FIRESIDE CHAT

C.D. Glin (Moderator),
President and CEO of USADF

C.D. Glin is the President and CEO of the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF), a catalytic, grant making, local capacity development organization established by the U.S. Congress to support and invest in African designed and community-led programs, promote inclusive economic growth and create pathways to shared prosperity for underserved, marginalized, poor and vulnerable populations. Glin annually oversees approximately $115 million in philanthropic and social impact investments in more than 1200 civil society nonprofits, grassroots organization and small and medium-sized enterprises in 20 country offices in fragile states throughout Africa’s Horn, Sahel and Great Lakes regions.
C.D. Glin
Minister Paula Ingabire

The Honorable, Paula Ingabire,
Minister of ICT and Innovation, Government of Rwanda

Paula Ingabire is a Rwandan technology enthusiast, who currently serves as the Minister of ICT and Innovation in the Government of Rwanda. Prior to her appointment as Minister, she served as Head of the ICT Business Development Department at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and coordinator of the Kigali Innovation City Project, a flagship program of the Government designed to nurture and strengthen a Pan-African Innovation eco-system in Rwanda. As the Head of the ICT Business Development department in RDB, she led the implementation of National ICT programs notably eGovernment and Cyber Security.

Minister Ingabire coordinated the creation of SMART Africa, an initiative that seeks to leverage broadband infrastructure as a driver for Africa’s socio-economic growth. The platform brings together Heads of Government, policy makers and corporates across Africa to shape Africa’s digital transformation agenda.

FIRESIDE CHAT

PANEL

Saida Benhayoune

Saida Benhayoune

Innovation Practice Advisor at MIT

Moderator

Captivated by D-Lab's mission of poverty alleviation through technology and business innovation, Saida joined the MIT in 2011 to lead D-Lab's strategy for social entrepreneurship and inclusive business. She launched the D-Lab Scale-Ups Fellowship and the Practical Impact Alliance; co-authored several inclusive business publications, and is presently focused on developing professional education trainings on participatory design, inclusive business and inclusive partnerships for development.

Saida is originally from Morocco and holds a biochemical engineering degree and an MBA. Prior to D-Lab, she gained 10 years of experience in manufacturing, sourcing and sustainability for the food industry, including programs linking small-scale farmers to international markets. Amanuel has expanded and primarily focuses his interests to African technology markets. Of Ethiopian descent, he is passionate about education in Africa, he has long supported efforts to build healthcare and educational infrastructure in the Horn of Africa. In 2016, Amanuel co-founded an entrepreneurial venture in Ethiopia to develop a skilled workforce and thriving technology industry across the continent, with a particular focus on the gaming and software development sub-sectors.

Hiruy Amanuel

MD of A.J. Ventures

MD of A.J. Ventures

Speaker

An entrepreneur & investor based in Ethiopia, Hiruy Amanuel is a co-founder and managing director of A.J. Ventures in Portola Valley, California. Of Ethiopian descent, he is passionate about education in Africa.

In 2016, he embarked on start-up life in Ethiopia to develop a skilled workforce and thriving technology industry across the continent by investing in and co-founding Gebeya Inc., Africa’s first Pan-African software training institution and talent marketplace. With a mission to give technology training to an African population with raw talent and ambition, but limited in resources and education; it has expanded across East and West Africa to Kenya, London, & Senegal. Lasting 4-6 months long they focus on Mobile App, Front-End, DevOps & Back-end Development, UI & UX design, & blockchain.

In 2020, Gebeya raised a $2M seed round from international investors and telcos, the first tech company in Ethiopia to do so. Currently Amanuel is advising African tech startups and companies working closely to get them investment ready and to continue to contribute to the ever-changing tech ecosystem in Africa. Amanuel has expanded and primarily focuses his interests to African technology markets. Of Ethiopian descent, he is passionate about education in Africa, he has long supported efforts to build healthcare and educational infrastructure in the Horn of Africa. In 2016, Amanuel co-founded an entrepreneurial venture in Ethiopia to develop a skilled workforce and thriving technology industry across the continent, with a particular focus on the gaming and software development sub-sectors.

Nekesa Were

Nekesa Were

Director of Strategy, Afrilabs

Speaker

As the Director of Strategy at Afrilabs, Nekesa is responsible for developing and executing the strategy that ensures a thriving innovation economy in Africa driven by the power of the AfriLabs community. Afrilabs is a growing network of 225 innovation hubs in 47 African countries.

For the last decade, Nekesa has worked at the heart of Africa’s technology and innovation ecosystem. Nekesa was previously the Managing Director of iHub Nairobi, where she led an open innovation culture that was integral in ensuring quick maturity of the Kenyan innovation ecosystem. She serves on the boards of Africa Tech and Creatives Group, Creatives Garage, and Missing Child Kenya.

Timothy Nzioka

Timothy Nzioka

Director of Regional Program Operations, USADF - Nairobi

Speaker

Timothy (Tim) Nzioka is USADF's Director of Regional Program Operations based in Nairobi, Kenya. He oversees strategic initiatives and cross-sector collaboration to increase the Agency's results, relevancy, and resources. Tim is a Development Economist with over 25 years of experience working in sub-Saharan African. Previous to USADF, he served in Malawi as the Country Director and Chief of Party for Land O’Lakes International Development (now Venture 37). He was also Chief of Party for a regional Powering African Agriculture Program funded by USAID, Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, and the Director of Programs for Africa. by the Scottish Government in 2011.