Maddy, Monique (Adesemi) 1962-
Maddy, Monique (Adesemi) 1962-
PERSONAL: Born 1962, in Yekepa, Liberia; naturalized U.S. citizen. Education: Georgetown University, B.A.; Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, M.A., 1986; Harvard University Business School, M.B.A. Hobbies and other interests: Marathon running.
CAREER: United Nations Development Program, New York, NY, consultant on development issues in Angola, Central African Republic, and Indonesia, 1986-91; African Communications Group (now Adesemi Communications International), Boston, MA, founder and chief executive officer, 1993-99; Global Private Sector Initiative for Africa, Boston, consultant, 1999-. Member, Heineken N.V. Advisory Board for Africa; executive board member, Brick Project.
Learning to Love Africa: My Journey from Africa to Harvard Business School and Back, HarperBusiness (New York, NY), 2004.
Contributor to Harvard Business Review.
SIDELIGHTS: In her autobiography Learning to Love Africa: My Journey from Africa to Harvard Business School and Back Monique Maddy recounts her childhood in a company town in Liberia, her years of private schooling in England, and her immigration to the United States, where she undertook an ivy league education. With degrees from Johns Hopkins Univerity's School for Advanced International Studies and the Harvard Business School, Maddy embarked upon an ambitious plan: to provide affordable wireless telephone service to citizens in African nations such as Tanzania and Ghana. Her company, African Communications Group, changed its name to Adesemi Communications International and succeeded in placing thousands of pagers and coinless pay telephones in Tanzania. In 1999 the company folded due to political unrest in Africa and the inability to garner sufficient investment. Since then Maddy, an elite marathon runner, has been working with international corporations to encourage entrepreneurial activities in Africa.
On the Harvard Business School: Working Knowledge Web site, Maddy said in an interview that she wrote her memoir "in part because I found it therapeutic. When one goes through seven years from a start-up to a growing company, there are a lot of enlightening experiences that one does not really have time to reflect upon and to learn from because everything moves so quickly. In assessing what happened to Adesemi, I realized that there were many valuable lessons to be learned, both from things that went well and those that didn't turn out as hoped. Even today … I am still learning and applying those lessons to my current undertakings." Booklist correspondent Vanessa Bush felt that in Learning to Love Africa, Maddy "brings personal experience and a different perspective on the troubled history of conquest and colonization of Africa." A Publishers Weekly reviewer found the autobiography to contain the "fine sauciness of a marathon winner." The same critic commended Learning to Love Africa as "a warm memoir."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Maddy, Monique Learning to Love Africa: My Journey from Africa to Harvard Business School and Back, HarperBusiness (New York, NY), 2004.
Booklist, April 15, 2004, Vanessa Bush, review of Learning to Love Africa: My Journey from Africa to Harvard Business School and Back, p. 1410.
Boston Globe, April 24, 1996, Ronald Rosenberg, "From Film to Phones: They Plan to Bring Telecommunication Advances to Poorer African Nations," p. 81; May 30, 2004, Debra Bruno, "Even with a Great Idea and a Ripe Market, Start-up Stalls," p. E2.
Publishers Weekly, March 8, 2004, review of Learning to Love Africa, p. 66.
Wall Street Journal, September 25, 1998, Thomas Petzinger, Jr., "Monique Maddy Uses Wireless Pay Phones to Battle Poverty," p. B1; review of Learning to Love Africa, p. 66.
Harvard Business School: Working Knowledge Web site, http://workingknowledge.hbs.edu/ (December 16, 2004), Cynthia Churchwell, interview with Maddy.
Monique Maddy Home Page, http://www.moniquemaddy.com (December 16, 2004).