Meet the 2017 Inspire Africa Train-The-Trainer Fellows and Facilitators



Debola Ajayi

Debola Ajayi is an Author, expert Business analyst, strategist, seasoned Public Speaker, and the Principal Consultant of Business Alliances Ltd. (a Business Consulting firm based in Lagos State, Nigeria). Debola is a certified Leadership Expert from The Wharton School Pennsylvania, and a Certified Business Strategist from Darden Business School, Virginia. Having finished from the University of Lagos as an Economist, he transitioned to the world of business and has been able to assist SMEs in Nigeria monetize their businesses, improve staff productivity and develop business ideas. He is passionate about helping entrepreneurs reach their highest potential and has been able to create such platforms as Business Monetization Workshop as well as Business Training Structures to make this a reality.

Quote: “Let us all be dreamers! But once we wake, we must follow the path that translates our dreams into a reality. Now, I’m headed to inspire Africa, literally!”

Priscilla Okechukwu

Priscilla Okechukwu, C.E.O Pixaweb Technologies Ltd with Registration N0: RC 850584, runs an initiative for Women & Youth Empowerment and Capacity Building . She holds a Bsc. Computer Engineering from the Obafemi Awolowo University. An IT Professional with over 16 years of experience in Software Engineering and Education Technology. A Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) and a UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) Trained Business Counselor.
She is a seasoned facilitator with a passion to educate, empower and impact into the lives of Women and youth, she has trained quite a number of people using ICT productivity tools and also encouraging them to becoming Entrepreneurs.
She is also a member of Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and Nigerian Women in Information Technology(NIWIIT).

Quote: “I stand to make a change in my world by Educating, Empowering, influencing, impacting knowledge and still imparting’’

Fidelis Bonaventure Uzoma

Fidelis Bonaventure Uzoma is a social entrepreneur and a human capacity development practitioner. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from the University of Ibadan, and a Masters Degree (in view) holder in Diplomacy and Strategic Studies, University of Lagos, Nigeria. Fidelis is currently the CEO, of Diplo-Age Finishing Academy where he designs, facilitates and executes human capacity development programs targeted at bridging the skill gap of unemployed youths through enterprise development and employability solutions. Also he is the Founder of Youth Aid Development Initiative- a volunteer-led initiative that improves the lives of at-risks youths through training, counseling and mentoring, prevention and intervention services towards helping youth in low income communities develop important life skills that will increase their chances of being successful and become a productive member of the society. Through these experiences, Fidelis has developed strong skills in positive youth development, leadership and soft skills training.

Quote: “It is an exciting experience to be selected as a finalist for the 2017 Inspire Africa Train-the-Trainer Entrepreneurship Programme. I am so delighted as to be a part of the next generation of young global leaders who are re-writing the African narrative through Inspire Africa Programme. Leveraging on the training provided through the platform of Inspire Africa rocks, I am re-ignited to pursue my goal of empowering and improving the lives of 100,000 at-risk youths across Nigeria by 2030”

Chigozie Ubanagu

Chigozie Ubanagu is an economist and entrepreneur with an undergraduate degree in Economics and finance from Birmingham City University (BCU), United Kingdom where he also obtained his master’s degree. During his studies in the UK, he held several leadership positions including; Chair Person of the International Students Association (ISA), Loughborough University, President of the African and Caribbean Society (ACS), Birmingham City University and Youth Leader of the United Nigeria Welfare Association (UNIWA), Birmingham. After completing his studies, he was selected as one of the pioneer entrepreneurs endorsed by the government of the United Kingdom under the Tier 1 Entrepreneurship Scheme. He also served as the Head of Research and Head of Projects at SPM Professionals Nigeria. He is the founder and CEO of Chiwane Global Strategy (CGS) Limited which is endorsed by the Ministry of Youth development in Nigeria.

