Amongst 200 other African rising leaders, six young Egyptian entrepreneurs have been selected to participate in the year-long leadership program set up by the Obama Foundation. Barack Obama, the immediate past President of the United States of America, in his first post-presidency trip since leaving his position at the White House, is visiting Africa, with the duo of Kenya and South Africa forming the better parts of his itinerary.
In the course of his visit to Africa, the former U.S. President has already made the first stop at his home country, Kenya, where he promoted charity by assisting in the promotion and launch of his half-sister’s new sports, training, and vocational center in Kogelo, Kenya, through her foundation; Sauti Kuu, as at Monday, July 16th, 2018. After meeting with Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, and his half-sister, Auma Obama, the 44th U.S. President has since left for South Africa where he has spearheaded proceedings and ceremonies in commemoration of the centenary of civil rights icon and exemplary leader, Nelson Mandela. He is also reported to have addressed the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Tuesday in what is considered in many circles as his most important public speech since leaving the presidency 18 months prior.
During his visit to South Africa, the erstwhile President is also expected to speak to a cross-section of young African leaders and entrepreneurs under the auspices of the Obama Foundation Leadership Program which commenced on 14th July, in Johannesburg. In that regard, six Egyptian entrepreneurs will be in attendance as they have been selected to take part in the one-year program titled ‘Leaders Africa.’
The program was founded in 2014 as the brainchild of the Obama Foundation. The initiative is geared towards building a better leadership foundation for emerging leaders of African descent by creating a platform which brings together young Africans who do not have a clear idea of where to begin but have their sights trained on bringing about the positive and significant impact in their respective communities. As part of the program’s activities, workshops on leadership skills will also be featured so that through realistic solutions, participants can build a better and brighter future for Africa.
Yara El-Braidy; one of the Egyptian participants, was particularly optimistic about the program’s prospects. According to her; “What is extremely unique about this program is that it looks for leaders in whatever field they are or in whatever sector they work including entrepreneurs, activists, and even people who work for the government, as parliamentary members and state secretaries in a celebratory atmosphere of the diversity we have in Africa. Now, here are the six Egyptian entrepreneurs that are looking to leverage the benefits and skills afforded by the program.
Mostafa is an Egyptian serial entrepreneur who is credited with the founding and building of different startups in such areas as media, machine learning, and food eCommerce. He currently owns a venture called Breadfast.com which is known to deliver fresh baked products and breakfast to the doorsteps of its customers on a daily.
With over 16 years of experience, Mohamed is an entrepreneur, cloud and mobile solutions architect, and product manager. He is currently at the helm of affairs at Appgain.io while doubling as co-founder of iKhair.net
This individual’s work is hinged on documenting human rights violations in Egypt, as well as collecting data on these violations. Sara goes about this job by gathering testimonies from families of prisoners and former prisoners on such issues as forced disappearances, torture in prisons, and extrajudicial killings.
Alia works at HarassMap; a non-governmental organization (NGO) that is dedicated to upholding the rights of women and protecting them from sexual abuse. She is an Egyptian women’s right and gender advocate.
Hossam Eldeen Abdelfatah
Hossam is a seasoned and passionate entrepreneur who has created various businesses across Africa. He has made it a point of duty to empower startups and individuals by providing training and consulting services since graduating from the African Leadership Academy.
Yara is a campaigner for social change and media practitioner with six years of experience. Having earned a BA in mass communication from Cairo University in Egypt, she works in the development sector in North Africa. Also to her credit is her studentship at the Lebanese American University where she completed an intensive media and digital literacy program.
The program will also feature a town hall meeting with the former U.S. President, who will be bringing his wealth of experience whilst listening to the participants’ accounts of their experiences throughout the program, as well as technical training, problem-solving workshops, leadership development training, and plenary sessions.
As pointed out by Bernadette Meehan, Chief International Officer of the Obama Foundation; “We want to inspire, empower, and connect this pan-African group of leaders who show so much potential to change our common future for the better.”
As indicated on the Program’s official website, Obama’s Young Leaders Program features contestants selected from 44 different African countries, having satisfied criteria which revolve around such details as past skills and experiences, as well as commitment demonstrated through values such as hard work and dedication. Besides the former U.S. President, Kofi Annan; former United Nations Secretary-General, will be amongst other significant African figures and notable personalities that are expected to weigh in with speeches during the course of the leadership program.
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