Eric Olander is the co-founder of the China Africa Project (CAP), an independent, non-partisan media initiative dedicated to exploring every facet of China’s engagement in Africa. Eric is also the co-host of the weekly China in Africa podcast that is now among the top-10% most downloaded shows worldwide. Eric is a fluent Mandarin-speaker and a longtime China-watcher with more than 25 years of journalism experience at many of the world’s leading media companies including CNN, the BBC, and FRANCE24 among others. He received his undergraduate degree in East African History from the University of California at Berkeley and holds a master’s degree in Chinese Public Affairs from the University of Hong Kong.
Odunayo Eweniyi is Cofounder and COO of PiggyVest. She previously cofounded pushcv.com, one of the largest job sites in Africa with the largest database of prescreened candidates. In 2019 she was named one of Forbes Africa 30 under 30 Technology as well as 30 Quartz Africa Innovators 2019. She sits on the advisory board of TrainFuture, an Education Technology company based in Switzerland, as well as the Gender Lens Acceleration Best Practices Initiative, a collaborative effort of Village Capital, US and the International Finance Corporation's Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative. She works to support the inclusion of women in technology by working with hubs and female-focused networks, including For Creative Girls, GreenHouse Labs, She Leads Africa, Itanna. She is also the cofounder of the women’s community, Wine and Whine Nigeria.
Aubrey Hruby is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Africa Center. She is also co-founder of Insider and the Africa Expert Network (AXN), Co-host of the NewThink Podcast and an active investor in African start-ups. In her role at Insider, Hruby works with global entrepreneurs to generate positive public relations and to connect them with investors, while at AXN, she has helped build Africa’s leading information brokerage and expert connection service.
Hruby has consulted extensively in over twenty-five African markets and regularly advises senior policymakers and Fortune 500 companies on doing business in Africa. She is the former managing director of the Whitaker Group, an Africa-focused advisory firm that has helped facilitate well over $2 billion in capital flows to the continent. Prior to that, she was an International Trade Specialist at the Barnett Group LLC, where she worked with corporate clients to resolve trade problems in the Middle East and Africa.
Aubrey sits on the board of Invest Africa USA, the private sector advisory board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the boards of two dynamic Nigerian companies. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, is a professor at Georgetown University, and is a Young Leader at the Milken Institute.
On this episode we dive into our top 5 episode that we've ever done with leaders in the MENA startup ecosystems. Featured guests include Ali Abukumail, Idriss Al Rifai, Jacob Korenblum, Simon Galpin, and Yariv Lotan.
W. Gyude Moore is a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development. He previously served as Liberia’s Minister of Public Works with oversight over the construction and maintenance of public infrastructure from December 2014 to January 2018.
Prior to that role, Moore served as Deputy Chief of Staff to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Head of the President’s Delivery Unit (PDU). As Head of the PDU, his team monitored progress and drove delivery of the Public Sector Investment Program of Liberia—a program of over $1 billion in road, power, port infrastructure, and social programs in Liberia after the civil war. As one of the President’s trusted advisors, he also played a crucial role in supporting President Sirleaf as Liberia responded to the West Africa Ebola outbreak and shaped its post-Ebola outlook
At CGD, Moore’s research focus is around financing infrastructure in Africa and the changing landscape of development finance on the continent. His research tracks the channels of private sources of finance, the rise of China and its expanding role in Africa, and Africa’s response to these changes.
This episode was recorded at PeaceTech Lab PeaceTech Lab works to reduce violent conflict using technology, media, and data to accelerate and scale peacebuilding efforts. An independent nonprofit, the Lab brings together engineers and activists, MBAs and conflict experts, social scientists, data scientists, and other innovators to put the right tools in the right hands to build peace.
On this episode we dive into our top 5 episode that we've ever done with leaders in the Canadian startup ecosystems. Featured guests include Mark Organ, Mark Maclean, Charles Boulanger, Rivers Corbett, and Marie Chevrier.
Julio Lavalle is the Cofounder of Poupa Certo and MiBolsillo, mobile apps that digitize financial behaviors and tasks to build a financially healthy generation with less human intervention and reduced transaction costs for both end users and financial institutions to bring 5 million people to the formal financial system in the next three years. Poupa Certo and MiBolsillo currently operate in Brazil, Peru, Guatemala, and Mexico with plans to expand into more Spanish-speaking countries. After working on business and economic research, Julio found in development economics a path to put learnings and skills in practice to generate actual impact, shaped by powerful experiences at local and international NGOs, and organizations such as The World Bank.
