Identity

  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.   With the understanding of the importance of mentorship, she lectures frequently, both within and outside of the country. 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. 

With the understanding of the importance of mentorship, she lectures frequently, both within and outside of the country. 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.

  FATIMA AKILU    Executive Director of Neem Foundation, which focuses on total sustainable human development   Dr. Fatima is the Executive Director of Neem Foundation, Nigeria. She is also a university educator and an advocate for marginalized groups working in the area of psychology and health for more than two decades. Akilu has had extensive experience working with forensic dually diagnosed intellectually disabled women, violent offenders, and sex offenders. Previously head of communication for the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Millennium Development Goals, she was Chairman of the Editorial Board Leadership Newspapers. Until recently, Dr. Akilu was the director of the Behavioral Analysis and Strategic Communication unit at the Office of the National Security Advisor which has developed a multi-pronged approach to countering violent extremism (CVE)  Fatima Akilu has extensive experience in working in: Nigeria, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and United States of America. Major areas of expertise include: Civil society engagement and Engaging marginalized groups

FATIMA AKILU

Executive Director of Neem Foundation, which focuses on total sustainable human development

Dr. Fatima is the Executive Director of Neem Foundation, Nigeria. She is also a university educator and an advocate for marginalized groups working in the area of psychology and health for more than two decades. Akilu has had extensive experience working with forensic dually diagnosed intellectually disabled women, violent offenders, and sex offenders. Previously head of communication for the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Millennium Development Goals, she was Chairman of the Editorial Board Leadership Newspapers. Until recently, Dr. Akilu was the director of the Behavioral Analysis and Strategic Communication unit at the Office of the National Security Advisor which has developed a multi-pronged approach to countering violent extremism (CVE)

Fatima Akilu has extensive experience in working in: Nigeria, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and United States of America. Major areas of expertise include: Civil society engagement and Engaging marginalized groups

 

Democracy

  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. 

  EVA NAMUSOKE    Knowledge Management Team Leader at MARPs Network    Dr Eva Namusoke is a Ugandan historian and research consultant. She studied History and International Relations at the University of Exeter and completed a Master's in African Studies at Yale University before pursuing a PhD in History at Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge. Her PhD focused on church and state in post-colonial Uganda, investigating the development of the Anglican Church into the powerful institution it is today. Following her PhD, Eva was a Postdoctoral Research Officer at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, where she worked with the Commonwealth Oral History Project. Her research interests include Ugandan postcolonial history and contemporary politics, and the relationship between Brexit, the Commonwealth and British imperial nostalgia. Eva is an Associate Fellow of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies. 

EVA NAMUSOKE

Knowledge Management Team Leader at MARPs Network

Dr Eva Namusoke is a Ugandan historian and research consultant. She studied History and International Relations at the University of Exeter and completed a Master's in African Studies at Yale University before pursuing a PhD in History at Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge. Her PhD focused on church and state in post-colonial Uganda, investigating the development of the Anglican Church into the powerful institution it is today. Following her PhD, Eva was a Postdoctoral Research Officer at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, where she worked with the Commonwealth Oral History Project. Her research interests include Ugandan postcolonial history and contemporary politics, and the relationship between Brexit, the Commonwealth and British imperial nostalgia. Eva is an Associate Fellow of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies. 

  AYA CHEBBI    Feminist Activist and Blogger   Aya Chebbi, an award winning Pan-African feminist, renowned  blogger  and internationally acclaimed Tunisian activist. Her blogs were published at  OpenDemocracy,    Al-Jazeera , and  Foresight -Africa . She is the co-founder of the  Voice of Women Initiative  (feminist collective) and founder of  Afrika Youth Movement , building one of Africa's largest youth movements. Blacklisted and banned from entering Egypt since March 2014, Chebbi continues to travel across the continent to support and train hundreds of social movement leaders and activists on mobilization, blogging and peace-building. Chebbi has been an Advisor on gender and youth for international organizations including the United Nations and the African Union Commission. She previously worked as Africa and Middle East Programs Director at World Peace Initiative Foundation and currently sits on the Board of Directors of CIVICUS, the World Refugee Council, Oxfam Independent Commission on Sexual Misconduct and the Advisory Committee of FRIDA Young Feminist Fund.     In 2012, Chebbi was a Fulbright scholar at Georgia Southern University and 2015 Mo Ibrahim Scholar for her Masters in African Studies at SOAS, University of London. Chebbi was recognized among 100 Under 40 Most Influential Africans in the World and received 2017 Pan-African Humanitarian Award.  ayachebbi.com        .    

