#100africainslesplusinfluentsen2021 Mimi Alemayehou (Kenya): Le fer de lance de la poussée de Twitter en Afrique

After cutting her teeth in the US administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Mimi Alemayehou, an Ethiopia-born, Kenya-raised American development finance expert, is now making waves in the global private sector.

In June, Alemayehou – who served as Executive Vice-President of the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) from 2010-2014 – was named as an Independent Director at Twitter.

The social media giant cited her “extensive experience overseeing growth in emerging markets in both the public and private sectors” – including tripling OPIC’s Africa portfolio to nearly $4bn – and said that her expertise would come in handy “as we expand Twitter’s presence to Ghana and invest in improving our service across Africa and other regions.”

While unsaid, that experience could also prove useful as the social media company continues its attempts to negotiate with Nigeria over its controversial ban in the country.

The Twitter role is just the latest private sector recognition of the skills of Alemayehou, who also serves as Senior Vice-President for public-private partnerships at Mastercard, where she leads link-ups with private foundations, international development organisations and non-governmental organisations.

And in a role which mixes business and pleasure, Alemayehou was this year named on the judging panel of the Financial Times’ Business Book of the Year Award.