Ayabonga is a Johannesburg based development economist, columnist, radio presenter, photographer and activist. He is Managing Director of Xesibe Holdings (Pty) Ltd, a platform involved in advisory, facilitation and content development across a wide range of fields. He hosts #PowerBusiness on PowerFM and writes a regular column for the Daily Maverick and the Business Day. Prior to this he was Economic Justice Manager at Oxfam South Africa (OZA) working on policy advocacy and research. He has also worked as an Associate Consultant at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, a global development strategy consulting and policy advisory firm.
He has experience in economic research, policy and supply chain analysis, advocacy, development program design and M&E. He is also a co-founder of Rethink Africa NPC, a youth-led policy research, advocacy and advisory organisation. He has taken part in a wide range of research, advisory and policy engagements on development issues in agriculture, rail, urban design and labour market policy. His international experience on issues of sustainability and business includes conducting primary research with farmer organizations in Indonesia, for a multilateral client. He has also conducted primary research in Nigeria, for a market entry strategy on behalf of a global pharmaceuticals manufacturer. Ayabonga was a finalist in the category, ‘Best Business and Finance Show’ at the 2018 Liberty Radio Awards. Ayabonga sat on the National Minimum Wage Advisory Panel appointed by the Deputy President and Nedlac, which advised on the R20/hour proposal. He currently sits on the VAT zero-rating review panel, tasked by the Minister of Finance to consider the expansion of the list of food and non-food items exempted from value added tax. He holds an M. Com (Cum Laude) in Development Theory and Policy from Wits.