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ADIS23 Planning Committee



On behalf of the African Diaspora Network, we are delighted to welcome you to the premier conference of the African investment ecosystem in Silicon Valley. ADN is reputed for bringing together a global community for meaningful networking, knowledge exchange, and entrepreneurial spotlights for the last eight years. This year’s symposium is unique in its targeted focus on reimagining the future of Africa in collaboration with Africans, African diasporans, and friends of Africa. Hard work, humility, and vision have powered ADN through its 12 years as an organization, and we are honored to be a part of this collective effort to host an amazing conference and experience for you.


Head of Health Equity- Genentech Commercial, Medical and Government affairs at Roche Genentech

Ndeye Makalou leads a team of people committed to embedding Health Equity as a foundational practice to advance Genentech D&I Commitments and Roche Pharma vision. She is accountable for catalyzing and driving a sustainable approach to advance Health Equity best practices that center marginalized and underserved patients and drive better treatment outcomes. Ndeye deeply believes that strengthening the Healthcare system in Africa and public -private partnership will lead to improved health outcomes and a brighter and healthier future for the people in Africa.

Rick Levenson

CTO, Rippleworks

Rick is the CTO of Rippleworks, a nonprofit foundation that is relentlessly focused on the needs of social ventures, providing the practical support entrepreneurs and their teams need to improve more lives across the global south. Previously, he had spent his career as a technologist, starting in the early days of Silicon Valley, from research labs to nascent startups.

Kedest Tesfagiorgis

Deputy Director of Global Partnerships & Grand Challenges, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Kedest Tesfagiorgis leads the Global Partnerships & Grand Challenges team within the Discovery & Translational Sciences group at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Kedest is deeply committed to building collaborative, inclusive, long-term partnerships that address the biggest challenges in health and development. Her career has been rooted in the conviction that, as a global community in pursuit of equity, we go faster and further by working together. Kedest is a non-voting member of the board

Letter from the Chairman of the Board

Dear participants, I am excited to welcome you to the African Diaspora Investment Symposium 2023! For over eight years, we have worked intentionally with government, NGOs, corporations, and foundations to spark powerful dialogue with leading experts on pressing topics and issues related to Africa and the Diaspora. Beyond dialogue, this signature convening has been a catalyst for action. We provide a platform for networking and building meaningful partnerships that leverage community resources across sectors.
The African Diaspora Investment Symposium was the catalyst and inspiration to the creation of ADN’s two enterprise accelerator programs for grassroots African entrepreneurs, Builders of Africa’s Future (BAF), and U.S.-based Black entrepreneurs, Accelerating Black Leadership and Entrepreneurship (ABLE). A few of the impressive outcomes of our ADN programs include:
  • Successfully completing five African Diaspora Investment Symposiums (ADIS), held in Santa Clara County, California in 2016-2020 and two symposiums virtually 2021-2022
  • Engaging 80 countries through the African Diaspora Investment Symposium and Impact and Innovation Forums;
  • Honoring 53 Builders of Africa’s Future (BAF) enterprises in the last five years who have demonstrated excellence in leading startups and NGOs that contribute to Africa’s development;
  • Supporting 10 Catholic Sisters through the launch of Start Your Social Enterprise, a preparatory training for Builders of Africa’s Future; and
  • Launching the Accelerating Black Leadership and Entrepreneurship (ABLE) program in 2021 with an inaugural cohort of 16 Black entrepreneurs who are addressing essential community needs and spurring sustainable growth.
We are proud of what the African Diaspora Investment Symposium has sparked in its first eight years, and we look forward to the potential that it can further untap through collaboration. Save the date for March 22-24, and we look forward to seeing you in Silicon Valley!


Welcome to the 8th Annual African Diaspora Investment Symposium

Dear friends and colleagues,
Welcome to the Eighth Annual African Diaspora Investment Symposium! It is with great joy that we announce the return of our in-person signature convening from March 22 – 24, 2023, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.

ADIS23 presents the theme of “Future Ready Africa.” The unforeseeable economic shocks created by the ongoing pandemic, international conflicts such as the war in Ukraine, and challenges in the global economy have sparked innovations in industry, investment, entrepreneurship across the continent. Now, ten years into Agenda 2063 , Africa must plan for a sustainable recovery and reimagine its path forward. What does a future ready Africa look like? How can we transform the continent through innovation, entrepreneurship, investment, and human capital development?

Join us to explore possibilities, connect, learn, and build bridges between Africans, African diasporans, and friends of Africa to help drive transformational economic, environment, and social change on the continent and the communities in which we live.

The work at ADN is possible, thanks to our funders, board, executive leadership council, program advisory committees, team members, speakers, ecosystem partners, and participants who have joined us since the start of our signature convening in 2016. These last two years, ADN has remained agile to engage our global audience virtually from nearly 80 countries. Now we are ready and excited for the opportunity to bring together our growing community in-person in Silicon Valley.

Thank you,
Almaz Negash

ADIS23 Conference Team

ADN Team

Almaz Negash

Founder and Executive Director, ADN

Megan Hunsberger

Megan Hunsberger

Program & Digital Media Manager, ADN

Debra Pacio

Entrepreneurship Programs Manager, ADN


Innovation & Diaspora Engagement Officer, ADN


Information Technology Associate, ADN

Melanie Bielefeld

Philanthropy Advisor, ADN

ABCD & Company Team

Media and PR Team - Baobab Consulting

For media and PR inquiries, email Damilola at 

Call for Applications:

African Diaspora Investment Symposium 2023 Media Fellowship