Identity

UNITY DOW Human Rights Activist and Lawyer Unity Dow , appointed as Botswana's first female judge of the High Court in January 1998, considers that in writing novels she is ‘reclaiming the voice' to speak out on human rights and women's issues. Before her appointment as a High Court Judge, she was able to win important advances in laws pertaining to child support, rape and married women's property rights. Her writings which strongly express women's struggles for equality and justice in Botswana , are based on her own immediate experiences of working in these areas. She established a women's centre in her home village and co-founded the Women and Law in Southern Africa Research Project. She is also a member of International Women's Rights Watch, an advocacy organization and became renowned for what is known as the Citizenship Case.

UNITY DOW

Human Rights Activist and Lawyer

Unity Dow , appointed as Botswana's first female judge of the High Court in January 1998, considers that in writing novels she is ‘reclaiming the voice' to speak out on human rights and women's issues. Before her appointment as a High Court Judge, she was able to win important advances in laws pertaining to child support, rape and married women's property rights. Her writings which strongly express women's struggles for equality and justice in Botswana , are based on her own immediate experiences of working in these areas. She established a women's centre in her home village and co-founded the Women and Law in Southern Africa Research Project. She is also a member of International Women's Rights Watch, an advocacy organization and became renowned for what is known as the Citizenship Case.

NICHOLAS OPIYO Human Rights Activist and Lawyer Nicholas Opiyo, founder of the human rights organization Chapter Four Uganda, has worked tirelessly since 2005 to defend civil liberties in Uganda, often for free and on behalf of society’s most vulnerable and marginalized. He grew up in Gulu, Northern Uganda, at the height of the deadly conflict between the government and the Lord’s Resistance Army, trekking long distances to avoid abduction by the LRA. The conflict is known for extreme brutality meted by both government and rebel forces, which have abducted thousands of civilians—including Opiyo’s sister, who spent several years with the LRA before escaping—to serve as soldiers, laborers, or sex slaves. After attending law school in Uganda, Opiyo channeled his childhood experience into a passion for defending human rights for all. He was honored by Human Rights Watch for his unfaltering dedication to upholding the human rights of all Ugandans, including LGBT people, by challenging discriminatory laws and speaking out for universal human rights principles. 

NICHOLAS OPIYO

Human Rights Activist and Lawyer

Nicholas Opiyo, founder of the human rights organization Chapter Four Uganda, has worked tirelessly since 2005 to defend civil liberties in Uganda, often for free and on behalf of society’s most vulnerable and marginalized.

He grew up in Gulu, Northern Uganda, at the height of the deadly conflict between the government and the Lord’s Resistance Army, trekking long distances to avoid abduction by the LRA. The conflict is known for extreme brutality meted by both government and rebel forces, which have abducted thousands of civilians—including Opiyo’s sister, who spent several years with the LRA before escaping—to serve as soldiers, laborers, or sex slaves. After attending law school in Uganda, Opiyo channeled his childhood experience into a passion for defending human rights for all. He was honored by Human Rights Watch for his unfaltering dedication to upholding the human rights of all Ugandans, including LGBT people, by challenging discriminatory laws and speaking out for universal human rights principles. 

NEO NTSOMA Photojournalism Trainer and Independent Photo Editor Neo Ntsoma pioneered her way forward as a talented photojournalist in 1998. in the wake of Apartheid laws that divided a nation, Ntsoma had a vision of proving to South Africa and the world that African women could excel at professions previously associated solely with men. In 2004, Ntsoma became the first female recipient of the Mohamed Amin Award, the CNN African Journalist of the Year Photography Prize for her photo essay entitled, ‘Their World in Flames”. She is the recipient of the National Geographic All Roads Photography Award and the co-author of ‘Women by Women’, a book on 50 years of women’s photography in South Africa. In 2006, Media24, Africa’s largest media group included her in their list of ‘100 Most Influential Women’. With the understanding of the importance of mentorship, she lectures frequently, both within and outside of the country. She has served as a judge on numerous photographic competitions, including the Fuji Film Press Awards, the National Arts Festival/ BASA Arts Journalism Awards and the Sunday Times Travel Photographer of the Year Competition. She is also a member of the National Adjudicating Committee for Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards, SADC Media Awards, as well as the Uganda Press Photo Awards.

