Africa Development Forum Series: 20 in 5
Youth Transforming Africa
April 12, 2016Online

Through its young people, Africa finds itself faced with an unprecedented opportunity. Every year between 2015 and 2035, close to five million more people will turn 15 years of age across the continent, while in the rest of the world the population will grow older. As noted in the 2014 World Bank report on youth employment in Sub-Saharan Africa, only a quarter of the young people who enter the labor market each year over the next decade will find a salaried position, and only a small fraction of them will secure formal employment in “modern” enterprises, with the majority of young people remaining in the informal sector.

One of the World Bank’s priorities in Africa is to invest in scientific and technical education to equip young people with skills matching businesses’ current needs, and a key issue for the institution is to help determine how to facilitate young people’s transition to productive employment.

In the margins of the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings, this Ted Talk-inspired event will focus on promoting youth entrepreneurship in Africa. Hosted by the World Bank, the Growth Dialogue and the George Washington University School of Business, the event features seven inspiring young entrepreneurs who are transforming Africa with their start-ups in health, education, technology and more.  

Contact at the World Bank

Contact at GD/GWSB

Master of ceremony: Veronique Kabongo, Chair, WBG-IMF African Staff Society

10:00     Opening remarks

  • Danny Leipziger, Managing Director, Growth Dialogue and Professor of International Business, George Washington University.
  • Makhtar Diop, Vice-President for Africa, The World Bank Group

10:10     Short video: Voices of African Youth

10:15     TED style conference (seven minutes per speaker)

11:05     Q&A

  • Moderator: Steven Shalita, Manager, Communications and Partnerships, Africa Region, The World Bank Group

11:45     Closing remarks

  • Haleh Bridi, Director, Communications and Partnerships, Africa Region, The World Bank Group
  • Jennifer Spencer, Vice Dean, Faculty, George Coelho Distinguished Scholar, and Professor of International Business and International Affairs, George Washington University School of Business

12:00     Lunch

The event will be live streamed.


Makhtar Diop
Vice President for Africa, The World Bank @Diop_WB

Makhtar Diop is the Vice President for the Africa Region of the World Bank. Before taking up this position he served as Country Director for Brazil, Director of Strategy and Operations, and Sector Director for Finance, Private Sector and Infrastructure in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region, and the World Bank’s Country Director for Kenya, Eritrea, and Somalia. Before joining the World Bank he worked at the International Monetary Fund, served as Minister of Economy and Finance in Senegal, and held various positions in banking and finance.


Danny Leipziger
Managing Director, Growth Dialogue and Professor of International Business, GWSB

Danny Leipziger is Professor of International Business and International Affairs, George Washington University, and Managing Director, the Growth Dialogue, a network dedicated to examining the issues of sustainable and shared economic growth. He is former Vice President of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network (2004–09) at the World Bank. Over the course of his 28-year career at the World Bank, he has held management positions in the East Asia Region and the Latin America and Caribbean Region as well as in the World Bank Institute. Prior to joining the Bank, Dr. Leipziger served in senior positions at the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of State. He also has been a Vice Chair of the independent Commission on Growth and Development (2006-2010). He holds a Ph. D. in economics from Brown University and has published widely in the areas of development economics and finance, industrial policy, and banking, including books on Korea, Chile, and East Asia and recent volumes Globalization and Growth (with Michael Spence) and Stuck in the Middle (with Antonio Estache) and Ascent after Decline: Regrowing Global Economies after the Great Recession (with Otaviano Canuto). He has published more than 40 articles in refereed journals on economic development and finance. His most recent monograph, Restarting Global Economic Growth (with M. Spence, R. Kanbur, and J. Manyika) is the result of a Bellagio 2015 Conference organized by the Growth Dialogue and the Rockefeller Foundation. Dr. Leipziger is a frequent contributor to the Financial Times. He has written for Project Syndicate, and is often called upon by the international media as a commentator on global economic issues.