Samier Mansur is a social entrepreneur, innovator, and writer who is driven by ideas that can build a more just, peaceful, and better organized world. Samier is the founder of No Limit Generation, an organization that supports thousands of displaced and vulnerable children rise and thrive into their full potential. This initiative builds on his previous work in founding the "Safe Haven" for Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh in partnership with the award-winning JAAGO Foundation. The facility provides 500 Rohingya refugee children and orphans a safe space for learning, play, and healing every day.
Samier is also the co-founder of LiveSafe, a revolutionary smartphone app that empowers millions of students, employees, and service men and women with the tools to keep themselves and their communities safe. He has as served various US Govt agencies and initiatives from global policymaking to human rights and security, and facilitation of trade and development programs in the rapidly developing economies.
He has over 40 national and international publications on range of topics: from international relations and global policy; to humanitarian intervention, self-improvement, gender, among others. He has spoken on the TEDx stage on the topic of Pluralism and religious identity politics and inclusion; and continues to advise technology companies and global policy makers.
Eli David is the co-founder of StartupBlink.com, global map and research center of the global startup ecosystem. They work with dozens of governments and municipalities on the promotion and mapping of their ecosystems. StartupBlink was featured in hundreds of magazines around the world and has thousands of registered startups and release the World's most comprehensive startup ecosystem index ranking more than 1,000 cities and 100 countries. In 2010, Eli also co-founded Lingolearn with its current CEO and team. Lingolearn provides private lessons online for thousands of students in 16 languages. Eli is a digital nomad and lived in more than 20 countries in the last 4 years, constantly changing locations. Eli thinks Nomads and Startup owners have everything in common, in regard to initiating great changes and taking smart risks to achieve happiness.
This special installment of The Global Startup Movement podcast was recorded at the Africa Fintech Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with 4 tech ecosystem player including Adam Abate Cofounder & CEO of Apposit, Yemiru Chanyalew CEO of Moneta Technologies, Saad Sheikh Principal of Investments at TLG Capital, and Habtamu Tadesse Founder & CEO of both Zayride and Arifpay.
Kristin Rechberger is CEO of Dynamic Planet, a company that invests in conservation enterprises so that people and nature can thrive: wilderness protection (land and sea), sustainable tourism, food-energy-water security, and market transformation towards sustainable sourcing and consumption.
As SVP Global Programs & Partnerships at the National Geographic Society, over 14 years Kristin helped lead worldwide growth of cable channels, corporate partnerships, and research, conservation, and exploration programs. Lived in Seoul, Korea as Luce Fellow; produced documentary films throughout Asia.
Selected as a 2009 Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum; serves on the Advisory Council, and involved with oceans, the shared economy, and the future of global development. Serves on the boards of Pristine Seas, The Ocean Foundation, and Children’s Eyes on Earth. Public policy and documentary film degrees, Duke University; executive courses, Harvard and Yale.
Shailee Aldinofi is Director of Public Sector Solutions at ConsenSys, a global blockchain technology company building the infrastructure, applications, and practices that enable a decentralized world. She served as Vice President of BanQu, a blockchain-based platform for supply chain transparency. Prior to joining the blockchain industry, Shailee spent 11 years leading USAID funded projects in financial inclusion, mobile money in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and 3 years in logistics and software development for US government projects.
Nizar Zakka is a Lebanese national and US permanent resident who was arrested by Iran in 2015, and was imprisoned until 2019 on charges of espionage for the United States. Zakka worked as an Internet freedom advocate and served as secretary general of the Arab ICT Organization in Washington, D.C..
On September 8, 2018, the person who had invited Nizar to visit Iran, Shahindokht Molaverdi, the top aide for citizenship rights to Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, told the Associated Press that the Iranian government had not approved Nizar's imprisonment, and that "[w]e did all we could to stop this from happening, but we are seeing that we have failed to make a significant impact." She blamed a "complete miscoordination" between Iran's civilian government and its independent judiciary, adding that "actions by one branch can ignore or neutralize efforts by another branch".
