The Harvard University Center for African Studies (CAS) Leadership Council is an internationally recognized, interdisciplinary body at Harvard University that aims to broaden public and scholarly awareness of Africa, the African experiences and perspectives.
The Leadership Council, made up of a group of dynamic young leaders from across the African continent, is drawn from the Harvard community and beyond, with geographic representation across the continent. In addition to geographic diversity, the Council is made up of leaders in a variety of fields, including the arts, science and technology, health, government, and entrepreneurship. Members engage with CAS and members of its Africa Advisory Council to shape CAS and Harvard University’s broader engagement with Africa as a continent.
On her Instagram account, Patricia Nzolantima wrote
“I could not be more grateful or more excited to have been appointed, along with my Kenyan friend Amandla Ooko-Ombaka, as co-chair of the Leadership Council of the Center for African Studies at Harvard University for the next three years. Michelle Obama said “Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be autonomous. Empower yourself with a good education. Then go ahead and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promises. Lead by example with hope; never be afraid. “Our desire to deepen Harvard University’s ties to Africa will enable the Governing Council to help shape the center’s intellectual agenda in the years to come. We are convinced that African women are the future of Africa. Women will play a major role during this decade. The future of Africa is feminine. Leaders instill in their people hope for success and self-confidence. Positive leaders empower people to achieve their goals. I am so grateful for all the failures and setbacks that have made me stronger, and for the small and big victories that I have cherished. I feel incredibly grateful to those who encouraged me to come to this. and for the small and big victories that I have cherished. I feel incredibly grateful to those who encouraged me to come to this. and for the small and big victories that I have cherished. I feel incredibly grateful to those who encouraged me to come to this.
This one is for you. There is so much to share with you. Share your story, your journey, you never know how much you have influenced people’s lives. I wish you a new season of breakthroughs”.
Serial entrepreneur, Patricia Nzolantima has over 18 years of experience in entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment. It is since May 2017 that she was selected as one of 20 Africans from across the continent as a member of the Leadership Council of the Center for African Studies at Harvard University.
Patricia Nzolantima is the founder and president of Bizzoly Holdings, a women-owned business and foundation. In this context, she created Ubizcabs, the first taxi company run by women in the Democratic Republic of Congo and “Ubizdelivery”, the first female logistics services. She is also the founder of Bizzoly Brands and Co. Sarl, a consumer goods company, specializing in household products and value chains.
Patricia Nzolantima is also the co-founder and CEO of EXP-Comuni-cart, a marketing agency based in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In March 2020, she launched the first female driver academy to empower women in transport and logistics.
In 2018, in partnership with UBA Group, Patricia Nzolantima launched the first women’s visa prepaid card in the DRC, with the “Working Ladies brand” to fund women entrepreneurs’ projects through her Women’s Economic Empowerment Hub. In January 2020, she signed a partnership with VISA International to launch the first female digital bank.
In 2012, Patricia Nzolantima was the first woman in the DRC to be selected and to participate in the Young African Leaders (YALI) program, Mandela Fellowship, an initiative of former President Barack Obama.
At the international level, Patricia Nzolantima is a member of several professional organizations and was a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. She has participated several times in the GES (Global entrepreneurship summit) and opened the plenary session of the conference with former Secretary of State John Kerry in Silicon Valley.
In December 2020, Patricia Nzolantima obtained her doctorate in business administration, with a specialization in entrepreneurship, from Virginia Commonwealth University and the School of London.
In addition, she holds a Masters in Law from the Protestant University of Congo (DRC) and a Masters in Business, English and Marketing Management from the Institute of Cape Town Studies, South Africa. In addition, she earned an MBA from Harvard University Business School. She is a graduate (Cohort 4) of Stanford University’s Seed Transformation Program, the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, which works to end the cycle of global poverty. She graduated from Alibaba Business School, e-founder program. A program designed to empower African business owners to build sustainable businesses.
Kenyan economist and associate partner at McKinsey
For her part, Amandla Ooko-Ombaka is an economist and associate partner at McKinsey, specializing in agriculture and food. She co-leads Mckinsey’s agricultural department in Africa and leads the McKinsey Agricultural Transformation Center (MCAF). She specializes in strategy focused on the development of the agricultural sector, food and nutritional security, the marketing of agricultural inputs and consumer products in emerging markets as well as digital applications for agriculture.
Amandla Ooko-Ombaka, as co-director of McKinsey’s agricultural practice in Africa, works across Africa and the world with governments to develop their agricultural sectors, and with private agri-input and feed companies to better serve their farmers and consumers.
Amandla Ooko-Ombaka has participated in televised conversations with several African presidents and former heads of state, central bank governors, CEOs of pioneering billion-dollar African and global companies, presidents of leading international universities and other new generation African leaders. She is a member of the board of directors of the Harvard Center for African Studies, a member of the board of directors of Sanergy (a non-profit organization), a member of the advisory board of LendHer Capital and Emerging Public Leaders-Kenya, and a co-founder of the Yale Leadership Institute.
Co-author of McKinsey’s series on the economic impact of COVID-19 in Africa, Amandla Ooko-Ombaka is quoted in numerous media, including CNN, BBC, Africa.com and Business Daily, and regularly hosts sessions on the main stage for high-level continental forums on agriculture and development, including the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) and the Tana Forum.
Prior to joining McKinsey, Amandla was a lecturer in economics at Strathmore University (Kenya) and a strategy advisor to several global S&P and FTSE companies, governments and startups, including the Kerry Group, GenPact, the Rwandan government, the African Leadership Network and Mums Village.
A Kenyan national, Amandla Ooko-Ombaka has lived and traveled in more than 50 countries. She holds a BA in economics and international studies with honors from Yale University, an MPA in international development and an MBA with honors from Harvard, where she was a member of the Center for Public Leadership.