Extraordinary Voices: Dambisa Moyo, International Economist, New York Times Bestseller, and Public Speaker

Dambisa Moyo has written and lectured on topics ranging from global markets, the impact of geopolitics on the economy, the future of the job market, the outlook for growth in China, and the past and future paths of interest rates.

Dambisa Moyo was born 2nd February, 1969 to Orlean Y. Moyo and Stephen Moyo in Lusaka, Zambia. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, an MBA from American University, an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a DPhil in Economics from Oxford.

She is prominently known for her economic theories on macroeconomics, international development, and global affairs.

A Woman of Great Feats

She became a regular columnist and contributor to many financial networks and multinational business publications, as well as a speaker at conferences and other venues worldwide.

Moyo is a world renowned public speaker. She has participated in several talks and won several debates. She holds more than one board seat. She worked with the World Bank for two years and with Goldman Sachs eight years. Soon after leaving Goldman Sachs she became a board member of the International brewer SABMiller in 2009. As chairman of the company’s Corporate Accountability and Risk Assurance Committee, she oversaw the company’s responsibilities in relation to corporate accountability, including sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, corporate social investment, and ethical commercial behaviour.

In 2010, she joined the board of directors of the Barclays Bank where she sits on three of the board’s committees: the Audit Committee; the Conduct, Operational ADHD Reputational Risk Committee, and the financial risk committee.

By 2011, she was on the board of directors of the international mining company Barrick Gold. There as with Barclays, she sits on three of the board’s committees.

In 2015, Moyo joined the board of directors of data storage company Seagate Technology.

On August 9th, 2016, Moyo’s election to Chevron’s board of directors was announced.

She’s a former board member of the charity Lundin for Africa, a former patron of Absolute Return for Kids (ARK), and a former board member of Room to Read.

New York Times Bestseller

By 2015 Dambisa Moyo had travelled to more than 75 countries, examining the political, economic and financial workings of economies.

The publication of her first book Dead Aid: Why Aid is not Working and how there is a Better Way for Africa (2009), brought together her career of investigative writing and analysis of economic conditions.

In her 2009 book Dead Aid, she discusses foreign aid and why African countries should not rely wholly on it for development. She is brutally honest about how “charity” is actually killing her country Zambia and other African countries.

According to Moyo;
Many Africans are now addicted to Aid. Foreign aid, in a way, brings up corrupt governments by providing them with freely usable cash. These corrupt governments interfere with the rule of law, the establishment of transparent civil institutions and the protection of civil liberties, making both domestic and foreign investment in poor countries unattractive. With fewer investments there is limited economic growth, which leads to fewer job opportunities and increasing poverty levels. In response to growing poverty, donors give more aid, which continues the cycle.

Moyo has three New York Times Bestselling books to her credit: Dead Aid: Why Aid is not Working and how there is a Better Way for Africa (2009), How the West was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly – and the Stark Choices that Lie Ahead (2011), and Winner Take All: China’s Race for Resources and What it Means for the World (2012) 

A Celebrated Leader and Visionary

In 2009, Moyo was named a World Economic Forum “Young Global Leader”, one of TIMES’ 100 Most Influential People, and one of Oprah Winfrey’s “20 Remarkable Visionaries”.
On March 14th, 2011, Moyo spoke at the annual Observance ceremony marking Commonwealth Day in Westminster Abbey. She spoke on “Women as Agents of Change” in the presence of the Queen Elizabeth II, British Prime Minister David Cameroon and 2000 guests.

In the same month, she was selected by The Daily Beat as one of the “150 Extraordinary Women Who Shake The World” along with Hilary Clinton, Madeleine Albright  and others.

In 2014, she signed up for NYC Marathon.
“I wanted to do something about the school girls who had been abducted in Nigeria that year. I raised over $20,000 through Team for Kids. Thinking of their trauma was such a motivation for me.” Dambisa Moyo inspires through her work, writing and sport.

Dambisa Moyo is one of the 30 Extraordinary Voices featured in the Women’s Month Series by AWLO. Click on your favorite social media button below to share if you have been inspired by her.

Extraordinary Voices: Kirsty Coventry, Swimming Icon, Seven-time Olympic Gold Medalist, and Founder of Kirsty Coventry Foundation 

“Sport has the power to bring us together but our Flag has the power to keep us united.” Kirsty Coventry

Kirsty Leigh Coventry was born on 16th September, 1983 in Harare, Zimbabwe to Rob and Lyn Coventry. She attended Dominican Convent High School, Harare, Zimbabwe. While at Auburn University, Alabama, USA, she swum competitively winning several medals.

