks. Among his network are some prominent personalities as Jean-Louis Billon , Chairman of the Board of Directors of the agro-industrial and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Côte d’Ivoire, and Jacques Anouma, former president of the Ivorian Football Federation.

Ola Orekunrin, Founder The Flying Doctors (Nigeria)

Doctor Ola Orekunrin is the founder of West Africa’s first emergency air ambulance service, The Flying Doctors. Raised in the United Kingdom by foster parents, Dr Orekunrin became widely known for becoming England’s youngest doctor at age 21. In a tragic loss, one of her younger sisters died from a sickle cell anaemia crisis. Ola knew that her sister’s death could have been prevented if there had been adequate emergency care and an air ambulance, so setting out to reduce the numbers that die in the same manner, she started The Flying Doctors. Despite the enormous challenge of gathering both government and private support, overcoming rejections and raising funds, Ola has established a business of great social impact. She is the recipient of several awards and honours.

Nishan Degnarain, Senior Economic Adviser to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Mauritius)

With degrees in Development Economics, Cambridge University and Kennedy School of Government, Harvard, Nishan Degnarain is an Engagement Manager with McKinsey & Company. He works extensively across Africa, focusing on Mining, Infrastructure and the Public Sector. Currently on sabbatical from McKinsey, Nishan has returned to his native Mauritius, where he is serving as the Senior Economic Adviser to the Minister of Finance. He is involved in developing a growth strategy for Mauritius to move from a middle-income to a high-income nation, as well as positioning Mauritius as the leading gateway for investments into Africa

Lindiwe Mazibuko, Parliamentary Leader Democratic Alliance (DA) (South Africa)

Young South African politician, and the Parliamentary Leader for the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), Lindiwe Mazibuko is the South Africa’s fourth youngest parliamentarian, and has varyingly been labelled a “rising star in Parliament” by party leader Helen Zille. Mazibuko became a parliamentary candidate for the party in the 2009 general elections. She has also been touted as a possible DA leader in the future.

Cobhams Asuquo, Founder and CEO CAMP  (Nigeria)

Cobhams Emanuel Asuquo is a Nigerian song writer/music producer per excellence who started his professional training as a lawyer, but later branched into music full-time. Today, he is known for producing some of the finest artistes in Nigeria. Noteworthy among these artistes is the Nigerian soul-singing sensation, Asa, whose 2007 debut album became an international hit. In addition to producing the album, Cobhams wrote and co-wrote several of its hits songs. In 2005, Cobhams signed on to Sony ATV London as a songwriter.  Today, he is CEO/ Head of Productions of CAMP (Cobhams Asuquo Music Productions), an all-encompassing entertainment company that discovers, nurtures and exposes great talents. Cobhams has won multiple local and international awards for his creative and entrepreneurial contributions to the Nigerian music industry.

Saran Kaba Jones, Founder FaceAfrica  (Liberia)

For Saran Kaba Jones providing water and sanitation facility is simply one piece of the puzzle that is post-conflict Liberia. Saran returned to her home country 18 years after she fled with her family at the age of 8 as a result of the civil war. She returned to the country, with a heart to serve and impact lives. Her experiences living abroad combined with her compassion for suffering people convinced her that whatever she chose to do would involve international work that helped people. With a $10,000 grant from the Davis Project for Peace and in partnership with Clean Water for Kids, FACE Africa began its first clean water project in Barnersville, Liberia in October, 2009.  Saran’s passion is for the people of Liberia. FACE Africa ensures that their work has a lasting impact on the communities they serve by building sustainable practices into their model.

Tara Fela-Durotoye, Founder and Chief Executive Officer House of Tara International (Nigeria)

Tara Fela-Durotoye is a leading Nigerian makeup artist and lawyer. A pioneer in the bridal makeup profession in Nigeria, and wife to prolific Business Strategist and Corporate Activator, Fela Durotoye, Tara launched the first bridal directory in 1999, set up international standard makeup studio, and established the first makeup school in Nigeria.

She is the founder and current CEO of House of Tara International.

In 2007, She was awarded the Africa SMME Award and the Entrepreneur award in South Africa

January Yusuf Makamba, Deputy Minister of Communications, Science and Technology in Tanzania

Educated in the United States, January Makamba, 38, is the rising star of Tanzania’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party and chairman of the Parliamentary Energy Committee. He is also the son of recently ousted CCM secretary general Yusuf Makamba. January who turns 40 in 2015, the year of the next presidential election, has been discussed as a potential candidate to transform local politics. He is the first Tanzanian politician to set up a corporation for his constituency.

January Makamba wants Tanzania to enter the world market. He has a plans to develop Bumbuli, one of Tanzania’s most densely populated constituencies, with most its people farming on tiny plots too small to be subdivided further. Makamba wants to borrow $10 million from Wall Street philanthropists, to be repaid in ten years. The sum, he says, will be invested in east African treasury bonds and stocks, in the hope of dividends producing $700,000 a year to invest in Bumbuli.

Rosebell Kagumire, Journalist and Communications Consultant Africans Act for Africa (Uganda)

Rosebell is a Ugandan multimedia journalist with a specialization in the new media, conflict and development. She has worked with Oxfam media project as Editor and Rights in Crisis Digital Campaigner at Channel16 (Ch16.org) covering humanitarian issues in eastern Africa. She has experience in communications in women, peace and security issues in Africa.

Monica Musonda, Chief Executive Officer and Founder Java Foods Limited (Zambia)

Former Director Legal and Corporate Affairs to the Dangote Group in Lagos, Nigeria, Monica Musonda is a dual qualified English Solicitor and Zambian Advocate, with over fifteen years post qualification experience in corporate finance (mergers & acquisitions), debt & equity capital markets transactions, regulatory affairs and compliance. She was the project lead responsible for the Dangote Group’s $500 million investment in Zambia to build the country’s largest cement plant due to be completed in 2014. Under the mentorship of Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, Monica decided to move back to her home country of Zambia and set up Java Foods, an food processing company which when completed will process Zambia’s high quality wheat into instant noodles for the Southern African region. Its first plant will be commissioned in Q4 2013 and will have an estimated installed manufacturing capacity of 4500 metric tonnes per annum.

She currently sits on the board of the Bank of Zambia making her the youngest board member in the central bank’s history. She is also the chairperson of Kwacha Pension Trust Fund, the largest single employer pension fund in Zambia.

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