New Class

Marking 20 years of responsible leadership, we proudly welcome over 80 exceptional individuals into our community of outstanding leaders. This year's cohort, ranging from tech moguls to former athletes, brings together brilliant minds and passionate leaders from business, civil society, academia, government, and beyond. These responsible leaders will undertake a transformative 3-year journey, addressing global challenges and driving positive change. Join us in celebrating the new class:

12 YGLs in Africa

Alloysius Attah

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Farmerline Group, Ghana

Launched Farmerline to create lasting wealth for farmers and local agribusinesses everywhere. Leads the company's vision and strategic partnerships with over 3,000 partners across 48 countries. The company has served and digitalized 1.7 million farmers in the last decade. TIME Magazine recognized its Mergdata platform as one of the 100 Best Inventions of 2019. Recipient of honours and awards, including from the International Monetary Fund, named a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer, CBNC Africa Young Business Leader Award, and Bloomberg New Economy Catalyst.

Chinwe Egwim

Chief Economist and Head Economic Research and Intelligence, Coronation Merchant Bank, Nigeria

Chinwe Egwim, Chief Economist at Coronation Merchant Bank, is a trusted voice in macroeconomics, known for her precision in economic projections. Sought after by industry peers, government officials, diplomats, development organizations and the media, she brings notable expertise in producing economic research reports. Egwim has received a LinkedIn Top Economics Voice Badge. As Nigeria's National Focal Point on a UNECA project, she played a pivotal role in efforts on advancing the services trade in Africa. Her status as a prominent economist resonates within Nigeria and the broader African context and is underscored by her appointment to Nigeria’s Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee. Egwim authored Understanding Economic Jargon and a children's book on inflation, emphasizing her commitment to accessible education. She is a fervent advocate for gender equity, translating commitment into action as evidenced by awards such as Positive Role Model – West Africa, by Accenture Gender Mainstreaming. She has led initiatives that empower and uplift women, both within and beyond the financial sector. Egwim has graced over 100 stages, bringing her unique blend of depth, passion and transformative insights and leaving a lasting impact on diverse audiences. Her TEDx talk, Equipping the Female Economy, has resonated with policy and development institutions, shaping discussions on empowering women.

Melvyn Lubega

Founder and Chairman, Baobab Group, South Africa

Melvyn Lubega is an experienced technology entrepreneur and investor who has built businesses that serve customers around the world. He founded the Baobab Group in 2015, which now employs over 1,000 people. As an entrepreneur, most notably Lubega built and scaled Go1, a leading technology platform used by 17,000 organizations and governments in over 60 countries. Go1 became the first South African unicorn (valued at +$2 billion) attracting over $450 million in investment from Salesforce Ventures and M12 (Microsoft Ventures) among other tier-one international investors. Built through his passion for developing people, every 1.2 seconds someone somewhere in the world starts a course on Go1. Prior to Go1, Lubega built, exited and invested in leading fintech companies across Africa. He is a Partner at Breega, one of the fastest-growing early stage venture capital investors in EMEA, with over $600 million in assets under management, investing in disruptive technologies that solve significant economic and social challenges. Lubega is also a referenced thought leader and invited speaker, both abroad and locally, on digital transformation, the future of work, venture capital, disruptive innovation, corporate governance and business strategy. He has been recognized by Forbes and was the first African recipient of The Lindas in 2021, Endeavor Global’s most prestigious accolade. The award is given by a community of 2,300 leaders from many of the fastest-growing companies in the world to the person who embodies the spirit of “dreaming big, scaling up and paying it forward”. In 2023, given his success in building businesses from Africa that scale globally, Lubega was recognized as a leading business person at the 11th All Africa Business Leadership Awards. He is an actuary by training and a Rhodes Scholar. He completed his postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford, receiving a distinction for his research into disruptive technologies in emerging markets.

