Wakanda Forever!

Wakanda Forever!

On the Science and Technology Entrepreneurship IVLP (International Visitors Leadership Program), it has been a pleasure and inspiration to meet individuals who are unlocking innovation on the mother continent. Here they are from left to right.

Mpi Ndebele, Zimbabwe, Chief Executive Officer of Innovation for Africa

Yours truly. I shan’t bore you.

Ellen Fischat, South Africa, Managing Director of InnoCircle & Story Room

Ellen is passionate about guiding and building tech entrepreneurs, with a specific focus on women and marginalized groups; she has been working with startups for almost 9 years. This experience has culminated in the recent launch of her 100% female-owned innovation consultancy in the technology startup ecosystem, InnoCircle, which helps to drive innovation and build businesses by providing services to help technology entrepreneurs commercialize
their ideas. As one of two partners of InnoCircle, Ellen is responsible for the strategic management and implementation of the business, financial management, stakeholder management, program design for innovation workshops and training, sales and marketing, and communications. Drawing on Ellen’s prior career in social work and community building, InnoCircle also offers skills development workshops and training on technology entrepreneurship in low-income areas, such as workshops in a township incubator space on
“Commercialization of Township Technologies” and “Women in Tech Entrepreneurship.”

Suun Faye, The Gambia, Technical Officer at Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA)

Suun has experience in Telecommunications as a regulatory officer. Having trained in IT, she has always had a passion to see more girls and women thrive in tech. She runs “Girls in IT”, an initiative to bring together through tech camps and inspire them with excitement for computers and technical disciplines. Suun intends to establish a computer recycling program in an effort to increase access to computers and offer free computer training programs. Her ultimate goal is to increase the availability of affordable IT training for young women.

Manel Toumi, Tunisia, Chief Executive Officer, RoboTech,

Manel founded RoboTech, a start-up that specialises in automation and training people to build automated systems. She is a trainer with Mashrou3i, an entrepreneurship and employment generating collaboration between USAID/Tunisia, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the Government of Italy and HP Incorporated which has to date created more than 1,000 jobs in the country’s interior. Mashrou3i was so instrumental for her that her organization helps lead HP Life’s challenge events which are 24-hour “entrepreneurship promotion” events for young people,
bringing together would-be entrepreneurs from all over the country to learn about entrepreneurship, technology and HP Life.

Femi Oye, Nigeria, Chief Executive Officer, SMEFUNDS

Femi Oye is the CEO of Green Energy & Biofuels (GEB), Co-founder, SMEFUNDS and Chief Architect, GoSolarAfrica. He is a leader of Africa’s foremost clean energy technology companies, bringing decentralized off grid solar solutions to business and residential customers while spreading cellulosic bio ethanol from waste biomass into the domestic and transport fuel market. SMEFUNDS is the contact point for the UNFCCC action agenda on
Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability from Nigeria and also participated at the ratification of the Paris Agreement. Femi’s work has impacted more than 600,000 households in Nigeria with clean, safe and affordable energy for lighting and cooking over
the last six years. His organization currently works directly with about 27,000 entrepreneurs across Nigeria, each employs about 2-3 people, thereby creating approximately 45,000 jobs. He leads social and clean technology organizations in Africa that invest in ethical, green enterprises.

As I’m sure you can tell, there is hope for Africa, more than that, she will lead the charge in innovation and development in days to come.


Left to right: Mpi Ndebele, Ellen Fischat, Suun Faye, Manel Toumi, Femi Oye