New Class

We are excited to welcome 115 Young Global Leaders for the Class of 2020. This year's class includes a decorated Olympian and World Cup winner, the youngest Prime Minister of Finland, an accomplished and pioneering digital journalist in Africa, an advocate of social justice and reform in Nepal and a human rights lawyer fighting for an inclusive society in Ethiopia and beyond.

11 YGLs in Africa

Aurelie Adam-Soule Zoumarou

Minister of the Digital Economy and Communication, Ministry of Digital Economy and Communication, Benin

As senior policy manager for Africa, she contributed to bringing mobile services to 635 million Africans without an internet connection. In October 2017, the President of the Republic of Benin appointed Ms. Zoumarou as Minister of Digital Economy and Communications with the mission of "making Benin a digital services platform for West Africa, in order to accelerate growth and achieve social inclusion." She began her career with SFR France before moving to Accenture France as a consultant in information systems. She returned to Benin in 2008 and worked at the regulator’s office ARCEP BENIN, where she was responsible for radio-communications and radio frequencies management. She is a Mandela Washington Fellow (MWF/YALI), an initiative of former US President Barack Obama for Young African Leaders.

Paula Ingabire

Minister of Information Communication Technology and Innovation, Ministry of Information Communication Technology and Innovation of Rwanda, Rwanda

Paula Ingabire holds a crucial and strategic portfolio in one of Africa's leading technological powers. Through her passion and expertise, she has propelled Rwanda forward in its adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution tools.

Tunde Kehinde

Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Lidya Holdings, Inc, Nigeria

Tunde Kehinde is the co-founder of Lidya: a digital fintech lender with operations in Africa and Europe, which allows SMEs in fast-growing economies to access financing and build a credit score within 24 hours. Tunde is a seasoned entrepreneur and was the co-founder of Jumia Nigeria, Africa’s first unicorn (publicly listed on the NYSE) and Africa Courier Express, an eCommerce delivery company. Tunde has prior experience as a business development executive with Diageo in London and as an investment banking professional with Wachovia Securities in North Carolina and New York City. Tunde holds a degree in Finance with honours from Howard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Larry Madowo

Africa Business Editor, BBC News, Kenya

Larry Madowo is the BBC Africa Business Editor and a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University. Larry led the development and launch of 6 new business TV shows for African audiences from the BBC in English, French and Swahili. He set up and managed a new BBC Africa Business unit with journalists spread across London, Nairobi, Dakar, Lagos and Johannesburg. Larry is also an on-air correspondent, presenter and analyst across the BBC on radio and television. He was named among the 100 Most Influential Africans in 2018 by NewAfrican magazine.

Larry has reported from over 40 countries and interviewed some of the world’s most prominent business, political and cultural leaders. Larry was a Contributing Columnist for the Washington Post’s Global Opinions page and has also written for the BBC and CNN. He previously worked in Nairobi, London and Johannesburg. Larry has presented his own radio and television shows and spoken at conferences around the world. He is also a pioneering digital journalist with an audience of nearly 4 million followers on social media. He has an MA in Journalism from Columbia University.

Yetnebersh Nigussie

President and Co-Founder, Ethiopian Lawyers with Disabilities Association, Ethiopia

Yetnebersh Nigussie is an Ethiopian human rights lawyer who pushes for women’s and girls’ rights, inclusive education and a vibrant civil society. As a blind woman, she is a strong advocate for the rights enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Nigussie has changed perceptions of disabilities in Ethiopia and internationally. In September 2017, Yetnebersh was named a joint winner of the Right Livelihood Award, the "Alternative Nobel Prize".

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

Minister of Information, Ministry of Information and Media Relations of Ghana, Ghana

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah is Minister of Information and Member of Parliament. He is a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Ghana, and serves on the Finance and Constitutional Committees of Parliament.

Faraja Nyalandu

Founder and executive director, Shule Direct, Tanzania

Faraja Nyalandu is an award-winning social entrepreneur, committed to promoting systemic change in digital learning in secondary school education in Tanzania. She has authored two youth empowerment books written in Kiswahili, Tanzania's national language, to reach underserved young people.

Chinny Ogunro

Chief Executive Officer, WellSpring Health, Nigeria

Dr. Chinny Ogunro is the Chief Executive Officer of WellSpring Health, an integrated care consortium committed to delivering quality, affordable healthcare at scale. Based in Lagos, Nigeria, WellSpring Health drives away from traditional isolated, vertically-funded health programs to, instead, provide solutions from a comprehensive, horizonal approach centered on facility-level change and networked clinics.

She is a co-founder of Africa Health Holdings (AHH), a healthcare investment and management company whose operations are born out of her doctoral research and her first company, CarePoint Hospitals and Clinics.

Chinny also serves as Director of Health Research at the Center for the Study of the Economies of Africa, a think tank spearheaded by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, where her work has explored innovative business models for health care delivery in growth economies, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.

Chinny holds a Ph.D in Health Management (Technology and Operations Management, Strategy) from the Harvard Business School, a M.A. in Health Administration from Cornell University, and Bachelors degrees from Stanford University.

She has previously worked at Morgan Stanley, Veralon Partners, and provided long-term consultancy for the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health as well as multiple other development and partner organizations.

Fredros Okumu

Director, Science, Ifakara Health Institute (IHI), Tanzania

Fredros Okumu is the Director of Science at Ifakara Health Insitute (IHI). Fredros' work has attracted numerous awards and recognition, including the 2009 American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Young Investigator Award; 2014 Al Jazeera Lifelines Health Hero; 2016 Foreign Policy Global Thinker; and 2018 Quartz Africa Innovator. He is an important voice at the intersection of public health and the environment in Africa.

Mayur Patel

Group Chief Operating Officer, Cassava Fintech, Zimbabwe

A leader in Africa’s mobile technology and digital media sectors, Mayur serves as Group Chief Operating Officer of Cassava Fintech, providing mobile wallet and payment solutions to more than 13 million customers. Previously, he was CEO of award-winning mobile streaming company, Kwesé iflix, which pioneered pay-as-you-watch live and on-demand video services in Africa. Mayur is passionate about building inclusive and sustainable businesses. He is an Advisory Board Member of NYU Stern’s Center for Business & Human Rights, and a former member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council. He is a co-founder of the leading go-to-market platform for plant-based protein products in Africa, Infinite Foods, and Board member of the children’s edutainment company, Ubongo. His work has featured in the Lancet, Stanford Social Innovation Review and Chronicle of Philanthropy. A Rhodes Scholar, Mayur has a doctorate in International Development from Oxford. He is an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow.

Shani Senbetta

Founder and CEO, Kidame Mart, Ethiopia

Shani Senbetta is the founder and CEO of the for-profit social enterprise Kidame Mart, Ethiopia's largest last-mile distribution network, empowering rural female micro-entrepreneurs to earn incomes by selling high impact goods door-to-door in their communities. Shani is also director of Zeleman Communications, Advertising and Production, the largest communications and advertising company in Ethiopia with over 120 full-time employees.

Shani has a BA from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, an MBA from Harvard University and was a Fulbright Scholar. She is passionate about addressing social problems with innovative private-sector solutions. She is a tireless advocate for policy change and public-private partnerships to enable social enterprises and rural women to thrive.