Africa and the Middle East Selects JCI Creative Young Entrepreneur Judges

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There have been a lot of exciting updates in the world of JCI’s Creative Young Entrepreneur (CYE) competition and the 2021 JCI Area Conferences! For both America and Europe, the top three contestants from each area were selected by judges at each respective Area Conference!

CYE offers incredibly lucrative prizes for top winners, as well as valuable and practical training for all contestants. There’s still time to register for the CYE competition at the 2021 JCI Asia-Pacific Conference (registrations close on July 5!), so don’t miss out on this opportunity! 

Today we’re excited to announce the names and a little more about the CYE judges for the 2021 JCI Africa and the Middle East Conference! These innovative and entrepreneurial leaders each have an impressive resume and will be huge assets in assessing and improving the business ventures of CYE contestants. 

Adding even more value to the CYE experience, each of these CYE judges will also be leading a special seminar in their area of expertise. These judges are here not just to evaluate the projects, but to share their skills and expert know-how in their respective field through expert preparation sessions. 

Melissa Sassi

As IBM Z’s Chief Penguin, Melissa created her own IBM penguin title and leads Student & Entrepreneur Experience worldwide at IBM.

She’s a Call for Code Judge focused on solving the world’s challenges via tech innovation.  

Sassi has created a variety of flagship events during her tenure with IBM, including CodeTheCurve – a hackathon that made the homepage of UN News and opensource.com for her efforts to fight back against COVID-19 through technology and data science. She also created the #Z4Good Ideathon that’s all about solving the world’s digital inclusion challenges through youth-led engagement. Lastly, she is the Executive Producer of The Human Code, an event she’s spearheading with celebrities such as Terence Lewis (Bollywood choreographer) where she brings poetry, storytelling, dance and music together in an experiential, virtual event focused on inspiring greater diversity and inclusion in tech. 

As a PhD candidate, she researches the digital inclusion of underserved communities. She serves on a UN Round Table for the High-Level Panel for Digital Cooperation, chaired by Jack Ma and Melinda Gates with advisory leadership from Vint Cert – the Father of the Internet. Melissa is an avid speaker on digital skills and inclusion, tech entrepreneurship, community building, youth empowerment, imposter syndrome and personal branding.

Adewale SALAMI

Adewale Salami is a thorough-bred commercial manager with over 15 years combined experience supporting and leading initiatives for commercial success in one of the largest emerging market economies (Nigeria) in multinational organizations. 

He spent over eight years at MTN Nigeria in four different roles across two divisions. He left MTN Nigeria as a Business Intelligence Manager in the Marketing & Strategy Division responsible for value-optimization of the Value Added Service (VAS) product portfolio. He joined Lafarge Africa PLC (owners of WAPCO, ASHAKA & UNICEM cement companies) in September 2017 as it’s country manager responsible for pricing and market insight. 

He graduated from the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematical Sciences (Statistics), and MA in Strategic Marketing from Anglia Ruskin University, United Kingdom. He holds a Professional Certificate in Marketing from Chartered Institute of Marketing, United Kingdom.

He is a full member of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN). 

Asha Auckloo

Asha Auckloo holds a Master’s Degree in Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology. She works in the office of the Prime Minister of Mauritius as a forensic scientist. She is also involved in the training of stakeholders such as the police and crime scene managers in various aspects of forensic science. She resides in Mauritius, Africa with her family. In 2020, Asha served as JCI Executive Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, leading JCI members through the trials and tribulations of the then-developing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Unotida Nyoni

Unotida Nyoni is the founder and CEO of Grand Scale Consultancy, an advisory company which helps leaders and their organizations to get better and faster financial results with resources they already have. The firm also offers virtual CFO services to leading organisations such as the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation. 

Unotida is also an executive coach, trainer, award winning speaker and the author of the book “How to multiply your value and create extraordinary impact”.  

Unotida has served globally in the civic sector space, holding roles including 2020 JCI Vice President for Africa and the Middle East and Head of Finance for leading social enterprises in South Africa. 

He holds a Masters in Business Administration and is a Financial Manager by profession. He resides in Cape Town, South Africa, with his wife Ellen.

Youssef Fennira 

Youssef was the General Director of the National Agency for Employment and Independent Work until September 2020. Under his leadership, the ANETI 2030 Vision was developed with a major focus on four strategic pillars: Digitalization, Quality, Communication and the ANETI Academy. The Social and Solidarity Economy Act was approved during his mandate, which included the ANETI in Article 24.

He has a Master’s Degree in International Business from the Pantheon Sorbonne University (Paris 1). He was enrolled in an MBA in International Business Engineering at the Higher Institute of Management in Paris, after which he joined the Finance Department of the French Lagardère Group, one of the world leaders in publishing, production, distribution and content distribution.

He joined the Tunisian-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK Tunisia) in 2013 as Project Manager and specializes in major programs related to employment issues in Tunisia.

In 2015, he founded the Orientation Center and Professional Retaining (CORP) which mainly deals with issues of employability of young people through new innovative approaches. At the beginning of 2019, the CORP enabled the professional integration of more than 1,300 young Tunisians.

Youssef Fennira is also an International Consultant in Strategy and Organizational Development and continually shares the Tunisian experience in employment in countries such as Jordan, Tanzania, Chad, South Africa, the United States, Georgia. He has repeatedly represented Tunisia at pan-African events such as the African Youth Dialogue, the Youth Panafrican Forum and the African Leadership Forum.

Saleh Al-Hanash

A pharmapreneur, author of “Agonist Trio Methodology” accredited by American institute of business Psychology, inspirational speaker at various events and universities both locally and internationally.

Saleh Al-Hanash has also been an international coach and consultant in virtual training, sales and marketing, teambuilding and entrepreneurship. He is currently a 2021 JCI Digital Transformation Committee Member and served JCI as a 2020 International Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, assigned to six countries.

Listed among his other achievements are a membership to the 2020 American Institute of Business Psychology Methodology Accreditation & Social Psychology Network, the 

2019 TEDXMuscat Saloon Oman “Create your Net & Hunt You Future,” the co-founder of “Just Start Innovating” (a full-fledged solution to build & scale entrepreneurial platforms & ecosystems strategic programs) and the Founder of Agonist Consult for experimental training and consultation in Jordan & Palestine.