IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Promoting Social Entrepreneurship in the Indian Ocean

IVLP Alumnus, Mr. Ali Ahmed Mahamoud recieves a Comoros Business Award for project management.


IVLP Alumni Spotlight features a U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumnus who is putting into practice ideas and concepts gleaned during the IVLP study tour. Here we feature Mr. Ali Ahmed Mahamoud from Comoros, an IVLP participant from 2013.

Visitor:                   Ali Ahmed Mahamoud

                              Associate Leader, Junior Chamber International

Home Country:      Comoros

Cities Visited:        Washington, DC; New Orleans, LA; City splits: Atlanta, GA; 

                              Indianapolis, IN; Portland, OR; and Salt Lake City, UT  

IVLP Project:         American Youth:  Inspiring Leadership and Civic Participation, 2013

 What have you been up to since your IVLP experience?

Since my return from U.S., we have started a youth organization called Synergies Jeunes Océan Indien (Indian Ocean Youth Synergies) with the support of the Indian Ocean Commission (link). This organization connects young Indian Ocean entrepreneurs through networking, capacity building and programs such as such as the “Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year” award and “Best Business Plan” competition. I was named Best Young Entrepreneur of Comoros for the competition and was a regional Finalist in Mauritius in 2013.

With the local board of Synergies Jeunes Comoros, we organized the Indian Ocean Youth Forum (link) which promotes entrepreneurship and youth participation in decision-making processes for the fifth Presidential Summit held in Comoros in July 2014. Our recommendations were submitted to the Presidents of Comoros, Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar and France.  This same year I was nominated on behalf of my second company for the “Project of the Year with Management 4.0 (www.management-40.com)” by the Chamber of Commerce of Comoros.

Forum de la Jeunesse de lOcean Indien
Forum de la Jeunesse de lOcean Indien

What one lesson that you learned or idea that you gained on your IVLP experience have you started to apply in your organization?

The most important thing I gained from this program is a new network of colleagues who have become real friends. I believe that everything is possible with a network based on friendship and honesty, and if we can share our experiences, we can have better understanding of ourselves. I met people I never expected to meet, but what we did together makes me feel humble. I believe that what we’re doing is the key for real and sustainable development. Whatever we decide to do, possibly harder than we can imagine, will definitively point the way for success in our different goals or projects.

What message would you like to share with the people who hosted and met with you in the US?

I’m very grateful for the people who hosted us through this program, I met such different people with different experiences, all of whom were animated by the love of their country with its contradictions. Atlanta was a special moment in the program as I learned about Martin Luther King and the American Civil Rights Movement.