Making A Difference in Liberia

Posted on: Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 by Brent Treash

mwenda tn.jpgMwenda Kazadi (E&H ’10) is living full time in Liberia now, and he is making an impact.

“Currently, I run my own boutique advisory firm in Liberia called Impact Advisory Services, which specializes in agricultural finance, digital finance and small medium business (sme) lending & investing.”

Mwenda’s work is particularly important in an area where land resources are plenteous but money is not. “Liberia despite, possessing vast amounts of natural resources and an ideal climate for agricultural production, is one of the poorest countries in the world, which suffers from rampant poverty and food insecurity. Working with Liberian farmers and agribusinesses to improve their businesses, increase their incomes and increase the overall investments in Liberia’s agricultural sector; it has the potential to deliver an enormous positive impact to improve the Liberian economy and promote stability.”

Does he like the work? “I love it! I wake up every day excited about the new opportunities and challenges that I will face when I go into the office. I am doing what I love.”

Mwenda transferred to Emory & Henry from Northern Virginia Community College after he brought his sister (Joy Kazadi, E&H ’10) for her first week as a freshman. He was so taken with the people and the campus he applied that day to be a transfer. “I really enjoyed my time at E&H and I know that what I learned there through my business and international studies classes, extracurricular activities and from the Bonner Scholars Community Service Program, helped prepare me for the work that I do today.”

He majored in business administration and minored in middle eastern international studies, and had a close relationship with a number of faculty members including Dr. Samir Saliba and Dr. Felicia Mitchell.  “We would grab meals together and I would spend time in their offices; at times discussing assignments & school work and other times we would just discuss current events and what I wanted to do upon graduation. They really went out of their way to make themselves available and I believe that those discussions helped to nurture my curiosity about how finance can positively impact the lives of individuals in developing and frontier economies.”

Mwenda also learned some great lessons in community organizing as a student. He organized a group called Men of Color Alliance (MOCA) that focused on facilitating discussion and raising awareness on issues about race and gender. Mwenda is half Congolese and half Liberian. “It also provided men of color with the necessary support system for the unique issues that they at times face.” He says the group was well accepted and supported by the College administration.

While Mwenda loves the work he is doing now, he also has his sights set on the future. “I plan to continue working in this field for a few years. However, in the near-term future I see myself launching a West African region-focused impact investment firm; which is an investment firm that seeks to invest in ventures that are not only profitable but have a significant positive impact on the communities they operate in.”


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