Quote: “I believe that young African entrepreneurs will play a significant role in transforming our continent via innovation, skill acquisition and empowerment. It is an honor for me to be selected as one of the finalists of the Inspire Africa program as I aspire to be part of the organizations’ vision of energizing the entrepreneurial and leadership vision of young leaders both as a recipient and as a facilitator with the aim of building inspiring leaders in our community”

Mina Ogbanga

Dr Mina Ogbanga is a multiple award winning Academic ,Social Entrepreenur and Sustainability Leader with a strong vision to Transforming Environmental Challenges to energy and craft solutions.She is the winner of the Europeaid GLOBAL women in development award,Investors in People UKs” Worlds Best Manager finalist.She is a Graduate of numerous local and International Institutions including University of Cambridge,UK.She is passionate about building emerging leaders in sustainability to promote a just,Peaceful and Sustainable World through her #Enterprisehub and #Club17Africa sustainability leaders initiative which today are impacting lives across schools and communities.Mina is a fellow of several institutions and is an unrepentant enthusiast of Eco friendly products and services as a key global growth. Dr Mina remains the youngest member of the Economic Advisory Council in her home Country where she supported the formulation and review if strategic policy review

Quote: “Being selected as an Inspire Africa Fellow remains a significant landmark in my life…the mere thought of working to build a new generation of emerging innovators for transformation is in itself inspiring and a role I hope to support effectively”   

IKIBA Onuoya Joel

IKIBA Onuoya Joel is an educator, creative writer and social entrepreneur. He wakes with enthusiasm to the challenge of enabling labour market inclusion for skills-challenged working-age youths in Nigeria via the Collaborative and Creative Innovations Centre (COCRIC); a social enterprise he founded in 2016. Joel has the advantage of a Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and work experience of nearly a decade spanning education, industrial engineering and the energy sector. He has a certification in Quality Management as well as completed courses in Project, Business Management and Entrepreneurship courtesy of reputable institutions like JK Michaels; African Management Initiative, Nairobi Kenya and Inspire Africa Institute of which he is a Fellow. Joel volunteers for causes in education, children and social services. He also convenes the ‘Teachers Think and Collaborate’ forum for educators. He is author of Shadows in the Greying Sun; he speaks English and French.

Quote: “Having had a history of a transformative learning journey with Inspire Africa Entrepreneurship Institute, I am glad for the rare opportunity of being among the finalists for the Train-the-Trainers programme. It is double honour and I look forward to a rewarding time at Inspire Africa.”

Egunwale Damilare

Egunwale Damilare .E. is the Lead consultant for Dhelc Business Solutions. Born on June 28, 1984 at Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. Damilare is a graduate of Information Resources Management, Babcock University, Ilishan Remo Ogun state, Nigeria. He is an Oracle Certified Professional, ITIL and Project Management trained who has worked in several IT firms as a Developer and trainer/Facilitator gaining hands on experience and acquiring lucrative entrepreneurship skills prior to starting the company. His passion for integrating Information Technology into business processes for quick decision making and effective business operations motivated him into his entrepreneurship journey. His vision is to help startups launch their idea beyond the infancy stage and reduce their cost of doing business.

Quote: “My visions found a platform for expression with Inspire Africa”

Tolulope Falope

Tolulope Falope holds an A.Sc in Engineering Science from Queens borough Community College, a B.Sc in Electrical and Computer Engineering from New York Institute of Technology, and an M.Sc in Electrical Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of New York. While working as an engineer, he started the community based group ‘Together Our Leaders Unite” which focuses on career development, education and community service. He has served as the president for seven years. During this time, the group has been successful in fund raising for ngos and a few orphanages, park and hospital clean ups, and conducting educational seminars. The group currently sponsors the education of several orphans and has set up a youth community center offering free skills acquisition and subject based classes. He is happily married and resides in Kaduna. He hopes to inspire others to be leaders by serving their communities and leaving the world better than they found it.

Quote: “So grateful and honored to be part of the Inspire Africa family”.

Kennedy Osagie

Kennedy Osagie is a serial entrepreneur, speaker, management and human resources manager. He promotes a concept and training series called “Peopletech” a system of matching the right human capital resources with strategic technology to bring about all round success in business organizations. He is a graduate of Linguistics and African Languages from the University of Benin, founder, Kingsmen and Gracewards Limited, member of the Nigerian Institute of Management, alumnus of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship program (TEEP), The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Media Director for the World-Safety Organization (National Office for Nigeria), Captain, Mozilla Club, Lagos, President, Penvy Investment Limited, Project Director for the Mechanical Engineering Skills Acquisition limited (MESA) and Project Manager, NIMechE Innovation Challenge 2017 a project sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK. He enjoys reading, singing, public speaking, networking, scrabbling and spending quality time with his wife and kids.

Quote: “News of my selection for the Inspire Africa Train-The-Trainers Entrepreneurship Program was deeply gratifying, I am thrilled to take-up this learning opportunity to inspire progress across Africa”

Theodora Tibaikana

Theodora Tibaikana is the Co-Founder and CEO of African Crown a company in Tanzania that provides youth and women with skills for employment, livelihood and enterprise development. She is a young leader who has used innovative, initiative and determination in bridging a gap for required skills for youth and women in Tanzania to become economically self-sufficient towards attaining descent jobs for inclusive economic growth.
Through African Crown she has trained a women group in rural Tanzania and assist them in establishing a savings scheme for self –help. In addition her company trained 22 house maids in Dar es Salaam in an attempt to formalize their sector while preparing them for better opportunities.
Currently she is working on providing more skills to youth to become competitive to participate in Tanzanian vibrant economic sectors including construction, agriculture, logistics, renewable energy and Oil and Gas.

Quote: “I feel honored to be selected to participate in the Tain –The –Trainer Program by Inspire Africa. I am looking forward to learn and share knowledge with my fellow participants. “YES, youth can change the world”

Marcus Akor

Passionate about rural youth development and job creation, since 2011, Marcus has been in the business of empowering young people to contribute meaningfully to nation building through training in entrepreneurship, leadership, anticorruption, democracy and good governance via his social enterprise, “The Bridge Youth Development Foundation”. Marcus studied Business Administration and Management at Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo. He is 2011 Fellow, Kanthari International Institute for Social Entrepreneurs & Innovators, India, 2013 Fellow, DESPLAY Africa Season 8, 2013 Fellow, Youth Leadership Institute, Jos, 2015 Fellow, Thinking School Africa, Abuja and 2017 Fellow of the President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative, studied Business and Entrepreneurship at Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Accra, Ghana. He is the award winner “Special Prize for YALI Star Entrepreneurship”. Currently, Marcus is working on a new business “Pure Foods and Agro Products” to produce nutritiously flavored, high quality processed and uniquely packaged garri.

Quote: Inspire Africa has brought glad tidings of good things to me by selecting me to be part of this great team. With Inspire Africa, we will raise a new breed of entrepreneurs without greed who will change the narrative in the business scope of Africa and the world at large.

Francis Omorojie

Francis Omorojie is a purpose driven business consultant that is passionate in supporting businesses to achieve peak performance through business growth hacking consultancy and harnessing potentials of workforce to upscale operational capacity within the organization. With years of helping both national and global organizations to climb higher towards meeting their goals, Francis has mastered business skills in the global workplace, with expertise in human resource management, capacity building, strategy design and implementation. Francis is interested in exploring innovative ways to provoke disruptive growth within business ecosystem.

Quote: “Opportunities to live your purpose only come when you are always hungry to grab them. Becoming Inspire Africa Train-The-Trainer is a lifetime privilege for me to contribute towards empower businesses across Africa to reach their potentials”.

Richmond Owusu-Frimpong

Richmond is the C.E.O of 21st Century Initiatives LLC, and was part of the SWITCH Africa Green SEED starter workshop on Eco-Entrepreneurship, held at Reach for Change in Accra and also British  Council’s Active Citizens Social Enterprise Boot camp in Accra.

Quote: I have got the privilege to be selected to participate in this year’s inspire Africa Train the Trainers Entrepreneurship Program in Nigeria, I look forward to an exciting experience and a great team work with fellow participants see you there!”

Dayo Adetiloye

Dayo Adetiloye is the Founder and CEO of Dayo Adetiloye Business Hub, a platform that connect startup entrepreneurs and SMEs with resources, opportunities and mentorship.
Dayo is a successful Serial Entrepreneur, International Business Planning Consultant, Speaker, Trainer, Author, Blogger and a Networker Marketing professional.
He is an alumnus of Enterprise Development Centre (EDC), Pan Atlantic University, Lekki, Lagos. He holds Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
Through his training, mentoring, speaking, coaching programmes, accessing grant opportunities, etc. via, he has empowered over 1500 young people in the last 4 years to start, grow and expand their businesses, build wealth, and create multiple streams of income.
Dayo is a thoroughbred Business Development professional with a passion for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development, especially Business Startup and Turnaround. He started
He brings a unique insight into providing guidance for organizations no matter what fields they play with.

Quote: “Knowledge is a universal commodity; wise men reach out to wherever they can find it. Inspire Africa Institute is a place to get business wisdom. I am happy to be one of the finalists”.


Cynthia Mene – HOST
Co-founder and CEO, Inspire Africa

Cynthia is a serial social entrepreneur. Her ambitious start-up record includes EverGlow, a successful liquid soap company that filled the niche for a non-toxic, plant-derived and biodegradable dish soap in Nigeria; Kadosh Production Company (KPC), a cassava processing plant that has the potential to revolutionize, the cassava industry in Nigeria, while improving the livelihood of women farmers. Her third venture recently started in 2016, known as Inspire Africa, a Pan-African Institution established to deliver high impact entrepreneurship and leadership education to African youths. Cynthia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Textile Science and Polymer Technology at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and has received certificate of participation for Business and Entrepreneurship course at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire USA and MBA from University of Nicosia, Cyprus (online). She has received awards and accolades from an impressive list of international organizations, including her recognition as President Obama’s Mandela Washington Fellow for Young African Leaders, United State African Development Funds Award, Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Award, A Global Good Fund Fellow, LEAP Africa (Social Innovators Programme), Global Student Entrepreneurs Award, Innovation Prize for Africans Post prize Awards and Global Innovation through Science and Technology Awards. She was a speaker at the Global Forum for Innovation in Africa and The Global Entrepreneurship summit. Cynthia is a member of the John Maxwell Team and a certified John Maxwell Speaker, Trainer and Coach.

Amy Newcomb
Senior Programs Officer at the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College, United States.

Amy Newcomb is the Senior Programs Officer at the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College in the United States. She also spearheads Dartmouth’s engagement with the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), serving as Academic Director for the YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship and coordinating learning partnerships between Dartmouth and YALI-linked partners across sub-Saharan Africa. She also oversees The Dickey Center’s post-graduate fellowship program and the university’s International Studies minor.
Amy holds an M.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Education Administration and Service-Learning and a B.F.A. in Art and Design. She finds designing globally-focused education programs is the perfect synergy of her interests in the arts, intercultural learning, and experiential education. Amy is proud to serve as a board member of Inspire Africa. Amy is also an avid baker, loves to get creative (clay, sculpture, and textiles mostly), and spends a great deal of time enjoying outdoor adventures near her home in Vermont.

Ashley Manning
Dartmouth College, USA.

Ashley Manning is a Dartmouth graduate from Lima, Peru. At Dartmouth she majored in geography and found her primary interests were in understanding the intersection between culture and development. She discovered design thinking her final year of university, but from the moment she did, she knew it was something she wanted to continue pursuing. Ashley remains captivated by the way human centered design can be used to reframe developmental challenges, and change the way we tackle key problems. She believes that understanding and designing around the core needs of people simply makes sense, regardless of whether we’re talking about education, health or the economy. Beyond design thinking Ashley loves all things food related (especially eating it!) and visiting new places!

Robert Halvorsen
Darthmouth College, USA.

