Vymala Poligadu Thuron 2023 Speaker

Deputy Managing Director

Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund


Vymala Poligadu-Thuron is the Deputy Managing Director for the Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund (the Fund), an initiative of the Mastercard Foundation / MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates). She is responsible for supporting all technical, financial, and operational aspects of the initiative. Vymala is a highly experienced development professional with exposure in a range of development programs and organizations. Vymala has over 20 years of progressive and cross-cutting experience in policy advocacy & campaigning, diplomacy, high-level representation, strategic leadership, executive management, and programming at national, regional, and global levels. Most recently, Vymala was leading the Programme Development and Partnership within GroFin. In this role Vymala has been responsible for designing, strategizing, fundraising and implementation of new projects. She was instrumental in designing and facilitating a Gender Fund and a Youth Fund, Funds aiming to create a prosperous future for young women and young men in the MENA region and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her programmatic experience also includes managing internal and external stakeholders, monitoring and evaluation, compliance and the development of processes and procedures. Over the years she has worked on issues related to gender, youth, climate, investment, and enterprise development. As the Gender Expert she led the Gender Program with key DFIs such as FMO, DGGF, Norfund and OPIC among others, and was the focal point for the 2xChallenge. Prior to joining GroFin, Vymala was Directing the External Relations of AFRINIC, where she led the outreach and community programmes, the AFRINIC Government Working Group, also leading Communication, PR, and Marketing activities. She launched the Fund for Internet Research and Education Fund with key donors, IDRC, SIDA, ISOC among others to close the access and digital gap. She has worked with governmental, international, regional and local development organisations such as United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Bank (WB) and for programmes funded by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Union (EU). She worked closely with actors involved in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in projects promoting socio-economic development in Africa. She currently also advises AFCHIX, a leading African woman-in-tech association that promotes alternative access solutions, digital literacy, and digital access to women and marginalized communities in Africa. She is a frequent public speaker and has participated in many international events. Vymala holds a Master’s in International Affairs and a Master’s in finance from Sorbonne Paris, France.


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