We are excited to welcome 127 Young Global Leaders for the Class of 2019. This year's class includes the most decorated Olympian female swimmer of all time, the founder of the first app providing advice on contraception in Bangladesh, the managing director of a leading supermarket chain looking to ban plastic packaging, and a female scientist whose work is revolutionizing batteries.
9 YGLs in Africa
Anta Babacar Ngom
Anta Ngom Bathily is the head of SEDIMA and she has successfully steered the group’s diversification process beyond the successful poultry business. In 2017 Jeûne Afrique selected her as Young CEO of the year.
With a substantial background in foreign affairs and policies, Kamissa Camara became the first woman to hold the post of minister of forieng affairs in the history of Mali. Before her appointment, she served as a diplomatic adviser to President Keita. As a diplomatic adviser to the president, Camara has been vocal about the need for strategic partnerships between Mali and other countries, including China. She is also the founder and co-chair of the Sahel Strategy Forum, which provides a platform for stakeholders to promote peace, security and development across the Sahel. Camara holds a master’s in international economics and development from Université Pierre Mendès, France after completing a bachelor's in applied foreign languages, specializing in international relations, from Université Denis Diderot (Paris, France).
Kirsty Coventry has won more individual Olympic medals than any female swimmer in history. She is also Africa’s most successful Olympic athlete. At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Coventry won a gold, silver and bronze medal; 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing she won a gold and three silver medals. She has also held five world records. She is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and in early 2018, was elected the chairperson of the IOC Athletes' Commission, the body that represents all Olympic athletes worldwide. Since September 2018, Coventry is the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation in the Cabinet of Zimbabwe.
Wanuri Kahiu is a filmmaker, speaker and science fiction writer. Her short award-winning science fiction film PUMZI (2009) about futuristic Africa premiered at SUNDANCE Film Festival (2010) and received international acclaim including the ‘Citta di Venezia’ award at the Venice Film Festival 2010. Her futuristic views have been the source of articles, African futurist journals, masterclasses and dissertations. Kahiu’s award-winning film RAFIKI, a same-sex love story about two girls was the first Kenyan film to be invited to Cannes Film Festival (2018). The film was banned in Kenya, after which Kahiu sued the Kenya Film Classification Board for the infringement of her constitutional rights to Freedom of Expression. The constitutional case is ongoing.
Kahiu speaks globally about Freedom of Expression and AFROBUBBLEGUM – the advocacy for images of fun, fierce and frivolous African images and was named TIME’s 100 Next in 2019.
Aminata Kane Ndiaye
Aminata Kane Ndiaye is the Chief Executive Officer of Orange Sierra Leone. Prior to this appointment, she was the Chief Marketing Officer for Orange Money in Senegal, a business that has grown exponentially and become profitable in the past two years. From 2009 to 2011, she was a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company in France and Africa, designing strategies and operations for telecommunication and technology providers, banks, and consumer goods manufacturers in Europe and West Africa. She is a graduate from HEC Paris, earned her MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and is a MIT Legatum fellow. In 2017, she was selected as a Young Global Leaders of the Africa-France Foundation.
Bogolo Joy Kenewendo
Botswana’s Minister of Investment, Trade and is Botswana’s youngest minister. Before this appointment, was the chairperson of the parliamentary committee on defence, security and foreign affairs. Member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on digital cooperation chaired by Jack Ma and Melinda Gates. Founder of Molaya Kgosi Trust, a women’s empowerment initiative. One of Botswana’s first youth delegates to the United Nations General Assembly. MSc in International Economics from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom, and received the prestigious Chevening Scholarship in 2012. Beneficiary and alumni of the US President’s Young African Leaders Initiative for young women. 2012, recipient, Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) award by JCI Botswana; 2016, recipient, Botswana Change Makers Award in Business and leadership; 2016, recipient, Formidable Woman award; 2016, honoured through the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office International Leaders Program; 2019, named one of Chevening’s 35 Global Changemakers. In Parliament, voice is associated with inclusivity; inclusivity in development and ensuring services reach the people in a timely manner as their share of the national cake. Aligned with the Sustainable Development Goal message of “Leave no one behind”.
Umra Omar received her bachelor’s in neuroscience and psychology at Oberlin in 2006. After receiving a master’s degree and starting a career in Washington, D.C., Omar returned to her native country and during a visit to her childhood community on the islands of the Kenya-Somalia border, she learned about a medical aid project that had been abandoned because of the security concerns. That’s when Omar founded Safari Doctors, an initiative that provides free basic (and potentially life-saving) medical services, youth community health trainings and civic engagement for women. In 2016 Omar was selected as a CNN Hero, and in 2017, she was recognised as the 2017 UN Person of the Year.
David Moinina Sengeh
David Moinina Sengeh is Sierra Leone’s first-ever chief innovation officer. Previously he was a research scientist at IBM Research Africa, Nairobi. David was born and raised in Sierra Leone, and received his PhD at the MIT Media Lab, where his research in the biomechatronics group focused on the design of comfortable prosthetic sockets and wearable interfaces. This work is at the intersection of medical imaging, material science, human anatomy, computer-aided design and manufacturing. He is the president and co-founder of the international NGO Global Minimum (GMin). Currently, GMin’s main project is Innovate Challenges; the first-ever competition created to foster a culture of innovation among high-school students in Sierra Leone, Kenya and South Africa. Innovate Challenges is a mentorship programme and set of workshops where youth can get help in transforming their ideas into tangible solutions. GMin was one of three winners out of 1,000 nominees for the Rockefeller Foundation Next Century Innovators Awards in 2013. Previously, GMin led the distribution of over 16,000 mosquito nets to cover over 28,000 people in Sahn Malen chiefdom in Sierra Leone.
Adebola Williams is a pioneer at the intersection of media, democracy and social change. He is co-founder and chief executive officer of RED, which owns Africa’s largest portfolio of youth media brands that engages millions of youths on the continent, including Red Media Africa, StateCraft, the Future Awards Africa, and YNaija.com. Williams co-founded EnoughisEnough (EiE) in 2010, one of Nigeria’s foremost civic participation groups and a voice for young people on politics. He was chairman of the board until resigning to take the lead on the communication and rebranding of the current Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari In 2014. Williams led the team that shaped the national discourse and optimized media engagement to change longstanding perceptions. He did the same in Ghana in 2016, helping the opposition candidate win the presidency on his third attempt. He and is team have recently concluded the Macky Sall campaign with a big win in February 2019.Williams consults in other regions in the continent.