Meet the ten newly appointed JA Africa alumni leaders! These ten alumni will attend the first-ever Alumni Leaders Academy in Kampala, Uganda, from June 29–July 3, and then go on to lead the JA alumni network in their countries through July 2024.
The JA Alumni Leaders Academy is a three-day intensive boot camp aimed at developing and growing JA alumni networks in the Africa region. One alumnus from each country was selected to participate in the academy with the goal of creating a sustainable strategy for their local alumni chapter.
The program is designed to provide each participant with the necessary skills and knowledge to become an effective leader in their respective alumni networks. At the end of the academy, each participant will walk away with a strategy for alumni engagement in their country and lead their alumni network for a minimum of one year.
Meet the JA Africa Alumni Leaders
Côte d'Ivoire: Ibrahim Coulibaly
“In August 2022, I was selected by the U.S. Department of State to participate in a ten-month exchange program in Dayton, Ohio. It is worth noting that all of the opportunities I’ve had began with my participation in JA programs. Given this, I am eager to become more involved with the organization to inspire the younger generation in Côte d’Ivoire.
”Participating in the JA Africa program represents the perfect opportunity for me to give back to the organization that has already given me so much. I am passionate about engaging and motivating not only the JA alumni community but also others to attend JA’s activities. I deeply believe that my experience and knowledge will make me an asset to the program, and I am excited to contribute to its success.”
Connect with Ibrahim on LinkedIn and Gather.
Eswatini: Bonginkosi Ntshalintshali
“I have been involved in JA since high school, where I participated in a money-saving program. When I was in grade 11, we did a financial literacy program and a job shadowing program. When I finished high school, I participated in JA’s five-day entrepreneurship summit and other JA events. I signed up to be a JA Youth Advisor this year while I’m in university. We do a lot of Zoom meetings with JA alumni, exchanging ideas about how we can shape JA in the next five years as an efficiency-driven organization. Currently, in my country, we do not have a formal JA alumni chapter, which I am trying to build by organizing resources.”
Connect with Bonginkosi on LinkedIn and Gather.
Ghana: Emmanuel Nyame
“My first experience with JA was in the Accra Academy High School. We were a small group of students who would gather, plan, produce, and sell customized bags and bracelets. Our JA student company was called Apex JACO. Eventually, we moved on from bag production and started providing small loans to students who were facing financial challenges on campus. This service won us the title of JA Company of the Year in Ghana in 2010 and we got the chance to participate in the JA Africa Company of the Year competition in Nairobi, Kenya. The JA process was so inspiring that after school, we decided to stick with the organization, and we all volunteer our time to support JA activities. The Alumni network was one of those activities we simply could not resist. Since 2010, we have supported one another and make sure that we stay connected to the JA office.”
Connect with Emmanuel on LinkedIn and Gather.
Kenya: Ted Mwatha
“I’ve been involved in the alumni community since 2014, and I participated in JA programs for two years in school.”
Connect with Ted on LinkedIn and Gather.
Mauritius: Pooja Teerbhun
“In 2020, I won third place in the JA Company of the Year competition and the Public Choice Award. In 2022, I served as the COY Influencer for JA Africa’s Company of the Year competition.”
Connect with Pooja on LinkedIn and Gather.
Nigeria: Imade Iyamu
When I first heard of JA, I was an unemployed recent graduate in a village and unsure of what I wanted to do with my life. Then I applied to the Venture in Management Program (ViMP), JA’s mini-MBA program for young graduates. It was here that I found myself. I discovered my passion for education through volunteering; I built a love for finance and entrepreneurship; I found a whole new world with the possibility of one day doing a full MBA; and I bonded with members of my cohort who I still call friends today.
”Today, my passion for education has led me to be an instructor at Yale University and a Board Director of a charter school in the US. I could not have become the person I am today without that first ‘yes’ from JA. The JA community will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first place that took a chance on me. My desire is to pay it forward by helping to improve the JA community for generations to come.”
Connect with Imade on LinkedIn and Gather.
South Africa: Ntwanano Rikhotso
“I have been a part of JA since 2016, and I’m an active participant in the organization’s activities. Currently, I currently serve as the chairperson of the JA South Africa Alumni Committee.”
Connect with Ntwanano on LinkedIn and Gather.
Uganda: Edrine Lusiba
“I participated in the JA Company Program in 2010 and my student company won the JA Company of the Year competition in Uganda and for the Africa region in 2011. I joined JA alumni network in 2011, and I have worked on a number of volunteer projects with JA.”
Connect with Edrine on LinkedIn and Gather.
Zambia: Steven Banda
“I have been engaged with JA in Zambia for several years and instrumental in leading the establishment and growth of the JA alumni network in Zambia.”
Connect with Steven on LinkedIn and Gather.
Zimbabwe: Godfree Saruchera
“I joined JA Zimbabwe in 2017. I took part in the JA Zimbabwe Company of the Year Competition in 2018, and my team and I won Company of the Year and the Best Entrepreneurial Spirit award. The journey to Accra, Ghana, for the JA Africa Company of the Year Competition was extraordinary. I subsequently went to the University of Zimbabwe to study Accounting and Finance degree to enhance my entrepreneurial skills. In the University, I kept in touch with JA Alumni in Zimbabwe, all over Africa, and all over the world.”