Amina Gerba

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Amina Gerba
Born (1961-03-14) March 14, 1961 (age 58)[1]
EducationMBA in Marketing Research
Alma materUniversity of Quebec at Montreal
AwardsNational Order of Quebec

Amina Gerba CQ (born March 14, 1961) is a Cameroonian–Canadian businesswoman and entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of Afrique Expansion, Afrique Expansion Forum, and Afrique Expansion magazine. She also founded the beauty care brands Kariliss and Kariderm–the latter being the world's first shea butter product to earn organic certification. In 2014, she was a recipient of the National Order of Quebec. She is a director for the Canadian Council on Africa, African Business Roundtable, and Fonds Afro-Entrepreneurs, and is the president of the board of directors for Entreprendre Ici.

Early life and education[edit]

Amina Nleung was born in Bafia, Cameroon, on March 14, 1961. She is the eighteenth child in a nineteen-child family and the only girl in her family to attend school.[2] She immigrated to Quebec in 1986.[3] In 1992, she earned her BBA in tourism management (marketing),[4] and in 1993, her MBA in marketing research at the University of Quebec at Montreal's School of Management Sciences.[5]


In 1995, Gerba founded Afrique Expansion, a consulting firm designed to help create business partnerships between North American and African companies. She also created a magazine of the same name in 1998.[6] In 2003, she created a biennial forum called Forum Africa (now Afrique Expansion Forum) to discuss economic development for African businesses.[7] The event has featured several notable speakers including Pierre Pettigrew and Alpha Oumar Konaré in 2009;[8] Daniel Kablan Duncan, Charles Sirois, and Jean-Louis Roy in 2013;[9] Philippe Couillard in 2015; and Lise Thériault, Sheila Copps, Louis Vachon, and Francine Landry in 2017.[8][10] The World Bank, African Development Bank, and AfreximBank also send delegations to the forum.[11]

In May 2017, Gerba set up an international forum under the Afrique Expansion brand in Yaoundé, Cameroon, regarding the strengthening of the digital economy in the country. Numerous delegates came to the event, including Jacques Bonjawo, Ernest Simo, and Arthur Zang, as well as executives from major telecommunications companies in Cameroon such as MTN Group, Orange, and Camtel.[12]

Gerba founded two beauty companies based out of Laval: Kariderm in 1996 and Kariliss in 2011, focusing on shea butter skin-care and hair-care products respectively. She also founded Flash Beauté Incorporated, which manufactures Kariderm, the first shea butter product to obtain organic certification by ECOCERT.[5][13] Her companies employ the 2,000 women of the Songtaaba Cooperative in Burkina Faso,[14] who receive a portion of all sales and funding from a microfinance program created by Gerba.[15]

In 2013, Gerba was selected for the United States' International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Starting on March 14, 2015, and continuing for twelve weeks, Gerba set up the first Technovation Challenge in Montreal along with fellow IVLP alumna Stéphanie Jecrois; the program was to promote STEM studies among girls.[16]

On February 23, 2018, then-Deputy Premier of Quebec, Dominique Anglade, and then-Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion, David Heurtel, announced that Gerba would head the board of directors for a new governmental agency, Entreprendre Ici.[17] The agency was created to promote diversity within entrepreneurship and to help solve problems affecting entrepreneurs of different backgrounds.[18]

Gerba was president of the Rotary Club of Old Montreal between 2014 and 2015.[19] She is a director for the Canadian Council on Africa,[20] the African Business Roundtable,[21] and Fonds Afro-Entrepreneurs.[22] She serves on the University of Quebec at Montreal's board of directors as a socioeconomic member.[23]

Awards and honours[edit]

In 2010, Gerba was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Gala de Réseau des Entrepreneurs et Professionnels Africains (Gala de REPAF).[24] In 2012, Gerba received a University of Quebec at Montreal recognition prize.[25]

In 2014, Gerba was named a Knight of the Order of Quebec for her role in promoting business partnerships between North American and African businesses and encouraging diversity in entrepreneurship.[26] She was named Personnalité Monde des Affaires de l’année (Business World Personality of the Year) at the 2018 Gala Dynastie awards show.[27]


