Gisèla Van Houcke, Founder and CEO, Zuri Luxury Hair and Beauty, DR Congo

Gisela Mudumbi Van Houcke is originally from Eastern DR Congo. Due to the war, she fled to the UK in her teens where she later obtained a British and French Law degree. After working for a few years in a leading American law firm in London, Gisela moved back to Africa where she took the Head of Legal position for a pan-African energy company. She started Zuri in 2016 with the vision of boosting African women’s self-confidence and turn their ambitions into actions. She was the first Congolese woman to be listed on Forbes 30 under 30.

“I’m very honoured and grateful to have been a recipient of the 2022 AWIEF Young Entrepreneur Award. This award has given my business a platform to inspire, grow and empower black women through beauty and technology. I am truly grateful for this recognition and am excited for what lies ahead,” Gisela said.



Abai Schulze, Founder and Creative Director, ZAAF Collection, Ethiopia

Abai Schulze is the founder of the creative, new Afro-luxe brand ZAAF which creates handcrafted luxury leather handbags and accessories produced by artisans in Ethiopia. She is an experienced founder with a demonstrated history of working in the Luxury Goods & Jewelry industry. Strong arts and design professional skilled in International Relations, Financial Analysis, Emerging Markets, Capacity Building and Investments


Sahar Salama, Founder and CEO, TPAY Mobile, Egypt

Sahar Salama founded TPAY MOBILE in 2014 with the aim of leveraging her extensive experience to transform cross-border micro payments in the MEA region. Sahar led TPAY MOBILE for the last 8 years where she was responsible for TPAY MOBILE’s strategy, mission, vision and overall execution/performance. TPAY MOBILE achieved the MENA region’s first “dragon exit” in 2018. Recently, Sahar handed over CEO responsibilities and became TPAY group chairwoman. Sahar has over 25 years of experience in platforms development, product development in hi-tech industries with a special focus on establishing transformative propositions and creating industrywide impact in those sectors she served.


Korka Diaw, President, Réseau des Agricultrices du Nord Senegal, Senegal

Mrs Korka Diaw is part of the Malayora Gueye agricultural cooperative and at the same time she is President of REFAN, the Network of Women Farmers of North Senegal, and the CEO of Korka Rice. REFAN’s objective is to contribute to the empowerment of women and to fight poverty and build resilience through agriculture. Ms Diaw’s main activity is agriculture, which accounts for 70 percent of her work. She works on the rice value chain, from start to end. In their cooperative, they cultivate 150ha of rice and 20ha for market gardening. At national level, REFAN covers 2042 ha of land.

“It was a real pleasure and an immense honour to be chosen as the winner of the 2022 AWIEF Agri Entrepreneur Award. This distinction, the result of collective work, is for us a source of motivation and encouragement for our dynamism, resourcefulness and endurance. It is therefore a real feeling of satisfaction for what we have been able to accomplish so far. We also welcome the gigantic work that AWIEF is doing for the empowerment of women, the development of their potential and credibility,” Korka said.


Mona Al Adawy, Founder and CEO, GeoEnergy Petroleum Services, Egypt

Mona Al Adaway is the Founding Owner and Managing Director of GeoEnergy Petroleum Services, a diversified services provider to the oil and gas industry in the Middle East and Africa region since 2009. GeoEnergy provides E&P Data Management Services, Digital Transformation Solutions, Petroleum Consultancy Services, integrated Reservoir Studies, Training, and blended learning solutions and Geoscience Software solutions. It supports companies assess exploration and development opportunities and significantly reduce exploration risks, costs, and cycle time. GeoEnergy’s vision is to be the global leader in providing integrated services with an uncompromising ethical standard and in a cost-effective manner.


Lumbie Mlambo, Founder and CEO, JB Dondolo, Zimbabwe

Lumbie Mlambo, a Zimbabwean by birth, is a Global Goals Ambassador, a UN Global Leadership Award recipient and a graduate of Texas Woman’s University. Inspired by her orphaned father who never attended school but served as a revered humanitarian in his local community, Lumbie is continuing his legacy and started the nonprofit JB Dondolo Foundation in his name. JB Dondolo’s mission is to provide access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene in underserved and impoverished communities to help reduce poverty and promote gender equity.

“Being the 2022 AWIEF Social Entrepreneur Award winner has given me the platform I need to share and grow my business all while connecting with other entrepreneurs. In addition, it is a huge honour to be supported and mentored by AWIEF,” Lumbie said.



Martha Alade, Founder, Women in Technology in Nigeria (WITIN), Nigeria

Martha Alade is An Artificial intelligence and ICT4D Consultant with 20+ years of experience working in the intersection of technology and development with expertise in gender equality, diversity and inclusion. She possesses in-depth experience working with both the public, private and grassroots sectors and is passionate about Internet Governance. Martha holds a masters in Research and Public policy as well as in Information Technology. Recognized locally, nationally and internationally for the ability to deliver projects diligently with 100% Principal satisfaction.


Manal Amin, CEO, Arabize, Egypt

Manal Amin is the Founder and CEO of Arabize and one of the first Egyptian entrepreneurs in language technology. She holds a BA in Political Science and a Diploma in Translation and has more than 40 years of experience in translation, localization & documentation. Manal is ranked 77th on Forbes Magazine’s 200 Most Powerful Women in the Middle East list.