Bakang Palai (Botswana)
The founder and Managing Director of Leru Property Group, a one stop bespoke property company offering Property developments, Portfolio Management, Leasing &Tenant Coordination, Property Auctioneering, Property Valuations and Property Management&Facilities. He is reponsible for the company growth strategy and managing key stakeholders relationships.Key projects he has led under Leru include providing consultancy services (leasing &retail advisory) for Acacia Shoppoing centre (BW) and Garden City Shopping centre (Zambia). Previously he was employed as Head of Developments/Investments at Khumo Property Asset Management (Botswana), a subsidiary of Eris Property Group and BIFM – (May 2009 to 2015). He started his career at RMB Properties January 2008-June 2008 (SA), Eris Property Group July 2008-May 2009 (SA) before joining Khumo PAM. He has worked successfully on projects that combines a total of over $100 million which includes Airport Junction Shopping Mall (BW) , Virgin Active(BW),T urn star Building Refurbishment (BW), Town Lodge Hotel (BW), Rail Park Shopping Centre Refurbishment (BW), Game City Phase 2 Extension(BW)- (Leasing and Tenant Coordination),FNB Head Office Botswana and One- O-One Industrial (SA), Garden City Shopping Centre (Lusaka, Zambia), Acacia Shopping Centre ,Phakalane –BW (Leasing and Retail Advisory). Bakang Palai is a global citizen, an advocate of green economy and believes in real estate / infrastructure development as a wealth creation mechanism to eradicate poverty in Africa. He has already established himself as an ethical professional and credible force to be reckoned with, within the property industry in Southern Africa. Bakang is a Trustee and Board Member of the newly formed Gaborone City Council Investment Company, Chairman\Co-founder of Botswana Green Building Council, currently serving as Independent Grading Accessor for Botswana Tourism Organization since 2014 and a Strategic Business Development Consultant \Corporate Brand Ambassador for PPC Botswana. Bakang is a Mandela Washington Fellow 2015 under Busines and Entrepreneurship.
Adebola Williams (Nigeria)
Adebola Williams is a Nigerian media entrepreneur, journalist, political activist and motivational speaker and CNBC Africa Young Business Leaders Award recipient. Described as “the man with the golden touch” by Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, for having helped three African Presidents get elected. Williams is the chief executive officer of StateCraft Inc, the communication agency that is turning out to be the continent’s leading authority on winning elections, running a governance communication company that won the presidential elections in Nigeria in 2011 and 2015 and then won the presidential elections in Ghana in 2016. Williams is co-founder of RED, which is the 11-year-old parent company that houses StateCraft Inc. It’s a network of four media companies focused on Africa’s youth: Red Media Africa, a Public Relations company working in West Africa for Facebook, Uber, Union Bank and Heineken; Generation Y!, a TV and online content company with one of Nigeria’s most popular online newspapers and The Future Project, a social enterprise that hosts Africa’s biggest youth social change event, The Future Awards Africa. Adebola was selected as one of the TOP 100 of Our Generation by Top 100 UK in 2007, and 2008 and was selected as a global change maker by the British Council in 2009. He was invited as a youth expert by the African Union and theUnited Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to work on the African Youth Charter. Adebola recently received a standing ovation from former President Barack Obama after delivering a moving speech as one of the speakers at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago.
Maletšabisa (Tšabi) Molapo (Lesotho)
Maletšabisa (Tšabi) Molapo is a Researcher at IBM Research – Africa. Her research interests lie at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction and Artificial Intelligence. She researches, designs, builds, deploys and evaluates human-centered AI solutions for rural and low-income urban areas in Africa, with applications in education and healthcare. She completed a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Cape Town (UCT), based at the centre in ICT for Development (ICT4D). At UCT, she led the research towards the design, development, and deployment of a feedback-integrated mobile learning platform for community health education, working with Community Health Workers in rural Lesotho. Before joining IBM, she worked at Praekelt.org, conducting user research, experience design and the evaluation of mobile solutions for girls, mothers, and youth in low-resource regions in Africa and Asia. Before this, she worked at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) as a Computer Science lecturer.
She also holds an MSc in Computer Science from UCT and a BEng in Computer Systems and Networks from NUL. Among others, she has been awarded the Queen’s Young Leaders award by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the South African Women in Science Research Award, the Hasso-Plattner-Institut Research School Award, the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship, the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship, the Schlumberger Faculty for The Future Fellowship and the World Bank/MMMF Award for Commitment to improving the lives of African women and children.
