New Class

We are excited to welcome 109 Young Global Leaders to the Class of 2022. From scientists leading on efforts to address COVID, to activists tackling gender-based violence, artists keeping history and culture alive through music and leaders from business, civil society, academia and government, meet the new class of YGLs:

11 YGLs in Africa

Mmaki Jantjies

Head of Innovation, Telkom, South Africa

Mmaki Jantjies is a South African computer scientist and is the Group Executive for Innovation at Telkom South Africa. She is also an adjunct Associate Professor.

She holds a PhD in Computer Sciences from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. Passionate about digital inclusion, her PHD study focused on developing and scaling multilingual mobile learning systems to support science learning in schools. She has greatly contributed to the advancement of technology for development, having conducted studies on mobile digital systems design and adoption in developing countries in education, health as well as in the small businesses sector. Prof Jantjies was also part of a University of the Western Cape (UWC) team that launched one of the first Postgraduate Diplomas in e-Skills Development in Africa. The UWC programme equips students with skills in immersive technologies like augmented and virtual reality, supporting the technology development of AR/VR applications applied across various sectors. Jantjies has served as Department Head of Information Systems at the University of the Western Cape, as well as at the North West University.

She also established a non-profit organization that has trained teachers to infuse technology and data literacy in schools. Jantjies has been a visiting research fellow at the University of Lancaster - Institute of Coding and University of Warwick, and exchange staff at Die Hochschule Neu-Ulm HNU. In 2017 and 2018, she was the South Africa's representative to the W20 in the G20 focusing on digital inclusion of women. She is an NRF South African rated scientists and is also a member of the South Africa Young Academy of Scientists (SAYAS).

Esha Mansingh

Executive Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and Investor Relations, Imperial Logistics, South Africa

Esha Mansingh is a young business leader, serving as the first and only woman and youngest member of the executive committee of Imperial Logistics, a leading African focused logistics business. She also serves as a non-executive board member of numerous organizations. As an advocate for women empowerment and social impact, Mansingh leads global social impact initiatives across Africa, focusing on healthcare, education, skills development and women empowerment. As the chair of Imperial's Global Women's forum, Mansingh drives many women-led empowerment initiatives. Mansingh also co-chairs the WEF New Champions chapter in South Africa. In addition, she is a TV presenter, motivational speaker and a multi-award winner, having been recognised among 100 Most Successful Women in Business in the World 2021 by GTC, a Top 50 Power of Women 2021 by Mail and Guardian, Positive Role Model for Listed Companies in Southern Africa by Accenture Gender Mainstreaming Awards 2021 and receiving an honorary doctorate in humanitarianism.

James Kwame Mensah

Senior Lecturer, University of Ghana, Ghana

James is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School, and a fellow at the Penn Institute for Urban Research, University of Pennsylvania, USA. He also served as the Resilient Advisor to the former Mayor of Accra from 2017 to 2020, where he led the city in the development of the Accra Resilient Strategy. One of the initiatives in the Strategy – engaging informal waste collectors in the waste management chain, won the C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Award in 2019. His research focuses on the development of local economies to improve the quality of life of residents in local and rural communities, and urban informality in its multiple dimensions ― economy, settlements, livelihood, waste, and trade. He has been involved in the development of government policies in Ghana – National Local Economic Development Policy, and National Decentralisation Policy and Strategy. Dr Mensah is a graduate of the National Institute for Development Administration, Thailand, and the University of Ghana.

James Mnyupe

Presidential Economic Adviser; Green Hydrogen Commissioner, Office of the President of Namibia, Namibia

Before becoming Economic Adviser to Namibian President Hage Geingob, James Mnyupe led one of Namibia's prominent asset management firms for five years, was Founding Chair of the Namibia Savings and Investment Association, and was appointed to the High-Level Panel on the Namibian Economy in 2019 by the president. He also leads Namibia's green transition by structuring the development of green hydrogen, ammonia and related export commodities in Namibia. This is most the most ambitious green hydrogen project in the world. In September 2020, he was appointed Economic Adviser to Namibian President Hage Geingob.

Nasreen Ali Mohamed

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Afrikapu Ltd, Kenya

Nasreen Ali Mohamed is passionate about ensuring inclusion of low-income households, especially women and girls. She is Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer of Cherehani Africa, a social enterprise that leverages technology to provide credit, financial education and market information to women and adolescent girls who own micro-enterprises in rural and underserved markets in Kenya. Cherehani aims to build thriving communities by providing the right financial tools to the financially excluded, and currently serves over 17,000 women in Kenya. It has developed a proprietary digital infrastructure that enables data-driven decision-making, aggregates customer data and disseminates financial literacy content to its customers through SMS and a bot persona. Mohamed is also the founder of Afrikapu, a social enterprise that sells handmade African products made by marginalized women in informal settlements in Africa in a structured, profitable and sustainable way. Afrikapu leverages technology and in-person trainers to train the artisans to develop their products to meet international standards then provides them with market linkages to global markets. The platform rewards the artisans with loyalty points on purchase of their products and is redeemable in cash after 12 months.

