David Akwara

  • Africa Digital Judge David Akwara north

Founder/Creative Director David Akwara Films

David Akwara is a multiple award-winning filmmaker.

Over the years, his films have been screened at over 50 international film festivals around the World. His most recent documentary, THE RISE (A Journey to Africa's Financial Independence), is a pan-African docu-series on the African Single Market as part of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). As the founder and creative director of David Akwara Films (Ltd), David is also involved in community building through documentary filmmaking, video partnerships, and empowering youth and communities to tell their own stories.

The National Action Committee on African Continental Free Trade Area, Nigeria, and the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to Nigeria's President on Public Matters, to name a few, have funded David's creative work, outreach, and research. In 2022, the President of The Republic of Uganda, H.E Yoweri Museveni invited David Akwara to the 3rd APRM Youth Symposium, and his film THE RISE was screened during the event. He also serves on the advisory board of the Pan African Women Business Association (PABWA).

Rym Bedoui Ayari

  • Africa Digital Judge Rym north

North Africa Judge
Vice President
AmCham Tunisia

Ms. Rym Bedoui is a private sector development specialist with over 25 years of experience working to improve the competitiveness and export-readiness of small and medium businesses across Tunisia. She has an extensive private sector network in the country, cultivated through two decades of work as an entrepreneur, small business owner, and as an Executive Board Member of AmCham Tunisia for 6 executive board mandates, currently serving as Vice president. She was elected in 2012 as the President of the Tunisian American Friendship Association (TAFA).

Ms. Bedoui, CEO of WeFranchiz, is currently advising major Tunisian Groups on international franchise development in Tunisia and abroad- references include KFC, Hardees, Papa John's, Chili's, Johnny Rocket's, Texas Chicken, CPK, Skechers, Nine West, Nike, Century 21, Eric Kayser, GEMO, etc. Ms. Bedoui is collaborating with Tunisian brands to build their franchise system for the local market and internationally.

As a young entrepreneur, she was the Founder and CEO of Agora International, an international trading company specializing in exporting authentic Tunisian food products to the US, Europe, and the Middle East.

Daniel Barker

  • Africa Digital Judge Barker Dan south

Southern Africa Judge
Managing Director

Dan is managing director of the Halcyon, an incubator for early-stage, impact-driven businesses. Dan joined Halcyon from the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth where he was vice president for research focused on building partnerships between academia, nonprofit practitioners, and innovators in the private sector. Prior to Mastercard, Dan was vice president for social impact at BlackRock. Dan first connected with Halcyon during his time as a management consultant at Deloitte where he advised corporate, multilateral, and nonprofit clients on social impact strategy as well as leading the firm’s pro-bono engagement with the incubator. Dan began his career as a researcher at the Council on Foreign Relations and Earth Institute. He holds a master’s in international finance and economic policy from Columbia University and a BA from NYU. He serves on the advisory boards of Global Kids, Inc. and the Guyana Economic Development Trust and a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Helen Emore

  • Africa Digital Judge Ese central

Central Africa Judge
Scientia Partners

Helen Emore is the CEO of Scientia Partners; a Business Development firm; enabling women and youth entrepreneurs to scale in three major growth industries – Agribusiness, Circular Economy, and Creative Industries. Helen is passionate about enabling small businesses’ structure and grow into medium and large-scale ventures. She is an experienced entrepreneur and founder of Aunty Helen Foods with 10+years of board directorship experience across multiple sectors. Helen is using lessons learned from past failed ventures to build new ventures and coach entrepreneurs in the ecosystem.

Helen is also a Ph.D. Research Scholar in Transformational and Youth Entrepreneurship at the International School of Management Paris. She is Adjunct Faculty at Enterprise Development Centre and School of Media and Communication of Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos who has trained 10,000+ MSMEs, and coached and mentored 100+ to grow multi-million Naira ventures in Nigeria.

Mr. Benjamin Gyan-Kesse

  • Africa Digital Judge Gyan Kesse west

West Africa Judge
Executive DirectorKosmos Innovation Center

Ben has 24 years of experience providing support to farmers and developing agribusiness value chain programs. He is an AgriTech Specialist and currently the Executive Director for the Kosmos Innovation Center. He has nurtured over 600+ agri entrepreneurs and incubated 24 startups, supported 127 Agri SMEs.

