Meet The Team
ACN is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. We are organised by region and so depending on the location of your company you can contact us in East, West, Southern and North Africa.
Vice President | Lifelong Engagementssurianarain@africanleadershipacademy.org
Sharmi is the Vice President of Lifelong Engagement at African Leadership Academy, where she leads the effort to connect ALA young leaders and MasterCard Foundation Scholars to opportunities for impact across the African continent. Sharmi oversees the day-to-day operations of the ACN team in Johannesburg. Sharmi joined ALA in February 2012, when she was responsible for management of institutions and individuals supporting ALA as donors, corporate partners and visitors. Sharmi has extensive experience in human capital management and education across Southern Africa, India, and the United States. Prior to ALA, Sharmi was Associate Director at Resolve Consulting in Johannesburg where she provided strategic advice to top tier African clients including the Development Bank of South Africa, Transnet Capital Projects, and the Government of Mozambique. Sharmi was a Development Associate at a charter school management company in New York, and was a Research Associate at the education NGO Pratham in India. She holds a BA from Harvard College, an MA from the Harvard School of Education and an MS from the Kellogg School of Management. Sharmi is currently the Vice President of the Harvard University Association of South Africa.
Vice President | Lifelong Engagement
Manager | West and Central Africajlarbi@africanleadershipacademy.org
Joan Larbi joined ALA in 2015, working with the Strategic Relations department to engage the Academy’s donors. She previously served as a Teach For America corps member, teaching in a public school in Miami and, prior to that, collected data to evaluate a USAID-funded edtech project in Ghana. Her role within ACN is to manage corporate and student relationships, and oversee internship and career placements for the West and Central Africa regions.
Joan is a 2012 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in International Relations and Economics, and minored in African Studies and French. Originally from Ghana, she grew up in both Nigeria and Syria, and channels her inner ‘Black Star’ by playing social soccer and dancing to Afrobeat songs for fun.
Manager | West and Central Africa
North Africa - Africa Careers Network ConsultantAChukura@africanleadershipacademy.org
Amanda Chukura is a youth development activist from Botswana passionate about youth development issues and has a strong background in the civil society sector. Amanda is the Founder of the Gifted Hands Society in Botswana; an NGO focused on providing professional development training and life skills education to high school and university students. Over the past 5 years, Amanda has gained a well-developed understanding of contemporary issues facing young people living in Africa in the areas of health, education and youth unemployment. Amanda co-authored a national research paper for the 2014 AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia while working as a research assistant for a medical institution in Botswana. She holds a BA(Hons) in Finance and Accounting and a Postgraduate in Enterprise Risk Management. She is a MILEAD fellow, an advocate and enjoys travelling. Amanda is interested in working with governments, corporates and communities to tackle youth unemployment and develop the African continent. She joins ALA as North Africa - Africa Careers Network Consultant.
North Africa - Africa Careers Network Consultant
Manager | Southern Africapmartin@africanleadershipacademy.org
Phiona manages corporate and student relationships in Southern Africa and oversees internship and career placements for those regions. She is a registered Industrial Psychologist with a particular interest in talent and career development. She has extensive work experience within the areas of Leadership Development, Psychometrics, Change Management, Talent Management, Organisational Development, Career Development, Workshop Development and Facilitation, Competency Frameworks, Job Profiling, Shared Services and Recruitment. Phiona completed her Undergraduate and Honours degree at Rhodes University and proceeded to do her Masters in Industrial and Organisational Psychology with UNISA.
Manager | Southern Africa
Director: Africa Careers Network | Manager East Africa | MCF Partnership Coordinatoraewinyu@africanleadershipacademy.org
Ayado has worked at KPMG gaining consultancy exposure fulfilling project coordination roles and delivering people and change solutions. Her key areas of exposure include human capital management solutions, organizational design solutions, project coordination and change management. Ayado has assisted various clients in facilitating workforce planning and transitioning initiatives. She also has experience working in East Africa as a consultant delivering training and supporting tax, audit and advisory projects for various clients. Ayado holds an M Phil in Industrial Organisational Psychology from the University of Johannesburg