Françoise Moudouthe

Chief Executive Officer, African Women's Development Fund, Ghana

A pan-African feminist, Françoise Moudouthe is passionate about advocating for women's rights and building powerful feminist movements in Africa and beyond. She was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the African Women's Development Fund in November 2020. She is also the founder of Eyala, a bilingual (French-English) platform that harnesses the power of conversation to explore what it means to be an African feminist. She also sits on the boards of the Malala Fund and Womankind Worldwide. Before joining AWDF, Moudouthe worked as an independent consultant, leveraging her strategic and advocacy skills to promote gender and social justice in Africa and worldwide. Prior to that, she dedicated eight years to incubating Girls Not Brides, the global civil society partnership to end child marriage, and spearheading its growth in Africa.

Zuriel C. Naiker

Managing Director, Marsh & McLennan Companies, South Africa

An African leader in financial services who has worked across multiple geographies on projects that have attracted interest internationally. Through various leadership roles, he has sought to meaningfully drive equality, diversity, inclusion and education in the corporate and non-profit environments. He has worked with both government and the private sector as a contributor, advisor and board member. As the youngest president in the 109 year history of the Insurance Institute of Gauteng, he was able to further the ideals of promoting learning and diversity in the workplace.

Lesley Ndlovu

Chief Executive Officer, African Risk Capacity (ARC), South Africa

Lesley Ndlovu is Chief Executive Officer of African Risk Capacity (ARC), a specialized insurance company that provides parametric insurance coverage against weather-related risks such as droughts, floods and tropical cyclones. Prior to ARC, Ndlovu held senior leadership positions in the financial services sector in Bermuda, Singapore, France, the United Kingdom and South Africa. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the UN Principles of Sustainable Insurance. Under his leadership ARC underwrote the largest insurance pool in the history of the company, providing insurance coverage to 12 million Africans who are vulnerable to the devastating effects of natural disasters.

Eva Otieno

Africa Strategist, Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Ltd, Kenya

Eva Otieno is a connector between governments and institutional investors to channel much needed capital into Africa. As a strategist, she discusses Africa-focused market opportunities in order to attract financial flows into the region's local currency and hard currency fixed-income securities. Otieno has led roadshows in the region with investors that have combined assets under management of an estimated $50 billion, which is substantial capital that is seeking for robust returns in frontier Africa. Otieno also participates in thought leadership and media events through providing market insights where solutions are deliberated on how to attract capital into the region. In her role, she also engages with policy-makers to discuss solutions in fixed-income markets. Eva also engages with corporate clients where she provides market insights. This information assists the clients in making decisions as to which country to invest in bringing much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Sumayya Vally

Founder and Principal, Counterspace, South Africa

Principal of Counterspace, an award-winning architecture and research studio, based between Johannesburg and London, Sumayya Vally’s design, research and pedagogical practice is searching for expression for hybrid identities and territory, particularly for African and Islamic conditions. Her design process is often forensic, and draws on the aural, performance, the supernatural, and the overlooked as generative places of history and work.

A TIME100 Next List honouree, named as a figure who will shape the future of architectural canon and practice; and designer of the 20th Serpentine Pavilion (2020/2021), Vally is the youngest architect ever to be commissioned for the internationally renowned architecture programme, which opened to unprecedented critical acclaim in 2021. She has recently worked on initiating and developing Support Structures for Support Structures, a new fellowship programme launched at the Serpentine, which supports artists and collectives who support community through their work at the intersections of art and social justice, art and the archive and art and ecology. Sumayya has also recently been named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and serves on several boards through her interest in dynamic forms of archive and supporting new networks of knowledge in the arts. She is presently immersed in several projects which work to create cultural typologies and platforms for the future, through the lenses of identity and embodied heritage - including work on the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Library in Liberia and through her role as creative director and contemporary commissions curator for the first-ever Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah.

Dominic Wadongo

Group Head of Operational Risk, Equity Group Holdings Plc, Kenya

Dominic Wadongo is the Group Head of Operational Risk at Equity Group Holdings, overseeing operational risk management across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is also in charge of driving the operational risk management in non-banking subsidiaries, which include Equity Investment Bank, Equity Insurance, Equity Group Foundation and Finserve. The scope encompasses driving the integrated operational risk management framework covering operational risk, IT and cyber risk, business continuity management, fraud risk, data privacy and protection, and security. Previously, Wadongo was Acting Chief Risk Officer and Head of Enterprise Risk at the National Bank of Kenya, where he ensured an effective risk management framework covering key risk areas in the company. Before joining National Bank of Kenya, Dominic started his career at Standard Chartered Bank of Kenya (SCBK) in 2007 where he worked for six years. He was the Senior Operational Risk Officer, in Global Shared Services Centre Africa. He graduated from the University of Nairobi with an MBA in 2015. He also has a BSc in Wildlife Management from Moi University. Wadongo is currently pursuing professional certifications in operational risk management (PRMIA) and Certified Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC). He is also a member of the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP).