The Future Decides Today: The Africa We Want

Ms Barbara Glover, NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency

Ms Ama Duncan, Corporate Training Solutions

Dr Zamantungwa Khumalo, Future Leader Youth Development Programme

Ms Fumani Mthembi, Knowledge Pele

Dr Towela Nyirenda-Jere, NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency

Admiral Joe Sestak, First Global

It is imperative for young Africans to be actively involved in shaping the future of Africa; their ‎future! Emerging technologies need to be explored, more so by the very people of whom it will benefit. This ‎session seeks to explore two of these technologies, whilst opening up discussions on useful ‎platforms for discussions of this nature and potential economic benefits of these technologies; ‎as a way forward.‎

Introducing our future to robotics and artificial intelligence garnered towards achieving the ‎millennium development targets and goals set by our leaders is a certain step to positivity. We ‎explore the potential of tapping into a global STEM corps initiative aimed at inspiring young ‎people to tackle global challenges. ‎Which of Africa’s challenges can be solved via robotics and particularly drones? How can ‎young people be involved in addressing these challenges appropriately? How do we get ‎involved in providing the STEM corps services to young people in disadvantaged ‎communities?‎

We also tackle Africa’s energy problems. Despite the availability of reliable and affordable electrical energy being a critical factor in development, Africa remains the least electrified continent with close to 70% of the population not having access to electricity. In addition to the deficit of access, Africa also suffers from a general deficit of power even for those that have access to electricity. Can microgrids provide a solution to our energy problems? Join us!


Ms Barbara Glover,Ghana,NEPAD planning and Coordinating Agency of the African Union.

Barbara Glover works as a as a young professional under the Science, Technology, Innovation ‎and Industrialisation of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency of the African Union. ‎She works under the Prospecting Technologies unit in aiding African countries identify ‎emerging technologies worth harnessing in Africa. ‎

She was instrumental in organising the first of over 35 African nations representing Africa at the ‎FIRST Global world robotics Olympics in Washington DC. ‎

She is also a final year student of the University of Pretoria, researching on newer ways of ‎screening zoonotic bacteria, where she is designing an in-house indirect enzyme-linked ‎immunosorbent assay for the detection of antibodies to zoonotic pathogens in wildlife. ‎

She is a moderator for the Ghana Youth Dialogue, a social group of over 20,000 young Africans ‎bonded by a vision for youth inclusion in sustainable development, as well as an active blogger ‎on available social media sites, where she engages young people in various issues in the ‎society.

Admiral Joe Sestak,U.S.A,First Global.

Joe Sestak is a former 3-star Admiral who served in the Navy for 31 years and afterwards served ‎as the highest-ranking military officer ever elected to the U.S. Congress, representing ‎Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District from 2007-2010.‎

Joe served as President Clinton’s Director for Defence Policy on the National Security Council ‎in the White House, and also as the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations responsible for ‎development of the Navy’s five-year $350 billion warfare requirements. He holds a PhD in ‎Political Economy and Government, and a Masters in Public Administration, both from Harvard ‎University, and is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.‎

In Congress, Joe championed fiscally accountable “pay-as-you-go” legislation; educational ‎opportunity from pre-K through adult retraining; access to start-up capital for small business ‎and tax and regulatory relief; healthcare issues ranging from paediatric cancer and autism to ‎mental health parity. He is the President of First Global and behind the Global STEM Corp ‎initiative

Joe published a book, “Walking in Your Shoes to Restore the American Dream” on how to ‎address the hopes and challenges he sees for Americans and the nation.‎



Dr Towela Nyirenda,Malawi,NEPAD planning and Coordinating Agency of the African Union

Dr Towela Nyirenda – Jere is the Principal Programme Officer (Infrastructure Strategic Business Unit) at NEPAD Agency.

Her work involves Advising on enabling environment (policy, legal and regulatory) for ICT projects within framework of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), Internet Governance in Africa, Organizing and documenting coordination meetings with African Union Commission, Regional Economic Communities and Specialized Institutions of the AU. She also represents the NEPAD Agency in governance and advisory structures.

Significant milestones in her work with the NEPAD Agency include the development of an online database of ICT experts, launch of the Southern Africa Internet Governance Forum, the development of an online training programme in Internet Governance tailored to African stakeholders, the launch and holding of 3 editions of the Africa School on Internet Governance.

She holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering (Networking and Telecommunications) from the University of Kansas, a Master of Arts in Contemporary Diplomacy (Internet Governance), an ACCA Diploma in Financial Management and is a qualified Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute (USA). Prior to her NEPAD appointment she was the Projects Coordinator at the Malawi Polytechnic, University of Malawi.


Dr Zamantungwa Khumalo,South africa Future Leader Youth Development Programme

Zamantungwa Khumalo is the Chairperson of the Future Leader Youth Development Programme. The ‎program seeks to empower young people in rural and disadvantaged communities of Africa via ‎mentorship and uniquely focuses on boosting self–confidence; encouraging constructive social ‎engagement; and also promoting the importance of education through career development sessions ‎offered to high school students residingin the rural parts of Bergville, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. ‎These students are mentored by students in higher learning, young entrepreneurs and new entrants ‎to the job market.‎

She is a postdoctoral fellow at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute where she works on vector ‎control and tick-borne diseases and a finalist of the “Apprentesses Leardership”. Ms Khumalo is ‎very active in encouraging social inclusion for young people from disadvantaged communities and ‎her program has received funding from various donors to hold annual awards and other mentorship ‎sessions for young people in South Africa. Her vision is to combat the high levels of youth ‎unemployment, including long-term unemployment, the increasing incidence of disease and reduce ‎the level of substance abuse and addiction, currently in the Bergville community. ‎


Ms Fumani Mthembi,South Africa,Knowledge Pele.

Fumani Mthembi is the managing director of Knowledge Pele, which is part of the Pele Group.

She has a Bcom degree, with Philosophy and political science in UCT, BA Honors at Wits, and a Masters in Social development Sussex University (England).

Pele Energy Group, which she founded with 4 partners in 2009, is a vehicle that is primarily designed to drive structural change through power and knowledge. It is comprised of 2 power companies that develop, own and operate renewable and conventional power plants. Knowledge Pele, the subsidiary that she looks after, is a research and development business that designs and implements economic growth strategies for the development of village and township economies.


Ms Ama Duncan,Ghana,Corporate Training Solutions

Ama Duncan has over 12 years’ experience in the Human Resources Development field and is Founder of Corporate Training Solutions (CTS) where she helps organizations meet their performance targets through corporate training and development activities. She is also Founder of The Fabulous Woman Network (The FWN) where she conducts activities to bring women together to share experiences, learn, network and collaborate.

Through The FWN, Ama has shared life-changing stories of over 170 fabulous women reaching over 3,500,000 people on social media, organised events for over 500 women, connected many women to help and through CTS, she has trained over 900 people. She mentors women and youth, speaks on radio, television shows and in conferences including TEDx Adum, authored a book – Yarns of inspiration I, and is currently an Access Bank W Ambassador as well as a 2017 Mandela Washington Fellow.

With a Masters in Business Administration from Paris Graduate School of Management, France, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from University of Ghana, Ama Duncan is committed to celebrating, developing and inspiring women as well as providing solutions to corporate training needs. She is married with 2 children and live in Ghana with her family.