COO & Commercial Director, Olsights LTD
Emmanuel S. Kirunda is the COO & Commercial Director of a London based Cleantech startup Olsights LTD. He has more than 17 years of a global work experience in Civil Engineering, Project Management, Investment Banking, and Oil & Gas.
He is a member of Faculty at the LéO Africa Institute and a three-time author of books about changing African mindsets and a Co-Founder & Chairman of The Fourth Heritage Initiative – an entity with a vision to be the foremost mindset transformation organisation in Africa.
Mr. Kirunda is a Thought Leader who regularly talks about the topics of Mindset Change and the Energy Transition. He is a firm believer of the adage: the change you wish to see in the world starts with you.
Country Director, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Uganda & South Sudan
Anna Reismann continues to be actively involved in European and International Cooperation, something she has done for more than a decade.
From 2008 to 2010, she worked as a Deputy Country Director of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Ukraine before managing a Brussels-based project of the European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP) on the EU enlargement towards the Western Balkan countries.
Since 2012 she has served as Policy Advisor Andean Countries, Central America and Mexico at the headquarters of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Berlin, Germany.
Chairperson Board of Directors, LéO Africa Institute
Samuel is a credentialed professional coach and business leader with extensive working experience in the Financial Institutions sector. He is the Chairperson Board of Directors at the LéO Africa Institute and has worked with some of the largest global and regional banks out of Africa currently working with Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited as the Executive Head: Personal and Private Banking. Immediately prior to this he worked as the Global Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Vision Fund International and prior to this as the CFO of Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited.
He has also worked in other countries with time spent in Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo while working for Citibank and Standard/Stanbic Bank respectively; where he was central to strategy formulation and leading and managing change leading to improved sustainability.
Samuel has received multiple individual accolades. He was recognized as the top CFO in Uganda at the Deloitte-ACCA awards in 2018 and the Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”) of the year 2019 by the Institute of Certified Professional Accountants of Uganda. He was further awarded as top contributing CFO to the financial services industry by the Uganda Bankers Association in 2019. He has also been recognized as Best Chief Financial Officer; Strategy Execution – 2018 and Best Chief Financial Officer; Finance transformation – 2017 by ACCA Uganda & Deloitte Uganda. Samuel also led the finance team to “Best Finance team of the year” by Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (“ICPAU”) in 2019 and under his leadership as Executive Head for Consumer and High-Networth, the bank also won the 2021 and 2022 Consumer Choice awards in “best Commercial and development bank” category.
Samuel has contributed as a non-executive director (NED) in various organizations as below;
- Uganda Securities Exchange (NED and Chairman Audit and Risk Committee)
- International Coaching Federation-Uganda Chapter (NED; Chair Finance Committee)
- The Leo Africa Institute (NED)
- Stanbic Properties Limited (Board Chairman)
- Liberty Life Insurance Uganda Limited (NED)
- Stanbic Pension Fund (Chairman)
He has also served on voluntary basis on the entities below;
- ICPAU-Finance, Planning and Administration Committee (Member)
- Uganda Bankers Association-CFO Executive Committee (Lead Technical matters)
Samuel is a Harvard Business School – Executive programme alumni, an MBA (Edinburgh Business School) and Bachelor of Commerce degree honors (Makerere University). He is a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU), a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA), a member of the International Coach Federation (“ICF”) and a member of the League of East African Directors (LEAD).
Samuel conducts lectures on leadership, strategy and business transformation to leaders and senior managers from varied backgrounds and has partnered with Strathmore Business School and MAT ABACUS – CFO Leadership Academy to deliver some of these.
Samuel is happily married to Christine and is a father to Dara, Jona and Adele.
Head of Africa Advocacy and Partnerships, Better Than Cash Alliance
Nshuti passionately champions digital financial inclusion for all Africans and inspires African girls to choose STEM careers.
Currently, Nshuti serves as Lead of Africa Policy, Advocacy, and Partnerships at the United Nations Better Than Cash Alliance, working to ensure digital payments, a critical digital public infrastructure are a part of the continental and regional agenda to deepen financial inclusion for the success of the One Africa Market (AfCFTA).