His past works include building capacity of over 58,000 cocoa farmers across all cocoa regions of Ghana and improving livelihood of farmers in Ghana's Brong Ahafo, Upper East, Upper West and Northern regions through ICT4Ag.

He also worked with Technoserve Ghana as a business Advisor, Wienco-Cocoa Abrabopa Association as Training and Development Manager, Esoko as Business Development Manager, and DAI . Ben is a modern farmer into fruit cultivation and processing.

He is also into foodtech/postharvest loss management, project management, agri-marketing and sales.

Debbie Hirst

  • Africa Digital Judge Debbie Am Cham Libya

North Africa Judge
AmCham Libya

Debbie, President of AmCham Libya, comes from a background in emerging markets, energy, and investment banking. Her experience includes senior positions on the investor, lender, and government sides of projects. She spent many years in Project Finance and Export Finance at BNP Paribas, including as Managing Director and Regional Head, leading an international team located on multiple continents.

Before Libya, she worked for the government of Oman, preparing and running competitive bids for power generation and water desalination plants, as well as managing the privatization of state-owned power facilities.

Resident in Libya since 2013, she is on the board of two Libyan companies in the industrial and construction materials sectors. Libya is the 11th country Debbie has lived in. An American citizen, Debbie has a degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from Vanderbilt University.

Ben Holland

  • Africa Digital Judge Ben south

Southern Africa Judge
Business Development Manager
Corporate & Investment Banking
Standard Bank

Ben has been an investment banking professional for over 14 years, including extensive experience on the African continent, having worked for Standard Bank, Africa’s largest bank by assets, in multiple jurisdictions, and most recently in Mozambique. In Mozambique he headed up their dynamic O&G client franchise business. Previously Ben worked in a strategic management role for Standard Bank with pan-African coverage and a particular focus on strategy and execution. He also has work experience with Barclay’s Africa, Macquarie and Morgan Stanley. His interests include transformative themes such as the Energy Transition and Africa’s emerging tech scene. Ben holds a BCom from Rhodes University in South Africa.

Yusuf Kaka

  • Africa Digital Judge Yusuf south

Southern Africa JudgeSME and Startups Tech Lead Microsoft ATO

Yusuf is an experienced technologists with 20+ years of experience in telecommunications, mobile app development, innovation management and technology leadership. He currently leads SME and Startups Tech at Microsoft ATO. Prior to this, he worked extensively in MTN.

Simon Madjie

  • Africa Digital Judge Simon west

West Africa Judge
Executive Director
AmCham Ghana

Simon Madjie is an investment promotion and facilitation professional with over 10 years experience in initiating, leading, and strengthening investment partnerships between the United States, Ghana, and Africa. He has served as the Executive Secretary of the American Chamber of Commerce, Ghana (AmCham) since 2009 responsible for facilitating trade and investment between the Republic of Ghana and the United States of America. He works closely with Chamber Member companies, Business Coalitions, Government officials, and other business executives to advocate for U.S companies in the country. He is the coordinator of the Chamber’s AfCFTA Resource Center, an institution set up to bridge the information gap about Africa’s biggest trade agreement for international businesses.

He was also instrumental in the signing of a Trade and Investment M.O.U between the U.S Chamber of Commerce, Washington DC, and the Ghana Investment Promotion Center to strengthen and increase trade and investment between Ghana and the U.S. He served as a consultant to the formation of AmChams in Ethiopia, Angola, and the Gambia. Simon has been leading significant investment drives, working with the Ghana Investment Promotion Center, the Ministry of Energy, and private sector actors to organize and showcase Ghana’s oil and gas potential at the annual Offshore Technology Conference (OTC).

Simon, through the American Chamber of Commerce and working with the Ghana Association of Restructuring and Insolvency Advisors (GARIA) and other stakeholders, was very instrumental in undertaking a series of advocacy and engagements with Parliament and the Ministry of Trade to review and enact the revised Companies Act and Insolvency Act. As a lawyer with strong knowledge in investment advisory, Simon has consulted and advised companies to invest in Ghana and has also conducted engagements at various levels of policy-making to improve Ghana’s business environment. Simon is also an expert in local content regulations, advising and advocating for transparent and fair Local Content Regulations in the oil & gas, and mining sectors. Simon is a lawyer called to the Ghana Bar and holds an MBA in Marketing from the University of Ghana.

