Lynette Chen is an African development expert, having actively contributed to initiatives such as the BEE Charter and the Presidential International Advisory Council on ICT in South Africa. She was formerly a senior government and public affairs manager at Hewlett Packard South Africa (HP), being exposed to African and international business while implementing progressive policies in line with BEE principles.
From 2004 to 2006, Lynette served as a Director and Chairperson of the NEPAD Business Foundation’s ICT Sector working group. In 2006 she was seconded by HP to serve as the CEO of the NEPAD Business Foundation (NBF) and was appointed on a full time basis at the NBF in 2007.She is deeply passionate about the continent and believes that in order for social and economic transformation to take place, we need to advocate for private sector-led initiatives aligned to the African Union’s NEPAD programmes. Through her leadership, she has grown the NBF from a staff compliment of 2 to a dynamic team of 20. In 2011 NBF established an office in Mozambique and in 2013 expanded into Zambia and Malawi and most recently, established an office in Ethiopia in 2015.
Lynette also serves on the Board of Directors of FANRPAN, a continental organization focusing on impacting policies in the agriculture sector. She also previously served as Vice-Chair of Enablis, an entrepreneurship development programme that emanated from the United Nations G8 Dot Force task team in 2001.
As a representative for private sector in Africa, Lynette is often invited by multilateral and regional organisations such the United Nations, African Union Commission, UNECA, African Development Bank to provide input and insight in the development of African and regional integration strategies.
Lynette holds qualifications in Communications and Public Relations, and has also completed the African Leadership Programme from Wits Business School in South Africa in 2007 and became a Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s African Leadership Initiative in 2015.