Dr. Mampehla Ramphele

Mamphela Ramphele is known for her role as an anti-apartheid activist, being one of the founders of the South African Black Consciousness Movement (BCM). She has served as an executive chairperson for Circle Capital Ventures, a Black Economic Empowerment Private Equity Firm. She sits on the Board of Trustees for the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which seeks to reward good governance in Africa, and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.

Mamphela Ramphele was the first woman and first black African to attain the role of vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 1996. In 2000, Ramphele joined the World Bank as managing director for human development. She has also acted as Co-Chair on the Global Commission for International Migration (GCIM) and as trustee to Nelson Mandela Children's Trust.

Dr. Ramphele has published several books relating to socio-economic issues in South Africa, including A Passion for Freedom and Laying Ghost to Rest.


Samba Gadjigo

Samba is a Senegalese director, writer, and producer known for co‐directing the award‐winning documentary, SEMBENE! with Jason Silverman. The documentary focuses on the life and work of Ousmane Sembène, one of the founders of African cinema.

Born and raised in Senegal, Gadjigo focused his Ph.D. dissertation on the effects of French colonization on Senegalese education system. Today, he is a Professor of French at Mount Holyoke College.

Samba Gadjigo will speak about the future of film as a form of empowerment and as a representation of contemporary African identities.


Jean Bosco Nzeyimana

Jean Bosco is the Founder and CEO of Habona Ltd. His company provides affordable and sustainable biofuels from waste in the Nyamagbe district in Rwanda. 

His enterprise is committed to supporting youth and entrepreneurial leaders in Rwanda. With this endeavor, Jean Bosco seeks to promote biodiversity, conservation and ecotourism. Habra Ltd. is diversifying to other forms of clean energy, including solar and wind as well as climate-smart farming.

Jean Bosco became internationally recognized as the top young entrepreneur of Rwanda in 2014. He was also the recipient of both the African Innovation Prize and the Mandela Washington Fellowship, a flagship program of President Obama of Young African Leaders. At the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Jean Bosco appeared on a panel with President Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg.


Tim Zajontz

Tim has worked in various advisory positions in German politics and as Accredited Parliamentary Assistant in the European Parliament in Brussels. He is the co-founder and chairperson of the Germany-based, non-profit organization Freundeskreis Uganda e.V. The organization partners with Ugandan initiatives in social and health sectors and thereby focuses on innovative, income-creating projects to increase the financial autonomy of its partner organizations.

Zajontz is a guest lecturer in Global Political Economy at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. His current research focuses on the spatial political economy of the TAZARA Corridor which links landlocked Zambia with Dar es Salaam.

Tim will speak about the socio-economic (dis)empowerment in relation to the recent boom in transport infrastructure development in many parts of Africa.


Photo by Emma Rebein.