Melissa Morgan Mensh

  • Africa Digital Judge Melissa east

East Africa Judge
Senior Programs Lead

Melissa Mercedes Morgan Mensah is a resourceful researcher with over seven years of experience overseeing research office activities, and talented in guiding all functions relating to research studies, analysis, and reporting. She has supported various organizations in their research and development efforts to create new products, equipment, and processes.

Melissa conducts meticulous research to identify information and answer multifaceted questions, evaluates potential subject participants to assess suitability for planned research, and plans, modifies, and executes research techniques, procedures, and tests. She formulates business models, tactics, and strategies through independent research and analysis and prepares business plans and proposals for clients across diverse fields.

Melissa has worked with the University of Rhode Island-Coastal Resources Center, serving as a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer under the $25 million USAID Feed-the-Future Sustainable Fisheries Management Project. During the period, she reviewed existing data source quality and collection methods and coordinated with project implementing partners to address identified gaps. She also supported the management of data collection and data quality control processes for the project.

Following this, she served as a Gender, Climate, and Entrepreneurship Advisor on the Accelerating Women Climate Entrepreneurs’ Project (West, East & Southern Africa) implemented by the World University Services of Canada. She is currently the Senior Programs Lead at Innohub, a Business Accelerator and Impact Investment platform, which supports Small and Growing Businesses to become sustainable, scalable, and investment ready, and serves as a platform for matching businesses to the capital needed for growth. Her responsibilities include Grant Writing, Programs design, management and reporting, and Stakeholder Management.

Melissa holds a Master’s degree with Distinction in Engineering and Management from Coventry University and an undergraduate degree in Geomatic Engineering from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. She also holds certificates in Financial Markets, Leadership, Human Subjects Research, Monitoring & Evaluation.

Albert Hilaire Anoubon Momo

  • Africa Digital Judge Albert east

East Africa Judge
Vice President and Executive Director

Albert Hilaire Anoubon Momo is Vice President and Executive Director at Trimble, in charge of the emerging markets and funded projects. Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) is the world leader in geospatial technologies and solutions that transform the way the world works by delivering products and services that connect the physical and digital worlds. Core technologies in positioning, modeling, connectivity, and data analytics enable customers to improve productivity, quality, safety, and sustainability. From purpose-built products to enterprise lifecycle solutions, Trimble’s software, hardware, and services are transforming industries such as agriculture, construction, geospatial, and transportation.

In this role, Albert is at the forefront of Trimble’s international expansion, pursuing projects financed by multilateral development banks, intergovernmental organizations, bilateral development organizations, export credit agencies, private companies, and local governments in emerging countries. Before joining Trimble, Albert worked at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Digital Globe (formerly GeoEye), Bechtel, Rockwell Collins, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Albert is a member of the Applied Sciences Advisory Committee (ASAC) of NASA. From 2020 to 2022, Albert also served as the Chair of the Trimble Foundation, which is a non-profit, donor-advised fund to support Trimble’s philanthropic efforts. He holds multiple higher degrees from Johns Hopkins University (USA), the University of Maryland at College Park (USA), and Ecole Polytechnique de Yaoundé (Cameroon).

Chansa Mwila

  • Africa Digital Judge Chansa Mwila east

East Africa Judge
Chief Executive Officer
AmCham Zambia

Chansa is a results-driven Chief Executive Officer with a forward-thinking approach centered on company success and competitive growth. She has demonstrated a record of success in building a great team and managing profitable operations. A holder of a Master’s degree in business administration and an Innovative Executive Officer bringing a progressive career spanning operations, sales and marketing, business management, and a track record of remarkable growth in the company. She has excellent business acumen and strategic planning skills to drive profitability and margins year over year. Known for strong leadership and communication skills to build and maintain profitable relationships while exceeding revenue goals. Possesses years of experience at the American Chamber of Commerce in Zambia along with an entrepreneurial, forward-thinking mindset that has seen the Chamber increase its membership by strengthening its value proposition and introducing new programs that exercise thought leadership. She is passionate about advocacy and providing a voice for the business community.