Jennifer Spencer
Vice Dean of Faculty and Research, GWSB

Professor Jennifer Spencer’s scholarship focuses on the interaction among institutions, firm capabilities, and firms’ strategic actions. Her research perspective acknowledges clear opportunities for agency by firms’ managers as they seek to build capabilities, anticipate rivals’ strategic actions, and deliberately influence the development of the institutional environment to serve their firm’s best interests. Simultaneously, her theoretical perspective builds from the observation that the institutional diversity present across the world raises critical challenges for firms, whose strategic decisions and actions are often embedded in multiple national environments.

Many of Professor Spencer’s research questions focus on firm-level innovation and investment strategies—issues that are at the heart of a country’s economic growth, and contribute powerfully to the competitiveness of individual firms. How do national institutional structures affect the dynamics of new technology emergence, the investment and innovation strategies of firms, and the effectiveness of governments’ technology policies? In what ways do firms’ strategies affect the diffusion of technological knowledge among firms, the nature of strategic interaction among rivals, and the development of the institutional environment? Much of her recent research centers on the institutional environments present in developing countries, with an emphasis on MNE investment and entrepreneurship in those economies.

Professor Spencer has published articles in the top journals in the management, strategy, and international business fields, including Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science and Journal of International Business Studies.


Haleh Bridi
Director of Africa External Communications and Partnerships, World Bank

Haleh Bridi is the Director for the Africa External Communications and Partnerships (AFREC) unit in the Africa Region (AFR). She has more than 25 years of development experience working for the World Bank Group, mostly at senior level including serving as country director for Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles (AFR), and director of Regional Programs and Partnerships in the Middle East and North Africa Region (MNA). Prior to joining the World Bank Group, she spent 10 years at the OPEC Fund where she supported the Fund's lending operations in francophone Africa.


Steven Shalita
Manager of Communications for Africa External Communications and Partnerships, World Bank

Steven Shalita is the Manager for Communications in the Africa External Communications and Partnership (AFREC) unit, in the Africa Region. He has worked with the World Bank Group for close to 12 years, mostly in the Africa Region. His most recent assignment was with the Climate Investment Funds in Washington, DC. Prior to joining the Bank Steven worked with several development agencies including the German Technical Cooperation and USAID’s Commercial Market Strategies Project.


Veronique Kabongo
Chair of the World Bank Group – International Monetary Fund African Society

As chair of the WBG-IMF African Society, Veronique Kabongo leads the executive committee in fulfilling the organization’s mission to facilitate a greater awareness and advance a better understanding of African affairs among staff of the Bretton Woods institutions. 
In addition, Kabongo is a lead in institutional capacity development for the WBG, specializing in fragile and conflict affected countries in the Governance Global Practice. She joined the WBG in 2008 as a human resources manager, leading teams in implementing important reforms in organizational design, talent management and executive resources.

Prior to joining the WBG, Kabongo worked more than 15 years in global private sector companies such as Andersen Consulting, DHL and Rockwell Automation, where she held various roles in human resources, leadership development and mergers and acquisitions. Kabongo promotes a new African leadership philosophy, rooted in traditions, realistic about the present and ambitious for the future. She is an active member of the Global Executive Learning network and is a certified Chief Learning Officer.

Kabongo holds a Bachelor in Law and a Masters in Politics from the Facultes Universitaires Saint-Louis and the Universite Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium. She is fluent in French, Dutch and English, and is married with four children.  


Edward Amartey-Tagoe
Co-founder of NandiMobile technology company @ttaaggooee

Edward Amartey-Tagoe is a software entrepreneur with a passion for technology, social media and youth capacity building. Edward’s entrepreneurship journey begun in his 3rd year at the University of Ghana, where he started his first company, managed it and sold it two years later. Edward founded his second company, Nandimobile, after graduating from the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST). His leadership role in Ghana’s IT community has put him at the forefront of tech-related events and projects such as TedxAccra, TedxDzorwulu, BlogCamp, Apps4Africa and more than 40 Barcamp events across the districts in Ghana. He is currently an active member of a MEST team tasked with finding the best talents from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa to fill the MEST class of 2017.


