Swaady MartinSwaady Martin


South Africa, Johannesburg African countries of origin: Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea

 

Occupational Information


Occupation: Entrepreneur

Occupational Position: African Luxury brand YSWARA founder & CEO; also started and runs the YSWARA Foundation.

Professional History


Swaady MARTIN is the founder & CEO of YSWARA, a woman-owned social enterprise.  She is involved in transforming African agricultural commodities locally to contribute to the reversal of the African commodity trap. With the global rise of the “foodie” market, YSWARA is a specialty tea brand, offering original African teas & teatime delicacies, beautifully packaged, and distributed globally.

YSWARA is perceived to be amongst Africa’s leading luxury and premium brands and can be found at recognized luxury retailers in 17 countries in Africa, USA, Europe, Middle-East and Asia. The brand has won several recognitions including Best new Talent in the Luxury Industry 2013 by the French Center for Creation & Luxury and Best African emerging brand 2015 by Brand Africa.

Swaady has received numerous distinctions and awards. She was named The Queen of African Luxury by Forbes in 2013. The same year, she was named by the same publication as one of The top 20 young Africans building the future of Africa. In 2014, she was listed on Oprah Winfrey’s O’ Power List and named one of the Youngest Power Women in Africa by Forbes.

Swaady is also the creator of the Luxe Ubuntu concept, an inclusive luxury business model providing economic value and meaningful income to all the members of the supply chain, who participate in the production of luxury products.

Prior to pursuing her entrepreneurial interest, Swaady had a successful 10-years' career at General Electric Co. where she held leadership positions in several divisions across the world, with her last posting as GE Transportation’s Director for Sub-Saharan Africa. Among others, she developed GE’s first strategic plans for Africa.

Qualifications


Master in Economic Sciences - University of Lausanne
Master of business Administration (MBA) - London School of Economics
NYU Stern Business School & HEC Paris

Programs


2012 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow

Featured News

Norman Smit
30 March 2020

Two Fellows, Aderonke Onadeko of the Class of 2006 and 2007 Fellow Mezuo Nwuneli have partnered together to launch Nourishing Africa, a hub for entrepreneurs to accelerate their work, connect with funders, markets, talent, and celebrate their successes.

It connects agtech and digital innovators to ensure that Africa nourishes itself and becomes a net exporter of food by 2050.  On the site, they explain the simple math: by 2050, 2.4 billion people will live in Africa. If they spend $1 a day on food, this represents a $876 billion annual market. If they spend $10, its an $8.76 trillion annual market. A key goal is to empower Africans to sustainably grow and supply this massive market, reaping the benefits of local jobs.

Norman Smit
25 March 2020

2014 Fellow Zeinab Camara has run for office for her first time in the Guinean elections and won her seat in the National Assembly.  She stood for election in Boffa as a candidate for the governing party, Rassemblement du Peuple Guinéen or RPG, and won her seat with 62.4% of the vote. She ran against Abdoul Aziz Keita, the UDG candidate. 

The elections took place on March 22nd - along with a constitutional referendum - after being postponed four times from the original date in January 2019. As of March 26th, the country was waiting for judicial validation of the results. 

Norman Smit
23 March 2020

2017 Tutu Fellow Yap Boum II has written a post titled Coronavirus: Amid the global pandemic, lessons for Africa which was published by the Brookings Institution on 20 March 2020.  Yap, who is a microbiologist and epidemiologist and the regional representative for Epicenter Africa, the research arm of Doctors Without Borders, started the article by saying that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is unprecedented in modern times, bringing enormous human, social, and economic disruption. It's been a busy time for Yap, with the Coronavirus pandemic following the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he was on the frontline in a Phase III trial ebola vaccine to reduce the numbers of people infected by the disease.

In the article, Yap says that for Africa, where most countries have relatively weak health systems, the relatively slow arrival of COVID-19 bought Africa time to prepare.

Charles Sidambe
20 March 2020

2007 Fellow and Medical Scientist, Tariro Makadzange has been appointed as board member at Population Services International (PSI).

Tariro is a highly-qualified medical scientist, doctor and infectious diseases physician scientist who has degrees from Zimbabwe, Harvard and Oxford Universities and is a senior manager at the global biotechnology research multinational, Gilead Sciences.  She told AFLI that she had PSI had confirmed her appointment in January.


About AFLI

AFLIICONCROPPED

 

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.

AFLI Workplace

facebook workplace logo

 

AFLI uses Workplace by Facebook as its networking and collaboration platform for the Tutu Leadership Fellowship.  It allows Fellows to network, discuss issues, develop position papers, plan events, and coordinate with each other ahead of meetings when travelling to other countries. It also provides a space for programme associates to collaborate on their requirements for the Tutu Leadership programme.

Workplace is a software app that functions across desktop and mobile using familiar features like groups, chat, and video calls, and is used by more than 30,000 organisations around the world. It uses an interface familiar to anyone who has used Facebook, but adjusted for the workplace. We have provided answers to FAQs on how to log in, how Workplace can be used, and answers to possible technical questions users may have.  Fellows can log into Workplace by clicking on the the logo.

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