Ghana is beaming with a sense of entrepreneurship and a ‘YES WE CAN’ attitude that inspires almost every young Ghanaian to try their hands on something. For some, it is a simple question of answering a long awaited problem while others look for the often over-exploited and concentrated market. Whichever way the thought of starting something goes, there are a couple of people who inspire the movement and conversation among this theming and industrious bunch who want to go beyond the limits set by society and the bounds built by the generation before us.
One of those doing their very best to achieve more and set a better course for them to follow is Sangu Delle, an Entrepreneur, Author, Clean Water Activist, Soros Fellow and TED Global Fellow. He is of Ghanaian, Egyptian and Burkinabe ancestry who grew up in a bi-religious household of a Catholic father and a Muslim mother.
For most of the things he had achieved throughout his career, he is popular for his Golden Palm Investments (GPI); an investment holding and advisory company focused on building world-class companies in Africa. Delle is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Palm and was voted as one of two Ghanaians who made the list of ‘Forbes Africa 30 under 30’ list for 2015, retaining his place on the prestigious list of last year.
After leaving the Ghana International School, Sangu was fortunate to have been awarded a full merit scholarship to the Peddie School, a high school in New Jersey where he continued to Harvard. At Harvard University, he was inspired to pursue social and economic entrepreneurship. He graduated with the highest honors in African Studies and Economics, where he swept the Thomas Hoopes Prize, the Reverend Peter Gomes Prize, the Philippe Wamba Prize, the Deshaun Hill & Harvard Stephens and the Maurice Sedwell Prize.
On campus, he was President of the Harvard Black Men’s Forum, worked with the Harvard AIDS Coalition and the Harvard International Business Club. While at Harvard, Sangu enrolled in the Social Engagement Initiative program that bridged the academic study and practical service gap hence leading Sangu co-found Cleanacwa (formerly the African Development Initiative), which embarked on a five-year project to bring sanitation and clean water to Agyementi, a village in Ghana.
Today, Cleanacwa is working in underdeveloped regions to make sure that water, a basic necessity, is accessible to all. Sangu has worked at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Valiant Capital Partners. Convinced the basic working mechanism for the continent will be entrepreneurship, in 2008 he founded an investment holding company, Golden Palm Investments (GPI) to fund promising start-ups that can have social impact and generate jobs. GPI has backed startups such as Solo Mobile in Nigeria, mPharma in Ghana and Zamsolar in Zambia. GPI has also built a portfolio of Greenfield companies in healthcare, real estate, agriculture and financial services.
Sangu is a passionate Pan-Africanist who has traveled to about 40+ countries in Africa and is somewhere on the continent every month working on his various projects and initiatives. He has given talks on Africa at Harvard University, Yale University, Carnegie Mellon, and other universities and high schools worldwide. He co-authored and published a book on contemporary Africa through Poetry in 2012 and is working on his forthcoming book ‘Seeding Growth: Africa’s Youngest Entrepreneurs’, in which he chronicles his journey traveling through 17 countries across Africa in 2013 interviewing and profiling young entrepreneurs making a difference on the continent.
His numerous awards include “Top 30 Most Promising Entrepreneurs in Africa in 2014″ – FORBES; “Young African Committed to Excellence (YACE) Award” – Face2Face Africa; “One of Africa’s Rising Star – outstanding individuals and power brokers who are changing the financial, investment and business landscape in Africa” – EUROMONEY; “Young Person Of The Year” – The Future Awards Africa; “Time/Bentley Tomorrow25 future leaders award” – Time Magazine
and “Top 30 Most Promising Entrepreneurs in Africa in 2015″ – FORBES.