A Woman of Great Worth

Coventry made her maiden debut at the world’s biggest sporting showcase as a sprightly 16-year-old Dominican Convent High School’s pupil at the 2000 Sydney Games in Australia.

She made top ten finalists for Zimbabwe National Sports Person of the Year in 1999. Swam at the All-Africa Games in the same year. Qualified at the South Africa Senior Championships for the Olympics in 100 backstroke, 200 IM, 100 freestyle and 50 free. In 1998, she competed in the Commonwealth Games where she made semi finals in the 200 IM.

In the year 2000, Coventry was named Zimbabwean’s Sports Woman of the Year for being the first Zimbabwean woman to reach the semi finals at the Olympics. She accomplished this feat while she was yet in high school.

Coventry Breaks World Swimming Record

The Zimbabwe swimmer, Kirsty Coventry, set a new world record of 2 minutes .91 seconds in the 200m backstroke, at the 9th FINA World Swimming Championship in Manchester, England. She had already won gold in the 100m backstroke and her first world record in the 400m Individual Medley.

Her time of four minutes and 26.52 seconds in the 400 meter Individual Medley at the 2004 Summer Olympics, in Athens, Greece makes her the fastest woman. There she won the Olympic medals; a gold, a silver, and a bronze.

In 2008, at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, she won four medals; a gold, and three silver. For accomplishing this great feat, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe awarded her $100,000 US dollars in cash.

The Swimming Icon becomes an Inspiration to Children, Youth and Athletes

In 2012, she was elected to the IOC Athletes’ Commission where she will serve for eight years. A member of the ANOCA Athletes Commission and Vice-President of the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee.

In 2013, Coventry and her husband Tyrone Seward undertook a tour where she visited schools in all ten provinces of Zimbabwe. The tour gave her insight into the communities, to know what they needed and how she could use her experience in swimming to benefit them. The tour not only informed her vision to inspire children and youth to become their own heroes through the experience and knowledge she has gained as a swimming icon, it became also the source of her inspiration to launch HEROES; a scheme designed to empower children in her country through swimming, and in turn, build stronger and safer communities.

“Our vision is to provide a national program, which includes other sports to provide all Zimbabweans with greater opportunities. Our aim is to save lives through our drowning prevention and awareness activities, empower individuals through our coaching and learn to play programs and uplift communities through our Ambassador Program that focuses on health and education”, said Coventry

In 2017 Kirsty Coventry, launched HEROES. The scheme would tackle the issue of drowning in Zimbabwe and also address other critical issues like the number of children who are out of school, teen pregnancies, drug and alcohol abuse, gender-based violence, and child marriages.

The two time national Flag-bearer will be the Chef Mission for the Zimbabwe delegation at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018.

Extraordinary Voices: Saran Kaba Jones, Liberian Clean Water Advocate and Social Entrepreneur

Saran Kaba Jones was born in Monrovia, Liberia, in June 1982 to a career diplomat. Jones spent her formative years living in Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, France and Cyprus before moving to the United State in 1999.

She is the founder of FACE Africa, an organisation working to strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and services in rural communities across sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to launching FACE Africa, Jones worked as an Investment Project Manager for the Singapore Economic Development Board.

She is a frequent speaker on topics including water infrastructure, entrepreneurship and gender equality and has served on panels at the World Economic Forum, Harvard University, MIT, the London School of Economics, and the African Union. She is also a member of the U.S. State Department’s International Information Programs (IIP) and frequently conducts workshop globally on entrepreneurship.

Jones Makes a Mark

Jones is a board member of the UN Women Civil Society Advisory Group West/Centre Africa.

In 2011, Jones received the Applause Africa “Person of the Year” award, Voss Foundation’s Women Helping Women Honouree, Huffington Post’s “Greatest Person of the Day” and Forbes Magazine’s 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa.

In 2012, Jones takes home Longines/Town&Country ‘Women Who Make a Difference’ award for her work with FACE Africa, is listed by Black Enterprise as one of 10 International Women of Power to Watch and Daily Muse “12 Women to Watch”.

In 2013, Jones was listed by Guardian UK as one of Africa’s 25 Top Women Achievers alongside President Joyce Banda of Malawi and Nobel Laureate  Leymah Gbowee, and was named World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. In 2015, she was presented with the MTV Africa Music Leadership Award, and in 2016, Jones was named TIME Magazine Next Generation Leader.