Before joining the United Nations, Nshuti served as Ecobank Group Manager, Push Payments & Merchant Acquiring, leading the development and deployment of payment solutions for entrepreneurs in 33 African countries, Visa Inc. Country Manager Rwanda, Burundi, and Malawi, and Rwanda Development Board IT Department Strategy and Policy Advisor, where she led the development of Rwanda’s National ICT Plan 2011 – 2015.
Nshuti is notably President Emeritus of Girls in ICT Rwanda, which is inspiring Rwanda and Africa’s girls to choose STEM careers; served as Board Chair Emeritus of LéO Africa Institute, which is nurturing Young and Emerging Leaders across Africa; Non-Executive Director of BBOXX Rwanda Board; Board Chair Rwanda Internet Community Association (RICTA), and Board Member Maranyundo Girls Initiative.
Nshuti holds a Master of Science in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and Management from Laroche University.
Founder & Senior Director, LéO Africa Institute
Awel Uwihanganye is an accomplished management & leadership specialist with expert skills in executive management, communications and public relations, resource mobilization, diplomacy, and leadership development.
He previously served as the Chief Executive of Makerere University’s Centennial celebrations (Makerere At 100 Project). Awel is the Founder & Senior Director at the LéO Africa Institute and serves on several Governance Boards as a Director.
As a founder of several change initiatives, he is keenly interested in entrepreneurship, in the power of ideas, to change lives, shape society, and advance development, and “envisions Africa as a frontier for opportunity and growth with a confident, self-aware generation of rising African leaders at the center of this renaissance”.
He is a proud alumnus of Concordia University-Montreal Canada, a privileged fellow of the African Leadership Initiative—East Africa, and a Member of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network.
A key lesson Awel likes to share: “I have found that when you commit yourself to do good, create value, innovate, and serve society, a lot of good follows. In my case, my contribution to the cause of Africa, humanity, and the world has come with a lot of opportunities and accolades, which in turn challenge me to do more in adding value to the world.”
Human Capital, Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Gender Consultant
Catherinerose Barretto is in pursuit of creating a future that is equitable, where the the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion are understood and practiced. She is invested in building inclusive ecosystems and creating a workforce with skills that are in demand.
Catherinerose is a Board Member at the LéO Africa Institute and has extensive experience working in talent acquisition and skills development in Eastern and Southern Africa; and supporting African start-ups, SMEs and entrepreneurs to develop solutions and build sustainable ventures.
She is a Fellow of the African Leadership EA Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network; Board member of the Alliance Francaise de Dar es Salaam; Steering Committee member for the Skills For Employment Tanzania Project, Board member of the African Leadership Initiative EA, and Founding Curator of the Dar es Salaam Global Shapers Hub.
Investment Planner, National Planning Authority
Mark Mwidu Kabirizi is an extremely passionate Public sector Investment Expert, Development Planner, and Researcher with over six years of professional experience in Public Sector Policy Formulation, Development Planning, and Project Investment Appraisal.
Mark is a Huduma Fellow Class of 2022
Founder & President, Nelig Group of Companies
Wanjũhĩ Njoroge is the Founder of People Planet Africa, an Enterprise involved in Forest Protection & Restoration, Sustainability and Inclusive Development that incorporates rural communities which constitute 70% of Africa’s population. She has gained extensive experience working with rural communities and assisting government agencies and organizations incorporate sustainability into their businesses thus increasing their positive impact and profit.
She ran one of the biggest campaigns in 2018 dubbed #SaveOurForestsKE which led to a total ban on forest harvesting and policy change. She has also helped set up two ICT centers and a library worth $10,000/-, in these rural areas which have greatly improved education and exposure for children who didn’t previously go beyond primary school and communities who had never seen computers before.
Wanjũhĩ was invited by H.E Antonio Gutiérrez, the United Nations Secretary General, alongside Greta Thunberg to offer key insights on grass root mobilization for young and bottom-up approach in fighting for a cause at the opening panel of the Climate Summit held in New York at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) 2019.
Her work has further earned her the prestigious Top 40 under 40 Woman Award in Kenya. Wanjũhĩ holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Communications from the University of Nairobi and a Diploma in Business & Information Technology from Strathmore University.
She sits on the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Foundation’s Board and the UNDP Kenya Youth Sounding Board. Wanjũhĩ is also a Young Leaders Project (YELP) Fellow where she graduated as the Valedictorian class of 2018 and a recipient of the Magnus Mchunguzi Certificate Award.
