Elsabeth T TedrosElsabeth T Tedros

Ethiopia/South Africa


Occupational Information

Occupation: Diplomat, Senior Investment Officer

Occupational Position: Elsabeth is Senior Investment Officer at the NEPAD Agency, the technical arm of the African Union. Within the Office of the CEO Elsabeth leads efforts and advises on private sector engagement for the AU’s flagship Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA). Specifically, through the African Strategic Infrastructure Initiative, Africa Power Vision and the Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative, she leads projects to achieve “bankability".


An Ethiopian national, Elsabeth holds degrees in economics, business and international affairs.  She was nominated and admitted to the Omicron Delta Epsilon International Honour Society and is a Lincoln Laureate. She is an active mentor to African youth offering guidance in higher education and a member of the Student Sponsorship Program. Elsabeth is passionate about home grown solutions focused on regional integration to accelerate economic development in Africa.  She is also active in education and gender equality issues to ensure an inclusive African growth story.

Professional History

Her career spans over a decade within public and private institutions, providing cutting edge global and cross-sectorial project finance and strategy solutions for several large scale energy and transport deals in Africa and the Americas. Elsabeth’s multifaceted work in FDI, trade and infrastructure greatly contributes to her strength in leading key stakeholders to effectively locate, evaluate and capitalize on the increasing demand for PPP opportunities in Africa.


COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, New York; School of International and Public Affairs, MIA, International Finance and Business /Infrastructure; LAKE FOREST COLLEGE BA, Economics, Cum Laude


2015 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow

Featured News

Norman Smit
06 April 2017

In this TEDx talk, Tutu Fellow Ed Mabaya talks about his childhood growing up in rural Zimbabwe and how it gave him the insight into the power of improved seed to provide a pathway out of poverty. He left the small family farm where he grew up. But when he returned, it was to the realisation that food security remains a problem for too many parts of rural Africa. Successful farmers are able to make enough money to invest in their children's educations. A key element to better farming outcomes is better seed.  Mabaya calls this improved seed the 'hunger buster 2.0'.  Climate smart varieties of non-GMO, conventionally-bred seed offer opportunities for bigger harvests.

Sello Hatang
01 April 2017

Nelson Mandela called him “a person of strong opinion and sharp insight”.

To all of us at the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF), Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada is more than a hero of the South African liberation struggle. He is “Mr K” – a lovable and loving friend of Nelson Mandela for 67 years and a long-time friend of the NMF. Having served Mr Mandela as his Parliamentary Counsellor for the five years of his term as President of South Africa, Mr K stepped down when Mr Mandela decided not to run for a second term. Mr Mandela invited him to serve as a Trustee of his post-presidential office – which became known as the Nelson Mandela Foundation – which he did from 1999 until 2016.

Where do I even begin to describe how much you meant to me. Words fail to adequately describe my love, respect and admiration for you, my dearest K! Not only were you a man I deeply respected, a freedom fighter and iconic South African, but I had the privilege to call you my dearest friend. Thinking back, I cannot help but chuckle at how you insisted I drop the 'Uncle' nonsense, and just call you Kathy, because you loved that it made you feel much younger.

As I think back at the beautiful box of memories, moments and deep conversations shared with you, I am comforted by the time we got to spend together. I am comforted by the fact that your strength, conviction and bravery have left a great legacy and a lifetime of lessons for us all.

Norman Smit
30 March 2017

One of the candidates participating in the 2017 Tutu Leadership Programme, Sonkita Conteh, has been selected by the Schwab Foundation, in partnership with the World Economic Forum as a Social Entrepreneur of the Year awardee for 2016.  The Schwab Foundation drafts the list annually from a global pool of candidates.  The annual selection usually comprises about 20-25 people who join the 260 social entrepreneurs in a global network that fosters the peer-to-peer exchange of ideas.  The foundation works closely with the World Economic Forum to integrate their awardees into regional and global meetings of the WEF.

A Selection of Tutu Leadership Fellows

About AFLI



The African Leadership Institute (AFLI) is unique among leadership initiatives in that it focuses on building the capacity and capability of visionary and strategic leadership across the continent. Developing exceptional leaders representing all spheres of society, the Institute’s flagship programme is the prestigious Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship. Offering a multifaceted learning experience and run in partnership with Oxford University, it is awarded annually to 20-25 carefully chosen candidates, nominated from across Africa. Alumni of the African Leadership Institute form a dynamic network of Fellows passionately committed to the continent’s transformation, bridging the divide between nations and ensuring that Africa is set centre-stage in global affairs.