Néné Maïga

Chief Executive Officer, Orange Botswana, Botswana

Néné Maïga, from Timbuktu, Mali, is a visionary telecommunications leader. As CEO of Orange Botswana since 2021, she has propelled significant growth, revolutionizing internet speeds for Botswana. Previously, as Chief of Staff of Orange Middle East and CEO of Orange Africa, she spearheaded transformative projects and championed gender parity. Maïga is dedicated to leveraging digital technology for African empowerment, showcasing exceptional leadership and a commitment to innovation in her remarkable journey.

Temi Marcella

Founding Partner, Alcent Capital, Nigeria

Temi Marcella, a distinguished investment professional, has strategically committed almost $1 billion in capital globally. As the inaugural Executive Director and Board Member of Evercare Hospital in Nigeria, a pivotal player in transforming the country’s healthcare system, she pioneered its development. Leading the region for the $1 billion Evercare Health Fund managed by TPG Capital, Marcella was instrumental in scaling Evercare from inception to a global platform, earning recognition as one of the top 50 leaders set to "define the world of tomorrow". Her achievements include being honoured by successive presidential administrations, to serve on the Presidential Transition & Health Sector Reform Committees, underscoring her significant contributions to the investment landscape and healthcare transformation on the continent. Marcella is a Milken Institute Young Leaders Circle Fellow, Kauffman Venture Capital Fellow, Tutu Fellow, World Economic Forum Global Shaper alumna and a Goldman Sachs Global Leader. She serves on international boards including Save the Children and the Equality Fund.

Lelise Neme Sori

Director-General, Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority, Ethiopia

Lelise Neme, Director-General of the Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority, has embarked on a remarkable journey marked by a rapid ascent to leadership. She has served as Commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission. Neme’s leadership potential blossomed early, when she was a student at Jimma University. Aged 24, she was CEO of the Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC) in Ethiopia. Prior to her IPDC tenure, she was Director-General of the Oromia Industrial Development Agency and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Oromia Industrial Park Development Corporation. Neme consistently demonstrates her capability and drive as a leader, remaining undeterred by challenges. She showcases her ability to thrive in high-stakes environments with resilience and proficiency.

Muriel Thabile Ngwato

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Newzroom Afrika, South Africa

Thabile Ngwato is a dynamic entrepreneur and leader in broadcasting and technology. Her journey reflects a commitment to innovation, diversity and shaping the future of broadcasting and content distribution in South Africa and across the continent. Ngwato has a background in both radio and television. She honed her vision during her tenure at the South African Public Broadcaster. Entrepreneurial Ventures. She is Co-Founder of Rapid Innovation, a connected services agency specializing in innovative broadcasting and content distribution strategies. Ngwato co-founded Newzroom Afrika (channel 405), the first Black and youngest woman to own commercial TV channels in Africa, broadcasting to 52 African countries. In addition to Newzroom Afrika, she co-founded two other channels: Movie Room (channel 113) and Play Room (channel 300). She founded Bluestream Technologies, a broadcast satellite business, in 2021, making it the only 100% black and woman-owned uplink business in South Africa. Ngwato has actively contributed to transforming the media and broadcasting landscape in South Africa and Africa at large. She has navigated predominantly male-led sectors, showcasing her leadership and entrepreneurship. Ngwato serves on the boards of Rapid Innovation Investments and the Ngwato Nkosi Group, further showcasing her involvement in business and strategic decision-making. Her founding of Bluestream Technologies (a broadcast satellite business) in 2021 solidifies her as one of the most influential players in South Africa’s broadcast and ICT sectors. Ngwato's journey highlights her dedication to breaking barriers, fostering innovation and contributing to the advancement of the broadcasting and technology sectors in Africa. Her numerous awards underscore the impact of her work and the recognition she has garnered in the industry. They include: GLAMOUR Magazine Woman of the Year Award in 2018; Charlotte Mannya-Maxeke Institute Woman of Firsts Award in 2019 for being the first and youngest woman to own a commercial television news channel in Africa; Global African Award for Excellence in Media in 2021.