AYA CHEBBI

Feminist Activist and Blogger

Aya Chebbi, an award winning Pan-African feminist, renowned blogger and internationally acclaimed Tunisian activist. Her blogs were published at OpenDemocracy,  Al-Jazeera, and Foresight -Africa. She is the co-founder of the Voice of Women Initiative (feminist collective) and founder of Afrika Youth Movement, building one of Africa's largest youth movements. Blacklisted and banned from entering Egypt since March 2014, Chebbi continues to travel across the continent to support and train hundreds of social movement leaders and activists on mobilization, blogging and peace-building. Chebbi has been an Advisor on gender and youth for international organizations including the United Nations and the African Union Commission. She previously worked as Africa and Middle East Programs Director at World Peace Initiative Foundation and currently sits on the Board of Directors of CIVICUS, the World Refugee Council, Oxfam Independent Commission on Sexual Misconduct and the Advisory Committee of FRIDA Young Feminist Fund.

 

In 2012, Chebbi was a Fulbright scholar at Georgia Southern University and 2015 Mo Ibrahim Scholar for her Masters in African Studies at SOAS, University of London. Chebbi was recognized among 100 Under 40 Most Influential Africans in the World and received 2017 Pan-African Humanitarian Award. ayachebbi.com


 

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Business and Technology

  OSCAR EKPONIMO    Software Engineer   Named in Time Magazine’s list of 10 Next Generation Leaders 2017, Oscar is the Founder of Chowberry Inc, a technology driven social enterprise that improves food accessibility and affordability to disadvantaged demographics and households facing food poverty. He is passionate about technology and believes in its transformational application in achieving sustainable food systems. He has championed various innovative solutions, winning awards such as the UN/ITU Young Innovators Award 2013 and World Youth Summit Awards 2016 among others in recognition of his contribution in leveraging technology and enterprise to address local challenges in Africa. He is a recipient of the prestigious Rolex Award for Enterprise in Applied Technology. Since 1976, the Rolex Awards honours 10 individuals around the world embarking on revolutionary projects that improve the well-being of communities and push the frontiers of human advancement. An Alumnus of the EDC/Lagos Business School, Oscar earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computing from Nigeria’s University of Calabar and was part of the inaugural Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), completing an online course in technology entrepreneurship.

OSCAR EKPONIMO

Software Engineer

Named in Time Magazine’s list of 10 Next Generation Leaders 2017, Oscar is the Founder of Chowberry Inc, a technology driven social enterprise that improves food accessibility and affordability to disadvantaged demographics and households facing food poverty. He is passionate about technology and believes in its transformational application in achieving sustainable food systems. He has championed various innovative solutions, winning awards such as the UN/ITU Young Innovators Award 2013 and World Youth Summit Awards 2016 among others in recognition of his contribution in leveraging technology and enterprise to address local challenges in Africa. He is a recipient of the prestigious Rolex Award for Enterprise in Applied Technology. Since 1976, the Rolex Awards honours 10 individuals around the world embarking on revolutionary projects that improve the well-being of communities and push the frontiers of human advancement.
An Alumnus of the EDC/Lagos Business School, Oscar earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computing from Nigeria’s University of Calabar and was part of the inaugural Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), completing an online course in technology entrepreneurship.

  OLAMIDE OLADIPO    US Marketing Manager   Olamide Oladipo is a writer, strategist, and passionate advocate for the development of the fashion industry on the African continent. Born in the United Kingdom, Olamide has developed brand-building expertise working for luxury brands in the United States and Europe, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Charlotte Tilbury. She currently leads North America marketing for British luxury brand Stella McCartney. She is responsible for client acquisition and engagement for the brand within key wholesale and directly operated doors across the region. Olamide received an MBA from Harvard Business School and an AB in Economics and Social Anthropology from Harvard College. She began her career with Morgan Stanley in the Institutional Equities Division, supporting hedge funds in business development. She serves as President of the Harvard Black Alumni Society of New York and Editor-in-Chief of PROTOChic Magazine. Learn more at PROTOChic.com.

