We believe in the current generation of young leaders in Africa to build an Africa that is a master of its own fate.
Work with Africa's leading organizations and their most promising future leaders
Train and develop their leadership capacity in order for them to think independently and act boldly
Build a strong and an engaging alumni network
Our Core Beliefs
Enjoy the journey
We do the most amazing job with fun and humor
We do what we say we are going to do and manage the hopes and aspirations of the people we work with
With a strong sense of optimism, simplicity, humanity and independence we work with our communities to achieve their highest potential.
Our team is a mix of professionals from the Netherlands and various parts of Africa with one common factor: we love Africa and its soil, where so many talents vibrate infectious energy. We want to build on that energy and create a movement of change makers in Africa. Develop purpose-driven leadership. Build better leaders. Accelerate potential. Make a significant impact. Together!
The One Africa team consist of our 2 founders, a managing director, an advisory board, top lecturers, coaches, and specialists.
Michel holds a Bachelor in International Management. He started his career in the banking sector and gained over 15 years of experience in emerging markets as a social entrepreneur.
He has served clients in over 30 countries offering leadership development, personal and team coaching and strategy building including ING, Friesland Campina, Reliance, FMO, Grameen Koota, WWF, to name but few.
He is focussed on supporting leaders and organizations to identify, internalize and activate their purpose. "If you know your why, you can deal with any how and be more successful and impactful."
Michel is also active as an Executive Board Member for ECOM West Africa, responsible for HR, 800 FTE and for the set up of ECOM University.
"My feeling is that there is abundant talent and potential in Africa but not enough offering to support their development to be good leaders. At the same time Africa offers the best entrepreneurship opportunities in the world so let's stop the waste of talent and build a next generation of (business) leaders. My mission and pleasure is to create the fertile ground for this next generation of leaders and support the building of a prosperous, more fair and diverse Africa."
Pearl studied Communications Management at Hogeschool van Amsterdam and prides herself in being a change maker, a creative creator and making an impact in other people’s lives.
She started her career spearheading the Amsterdam South East Youth Project – CheckPoint ZO, focusing on social issues and challenges that the youth was facing in education and career. She was responsible for organizing events, workshops and trainings to help build a bridge between young professionals and industry leaders, specialists and coaches. The goal was to establish a sustainable pipeline of talent to meet future skills needs. Pearl's mission is to do the same for Africa.
"The Africa we want requires vision, collaboration, and great leadership. Let’s join forces and create an Africa that is capable of building its own prosperity and independence. This means self-reliance, dignity and overcoming the challenges we are facing. Let’s build an Africa that is a master of its own fate!"
Jan van betten
Jan started his career as a business lawyer at Philips and has over 30 years of experience in leadership roles in various countries. He worked for British American Tobacco as the Managing Director in the Netherlands and for Reed Elsevier as CEO for the German businesses. Ten years ago he started Nudge Academy, an Institute for Future Leadership Development. Working with young talents from all over the world on their leadership for a sustainable future has become his passion and main focus.
Jan is currently active as a non executive board member for several profit- and not-for-profit organizations.
“For more than 20 years I have been an admirer of what I would call ‘the African spirit’: so many young people, willing to grow on a personal level and contribute to their communities. I am also a big believer in the huge potential of the continent with its rich resources and young population. I feel that I have been blessed with my career and my experience in leadership development. Paying it forward to the next generation on the African continent is a great honor.”
our advisory BOARD
Members of our advisory board are leaders in global business who excel in fast-paced, demanding circumstances.
Dr. Abena Asomaning Antwi is currently the Managing Director of the Africa Environmental Sanitation Consult (AfESC).
She has a PhD from the University of Lille, France in Health Economics, an MBA from the University of Lincolnshire, UK and a BSc. in Development Planning from KNUST. She has previously worked in both the public and private sectors in Ghana. Abena has been on a number of international and local boards, including the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in Leicester, UK, Blue Skies Foundation, the University of Education, Winneba, Ghana, the Head of State Award Scheme (representing the President of the Republic of Ghana) and others.
She has won an award from the Queen of England under the Points of Light Award (to be the 62nd young individual in the world) for her humanitarian work with women and contribution towards development in Ghana (2018).
