2022 Y.I.L Fellows.

Africa's Young Innovation Leaders


We selected people that have shown a track record of excellence in their personal development, career, and academics.


Our fellows have some level of mastery in a hard skill. Beyond getting a university/ polytechnic education, they have obtained further training in some skill.


Our fellows are graduates of various institutions, from diverse disciplines. In this edition, we have participants from Nigeria, the Gambia, Benin Republic, and Ghana.

Ngugi Ann Wangui is a talented chemical engineer intrigued by science and engineering and its role in enhancing the quality of life. She is currently an R&D specialist at Sanergy, a waste upcycling company applying circularity to solve urban sanitation challenges. She holds a first-class honors degree in chemical and process engineering from Moi University where she graduated top four in her class. Notable achievements in her career include G.E. registration with the Engineers Board of Kenya, certification in six sigma, participation in the Forward Program, and YLP coaching by McKinsey & Company. She’s also championed several improvement projects in the pharmaceutical and FMCG sectors. In paying it forward, Ann joined Girls First Finance to mentor young girls. In the future, she hopes to take part in building sustainable solutions in engineering and beyond.

Benjamin Mushayija Gisa is an African Leadership University (ALU) student pursuing a Global Challenge in Agriculture conservation. He works as a Co-founder of Zua A-Cooler ltd. Former Program Manager at Acts of Gratitude (AOG), a Rwanda-based social enterprise that tackles youth unemployment and contributes to achieving other SDGs by solving critical social challenges in local communities. He is an alumnus of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), an Anzisha Fellow, and the African Leadership University Sustainable Development Hub lead. He is passionate about and practices business development and youth empowerment through the ALU SDG Hub club he leads as the Campus coordinator. He likes navigating new places and reading books.

Marko, Juliana Jimmy is a young Tanzanian with a Master’s degree in Telecommunications Engineering, who graduated with honors from the University of Science and Technology Beijing in 2018. She is a Social Entrepreneur who works as a Principal at Shenmo Tanzania, a founder and Executive Director of Tanzania STEMship Foundation, the best female Member and Social Activist under Tanzania Students Union in Beijing 2018, and a Young African Leaders Initiative Alumni 2020, among 100 Most Influential Female Engineers in Africa 2021, among 100 Most Influential Young Women in Tanzania 2021 (100 Tanzania Sheroes), Top 50 Women in Management Africa STEM award Nominee 2022, Certified Global Sustainability Leader 2022, an SDG Innovation Champion Goal-4 2022, candidate on MOVHERS Fellowship 2022, Empowerment Self-Defense Global Community 2022 and YIL Fellowship 2022. Juliana is more passionate about inspiring, empowering, guiding, and mentoring children and young women to achieve their full potential dreams in STEM fields that’s why she founded an NGO which will focus on providing STEM Education to the communities from grassroots and integrated STEM with Entrepreneurship and Leadership. She is working on SDGs 4,5,9,13 and 16. She wants to be competent in Technology Innovation and Research so that she can find a better way to solve community challenges with no harm and make the World a better place. She loves traveling because she believes in exposure and likes to read Entrepreneurship/Leadership Books, listen to music, and Watching Movies.

Elias Munezero is a social entrepreneur passionate about animal feeds production. He is a leader, an innovator, and a project manager. He is the founder of Anim-health Boost, an enterprise operating in the slums of Bujumbura, Burundi, and co-founder of Goshen Maggot farm which aims at producing larvae from black soldier flies. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Crop Production from the University of Burundi in 2016 where he was the best graduating student in his department with a First-Class Honors degree. Elias has worked as a customer care advisor in telecommunication companies and as a coffee washing station manager. He is currently a final year student pursuing MSc. in Agri-enterprises development at Gulu University in Uganda under MasterCard Foundation (TAGDev Project) through RUFORUM, since March 2021. He is a fellow in the MFAI  cohort 2, 2022 funded by the US embassy in Kampala, and as well a fellow of the YIL fellowship 2022. He would like to lead the conduction of research in waste management and establish partnerships with other players in Burundi to push the formulation of practical policies on environment conservation through animal feed production.

