50 Unsung Heroes to Watch in 2014


Happy New Year 2014.

We wish you a very prosperous and successful year.

2013 was a very busy and enlightening year for us. We have learned and have been privileged to meet some incredible people, followed their work and saw them changing many lives.

We thought you would love to meet the 50 people we have nominated. We hope you can meet and connect with them.

South Africa

1# Nomsa Maseko Journalist at BBC (@nomsa_maseko)
Nomsa Maseko reports for the BBC 'Focus On Africa' from Johannesburg, South Africa. We found her reporting on the Nelson Mandela death professional and outstanding.

2# Mteto Nyati (@mteton) is the Managing Director of Microsoft SA for Microsoft Corporation and has worked in executive positions at IBM and Blue Label Telecoms Limited. Named in 2004 as one of the Yale University's World Fellows on Global Leadership.

3# Dr Jacqueline Chimhanzi (@jchimhanzi) is Senior Strategist with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), a leading development finance institute on the African continent.


4# Mark Hillary (@markhillary) is a British journalist, blogger, and editor based in São Paulo, Brazil - he is the chief executive officer of the research company IT Decisions. He lectures at London South Bank University.

5# Julie Mollins (@jmollins) is a web journalist working for the Forests News blog in Bogor, Indonesia. Before joining the Centre for International Forestry Research in March 2013, she worked for eight years at Reuters in Toronto and London.

6# Vera Kwakofi and the BBC Africa Team.

7# Tim Unwin (@TimUnwin) is Chair of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK, UNESCO Chair in ICT4D.

8# Mr Keston K. Perry (@kestontnt) is committed to merging the academic and entrepreneurial worlds.

9# Jordan Huxley (@jrdnhxly) is a postgraduate student of Geographical Science at the University of Manchester.

10# Belinda Parmar (@belindaparmar) is the founder of social enterprise Little Miss Geek and the CEO of Lady Geek. The Lady Geeks campaign to inspire women to change the world through technology.

11# Dr. Hamadoun Touré (@ITUSecGen) of Mali has been Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union, the specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to information and communication technologies, since 2007.

12# Monica Musonda (@monicamusonda)
Lawyer turned entrepreneur, Monica Musonda is Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Java Foods, a food processing company based in Zambia that she established to provide affordable nutrition to the southern African market.

13# Farai Gundan (@FaraiToday)
Farai Gundan, Zimbabwean-born, US-based, TV and radio personality has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and profiled on www.oprah.com. She guest writes for Forbes.com: “The 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa 2012” and “Thirteen African Celebrities To Watch In 2013” and her work can be seen in Forbes Africa magazine. One of the nation’s leading experts on African women in media and technology, Farai is co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of FaraiMedia LLC (www.FaraiMedia.com), a mobile & online advertising network. FaraiMedia is a web and mobile-based platform that connects advertisers to their African audiences.

14# Theo Sowa (@TheoSowa) is Chief Executive Officer of the African Women's Development Fund. She has previously worked as an independent advisor working on international issues with a focus on social development issues. Her work has covered advocacy, service delivery, evaluation, facilitation, policy and organisational development with a range of international and intergovernmental organizations and grant making foundations, including UNICEF, Stephen Lewis Foundation, the African Union, DFID, and UNDP, amongst others. She serves currently on the board of the Museum of AIDS in Africa, is a Trustee of Comic Relief and the Chair of its International Grant Making Committee; and is a member of the Africa Advisory Board for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Theo is also an Advisory group member of the ‘Every Child a Reader’ literacy initiative, a member of the British Refugee Council Leadership Group and a board member of the Graça Machel Trust.

15# Reconnect Ghana Team (@ReconnectGh)
Re-Connect GH leverages the number of individuals that return to Ghana for the holidays and creates a networking event that showcases the aspirations, innovations, and expressions of young professionals driving change and contributing to the economic growth of their local communities and the global market. Reconnect event is organised by four innovative and vibrant women namely; Stephanie Dei, an investigative analyst at the Canadian Ministry of Foreign & International Affairs, Maame Boakye (@maame_Bee), an international development professional, Jemila Abdulai (@jabdulai), an international development enthusiast and founder and editor of the award-winning blog Circumspecte.com and Sena Kpodo (ladysena), a Global Brand Strategist, specialising in Africa focused Media and Investor Relations. Re-Connect GH aims to strengthen the ties between leading and emerging young professionals in Ghana and the diaspora. Reconnect Ghana has been existence since 2011 and has attracted dynamic group of over 100 professionals from USA, Canada Australia, UK and Europe with representation from major industries such as: oil and gas, law, engineering, finance, marketing, media, and technology.