OLAMIDE OLADIPO

US Marketing Manager

Olamide Oladipo is a writer, strategist, and passionate advocate for the development of the fashion industry on the African continent. Born in the United Kingdom, Olamide has developed brand-building expertise working for luxury brands in the United States and Europe, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Charlotte Tilbury. She currently leads North America marketing for British luxury brand Stella McCartney. She is responsible for client acquisition and engagement for the brand within key wholesale and directly operated doors across the region. Olamide received an MBA from Harvard Business School and an AB in Economics and Social Anthropology from Harvard College. She began her career with Morgan Stanley in the Institutional Equities Division, supporting hedge funds in business development. She serves as President of the Harvard Black Alumni Society of New York and Editor-in-Chief of PROTOChic Magazine. Learn more at PROTOChic.com.

  KEMI ADETIBA    Director, producer and cinematographer   Though a law school graduate, Kemi has, in a short space of time, excelled in the entertainment both in Nigeria and across sub-saharan Africa. Starting out as a radio personality with Rhythm 93.7FM, Kemi soon became the voice behind two nationally syndicated hit shows: Soul’d Out and her signature, Sunday at the Seaside, also frequently helming other shows on the station.   The Future Nigeria Awards have taken notice, nominating Kemi for the On-Air Personality of the Year award five years in a row (including 2011, where she became the first double-nominee in the ceremony's history with a nod for Screen Producer/Director of the Year).   In 2007, after years of success in front of the camera, her love of storytelling drew her to enroll in the New York Film Academy. Today, Kemi is an award-winning director, producer and cinematographer. Her body of work includes music videos, commercials, television content and films. 

KEMI ADETIBA

Director, producer and cinematographer

Though a law school graduate, Kemi has, in a short space of time, excelled in the entertainment both in Nigeria and across sub-saharan Africa. Starting out as a radio personality with Rhythm 93.7FM, Kemi soon became the voice behind two nationally syndicated hit shows: Soul’d Out and her signature, Sunday at the Seaside, also frequently helming other shows on the station. 

The Future Nigeria Awards have taken notice, nominating Kemi for the On-Air Personality of the Year award five years in a row (including 2011, where she became the first double-nominee in the ceremony's history with a nod for Screen Producer/Director of the Year). 

In 2007, after years of success in front of the camera, her love of storytelling drew her to enroll in the New York Film Academy. Today, Kemi is an award-winning director, producer and cinematographer. Her body of work includes music videos, commercials, television content and films. 

  JEPH ACHEAMPONG    Social Entrepreneur    With a background in economics and global business from New York University, Jeph’s work as a consultant on Wall Street guided him to found Ghana’s First Data Science Talent Accelerator, Blossom Academy, which gives university graduates the skills needed to launch meaningful careers in Data Science. Their most recent selection process attracted 950+ candidates.     Jeph has also helped model, scale, and fundraise for Esusu - a rotational savings platform - that is now available in the Apple store. His work has been recognized by the Clinton Foundation, the Global Engagement Summit, and the African Youth Excellence Awards. He is passionate about the role that social entrepreneurship and innovation play in shaping the African continent.

JEPH ACHEAMPONG

Social Entrepreneur

With a background in economics and global business from New York University, Jeph’s work as a consultant on Wall Street guided him to found Ghana’s First Data Science Talent Accelerator, Blossom Academy, which gives university graduates the skills needed to launch meaningful careers in Data Science. Their most recent selection process attracted 950+ candidates.

Jeph has also helped model, scale, and fundraise for Esusu - a rotational savings platform - that is now available in the Apple store. His work has been recognized by the Clinton Foundation, the Global Engagement Summit, and the African Youth Excellence Awards. He is passionate about the role that social entrepreneurship and innovation play in shaping the African continent.

 