Asnake Amelo is a 2021 medical school graduate from Hawassa University. He received a full scholarship from the UN summer academy. He is a semifinalist fellow of the Aspire Young Leaders Program from Harvard University. He has won a full scholarship to attend the World Youth Forum 2021 in Egypt. He’s focused on the emerging fields of medicine such as molecular medicine, genomic medicine, robotic medicine, and cancer research, and believes to play a pivotal role in the transformation of medicine. He is highly passionate about health equity and justice. He aspires to be a Research/innovator/physician with lustrous accomplishments that would tackle the major challenges of health and medicine

Lois Jagero is a second-year student at Tangaza University College pursuing a degree in Social Communication. She recently completed a diploma in the same institution. Currently, she is the institute leader of her faculty, officiating roles in planning events, chairing meetings, and resolutions to help grow the institute’s collective participants. In (2019), She wrote various articles which resulted in her making headway in a foremost magazine firm. Lois is passionate about becoming a great leader that inspires many through her various skills, abilities, gifts, and godly principles and also solves many problems affecting people. In the long run, She aspires to become a seasoned entrepreneur, author, and mentor to her nation’s emerging leaders

Mshora Abubakar Mashaka is a Tanzanian young entrepreneur, who graduated with a BSc in Agriculture from Sokoine University of Agriculture Tanzania (2016). He was one among the few African students who got selected for the Indian government scholarship under the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR-fellowship 2017). He earned a Master’s degree in Horticulture majoring in Fruit Science and minoring in Botany at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana India (2020). In his career as a young leader, He founded four associations which are: Tanzania scholars in India, the Association of African students at PAU and GADVASU- India, the International student’s club, and the O’Brien staff association. He is currently working as a part-time Assistant Lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and The CEO of KBS enterprises which deals with Processed Food Products, Farm Books, and Agricultural consultation services.

Michael Leo is a teacher-professional with over 3 years of experience in training within the nonprofit sector. He has earned a bachelor’s degree in Arts with Education. He is currently the National Point of Contact at the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) and an Application Reviewer at the Atlas Corps organization where he has been reviewing applications for the Atlas Corps Fellowship in the US. Michael worked as a community volunteer at the National Youth Engagement in implementing projects regarding SRHR, and climate actions. He has been able to train youth groups in waste collection, separation, and recycling as a means to curb the issue of environmental pollution; the above experience followed after the completion of his placement as an International Citizen Service Volunteer at the VSO Tanzania in supporting education in rural primary schools. Michael is committed to creating lasting changes in the community. He has initiated a project to support adolescents standing against GBV, the project so far has reached 500 adolescents in public secondary schools

Alice Umutoni is a volunteer with operation Smile-Rwanda and an editorial intern at the annals of African surgery which is affiliated with the University of Nairobi. She has published articles with other African authors focusing on assessing awareness and availability of medical services. Her ambitions extend beyond being a medical doctor eagerly believing in the capacity to use her knowledge to provide accessible and affordable medical services and equipment through innovations that are suitable for developing countries. Her career dream is to become one of the best female African plastic surgeons. In her free time, she likes reading books mainly bibliography books, going out for a nice coffee, and also socializing.

Motanya Charity Kwamboka is a Pro-bono Advocate at HOPE Worldwide Kenya and the National Empowerment Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya(NEPHAK), non-governmental organizations that advocate for the welfare of the key populations and other vulnerable populations to ensure the promotion and protection of their rights. She participates in legal aid clinics with the view of supporting the key populations with legal advice on HIV and TB-related human rights issues, and also undertakes litigation for cases of violation to ensure the promotion and protection of the rights of key populations. Charity is a human rights enthusiast, and policy analyst and has a strong interest in issues around good governance where she endeavors to promote and ensure democratic governance and social empowerment in the governance institutions of developing countries using cutting-edge tools, skills, and technologies. In 2016, she championed for and pushed the government of Kenya to formally recognize and document the undocumented, stateless people of the Makonde ethnicity. Through participating in peaceful demonstrations with organizations such as Amnesty International in Kenya, this was realized. She has also been recognized as a United People Global (UPG) Sustainability Leader 2022, a champion for positive citizen leadership on sustainability. Charity earned her Law Degree in 2018 from the University of Nairobi and a Postgraduate Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law in 2021. She loves to travel and enjoys running.

