IGNITE TALK: Using Development Education & STEM to empower young people in Uganda to succeed in school and life.

Today, I celebrate my parents. My dad is late now, but my mum is still alive & healthy. Today, I celebrate Nelson Mandela, who said education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. I also celebrate my son, Mandela, whose only words so far is “mum” & “papa”. He made 1 year on Tuesday. Parents, doctors & teachers are known to tell us things plainly, mostly times bitter facts. But you learn from them.

When I was 16, I remember my dad telling me that, I will never inherit anything from him. That the only thing I would get from him is education. Not even a bicycle. He is gone but those words still ring in my head every day.

He made me love education, and after many years and struggles I was able to finish high school. While in school, I loved books. But did not have access to computers. This lack of access to computers later became an inspiration to pursue it further.

After many struggles & hard work, I was able to finish university thanks to a scholarship, sponsored by Tulane University (New Orleans) – based here in the US.

After university in June 2012, I started my teaching career in July 2012. My admiration & passion for teaching had become a reality. My subject is computer studies, which I was denied at high school.

When I became a teacher, I had to decide many things. To be a progressive, liberal teacher or a conservative teacher. To use technology in class or maintain the old traditional class room model with black board & white chalk. I had to decide whether to a disciplinarian or easy go teacher.

Most importantly, I had to decide whether only class work & exams will enable students succeed after school.

After conversing with my heart and my mind, I decided I would be a teacher, a teacher who goes the extra mile. A teacher who would embrace initiatives that build & empower students. That is how got them into robotics, innovation competitions, mobile app programming, public speaking, writing competitions. I also got them into e-learning & technology camps. The impact has been amazing. It has been 7 years of amazing work. Increased participation in STEM, increased enrolment in science programmes, positive behaviour, practical skills & bigger dreams.

In Uganda today, just like other African countries, jobs are a big problem. Partly, because of what happens in schools – theoretical approach to learning. There is a mismatch between what is taught at school & what happens in real life.

All of us gathered here, all wish our children a better future. But remember, a better future begins with good education. My focus is on SDG goal number 4 – quality education. And as RODEL put it, “a great education changes everything”.

That has been my approach, my way of doing “development education” to empower young people in Uganda to succeed in school & life. But there is more work to be done. The future of work is going to look very different, with new technologies like AI, Machine Learning, and blockchain etc.

I welcome you all to join global efforts in creating education that breaks down barriers to success & embraces innovation and diversity.

Apwoyo matek. Asante sana. Thank you very much.

For God and My Country.

Uganda: 2019 Mandela Washington Fellowship participants

This year, I was privileged to be among the only 24 Ugandans selected to take part in the prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. After arriving here in the U.S, we realised that some countries were given more slots than others. South Africa, for example had about 43, while Djibouti had only 7. From Uganda, I also realised that only 2 people were selected from northern Uganda.  The rest were from central and western regions – resonating with views of some people that most opportunities today in Uganda today are “ring-fenced” leaving northern and eastern parts of the country with little. At least, in my experience, this fellowship was open. Only that, some of our people in the north also give up so early, which helps propagate this false notion. Yes, Kampala is far, but if there are opportunities there then you have to reach there. You have to be inside the “fence”. The best thing is that the whole fellowship thing is online. Purely online.

This week I managed to get some time and compiled a list of all the 2019 Mandela Washington Fellows from Uganda. When we were in Uganda, we never got the time & opportunity to socialise and get to know each other. I am sure this list will help the fellows themselves know one another, and also help those who want to apply for the fellowship next year. I must say the profiles of these young leaders is very impressive.

INSTITUTE TRACKS

Public Management Civic Engagement Business Total
07 06 11 24

Download here: Uganda-2019 Mandela Washington Fellowship

Duncan Abigaba

Africa, Uganda, Public Management, 2019

Duncan Abigaba has over four years of experience in public administration at the managerial level. He is a manager at Government Citizen Interaction Centre. The center serves as the primary contact point for citizens in government. He was the acting head of the center between April 2017 and September 2018, where he relentlessly drove open government initiatives and pushed for increased citizen participation in government planning. He previously served in the Office of the President, as deputy presidential assistant in charge of research and information. He closely monitored the performance of government agencies and regularly prepared briefs for the president on the same. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Makerere University and a post graduate diploma in Project Planning and Management from Uganda Management Institute. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Management from the Uganda Management Institute. He also holds several post-graduate certificates in management from both Makerere University and Uganda Management Institute. He is very passionate about public administration, management, corporate affairs, communication, open government, and public accountability. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Duncan plans on lobbying the government of Uganda to adopt an open government policy among other public accountability initiatives.

