Meet Monica Musonda; CEO of Java Foods – Zambian food processing entrepreneur

Corporate lawyer turned entrepreneur, Monica Musonda is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Java Foods, a food processing company based in Zambia.

Monica’s vision is to revolutionize the eating habits of the youth market by offering them affordable and nutritious food options made from local products.

Monica is a dual-qualified English solicitor and Zambian advocate with over 15 years of experience in legal practice and corporate management, including being corporate counsel at the International Finance Corporation and for Aliko Dangote of Dangote Industries Limited.

Monica currently serves on the Boards of the Central Bank of Zambia and Dangote Industries Zambia Limited, and is Chairperson of Kwacha Pension Trust Fund, Zambia’s largest single employer pension fund.

She is a 2013 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 in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

Monica Musonda’s path to becoming an entrepreneur has been an interesting one. Born in Zambia, her education and training took her into a highly promising career as an international lawyer – she is a dual qualified English solicitor and Zambian advocate with over fifteen years post qualification experience.

Her career took her into senior positions both in private practice (with Clifford Chance & Edward Nathan) and working as in house counsel at the International Finance Corporation in Washington DC.

Her most recent corporate position, at Dangote Industries (Lagos, Nigeria) where she served as Director Legal and Corporate Affairs, was to be a key turning point.

Monica was the project lead responsible for the Dangote Group’s $500m investment into Zambia to build the country’s largest cement plant, due to be completed in 2014.

Java Foods was incorporated in 2011 with the objective of manufacturing, distributing and marketing food products – with the primary products being instant noodles (known as “eeZee instant noodle”.

Java Foods intends on taking advantage of the current high levels of wheat flour stocks in Zambia to produce affordable and nutritious instant noodles. In Q3 2013, Java Foods will commission its 4000 MT pa plant which will be built using state of the art equipment and machinery manufactured by one of the world’s reputed manufacturers of noodle plants.

Java Foods’s plant will be the first instant noodle factory of its kind in the Southern African region.