SwaadyMartin2017Swaady 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
23 December 2017

Making a simple change can help realize one’s full potential. At TED Talent Search Lagos 2017 in Nigeria, Victoria Ohaeri describes the importance of changing her name to positively affect others' perceptions.  The 2016 Tutu Fellow tells her personal story about the effects of labeling, and how changing her name made all the difference.

Norman Smit
21 December 2017

Young farmers participating in a project started by 2017 Tutu Fellow Samuel Kariuki have had their first harvest and been paid for the fruits of their labour.  The new farmers in the agro-entrepreneurship Fort Hall Eye Project harvested two tons of beans. This green success is taking place in one of the most troubled counties in Kenya, where alcoholism has left almost no household unaffected.

Peter Wilson
21 December 2017

When nominations closed earlier this week, there were close to 300 really top quality nominations of emerging African leaders from across the continent for the 2018 Tutu Leadership Fellowship.  We were again impressed by the breadth of outstanding candidates who are applying for the Fellowship, reinforcing what we already know: that there is no shortage of excellent young leaders on the continent. 

Norman Smit
20 December 2017

The CEO of All On, 2015 Tutu Fellow Wiebe Boer is helping to build access to affordable sustainable energy for low income households, small business, and communities.  All On is an independent impact investing company.  As part of its approach it has also provided a grant to the acclaimed Nigerian tech incubator, Co-Creation Hub, to challenge Nigeria’s innovators on energy. Co-Creation Hub is run by 2017 Tutu Fellow 'Bosun Tijani.

A Selection of Tutu Leadership Fellows

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.

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