Founder & Executive Director, Doyenne Organization
Fatma Said Kauga is the Founder and the Executive Director of Doyenne Organization, whose mission is to promote and expose young girls to the possibilities, opportunities, and alternatives available for them to become leaders. They aim to develop the next generation of qualified female leaders through programs that coach, mentor, and inspire high school and university students in Tanzania while pursuing their academic courses.
Kauga is passionate about enhancing youth and women’s potential to bring positive, sustainable change. She holds a Master of Science in Finance and Invest and a Bachelor of Science in Taxation from the Institute of Finance Management of Tanzania. She has more than seven years of working experience in social investment for education, youth, and women empowerment programs in Tanzania. She is the 2021 Mandela Washington Fellow who studied Leadership in Civic Engagement at Appalachian State University. Fatma served as a board member and treasurer of the Policy Forum in Tanzania and is an advisory board member of the Asante Africa Foundation and SAWA initiative, both from Tanzania.
Fatma was awarded Honorary citizenship in Boone, North Carolina 2021. Following her work in the education sector and women and youth involvement, she was listed among the 100 Tanzanian Sheroes Award in 2020. She is also the Vital Voices Visionaries Fellows class of 2022, Gratitude Network Fellow class of 2020, Young and Emerging Leaders Project (YELP) Fellow class of 2021, and the Perennial Leadership Fellow class of 2019.
Operations Manager, Institution of Engineers Rwanda
Lydie is a (licensed) Civil Engineer with 8 years of experience in infrastructure projects; design and feasibility studies of construction projects, hydroelectric construction projects, road construction, water supply projects, to mention a few.
Lydie is a 2023 YELP Fellow of the LéO Africa Institute and has extensive knowledge in construction and contract management as well as public procurement of construction projects.
Lydie graduated from KIST, now University of Rwanda College of Science and Technology in Civil-Water and Environmental Engineering. She is an EMBA (March 2024) Candidate at Quantic School of Business and Technology (US) and is completing her Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering and Management at the University of Birmingham (UK).
Lydie is an avid reader and takes great pleasure in writing as well. On one hand, in collaboration with her professional peers, she writes technical papers, inspired by the projects worked on as well as addressing current challenges faced in the region and globally.
On the other hand, she has a passion for creative writing, particularly; poetry. To that end, Lydie wrote a book which is a collection of poems that recently got published on Amazon.
One of Lydie’s drives is community impact-related activities, as such, on a part-time basis, she volunteers for different organisations such as Engineers Without Borders (EWB_USA and EWB_UK), World Economic Forum Global Shapers (Kigali Hub). Lydie recently joined the Institution of Engineers Rwanda, and now works as the Operations Manager under the Secretariat’s mandate.
Acan is a medical doctor and writer. She won the Writivism Short Story Prize in 2016, and has been published by AFREADA magazine, Omenana Magazine, and Brittle Paper.
Her most recent works have appeared on Sooo Many Stories and in Selves: An Afro Anthology of Creative Nonfiction. Acan has published an illustrated children’s book titled The Pearl Trotters in Black, Yellow, Red.
For Acan, writing has always been her first love and she looks forward to a literary future where African stories will break the mould even more than they do now.
Acan is a 2018 Young and Emerging Leadership Project fellow of the LéO Africa Institute.
Operations Associate, The African Leadership University
Uwamahoro Rita is a dynamic young professional currently working in Operations at the African Leadership University.
She is 2023 YELP Fellow of the LéO Africa Institute with a strong background in partnerships, operations & project management, she brings a wealth of expertise to her role. Holding a PMP certification, she excels in building strategic relationships, optimizing operations, and delivering successful projects.
In addition, Rita is an active member of the Global Shapers Community (Kigali Hub). She serves as the Events and Logistics Lead for the hub, which feeds into her passion for community engagement and leadership.
Programme Manager, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Uganda & South Sudan
Opolot Nicholas L’akwang is a WEF Global Shaper, Cyber Lawyer, and Social Innovation Expert with extensive experience working in East Africa's Innovation Ecosystem and International Development sectors.
He’s passionate about fostering Africa's creative economy, civic technology, sustainable development, and climate change.
