Non Profit Organization Founder and President:
Sylvester is passionate about effecting permanent in Africa.  He is Founder and President of Develop Africa, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit organization, registered in the USA and headquartered in Tennessee.

Founder and President: Sylvester’s passion for making a difference in Africa led him to start Develop Africa in 2005.  Since then, as the President, he is responsible for overall program implementation and administration.  He wears several hats and works with a diverse team of volunteers and partners.  His principal priorities include partnership development, the strategic growth of the organization and fund raising.  He also acts as the primary spokesperson and primary public face of the organization.  He conducts periodic project site visits to ensure that progress is being made relative to project goals and objectives.  Sylvester is also available for speaking engagements, where he loves to pass on his service experience and help encourage people to get involved and help make a difference.

Sylvester with a group of children at Door of Hope - Sierra Leone

Quick Facts About Develop Africa

  • Focus on impacting lives through holistic development in Africa. 
  • Is actively working to "facilitate meaningful and sustainable development in Africa through capacity building, empowerment and transformational education" 
  • Is involved in a range of programs in Africa supporting education, microfinance and small businesses, job skills / leadership development training etc.

Read more about Develop Africa
Develop Africa Logo


Consulting, Business and Project Management Experience:

Since obtaining his undergraduate degree in 1988, Sylvester has been involved in a range of job positions, projects and consulting activities, 20+ years of experience in the following areas

  • Small business growth and development
  • project management
  • Web development and consulting
  • Non profit organization development and management
  • Business analysis and system design
  • Information technology support, training and implementation
  • Financial modeling and database design

Sylvester is an Advisory Panel member of eWEEK Magazine (EWEEK's news, analysis and technology evaluations guide readers in making the best technology decisions).


Other Volunteer / Non Profit Organization Experience:

Bright and early, as a teenager, during and after his undergraduate college days, Sylvester was involved in several church and inter-varsity youth groups.  I owe part of this to the encouragement of my parents and in particular to my late Dad, who taught be service by example.  He had the opportunity to hold leadership positions, which provided him with early opportunities to lead others and develop his administrative skills. These positions included one-year tenures as the Vice President of the Bible Study Union (at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone.  Group activities included character formation, outreach etc.) and as the President of a local non-profit organization, Child Aid (providing scholarships, food and other assistance to disadvantaged children and families.  Child Aid raised money through benefit concerts and other activities.) 

After graduating from college in 1988, Sylvester occupied the full-time position of Administrative Assistant of Rural Development Service (RDS), a local non-profit organization.  RDS worked principally with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Sierra Leone, helping to implement and oversee its food and nutrition programs.   In this key position, Sylvester acted as a liaison / support, coordinating work between departments and other NGOS and helped implement programs.  This position gave him his first in-depth exposure to the operation of non profit organizations both from a local and international perspective.

Microfinance loan beneficiary

International and Cross Cultural Experience
Sylvester is semi-fluent in French and very widely traveled in Africa and internationally. Excluding Sierra Leone and the USA, he has had the opportunity to live for brief periods in following countries:

  • 2 months in France - Aix-en-Provence and Dijon as part of the Cours D’Ete (Summer Course) French immersion program
  • 7 Months in Lome, Togo at the Village Du Benin
  • 2 years in Ibadan, Nigeria (1971-1973)
  • 2 years in Kenya (1973-1975)

This exposure has given him a diverse perspective of life and an understanding and appreciation for cross cultural issues, similarities and differences.  Sylvester has learned to celebrate people from all cultures and appreciate the uniqueness of each culture.  For Sylvester, each culture has its positives and we can learn from and benefit from each other.



Sylvester received his undergraduate degree, B.A. Hons (Joint, French and English) from the University of Sierra Leone in 1988.   He obtained his Masters in Business Administration (MBA, Information Systems) from Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, Ohio) in 1998. 

Sylvester is happily married to his beautiful wife, Jasmine and they have a charming son, Daniel.

Miscellaneous / Random
Sylvester loves to play ping pong / table tennis and has modeled at a photo shoot as a Doctor



View Sylvester Renner's profile on LinkedIn