 

Emmanuel Angoda

Africa, Uganda, Civic Engagement, 2019

Emmanuel Angoda is a teacher at Lira Town College, in northern Uganda. He is a technology innovator, STEM activist, and mentor with seven years of experience in the education and ICT sectors. He involves his students in ICT activities such as Robotics, the Technovation Challenge, Africa Code Week, and essay writing competitions, from which he has won several national awards. From 2013 to 2017 Emmanuel served as the Regional Ambassador for Technovation Challenge, a global technology entrepreneurship program for girls and young women. Emmanuel is the founder of Walktrack Edu Platform, an educational website that provides free online open educational resources for teachers and students. He also runs the Career Assistance Program (CAP), an initiative that helps young people obtain vital career information and support after high school. In 2017, Emmanuel was the recipient of the Teachers Making a Difference award and was rewarded with an educational trip to Dublin, Ireland. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he plans to continue his work in development education with a focus on girls’ education and eLearning resources.

 

Catherine Asiimwe

Africa, Uganda, Public Management, 2019

Catherine Asiimwe has over seven years of experience in the public sector, specifically in finance, tax, and audit. Currently, Catherine is a manager of financial audits at the Uganda National Roads Authority where she focuses on providing value-adding assurance on the efficiency and effectiveness of an entity’s risk management, internal controls, and governance processes. She assesses compliance with relevant laws, regulations, and best practices, including accountability and value for money in doing business. Catherine volunteers as a member of the internal audit panel and conducts mentorships for trainee accountants and other young people. Catherine is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and received the “2017 Young Accountant of the Year Award” for her contribution to the accountancy profession in Uganda. She has completed her Master of Business Administration in Finance and is soon attaining a Certification in Project Management (PMP). She is inspired by good governance and accountability in public entities. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Catherine plans to continue her work at the Uganda National Roads Authority and expand her mentorship programs for young people.

 

Jimmy Awany

Africa, Uganda, Civic Engagement, 2019

Jimmy Awany has seven years of experience managing governance, peacebuilding, and developmental programs in South Sudan, Uganda, and Kenya. Currently, he is the program coordinator for Justice Africa, an organization based in South Sudan, where he manages a peacebuilding program aimed at stabilizing and transforming South Sudan. Jimmy holds a Master of Science in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Jimmy plans to continue to promote the participation of civil society in peace and governance processes across the continent.

 

Gerard Iga

Africa, Uganda, Business, 2019

Gerard Iga for the last six years has promoted tourism in the West Nile region of Uganda. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Education but has shifted industries to work as a freelance tour guide before joining Oasis 24 Seven Ltd in 2014 as a tour manager. In this job, Gerard plans, markets, and executes both group and custom tours for the company’s clients. He has also managed events for the company and been a valuable local contact for researchers and volunteers from other countries. Gerard believes tourism is a critical driver for rural economic development and can facilitate the conservation of natural resources. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Gerard plans to grow his newly founded company, Lado Tours and Travel LTD, to help bolster communities beyond Uganda in South Sudan, the DRC, and across the continent.

 

Razaki Omia Iganachi

Africa, Uganda, Business, 2019

Razaki Omia Iganachi has over two years of experience in agribusiness development, connecting small farmers to reliable and profitable opportunities to help improve their livelihoods. Omia currently works as the managing director for the Omia Agribusiness Development Group LTD where he plans, implements and evaluates all business operations for the firm. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences from Makerere University and a diploma in Agriculture from Agrostudies in Israel. Omia’s mission is to. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Omia will continue to promote the use of advanced technology so that farmers can access quality, genuine, and affordable agricultural inputs, services, and links to profitable markets.

 

Ambrose Kamya

Africa, Uganda, Business, 2019

Ambrose Kamya has over four years of experience in agriculture innovation and social entrepreneurship programs that combat violence against women and girls. Currently, Ambrose is the team leader at SafeBangle, where he focuses on developing technologies that will help protect women and girls from violence. He is also the CEO of Wolfarm Technologies, a startup that focuses on developing technologies to connect small scale organic farmers to the marketplace. Ambrose holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences with a specialization in Animal Science from Makerere University in Kampala. He is passionate about creating resilient communities using innovative, evidence-based methods. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Ambrose plans to utilize the skills, knowledge, and network gained to end violence against women and girls and to empower women engaged in sustainable agriculture to promote inclusive development in Uganda.

 

Brenda Allen Kawala

Africa, Uganda, Public Management, 2019

Brenda Kawala is a medical doctor at Kakira Sugar Limited hospital in Jinja, Uganda where she serves a community of over 30,000 people. Brenda completed her medical training at Mbarara University, and currently works as the Deputy Secretary General of the Uganda Medical Association (U.M.A.). U.M.A brings together over 7,000 medical doctors from Uganda and the Diaspora communities to advocate for a better Ugandan healthcare system. Brenda is also the secretary of public affairs for the Association of Uganda Women Medical Doctors, which advances maternal, child, adolescent, and elderly healthcare initiatives. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Brenda hopes to continue to advance her career and hold positions of leadership within the Ugandan healthcare system.