Kibwana Martha is a graduate of the University of Tumaini with a Bachelor’s Degree in Law. She was among 20 out of 100 applicants selected to take part in the Girls Take Over Initiative of 2019 and 2020. Through the initiative, she had the honor of taking over leadership positions such as; ‘Ambassador’ at the Swedish Embassy in Dar es salaam and ‘Country Director’ at Plan Tanzania. Martha is also a founding member of a social organization called Woman To Woman (WTW) that helps young Tanzanian students to better face the hardships that plague their educational journies. In 2021, she was listed as one of the “100 Tanzanian Sheroes of 2021” for the work she does through the organization. In the future, she would like to challenge and call for the eradication of laws that allow unequal and detrimental treatment of young women and children in Tanzania, through legislative restructuring. She enjoys hiking and loves poetry.

Robin Kinuthia Kariuki‘s professional experience is drawn largely from being the Founder and Chairman of the Mombasa Environmentally Conscience Organization (MECO) which is a youth group aimed at the creation of a platform for youth with innovations in the environmental space to build on their ideas and translate them to real-world solutions that can be used to serve the local community. As Chairman, I have been privileged to lead a team of very innovative youth to win the first-ever Mombasa Circular Economy Hackathon where we presented one of our flagship innovations, we participated in the Mombasa Solid Waste Hackathon co-hosted by the county government as well as numerous private sector stakeholders where our presentation as MECO gained high praise and pledges for support. In addition to innovations in plastic waste recycling, I have led community development forums where we had a mutual understanding with the community members to develop a mangrove ecosystem restoration project owing to the increasing degradation of these natural resources. I was invited to attend a public participation meeting to review a SESA report prepared by the Nuclear Power and Energy Agency as a youth representative and leader. Recently I participated in the On The Road to Stockholm +50 Hackathon where my team and I presented the winning policy brief.

Brayan Ngacha’s heart feels at home when it comes to the sector’s environment and Internet Technology. His determination is driven by the desire to create, design, and uniquely solve things. Luckily He is obsessed with staying organized and making people’s life easier. It brings such a genuine joy to his heart to take up challenges of others and I always up my game to do nothing but the best. That’s why he says “Do the work others aren’t willing to do and you’ll get the things others will never have.

Anceita Jepleting is a chemical and process engineering graduate of Moi University where she finished in the year 2021 with First Class Honours. She is a co-author of a research review paper ‘check out for REN-005-20 in the book of abstracts at excellencecenter.mu.ac.ke‘. She was also awarded for presenting the second best project during the Technology Students Association contest. Beyond her keen interests in renewable energy and research, Anceita is passionate about environmental protection in this era of rapid industrialization. She wants to be an engineer-Scientist-Innovator using cutting-edge tools, skills, and technologies to solve societal most pressing challenges, particularly those relating to engineering and the environment. She enjoys traveling, browsing, loves to socialize, and making new friends.

Uwizerwa Rachel is a young social innovator, holding a bachelor’s degree in development studies with honors in peacebuilding and conflict studies with more than 5years in projects of peacebuilding and social-development programs working as an employee, and internet, and volunteer, worked with both national and international organization. She is a PBI, DOT youth street team, YCTP alumni, Co-founder, and managing director of Hope for the future; She was recently working in the search for common ground as a community outreach assistant, and she worked as the founder of Ngoboka project. In addition, she worked with Humanitarian and Development Capacity building organizations like CARSA and Never Again Rwanda and through these experiences, she developed strong project coordination and implementation skills. She enjoys focusing on the topics of peacebuilding and development and has a strong passion for women empowerment and community positive change.