Leila Ndiaye

  • Africa Digital Judge Leila Cybastion

North Africa Judge
Senior Vice President, Business Strategy and Government Affairs

Leila Ndiaye is Senior Vice President for Business Strategy and Government Affairs, Cybastion. In this role, she participates in the shaping and operations of business strategies aimed at increasing revenues. She is also responsible for monitoring and ensuring effective relationship with public and private sectors stakeholders. With over 20 years of experience as an African affairs expert and accomplished senior policy and business strategist, Ndiaye has a proven track record in policy design and implementation at the highest level of African governments and the private sector.

Leila Ndiaye served as the Senior Director of Policy for African Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In that position, she developed, promoted, and executed the US-Africa Business Center’s program of work relating to trade policy and investment between the United States and African countries. She initiated and managed the US-ECOWAS Business Initiative and spearheaded the Chamber’s program in Western and Central Sub-Saharan Africa, from Angola to Mauritania. Prior to joining the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, she was the Special advisor to the President of Cote d’Ivoire. She advised the Head of State on a range of policy and economic issues to ensure that all duties were carried out in the country’s best interest. Earlier in her career, Ndiaye held positions in the lobbying arena with Bayh, Connaughton, Fernsteinhem, and Malone, the law firm of former Senator Birch Bayh, in Washington, D.C., where she developed and managed the Africa portfolio, and at the World Bank as a consultant. The Republic of Burkina Faso decorated Ndiaye as a Knight of the National Order of the Republic of Burkina Faso. In addition, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce presented Leila Ndiaye with the “US-Africa Business Center Outstanding Leaders’ Award 2018” in recognition of her exemplary leadership in US-Africa relations.

Leila Ndiaye holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the School of International Service (SIS), at The American University in Washington DC, earned a Master of Arts in Diplomacy from the Diplomatic Academy of London at the University of Westminster, and a Ph.D. in International Relations and Diplomacy, from the Centre d’Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques (CEDS), Paris. She received a certificate from the Thayer Leaders Development Group (TLDG) at West Point for the “Women Leading from the Front Lines” Leadership Academy.

Lino N'shimba

  • Africa Digital Judge Lino central

Central Africa Judge
AmCham DRC

Lino N'shimba is President of the United States Chamber of Commerce in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mr. N'shimba is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of Africa Equity & Investment Group, a strategic consulting and investment firm with a range of multiple economic interests that include the mining sector and specifically copper, cobalt, and lithium.

Also, Mr. N'shimba is president and owner of California-based In Vino Veritas Cellars; producer of the legendary Gravitas Cabernet Sauvignon, and distributor of great Californian wines but also grand crus and spirits of unique quality. In addition, Mr. N'shimba was a manager at Citigroup and then an investment banker for Wells Fargo Advisors at the time the largest American bank; an American financial group based in San Francisco with assets that make it the third largest bank in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company is considered a systemically important financial institution by the Financial Stability Board. The US Chamber of Commerce and its affiliates Amcham is the largest trade federation in the world with more than 3,000,000 Members.

AmCham DRC promotes economic exchanges between the Democratic Republic of Congo and the United States of America. As a platform for meeting, reflection and exchange, AmCham DRC acts as a link between economic circles from various sectors. AmCham DRC brings together Congolese and American companies as well as economic partners committed to the transatlantic relationship. A director at the FEC, Fédération des Entreprises du Congo, Mr. N'shimba is a graduate of Boboto College, a degree from California State University - East Bay in California and holds an MBA Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix in Arizona.

Oo Nwoye

  • Africa Digital Judge AWS centralwest

Central Africa Judge
Senior BD, West and Central Africa

Oo Nwoye is Senior BD, Amazon Web Services for West and Central Africa, where he helps the most promising startups be successful. He previously ran Fonebase Labs, a Nigerian technology company whose products were Fonenode - a telephony API, and Callbase - a virtual contact center.