Naomi Mwaura (Kenya)
Naomi currently works as a communications Associate at the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. Her role involves leading communications and outreach efforts in support of ITDP Africa’s core programme of promoting sustainable and equitable transport. She developed Kenya’s first Women in Transport program aimed at attracting and retaining women professionals working in the public transport (Matatu) industry, currently worth $1.78 billion per annum. Ms Mwaura is also the founder of Flone Initiative, an organization working to a create a safe and professional public transport industry in Kenya, by reducing sexual harassment and violence against women in transport spaces. She further organized the #MyDressMyChoice campaign that led to legal reforms and shifted perceptions about public harassment.Naomi is also a co-founder of Udada Festival Trust, an organization that highlights and celebrates women in the arts. Ms Mwaura holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology (Honors), cum laude. In 2013 she was listed as part of the 10 under 35 Change Makers you need to know in Kenya. As part of Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Naomi completed a civic leadership fellowship at Tulane University, USA. In 2017, she was named BBC 100 Inspirational and Influential women.
Boniface Mwangi (Kenya)
Boniface Mwangi, is a two-time CNN Multichoice Photojournalist of the Year and the youngest Prince Claus and now political activist from Kenya. Boniface Mwangi, recognized globally for his passion and excellence in photography, this photographer-cum-activist could not resist the call to activism after witnessing first-hand the brutality that disadvantaged Kenyans experienced in the wake of the Post- Election Violence in 2008. Mwangi then established Picha Mtaania traveling photography exhibition telling of the violence. The travelling photo exhibition toured across Kenya and drew more than 2 million people.The tour of the exhibition offered a platform for individual reflection, honest dialogue, interpersonal healing and community reconciliation. In 2012 Mwangi founded PAWA254,a hub for creatives in Kenya where journalists, artists and activists find innovative ways of achieving social change. At 34, Mwangi has been a guest of the Kenyan state on many occasions for championing justice and calling out powerful leaders for their wanton corruption and blatant violation of human rights.New African Magazine named him one of the 100 Most Influential Africans of 2014 and 2016 and he is also a senior TED Fellow. Time magazine recognized him as a Next Generation Leader in 2015 and was selected as Kenya’s Top 40 under 40 men 2016.He is the author of Unbounded– a poignant and riveting memoir that captures his incredible journey.
Lethabo Motsoaledi ( South Africa)
Lethabo is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO Motsoaledi & West, an Innovation studio which helps companies better satisfy customer needs, test new ideas and explore new markets. She is an advocate of Design led-Innovation and believes it to be the best approach to problem solving when innovating to produce technological solutions in the South African context – where socio-economic factors need always be considered. A Geomatics engineering graduate from UCT, Lethabo is also an academic who has been awarded various fellowships. She is an Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellow as well as a Mandela Rhodes Scholar (Class of 2016). She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Engineering top of her class and was awarded the South African Geomatics Institute (SAGI) award for the best engineering surveying student in all the Universities in South Africa.Lethabo, has been celebrated among South Africa’s powerful and successful young achievers. In 2017 she was awarded Mail and Guardians prestigious 200 young South Africans award. An award given by Mail & Guardian newspaper to recognise the country’s brightest up and coming stars in categories ranging from health and politics to sport and education. She was also included in the list of South Africa’s fifty most Inspiring Women in technology by The Kingdom is the Netherland’s InspiringFifty SA initiative. She was also profiled by Destiny Magazine in their annual Power of 40 list which showcases the 40 most influential women in business under 40. She has also recently been recognised in the Gauteng Primier’s furst ever Women Excellence Awards in thier “Most Innovative Woman Category”.
Farah Fortune is the well-known business woman behind many successful corporate and celebrity brands. Her public relations career took off when she worked on the Oscar-winning movie “Tsotsi” and she later decided to pursue her own PR dreams. Better known to her clients and industry peers as “The Pitbull in Heels“,Fortuneis the founder and director ofAfrican Star Communications which she singlehandedly started in 2008. African Star Communications functions through 3 divisions comprising of Celebrity/Corporate Public Relations & Event Management. Her first project with ASC was with AIG and Vodacom for the Vodacom challenge just three weeks after opening her agency. Farah has grown to become one of biggest household names for celebrity and corporate PR in South Africa and opened an office in Lagos, Nigeria in 2011, with a vision to open in Kenya and Botswana as well. She has worked on PR and events for corporates such as Ice Watch, African Romance for Miss world 2008, Cîroc Vodka South Africa, The Singleton Whisky South Africa, Special Olympics Campaign, to mention a few. With a keen interest and focus on female empowerment, since its inception African Star Communications only employs women and uses predominantly female suppliers.