Sustainability

  JOSEPH AWUAH-DARKO    Social Entrepreneur   21-year-old Joseph Awuah-Darko is a British-born Ghanaian social entrepreneur. He is currently a student at Ashesi University offering a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration and has also studied at the Saïd Business School at Oxford University. Joseph Awuah-Darko was recently recognised this year on Ghana’s Independence- 6th March 2018- as a Future Of Ghana 30 Under 30 Pioneer and his social enterprise Akwaaba & Co was recognised by the BBC World Service, Al Jazeerah and the Business & Financial Times as one of the ‘Most Inspiring Startups’ of 2018. He is the founder of the Agbogblo.Shine Initiative, an NGO which seeks to mitigate the deplorable environmental degradation at ‘Africa’s Largest E-waste Dump’ found in Ghana – Agbogbloshie, and for his efforts in this capacity, Mr. Awuah-Darko was awarded as an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.  He also considers himself to be a creative. In February of 201, he created the award-winning logo design for the Creative Arts Council under the Ministry of Tourism lead by Gyankroma Akufo-Addo. He was recently recognized by the MasterCard Foundation, awarded a grant as a finalist for their ‘Young African Artist’ selection for 2018 and a supporting grant from the Ford Foundation. Finally, Joseph Awuah-Darko will be the youngest Ghanaian in modern history to hold a solo exhibition at Accra’s first contemporary art gallery – the Gallery 1957 at the Kempinski Hotel. Joseph is a member of the Accra Polo Club, winning the Range Rover Africa Cup in August of 2015 in South Africa where he represented Ghana.

JOSEPH AWUAH-DARKO

Social Entrepreneur

21-year-old Joseph Awuah-Darko is a British-born Ghanaian social entrepreneur. He is currently a student at Ashesi University offering a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration and has also studied at the Saïd Business School at Oxford University. Joseph Awuah-Darko was recently recognised this year on Ghana’s Independence- 6th March 2018- as a Future Of Ghana 30 Under 30 Pioneer and his social enterprise Akwaaba & Co was recognised by the BBC World Service, Al Jazeerah and the Business & Financial Times as one of the ‘Most Inspiring Startups’ of 2018.
He is the founder of the Agbogblo.Shine Initiative, an NGO which seeks to mitigate the deplorable environmental degradation at ‘Africa’s Largest E-waste Dump’ found in Ghana – Agbogbloshie, and for his efforts in this capacity, Mr. Awuah-Darko was awarded as an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.

He also considers himself to be a creative. In February of 201, he created the award-winning logo design for the Creative Arts Council under the Ministry of Tourism lead by Gyankroma Akufo-Addo. He was recently recognized by the MasterCard Foundation, awarded a grant as a finalist for their ‘Young African Artist’ selection for 2018 and a supporting grant from the Ford Foundation. Finally, Joseph Awuah-Darko will be the youngest Ghanaian in modern history to hold a solo exhibition at Accra’s first contemporary art gallery – the Gallery 1957 at the Kempinski Hotel.
Joseph is a member of the Accra Polo Club, winning the Range Rover Africa Cup in August of 2015 in South Africa where he represented Ghana.

  LANDRY MAYIGANE    Public Health Professional   Mayigane is an award-winning humanitarian with over 10 years of cumulative experience in Senegal, Rwanda, Togo, Guinea and Mali working with communities, governments and different international organizations. His areas of expertise include disease outbreaks and emergencies management (both in animal and human populations) and community development.  From 2014-2016, Landry was involved in the fight against the Ebola virus disease in Guinea, where he led a team of more than 100 international health workers deployed by the African Union Commission. As operations co-ordinator for the mission, he supervised field investigations involving over 700 Ebola patients across Guinea.  He was awarded a Medal of Service to Humanity by the African Union Commission in recognition of his bravery and exemplary work during the Ebola outbreak response in West Africa.  Landry was also named as one of the 100 most influential young Africans for 2016 by the African Youth Awards for his contribution to public health in Africa and he is also a recipient of the Community Solutions Fellowship award by the US State Department.

LANDRY MAYIGANE

Public Health Professional

Mayigane is an award-winning humanitarian with over 10 years of cumulative experience in Senegal, Rwanda, Togo, Guinea and Mali working with communities, governments and different international organizations. His areas of expertise include disease outbreaks and emergencies management (both in animal and human populations) and community development.

From 2014-2016, Landry was involved in the fight against the Ebola virus disease in Guinea, where he led a team of more than 100 international health workers deployed by the African Union Commission. As operations co-ordinator for the mission, he supervised field investigations involving over 700 Ebola patients across Guinea.

He was awarded a Medal of Service to Humanity by the African Union Commission in recognition of his bravery and exemplary work during the Ebola outbreak response in West Africa.

Landry was also named as one of the 100 most influential young Africans for 2016 by the African Youth Awards for his contribution to public health in Africa and he is also a recipient of the Community Solutions Fellowship award by the US State Department.

  EMMANUEL OHUABUNWA    MD/MBA fromYale 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 healthcare and education development.

EMMANUEL OHUABUNWA

MD/MBA fromYale 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 healthcare and education development.