Jean Berchmans Siboniyo
Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow, Class of 2021-22
- Home country: Burundi
- College: The National University of Burundi
- Current career: President and Founder at AMEBE and CEO at Sacor Services
- Specialization: Education, entrepreneurship, communication, social innovation and economic resilience
- Email: jbs433 [at] cornell.edu
What is the most memorable or impactful experience of your career so far?
I have helped 3,000 women, youth and underprivileged populations to learn more about life skills for economic resilience. As a result, most of them have created their own jobs and hired others. Moreover I have helped both local and international NGOs revamp their strategies to make a greater impact in Burundi and the region in order to improve livelihoods. I brought relief to businesses owners especially those using cars by creating a service called "Chauffeurs Courtois" (courteous drivers) to help those who have been negatively impacted by criminal drivers. This multi-service company also deals with other services such as translations, car rental, business communication and consulting in project management, just to name a few.
What are the big challenges you want to tackle in your country, and what impact do you want to make?
In my work I seek to tackle joblessness, lack of democracy and human rights violations through economic independence. I dream of an Africa that requests trades not aids from other continents. I want to connect Africa in general and Burundi in particular to the world through the English language. Knowledge of the language has the potential to improve business relations and interactions between continents. I believe that hunger and poverty are the deep roots of instability in Africa.
How do you think your Humphrey Fellowship and your time at Cornell will help boost your career?
The curricula and the people I will meet at the Cornell University will help me to improve my career as I look forward to meeting professionals from all corners of the world.
What does public service mean to you?
Public service is central to positive change in the community. It is the foundation of leadership. Any aspiring leader must take public service as his or her routine. We must boost the idea of always working for others and not for ourselves.
Tell us a fun fact about you.
I like soccer, dancing and swimming.
What would be your personal motto?
Lead by example