Innovation: Africa has staff in New York, Israel, Uganda, Malawi and Tanzania. Meet our team here:

sivan borowich-yaari founder and president

Sivan Borowich-Ya'ari

Founder and CEO

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Sivan Borowich Ya'ari is the founder and CEO of Innovation: Africa. Born in Israel and raised in Nice, France, Sivan traces her roots back to the African continent where her father was born in Algeria and her mother in Tunisia. Sivan first traveled to Africa as part of her work for a multinational clothing company, verifying compliance issues in the company's African manufacturing facilities. Sivan was immediately moved by the pervasive poverty she witnessed and began to look for ways to transform and improve the lives of African people. Following a brief stint as a mortgage banker, Sivan joined the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and developed the groundwork for what would become Innovation: Africa. Sivan graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in finance from Pace University and holds a master's degree in international energy management and policy from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.

Bar Riese Program Manager

Bar Riese

Program Manager

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After completing a two-year military service in her native Israel, Bar went traveling and spent time working and volunteering with local communities in the Brazilian Amazon and Kolkata, India. Nearly seven years ago, Bar moved to New York to attend Columbia University and worked with human rights and conflict resolution non-profits before joining Innovation: Africa, where she was thrilled to combine her Israeli background with her passion for development work. Bar graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in philosophy, is a certified TEFL teacher and has studied six languages. Swahili and Chichewa are next on her list.

Emma Goldman Outreach Coordinator

Emma Goldman

Outreach Coordinator

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Emma is a dog loving vegetarian who lives in the West Village, and has a passion for all things Israel, Africa and the environment. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Goucher College, and spent her Sophmore year studying Ethnomusicology in Grahamstown, South Africa, where she discovered what would be a life altering passion and connection to the African continent. Prior to joining the Innovation: Africa staff Emma was a long time volunteer, and worked at UJA-Federation in the Caring Commission. Emma is currently completing her Master's in Human Rights at Columbia University with a concentration in Female Child Soldiers in Africa and Post-Conflict Implications.

Yael Misrahi

Executive Assistant

to the Founder and CEO

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Yael Misrahi was born in Sacramento and grew up in Jerusalem and Cleveland. Yael obtained her BA from Wellesley College with a major in International Relations and Political Science and recently completed her MA (Cum Laude) in Government with a specialization in Diplomacy and Conflict Studies from the IDC Herzliya. Yael also spent one year at the London School of Economics and Political Science where she specialized in International Relations and ran the social programming for the LSE Israeli society. Yael's experience in international development began when she spent one year in India as an American Jewish World Service World Partners Fellow volunteering at the Centre for Social Justice, a grassroots socio-legal human rights NGO in Gujarat. At CSJ, Yael compiled a manual for human rights educators and trainers of educators. Following her time in India, Yael worked for a renewable energy company in Ohio, backpacked throughout Latin America, and led several college alternative spring breaks for AJWS in Nicaragua. Today, Yael is the Executive Assistant to Sivan Yaari, the President and CEOof Innovation: Africa and is in charge of Israel outreach and special programming.

Development Associate

Lindsay was born and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her experiences there, facing extreme poverty, ignited in her the desire to work in international development. After completing an MSc in Mathematics and Finance at Imperial College, London, Lindsay worked in investment banking for 3 years but felt she wanted something more fulfilling. She returned to university, this time the London School of Economics, to complete a Masters in Development Studies. Lindsay has since worked at a variety of non-profits focusing on poverty alleviation in Africa and is delighted to be part of the Innovation: Africa team. She is iA’s first London-based team member. Lindsay lives in London with her husband and two young children.

Dr. Samson Wamani Health Development Officer, Uganda

Dr. Samson Wamani

Health Development Officer, Uganda

Our resident medical expert, Dr. Sam was born in the Budaka District of Uganda. He has a diploma in clinical medicine and public health from Kampala International University, and studied comprehensive management of HIV/AIDS at Moi University in Kenya. Dr. Sam worked as the head of the health department for the Abayudaya community for four years in which he set up the first ever health services delivery system. He also served as the clinic officer for Riverside Medical Research Center where he examined and treated patients while working on the center’s strategic planning. Dr. Sam speaks English, Swahili and five local Ugandan languages.

Robert Khakhosi Project Manager,  Uganda

Robert Khakhosi

Project Manager,


Robert Khakhosi was born and raised in Mbale, Uganda. After studying sustainable agriculture in KULIKA Charitable Trust, Robert worked as an agriculture extension worker with Heifer International and as an agricultural trainer with World Vision International. Robert has also volunteered as a community health worker with the Abayudaya Congregation and Foundation for Development of the Needy Communities in Mbale, Uganda. Robert speaks fluent English and Kiswahili as well as eight Bantu languages.

Mutisya John Project Manager,  Tanzania

Mutisya John

Project Manager,

Mutisya was born in northern Tanzania to a Tanzanian Mother and a Kenyan Father. After studying and traveling all over his native country, he earned an accounting degree and began working as a business development services provider with the International Labor Organization. There, he partnered with ActionAid International to support startups and existing entrepreneurs in rural areas to build and implement business plans. It was through this work that he discovered his love of field work in rural communities, and his passion for finding sustainable, business-oriented solutions to the challenges of rural energy and water access. He continued working with ActionAid on issues pertaining to rural education, agriculture, human rights and good governance until joining the Innovation: Africa team in 2012. Mutisya speaks English and Kiswahili fluently.

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Sabrine Bilger

Africa Programs Associate, USA

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Genna Brand

Community Development Coordinator


Sarah Gimono

Field Officer,


Potipher Banda

Project Manager,


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Innovation: Africa is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that brings Israeli innovation to African villages. Founded in 2008, in seven years Innovation Africa has provided light, clean water, food and proper medical care to more than 700,000 people in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi, Uganda, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegal.

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