Jones Changes the Water Issue Narrative in Liberia

According to a March 2014 interview with Arise 360, Jones reveals how she got motivated to start her charity FACE Africa.

“I’m from Liberia originally. My family and I fled the country when I was eight years old as a result of the civil war. And I went back 20 years later and saw that there was a desperate need for basic social services like – access to clean water, health care, education. And I decided to make clean water my area of focus because it’s one of the largest health issues facing the world today. Nearly a billion people worldwide don’t have access to safe drinking water. And most of them are in Africa. On the continent 350 million people don’t have access to this basic necessity. So it’s a huge problem all across the border”

“At any one time, it is estimated that half the world’s hospital beds are occupied with patients suffering from waterborne diseases.” (WSCC, 2004)

What Jones’ charity FACE Africa does to improve this situation is that they purify the available source of water and at the same time build other sources like wells and boreholes while making sure that the water is made safe for drinking by the people living in the communities.

“90 percent of wastewater in developing countries is discharged into rivers and streams without any treatment.” (UNDP, UNEP, World Bank, and the World Resources Institute, “World Resources 2000-2001,” pg. 25-26)

In the course of her work, Jones uncovers two other issues in within the water issue – the health issue and the gender issue. In Liberia as in other developing countries of the world, women are responsible for collecting water for the household.

“Over 40 billion work hours are lost each year in Africa to the need to fetch drinking water.” (WHO, 2004)

Because of the water issue, a lot of young girls stay out of school as they are responsible for fetching the water.

“The water issue is a women’s issue, so once you solve the water crisis, you not only solve health, but you also allow girls go to school, you allow women focus more on productive activities….” Saran K. Jones

“The average distance that women in developing countries travel to collect water per day is four miles and the average weight that women carry on their heads is approximately 44 pounds.” (WSSCC, 2004)

The Ninth Annual WASH Gala themed ‘Water Fuels the Future’ holds today at The Current at Chelsea Piers, New York City. It is an evening to raise awareness and funds for clean water projects. It also celebrates Africans+Friends of Africa making a difference in their respective industries and communities. This year, their goal is to raise $500,000 to provide Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programs and facilities to communities in rural Liberia and Nigeria.

Jones Drives a Good Cause

Since launching FACE Africa in 2009, the organisation has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from JP Morgan Chase, Coca Cola, the Voss Foundation, P&G, Chevron and the Robert Bosch Foundation, among others; built over 50 WASH projects and reached 25,000 people in rural Liberia. During the Ebola crisis, FACE Africa was at the forefront of Ebola response efforts in Rivercess County, Liberia, where they conducted social mobilization, prevention and awareness and community engagement programs.

Her work with FACE Africa has been profiled extensively by Forbes, the Boston Globe, BBCFocus on Africa, Town&Country, and CNN.

Saran Kaba Jones is one of the 30 Extraordinary Voices featured in the Women’s Month Series by AWLO. Click on your favorite social media button below to share if you have been inspired by Saran Jones

Extraordinary Voices: Zuriel Oduwole, World’s youngest filmmaker, Girl-Child Empowerment Advocate, Child Philanthropist and Peace Ambassador 

Zuriel Oduwole was born in 2002, in Los Angeles, U.S to Nigerian father, Ademola Oduwole and a Mauritian mother, Patricia Oduwole. Zuriel is the eldest of four children, Azaliah, Arielle and Ismachiah Oduwole. She was home-schooled by her parents from age three. She is prominently described as ‘a child-philanthropist who is making great strides in an adult world’.

[Tweet “Zuriel Oduwole is prominently described as ‘a child-philanthropist who is making great strides in an adult world’.”]

She made her first film at age 9 when she entered the National Day competition for her school in California with a documentary film about Africa titled ‘The Ghana Revolution’. She requested and was granted her first presidential interviews; she met with two former presidents of Ghana: Jerry Rawlings and John Kufuor. This event marked her debut into girls education advocacy.

[Tweet “In 2013, Zuriel was bestowed the honorary Ambassador title for the largest foundation in East Africa by the First Lady”]

In October, 2013, she was invited to Tanzania, and bestowed the honorary Ambassador title for the largest foundation in East Africa by the First Lady, Mrs. Salma Kikwete. This was in recognition of her advocacy work for the Girl Child.