NEO NTSOMA

Photojournalism Trainer and Independent Photo Editor

Neo Ntsoma pioneered her way forward as a talented photojournalist in 1998. in the wake of Apartheid laws that divided a nation, Ntsoma had a vision of proving to South Africa and the world that African women could excel at professions previously associated solely with men.

In 2004, Ntsoma became the first female recipient of the Mohamed Amin Award, the CNN African Journalist of the Year Photography Prize for her photo essay entitled, ‘Their World in Flames”. She is the recipient of the National Geographic All Roads Photography Award and the co-author of ‘Women by Women’, a book on 50 years of women’s photography in South Africa. In 2006, Media24, Africa’s largest media group included her in their list of ‘100 Most Influential Women’.

With the understanding of the importance of mentorship, she lectures frequently, both within and outside of the country. She has served as a judge on numerous photographic competitions, including the Fuji Film Press Awards, the National Arts Festival/ BASA Arts Journalism Awards and the Sunday Times Travel Photographer of the Year Competition. She is also a member of the National Adjudicating Committee for Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards, SADC Media Awards, as well as the Uganda Press Photo Awards.

 

Democracy

CHUDE JIDEONWO Co-founder and Managing Partner Named by Forbes as one of Africa’s 30 best entrepreneurs under 30, Chude Jideonwo is co-founder and managing partner of RED – a Nigerian media company that inspires young Africans to take action. RED consults for global brands including Facebook, Uber and the British Council, and the company has successfully managed communication for three successful African presidential campaigns. Jideonwo’s work deploys the media to build people, communities and nations.  A lawyer, Jideonwo has a master’s degree in media and communication from the Pan-African University and he is an alumnus of the Lagos Business School and the Strathmore Business School in Kenya. He has been a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum, and sits on the boards of the Oando Foundation and Microsoft 4Afrika.  From January 2018, he is transiting to a new position as leader at Joy, Inc., a revolutionary new company that integrates faith and science to help people, especially young people, find joy in their lives and in their work.    .

CHUDE JIDEONWO

Co-founder and Managing Partner

Named by Forbes as one of Africa’s 30 best entrepreneurs under 30, Chude Jideonwo is co-founder and managing partner of RED – a Nigerian media company that inspires young Africans to take action. RED consults for global brands including Facebook, Uber and the British Council, and the company has successfully managed communication for three successful African presidential campaigns. Jideonwo’s work deploys the media to build people, communities and nations.  A lawyer, Jideonwo has a master’s degree in media and communication from the Pan-African University and he is an alumnus of the Lagos Business School and the Strathmore Business School in Kenya. He has been a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum, and sits on the boards of the Oando Foundation and Microsoft 4Afrika.  From January 2018, he is transiting to a new position as leader at Joy, Inc., a revolutionary new company that integrates faith and science to help people, especially young people, find joy in their lives and in their work. 

 

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MELVIS M. NDILOSEH C.E.O./Senior Lecturer; Foundation for Peace and Solidarity/International Relations Institute of Cameroon Melvis M. Ndiloseh is CEO of the Foundation for Peace and Solidarity, a Cameroon-based non-profit, with outreach operations across Africa, which works to reconcile conflict-ridden communities through human rights and peace education. The organization also runs a pioneering flagship international training program on civilian peace support operations with the goal of building and consolidating deployable African human resource capacity for conflict management and humanitarian operations across the continent. At the international level, Melvis is a highly solicited independent consultant on human rights, democracy and peace, with viable international consultancy experiences with supranational organizations such as the African Union, UNECA, EU and IIDEA - helping to advise and elaborate future-proofed policies. 