  1. ^ Gerba, Amina. "Amina Gerba". Facebook. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  2. ^ Fillion, Gérald (20 April 2018). "Qu'est-ce qu'un leader?". ICI Radio Canada (in French). Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  3. ^ Poulin-Chartrand, Sarah (31 May 2014). "Entreprendre au féminin: Amina Gerba, d'Afrique Expansion". Les Affaires (in French). Montreal. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  4. ^ Lyan, Marie (10 September 2009). "Amina Gerba, femme d'affaires à Montréal: un exemple de réussite". Métro (in French). Montreal. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Amina Gerba". Excellence. 14 January 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Amina Gerba, Une Femme d'Exception, Récipiendaire De l'Ordre National Du Québec". L'entrepreneuriat (in French). 25 June 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  7. ^ Jobin, Maryse (28 September 2017). "Le succès d'Amina Gerba et de son « Forum Afrique Expansion »". Radio-Canada International (in French). CBC. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  8. ^ a b Nadeau, Jean-Benoît (25 September 2017). "Ambassadrice pour l'Afrique". Le Devoir (in French). Montreal. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  9. ^ Un Administrateur (21 September 2013). "Forum Africa 2013 : Olusegun Obasanjo, Daniel Kablan Duncan et la Côte d'Ivoire à l'honneur". Touki Montréal (in French). Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  10. ^ Afrique Expansion Inc. (5 September 2017). "Danièle Henkel: event ambassador – The 8th Forum Afrique Expansion will bring together more than 500 African and Canadian decision makers in Montreal on October 2 and 3". News Wire. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Afrique Expansion Forum". Canadian Council on Africa. Montreal. Archived from the original on 20 January 2019. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Cameroun – Télécommunications: La Camerounaise Amina Gerba organise un forum international sur l'économie numérique à Yaoundé du 15 au 17 mai prochain". Actu Cameroun (in French). Yaoundé. 28 April 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  13. ^ Secrétariat de l'Ordre National du Quebec (September 2014). "Le Bulletin" (PDF). Ordre National du Quebec (in French). Quebec City. p. 6. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  14. ^ Forbes Woman (3 November 2017). "Shea's A Force". Forbes Africa. ABN Publishing Pty Ltd. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  15. ^ Porte-Monnaie (1 May 2018). "9 femmes d'affaires québécoises aux parcours inspirants". Le Journal de Montréal (in French). Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  16. ^ "IVLP Alums Launch "Technovation Challenge" to Promote Girls' STEM Studies". International Exchange Alumni. Montreal: United States' Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. 16 April 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  17. ^ "Canada: Amina Gerba cooptée à la tête d'«Entreprendre Ici»". Financial Afrik (in French). 24 February 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Québec investit 15 millions pour « tirer parti du plein potentiel des entrepreneurs de la diversité »". ICI Radio Canada (in French). CBC. 23 February 2018. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  19. ^ Gerba, Amina. "Welcome to our Club". Rotary Club of Old Montreal. Montreal. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  20. ^ "Board members of CCAfrica". Canadian Council on Africa. 2018. Archived from the original on 20 January 2019. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  21. ^ "ABR Elects Dossou-Aworet President of the African Business Roundtable". Realnews Magazine. 25 September 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  22. ^ "Amina Gerba". World Bank Live. 28 April 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  23. ^ "Deux diplômées ESG nommées au Conseil d'administration de l'UQAM". ESG UQAM (in French). Montreal. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  24. ^ "Amina Nleung Gerba – Gala du REPAF 2010 –". (in French). 9 May 2010. Retrieved 21 January 2019. Interview au Gala du Repaf 2010 d'Amina Nleung Gerba, gagnant du prix Entrepreneur de l'année
  25. ^ "Amina Nleung Abah Gerba (Prix Reconnaissance UQAM 2012)". UQAM (in French). Montreal. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  26. ^ "Amina Gerba – Ordre national du Québec". La Gouvernment du Québec (in French). Quebec. 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  27. ^ Team Mobtreal (15 February 2018). "Les Gagnants du Gala Dynastie 2018". Mobtreal (in French). Montreal. Retrieved 21 January 2019.