In his spare time, he writes about technology some of which have been syndicated and quoted in the local and international press, including TechCabal, CNN, The Economist, Bloomberg, and Business Insider among others. He also advises and invests in technology startups while working to position younger Nigerians in becoming part of the global conversation in technological innovation and investment.

KCOB, B.Eng. (UNIBEN), M.Sc. (Warwick).

David Ofori

  • Africa Digital Judge David Ofori

North Africa Judge
Head of Operations, Ghana Digital Centres Ltd.

David is an accomplished Executive Manager with multifaceted experience and proven ability to re-energize and restructure organizations, develop strategic initiatives and capture emerging business opportunities. He is a results-oriented and decisive leader, adept at forging lucrative relationships with key partners, vendors, and clients, and recognized for turning around struggling company operations to achieve sustained growth. He is also adept at identifying potential risks and suggesting recommendations for improvements to achieve business objectives.

David is currently the Head of Operations at the Accra Digital Center; Ghana's foremost Science and Technology Park, which has provided Entrepreneurship and Innovation support to over 200 technology start-ups and SMEs, and supported the roll-out of Digital Skills Development for youth from disadvantaged backgrounds.

He also doubles as the Executive Director of the Ghana Oracle Digital Enterprise Program (GODEP), an initiative focused on mentoring and nurturing startup companies in Technology and Innovation.

David is currently a member of the Expert Panel of Judges for innovation at the International Telecoms Union (ITU) based in Geneva, Switzerland, and a permanent guest speaker at the bi-annual Tech-in-Ghana conference since its inception in 2017. He is passionate about technology entrepreneurship and innovation.

Maxwell Okello

  • Africa Digital Judge Maxwell east

East Africa Judge
Chief Executive Officer
AmCham Kenya

Maxwell Okello is an accomplished trusted advisor and well-rounded professional with compelling success working at a senior executive level. He is the current Chief Executive Officer of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Kenya, a business services member organization that is at the intersection of public policy and the private sector - focused on creating economic opportunity and transforming lives through trade & investment between Kenya and USA.

Maxwell embodies a unique combination of experience as a startup founder, management consultant, and nonprofit leader, enabling an intimate understanding of multiple perspectives, exposure to a broad array of challenges, and the ability to creatively solve complex problems across business contexts. He has deep experience building mutually reinforced networks to catalyze business growth, with the ability to bridge public-private sector perspectives.

Before joining the Chamber, Maxwell was the immediate former Managing Partner and Co-Founder of ATOM-TDF, a boutique strategy consulting firm specializing in Business Innovation, Brand Strategy, and Advisory, where he advised many Boards, CEOs, and Senior Management teams across Banking, Insurance, Manufacturing and Non-Profits in Kenya and the region.

Maxwell firmly believes that the best way to create sustainable social impact and prosperity in Africa is by catalyzing entrepreneurship, enhancing business, and promoting trade and investment across all sectors of the economy.

Margaret Olele 

  • Africa Digital Judge magaret west

West Africa Judge
CEO/Executive Secretary
American Business Council Nigeria    

Margaret Obiageli Olele is currently the Chief Executive Officer/ Executive Secretary of the American Business Council. Prior to this role, she was the Corporate Affairs director for Pfizer in West, East, and Southern African Markets responsible for public affairs and communication engagements, and for three years led the Access, Key Accounts, Tenders, and Institution Business in addition to the Corporate Affairs role.

She has over 30 years of experience engaging governments in Africa on behalf of the private sector and 25 years of leadership experience in the Food and Pharma Industry traversing Government Affairs, Business Development, regulatory, communication, and Quality Management system auditing across sub-Saharan Africa.

Margaret has provided expertise to Government Agencies including the technical standards and National Codex Alimentarius Committees of the Standard Organization of Nigeria, the Vetting and compliance Panel of Nigeria Advertising Regulatory Agency in charge of vetting all advertising and communication materials, and more recently National Office of Technology, Acquisition, and Promotion.

She also provided expertise and capacity-building advisory to patient Advocacy Groups, Chambers, Women, and trade and industry associations on growth and expansion strategies. Some of these include the Africa Pharmaceutical Forum, International Alliance for Patient Associations (IAPO Africa), AMCHAM Cameroon, and Wimbiz.