In 2013, after the release of her documentary film titled The 1963 OAU Formation, Zuriel was profiled in Forbes Magazine. Making her the youngest person to be featured on Forbes. In the same year, she made the New African Magazine’s list of “100 Most Influential People in Africa”.

In November 2014, at age 12, Zuriel carves a place for herself in history as the world’s youngest filmmaker to have self-produced and self-edited a documentary film titled ‘A Promising Africa’ and have it screened in 5 countries. On April 21st of the same year, she is honored as the Most Powerful 11 year old in the world by New York Business Insider in their list of the ‘World’s Most Powerful Person at Every Age’.

In February, 2015, she joins Fed Reserve Chairwoman, Janet Yellen and President of General Motors, Mary Barra, on Elle Magazine’s annual list of ’33 Women Who Changed the World’.

At the 2016 edition of the “New African Women Awards”, Zuriel wins the award for the “Woman on the Rise” category.

In August, 2016, at age 14, Zuriel makes Forbes Afrique’s annual list of 100 Most Influential Women. Conde Nast, the American global media and magazine giant, featured Zuriel as part of their Black History Month edition annual celebrations, as one of Americas future leaders to watch, for their February 2017 Teen Vogue.

[Tweet “UNICEF Nigeria reports that about 60 per cent of out-of-school children are girls. Mostly, for the reason of low perception of the value of girls’ education.”]

An Avowed Girl-Child Advocate

UNICEF NIGERIA reports that Nigeria still has 10.5 million out-of-school children – the world’s highest number. Sixty per cent of those children are in northern Nigeria. About 60 per cent of out-of-school children are girls. Many of those who do enroll drop out early. Low perceptions of the value of education for girls and early marriages are among the reasons. Some northern states have laws requiring education of girls and prohibiting their withdrawal from school. Girls’ primary school attendance has been improving, but this has not been the case for girls from the poorest household. In North-eastern Nigeria, conflict has deprived many children of access to education. Teachers have been killed and schools burned down or closed for security reasons.

Zuriel champions the Girl-Child education advocacy. She has initiated talks with no fewer than 24 African Presidents and Prime Ministers about creating policies that favour Girl-Child education till they reach the age of consent and can make decisions for their future rather than be barraged into early marriages or saddled with diseases or end up pregnant.
Zuriel believes that “Africa and the youth can change the world. I really believe it more now, that if someone wants to do something, no one can stop them, unless they did not really want to do it before”.

The former U.S Secretary of State, John Kerry calls her a ‘powerful Global Force’ for Girls Education and Women’s development.

Her campaign for the education of girls began in 2011 with emphasis on taking more rural girls off the street and into schools and giving girls from the poorest homes a future better than what they would have had without education. She tells the African stories through her documentaries. Through her ‘Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up’ initiative, Zuriel hopes to empower young girls and rebrand the image of Africa.

She Leads with her DUSUSU Foundation

In December 2015, she formally launched her “Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up” Foundation aimed at building partnerships with corporation and individuals, to develop the education capabilities of children, most especially the girl child, across the globe.

At the ceremony to commemorate the 11th annual festival of Mauritius, Zuriel attends as the special guest and as one of the judges for the film competition. There she seizes the opportunity and educates 150 underprivileged children on basic film making skills.

In February, 2016, Zuriel’s first 101 film class workshop held in, Windhoek, Namibia. By March, 2016, she launched her film making 101 Initiative for youths in Windhoek, Namibia, and in Lagos, Nigeria in June 2016; teaching some of Africa’s poorest children basic film making skills, so they have practical skills they can use in gainful or self-employment, as young adults.

A student from her first ‘Film Making 101’ class series workshop in February, 2016, Anna Kanola, becomes the first of Zuriel’s student to create and produce her first documentary 9 months later. On the 6th of December, 2016, Anna Kanola from Northern Namibia, is honored by Zuriel and presented with some film production equipment and a check for $1000 to encourage her future film making projects.

She was honored with an Award and Citation for her global work in the area of Education Development and Girls Equality advocacy by the city of Pachuca, in Hidalgo.

The Goodwill Ambassador

Earlier in September 2015, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Zuriel demonstrates an early flair for foreign politics when she launched a peace mediation initiative between Guyana and Venezuela, over the disputed Esquabos Oil territory, for which Venezuela was preparing to invade her smaller neighbour.

