Monica Musonda, successful Zambian entrepreneur and leader

Sara Drawwater
18 March 2013
Hot on the heals of International Youth Day, The World Economic Forum recently announced it’s Young Global Leaders Class of 2013. We took a keen interest because that list of incredibly inspiring…

Hot on the heals of International Youth Day, The World Economic Forum recently announced it’s Young Global Leaders Class of 2013. We took a keen interest because that list of incredibly inspiring international young movers and shakers included one of our very own — successful Zambian, Monica Musonda, who is the CEO of Java Foods in Zambia. Before we delve into finding out about Monica Musonda, here’s more on the Young Global Leaders movement.

This short video introduces the Young Global Leaders movement

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Every year thousands of nominations are rigorously processed by an internal World Economic Forum vetting group, an independent evaluation by Heidrick & Struggles, and a final selection committee lead by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The 2013 the Young global Leaders Class is made up of:

  • 199 individuals under the age of 40
  • From 70 different countries
  • 42% of these individuals are women
  • A diverse range of interests and expertise

Here you can read more about Young Global Leaders, it’s link to the World Economic Forum, its objectives and how Young Global Leaders work together. In addition, this information on Young Global Leaders initiatives makes interesting reading.

Young Global Leaders Class of 2013

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And here is a full list of 2013 Young Global Leaders Honourees. You will see that as well as other countries from around the world, Monica sits alongside young leaders from Sub Saharan Africa, including Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

Key facts about Monica Musonda, successful Zambian and CEO of Java Foods

  • Solicitor with over 15 years of corporate finance experience
  • Started out working for the Attorney General of Zambia
  • Worked in private practice with Clifford Chance (London) and rising to Partner at Edward Nathan Corporate Law Advisors (South Africa)
  • Has worked for the International Finance Corporation in Washington DC
  • Has served as Director Legal and Corporate Affairs to the Dangote Group in Lagos, Nigeria
  • Was the project lead on Dangote Group’s $500 million investment in Zambia to build the largest cement plant in Zambia (due for completion in 2014)
  • Mentored by Aliko Dangote
  • Moved back to Zambia and set up food processing company Java Foods, where she is currently CEO. The Java Foods plant is being built later this year and will be able to process an estimated 4,500 metric tonnes of wheat, transforming it into the high quality Java Foods own brand, ‘eeZee instant noodles’ for the Southern African market.
  • Currently sits on the board of the Bank of Zambia as the youngest board member in the bank’s history
  • Currently the Chairperson of Kwacha Pension Trust Fund.

Despite all these accolades we get the impression Ms Musonda’s feet are still firmly on the ground. We were bowled over when she took the time to comment on our Facebook post about her Young Global Leader Honouree status. Monica Musonda wrote,

“Thank you. Completely honoured to represent Zambia. This award means a lot to me, my family who has supported me and for Zambia. It means that WEF will now take Zambians more seriously so please let’s encourage our youth to stand up and be counted….does not need to be in business. It can be in any field….but let’s show the world our talent, our leadership and our potential”.

We say, keep up the good work! You are certainly inspiring more Zambian youth to take up the call to make a difference in Zambia and beyond.

You may also be interested in our International Youth Day post, which features are successful Zambian youth doing great things — in celebration of International Youth Day 2013