Margaret is a fellow of the Advertising Practitioners’ Council of Nigeria, the highest award of the Advertising Profession in Nigeria. She has a BA in English and Literature, MA in English, and an MSc. in Mass Communication specializing in Public Relations and Advertising. She is an adjunct Faculty teaching Brand strategy and communication at the graduate school of Media and Communication.

Emeka Ossai

  • Africa Digital Judge Emeka south

Southern Africa Judge
Campus Labs

Emeka is the founder of Campus Labs - a social enterprise focused on designing and implementing solutions that address the curriculum gaps in Nigerian higher institutions focusing strongly on Entrepreneurship, Employability, and Technology skills for young people. Some of his solutions and past projects include "The Nigerian Campus Enterprise Challenge" - A gamified national entrepreneurship contest, where university students form teams and compete to own and manage a coffee shop on their campus for 1 year, including all the profits. This project had over 250 teams participate through 4 editions with some of the participants today becoming “emerging young business leaders” across different industries.

He is also the convener of "Wake Up and Smell The Coffee" a project he started in his final year in the University of Ibadan. WSC is a knowledge-sharing event where participating undergraduates learn from top industry leaders about emerging sectors of the economy, evolving workplace trends, and the skill sets required for top graduate employees. The last edition had over 2000 participants from 6 campuses and the investment of Microsoft among other top organizations. Emeka is also a two-time winner of the reciprocal exchange award - where he collaborated with American professionals to co-design and travel to Nigeria to implement a series of employability /entrepreneurship boot camp for over 200 undergraduates over a two-year period. Alumni of this programme have gone on to Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America to mention a few. In 2019, Emeka designed the Disability Hackathon (the first on a Nigerian Campus) - which featured 31 student-led teams in a 5-day marathon series of App innovation, prototyping, and testing, aimed at creating market-viable technology solutions for persons with disability. Three participating teams won start-up grants to further experiment with their idea.  

Emeka is a recipient of numerous awards and prizes for his contribution to the development of the entrepreneurship ecosystem & higher education in Nigeria including the prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship, an initiative of the US State Department for young African leaders, where he attended the Business & Entrepreneurship institute at the University of Texas at Austin. In 2019 Emeka worked with Coca-Cola on the Global Project “Youth Empowered", where he co-led the strategy & implementation as a co-technical consultant of the project, which impacted over 5000 young people across 6 Universities. He has led the design and implementation of other programmes such as the “Data 4 Learning” Campus Challenge, the “Employability incubator” to mention a few. Currently, he is working with several university partners and corporates to help set up entrepreneurship labs and spaces on campuses for innovative students to access practical entrepreneurship & employability education, business mentoring, funding opportunities with the end goal of spurring innovative and entrepreneurial action across university campuses, while also building talent pipelines for organizations to benefit from.

Ezéchiel Passam Mukwade

  • Africa Digital Judge Ezekeil centeral

Central Africa Judge
Executive Director
AmCham Cameroon

Ezéchiel PASSAM MUKWADE is currently the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Cameroon.

Ezéchiel served for 31 years in the Banking Industry in Cameroon. He held two executive positions as Deputy General Manager of the local subsidiary of the French Bank Societe Generale in Cameroon from 2017 to 2020 and Deputy General Manager of the US Citibank subsidiary in Cameroon from 2013 to 2017. He held many other senior positions ranging from Human Resources, legal, Compliance, Credit Administration and Public affairs.

Ezéchiel holds a Ph.D. equivalent in Business Law and was a university lecturer before his banking career. Ezéchiel serves also as an independent Director in a Microfinance Institution and a Bank.

Hiroki Sayama

  • Africa Digital Judge Hiroki east

East Africa Judge
Representative Director
Boeing International Corporation, Ethiopia, Nigeria
Board Vice President, American Chamber of Commerce, Ethiopia

Hiroki is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and is responsible for customer relations and technical support operations in Africa to ensure maintaining a safe and healthy sky over the continent. He also acts as country director to administrate local entity operations in Ethiopia, Nigeria, and several other countries. Before his current role, Hiroki was based in Seattle, WA, led 787 and 747 Entry Into Service (EIS) operations and supported customers for their EIS readiness and execution prior to new aircraft delivery. Hiroki came to Ethiopia in 2012 for one year and a half and engaged in 787 EIS for Ethiopian Airlines as his first assignment in Africa. Hiroki joined The Boeing Company in July 2002 and has been engaging in Field Service technical customer support business for 20 years around the globe. Previously, he worked for United Airlines as a Lead Maintenance Technician and Human Factors Instructor for 10 years. Hiroki also serves as Board Vice President for the American Chamber of Commerce,

Ethiopia, and has been dedicated to strengthening economic and trade ties between Ethiopia and the United States to contribute to local industry, economy, and community development.