She has been recognized by the President of France under the Femme de Jour recognition for female achievers in Africa (2019). She has also won the MTN Heroes of Change award for Social Protection (2014) in Ghana and others.
Zaid is an Executive Founding Partner of AfricInvest, a leading Pan-African private equity, VC, and private credit platform founded in 1994 in Tunis, and today present in 8 countries in Africa, in addition to Dubai, Paris, and Washington DC. Ziad played a key role in growing the private equity industry in Africa and the investment environment in general, contributing to the formation of the major industry associations in Africa and Emerging Markets and advocating and promoting in Africa investments with impact, more transparency, better governance, and a better investment environment.
Ziad led the CSR activities of the group, focusing on education and entrepreneurship in Africa. He is a board member and founding member of major local, regional, and emerging market private equity and VC associations such as EMPEA and AVCA, and other associations that foster innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa and the Middle East like the Columbia University Global Center in Tunis and the MENAA Board of the Harvard Business School. Prior to co-founding AfricInvest in 1994, Ziad was Head of the Financial Institutions and Capital Markets Department at Citibank Tunis.
Ziad holds a Master’s in Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an engineering degree from the École des Mines de Paris, France.
Fatoumata Bouaré is currently the Chief Finance and Operations Officer of FMO’s Management Board (a Dutch Development Bank). She has a degree in Engineering (Ivory Coast) and a Master of Business Administration from L'Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales (ESSEC in France).
Before that, Fatou held the positions of Director Risk Management Head at the Bank of Africa Group and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Africa Benin. In her capacity as the highest-ranking risk professional at the Bank of Africa Group, she was in charge of all integral aspects of risk, including environmental, social, and sustainability risks. Bank of Africa Group is present in 18 countries with total assets of USD 7 billion, more than 500 branches, and 6000 staff. Fatou's early career developed primarily with blue-chip multinationals. She worked first in treasury and finance, then held several regional finance roles with Citibank (Ivory Coast, Senegal), where she eventually transitioned to risk management. Thereafter, Fatou assumed two high-level risk positions at the United Bank for Africa (Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso). She then joined the Bank of Africa in 2010.
Fatoumata Bouaré has a degree in Engineering (Ivory Coast) and a Master of Business Administration from L'Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales (ESSEC in France).
As Co-founder and CEO of Lead for Ghana, Daniel curates and manages the LFG brand and gathers the necessary global and local resources to ensure that the organization realizes its full potential. Before he co-founded LFG, Daniel worked at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. in New York.
Daniel studied biomedical engineering at Cornell University with a keen interest in nanotechnology. The impact of his Cornell education went beyond the financial freedom to pursue his passions, and Daniel was compelled and motivated to explore ways he could positively impact others in the way that the scholarship opportunity opened doors for him. This led him to help establish a 30,000-book capacity library in his home country, Ghana.
The contrast between his higher education experience and the classrooms of his youth in Ghana – often without chairs or books – is the fundamental driving force behind Lead For Ghana. With Lead For Ghana, Daniel hopes to help build a country where every child, irrespective of their socioeconomic background, has the opportunity to attain an excellent education.
Rahul Gopinath is the Head of Africa-Cocoa and New Products, ECOM Agro-industrial Corp. Ltd., a leading global community merchant and sustainable supply chain management company.
Rahul Gopinath is highly knowledgeable as a strategic and execution-driven manager with a passion for "Bottom of the Pyramid" business models. He also has specialized skills in profit and loss (P&L) management, turnaround businesses, and developing and mentoring large multi-cultural teams in a challenging business environment. Deep experience in sustainable business models; futures and non-futures traded commodities; microfinance; savings and insurance models; and grass-root level value creation business models. He possesses the ability to tolerate ambiguity and use structured thought processes to create ingenious solutions. He possesses strong management abilities backed by strong leadership, hands-on execution, and strategic and innovative thinking. Mr. Gopinath was also adjudged the cocoa personality of the year 2020 at the Ghana Cocoa Awards.
He holds a Bachelor of Technology (BTech) in Information Technology from the School of Engineering and Technology, Bharatisadan University. He also holds an MBA in International Business from the Indian Institute of Foreign Affairs and continued to pursue a General Management Program at the Harvard Business School.
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