Sexuality, Gender, and Society in Africa
Our first panel seeks to address womanhood, masculinity, sexuality, LGBTQ+ representation and equality in society. While many African nations are even more advanced than Western nations in terms of equality and rights for LGBTQ+ people, we still have a long way to go in terms of gender equality and sexual freedom in our societies. How can we balance cultural values and the need for Africa to keep up with shifting values in global society?
Sindiso Mnisi Weeks
Sindiso Mnisi Weeks is a senior researcher in the Centre for Law and Society at the University of Cape Town. She works on the Rural Women's Action-Research project which focuses on traditional courts, combining research and policy work on women, land and customary law. Sindiso holds a PhD in Law from the University of Oxford as well as a BA in Law, Philosophy and Language and LLB from the University of Cape Town.
Dr. Ssenfuka Warry (Uganda)
Dr. Warry, self-described as a lesbian catholic woman, is the Executive Director of Freedom and Roam Uganda, and a board member at Sexual Minorities Uganda, as well as organizing the first ever Pride event in Uganda.
Audrey Mbugua is a Kenyan transgender activist who has been involved in legal actions in the High Court of Kenya to fight for the rights of transgender people. She is head of the group Transgender Education and Advocacy and in June 2016 was seeking changes to the 2016 Health Bill of legal recognition of transgender people, to stop the stigma associated with transsexuality, that sex reassignment therapy be permitted and other changes concerning sex reassignment surgery.
Healthcare and Technology
Our second panel is focused on Healthcare and Technology on the continent. In addition to addressing the healthcare and medical issues facing Africa, this panel will also focus on reversing Brain Drain in Africa. How can we ensure that talented healthcare specialists, engineers, and physicians collaborate and develop innovative ways of addressing healthcare crises facing our continent? How will technology play a role in developing more effective and efficient systems on the continent? How can we ensure our education systems meet the rapidly-changing demands of globalism?
Dr. Oluwatosin Onibokun
Dr. Onibokun is an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynaecology and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine. She grew up in Nigeria,and has a deep interest in global health and is active in research to provide basic gynecologic and obstetric care to women in underserved populations. She is working with Yale School of Medicine colleagues to establish a program in Ghana that would improve access to cervical cancer screening.
Erwin Boateng is the founder of Quality Health Africa, which is a non-profit organization focused on strengthening Africa's Healthcare System through grassroots development in education, advocacy and renovating old clinics in rural areas across Africa.
Different Mediums of Activism
The third panel will address Different Mediums of Activism to inspire change in Africa. This panel will explore different mediums of activism: television, art, social media, disruption as activism, and more. Is activism and radical action the most effective way on causing change? How can activists and other groups collaborate to ensure our governments and elected officials are held accountable? We will hear from activists and nonactivists and together engage in discourse over the most effective ways to inspire change.
Ikenna Azuike (Amsterdam)
Ikenna Azuike is a Nigerian-British lawyer-turned broadcaster, best known for presenting the satirical and pop-culture show, What’s Up Africa. In 2014, Azuike was cited as one of the "100 Most Influential Africans" by New African magazine.
Fatima Al Ansar (Mali)
Fatima is an internationally known activist for women and girls’ rights around the globe, especially in Mali. Fatima is also the 2017 Oxford consortium on Human Rights Fellow. She is the youngest 2010 YALI fellow (a fellowship for young African leaders by President Barack Obama). She is also the founder of Tilwalte a foundation that seeks to educate, develop and assist Malian girls to achieve a brighter future.
Amr Sobhy (Egypt)
Award-winning Egyptian information activist, social entrepreneur, published author and poet. He is best known as co-creator of MorsiMeter a digital initiative and online platform to document and monitor the performance of Egyptian President, Mohamed Morsi, which has attracted a wide global attention. The initiative modelled after Obameter is considered to be the first in Egypt and the Middle East to hold a president accountable for his promises.
Innovation and Development
Finally, our fourth panel will address the Future of Economic Growth in Africa. This panel will address the economic state of affairs across the continent, unemployment levels, job creation, entrepreneurship, foreign investments, and more. What is our role in contributing to the Economic landscape in Africa?