Isha Sesay, Anchor and Correspondent, CNN
Isha Sesay is an anchor and correspondent for CNN International (CNNI), based at the network’s global headquarters in Atlanta. She anchors “CNN NewsCenter,” contributes to CNNI feature programs “Leading Women” and “African Voices,” and hosts “BackStory.” Sesay has served as co-host of the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards for a number of years. Sesay joined CNNI from the British broadcaster ITN, where she anchored ITV’s “Early Morning News” program, and news bulletins for “GMTV.” Prior to this, she spent several years presenting “Good Morning Sports Fans” for Sky Sports. A Briton of Sierra Leonean parentage, she holds a Bachelor of Arts Honors English degree from Trinity College, Cambridge University.
Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Chairman, Econet Wireless
Masiyiwa has been in business since 1986. He first came to international prominence when he fought a landmark constitutional legal battle for 5 years in the African country of Zimbabwe. The ruling which led to the removal of the monopoly of the state in telecommunications is generally regarded as one of the key milestones, in opening the African telecommunications sector to private capital.
His flagship business, South African based Econet Wireless (www.econetwireless.com) is now a global telecommunications group with operations, investments and offices in more than 15 countries (in Africa, Europe, USA, Latin America and Asia-Pacific). The company’s activities include mobile cellular telephony, fixed networks, enterprise networks, fibre optic cables, and satellite services. They also provide payment solutions to banks across Africa. Other business activities include operations and investments in some of Africa’s leading businesses in areas such as financial services, insurance, renewable energy, bottling for Coca-Cola, hotel and safari lodges. He currently serves on a number of international boards including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Advisory Board of the Counsel on Foreign Relations, the Africa Progress Panel, AGRA, the UN Sec General’s Advisory Boards for Sustainable Energy, and for Education. He is a juror of the Hilton Foundation’s Humanitarian Prize. He is also one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson, of the global think tank, known as the Carbon War Room.
Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu,Founder, Sole Rebels
Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu founded Sole Rebels Footwear in 2005, creating over 100 direct jobs and supporting over 200 suppliers. She is the recipient of the 2010 Eco-Bold Green Award, and is recognized as a 2011 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She was also recognized in 2012 as one of “Africa’s Most Successful Women” by Forbes magazine. O, The Oprah Magazine, included her on its fourth annual “O Power List,” which features 21 women from the African continent who, through their lives, are inspiring others to follow and fulfill their purpose, as the truest version of themselves. In July 2014, Face2Face Africa honored her with its F.A.C.E. award, which honors individuals who have made a tremendous impact on the pan-African community.
Ambassador Gertrude Mongella, Tanzanian Politician
After graduating as a teacher from the University of Dar es Salaam, Gertrude Mongella served as State Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, and Minister of Lands, Tourism and Natural Resources in Tanzania. In 1991, she was appointed as Tanzania’s High Commissioner to India. She served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nation’s International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), the Global Assembly on Women and the Environment, the World Women’s Congress for a Healthy Planet and the Tanzanian Association of Women Leaders in Agriculture and Environment. In 2004, she won election as the first President of the Pan-African Parliament. More recently, she served as the World Health Organization’s Goodwill Ambassador for Women’s Health, a special advisor to the Economic Commission of Africa, and a member of the African Union’s African Women’s Committee for Peace and Development.