Corporate lawyer turned entrepreneur, Monica Musonda is the Chief Executive Officer of Java Foods, a Zambian-based food processing/FMCG company which she founded in 2012. She sought to take advantage of Zambia’s strong wheat yields, demand for more convenience foods and changing consumption patterns to make products for a young urban population. Her leadership and vision has grown Java Foods into a leading independent instant noodle manufacturer in the Southern African region, with eeZee Noodles fast becoming a leading brand in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. Her vision is to transform the business into one of the leading packaged food manufacturers in the region by 2025. She currently manages a team of 82 people (of which 40% are women) and has raised over $6 million from impact funds and banks over the past four years to fund Java’s expansion.
Monica is a dual qualified English solicitor and Zambian advocate with over 16 years post qualification experience. She began her legal career working for the Attorney General of Zambia, going on to work in private practice for Clifford Chance (London) and Edward Nathan (Johannesburg, where she rose to the rank of partner). She also worked as Counsel at International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Washington DC and for the Dangote Group as Director, Legal and Corporate Affairs. She was directly involved in Dangote Cement’s $13 billion listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and assisted the Group in raising various debt instruments in the international market (more than $3 billion). Monica was the project lead responsible for the Group’s $400 million investment in Zambia to build the country’s largest integrated cement plant.
Monica currently serves as non-executive director on several boards including Airtel Networks Zambia Plc and Zambia Breweries (where she is chair). She is the recipient of the 2017 African Agribusiness Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which is an award conferred annually to entrepreneurs who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in agricultural input and value addition in Africa. She is a Young Global Leader (World Economic Forum) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow. Forbes Magazine and Africa Investor named her as one of the leading Young Power Women in Business in Africa. She is one of the few Zambian women involved in agro-processing at a scalable level. She holds a LL.B from the University of Zambia and an LL.M from the University of London.