Abdulkarim Hadija Rehema is a field personnel with an interest in Non-profit organizations and a passion for community development and with a strong ability to work and achieve targets even through difficult situations. She participated in the Transformative Leadership And Effective Communication by YALI Kenya, Robotics and 3D printing by S.T.E.M Kenya, Mentorship by KONRAD ADENAUER STIFTUNG from Germany and was awarded the 2022 YIL scholarship award. Beyond her interests in community development,  she is a young skillful, and self-driven person with a zeal to learn new methodologies and takes on challenges outside of her comfort zone. She aspires to be in a top leadership position in a reputed institution where she could expound her knowledge and experience. Rehema is an active member of youth initiatives in Kenya and loves transparency in everything she does.

Brian Otieno Tabu is a young diplomat, the best graduate in 2020 with First class honors in International Relations and Diplomacy with French from Rongo University. He has verse experience working as an active intern in Kisii county government as a protocol officer where he successfully managed to accomplish his role in coordination and organization of Governor’s county visits, official visits, and invites. Brian also successfully managed to be the custodian of instruments of power till transition, a position that required the uttermost trust and commitment. Moreover, he had engaged with METI -Japan government as an active intern in the Department of Cooperation and Trade where he was a Research Assistant and he has wide research skills, in collection and presentation, and analysis. Brian volunteered with the Kenya Red Cross as an assistant Tracing officer, where he was mandated in all humanitarian processes and uniting of the separated families, a function he performed with uttermost integrity and commitment. He also worked with Rapido CBO as a data enumerator where he was mandated in data collection for the community health workers and plotting the best ways to recruit more in our community. Brian has been awarded a Humanitarian award due to the excellent job done in Kenya Red Cross, Swahili facilitations awards, and Basic First Aid award having participated and trained in basic First Aid. Moreover, he is endowed with Research skills, entrepreneurship skills, Diplomacy skills, computer skills, and Facilitation Skills. His hobby is reading philosophical and innovative books, volunteering, and playing volleyball.

Cheryl Anyango Ouma participated in the RedBull basement innovation challenge 2021 in Kenya, in which her team of (2) emerged 4th place in the finals of the competition. She is the founder of an upcoming mental health club called Students Connect. She graduated from KamiLimu on May 28th, 2022 as the mentee with the most outstanding performance, and most community engagement. She is currently the 2022 KamiLimu Valedictorian. After realizing her passion, a year ago, Cheryl decided to focus on innovation, writing, and public speaking. She is a technical writing intern at Podii Consultants Ltd. Her ultimate goal is to innovate, inspire, travel the world, and speak to millions of people. 

Abdullahi Liban Mahad is a passionate social entrepreneur and freelance digital creator with over 6 years of experience working in Corporate and nonprofit sectors and whose aim is to empower and inspire young people in East Africa to take modest steps toward making big strides. He graduated with a BA in international relations and diplomacy from the University of Somalia, and he is currently the general manager of Cadaani Ltd. where he is responsible for the company’s management, including its operations, administration, and human resources. In addition to his work at Cadaani, Mr. Liban is a co-founder of Tayo Training and Recruitment Agency, a company that offers vocational training while also connecting talented young people to employers. In 2020, Liban won the SYTF award for Somalia’s best youth entrepreneur. He has dedicated his life to inspiring and assisting young people in Africa to start small and become big through social enterprises that focus on solving social problems.

Kamtambe Zione Esther is a young Malawian innovative project manager with broad experience managing projects in the public and private sectors. Her expertise extends to data management, monitoring and evaluation, and grant writing. She also possesses a proven track record of leading teams and communicating project expectations to team members and translating project vision to reality. She is also an entrepreneur who founded 21st-century business solutions, a WASH (water supply, sanitation, and hygiene) specialist, a content creator, and an author of the book “The heroic Journey of Shiloh which is also available on Amazon Kindle.” In addition, she is an International writers council fellow, menstrual hygiene management champion trained by WSSCC, and a participatory safe water management specialist in African countries trained by JICA. She graduated from the University of Malawi, the Polytechnic with a BSc in Environmental Health, and she received DR David Livingstone’s merit-based award before graduating.