 

Isma Kayiza

Africa, Uganda, Business, 2019

Isma Kayiza is a conservationist and co-inventor of Sparky Dryer, a machine that uses biofuel to dry food. He won the Resolution Social Venture Challenge in 2017 in South Africa and is currently the CPO of Sparky Social Enterprise Limited, a company he co-founded that addresses hunger and malnutrition through the preservation of food. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Management at Makerere University and specialized in community-based conservation. During his time at Makerere, he served as president of the university’s wildlife student association and has since remained committed to utilizing natural resources sustainably, to ensure the preservation of the remaining wild flora and fauna in his country. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Isma hopes to leverage the skills and connections gained through the program to continue to create simple, accessible, and effective methods for growing and preserving food, and help tackle hunger among poor communities in Uganda.

 

Phyllis Nek Kyomuhendo

Africa, Uganda, Business, 2019

Phyllis Kyomuhendo is a passionate social entrepreneur and innovator with two years of experience in the social-innovations sector. Phyllis is a master´s degree in Public Health candidate, a medical radiographer by profession, and the director and co-founder at the startup, M-SCAN Uganda. Through M-SCAN Uganda, she and her team develop low-cost mobile ultrasound devices to combat maternal and neonatal mortality in low resource settings. Phyllis hopes to return to Uganda after the Mandela Washington Fellowship to empower her peers in the entrepreneurship space to take their businesses to the next level through strong leadership; she also hopes to pass on the entrepreneurship and leadership skills she learns to the young girls she mentors under the STEM Queens program.

 

James Kiganda Lutaaya

Africa, Uganda, Business, 2019

Lutaaya James Kiganda has over ten years of experience in clinical microbiology, immunology, and genetics. James is the founder of Medicalshed, a Digital Health company that incorporates the latest technology and best human practices to improve service delivery, and accessible healthcare for all. He is also the co-founder and CEO of MAYA Group Limited, a Ugandan firm that leverages technology to promote the participation of women and young people in the business, education, health care, and advocacy sectors. In his spare time, James serves as a volunteer, youth/peer counselor, and trainer with the Uganda Youth Development Link, an organization that promotes sexual reproductive health and rights. James holds a bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Science from Clarke International University and is a fellow at the University of Leeds, where he studied global challenges in bacterial resistance and food security. He believes that women and young people deserve equal opportunities to harness their full potential to thrive, compete, and create relevant and innovative solutions to the most pressing problems facing Africa. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, James plans to continue working on digital healthcare solutions, empower youth, women, and help build more inclusive businesses that help his country reach the sustainable development goals.

 

Rachel Precious Lwantale

Africa, Uganda, Business, 2019

Rachel Lwantale has nine years of experience as an entrepreneur and has a firm insight in working within the complex markets in emerging economies and identifying future gaps and investment opportunities. Rachel specializes in agribusiness as the CEO and co-founder of Imali Limited, a social enterprise that financially empowers people through sustainable partnerships and market access. She has a bachelor’s degree in guidance counseling from Kyambogo University and is certified in agribusiness from the Open Impact Institute. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Rachel plans to continue her work by using agriculture to empower women in rural communities while training women and youth on personal empowerment.

 

Joshua Musasizi

Africa, Uganda, Business, 2019

Joshua Musasizi is a social entrepreneur with over six years’ experience in agribusiness, technology innovation, community rehabilitation and info-graphics development. He is a professional researcher and holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Makerere University. He has also extensively trained with world leaders in the areas of leadership, documentation, social entrepreneurship and team building. Joshua is the co-founder of TIFAT Uganda Ltd, a social enterprise that harnesses the use of technology to uplift and improve livelihoods of small and medium scale farmers, especially in rural Uganda. He is also the country director of Matendo International, an organization that works with rural communities in Uganda to help people solve the challenges they face daily with a focus on child education, poverty alleviation and community health campaigns. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Joshua plans to continue his work in agribusiness and post-harvest loss reduction with a focus on connecting farmers to buyers with real time market information.

Elizabeth Nabakooza

Africa, Uganda, Public Management, 2019

Elizabeth Nabakooza is a passionate communications professional with over eight years working for different public and private sector organizations ranging from energy to financial services. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications and currently works with National Water and Sewerage Corporation as a public relations and engagement lead. The corporation is a government agency whose mandate is to provide safe water and sewerage services while ensuring environmental sustainability. Elizabeth is passionate about mental health and is a champion in the mental health space. Elizabeth aspires to create sustainable change on the African continent and believes in empowering people on the continent to develop their own transformative change by creating African solutions to African problems. For this reason, she chose to join public service. Elizabeth is highly skilled in brand communications, network creation, and creation of strategic partnerships across the continent. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Elizabeth intends to use her experience and knowledge to spark dialogue and change around the effective implementation of public policy within her different areas of interest such as climate change, mental health, and water, sanitation, and hygiene.

