2016 Civic Leadership Cohort

Samuel Stimela
Education: Diploma in Social Work from City College, Lusaka Zambia 2010
Organization: Houston Express
Professional Title: Travel Consultant

Samuel Sitimela has over five years of experience in the community development and health sectors. Currently Samuel is a travel consultant at Houston Express making travel arrangements for oil company staff traveling between Luanda, Angola and Houston, Texas. He volunteered at Solwezi Urban Clinic, Zambia, as a psychosocial and HIV /Aids counselor, and also in a solidarity campaign for drought victims in the south of Angola.   He holds a diploma in Social Work from City College of Management Studies, Lusaka, Zambia, and is currently studying for a bachelor's degree in Social Work with Cavendish University, Zambia. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Samuel plans to research and produce the first-ever documentaries and books about the origin, traditions, and culture, of the Mashi people from southern Angola (Cuando Cubango Province) and the Western Province of Zambia.

Mathias Fréjus Apovo
Education: MS in Business Law from Université d'Abomey-Calavi, Benin 2008
Professional Title: Independent Languages Teacher
Organization Type: Education

Mathias Apovo has over seven years of experience in strengthening young people's personal growth and leadership in many West African countries. Currently, Mathias is working part-time on designing and gathering resources for Amazing Africa. This project aims mainly to significantly boost Africans’ trust and commitment to Africa. He has previously initiated Freedom World (2010) and Cercle du Pouvoir (2012), two internet-based networks dedicated to sharing positive thoughts, inspiring articles and stories, personal growth, free e-books, and audios. Mathias holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Law, with a minor in Management. He established his first formal company in 2010 in his home country of Benin. A natural teacher passionate about discovering and revealing people’s potential, he has written many books encouraging well-being and a positive attitude. Upon his return to Burkina Faso, his adoptive country, he plans to officially launch and implement Amazing Africa.

Nadine Tièrowè Somda
Burkina Faso
Education: MA in Literature and English from The University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 2007 and 2011
Organization: The Ministry of Secondary and Tertiary Education
Professional Title: Secondary School Teacher
Organization Type: National Government    

Nadine Somda has over eight years of experience teaching English as a second language. She currently works in public and private schools. As a teacher, she is also a girls' empowerment enthusiast who plays the card of equal participation between boys and girls in her class. She once volunteered to help a Peace Corps volunteer run a girls' club in a school, and she now runs an English club in her current school.   Nadine has just defended a master's degree in Anglophone African Literature from the University Joseph Ki-Zerbo of Ouagadougou, and her dissertation focused on women’s oppression. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Nadine plans to initiate a teachers' association to offer mentoring programs to school boys and girls with a view to expanding opportunities to further their education.

Bernardino Fernandes Gonçalves
Cabo Verde
Education: BA in Business and Economics from Universidade Jean Piaget, Cabo Verde 2007
Organization: National Program for Poverty Alleviation
Professional Title: Program Officer
Organization Type: National Government     

Bernardino Goncalves has over five years of experience in financial inclusion. Currently he is responsible for microfinance and entrepreneurship promotion in the National Poverty Alleviation Program, in which he focuses on financial education for target populations in rural areas.   Bernardino is very engaged in peace-culture promotion and works in active solidarity with several initiatives across Praia City. Along with a neighbor, he participates intensively in social activism by working ‘on the streets’ for integrated development through community-based associations, and by using his experience to link people. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Bernardino plans to continue his work strengthening peace culture in the city, with a focus on advocacy for protecting the youth.

Nkembeteck Henry Nkwa
Education: BS in Geography from University of Buea, Cameroon 2012
Organization: Higher Institute of the Sahel
Professional Title: PhD Student
Organization Type: Education

Nkembeteck Henry Nkwa has five years’ experience in civic engagement with a commitment to building strong and resilient rural communities. He focuses on restoring rural women’s sources of livelihoods that were terminated by an ancient traditional leasing system. He is currently community ambassador at the International Center for Environmental Education and Community Development (ICENECDEV). He has developed skills in Arc GIS, teaching, teamwork, leadership, and all aspects of the project cycle. After the Fellowship, he will seek partnerships to restore the over 500 sources of livelihoods trapped in the web of an ancient traditional leasing system, and build a grassroots nonprofit NGO called Rural Communities’ Resilience Bedrock (RuReB).  Nkemeteck is a final-year master’s student majoring in Desertification and Natural Resources with a key interest in innovative ecosystem-based approaches to poverty alleviation and ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction. He featured in UNEP’s 2015 end-of-year report for promoting this concept through a seminar.

