African Diaspora Luminaire Awards

Context: 2023 African Diaspora Luminaire Awards

The African Diaspora Luminaire Awards recognize distinguished Africans and Diasporans making high-level impact on a global scale. African Diaspora Network (ADN) annually celebrates luminaires who have made exceptional contributions and demonstrated commitment to advance the African continent and the communities in which we live.
We are honored and delighted to award the 2023 Top 10 luminaires at the African Diaspora Investment Symposium 2023. Each individual has made a significant difference through their commitment and support for the African Diaspora Network. We salute them for their belief in our vision and mission and their dedication to helping the organization grow and thrive.

We are pleased to announce the 2023 awardees:

2023 African Diaspora Luminaire Awards Bios

Yohannes Assefa

Board of Directors, Ethiopia Diaspora Trust Fund
Yohannes Assefa is an experienced international development professional with senior management experience spanning over 25 years of experience in the United States and Africa. Mr. Assefa served as Chief of Party, Director, Senior Technical Adviser and consultant on various donor funded projects in 16 African countries.  Mr. Assefa served as Chief of Part of the USAID-funded Ethiopia WTO Accession Plus Project, Country Director/CoP for USAID Market Systems for Growth and was Senior Technical Advisor during the establishment of the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange (ECX). He is currently the Director of Market Systems for DT-Global, an international development consulting firm.

Twum Djin

Head of Engineering, Payments Conversion at Stripe
Twum Djin is a software executive with extensive experience in organizational leadership, large-scale system architecture, and product management. Prior to Stripe, Twum was the Chief Technology Officer at Goodwater Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm focused exclusively on consumer tech companies. Twum served as the chairman of the ADN board from 2018 – 2021.

Dr. Josephine Fubara

Chief Science Officer, Sanofi Consumer Healthcare
Dr. Josephine Fubara is the Chief Science Officer for Sanofi’s Consumer Healthcare business, where she leads a global team responsible for managing the organization’s end-to-end science agenda and operations spanning five categories covering pain care, allergy, digestive wellness, cough, cold & flu, and physical & mental wellness, representing over €5.0 billion (2022) of business. She is an award-winning R&D executive with over 22 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry.
Prior to Sanofi, Josephine was the Global Head of Therapeutics, R&D at Bayer Consumer HealthCare and spent 18+ years in various technical and business roles at Whitehall Robins, Wyeth, and Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.

Dr. Josh Ghaim

Founder and Managing Partner, Ignite Venture Studio; Board Chairman, African Diaspora Network
​​Josh Ghaim is the Founder and Managing Partner of Ignite Venture Studio, a new brand and innovation accelerator focused in the Health and Beauty markets as well as investments and support of Women and Minority led start-ups. Prior to his new venture, Josh was the former Chief Technology Officer of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health.

Dr. Ndeye Makalou

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.

Hugh Molotsi

Investor, Founder and CEO, Ujama
Hugh Molotsi is the founder and CEO of Ujama Inc, the makers of Soko, the farmers’ market app that makes it easy to discover farmers’ markets and connect with their sellers. Hugh is a seasoned product and technology leader with over 30 years of experience developing global solutions for small businesses and consumers. Hugh is an accomplished innovator and has helped launch several disruptive products. He has expertise in leadership development and digital transformation and has led diversity and inclusion initiatives. Hugh had a 22-year career at Intuit, where his last position was Engineering Fellow and Vice President of Innovation.

Chike Nwoffiah

Creative Ambassador, City of San José & Founding Director, Silicon Valley African Film Festival (SVAFF)
Chike Nwoffiah is an award-winning film and theater producer and director with over 50 productions to his credit. He is the founding director of the Silicon Valley African Film Festival and president of Rhesus Media Group.
He serves on the President’s Community Advisory Council of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and boards of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, Precious Kids Foundation, and Pavillion Afriques at the Cannes Film Festival.
Nwoffiah was inducted into the Silicon Valley Black Legends Hall of Fame in 2021 and awarded the Cornerstone of the Arts Award by the City of San Jose in 2022.

Abbey Omokhodion

Abbey is a senior finance executive who held CFO roles at Fortune 100 companies including Intel and GE. She also worked at Ford Motor company in Finance roles with increasing responsibilities. She has served on a private For-Profit and Not-For-Profit Board as an Advisory member and as a Board member. She is passionate about diversity and Inclusion (D&I) and has chaired several D&I initiatives and teams.
Abbey has a Masters degree in International Affairs with a focus in Finance and Economics from Columbia University in New York, an MBA from the University of Connecticut with a focus in Technology management, and a Bachelors degree in Accounting from the University of Lagos, Nigeria
A proud mother of a medical school student, Abbey is passionate about family, developing talent, and traveling, experiencing different cultures and places.

Innocent Shumba

US-West EY Private Leader and Assurance Partner, Ernst & Young
Innocent Shumba is a member of EY’s Assurance practice and has diverse accounting and auditing experience. He is involved in several organizations, including the EY Black Professional Network, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Certified Fraud Examiners, Institute of Internal Auditors and the National Association of Black Accountants.

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.