Nosarieme Garrick
Writer, Filmmaker and Entrepreneur @Nosalikes

A citizen of the World, with roots in Nigeria and the United States, Nosarieme Garrick is passionate in exposing the rapid cultural and technological advancements exploding among the youth in Africa. As a writer, she covers African Culture, writing for outlets like MTV Staying Alive, CNN, Afripopmag, Africa is a Country, and Women’s eNews. Her articles helped her establish fresh new connections with young African political, economic, technological and cultural leaders.


Efosa Ojomo
Research Fellow, Forum for Growth and Innovation at Harvard Business School @EfosaOjomo

Sponsored by Professor Clay Christensen, one of the world’s top experts on strategy, growth, and innovation, the Forum for Growth and Innovation is a research institute whose goal is to discover, develop, and disseminate robust and accessible theory in the areas of innovation and general management. 

Efosa’s project for the year will focus on how regions can engender prosperity for their citizens by focusing on investments in market creating innovations. Market creating innovations target non-consumption by transforming a complicated and/or expensive product into a simpler, more convenient, and less expensive product. This transformation enables a greater number of people, who historically could not access the product, to have access to the product thereby spurring economic growth and employment.

On his trip to Nigeria, Efosa will seek to identify existing market creating innovations, engage with the entrepreneurial community and will also try and spot potential market creating innovation opportunities.


Andriankoto Harinjaka Ratozamanana
TED Fellow, Co-Founder & CEO of Habaka Innovation Hub @harinjaka

Malagasy-born Andriankoto Harinjaka Ratozamanana is at the forefront of the technology and entrepreneurship revolution that is slowly transforming Madagascar. He is one of the co-founders and CEO of the Habaka-Madagascar Innovation Hub, a nonprofit organization supporting local youth with STEM technology, engineering, and mathematics. Andriankoto is an international consultant who understands how Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) can be applied for development of his country. He is non-permanent Technical Advisor, member of the Cabinet of the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and New Technologies of Madagascar (MPTNT) and member of ATPS (African Technology Policy Study), a multidisciplinary network of researchers, practitioners and policymakers promote Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for the development of the African continent.


Jeremy Kerongo Riro, Investment Analyst, Management Consultant and Blogger @rirojeremy

Jeremy Kerongo Riro, 25, is a Bachelor of Commerce graduate of University of Nairobi, and a business consultant supporting start-ups and growth-stage businesses. He is also one of the winners of the 2016 #Blog4Dev contest.


Rahama Wright
President and CEO of Shea Yeleen @rahamatuwright

Rahama Wright is a social entrepreneur working to innovate the shea butter supply chain in West Africa. In 2005, she launched Shea Yeleen International, a 501 non-profit organization that supports women-owned cooperatives in West Africa, and provides training on quality assurance and micro-enterprise development. With a vision to develop an integrative and sustainable supply chain, Wright created Shea Yeleen Health and Beauty, LLC in  2012, a for-profit sister organization. Shea Yeleen markets and distributes high quality skincare products, while providing living wages to cooperative members. The line of high quality shea butter products is being distributed through Whole Foods Markets.

A leading voice on African women’s economic and business development, she currently serves as an advisor to entrepreneurs in the Johns Hopkins University’s Social Innovation Lab. In 2014 she was appointed to President Obama’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa. Wright received her BA in International Relations from the State University of New York at Geneseo, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali.


Arthur Zang
Inventor of the CardioPad @MarcArthur2005

Arthur Zang, the inventor of the Cardio Pad, is part of a new generation of African social entrepreneurs who are determined to build high-tech business ventures while helping his fellow citizens.

He is also founder of Himore Medical Equipments, a medical devices manufacturing company, where he works full-time as the Chief Executive Officer. Located in Cameroon, the company works to bring the cardio-pad on the market, and on developing new devices.

Zang is a computer science engineer and a researcher in biomedical engineering who has published many scientific articles in the field of Medical Informatics.

  • Date: Tuesday, April 12, 2016
  • Time: 10:00 – 12:00 noon pm (ET)
  • Where: Online
  • CONTACT: Erick Rabemananoro