 

Rhoda Nakungu

Africa, Uganda, Civic Engagement, 2019

Rhoda Nakungu has two years of experience in public interest litigation, human rights advocacy, and alternative dispute resolution. Currently, she is an externship lawyer in the Public Interest Law Clinic of the School of Law at Makerere University. In this role, Rhoda works in the post-conflict district of Bundibugyo, where she offers legal aid to vulnerable and indigent people and promotes legal literacy among indigenous tribes and immigrants from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rhoda also uses her position to advocate for women´s and girl´s rights, mainly focusing on those from minority and marginalized groups. Rhoda holds a law degree from Makerere University and a post graduate diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Center Uganda. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she plans to continue offering legal aid to vulnerable and indigent people in post-conflict areas and to sensitize local communities about harmful cultural practices, mainly against women and children.

Victo Nalule

Africa, Uganda, Civic Engagement, 2019

Victo Nalule is a differently-abled woman who embraces a positive “can do” attitude, and a human resource professional with strong leadership and managerial experience. Victo is the executive director and founder of the Tunaweza Foundation, a non-governmental organization that works towards creating an inclusive world where disadvantaged people achieve their maximum potential and contribute to society. Additionally, she works as a health and safety environmental administrator in an electricity distribution company. Victo is a member of Lions Clubs International and is the third vice president for Kampala Host Lions Club, which assists with global and large-scale local humanitarian projects. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Victo plans to continue her work advocating for inclusivity for all, with a focus on women and girls with disabilities.

 

Zahaarah Namanda

Africa, Uganda, Civic Engagement, 2019

Zaharah Namanda has over four years of experience in community development, focusing on women and girls’ education. She is a Country co-director for the Africa Education and Leadership Initiative (Africa ELI), a non-governmental organization that provides educational opportunities for young female refugees from South Sudan. At Africa ELI, Zaharah provides leadership and strategic direction while working closely with her fellow co-director to implement programs, coordinate logistics, and monitor and evaluate student performance. Zaharah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Makerere University in Kampala, and previously she assisted the National Planning Authority on the review of the universal primary education policy. Zaharah is driven by her commitment to empowering young women and girls through education and aspires to belong to a community where young girls and boys have equal access to education. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Zaharah will integrate learned skills to strengthen her education advocacy work and empower young women and girls in Uganda.

 

Pauline Namutebi

Africa, Uganda, Business, 2019

Pauline Namutebi is a social entrepreneur focused on clean energy generation and environmental protection. She has over three years of experience in business development, marketing, and sales. Currently, Pauline is the CEO and founder of Fireball Energy (U) Ltd; a company focused on producing eco-friendly bioenergy solutions in the form of briquettes and biogas from organic agricultural waste. Pauline holds a bachelor’s degree in Petroleum Geoscience and Production from Makerere University and is driven by her passion for environmental conservation. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Pauline plans to continue her work in clean energy generation by focusing on scaling and product quality improvement to serve both the local and global markets.

 

Brendah Nantongo

Africa, Uganda, Business, 2019

Brendah Nantongo has over six years of experience in agribusiness and developing impact focused initiatives. She is currently the founder of Water Access Farms Ltd. (WAFL), a company that embarks on empowering rural women in Uganda with skills, training, and farming support. Brendah is also an ambassador for Thought for Food, a global platform that embarks on ensuring food security. At WAFL, Brendah concentrates on developing organization strategies and designing farm skills training curriculums. She also runs an agricultural value addition business. Brendah holds a Bachelor of Science Technology in Physics from Kyambogo University and a postgraduate diploma in Project Planning and Management from the Uganda Management Institute. Brendah believes that when you empower women in farming with better skills and resources, yields are improved, and therefore, there are increased incomes and improved livelihoods. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she plans to pass on the knowledge acquired to train the rural women in Uganda in financial management and better farming methods by encouraging them to create cooperative saving groups.

 

Adam Nyende

Africa, Uganda, Public Management, 2019

Adam Nyende has five years of experience in community development in Uganda. Currently, Adam works with the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development as a culture officer. At the Ministry, he is working to support several community-based programs aimed at eradicating gender-based violence through the reversal of harmful cultural practices. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Adam plans to continue his work on personal and community development, human rights, and policymaking in Uganda.

 

Christopher Okidi

Africa, Uganda, Public Management, 2019

Christopher Okidi is an environmental health specialist with eight years of experience in the public health and community development sector. Christopher works at the Ministry of Water and Environment as an environmental health officer tasked with ensuring communities maintain water and sanitation health standards. Christopher also supports local farmers in his village, through market linkage programming for their produce. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Christopher will continue working for the Ministry of Water and Environment and focus on preventing water-borne diseases safeguarding clean drinking water for rural areas in Uganda.

 

Drake Ssempijja

Africa, Uganda, Civic Engagement, 2019

Drake Ssempijja has ten years of experience in the aquaculture industry, spanning across academia, research, consultancy, and civil service sectors. Drake works directly with organizations that focus on aquaculture development for food security and economic development with an emphasis on vulnerable youth groups. His passion is driven by the rampant youth unemployment in Uganda, which he believes can be solved by active involvement in the aquaculture sector. Currently, he is a lecturer of fisheries and aquaculture at Makerere University, College of Natural Sciences, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Drake also mentors youth groups interested in aquaculture value chain. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Aquaculture from Makerere University, a Master of Science in Aquaculture from Ghent University, and postgraduate certificates in Aquaculture from Iceland and South Africa. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he plans to use the skills and knowledge gained to enhance the efficiency of his community outreach programs, and to bridge the gap between academia and society for sustainable aquaculture development.