Hiroki completed an Aviation Maintenance course from the Sierra Academy of Aeronautics, Oakland, CA, and holds the FAA-certified Aircraft Maintenance licensee. He has an accounting background from the California State University, Hayward, and also earned B.S. in Aeronautics and MBA in Aviation with Finance from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL.

Dr. Otily Toutsop

  • Africa Digital Judge Otily central

Central Africa Judge
Cybersecurity Products Manager
Cybastion Institute of Technology

Dr. Toutsop serves as the Cybersecurity Products Manager at Cybastion Institute of Technology, she oversees all Cybastion cybersecurity services across their lifecycle - ideation through marketing and sales management. She works in the areas of SOC, PKI, Proxy, secure DNS, Firewall security enhancement, and policy management, collaborates with product owners, end users, and other stakeholders to gather product requirements and manage relationships with external vendors and partners when selected to provide solutions. At Morgan State University, she worked as the Teacher Assistant (TA) for Advanced Network Security, Advanced Software Assurance, Security Management, and Communication Network.

She has been working with the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) for the past two years and conducted research with the Center for Reverse Engineering and Assured Microelectronics (CREAM) and the Cybersecurity Assurance and Policy (CAP) center. Her research interests focus on IoT Security, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, cyber physical system, software security, home automation systems, and networking security. Her work has been published in several conferences, including the IEEE Computer Science, IEEE Applied Imagery Pattern Recognition Workshop (AIPR), IEEE International Conference on Internet of Things: Systems, Management, and Security (IoTSMS), IEEE Future Internet of Things, and Cloud (FiCloud), IEEE International Conference on Smart Innovations (SCI).

She received her Bachelor's degree in computer science and Networking Systems from the National School of Post and Telecommunication in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Dr. Toutsop received her Ph.D. and Master’s in Secure Embedded Systems from Morgan State University.

Amour Zalia

  • Africa Digital Judge Amour south

Southern Africa Judge
Founder and Board Chairman
The Bythiah Project (TBP)

Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Amour ZALIA holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Phoenix, Arizona since 2008, and currently pursuing her PhD in the field of Education at the same University. She is the Founder and Chairman of the Board at THE BYTHIAH PROJECT (TBP), a Non-Governmental Organization, based in Kinshasa (DRC), focusing on youth in the fields of Education, Health, and Sport (with the aim to expanding into other countries for social development). The organization, which was founded in 2010, mainly focuses to assisting and educating young people with sickle cell disease, children born infected with HIV, epilepsy, and Handicap.

From 1999-2016, she worked for private sector in the Banking, Telecommunications, Real Estate, Retail, and Infrastructure industries (in the United States and the DRC). At the end of 2016, she joined the public sector within the Congolese Government (DRC) as Advisor in charge of relations with North America, Finance, Economy and Logistics to the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs. Then in 2019, as the Advisor in charge of International Cooperation and Investment of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Infrastructure and Public Works in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since 2019.

With over 23 years of professional experience, she is an Independent Consultant with expertise in Investment, Business Management, Training, and Organizational Audit. Amour ZALIA is also an Executive Board member at Cornelia Consulting Group. Languages: English, French, Tetela & Lingala.

Eve Zalwango

  • Africa Digital Judge Eve east

East Africa Judge
General Manager
AmCham Uganda

Eve Zalwango is the General Manager of the American Chamber of Commerce in Uganda and is a key representative and advocate for AmCham member firms. She is a YALI (Young African Leadership Initiative) graduate through the U.S department of state, and also holds the Women 4 Women Award – Best Businesswoman in Uganda in 2018.