Ruth Kimani is a multi-passionate student of life. She chooses a life of service and aligns her purpose to elevate humanity. She is a passionate speaker on purpose and thought leadership with an aim to challenge and disrupt the status quo. She believes that in every individual lies greatness and speaks to transform and awaken the greatness within. She is a People Strategy consultant at Rensyl Integral where she works with individuals and organizations to foster trusting teams and good work environments enabling growth. She is also the Founder and Creative Director at Rumann Craft where she uses design to express and inspire boldness through fashion. She is an Event host/Moderator who envisions conversations as the spark to drive change and rethink paradigms. In her spare time, she is a poet, science communicator, and environmental conservationist.


Daniel Mogere is passionate about creating simple, ingenious, elegant solutions to business and socio-economic problems. He is highly adaptive and multifaceted; you’d count on him to talk to people (convincingly) and still will be at home working with numbers behind a computer screen. Daniel has a degree in Actuarial Science from Egerton University, Kenya. He has worked before with Pula Advisors, an Agri-Insurtech startup in Kenya, and now has a presence in over 13 countries spread out across Africa, S.E Asia, Brazil, and Nepal. At Pula, he helped the innovation team to build digital products for smallholder farmers to improve their access to financing by providing microinsurance and also provide agronomic tips via mobile phone, Whatsapp, and field training. Daniel is passionate about solving problems using data and hence is highly skilled in working with big data sets to derive insights, analyze data, and build models guided by data science techniques. When he is not behind a computer screen, you’d be sure to have him join you for a hike, playing or watching soccer, or a book date.

Seblewongel Girma Bayu is a passionate, hardworking mentor and coordinator of “Make a Mark Africa youth development program” in South Africa. She is also an ambassador to the best diplomats united nations simulation conference and the best delegation winner in 2022 as a country in Istanbul, Turkey. She was a delegate to Botswana on 4th March 2022. Seblewongel is an honorable delegate award winner to the Model African Union Ethiopia simulation conference in 2022. She was also a delegate to Uganda on 21 May 2022. Seblewongel is a networker in digital marketing and very passionate about mutual benefits in business. She gives volunteering services to NGOs and institutions working with children and is very passionate about bringing the Africa we all want by working on the youth as a vehicle for the social, economic, and political development of Africa.

Wembi Denis is a passionate, agile, self-motivated, and results-oriented leader with experience in community and youth engagement aiming at becoming a community development specialist and lobbyist so that he can effectively promote ideas and issues that matter to young people- creating a safe world, free of discrimination, that enables young people to learn, earn and thrive in the diversely changing world. He has published over 45 articles on travel and social issues: governance, education, and giving youth and people with disabilities a voice—attracting 20,000+engagements. He also participated in the Goi Peace Foundation Essay Competition, and his essay made it to the best 50 articles and was honored with a certificate. Currently, Wembi facilitates and instigates direct communication online between customers and different brands in Uganda. He is aiming at building a strong community of leaders in Africa.

Kevin Ouma is a  Master’s in Film Studies student and part-time lecturer at Kenyatta University, having completed his undergraduate studies in 2019 at the same university. He is an award-winning filmmaker, for the Best Student Film ‘JIJI’ in the Kalasha 2019 awards. He is passionate about digital marketing and creating opportunities for young people. He looks forward to impacting more lives, especially students interested in filmmaking. Kevin is a lover of soccer and films.

Elam Igirubuntu is a young Burundian passionate about bringing innovative solutions to the technology sector in order to help the community. He’s the vice president of IRIHO ARTS, a platform that gathers young talented people from all over the country, with different backgrounds, but who have a single vision of putting their voices together to create a better Burundi through art. He’s also a member of WIKIMEDIA USER GROUP BURUNDI. He participates in different clubs where he trains younger generations in music and takes the opportunity to create safe fun spaces where everyone can feel loved and welcomed as they are. Elam’s biggest dream is to inspire his peers and younger generations to love their country and to innovate in order to bring solutions that push their country and Africa to get long-lasting change.