 

Rosette Twizerimana

Africa, Uganda, Business, 2019

Rosette Twizerimana holds a diploma in Accounting from Mukono YMCA College of Commercial Studies and has three years of experience in open footwear design and production. Rosette is a founder of Tandika Uganda, focusing on training women and girls on how to make open-toe shoes as an income generating activity. Since 2016, Rosette has trained over 223 women in manufacturing leather sandals, slip-on, and lace-up shoes that are hand-crafted from recycled tires and an assortment of locally sourced materials. As a trainer, Rosette is equipping young people with the knowledge to start their shoemaking cottage industries and start making money to reduce dependence and unemployment. Her goal is to make shoemaking skills easy to learn and accessible without the use of complicated heavy machinery. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Rosette plans to continue her plans of empowering women and girls to be financially independent.

 

Annie Margaret Ihoreere Wagana

Africa, Uganda, Public Management, 2019

Annie Margaret Ihoreere Wagana has 12 years of legal experience in humanitarian and human rights, corporate governance, criminal, and civil law. She has served as a judicial officer for the last seven years and is currently a Ph.D. Fellow at Antwerp University IOB, Belgium where she studies Refugee Law and Policy. She is also a co-founder of Uganda Pixels Ltd, a graphics design and advertising company. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she intends to continue growing Uganda Pixels, and open a legal aid clinic catering to low-income clients.

 

 

2019 UD Mandela Washington Fellowship -Civic Leadership Institute

Peace Ahadji

Country: Togo    |      Focus: Mental Health; Advocacy; NGOs

Peace Ahadji has four years of experience in various fields in the development sector, particularly in public health. Peace is currently working as a project manager at AIMES-AFRIQUE, a medical-surgical non-governmental organization. She also runs a faith-based mental health organization to help people suffering from mental illness in Togo. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Development Economics and a master’s degree in International Health from the University of Alexandria in Egypt. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she plans to continue her work to help people suffering from mental illness in Togo and Africa at large.

Emmanuel Angoda

Country: Uganda     |        Focus: E-Learning Technology; Education; NGOs

Emmanuel Angoda is a teacher at Lira Town College, in northern Uganda. He is a technology innovator, STEM activist, and mentor with seven years of experience in the education and ICT sectors. He involves his students in ICT activities such as Robotics, the Technovation Challenge, Africa Code Week, and essay writing competitions, from which he has won several national awards. From 2013 to 2017, he served as the Regional Ambassador for Technovation Challenge, a global technology entrepreneurship program for girls and young women. Emmanuel is the founder of Walktrack Edu Platform, an educational website that provides free online open educational resources for teachers and students. He also runs the Career Assistance Program (CAP), an initiative that helps young people obtain vital career information and support after high school. In 2017, he was the recipient of the Teachers Making a Difference Award and was rewarded with an educational trip to Dublin, Ireland. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he plans to continue his work in development education with a focus on girls’ education and eLearning resources.

 

Naomi Assegied

Country: Ethiopia     |      Focus: Health Systems Administration; Mental Health; Youth and Adolescent Health

Naomi Teshome has over three years of experience in the health sector and holds a medical degree from the University of Gondar and a master’s degree in Public Health from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She worked as a general practitioner in both public and private hospitals before she joined the Resource Mobilization Department within the Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia. Currently, she is working as a consultant for a private consulting firm on several projects. Naomi is also the founder and board member of a charity association called Ethio-Amba, an organization that works to address the various social determinants of health. Naomi is committed to working on bridging the gap between clinical medicine and public health in her country. She also actively engages in her local church on youth mentoring and children’s ministry. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Naomi plans to continue her work in public health through private and public sector engagement, focusing on areas of adolescent and mental health issues.

 

Agnes Chie

Country: Liberia      |      Focus: Science & Technology; Teaching/Mentorship; Education

Agnes Gbenyenoh Chie has five years of experience working with students and holds a degree in Biology from the University of Liberia. She has organized girl’s science club in private and public schools, and mentors over twenty-five young girls currently enrolled in STEM courses at the University of Liberia. In addition to her time spent tutoring young women in STEM courses. She also serves as a trainer for high school biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics teachers. Through her work as a program officer for technology education at the Ministry of Education, she has contributed significantly to advances in the educational policy initiatives of the Liberian government. This past January Agnes and her team launched a new educational campaign, “Prioritizing Girls Education” over six counties. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she intends to continue to build the capacity of young women through science clubs, workshops, community forums, and vocational trainings.

