Manuel NtumbaBy Manuel Ntumba|August 5, 2022|9 Minutes|In Risk and Glory, Risk & Glory League

Risk and Glory

"Get people to take you seriously when you are African

A journey from a partnership manager to a managing partner... Having parents from two different African regions and countries has developed a certain level of Pan-Africanism in me since my young age, as I was born to a Congolese father and a Togolese mother. This is one of the reasons why my projects do not focus on just one country but rather on all African countries as well as on other developing and emerging countries worldwide.

My father Prof. Shambuyi Ntumba always wanted me to pursue an international career and has really inspired me to do so. Himself being a former UNESCO official and a university professor in business law, he has significantly contributed to the higher education system in Cape Verde, Niger, and Togo. He was on the founding boards of several high-level private universities in Togo, many of which later extended to many countries on the African continent such as Gabon, Niger, Senegal, Central African Republic, Burkina Faso, Benin, and Ivory Coast.

Although several African entrepreneurs and innovators are well known for their achievements, the world is still not used to seeing many highly-skilled and renowned African innovators. So it has not always been easy to get people to take you seriously when you are African and working in very highly innovative fields. This was the biggest challenge I faced at the beginning of my career. But things are changing now, and I believe no one should ever get intimidated by others because of their origins. Even when the doors (opportunities) are closed, keep knocking on other doors (opportunities), for sure at least one will definitely open for you.

From the age of 15 to 18, through my willingness to support the development of my community, I was spending my free time tutoring (free of cost) students from local schools in Lomé (Togo) in Maths, Physics, Biology, French Literature, and English. In 2018, I was awarded the Togolese Government’s Excellence Fellowship in Space Studies. Since 2019, I have worked with several companies and international organizations all over the world in several fields mainly in geostrategy, geospatial intelligence, space applications, digital economy, research, and development (R&D).

In 2020, I co-founded Tod’Aérs Global Network [TGN], a global public-private partnership [PPP], established with a vision to support global sustainable development, technological innovation, and socio-economic progress worldwide. The professional portfolio of the network includes collaborations with the United Nations [UN], the European Union [EU], the African Union [AU]’s Presidential Panel of 2021, and many other governments, universities, international organizations, and multinational companies worldwide.

In 2020, as a new Government was appointed in Togo, I started working closely with the Togolese government as an Advisor in geospatial intelligence and space affairs to the Minister of Communications and Government Spokesperson Prof. Akodah Ayewouadan. Additionally, in 2021, I worked as Advisor on space affairs and geospatial intelligence to the African Union Presidential Panel of 2021 (Presidency of the Democratic Republic of Congo), to develop a roadmap for the use of space technologies, digital transformation, and geospatial applications to achieve Agenda 2063 of the African Union (AU).

In 2021, I was selected among the world’s top experts, innovators, and entrepreneurs, by the US-based XPRIZE FOUNDATION, to propose breakthroughs to overcome the world’s greatest challenges. Many of my research publications were featured on Harvard (SAO) – NASA Astrophysics Data System and many other renowned platforms including Stanford University Libraries, The Geopolitics (magazine), and NewsBreak, a leading news platform in the United States. Furthermore, I was recognized in July 2021 by BBC News as “The Hope for Africa in Space Technology” and as one of the world’s youngest inventors in the space field.


In January 2022, I completed an executive-level program in Financial Technology and Digital Inclusion from the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) and Alipay (Alibaba Group). The program has helped me to gain more experience in using technology to support financial inclusion, digital transformation, and socio-economic development, especially in developing and emerging countries. Later that month, I delivered a TEDx Talk on “the use of geospatial technologies to support socio-economic progress”.

I was recognized in March 2022 among the World’s Top 50 Rising Stars in the geospatial sector; alongside engineers, scientists, and experts from NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – as well as business leaders, and company executives from world-leading multinational technology companies such as Trumble, ESRI, EUMETSAT, Accenture, Printerest, Fugro, Satellogic, and many more.

From May 2021 to May 2022, I was a Regional Partnership Manager at the Space Generation Advisory Council – in support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, affiliated with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) based in Vienna, Austria. I was overseeing all regional strategic partnerships for all 54 African countries, and member-states of the United Nations. I have tendered my resignation from this position in May 2022, in order to focus my energy and time on providing innovative solutions to much pressing matters in African countries and in other developing and emerging market economies worldwide.

To provide such solutions, I co-founded early this month (June 2022) Déoxial Group, a company providing import-export solutions and professional services on a global scale. I was appointed Managing Partner and Group CEO by the company board and the investors, therefore I am in charge of the strategic management, day-to-day leadership, business decision-making, and strategic planning of all global business strategies for the group’s brands and its future subsidiaries worldwide.

Jointly with Tod’Aérs Global Network [TGN], Déoxial Group has launched the investment fund: Tod’Aérs Global Fund [TGF], a global venture capital fund that helps identify promising new firms, early-stage start-ups, and emerging companies to provide them with investment opportunities, financing, mentoring, and technical expertise in talent acquisition, strategic partnership, business models, and marketing. The Tod’Aérs Global Fund [TGF] is expected to provide on average USD 10 million in investment to new firms, early-stage start-ups, and emerging companies by the end of 2023.

In collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO] and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC]; Tod’Aérs Global Network [TGN] has co-organized the 1st African Geospatial and Socio-Economic Progress Forum [AfGSEP Forum 2022] from 21st to 22nd April 2022 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC].


Tod’Aérs Global Network [TGN] has recently signed a long-term partnership agreement with the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and has become the first-ever non-European stakeholder and partner of the Erasmus+ Sector Skills Alliances. Erasmus+ Sector Skills Alliances is approved by the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) at the European Commission based in Brussels, Belgium. It aims at tackling skills gaps with regard to one or more occupational profiles in several sectors, by identifying existing or emerging sector-specific labor market needs at the demand side, and by enhancing the responsiveness of initial and continuing vocational education and training (VET) systems, at all levels, to the labor market needs at the supply side.

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