MELVIS M. NDILOSEH

C.E.O./Senior Lecturer; Foundation for Peace and Solidarity/International Relations Institute of Cameroon

Melvis M. Ndiloseh is CEO of the Foundation for Peace and Solidarity, a Cameroon-based non-profit, with outreach operations across Africa, which works to reconcile conflict-ridden communities through human rights and peace education. The organization also runs a pioneering flagship international training program on civilian peace support operations with the goal of building and consolidating deployable African human resource capacity for conflict management and humanitarian operations across the continent. At the international level, Melvis is a highly solicited independent consultant on human rights, democracy and peace, with viable international consultancy experiences with supranational organizations such as the African Union, UNECA, EU and IIDEA - helping to advise and elaborate future-proofed policies. 

EVAN MAWARIRE Religious leader, Motivational Speaker, Author Pastor Evan is a Zimbabwean religious leader, motivational speaker, author and leader of the This Flag Movement. In April 2016 he posted a video on Facebook with the title ThisFlag, which went viral spurring the start of the #ThisFlag hashtag online. In the video, he decried the state of the economy and how he felt Zimbabwe was not delivering its promises to its citizens. He would be later arrested early July 2016 after successfully calling for a national 'Stay Away' dubbed 'Shut Down Zimbabwe'. 

EVAN MAWARIRE

Religious leader, Motivational Speaker, Author

Pastor Evan is a Zimbabwean religious leader, motivational speaker, author and leader of the This Flag Movement. In April 2016 he posted a video on Facebook with the title ThisFlag, which went viral spurring the start of the #ThisFlag hashtag online. In the video, he decried the state of the economy and how he felt Zimbabwe was not delivering its promises to its citizens. He would be later arrested early July 2016 after successfully calling for a national 'Stay Away' dubbed 'Shut Down Zimbabwe'. 

Business and Technology

OSCAR EKPONIMO Software Engineer A software engineer in the Nigerian capital Abuja, Ekponimo developed the Chowberry app, which alerts retailers via scanned bar codes when packaged food is reaching its expiry date, enabling them to offer discounted items to low-income consumers or welfare agencies. A successful three-month pilot involving 20 retailers reached about 300 people in Lagos and Abuja, feeding 150 orphans and vulnerable children.

OSCAR EKPONIMO

Software Engineer

A software engineer in the Nigerian capital Abuja, Ekponimo developed the Chowberry app, which alerts retailers via scanned bar codes when packaged food is reaching its expiry date, enabling them to offer discounted items to low-income consumers or welfare agencies. A successful three-month pilot involving 20 retailers reached about 300 people in Lagos and Abuja, feeding 150 orphans and vulnerable children.

OLAMIDE OLADIPO US Marketing Manager Olamide Oladipo is a passionate advocate for the development of the fashion industry on the African continent. A writer and strategist, Olamide has organized a series of conversations focused on leveling the playing field for designers and entrepreneurs within the diaspora. Olamide is currently the US marketing manager for luxury brand Stella McCartney. She is responsible for client engagement and marketing initiatives for the brand across wholesale and retail in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Prior to joining Stella McCartney, Olamide received her MBA from Harvard Business School and an AB in Economics and Social Anthropology from Harvard University.

OLAMIDE OLADIPO

US Marketing Manager

Olamide Oladipo is a passionate advocate for the development of the fashion industry on the African continent. A writer and strategist, Olamide has organized a series of conversations focused on leveling the playing field for designers and entrepreneurs within the diaspora. Olamide is currently the US marketing manager for luxury brand Stella McCartney. She is responsible for client engagement and marketing initiatives for the brand across wholesale and retail in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Prior to joining Stella McCartney, Olamide received her MBA from Harvard Business School and an AB in Economics and Social Anthropology from Harvard University.

CLAUDE GRUNITZKY Journalist, Editor and Entrepreneur Claude Grunitzky is a graduate of the University of London and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is best known as founder and editor-in-chief of the lifestyle publication TRACE, an international fashion and music title, and as a co-founder of the TRACE TV network. He runs TRUE Africa, a media platform championing young African voices, and TRUE, a content marketing agency, and is often involved in organizing international cultural exhibitions and events. 