 

Pearl Chunga

Country: Zambia    |      Focus: Mental Health; Advocacy; NGOs

Pearl Phelendaba Chunga has over five years of experience in community engagement. She focuses on mental health awareness and is the founder of the Walk with Me Foundation, a mental health awareness non-profit organization. She also runs her own business as an event planner. Pearl grew up surrounded by addiction, and she suffers from anxiety and depression. Access to appropriate health services continues to be a problem in Zambia; Pearl is passionate about breaking the stigma surrounding mental illness. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Pearl will continue to expand her work in the mental health field and envisions a Zambia where those that suffer from mental health problems are able to speak freely about their struggles.

 

Sènou Samson Francis Degbegni

Country: Benin    |     Focus: Sexual/Reproductive Health; Communications; Technology

Sènou Samson Francis Degbegni has over seven years of experience in community development and currently works as a Peer Educator on reproductive health. Sènou holds a bachelor’s degree in Agronomic Sciences from the Catholic University of West-Africa, and a master’s degree in Local Development and Decentralization from the African University of Cooperative Development. To address the high teenage pregnancy rates within Benin, Sènou is currently working to implement a digital education platform around sexual and reproductive health. Digital Health Services strives to provide youth with reliable, permanent, and accessible online sexual health resources. Currently, Sènou also volunteers with the National Students Association for Sexual Health and specifically focuses on sexual health for youth. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Sènou wants to continue to educate youth in Benin around their sexual and reproductive health, while encouraging conversations between parents and children around sexual health through his digital platform.

 

Ayi Dossavi Alipoeh

Country: Togo     |      Focus: Literature; Youth; Social Media

Ayi Renaud Dossavi Alipoeh is a Togolese writer, poet, and novelist. Having published several books, he now focuses on promoting reading, writing, and literature in Togo, especially among the younger generation. Ayi has won several writing awards including the African Development Bank’s “Africa of My Dreams” 2018 essay competition, and the World Bank’s 2019 Blog4Dev competition. In addition to being a published author, Ayi is also a journalist, specializing in economics, and the secretary general of the PEN-Togo Writers Association.

 

Edwige Dro

Country: Côte d’Ivoire     |      Focus: Literature; Entrepreneurship; Advocacy

Edwige Dro is a writer, literary translator and literary activist from Cote d’Ivoire. She is currently writing the fictionalized biography of Marie Kore, one of the female political activists of colonial Cote d’Ivoire through the support of a grant from the Miles Morland Foundation. She is the co-founder of Abidjan Lit, a collective of literary activists in Abidjan working on changing the “Africans don’t read” stereotype. Her short stories have been published in anthologies such as New Daughters of Africa or by publications such as Ankara Press or Bloomsbury. As an Africa39 writer in 2014, she was hailed as one of “the most promising writers under the age of 40 with the potential and talent to define trends in the development of literature from Sub-Saharan Africa and the diaspora” by the Hay Festival. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she plans to continue her literary activism with a focus on nurturing the young literary voices of her country.

 

Zibusiso Dube

Country: Zimbabwe     |       Focus: Communications; Advocacy; Technology

Zibusiso John Dube has eight years of experience in the civil society sector, working in communications, research, and project management. Zibusiso’s interests intersect at the point between media, activism, and development. Currently, he is a program officer at the Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE). At CITE, he is responsible for the design, implementation, and monitoring of innovative media and civic engagement programs that strive to improve governance and promote positive social change. He has experience leading projects that focus on the promotion of social accountability and effective public resources management at the local government level in Zimbabwe. He has also authored multiple research papers addressing water management, corruption at the local level, and participatory budgeting. He holds a master’s degree in Media Practice for Development and Social Change, and a Master of Science in Development Studies. He has a passion for democratization, development, and good governance, and believes that the media has a crucial role to play. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he plans to continue his work in media for social change with a focus on the role of new media and e-governance in promoting positive change.

 

Hannah Essien

Country: Nigeria      |       Focus: The Arts; Advocacy; Autism; Mental Health

Hannah Bassey Essien is an artist and founder of Nana Arts, a social enterprise organization that uses art to engage orphaned children. Hannah uses art as a means of expression and to draw attention to the various challenges faced by her community. The goal of Nana Arts is to inspire interest, build self-esteem, and to create world-renowned artists, and entrepreneurs. Upon the completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Hannah will work to expand Nana Arts outside of Nigeria.

 

Christie Linonge Etombi

Country: Cameroon     |       Focus: Public Health; Communications; Technology

Christie Linonge Etombi is committed to improving cardiovascular health in Cameroon through health education and digital health technology. Currently, she is a medical doctor with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Cameroon, where she works to ensure proper referral and management of internally displaced persons in the south-west region. She is a web and media coordinator of the Health Education and Research Organization (HERO) Cameroon, a non-governmental organization that seeks to safeguard a more equitable, disease-free, and emerging Cameroon. Through HERO Cameroon, she has organized various campaigns on cardiovascular disease prevention. She is also the Project Manager of m-thypa, a digital health technology platform to aims to reduce high blood pressure in Cameroon. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she intends to use the m-thypa platform to provide low-cost prevention of high blood pressure and heart disease to more people.

