Ron Brown Scholar Makes Scholarship Gift to Program


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The Ron Brown Scholar Program is pleased to announce the donation of a $40,000 scholarship from 2004 Ron Brown Scholar Samuel Alemayehu. This gift will fund one future Ron Brown Scholar and their dream of attending college. Sam’s gift marks a milestone in the history of the Ron Brown Scholar Program. His leadership will set a path for other Ron Brown Scholars to follow. It is a vivid demonstration of our Scholars’ commitment to making a difference to society, by contributing both time and money to carefully focused causes. It also demonstrates the intergenerational dimension of the Ron Brown Scholar Program. Year by year and class by class, the cumulative impacts of the Program will multiply.

“The award to me of a $40,000 scholarship ten years ago, was by far the largest and most important financial gift anyone had ever made for me or my family. The Ron Brown Program gave me financial support and an invitation to join the RBS family that aimed to honor the legacy of Secretary Ron Brown by daring us to succeed beyond our wildest dreams. So ten years later after an Engineering Degree from Stanford and a series of successful startups, I am in a position to give back to the organization that has changed my life. I wanted to be the first Ron Brown Scholar to fund a full scholarship of $40,000. Having experienced and benefitted from the Ron Brown Program, the ultimate way to show my gratitude was to provide the same opportunity for future Ron Brown Scholars.” – Sam Alemayehu


Samuel Z. Alemayehu is the Managing Director of Cambridge Group Companies and CEO of Cambridge Industries Energy. He currently leads CGC’s investment efforts in Africa and handles the operation of Cambridge’s renewable energy mission on the continent. Sam is based in the UK and East Africa as he leads CGC’s efforts to introduce innovative technology to address major challenges in emerging markets.

Prior to joining Cambridge, Sam was the founder of 4AFRI Media; a venture backed mobile software start up focused on the African Continent. 4AFRI was funded as the African version of 4INFO ( the leading SMS services provider in the US. 4AFRI had offices in both Ethiopia and Cameroon developing mobile-based solutions in entertainment, lottery, health, jobs and many other sectors. 4AFRI had reached over 5 million customers in less than a year and produced over 100 applications. Sam also lead the creation of 4AFRI’s subsidiary, Lotophone S.A. in West and Central Africa based on an exclusive license to run lottery services on the mobile phone.

Sam started his professional career in Silicon Valley as a serial entrepreneur as founder of three successful tech ventures before his 23rd birthday. Sam started creating companies while pursuing his education at Stanford University to address various challenges. He was an Associate at Venrock Associates (Rockefeller Family Venture Firm) investing in consumer media and mobile applications. 4AFRI was initially incubated at Venrock but was funded independently by a consortium of investors including SpringHill Equity and leading angel investor Josh Mailman. Sam has worked in various countries in Africa including Cameroon, Gabon, Senegal, Mali, Algeria, DRC, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan and South Africa.

After 4AFRI, Sam joined Cambridge Group Companies and help lead the creation of Cambridge Industries Ltd, now a subsidiary of DP Cleantech Ltd. ( to develop and construct waste-to-energy and biomass plants in Africa. Currently he is overseeing the construction of a 50MWe waste-to-energy facility in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the development of facilities in Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon, Senegal and Djibouti. The innovations at CIL – DPCT has made it possible to expand modern Waste-to-Energy technology to emerging markets disposing municipal and agricultural waste in an environmentally friendly way. CIL plans to build over 1,000MW of waste and biomass fired facilities in Africa before 2020.

Sam is an expert on technology investments and development of renewable energy projects in emerging markets with emphasis in waste-to-energy and Biomass. Following the successful merger of Cambridge Industries Ltd with DP Cleantech; Sam is currently leading Cambridge’s development of large-scale wind farms in Africa as part of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative. Cambridge Industries Energy in partnership with General Electric Inc. and LAFTO Turbine Technologies is in the final stages of preparation to commence the construction of 310MW Wind Farm in Aysha, Ethiopia. The wind farm facility when completed will constitute over 10% of Power Africa’s stated goal for Africa and introduce a world-class wind facility in East Africa.

Sam is currently on the board of various companies and is co-chair of the Cambridge Investment committee with the former Director of Investment Banking for Africa at Credit Suisse. In this capacity Sam oversees the deal pipeline and manages the entire investment cycle of companies in the pipeline. The team has helped channel hundreds of millions of dollars in the past three years for innovative projects in Africa.

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