Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli (MFR)
Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli is an expert on African agriculture and nutrition, entrepreneurship, social innovation, and youth development. She has over 25 years of international development experience and is a recognized serial entrepreneur, author, public speaker, and consultant.
Ndidi serves on the boards of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), AGRA, the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum, Nigerian Breweries Plc. (Heineken), Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. India, Fairfax Africa Holdings Canada, Royal DSM Sustainability Board, Netherlands, and the African Philanthropy Forum. She previously served on the Boards of Nestle Nigeria Plc., the World Vegetable Center, Businessday Newspapers and Cornerstone Insurance Plc.
Ndidi started her career as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, working in Chicago, New York, and Johannesburg. She returned to Nigeria in 2000 to serve as the pioneer executive director of FATE Foundation, supporting young entrepreneurs to start and scale their businesses. In 2002, she established LEAP Africa to inspire, empower, and equip a new cadre of principled, disciplined, and dynamic young leaders in Africa. In the same year, she established NIA to support female university students in Nigeria to achieve their highest potential.
Ndidi is the co-founder and Executive Chair of Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition, which works across Africa shaping policies and implementing ecosystem solutions. As the co-founder of AACE Foods, which produces a range of packaged spices, seasonings, snacks and cereals for local and international markets, Ndidi has propelled the growth of a catalytic business. As the founder of Nourishing Africa, a digital funding, training and knowledge hub, she is supporting entrepreneurs in 37 African countries. Her latest start-up is Changing Narratives Africa committed to changing global mindsets about Africa by showcasing the Continent’s contributions to the global food ecosystem through the pioneering work of her dynamic people, their innovations, and products.
Ndidi was recognized as a Young Global Leader and a Schwab Social Innovator by the World Economic Forum and received a National Honor from the Nigerian Government. She was recognized as one of the 20 Power African Women by Forbes, as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by New African Magazine and received the 2021 Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Awards, the highest honors given by the school. She is a TED Global and TED Women speaker.
Ndidi is the author of “Social Innovation in Africa: A Practical Guide for Scaling Impact,” and “Food Entrepreneurs in Africa: Scaling Resilient Agriculture Businesses,” both published by Routledge. She is also the author of “Working for God in the Marketplace.”
Ndidi holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She was a Senior Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government at the Harvard Kennedy School and an Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow. She is currently a visiting Scholar at Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University.