In September, 2016, at the 71st United Nations [UN] General Assembly events in New York, Zuriel speaks on how the effects of climate change is significantly affecting the education of children in the Pacific Island region. Shannon meets with Prime Minister of Samoa, H. E.  Tuilaepa Malielegaoi and the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, H. E. Enele Sopoaga. She was invited to meet the new Jamaica Prime Minister H. E. Andrew Holness, to understand how Global Warming is affecting countries in the Caribbean.

In October 2016, she met with her 23rd World Leader, the President of Malta Her first venture Louisa Prevalent, to share her ideas on building a network of female world leaders to tackle the issue of “out of school children”, especially Girls from around the world.

She was made a Goodwill Ambassador by the Founder of the Rainbow Book Club at the UNESCO World Book Capital Port Harcourt in 2014.

Le Devoir, describes her as a future Larry King, because of her ability to meet with Political Leaders and discuss critical and pertinent global issues that affect children and youth development.

Unrelenting in her strides to align World Leaders with thoughts and acts of peace and goodwill, Zuriel is an inspiration to children and adults alike.

Asma Khalifa is one of the 30 Extraordinary Voices featured in the Women’s Month Series by AWLO. Click on your favorite social media button below to share if you have been inspired by Zuriel Oduwole.

Extraordinary Voices: Asma Khalifa, Libyan Amazigh Women’s Rights and Peace Activist and Researcher  

Asma Khalifa was born in the coastal town of Zuwara, one of the most culturally distinct towns and is of Amazigh (Berber) origins. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law and a Master’s in Peace and Conflict Studies. She was born at a time when political corruption, human rights violation, unemployment, poverty and sectarianism were at its highest point in Libya. She witnesses the discrimination against the non-Arab Libyans, the violation of the human rights of her people and the sexual harassment of Libyan women during the period of Gaddafi’s regime.

Because Libya’s de facto leader Gaddafi considered the Amazigh a threat to his vision for a United Arab nation, he placed a ban on them. It became illegal to teach Tamazight in schools, illegal to give children Tamazight names or speak Tamazight in public.
“I can’t remember how many times my cousin was arrested for singing Amazigh songs in public.” says Asma Khalifa
But when push turned to shove, Khalifa lends her voice and becomes a human rights activist.
“… all we hear is words, even in the draft constitution there’s no mention of the Amazigh, and then people say things like you should just be grateful that the constitution doesn’t say we’re a Libyan Arab Republic.” She observes.

[Tweet “On 25th May, 2016, Khalifa was awarded the Luxembourg Peace Prize”]

On 25th May, 2016, Khalifa was awarded the Luxembourg Peace Prize by the Schengen Peace Foundation as the Outstanding Youth Peace Maker. The Luxembourg Peace Prize is a recognition of Khalifa’s contributions in the world as a key player to support peace-building, promoting peace and conflict resolution!

[Tweet “In 2017, Asma Khalifa was named one of the 100 Most Influential Young Africans by the Africa Youth Awards”]

In 2017, she was named one of the 100 Most Influential Young Africans by the Africa Youth Awards. Khalifa earned her title owing to her bravery in the fight against the sexual harassment of women during Gaddafi’s reign, for her non-violent way of protesting for the rights of women in Africa and inspiring young people.


Her work in Libya has included improving women’s participation in local government and fighting against gender-based violence.

In 2015, she co-founded the Tamazight Women Movement with the aim to research, report and advocate on Tamazight women issues in Libya and North Africa. Their core values being equality, social justice, and diversity.


In early 2010, the civil protests, demonstrations and revolt, resulted in the death and overthrow of Gaddafi. However, the unveiling of Libya’s transitional government causes the Berbers to rise in protest at the under-representation of Libya’s largest ethnic minority, the Amazigh. The Amazigh as a result suspends relations with Libya’s national government and withdraws its representative to the National Transitional Council (NTC).

Khalifa however, isn’t convinced that suspending relations with the National Transitional Council is the best way forward. She says, “I think it’s a bit extreme, they [the Arabs and the Amazigh] should probably sort these things out between each other and not stop talking to each other”.

[Tweet “If I want to see hope in Libya again, I have to work for it – @AsmaKhalifa89”]


Possessing a tenacious spirit, Khalifa hasn’t given up. Now, she travels around Libya to educate people on women’s rights and teach communities methods of nonviolent resistance. Her organization continues to work towards civil progress and good governance in Libya. “If I want to see hope in Libya again, I have to work for it” she says

Asma Khalifa is one of the 30 Extraordinary Voices featured in the Women’s Month Series by AWLO. Click on your favorite social media button below to share if you have been inspired by Asma Khalifa.

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