CLAUDE GRUNITZKY

Journalist, Editor and Entrepreneur

Claude Grunitzky is a graduate of the University of London and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is best known as founder and editor-in-chief of the lifestyle publication TRACE, an international fashion and music title, and as a co-founder of the TRACE TV network. He runs TRUE Africa, a media platform championing young African voices, and TRUE, a content marketing agency, and is often involved in organizing international cultural exhibitions and events. 

 

Sustainability

JEAN BOSCO NZEYIMANA Founder and CEO, Habona Ltd. Jean Bosco Nzeyimana is the Founder and CEO of Habona Ltd., a company that produces affordable and environmentally friendly biofuels from waste. As a social entrepreneur with 30 permanent employees, he has demonstrated a strong commitment to building entrepreneurial leaders and promoting biodiversity conservation and ecotourism in Rwanda. He has received international recognition for his work as the 2014 top young entrepreneur of Rwanda, and was the recipient of both the African Innovation Prize and the Mandela Washington Fellowship, a flagship program of President Obama for Young African Leaders. 

JEAN BOSCO NZEYIMANA

Founder and CEO, Habona Ltd.

Jean Bosco Nzeyimana is the Founder and CEO of Habona Ltd., a company that produces affordable and environmentally friendly biofuels from waste. As a social entrepreneur with 30 permanent employees, he has demonstrated a strong commitment to building entrepreneurial leaders and promoting biodiversity conservation and ecotourism in Rwanda. He has received international recognition for his work as the 2014 top young entrepreneur of Rwanda, and was the recipient of both the African Innovation Prize and the Mandela Washington Fellowship, a flagship program of President Obama for Young African Leaders. 

LANDRY MAYIGANE Public Health Professional Mayigane has spent more than 5 years working as the National Poultry Program Coordinator under the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda. In this position, he contributed to building one of the most dynamic livestock sub-sectors in Rwanda by designing and implementing results-oriented policies, overseeing the national poultry production and commercialization, developing animal diseases prevention and control strategies for a safer poultry industry, and supervising yearly around 1,200 small to medium scale poultry farmers. 

LANDRY MAYIGANE

Public Health Professional

Mayigane has spent more than 5 years working as the National Poultry Program Coordinator under the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda. In this position, he contributed to building one of the most dynamic livestock sub-sectors in Rwanda by designing and implementing results-oriented policies, overseeing the national poultry production and commercialization, developing animal diseases prevention and control strategies for a safer poultry industry, and supervising yearly around 1,200 small to medium scale poultry farmers. 

EMMANUEL OHUABUNWA MD/MBA candidate at Yale University Ohuabunwa has many years of experience in mentoring students both in the US and Africa. Before Yale, he graduated as a Gates Millennium Scholar from Johns Hopkins University with a 3.97 GPA in Neuroscience and received multiple awards after graduation, from various organizations, for academic excellence and community service. Some of these include the “Scholar of the year Award” by Applause Africa and the “Top Nigerian-American Youth of the Year 2013” by the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans. At Yale, he has served as an SNMA MAPs mentor and volunteered in various initiatives to improve minority student recruitment in health professions.  On the global front, he has worked in Nigeria and South Africa and has been featured on various media outlets in Nigeria on the topic of education development.

EMMANUEL OHUABUNWA

MD/MBA candidate at Yale University

Ohuabunwa has many years of experience in mentoring students both in the US and Africa. Before Yale, he graduated as a Gates Millennium Scholar from Johns Hopkins University with a 3.97 GPA in Neuroscience and received multiple awards after graduation, from various organizations, for academic excellence and community service. Some of these include the “Scholar of the year Award” by Applause Africa and the “Top Nigerian-American Youth of the Year 2013” by the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans. At Yale, he has served as an SNMA MAPs mentor and volunteered in various initiatives to improve minority student recruitment in health professions.  On the global front, he has worked in Nigeria and South Africa and has been featured on various media outlets in Nigeria on the topic of education development.