Bouchra Abderahim N’diaye
Education: MD in Finance, MD in Law and Political Sciences from Université de Reims, France 2009 and 2010 
Organization: Banque Commerciale du Chari
Professional Title: Auditor
Organization Type: Local or national business

Bouchra wants to work in a national or an international financial institution with a focus on development and microcredit, or as the minister of Finance in her country. She works to better women’s social, political, economic and cultural participation in Chad. This program will allow her to meet and share experiences with other young Africans who want to contribute to build a better Africa, a better world.

Zoukouhi Roseline Paule-Desiree Zahui
Côte d’Ivoire
Education: BS in Food Chemistry 2010, Certificate in Women’s Leadership 2012, MS in Quality Management, option Safety and Environment 2014
Organization: Soukpa Transport
Professional Title: Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Manager
Organization Type: Local or national business

 Roseline Zoukouhi is a young woman leader with experience in community service. She has been the QHSE (quality, health, safety, and environment) manager of Soukpa Transport since 2014. She has also been a project manager for the NGO ‘Jeunes Volontaires pour l’Environnement – Côte d’Ivoire’ for seven years. Roseline has worked at the Department of Chemistry, Biodiversity, and Health and was selected as an expert consultant by UNIDO. Roseline is an English-French translator for the African Youth Movement, and an alumnus of the women's leadership program ‘Moremi Initiative’. Suffering from Crohn’s disease, a non-genetic disease extremely rare in West Africa, Roseline plans to create an association to help and give dignity to people living with Crohn’s and colitis disease in her country. She also wants to make advances in research. Roseline holds a bachelor’s degree in Food Chemistry and a professional master’s in Management in Quality, Safety, and Environment.

Dina Berhane Tsehay
Education: Certificate in Arts and BA in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai India 2008 and 2011
Organization: Mujejeguwa Loka Women Development Association
Professional Title: Program Officer
Organization Type: Local non-governmental organization     

Dina B Tsehay is a Sociology graduate from the University of Mumbai, and has over four years’ experience in various fields of community development. Dina currently works as a project officer at a local NGO called MLWDA, where she primarily focuses on designing economic empowerment projects for marginalized women.   Dina has also done various volunteer work in fighting against leprosy, child abuse, and violence against women in India, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Dina plans to continue her work in women’s economic empowerment and create a network for women to participate in cross-border business trade in the East African region.

Opoku Afriyie-Asante
Education: B.ED in Information Technology from University of Education, Ghana 2009
Organization: Ghana Revenue Authority
Professional Title: Software Developer
Organization Type: National government       

Opoku Afriyie-Asante is a software developer with over seven years' experience in social entrepreneurship. He develops algorithms which provide resolution to incidents within the Ghana Revenue Authority’s electronic governance program (GeGov). He co-founded Piiri Foundation, an innovative charity that drives social change using science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In 2008, he received training and support from MIT Media Lab in Cambridge to pioneer Ghana’s One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program – a technology that revolutionizes how children are educated. Currently, his program includes earth sciences subjects from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), which build awareness of environmental issues and geologic hazards related to processes like deep-sea drilling.   Opoku graduated from the University of Education, Winneba, with a Bachelor of Education in Information Technology. On his return from the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he aspires to collaborate with the Ministry of Education to integrate project-based learning into the national curriculum. 

