Mastercard Foundation Names African Investment Pioneers Tsega Gebreyes and Sewit Ahderom to its Board of Directors

Toronto, June 30, 2023 – The Mastercard Foundation today announced the appointment of Tsega Gebreyes and Sewit Ahderom to its Board of Directors. Their extensive expertise and experience will enhance the Foundation’s efforts to advance education and financial inclusion. The Foundation aims to enable 30 million young people in Africa, particularly young women, to secure dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.

“We are thrilled to welcome Tsega Gebreyes and Sewit Ahderom to our Board of Directors. Their insights and expertise, particularly in investment and technology-driven sectors, will be instrumental as we seek to unlock the potential of Africa’s youth,” said Zein Abdalla, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Mastercard Foundation.

“I am honoured to join the Mastercard Foundation’s Board of Directors. The Foundation’s programs are creating opportunities for millions of young people in Africa, particularly young entrepreneurs solving problems in education, financial services, and agriculture. I look forward to contributing my experience to grow the Foundation’s impact in Africa and Canada,” said Tsega Gebreyes, Founding Partner of Satya Capital Limited.

Tsega Gebreyes, Founding Partner of Satya Capital Limited, brings a wealth of experience in African investment and strategy, having played a key role in numerous growth and expansion initiatives across the continent.

Tsega has vast experience fostering long-term growth for businesses in Africa, including her last role as Chief of Strategy and Business Development Officer at Celtel International. Earlier, she was a founding partner of NAOF, a $120 million private equity fund managed by Zephyr Asset Management. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and sits on several other Boards.

“I am honoured to serve on the Board of Directors. The Mastercard Foundation’s programs have played a crucial role in enabling young people across Africa to be catalysts of change, steering the economic transformation of their communities. I am excited to contribute to this critical work,” said Sewit Ahderom, Co-Founder and COO of Gro Intelligence.

Sewit Ahderom, Co-Founder and COO of Gro Intelligence, comes with a strong background in tech-driven solutions and has significantly influenced various sectors, including agriculture, climate action, and economy.

Sewit is a seasoned technology leader with extensive experience in developed and emerging markets. She co-founded Gro Intelligence in Nairobi, which went on to become a global leader in the use of AI for complex analysis in the agricultural ecosystem and enabling companies to hedge against climate risk. Her previous experience includes Vice President roles at Helios Investment Partners and Citigroup. She holds an MBA from Columbia University and is a member of two other Boards.

The Mastercard Foundation’s Board of Directors includes:

  • Zein Abdalla (Board Chair), Retired President of PepsiCo, Inc.
  • Baroness Valerie Amos, CH, Master of University College, Oxford University and former Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator at the UN.
  • Craig Calhoun, Professor of Social Sciences, Arizona State University.
  • Douglas Baillie, Retired Chief Human Resources Officer of Unilever.
  • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of Liberia and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Winner.
  • Louise Arbour, C.C., Jurist-in-residence at Borden, Ladner, Gervais LLP, and former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. She also served as the United Nations Special Representative for International Migration.
  • Jay Ireland, Retired President and CEO of General Electric Africa.
  • Jennifer Fonstad, Co-founder and leader of the Owl Capital Group.
  • Michael Sabia, CEO of Hydro-Quebec.
  • Robin Washington, Former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Gilead Sciences, Inc.
  • Sewit Ahderom, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer of Gro Intelligence.
  • Tsega Gebreyes, Founding Partner and CEO at Satya Capital Limited.

Read more about the Mastercard Foundation Board of Directors here.

About the Mastercard Foundation

The Mastercard Foundation is a Canadian Foundation and one of the world’s largest foundations, with a mission to advance education and financial inclusion. It works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. The Foundation was established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. The Foundation is an independent organization and separate from the company. Its policies, operations, and programs are determined by the Foundation’s Board of Directors and leadership.


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