Nicholas is motivated by servant leadership, building, and leapfrogging African development. His conviction is driven by the need to change Africa’s narrative and be able to transform communities. The desire to motivate young people, inspire and catalyze innovative ideas is his sole ambition for Africa.
Chief Operating Officer, Infotech Investment Group (IIG)
Leila Ali is the Chief Operating Officer of Infotech Investment Group (IIG), and Founder of LAM &Co, a cosmetic manufacturing company.
Leila is 2023 YELP Fellow of the LéO Africa Institute
with an academic background in Political Science and History, coupled with her experience in property management, tech, and marketing she has leveraged her expertise to better shape her family’s business to boost performance, but most importantly, to tailor business objectives that meet the bottom line while also having a positive impact on the community socioeconomically.
LAM & Co. is a company that’s very close to her heart, a dream she’s had since her days at the University of Toronto. A company dedicated to realigning how Tanzanians view skin and beauty, but moreover how they think about themselves on the spectrum of what is considered beauty. “Makeda” being the first product line under the brand is focused on sustainability, ethical sourcing, and producing highly efficient formulations that deliver desired results without damage to the skin.
It is a business where she strives to recruit and train women in the hopes of bridging the gap by providing them with the tools to be independent and financially literate in order for them to succeed.
Open Climate Coordinator, Open Environmental Data Project
Juliet Grace is an environment enthusiast and climate activist from Uganda with experience writing about the environment and extensive knowledge working with communities while promoting Sustainable Urban Agriculture for food security, ecosystems protection, and conservation of Natural Resources.
Juliet is a 2021 Huduma Fellow of the LéO Africa Institute and has contributed to institutional program designing, research, and capacity Training at the national level as a junior consultant with the Ministry of Water and Environment and the National Environment Management Authority.
Juliet Grace is an Open Climate Coordinator for Open Environmental Data Project, a Focal Point for the Africa Youth Initiative on Climate Change in Uganda, interim focal point and facilitator for the UNCCD Global Youth Caucus, Project Support to the Global Youth Climate Action Fund and a contributing author of the UNEP GEO-6 for Youth Africa publication.
Co-founder, Girls For Climate Action
Joanita Babirye is the Co-founder of Girls For Climate Action, a movement that is putting young women and girls at the forefront of climate action.
She serves as the youth Action Coalition leader under Generation Equality on Feminist Action for Climate Justice. Joanita is also the Academy Lead at StartHub Africa where she is training student entrepreneurs to start innovative and scalable initiatives across Uganda with a keen interest in green innovations.
Joanita is a recipient of LéO Africa Institute's 2019 Young and Emerging Leaders Project Fellowship and serves as an ambassador at the Africa Youth Climate Hub.
Climate Change Advocate
Memo Some is a student at the African Leadership University Mauritius pursuing her undergraduate mission in wildlife conservation and a 2023 YELP Fellow of the LéO Africa Institute.
Quite passionate about wildlife and sustainability, she founded an initiative known as WildNow Foundation at the age of 18; after discovering that the most significant part of the population in Kenya, the youth, have not been nurtured into wildlife conservation issues, Memo was inspired to take action.
WildNow Foundation aims to bridge the gap between existing and future policymakers, as well as grassroots conservationists, to help better implement sustainable solutions for wildlife protection and formulate better policy in the long term.
Memo also works closely with IdeasForUs Global in combating the climate crisis and building awareness on the matter amongst youth across Africa. She’s also a member of the Commonwealth Women Kenya advocating for the representation of women and youth in the conservation field.
She has been featured in one of the most extensive elephant campaigns currently in Kenya and Africa (RIP OFF Campaign) and is recognized for being one of the youngest people in Kenya to successfully petition in parliament against the construction set to destroy the Nairobi National Park ecosystem. Further, in 2021, she was featured at the Kampala Geopolitics Conference for her mitigating and adaptation strategies to climate change.
In 2019, BBC News covered a story on her wildlife conservation venture and her motivation to empower and provide a platform for youth to become more involved. She has been featured in many local stations as an influential youth leader in Kenya. She also gave a speech at the UN on the importance of youth incorporation in conservation, and a Ted Talk on the coming of dystopia (consequences of not conserving the environment).