Josephine Marie Godwyll
Education: MS in Geomatic Engineering from Kwame Nkrumah University, Ghana 2015
Organization: Young at Heart Ghana
Professional Title: National Coordinator
Organization Type: Local non-governmental organization     

Josephine Marie Yacoba Godwyll is a trained geomatic engineer and a passionate social entrepreneur. Josephine is the founder and national coordinator of Young at Heart Ghana, where she blends her training and passion by engaging children with practical lessons in IT and creating IT hubs in rural communities. She also works part time with the African Women Advocacy Project as a program manager, where she manages science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) clubs set up in public schools to encouraging student exposure to practical demonstrations. She also serves as a monitoring and evaluation manager at College for Ama (CofA), an organisation leading the eradication of poverty for rural girls through educative initiatives.   Upon completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Josephine plans to continue reaching out to rural and deprived children amd improving the quality of their education by exposing them to various digital platforms. 

Andry Heriniaina Rakotomanana
Education: BS in Computer Science from IS IESI, Madagascar 2010
Organization: Lycée Andohalo
Professional Title: English Teacher
Organization Type: Educational institution

Andry Heriniaina Rakotomanana has over four years of experience in the field of teaching and in leading small associations. He is currently co-leader of an association called LIME (Lafayette Initiative for Malagasy Education), and is in charge of mentoring and preparing members to take the TOEFL (test of English as a foreign language) for possible studies in the United States. He also encourages the members to fundraise and volunteer in order to strengthen their personal development and help peers in their community. Students follow his guidance thanks to his excellent capacity to monitor young people and because of his good command of information and communication technology tools.   After the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he plans to create a cyber platform of exchange between students and anyone involved in the professional world so that students can take charge of their future and not lose sight of their goals.

Alfousseni Sidibe
Education: BA in Business Administration and Management from Ecole Superieure de Gestion D’Informatique et de Comptabilite, Mali 2013; MA in English from University of Bamako
Organization: ACDI/VOCA
Professional Title: Communications Manager
Organization Type: International non-governmental organization      

Alfousseni Sidibé has over seven years' experience in the agricultural community-development sector. Alfousseni served as communications manager for President Obama’s global hunger and food-security project, Feed the Future, where he focused on communication activities to inform beneficiaries about improved technologies to increase income. In 2016 Alfousseni joined the USAID Mali Justice Project as communication and outreach coordinator. He is also founder and CEO of the personal development startup, LYD (Live Your Dream). LYD empowers young students with public speaking, leadership, entrepreneurship, and English skills, and has a special mentoring program for young girls. With a master's in English from the University of Bamako and a bachelor's in Business Administration, Alfousseni is the founding president of the Bamako English Toastmasters Club, the first English club in Mali. After the Fellowship, Alfousseni plans to continue empowering the youth with innovative programs on entrepreneurship to tackle the unemployment that is leading to terrorism.

Nneoma Albert-Benson
Education: Bachelor’s in Law from Imo State University, Nigeria 2006; Barrister at Law from Nigerian Law School 2008
Organization: BEFA Women and Child Care Foundation
Professional Title: President
Organization Type: Local non-governmental organization

Nneoma Albert-Benson has nine years' experience in the community development sector, particularly in the protection and enforcement of human rights. Currently, Nneoma is the president of the BEFA Women and Child Care Foundation, where she provides poor women and children with quality legal services. This empowers women to take control of their lives and impacts on the major causes and effects of poverty. She also anchors the Save Women in Prison (SWIP) initiative, where she works to limit and, where possible, prevent the damage done to women as a result of their contact with the criminal justice system.  Nneoma is a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she plans to continue providing legal aid for women and to fully implement her SWIP initiative across Nigeria by providing a viable litigation system accessible to every imprisoned woman.

Chinenye Gift Ezeakor
Education: Bachelor’s in Electrical/Electronic Engineering from University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria 2015
Organization: African Sisters in Science, Technology, Engineering
Professional Title: Founder
Organization Type: Local non-governmental organization

Chinenye Ezeakor is founder of the African Sisters in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) network. She has a Bachelor degree in Electrical/Electronic Engineering, and is committed to improving the inclusion of women in the STEM disciplines. She has volunteered and partnered with various international organizations in her projects and has received recommendations and awards from several local and international organizations.   Chinenye is a Siemens Stiftung Nigerian project consultant for the Experimento project, which encourages practical teaching of STEM in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. Chinenye is an alumnus of AIESEC, a member of the Global Shapers Community Abuja, and a fellow of the DO School, Germany. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Chinenye plans to continue her work in improving quality education and supporting gender equality with a focus on engaging more African girls in the science and technology disciplines.