Despite the admission Iran was holding him against his will, Zakka remained a hostage in Iran until June 2019. With the sponsorship of his home country's president, General Michel Aoun, Zakka was released from Iran on June 11, 2019, and flew straight to Beirut.
Nathaniel Houghton is the Cofounder & President of the Congo Leadership Initiative where he provides leadership and entrepreneurship training to young people living in the Congo. Through his work he's seen the entrepreneurship ecosystem grow and evolve and believes the market is ready for venture style investing and returns. This is resulting in the Congo Leaders Venture Fund, aiming to invest early stage in top entrepreneurs in the Congo. Nate previously spent time as Director at Next Gen Venture Partners where he founded and led their innovation division providing support to their portfolio companies.
Nicholus Steward is the Cofounder of the eSwatini Bridge Project (SBP). The mission of the SBP is to promote, encourage, and facilitate the education and technology goals of the Kingdom of eSwatini. We aim to do this by providing resource and technology transfers which can be adapted to suit local conditions. SBP aims to promote the addition of up-to-date technology and strengthen science and technology education at all levels and its continual upgrading in line with developments in science and technology. Our hope is that homegrown Swazi talent will meet the ICT needs of eSwatini instead of having to import that skill set. In short, the Swazi Bridge Project’s main objective is to be a resource to the Swazi people for matters of connectivity, technology, and education.
Viola Llewellyn is the co-founder and President of Ovamba Solutions. Ovamba is an award winning African “FinTech” company that creates culturally attuned technologies to serve African SMEs with innovative Sharia compliant finance products, eCommerce, and logistics services to promote growth. Ovamba’s technology gives global accredited and institutional investors the opportunity to invest in the fast-growing African private sector.
Martin Sajon is Co-founder and CEO at Neuralys. He is an entrepreneur and cybersecurity professional with 12+ years of extensive experience across Latin America, the Caribbean, and the US.
At Neuralys, Martin oversees the overall management of the company, including strategic product and business development efforts. He also works cross-functionally by analyzing core operational and business functions to help organizations reduce their risk.
Before Neuralys, Martin founded a security consulting firm called ISNS focused on delivering cutting-edge penetration testing services across the continent to organizations such as Avery Dennison, Nokia, Glencore, Bunge, Oberthur Technologies, SGS, Coty, between others.
Adil Yalcin is the founder and CEO of Keshif, a software tool at the intersection of analytics, design, and engineering. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Maryland as a member of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab. Through his research, he created the basis of Keshif as the next-generation data exploration platform. Adil's academic work in data visualization and analysis has been published and cited in various books, proceedings, and academic journals. At Keshif Adil leads technical, design, analytics, and consulting services alongside his cofounder Behar Xharra. Adil is passionate about providing refined, effective, principled solutions that lower barriers of complex tools and complex processes, i.e. solutions that are “as simple as possible, but not simpler”.
Akin Sawyerr is the co-founder of RocRemit, a blockchain remittance company, a director of Splash Mobile Money, a mobile payments company in Sierra Leone and the Africa Lead for Decred an open-source, Bitcoin fork that places emphasis on development funding, on-chain governance, and consensus mechanisms. Akin is a long time executive and entrepreneur operating in mobile money, remittances, and payments in sub Saharan Africa.
KGB (Kevin Gordon Barrow) is the Founder & CEO of Mark Labs, a software company which helps organizations effectively manage the risk associated with funding social impact projects. He is a serial social entrepreneur, having worked on startups dealing with education, environmental protection, campus safety, mobile health, and rural broadband access.
Prior to embracing his inner social entrepreneur, KGB earned his stripes in the fields of law (GE), banking (ABN AMBRO), and management consulting (Deloitte and Booz Allen Hamilton).
KGB completed his higher education in the UK earning an Honours Law Degree from Durham and an MBA from Oxford. He is an an avid reader, lover of Sufi poetry, and an aspiring surfer.
Moe Odele is a cofounding parnter at Vazi Legal and the founder of the widely popular community, Scale My Hustle. Moe is an international attorney experienced in Business and human rights, Innovative financing, Impact Investing, Gender & inclusive finance, ESG Advisory (Due diligence & Intergration), Private Equity and Venture Capital, FinTech, Startup advisory, and Social entrepreneurship. She has worked with entrepreneurs, funds, family offices and foundations who are dedicated to solving some of the most pressing challenges in emerging markets.