Fortune has received numerous awards for her achievements such as the Woman in Leadership award in Mumbai, India in 2014 from the Women’s World Leadership Congress 2014. She was most recently awarded as one of the ‘Top 50 Most Impactful Social Innovators (Global Listing)’ by ‘World CSR Day and World Sustainability’ for 2017 & 2018 (She collected this award in Feb 2018). She has also made the top 10 in the prestigious Superbalist 100. Farah has also been a mentor for the U.K Based ‘Cherie Blair Foundation’ since 2015. (Twitter: @fcfortune)
Luvuyo Manyi is currently the Executive head of Youth in Business at the Black Business Council [BBC] which focuses on the empowerment of black youth in business across all sectors of the economy. His role encompasses developing national strategy to accelerate the integration of youth in the mainstream economy by collaborating with both government and private sector. Luvuyo has over 9 years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience, and furthermore has over 10’000 hours of project management. His corporate background includes extensive capital raising and strategy development roles in various corporate finance firms with a particular focus on SMME development.
Before he joined the BBC, Manyi was a founding partner of an energy, construction and farming group company, focusing on the design and commissioning of Solar PV and Biogas plants linked to crop and livestock farming which was closely linked to alternative building technology.
Manyi in particular was responsible for project and business development in the sub-Saharan region, where his work included research on Sub-Sahara economies, economic viability of potential projects, economic research, fund raising and identifying key sectors for investment opportunities. Manyi has worked with a number of large national and international companies. His passion for entrepreneurship and transformation has made him a great asset for the Black Business Council to ensure the entire ecosystem of the South African economy optimally positioned for tangible economic growth. (Twitter: @LuvuyoManyi)
Siposetu is developing new ways to end the stigma of albinism in South Africa. Growing up with albinism herself, and mindful of the misconceptions that still exist around it, Siposetu co-founded Love, This Skin. The organisation assists, supports and educates young people with albinism and their families. It currently works with over 100 people, the majority of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds, and provides them with necessities like sun protection and eye care. As a broadcaster, Siposetu regularly tells her story and encourages other people to share theirs. Love, This Skin runs an online series which, through interviews and conversations, reports on some of the challenges people with albinism have faced. The group also works with organisations like the Western Cape Albinism and Hypo-pigment Foundation to host community initiatives focused on educating the public about albinism and eradicating misconceptions about the condition. Siposetu has been named Queen’s Young Leader 2018 for her work, and will represent South Africa and receive an award from Her Majesty the Queen in June 2018.
Sir Stuart Ntlathi
Sir Stuart Ntlathi is an innovator and founder of Stuart Ntlathi Science, Engineering & Technology Institute [SNSETinstitute]which helps to create and strengthen the public understanding of science, engineering and technology in communities. Amongst his 49 awards in science, engineering and technology, Sir Stuart Ntlathi is largely celebrated for his signature award, the Johnnie Walker Nation’s Greatest Inventor Award for innovation.He has been working tirelessly for more than a decade to help promote science, engineering and technology innovations to South Africa’s young generation. The institute has grown rapidly with over 30 000 youths participating in various programmes by 2015. He is truly remarkable in his achievements; with this and a few signature inventions and innovations under his belt such as the 15-in-one Microwave known as the Marvelwave Cuisine Series, an electronic vuvuzela and an auto shoe polisher. The cherry on top of all his achievements is that very soon he will be jetting off to space. (Twitter: @SirNtlathi)
Vivian Onano is a global youth advocate who is recognized as an emerging youth leader with the courage to lead change on the African continent. She has a strong commitment to education, women economic empowerment, and leadership. Vivian has a deep interest in re-defining Africa’s growth and development, and creating an inclusive world where women and youth can play an important role. She is a graduate of Carthage College and a strategic development consultant on education, youth empowerment & employment, and women economic empowerment.
She serves as a global youth ambassador at Water Aid, youth advisor to UN Women, youth representative to Global Education Monitoring Report advisory board, board of trustee at Global Youth Empowerment Fund, and a Women Deliver board member. New African Woman Magazine featured her in 2016 as one of the “30 under 30: Faces Changing Africa Now” and Forbes Woman Africa profiled her as “One to Watch”. Vivian is a recipient of the 2017 New African Woman on the Rise Award and 2016 MTV “Africa Re-Imagined” Award. In 2015 she was honoured with Mrs. Obama’s “Let Girls Learn” award by MORE Magazine for her advocacy work around girl’s education.
Vivian is a respected speaker who often speaks on global education, gender equality, youth empowerment, and international development. She has presented at the United Nations General Assembly, Women Deliver Global Conference, Clinton Global Initiative, World Innovation Summit for Education, among others. (Twitter: @vivianonano)