Angela Oduor Lungati

Executive Director, Ushahidi, Kenya

Angela Oduor Lungati is a seasoned technologist, community builder and advocate of open-source software, driven by a profound commitment to leveraging technology for marginalized communities. With over a decade of experience in software development, global community engagement and non-profit organizational management, Lungati is Executive Director of Ushahidi, a leading Africa-led, non-profit technology company. Under her leadership, Ushahidi has undergone a strategic transformation, breaking down barriers to access and enhancing the platform's utilization, notably in the global COVID-19 response across 140 countries. Lungati’s influence extends to her role on the Board of Directors for Creative Commons and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. She is also Co-Founder of AkiraChix, a non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing generations of women using technology to drive innovations and solutions for Africa. She is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Data Equity. Lungati’s multifaceted expertise and impactful initiatives position her as a trailblazer in the intersection of technology, community development and social impact.

Oluwatosin Olaseinde

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Money Africa, Nigeria

Oluwatosin Olaseinde is a chartered accountant, specializing in accounting, audit, financial management and taxation. As Founder and CEO of Money Africa, she has cultivated a thriving edtech platform with a community exceeding 200,000, championing financial literacy and investment through technology. Olaseinde is also the visionary behind Ladda, a smart financial buddy simplifying saving and investing for those pursuing their financial goals. Her accomplishments, such as being a Washington Mandela Fellow, a LinkedIn Top Voice in Finance and Economy 2020, and a finalist for The Future Awards, underscore her impact. Notable media appearances on TEDx, BBC UK, Al Jazeera, and CNN position Olaseinde as a leading figure propelling the financial literacy movement in Africa. Her unwavering dedication and influential contributions have rightfully earned her a coveted place among the Top 50 African Business Heroes.

Judy Sikuza

Chief Executive Officer, The Mandela Rhodes Foundation, South Africa

Judy Sikuza, CEO of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation, is a fervent advocate of education and leadership as catalysts for positive change. With a background in organizational development, she navigates challenges in both the private and development sectors. Honoured as a Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South African and an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow, Sikuza’s leadership is acclaimed. Internationally sought-after for her expertise, she addresses prestigious events and contributes thought leadership on resilience, transformation and nation-building. With degrees from Nelson Mandela University and Columbia University, she blends academic excellence with practical experience, embodying a holistic approach to her impactful work.

Veda Sunassee

Chief Executive Officer, African Leadership University, Mauritius

With over 13 years dedicated to various roles within the African Leadership Group (ALG), Veda Sunassee has been instrumental in shaping the group since joining the African Leadership Academy in 2010. A true educator at heart, he played a key role in developing the leadership model integral to ALG’s mission of cultivating 3 million African leaders by 2035. Sunassee’s impactful journey includes being part of the founding team of the African Leadership College (ALC) in Mauritius in 2015 and later serving as the Founding Dean of the African Leadership University (ALU) in Rwanda from 2017 to 2019. Currently, as CEO of ALC and ALU, he oversees operations on both the Mauritius and Rwanda campuses, steering the institution's ambitious five-year strategy to evolve into a "distributed university" globally. Beyond his executive role, Sunassee is recognized internationally as an accomplished moderator. In 2020, he co-founded a boutique leadership consulting firm, NiaDelta. Sunassee is a Princeton University graduate, and was selected among the inaugural Obama Leaders in 2018.

Alice Usanase

Head, Country Relations and Equity Mobilization, Africa Finance Corporation - AFC, Rwanda

Alice Usanase is a highly accomplished executive with over a decade of expertise in developing and identifying business opportunities in frontier/emerging markets. With a strong focus on mobilizing resources for organizational sustainability, she has successfully led diverse teams at the World Bank Group and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC). Usanase specializes in creating tailored solutions for sovereigns, institutional investors and development finance institutions (DFIs), utilizing her extensive local market knowledge to design impactful strategies and policies for sustainable development. Additionally, she co-authored the publication, Infrastructure Financing in Sub-Saharan Africa – Best Practices From Ten Years in the Field, in collaboration with BCG and AFC. Usanase's commitment to social impact is further demonstrated through her co-founding of We*Care, a social community dedicated to creating educational opportunities for vulnerable children in Rwanda, facilitating their return to school and reuniting them with their families. She was also recently selected as part of the WEF 2024 Young Global Leader cohort.