Robert Halvorsen graduated last year from Dartmouth College with an engineering degree. During his time at the university, he fell in love with human centered design and found he wanted to work with it for the rest of his life. Robert finds the process to be fun and dynamic, and it allows him to do his two favorite things: build stuff and work with people. He has never considered himself creative, and was thrilled to learn that anyone can use these techniques to solve problems in new and exciting ways. In his spare time, Robert love to play ultimate frisbee and go exploring in the outdoors.

Brian Kunz
Team Building Facilitator, Dartmouth College

Brian Kunz is the deputy director for the Dartmouth Outdoors Programs. He supervises program and facility staff, advises clubs within the Dartmouth Outing Club, works closely with the director, and oversees outdoor educational and recreational programs. Brian started his career in outdoor education with the Boston University’s SURGE program in the early 70’s and then worked for Outward Bound Schools in North America, Great Britain and Germany for ten years before coming to Dartmouth in 1984. Brian designs and delivers the outdoor learning component for the Tuck Bridge Program, Tuck MBA First Year orientation, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth’s First Year Orientation and a similar program for the Dartmouth undergraduates. He introduced adventure education to Russia during a two month lecture series at Moscow State University in 1990. Subsequently he has helped foster the growth of adventure education in the Moscow Region, Mari El Republic, the Black Sea area, and in the Altai Region of Siberia. Brian also serves on the board of advisors for the Ghanian-based adventure tour company, Bravehearts Expeditions, founded by one of Dartmouth’s 2014 YALI Mandela Washington Fellows.

Lindsay Putnam
Team Building Facilitator, Dartmouth College, USA.

Lindsay Putnam has worked for Dartmouth College, and as a consultant to private organizations as a team building facilitator and instructor since 1988. She has worked with a wide variety of groups to help them develop insights into more effective team communication and collaboration, as well as helping individuals experience a sense of personal empowerment in their lives and work. Lindsay’s other work love is being with young children in the outdoors. She is the director of the environmental education program at the Norwich elementary school. Lindsay has worked in the Adirondacks, VT, NH, and Russia. She has climbed in the Andes of Peru and Ecuador, had many adventures in the mountains of the Northeast U.S., and paddled many wild rivers in Canada and the U.S. with her wonderful family.

Mene Blessing
CEO Bold Nutrition

Mene Blessing is the CEO and Co-founder of Bold Nutrition Company focused on producing insect protein as an alternative source of protein for fish feed. He has a degree in Chemistry Education at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Mene Blessing is an international award-winning visionary entrepreneur, authentic leader, creative scientist, farm expert and a strong believer in young people. He is the Co-founder of Aleph Tav Limited/UNFIRE organizations that have served thousands of beneficiaries and pioneered sustainable feeds innovation for the livestock sector. He has been honoured locally and globally by Prof. Pat Utomi, Ashoka, International Youth Foundation, University of Cambridge, Global Good Fund, London Business School, University of Washington Foster School of Business, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, University of Witswaterand Wits School of Business and Makerere University Business School amongst others. His greatest obsession is the pursuit of wisdom especially insight related to Leadership, Social Entrepreneurship, Business Innovation and the Prosperity of Nations. He believes in Honor – honoring God, parents, mentors, the government and value-adding friends

Gary Mastro
President, Marketing Solutions Group

As the former Corporate Vice President of Brand and Product Marketing, Gary was responsible for marketing communications, event marketing, customer relationship management and the UPS product portfolio. He had responsibility for product performance, new product integration, advertising, brand strategy and sales support through training and technology.
Under Gary’s direction, UPS launched its most aggressive advertising campaign in its 100 year history. The “What can BROWN do for you?” campaign. As well as the largest re-branding effort in corporate history. During his 38 years with UPS, Gary has been involved in projects ranging from the introduction of UPS Next Day Air® to developing import and export services on a global basis and establishing UPS’s Sales and Marketing organization outside the U.S. Gary began his career with UPS in 1968 as a part-time loader in Camden, New Jersey. Gary holds a B.A. in Social Psychology from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. He is the Managing Director of a marketing consulting firm, Marketing Solutions Group, and for the last six years has been engaged with a number of small and mid-size firms.

Creating Awareness @ the National Youth Service Corps, Delta State, Nigeria