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Africa Development Forum Series: 20 in 5
Africa Innovate DC Series: Supporting Entrepreneurship and Innovation
May 27, 2016Preston Auditorium, World Bank Headquarters, 1818 H St, Washington DC

The Africa Innovate DC Series May event brings together un-conventional, trending, and mold-breaking business owners to discuss scalable business models and innovative ideas.

Beyond the traditional industries that are generally tackled during development gatherings, non-traditional businesses  are making an impact in development and can  be considered equally as tools for shared prosperity and poverty reduction. Through a dynamic and engaging format that combines formal presentation with crowd-driven discussions, participants are invited to critically think about approaches to some of the most pressing problems faced by young African entrepreneurs.

The monthly Africa Innovate DC Series showcases successes, challenges, and stories from African entrepreneurs, innovators, businesses and startups on the continent or in the diaspora, and is supported by the World Bank Africa Region and the World Bank Group-IMF Young African Society (YAS). This event is also part of the World Bank Africa Region’s Youth Transforming Africa initiative. 

The World Bank Group-IMF Staff Young African Society (YAS)

YAS advocates for, and engineers, solutions to the challenges young Africans are facing on the continent and in the diaspora. YAS’ strategic focus this year is on job creation and entrepreneurship, of which its monthly flagship program is the Africa Innovate DC Series.

Youth Transforming Africa (YTA)
YTA is a program within the Africa Region Communications and Partnerships (AFREC). It aims to develop a conversation with African youth about development issues in the continent, and also use sport, music and social media to convey messages.  The pillars of this program are linked to regional priorities, and will focus on entrepreneurship, social inclusion, education and health. 

The format for AIDC will be interview style two hosts will interact with guest entrepreneur and guide the discussion, followed by questions from participants. The format allows a showcase of individual ventures rather than a panel around a topic.

Guest speakers arrive at 3:00 PM

5:30 – 6:00 PM

Attendees arrive [ guest speakers will have tables to showcase their products]

6:00 – 6:05 PM

Welcome Remarks [ YAS introduces Steven S. from AFREC]

6:05 – 6:30 PM

Interview w/  I/O Spaces [20 min discussion 5 min Q&A]

6:30 – 6:55 PM

Interview w/ Kelechi [20 min discussion 5 min Q&A]

6:55 – 7:10 PM

Smart Break [ interactive break for attendees]

Q: What are some ways you can build a community to support a business idea?

7:10 – 7:35 PM

Interview w/ Roye  [20 min discussion 5 min Q&A]

7:35 – 8:00 PM

Interview w/ Ngozi [20 min discussion 5 min Q&A]

8:00 –8:05 PM

Closing Remarks [Member of the YAS team]


Roye Okupe CEO/Founder of Youneek Studios – @YouNeekStudios

YouNeek Studios is a hub for “YouNeek” and creative character-based storytelling and entertainment through the use of animation, digital comics (as well as print), graphic novels, film and other popular media. One of its superhero stories set in a futuristic Nigeria, “The Legend of Wale Williams,” was received with critical acclaim and has since been featured on CNN, Forbes, BBC, The Huffington Post, Mashable and more!


Kelechi Anyadiegwu, CEO/Founder of Zuvaa@shopzuvaa

Zuvaa is a global marketplace for unique African designs from around the world. Zuvaa is not just an online store, it is a movement by fashion lovers worldwide who not only seek to support ethically manufactured and produced pieces, but look to make a statement.


Ngozi Opara CEO/Founder of Heat Free Hair – @heatfreehair

The natural hair movement is all about wearing your identity and emancipation from the pressure to look anything but yourself. The Heat Free Hair movement is an educational initiative for women with or considering natural hair and highlights the benefits of preserving one’s natural beauty.


Leslie Tita CEO/ Founder of I/O Spaces - @IOSpaces

I/O Spaces is an inclusive co-working space for startups, freelancers and small businesses in Silver Spring, Maryland. They are specially crafted for serendipity by using the power of the sharing economy. Beyond providing a beautiful space to work from, their members also make use of the diverse network found within their co-working community.

  • Date: May 27th, 2016
  • TIME: 5:30– 8:00pm (EST)
  • WHERE: Preston Auditorium, World Bank Headquarters, 1818 H St, Washington DC
  • CONTACT: Dasan Bobo
  • dbobo@worldbank.org