 

Samwel Maphie

Country: United Republic of Tanzania    |       Focus: Gender Issues; Teaching & Mentorship; Advocacy

Samwel Maphie is an advocate and social entrepreneur who has five years of experience working with pastoralists, adolescent girls, and young women in campaigning for their health, basic needs, and rights. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Dar es Salaam. He believes that violence against women and girls impedes their full participation in society, limits their access to better health, education, economic participation, and hinders efforts to achieve gender equality. With this belief, he started an organization aimed at catering for disadvantaged girls in pastoral communities in Tanzania, called the End Child Abuse and Neglect Organization. His organization has partnered with four primary schools and six secondary schools to identify over 350 peer educator champions, including 104 college students and 70 volunteers, reaching over 57,000 pastoralists He is an author of two books and a youth mentor, being nominated as the Most Positively Inspiring Youth (2017) by Positive Youth Africa, and was also a finalist in the African Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) achiever awards (youth category) in Ghana in November 2018, and the winner of Best SDGs performer of the year award in 2018 in Tanzania. Following the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he plans to continue his work of advocating for disadvantaged girls.

 

Lineo Matlakala

Country: Lesotho     |       Focus: Sexual/Reproductive Health; The Arts; Entrepreneurship

Makhosi Exinia “Lineo Matlakala” Ntsalong works full time as the director of an agricultural organization in Leribe, which provides agri-business management skills to youth. She is the founder of the Barali Foundation, an organization that advocates for the rights of women and girls in rural Lesotho.

 

Eta Matsinhe

Country: Mozambique    |       Focus: Public Health; Social Media; NGOs

Eta Matsinhe has four years of experience in digital marketing management and journalism multimedia. Currently, she works as a social media department coordinator. She has one year of experience as the leader of the Olá Vida, a social movement to promote cancer-fighting and disseminate information to improve the quality of life of cancer patients in Mozambique. To reach more people, she disseminates the information using social media and organizes workshops in partnership with the oncology department from the main public hospital. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences from Universidade Politécnica in Maputo. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she hopes to acquire tools that will allow her to increase the impact of Olá Vida’s activities in her community.

 

Abdallah Mohamed Bourhan

Country: Djibouti       |       Focus: Sexual/Reproductive Health; Advocacy; Gender Issues

Abdallah Mohamed Bourhan holds a master’s degree in International Trade from Ecole Nationale de Commerce et de Gestion d’Agadir and is fluent in four languages. Abdallah works for the Bank of Africa Mer Rouge, the Djiboutian branch of the multinational Pan-African bank conglomerate, as the head of the organization department. Driven by his commitment to social inclusion, He has served as the Executive Director of the Djiboutian Association for Family Planning (ADEPF) since 2018. The ADEPF is a member association of the International Planned Parenthood Federation RAB region and aims to promote sexual and reproductive health rights. His work at the ADEPF focuses on projects related to youth access to comprehensive sex education, the eradication of female genital mutilation, and advocacy. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Abdallah will work to strengthen access to quality sexual and reproductive health services in Djibouti for local and migrant populations while continuing work to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Portia Ncwane

Country: South Africa     |       Focus: The Arts; Youth; Gender Issues

Portia Nokwazi Ncwane is a philanthropist with over ten years of experience in the entertainment industry as an actress, dance choreographer, and events host. Her participation in dance and music cultural exchange festivals has allowed her to travel internationally as a representative of South Africa. She is the founder and executive director of the Portia Ncwane Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on female empowerment, youth development, sports recreation, art, and the promotion of cultural heritage to disadvantaged communities. She has also donated school uniforms to over 300 students at the Oxbridge Academy. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Portia plans to use her newly acquired skills to implement projects that encourage youth development capacity building through dance and music programs.

 

Guerson Neuyambe

Country: Chad      |     Focus: Education; Science; Youth

Guerson Neuyambe has over five years of experience serving as a senior statistician at the National Agency for the Employment in Chad and holds a bachelor’s degree in Statistics. He is the founder of PROMO-SCIENCE, a platform that encourages secondary students to engage in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and also serves as a program manager at the Participatory Development and Technology Agency, a local NGO that works to advance the health and well-being of poor children and young mothers. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he hopes to grow the PROMO-SCIENCE platform and help his organization continue to encourage a generation of young people to pursue a career in STEM.

 

Adeboro Odunlami

Country: Nigeria    |      Focus: Technology; Law/Policy; Gender Issues

Adeboro Pelumi Odunlami is a lawyer with over two years of experience in policy drafting that respects the rights of citizens in the use, development, and deployment of technology in Africa. She is currently the program assistant and legal officer for the Pan-African Organization, Paradigm Initiative, where she works on digital rights advocacy strategies for anglophone West Africa. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of Lagos, and a practicing certificate from the Nigerian Law School. She is fueled by her desire to see technology used for social good, and for African laws to foster technological development while protecting citizens from intrusion, biases, and other unchecked consequences of algorithms. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she plans to continue working on influencing public and company policy in favor of human rights, in addition to launching a technology club for teenage girls in underserved regions of Nigeria.

