Tembwe Mutungu

Entrepreneurial Executive & Co-Founder, FirstWave Group 

Johannesburg, South Africa 

Tembwe Mutungu is a seasoned entrepreneurial executive with extensive experience in agriculture and industrials in southern Africa. Born in Zambia, Tembwe developed a passion for business and industrialization as a path to development in high school, and has since dedicated his career to pursuing profit and impact on the African continent through solving humanity-level problems. 

With a background in Industrial Engineering and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Tembwe has honed his skills in leadership, governance, project management, strategic planning, corporate finance and operations. He has a demonstrated track-record for building successful, high-impact businesses, and most recently worked with a team of co-founders to build FirstWave Group, Africa’s largest vertically integrated fish production and retail group. Through his various roles as CFO, CEO and Chairman, the business grew 20x over six years, culminating in Africa’s definitive fish protein leader with multiple operations between Zambia and Uganda and with over 1500 employees and $75m in revenue.  

Tembwe’s extensive hands-on experience in agriculture and protein food security has allowed him to understand the challenges of building competitive, performance-driven businesses in frontier markets. He has worked closely with management teams to identify and address these challenges, sometimes implementing innovative solutions and sometimes ‘just grinding it out’.  

Tembwe began his career as a management consultant at McKinsey and Company, advising clients on a wide range of business issues. He has helped organizations to develop and implement effective strategies for growth, streamline operations, and improve overall performance. 

Tembwe is dedicated to promoting holistic value-chain and eco-system solutions in Africa, and is excited about Kickstart International’s mission and irrigation as a cornerstone input for African food security.   

Tembwe is also an active mentor and advisor to African entrepreneurs and has served on the boards of several African-based organizations. He currently serves on the board of Kickstart International. He lives in Johannesburg with his wife and two little boys.  When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time in his garden with his family.