Develop Africa's team comprises of dynamic, dedicated, forward-thinking and compassionate individuals who desire to make an impact and effect a lasting transformation in the lives of individuals in Africa. Develop Africa works in partnership with businesses, non-profit organizations and charities, and individuals all around the world who are trained in and specialize in development work in Africa. The backgrounds of our staff and partners range from full-time work experience in international development to advanced degrees in business, education, development and leadership.  


 Board Members


Sylvester Renner is passionate about effecting permanent change and making a mark in Africa that cannot be erased.  He is the co-founder and president of Develop Africa. Mr. Renner holds a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA), with a specialization in Information Technology. He has over 15 years of strategic, hands-on experience in project management, small business development, business analysis, information technology implementation, and web development and consulting.  Mr. Renner has worked full-time with RURCON/RUDERSERV (in partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS)) and with NGOs implementing food and nutrition programs in Western Area, South and Eastern Provinces of Sierra Leone. He has also worked in literature development and reading promotion. Mr. Renner is semi-fluent in French and widely traveled internationally.  You can follow Sylvester on twitter @sylrenner.


Dr. Henry Antkiewicz is currently Professor of History at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) and an Honors College Faculty Fellow.  He served as the Director for ETSU's Office of International Programs for nine years.  He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanganyika (present Tanzania) from 1963-65 and, later, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Zambia from 1977-86.  Dr. Antkiewicz has conducted research in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Tanzania. He has extensive international experience and has consulted, lectured, and presented papers in several countries. 



Dr. Jasmine Renner is a 2015 Carnegie Africa Diaspora Fellow and a Fulbright Specialist Scholar. She is currently a tenured Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at East Tennessee State University.  Dr. Renner is the "Lead Mentor" and currently directs Develop Africa's Girls Leadership Mentoring Program. She is also the co-founder and Director of Development and International Outreach at Develop Africa, Inc.   A native of Sierra Leone, Dr. Renner formerly practiced law as an attorney specializing in international law and general legal practice. She has authored several African children fiction books on leadership and character-building and numerous scholarly articles and book chapters on cross cultural leadership and sustainable development in developing nations. As a consultant, Dr. Renner advises on eLearning, mobile Learning (mLearning) and cross-cultural issues relating to global education, strategic planning, educational policy, and sustainable development in developing countries.


Daniel Sesay is founder of a non-profit organization "Rebuild Sierra Leone."  He immigrated to the US in 1994 to study music at the Colorado Christian University, and graduated with a degree in Music Ministry in 1998.  He  is currently the interim Worship Director at mountain view community church in Colorado.  Mr. Sesay is married to Erica and has two girls: Keisha and Cierra.  He loves to write and play music, travel and watch movies.

Janet Tucker holds a joint honors degree in French and English from the University of Sierra Leone, Fourah Bay College, and a  Masters in Development from the United Kingdom.  Janet is leader who is passionate about sustainable  development and human rights issues, especially as it relates to women and girls.

Dr. George Naholi served as a high school teacher, college lecturer, Senior Education Officer in Kenya from 1971-92.  He was the Senior Manpower Development Officer at the Office of the President and the Directorate of Personnel  Management (DPM) for Local and Foreign Training from 1992-2004.  Dr. Naholi became a member of the United States Achievement Academy (USAA) in 2006.  He holds a PhD in Education at East Tennessee State University and is passionate about making a difference in Africa.


Asonganyi Venard has been with Develop Africa, Inc. since January 2012. He is originally from Cameroon. He holds two bachelor degrees: one in Medical Laboratory Science from the University of Buea, Cameroon, and the other in Philosophy awarded by the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, Italy. He likewise holds a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies and a Master of Public Administration with concentration in Planning and Development from East Tennessee State University. He has worked at the Zoning Office in Washington County, Jonesborough, TN, and as a research consultant for NASA Develop. He is currently the Director of Planning in the municipality of Greeneville, TN. He lives with his family in Johnson City, TN. 

Dream Home, Clinical Director

Cheedy Jaja

Dr. Cheedy Jaja, PHD, MPH, MN, RN, is associate professor of nursing and medicine at the University of Cincinnati and an NIH funded clinical and translational research scientist. Dr. Jaja clinical and health sciences credentials include a registered nursing license, a master of nursing, a master of public health genetics degree from the University of Washington; and a certificate in clinical and translational science from the Georgia Regents University. He was the inaugural Pharmacogenetics, Ethics and Public Policy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Indiana University School of Medicine Center for Bioethics; and he is currently pursuing a psych and mental health nurse practitioner program at Indiana University. Recently, Dr. Jaja was involved in the global response to the recent Ebola Virus Disease epidemic in the West African state of Sierra Leone where he provided direct clinical care and psychosocial support to patients with EVD.  Dr. Jaja is the clinical director for The Dream Home.  He is quite passionate about the orphans