From the age of 16, she has been working closely with Kenya Wildlife Services building her skills and knowledge about different wildlife species. As Memo continues to pursue her degree and build her foundation, she hopes to increase her social and environmental impact to other African countries.
Program Assistant and Public Sector Liaison, RePlanet Africa
Perez is a dedicated advocate for climate-smart practices across Africa and beyond, actively engaged as a Program Assistant and Public Sector Liaison at RePlanet Africa.
His work encompasses evidence-based policy advocacy, focusing on climate change and environmental issues. Perez is a firm believer that biotechnology holds the key to combat climate change by enhancing crop resilience, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating biofuels and bioplastics.
He writes and shares his insights on climate-related topics, including carbon capture and storage, biochar, and biofortification.
Perez's ultimate goal is to inspire and encourage the younger generation to pursue careers in biotechnology and contribute to global climate change mitigation efforts.
Assistant Building Control Officer and Building Inspector, Kampala City Council Authority
Edgar Kebba is a civil, particularly Structural Engineer with Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) Engineering and Technical Services Department holding the position of Assistant Building Control Officer and Building Inspector since the start of 2022.
Edgar is a 2023 Huduma Fellow of the LéO Africa Institute and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering as well as a Master’s Degree in Highways and Transport both from the University of Coventry, United Kingdom.
Edgar is also a DJ in Kampala, with the stage name DJ Ssese.
With his diversity, he is keenly interested in building a distinguished career by leveraging his skills as an engineer to positively impact the music industry and to carefully curate and grow younger DJs in Uganda’s entertainment industry.
To him, this means that he is able to formalize the DJ entertainment industry so that upcoming DJs can be able to conceptualize the DJ industry in Uganda as a strong component of the entertainment industry and a powerful instrument to Uganda being able to protect creative arts.
Founder, ALT Lifestyle Health and Fitness
Atamba Rhona Lakeli is a Registered Nurse, Certified Fitness Trainer, and Nutritionist. She is the founder of ALT.Lifestyle Health and Fitness, a wellness brand in Uganda that has enabled Ugandans, both at an individual and corporate level to overcome lifestyle diseases like hypertension, diabetes type 1 and 2, PCOS, etc. through simple but very effective lifestyle changes.
She is a strong advocate for strength and mobility training as a solution to problems caused by the sedentary lifestyle and the primary fountain of youth.
Atamba currently has five years of experience in research and evidence-based fitness training.
“I created the ALT.Lifestyle to avail simplified but effective knowledge about both proper nutrition and fitness to Ugandans. In a world where there’s so much conflicting information out there about physical fitness, many find it hard to adapt to it and much less integrate it into their lives. Condensing any and all hard information into something one can use to change their day to day habits and eventually their lifestyle, teaching and hopefully bettering Ugandans’ knowledge enough that they can, not only avoid lifestyle diseases but also thrive in healthy bodies is the ultimate goal.”
CEO and Co-founder, Media Challenge Initiative
Abaas Mpindi is the CEO and Co-founder of the Media Challenge Initiative, a youth-driven non-profit building the next generation of journalists in Uganda. He believes that good journalism can make the world a better place through the stories journalists tell and how they tell them. His story has been published in the Huffington post and CNN African Voices and highlighted by President Barack Obama in his #Mandela 100 lecture in South Africa. Mpindi is a 2018 Obama Leader, a Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur and a Young Emerging Leaders Project Fellow of the LéO Africa Institute.
Founder, Streetlights Uganda
Rodney Kiggundu is a Design Artist using art as an illustrative tool to spark people's minds and inspire them in addressing community challenges.
Rodney is a Co-founder and Programs Head at Streetlights Uganda, an initiative empowering street-connected children in Uganda through art using mentorship, training, and support.
Rodney is a 2019 recipient of LéO Africa Institute's Young and Emerging Leaders Project Fellowship, a Young Disaster Resilience Leadership Program teaching fellow, and a 2020-2021 Arts in Medicine Fellow (Pan-African Experience).
Deputy Director, LéO Africa Institute
Kwezi is Deputy Director of the LéO Africa Institute. He is also the current editor of the Institute publication, the LéO Africa Review.
He is passionate about leadership, governance and development in Africa.
His articles have appeared in The Independent and Daily Monitor, and he is a regular contributor to the Africa news and data visualizer Africapedia.