25+ OYW Ambassadors selected as inaugural Obama Leaders for Africa - V2

After months of selection, the Obama Foundation has revealed its first class of 200 Obama Leaders for Africa. With backgrounds in the public, private and non-profit sectors, these Leaders from across the continent will gain access to a year-long programme which includes bespoke training and leadership development.

The first stage in the programme is a five-day gathering in Johannesburg where the cohort will exchange insights, take part in workshops, participate in leadership sessions, and hear from African leaders including long-time One Young World (OYW) Counsellor Advocate Thuli Madonsela.

OYW is proud to share that 26 OYW Ambassadors have been selected as part of the first Obama Leaders group. Congratulations to them all! Full list of names below.*

*all descriptions originally written by the Obama Foundation.

Stephen Molatlhegi, Botswana

Stephen is a young active citizen, highly motivated development practitioner, and social entrepreneur, with a passion in empowering people, promoting sustainable development, entrepreneurship, and combating poverty.

Keke Haina, Comoros

Keke is a youth educator and an activist for youth rights. She co-founded the NGO I’m a Rad African (IMARA) in 2015 and provides a safe education heaven to Comorian children, adolescents, and adults from all walks of life through different programs.

Mostafa Amin, Egypt

Mostafa is an Egyptian serial entrepreneur and who has built different startups in media, machine learning, and food e-commerce. His venture is called Breadfast.com and they deliver fresh baked products and breakfast to customers' doorsteps every morning.


Nejat Abdella, Ethiopia

Nejat is one of the co-founders of Megenagna, a professional development platform based in Ethiopia that aims to build capabilities for youth.


Mehret Dubale, Ethiopia

Mehret is a public health academician. She has a strong passion for working at grass root level public health management and experience in leading maternal and child health projects.


Kwabena Danso, Ghana

Kwabena is the CEO of Boomers International Ltd, a social enterprise in Ghana that is providing jobs and economic empowerment to young people and women in rural Ghana through the production of bamboo bicycles and accessories.


Dysmus Kisilu, Kenya

Dysmus is a social entrepreneur working with small-scale farmers in Kenya. His mission is to help them access productive use assets such as solar-powered irrigation and solar-powered cold storage to increase agricultural productivity through climate-smart tools.


Kennedy Odede, Kenya

Kennedy is a community organizer working to transform urban slums from urban poverty into urban promise. Kennedy grew up in the Kibera slum, and as a street-boy in Nairobi, taught himself to read and write on the Kenyan streets.


Jarius Andrew Greaves, Liberia

Jarius is a Liberian and African youth development worker with over 10-years of experience in local community and youth engagement and empowerment, entrepreneurship, education, youth policy advocacy, negotiations, and monitoring and evaluation.


Chimwemwe John Paul Manyozo, Malawi

Chimwemwe is a changemaker and writer who specializes in international development, media, and communications. Chimwemwe has established two youth movements, Maphunziro265 and Youth to Youth Empowerment.


Aminetou Bilal, Mauritania

Aminetou is president of Selfie Mbalite, an NGO raising awareness campaigns against unsanitary conditions and promoting ecological development in Mauritania.


Josef P. van der Westhuizen, Namibia

Josef is a social entrepreneur and community development activist, whose passion is youth empowerment in the areas of entrepreneurship and education with a desire to get into international relations in the area of conflict resolution, mediation, and negotiation.


Noel Ify Alumona, Nigeria

Emmanuel is the founder and director of Hope for African Children Initiative, a non-governmental organization committed to helping vulnerable children and rural communities to access quality education for sustainable development.

Temitope Isedowo, Nigeria

Temitope is the programs manager at AfriLabs, a pan-African network of more than 90 technology hubs, and co-founder of LYFE.


Peter Okeugo, Nigeria

Peter is a Nigerian journalist. He recently started AVoice4Us, a civic media project which increases the media reporting on human rights and social justice in Africa.


Rene Uwamugirimfura, Rwanda

Rene is a Rwandan social entrepreneur and independent Green activist with 10 years of experience. He works closely with both public-private partnership (PPP) especially with region Independent Power Producer (IPPS) and Region Energy Private Developers (Rwanda-EPD, Tanzania-TAREA, Uganda-UREA, and Kenya-KENREC).


Khadidiatou Sall, Senegal

Khadidiatou is a molecular biologist, a STEM educator, and an entrepreneur. She is building a collaborative and innovative hub in Senegal, for learning STEM topics online/offline in local languages starting from a young age, for prototyping ideas, and for launching successful startups.


Fatmata Kamara, Sierra Leone

Fatmata is a civil engineer and branch manager in the water utility company in her country, responsible for providing water and sanitation services to people in rural part of Sierra Leone.



Shakira Choonara, South Africa

Dr. Choonara is a renowned health researcher, bold activist, and the 2017 Woman of the Year in Health, in South Africa. She is also listed as Destiny Magazine’s “Most Powerful Women under 40” in SA and is currently employed as the obesity program coordinator for SA at the Washington based NGO, Global Health Advocacy Incubator.


Siyabulela Jentile, South Africa

Siyabulela is a social entrepreneur, socio analyst, speaker, and activist. He is the founder and president/CEO of “Not In My Name South Africa”.


Zukiswa Mqolomba, South Africa

Zukiswa is a senior researcher, senior policy analyst, and scholar-activist who currently works for the government as a director in social insurance schemes for the Department of Social Development.


Rufaro Mudimu, Zimbabwe

Rufaro is a proud citizen of Southern Africa. She is passionate about working with others to achieve social change and creating environments that allow people to define and achieve success and create a better future for themselves, their communities, and their countries.


Racha Haffar, Tunisia

Racha is the founder and president of Not 4 Trade, the first anti-human trafficking NGO in Tunisia. She is also a Fulbright Alumna at the University of Kentucky, a journalist, and a women's rights activist.


Yassine Harz, Tunisia

Yassine is a part-time social entrepreneur, selected as one of 60 ambassadors worldwide to represent Africa in the Youth to Youth Summit, and awarded the Leadership Medal by Frances Hesselbein (Forbes World’s 50 Greatest Leaders) in Pittsburgh.


Amnah Ibuni, Tanzania

Amnah is the deputy executive director of 'Zanzibar Fighting Against Youth Challenges Organization' (ZAFAYCO), a nonprofit dedicated to empowering youth by raising awareness, capacity building, and networking programs.


Takunda Chingonzo, Zimbabwe

Takunda is the founder of The TechVillage, a collaborative working space and innovation hub for early-stage tech startups.


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