Saturday, March 24th, 2012
8.30 am - 5 pm
Harvard Law School Wasserstein Hall
1585 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 01238
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Leadership in Africa

The Next Generation: Leadership in Africa
How will the up-and-coming generation of political and industry leaders design a better future for their constituents and stakeholders? How successful have African youth been in pursuing entrepreneurial ventures? What are some of the obstacles they face?


Bethlehem Alemu (Founder of Sole Rebels)

Bethlehem founded SoleRebels, the fastest growing African footwear brand and the 1st global footwear brand to emerge from a developing nation. In doing so, she has created jobs, empowering her community and country while presenting a galvanized dynamic face of African creativity to the global market.

She was the first female African entrepreneur to address the Clinton Global Initiative as a speaker and panelist (September, 2010) and was named one of the World Economic Forum’s 2011 Young Global Leaders. That same year, Bethlehem was selected as 2011’s Outstanding African Business Woman by the African Business Awards. Most recently, FORBES Magazine shone a spotlight on her in a 2012 article entitled “Africa’s Most Successful Women” after having featured her on its 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa list last year.

A trailblazer in every respect, Bethlehem has shifted the discourse on African development from one of poverty alleviation orchestrated by external actors, to one about prosperity creation driven by local Africans maximizing their talents and resources.

Saran Kaba Jones, Founder and CEO of FACE AFRICA

Saran Kaba Jones is the Founder and Executive Director of FACE Africa, a Cambridge-MA based nonprofit organization that funds and supports sustainable clean water, sanitation and hygiene projects in Liberia, while also empowering young girls and women through education and skills training.

Saran was born in Liberia but left shortly before the country's first civil war in 1989 when she was just 8 years old. She returned almost 20 years later to find a country in desperate need and made it her mission to help.

Since launching FACE Africa in January 2009, the organization has raised almost $300,000 for clean water projects and is gearing up to launch a social enterprise that will provide economic opportunities for women in Liberia.

More than just a clean water advocate, Saran is a social entrepreneur and change agent passionate about giving back. Her work has been profiled in the Boston Globe,, Harper’s Bazaar, and Boston Magazine among others.

Ndaba Thembekile Mandela, Founder of Africa Rising

Ndaba Mandela is the Founder and Executive Director of Africa Rising, an organization that is committed to publicizing the positive image of Africa to the world through publications, film, media and social interaction in order to instill a sense of pride and purpose in young Africans. He draws inspiration from his grandfather, H.E. Nelson Mandela, former president of the African National Congress (ANC) and Republic of South Africa. Mr. Mandela received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pretoria in 2008, majoring in Political Science and International Relations. Shortly after that, he joined the Embassy of Japan in Pretoria working as a senior Political Consultant, focused mainly on South Africa. While working at the embassy he was chosen to represent his country in a business leadership and entrepreneurship program in Jordan. This three-week annual program, compiled by the Ahl Ali Group of Dubai in association with the Queen Rania Centre for Entrepreneurship involved participants from Jordan as well as Argentina. He then joined Investec Asset Management, receiving training in various areas including, business development, equity analysis and the trading desk before he joined the administration team of Business Development as a client liaison officer. After a year at Investec Asset management he left in order to pursue his entrepreneurial and social development aspirations.

Benjamin Sanvee, Founder & Executive Director of NuVisionPAC

Mr. Sanvee was born in Monrovia, Liberia. He is the founder and Executive Director of NuVsionPAC, a non-profit and non-partisan political and socially driven grassroots movement that empowers AfricaâÄôs youth to create socio-political and economic institutional change through grassroots mobilization. Benjamin from the tender age of 16, have always been involved with youth activism in his native Liberia. Benjamin gained national prominence in his native Liberia when he delivered what was described as one of the most inspirational speeches at the National Conference on the Future of Liberia in 1998. At the conclusion of the conference, with a unanimous consensus from his peers, Benjamin was appointed by the President of Liberia to serve as the advisor on youth affairs to the government at the age of 17, the youngest member of a Presidential Cabinet in the history of Liberia. He served in this capacity for one year prior to his departure to the United States to pursue his academic studies. With this portfolio came its challenges and triumphs. Being, the lonely voice in the midst of a bureaucratic system long designed to pursue dominance, Benjamin had his eyes set on the youth agenda. He was successful in finally bringing to the center stage of national politics the plights of Liberian youths. He worked with youth organizations nationally and coordinated with the appropriate agencies of the government to implement programs from scholarships to HIV/AIDS awareness. Mr. Sanvee is the recipient of the 2010 Victor Ward Youth Activism Award, the 2010 Annie T. Doe Memorial Humanitarian Award and several other awards and recognition both in his native Liberia and internationally.

Githiora Thuku - Graduate from Africa Leadership Academy

Githiora Thuku is a second-year student at Brown University pursuing a B.S. in Applied Mathematics. He grew up in Kenya and was educated there until his O levels, after which he left to complete his secondary schooling in South Africa. In September of 2008, Githiora joined the African Leadership Academy, a two-year boarding school in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Academy aims to nurture the next generation of African leaders by providing for students’ intellectual and ethical development through a unique curriculum that emphasizes the study of Africa’s history and pressing challenges, as well as the practice of leadership and entrepreneurship. While at the Academy, he had the opportunity of gaining practical experience in renewable energy through a joint initiative called Enviro-ALA, a project that aimed to install a biodigester at a primary school in Johannesburg. Githiora has a strong interest in education and on its transformative potential in the development of vibrant and resilient African youth. He also has a developing interest in climate modeling, which he aims to explore during his remaining time at Brown and possibly afterwards.


Farayi Chipungu

Farayi Chipungu is a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) student at the Harvard Kennedy School. She is from Zimbabwe. Prior to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, she spent 5 years working as a corporate lawyer in England and Australia. She has also worked in university education in South Africa and as a consultant with the Tony Elumelu Foundation in Nigeria. Being of the firm belief that Africa is the future but is not living up to its full potential, Farayi's post graduation plan is to return to the continent to work in strategy consulting with McKinsey & Co.

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