YALI Entrepreneurs Supported by State Department, USADF to Attend DEMO 2014



Press Release

August 8th 2014

State Department, USADF to support YALI entrepreneurs to DEMO Africa 2014

The U.S Department of State and the U.S. Africa Development Foundation (USADF) will support selected Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) entrepreneurs to attend and participate in the DEMO Africa 2014 conference, to be held in Lagos, Nigeria, on September 25 – 26. This announcement was made at a gathering of 500 Young African leaders, a forum that was addressed by the US President Barack Obama.

The move by the State Department was further emphasized by the prominence accorded to DEMO Africa at the 2014 US Africa Leaders’ Summit. The support has been welcomed by the DEMO Africa secretariat and the September event Local Organizing Committee (LOC) in Nigeria.

The LOC’s Chairman Yele Okeremi, commented that the State Department and USADF drive to support young African entrepreneurs serves to catalyze the economic growth of the continent. “We are excited that our efforts to grow Africa are getting support from critical quarters. Support for start-up entrepreneurs is a solid move towards making Africa a first world given that the growth of the continent largely rests on the actions and decisions of these young entrepreneurs.”

Joining the LOC Chairman to commend the decision by US State Department and USADF, DEMO Africa Executive Producer Harry Hare added that African entrepreneurs need to work together to find world class solutions to needs that the continent is currently facing. “We look forward to sharing the platform with YALI entrepreneurs. I am sure that every attendee will leave having been further enriched with ideas.”

The State Department also announced plans to set up four Regional Leadership Centers in Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, and South Africa. The centers, which are set to begin operations in early 2015, are meant to improve the availability and quality of leadership training programs and professional development opportunities for young African leaders.

DEMO Africa recently released the list of the final forty start-ups that will get an opportunity to launch their product at the DEMO Africa in Lagos, Nigeria. Prior to the event, the start-ups will benefit from a six week coaching and mentorship program to be spearheaded by DEMO Africa and the US State Department. The mentorship program will be coordinated by Dr. Susan Amat, CEO of VentureHive, and will include both local and international mentors and coaches.

As witnessed in the previous events, the September event is expected to attract top notch African investors. Participant registration is already open on https://www.eventbrite.com/e/demo-africa-2014-tickets-10936486325. The DEMO Africa Secretariat has put together a special package for investor delegates, which includes:

  • 15% discount on a DEMO Africa ticket
  • 15% discount on a VC4A Pro Account, 
  • Access to the companies’ financials
  • Ticket to the Investor Cocktail on DEMO Africa’s opening evening, 
  • Ticket to a special Investor Boomcamp
  • Access to a special Investor Lounge and Deal Room at DEMO Africa

More information on this package can be found at http://vc4afri.ca/h6j8u

DEMO Africa 2014 is scheduled to take place between September 22- 26 at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos,Nigeria. This year’s event is being organized in collaboration with the LIONS@FRICA partners (Microsoft, Nokia, US State Department, DEMO, USAID, African Development Bank, and VC4Africa, among others) and Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies.

For more information please contact:

Evelyne Wangui | Project and Communication Manager
Office:+254  20  404 1646
Mobile:+254  726 087 451
Email: evelyne.wangui@demo-africa.com

Mr. Yele Okeremi | Chairman, Nigerian Local Organising Committee
Mobile: +234 803 304 1049
Email: yele@thepfs.biz

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Ethel Cofie, Ghanaian IT Consultant Selected for President Obama Fellowship

iSpace Foundation is happy to announce Selection of Ethel Cofie  one of its supporters for the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Washington Fellowship. iSpace is a space for developers, innovators, entrepreneurs and technology lovers to come together in a shared facility and work together.
The Washington Fellowship is the new flagship program of the President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).  This program will bring over 500 young leaders to the United States for leadership training, academic coursework, and mentoring, and will create unique opportunities in Africa to put those new skills to practical use .

As part of the Fellowship Ethel  will be  Interacting with President Obama at a Presidential Summit in Washington DC, Participate in an intensive academic and leadership program at YALE University and meet with U.S. government, civic, and business leaders;
Ethel Cofie  is an IT  and Strategy consultant with a passion to  support businesses in their efforts to provide customers with great service/product, provide excellent customer service and make profit by providing excellent and appropriate technology solutions.

Her experience spans a variety of countries including UK, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone and she has worked on projects like the Bill and Melinda Gates Funded Mobile Technology for Health and Ford Foundation funded election-monitoring project for Nigerian Elections.

After resigning her role as Head of Commercial Solutions at Vodafone, She started her own Company Edel Consultancy which is the vehicle for driving her passion (www.edelitconsult.com ).

She also runs monthly Women in Technology Knowledge sharing series an informal networking group focused on education and enhancing women’s careers


One of the tenets of the YALI Fellowship will be to share lessons learnt with all and Ethel will be doing that by sharing her journey on her website www.yali.ethelcofie.com
She will also be sharing videos of the inspiring stories of the other participants on her Youtube channel and promoting Ghana and Ghanaian businesses with her online presence.

To learn more about this, please contact:
Ethel Cofie