Naasu Genevieve Fofanah
Naasu Genevieve Fofanah is an entrepreneur, author, and public administrator with extensive gender and global public policy experience. An award-winning women and girls rights activist, she has championed controversial issues globally. She launched Susue Women’s Finance during the COVID-19 pandemic to influence government policy on women’s business and access to finance. Susue Women’s Finance and Sierra Leone Commercial Bank formed the Women’s Bank Initiative to offer savings and loans at single-digit interest rates.
The Bank of Sierra Leone Financial Literacy Working Group elected Ms. Fofanah Co-Chair in 2022.
Naasu was Sierra Leone’s first Special Gender Adviser to erstwhile President Ernest Bai Koroma. She initiated and spearheaded gender equality and women’s (GEWE) as a priority in the National Strategy Document—Agenda for Prosperity (2013–2018). GEWE was then expanded into a separate policy and recently became landmark legislation (the GEWE Act 2022), signed by President Julius Maada Bio.
Naasu became the first Sierra Leonean and Vice Chairperson to represent West Africa at UNECA’s Women and Development Bureau. During her tenure, she provided technical support for the Common African Position Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Naasu is a Yale World Fellow (2023) and Guest Fellow Timothy Dwight College, Yale University.
She holds an EMPA from New York University/University College London (Pentland Scholar 2018), an MA from the Institute of Education at UCL, and a BSc (Hons) from the University of Westminster.
Dr. Waheed O. Awonuga
Dr. Waheed O. Awonuga is a remarkable individual whose diverse background in medicine and entrepreneurship reflects a profound passion for both the healthcare field and creative pursuits.
Dr. Awonuga’s journey in the field of medicine is marked by his dedication and commitment to serving his community. He earned a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree from the University of Sierra Leone and currently serves as a resident physician at the University of Sierra Leone Teaching Hospital Complex. His journey in the medical field is exemplified by his successful completion of the West African College of Physician Primaries Examination, demonstrating his continuous pursuit of excellence. His ultimate aspiration is to become a consultant family physician, specialising in emergency medicine, showcasing his commitment to providing healthcare services, particularly in critical situations.
Dr. Awonuga’s entrepreneurial journey began to take shape during his time in medical school, where he seamlessly combined his medical studies with a burgeoning interest in business. He initiated an entrepreneurial venture under the banner “WAHID,” an acronym representing “winning and highly inspired designs,” which primarily focused on graphic design and printing services. His foray into photography was serendipitous, triggered by a friend’s request for help during her wedding. Despite having limited prior knowledge of photography, he seized the opportunity, which ultimately led to the establishment of “Infinity Studios.” Driven by ambition and vision, he later entered into a partnership, leading to the transformation of “Infinity Studios” into “ZOOM Creative Media.” Under his guidance, Zoom Creative Media thrived, expanding from a single shop to a multi-office establishment.
Following the dissolution of the partnership, Dr. Awonuga resurrected “Infinity Studios” under the new brand name “Infinity Creative Media.” This venture now operates in diverse creative fields, including photography, media consulting, videography, and printing services. One of Dr. Awonuga’s notable attributes is his ability to mentor and nurture young talents, many of whom initially had little to no knowledge of photography but have since become skilled photographers and editors. His journey has been characterised by challenges and rewards, reflecting his resilience and unwavering determination in pursuing his entrepreneurial passions.
Dr. Waheed O. Awonuga is celebrated for his capacity to inspire and motivate others to realise their full potential. His remarkable commitment to both medicine and entrepreneurship showcases his versatility and unwavering dedication to making a positive impact on his community and beyond. Dr. Awonuga’s story serves as a testament to the power of determination, innovation, and a profound passion for both healthcare and the creative arts. His ability to balance a thriving medical career with entrepreneurial endeavours underscores his commitment to personal and professional growth.
William Conteh is a distinguished individual with a diverse and accomplished professional background. He is a serial entrepreneur, an educationist, a published author, and a dedicated private sector development specialist. William’s educational foundation includes an MBA degree. With a robust and impactful career, William has been actively engaged in numerous private sector development initiatives and projects. His valuable contributions to the field have been recognized through his role as a consultant for the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group.
William has also demonstrated exceptional leadership in the academic arena. He is serving as the head of the Entrepreneurship Program at the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM), the premier business school in Sierra Leone. His commitment to educating the next generation of entrepreneurs is a testament to his passion for nurturing talent and innovation. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Entrepreneurship, with a research focus on Entrepreneurship Ecosystems in Fragile States in Africa. His dedication to this challenging field not only demonstrates his commitment to academic excellence but also his desire to drive positive change in regions facing unique challenges.