Gisela Mudumbi Van Houcke
Background & Passion
Gisèla was born in Eastern Congo but was forced to flee the country and move to the United Kingdom at a young age due to the DRC’s political and economic instabilities. DRC's raw minerals are worth around USD 24 trillion. Yet its economy has been hit by a high rate of corruption and bad management, as national laws are inefficient. Gisèla developed a desire to learn how such a situation could be reversed. As such Gisèla decided to study law so that she could not only advise similar governments and foreign investors but also be actively involved in driving these countries’ economy forward.
2012 - Gisèla obtained a French Law degree at the Université de Nantes in France.
2013 - Gisèla obtained a First Class Honours in British law at Cardiff University
2013-2015 - Gisèla went on to work for Skadden Arps, a leading American law firm in London, working on corporate finance deals.
2015-2017 - Gisèla decided that moving back to Africa would take her closer to her goal of contributing to the advancement of the Congolese and African economy in general. She took on the Head of Legal position at BBOXX LTD in Kigali; a UK company that designs, manufactures and distributes off-grid solar solutions around the world electrifying over 200 000 people across Africa. She set-up entities for the company in different African countries and managed all the legal work for a set of entities across Africa including DRC. Gisèla was the company’s in-house legal lead on the first securitisation deal in the off-grid sector in Africa.
2016 - Gisèla set up Zuri Luxury Ltd, a hair and cosmetic company which has a strong online presence, a holding company in Hong Kong and entities in DRC and Uganda. In 2018 Gisèla was the first Congolese woman listed on Forbes 30 Under 30 Africa. This annual list celebrates African pioneers who are building brands, creating jobs, innovating, leading, transforming and contributing to new industries, in turn, changing the continent.
Gisèla is married with two kids and enjoys spending time at her family's farms in the Kivus.