16# Africa Progress Panel Ground Working Team.

17# ITU Young Innovators Team (@reginaGVA & colleagues).


18# Eric Mutta – Apps4Africa Winner – Entrepreneur and Founder of Problem Solved.


19# Akaliza Keza Gara - Rwandan Entrepreneur, Microsoft 4Afrika Youth Council.


20# Maureen Agena (@maureenagena) - Communication Consultant, Co-Founder Girl Geek Kampala and Citizen Journalist.


21# Erik Charas (@echaras) – Social Activist, Director General of Verdade.


22# Laina Raveendran Green - Chief Strategy and Investment Officer.


23# Romain Abile Houehou – Food Security Activist, Farmer, Director of the Consumers Group in Benin.

Burkina Faso

24# Mr Richard Anago - Director of Cooperation at the Ministry of Development and ICT.


25# Iram Tariq Bhatti (@iramtariqbhatti) - Young Global Leader, Founder of LabMagic.

Democratic Republic of Congo

26# Christian Llunga - Entrepreneur, CEO of GWD Services.

27# Didier Kithima - Economic & Trade Advisor of the Democratic Republic of Congo Embassy in Tokyo.


28# Ahmed Fazwi (@nanoTCH) - Entrepreneur, Founding Director of Nano Technologies, ITU 2013 Young Innovator.


29# Emmanuel Jal - South Sudanese Social Activist and Musicians.

30# Dr. Anwar Dafa-Alla (@Anwarking) - Assistant Professor, Curator of TEDx Khartoum.


31# Oscar Ekponimo - Founder of SalvageHub, Entrepreneur, ITU Young Innovator 2013.


32# Soko Team (@Shop_Soko)
Soko is an innovation in global fashion and technology: An online store that connects online consumers to global makers and handcrafted jewellery from the developing world. With Soko, you can discover incredible design and creative ingenuity made in communities that lay outside of the digital economy. Brought to the global stage using our technology, Soko delivers you exceptional style with stunning handcrafted jewellery designs created by artisans in emerging economies, using natural and up-cycled materials.

33# Larry Madowo (@larrymadawo) - Technology Editor, Journalist and News Anchor at NTV, Kenya.

34# Marie Lora Mungai (@MarieLoraMungai) - Founder and CEO of BuniTV, co-Founder and CEO of Buni Media.

35# Mark Kaigwa (@MKaigwa) - Creative Director, Consultant, Social Media Strategist, Speaker and Partner of Afrinnovator.com

36# Patricia Amira (@PatriciaAmira) - Media host, Moderator, Artist. Her daytime talk show, The Patricia Show is broadcast in over 45 African countries and watched by over 10 million people.

37# Louis Otieno - Director, Legal and Corporate Affairs Microsoft4Africa. Louis is the Secretary for the Microsoft 4Africa Advisory Council.

38# Thomas Kioko (@code_wizard) - Founder of Nduru App.

39# Nadia Ahmadou Ahidjo - Event Organiser, Consultant at AfricaPractice.


40# Burcu Geris - Chief Financial Officer TAV Airports Holding Co.


41# Mariana Tolovi - Marketing Director Latin America, Johnson and Johnson Companies.


42# Joanna Spiette (@JoAppleParis) - Communication Director Women's Forum.


43# Calestous Juma (@calestous) - Professor at Havard Kennedy School, Technophile.

44# Valerie D'Acosta - Program Manager World Bank.

45# Mark Esposito (@Exp_Mark) - Professor of Economic Strategy (@Grenoble_EM), Instructor at Harvard Extension, Senior Associate University of Cambridge-CPSL, Co-Author: Fast Expanding Markets.

46# Varun Arora - Founder of OpenCurriculum, Education Activist.

47# Vivian Onano (@vivianonano) - Women and Girls Advocate, New York.


48# Ikenna Azuike's What's up Africa (@WhatsUpAfrica).

49# Nick van de Giesen - CITG, Professor at TUDelft, Co-Founder of TAHMO Foundation.


50# Victoria Alonsoperez - Founder of Chipsafer.

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