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· The World Economic Forum welcomes eight women and two men under the age of 40 from Africa to the Young Global Leaders Class of 2019
· Among them are the most-decorated Olympian female swimmer of all time, a member of the new generation of African storytellers and Sierra Leone’s first chief innovation officer
· They will join 117 other nominees from around the world, including the founder of the first app providing advice on contraception in Bangladesh, the managing director of a leading British supermarket chain seeking to ban plastic packaging, and Venezuela’s Juan Guaidó
· See the full list of the Young Global Leaders Class of 2019 at wef.ch/ygl19
Geneva, Switzerland, 13 March 2019 – Ten African women and men are part of a cohort of 127 of the world’s most promising social activists, business leaders, public servants, artists and technologists. They are all under the age of 40 and have been invited to join the World Economic Forum’s community of Young Global Leaders (YGLs). They are pushing boundaries and breaking traditional rules to improve the world.
Current members lead governments and Fortune 500 companies, hold Nobel Prizes and Academy Awards, and have become UN Goodwill Ambassadors and Social Entrepreneurs. The community aims to bring together individuals with different skills sets from a range of fields to shape an inclusive and sustainable future for the world.
By working as a community, YGLs have supported the entrepreneurial skills of young refugees in the Kenyan camp of Kakuma, are pushing governments to set up a “New Deal for Nature” that will protect lands and oceans, and are tackling hunger and malnutrition using social gastronomy. Notable alumni include Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Chief Executive Officer, Flutterwave, Nigeria; Lewis Pugh, Founder, Lewis Pugh Foundation, South Africa; Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand; Fatoumata Ba, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Janngo, France; Amal Clooney, Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers, United Kingdom; Emmanuel Macron, President of France; Larry Page, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Google, USA; and Zhou Xun, Actor, People’s Republic of China.
This year, many of the YGL nominees are from emerging economies, including eight women and two men from Africa; and more than one-half of the new members are women. They have been selected for representing the best of their generation, for their ability to enhance understanding and promote action, and for their innovative activity in the fields of art, business, civil society, energy, government and health.
Members of the new class will take part in a five-year programme that will help them identify ways in which their ground-breaking work can advance new models of innovation and make a difference in their communities.
“We look to these leaders to take forward the challenge of improving the state of the world. In offering opportunities and experiences to transform their understanding of the possibilities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we are investing in them to drive a future where we all can flourish,” said Mariah Levin, Head of the Forum of Young Global Leaders at the World Economic Forum.
African YGLs have the chance to benefit from the Dangote Fellowship, which is made possible by the generosity of the Aliko Dangote Foundation. The aim of the fellowship is to increase the quality and quantity of young African leaders across the continent by supporting the engagement of African YGLs in the community, such as those from small enterprises or the non-business sector. The fellowship helps YGLs from Africa participate in YGL and Forum events.
Joining the Class of 2019 from Africa are:
Anta Ngom Bathily, Managing Director, Groupe SEDIMA, Senegal. She has significantly developed Francophone Africa’s largest agriculture business.
Kamissa Camara, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and International Communication of Mali. She is the country’s youngest and first female minister of foreign affairs, working for peace, security and development across the Sahel.
Kirsty Coventry, Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation of Zimbabwe. She has won more Olympic medals than any other female swimmer in history and is the most decorated African Olympian.
Wanuri Kahiu, Film Director, AFROBUBBLEGUM, Kenya. Her collective supports African art and, as an award-winning director, producer and author, she is part of the new generation of African storytellers.
Aminata Kane Ndiaye, Chief Executive Officer, Orange, Sierra Leone. She is a leading executive driving the operations of the telecommunications giant with more than 1.8 million local subscribers.
Bogolo Joy Kenewendo, Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry of Botswana. At 31, she is one of her country’s youngest cabinet members.
Umra Omar, Founder, Safari Doctors, Kenya. She is saving thousands of lives a year by providing free basic health services, including malaria treatment, in rural Kenya.
Tolu Oni, Associate Professor, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, South Africa. As a leading female African scholar, she explores the intersections of health and urbanism.
David Moinina Sengeh, Chief Innovation Officer and Head, Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) of Sierra Leone. As his country's first chief innovation officer, he is transforming critical thinking for youth across Africa.
Adebola Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Red Media Africa, Nigeria. His civic participation group engages millions of African youth and his work has helped elect three African presidents.
Notes to editors
For more on the YGL Class of 2019 click here
Meet the new YGLs on our blog Agenda
Learn more about the YGL community here
Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/YGLvoices using #YGL19
Find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/YoungGlobalLeaders
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The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. (www.weforum.org)