 

Camara Oulematou

Country: Senegal       |        Focus: Education; Teaching & Mentorship; Youth

Oulematou Camara is currently working in the logistics and purchasing directorate of a company in the telecommunications sector. Specializing in supply chain management, she holds a master’s degree in Business Administration. She has extensive experience in administration, operations, process development, and project management in private companies, public organizations, and international institutions. She volunteers with a variety of organizations focused on children and education. She strongly believes that poverty should not be a barrier to education, and currently organizes different knowledge sharing activities while helping to build a school for disadvantaged children. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she is expecting to be even more committed to developing her community.

 

Précieux Guénolé Rajaofera

Country: Madagascar     |       Focus: Literacy; Politics; Humanitarian & Food Distribution; Education

Précieux Guénolé Rajaofera is a dynamic young scout of the Scout Association of the Lutheran Church of Toliara and has two years of experience in the volunteering and community service sector, mainly focused on the fight against adult illiteracy. To honor his scout obligation of service, Précieux offers free courses in reading and writing to the illiterate adult community of many rural villages in Toliara, Madagascar. Précieux holds a bachelor’s degree in Private Law from CNTEMAD (National Distance Education Center of Madagascar) and hopes to enroll in a master´s program in 2020. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Précieux plans to use his new skills and contacts to create a non-profit organization that will focus on fighting hunger, illiteracy, and clean water shortages in Madagascar.

 

Kobozo Renee-Gracella

Country: Central African Republic       |       Focus: Education; Sexual Health; Gender Issues; Female Social Entrepreneurship; Environment

Renee-Gracella Kobozo Yakongbo works for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in the Central African Republic. She teaches 6-12 years old girls critical life skills and works to help advance their personal development. As a member of the Peace Volunteer Network, she also promotes peace, dialogue, and social cohesion within her community. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Ecology and Health Biology, with a specialization in Parasitology. She is passionate about her work and believes that educating a girl is educating a whole nation.

 

Samantha Sibanda

Country: Zimbabwe      |       Focus: Disability Advocacy; Communications; Technology

Samantha Sibanda is a human rights defender who has been working in the area of disability rights for eight years. Samantha is the founder of Signs of Hope Trust, Zimbabwe, an organization that empowers and advocates for the rights of persons with disabilities. Her organization facilitates scholarships, helps schools establish libraries for children with disabilities, and lobbies and raises awareness on disability issues to ensure that people with disabilities are empowered for self-representation and can understand and contribute to policy. Additionally, she leads the Hope Magazine Zimbabwe Initiative, an inclusive online news magazine bringing together disabled people’s organizations, academics in disability, persons with disabilities, and mainstream media, to reframe disability issues and tell untold stories in communities. Samantha is currently studying towards a degree in Special Education with the support of the Wells Mountain Initiative. Following the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Samantha hopes to contribute to inclusive education for children with disabilities, to eradicate discrimination, and to advocate for awareness of disability issues in schools.

 

Patrick Stephenson

Country: Ghana      |      Focus: Communications; Advocacy; Technology; Community Engagement

Patrick Stephenson has seven years of experience in public policy analysis and advocacy. Currently, Patrick is the Head of Research at the Imani Centre for Policy and Education, where he leads a team of policy analysts in projects on gas and energy, government spending, commodity management, and national procurement policies. Patrick volunteers as a World Economic Forum Global Shaper with the Accra Hub and leads youth discussions around government accountability and active citizenship. He also currently works on nCLUDED, a participatory planning and development platform aimed at improving voter experiences and participation in public policy creation. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Patrick will continue to work with nCLUDED on advocacy strategies.

 

Silindile Xulu

Country: South Africa     |        Focus: Communications; Youth; Gender Issues; Human Rights

Silindile Penelope Buthelezi has over five years of experience in government, working on international and government relations programs. In addition to her local government work, she also has extensive experience in media relations and corporate communications. She has worked for programs at the University of South Africa, AmaZulu Football Club, the British Broadcasting Corporation and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. She holds a national diploma in Public Relations Management from the University of South Africa and is currently in her final academic year of her bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy, also at the University of South Africa. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Silindile plans to continue sharing her experiences, passions, and knowledge with young graduates through her self-designed mentorship program and looks forward to its expansion in 2019.

 

Robert Zulu

Country: Zambia     |       Focus: Public Health; NGOs; Communications; Cervical Cancer Awareness

Robert Zulu is a results-driven and dedicated person that works to address global social challenges. After losing his wife to cervical cancer in 2015, he decided to launch a cervical cancer education program in Zambia. He is the founder and executive director of Rakellz Dream Initiative, a non-governmental organization with a team of 50 youth working to raise awareness around cervical cancer through outreach activities and informational films. The long-term vision of the Rakellz Dream Initiative is to help increase cervical cancer knowledge across Zambia to mitigate and prevent terminal diagnoses. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Robert will continue to raise awareness of cervical cancer in the rural communities of Zambia’s Northern Province by the year 2021.