The MasterCard Foundation Presents

The Walrus Talks Africa’s Next Generation (Montreal)

Montreal Wednesday, March 9, 2016


  • “Social Innovation in Africa: A Personal Narrative” by Charles Onu, Jeanne Sauvé Fellow, McGill University
  • “Africa’s Best Hope for Inclusive Growth” by Dina Randrianasolo, The MasterCard Foundation
  • “Economic Security and Sustainability in Africa” by James Madhier, youth representative
  • “The Real Face of Hunger in Africa” by Hugo Melgar-Quiñonez, Director of McGill Institute for Global Food Security
  • “Empowerment of African Women through Agriculture” by Loise Mbugua, MasterCard Foundation Scholar, McGill University
  • “Goals, Role Models, and Resilience” by Innocent Nzayisenga, MasterCard Foundation Scholar, McGill University
  • “Breaking the Chains” by Mustafa Ahmed, poet

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Charles Onu is a software developer, researcher, and social innovator who is passionate about high-impact technologies that address social challenges. He is co-founder of Fisher Foundation and principal innovator of Ubenwa. As a researcher in humanitarian technology, Charles has spoken at the Global Humanitarian Technology Conference and UNESCO’s Technologies for Development. He was the only African youth to participate in the 2015 Jeanne Sauvé Foundation’s Public Leadership Program, and he was recently made an associate fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society.


Dina Randrianasolo works with the MasterCard Foundation’s Youth Livelihoods Program. Previously, through La Passerelle-IDÉ, she led leadership, entrepreneurship, and employability programs for francophone immigrant youth. She spent ten years as a consultant in Madagascar and Nigeria, where she led the design and implementation of financial-inclusion initiatives for funders such as the African Development Bank Group, the Agence Française de Développement, UNICEF, UNDP, UNCDF, and IFAD.


James Madhier, a student at the University of Toronto, is originally from South Sudan and Kenya. As a youth representative, James has appeared at high-level international forums, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit. He is currently working on a solar-light project for South Sudanese school kids who do not have access to electricity. In April 2015, the European named him a Future Leader.

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Hugo Melgar-Quiñonez directs the Institute for Global Food Security and is McGill University’s Margaret A. Gilliam Faculty Scholar in Food Security. Hugo has worked as a professor, researcher, and advisor in public-health nutrition, and he conducts research for Voices of the Hungry, a project of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. He studies the relationship between food insecurity and its determinants, which include poverty and malnutrition.

Loise Mbugua a finance major at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management, is originally from Kenya. She is passionate about African women’s economic empowerment, which will enable greater community investment, thereby improving education, nutrition, and health.

Innocent Nzayisenga, a MasterCard Foundation Scholar at McGill University, uses his musical talent to mend hearts and souls. Innocent shares his passion for music and social engagement through Montreal events and organizations that foster community growth and promote positive development. For Innocent, social change is more important than anything else. He lives by the motto, “If you believe it and keep envisioning it, you can achieve it.”


Mustafa Ahmed started writing at the age of ten as a means of expressing himself and reflecting on society. His poetry touches on the subjects of poverty, drugs, violence, and immigration. Living in Regent Park, Canada’s first inner-city housing project, Mustafa was exposed to the experiences and lifestyles he writes about. Mustafa has performed in association with the Children’s Aid Society, the Toronto District School Board, Hot Docs, and TEDxToronto.