Edemanwan Dorothy Ossai
Education: LL.B in Law from Obafemi Awolowo University 2007; Certificate in Law from Nigerian Law School 2008
Organization: Mentors Assistance for Youths & Entrepreneurs Initiative
Professional Title: Founder/Coordinator
Organization Type: Local non-governmental organization

Edem Ossai has over seven years’ experience in litigation and civic education strategies. Currently, she coordinates programs for MAYEIN, an NGO which offers wide resources, including mobile library services, leadership development, and civic training, to teenagers in underserved communities and schools. She also organizes an annual conference for school girls and anchors youth panel discussions on governance.   Edem’s mission is to reduce gaps in literacy, leadership, and civic participatory skills amongst Nigerian teenagers. Her goal is to impact 2 million Nigerian teenagers by 2020. She is seeking partnerships towards establishing LTC (Leadership, Technology, and Civic) resource centers across Nigeria's 774 local government areas. Edem is skilled in youth capacity training and civic education strategies. She gained a Law degree in 2007 and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2008. In 2013 she received a Commonwealth prize for her essay on the role of women in leadership and entrepreneurship. 

Ndeye Borso Tall
Education: BS in Social Work from National School of Social Work 2012. BA and MA in American Studies from University Cheikh Anta Diop 2011, 2013. 
Organization: Amnesty International Regional Office for West and Central Africa
Professional Title: Executive Assistant to the Regional Director
Organization Type: International non-governmental organization

Since 1996, Borso Tall has devoted herself to community service. Today in Dakar she is an independent social worker who coordinates a youth club for the promotion of human rights, the executive assistant of Amnesty International Regional Office for West and Central Africa, and a PhD candidate in American studies at Cheikh Anta Diop University, where she serves as an adjunct lecturer.  She is the co-founder of the Senegalese American Studies Association.  Her guiding ethos is her vision of a world in which human rights are promoted through quality education. Most recently, Borso represented the West African Research Center at the official launch of the Regional Leadership Center (RLC) in Dakar, one of three institutions chosen by President Obama for the implementation of the Young African Leaders Initiative in Francophone and Lusophone West Africa. Borso counts on the Mandela Washington Fellowship to further serve the Senegalese and African community.

Hussein Adam Ahmed
Education: BA in Social Studies from East Africa University, Somalia 2012.
Organization: CARE International
Professional Title: Senior Education Program Officer
Organization Type: International non-governmental organization

Hussein Ahmed has over seven years of experience in the education sector, working directly with community-run schools. Currently, Hussein is a senior education officer in CARE International, where he focus on planning, implementing quarterly planned activities, reporting and monitoring, and supervision.  Hussein holds bachelor’s degree in Education (Social Studies) from East Africa University, where he focused on pedagogy, subject knowledge, classroom management techniques, and monitoring and evaluation. On his return from the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he plans on putting his leadership knowledge into action to improve girls' access to quality education. He also plans to conduct national mobilization campaigns in girls’ education and establish schoolgirl forums in villages in order to improve the leadership roles of school-level girls in rural areas. 

Ntombikayise Banda
South Africa
Education: Bachelor of Computer Engineering from University of Pretoria 2006; Bachelor of Financial Analysis and Portfolio Management from University of Cape Town 2009; Master of Computer Science from University of Cambridge 2010.
Organization: University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Professional Title: PhD student
Organization Type: Education

Ntombikayise Banda has over ten years’ experience in youth development, and mathematics and science education. She is the founder and chairperson of SciExplo, a nonprofit organization that aims to cultivate the next generation of engineers and scientists from an early age through engaging and fun programs that are designed to bridge the knowledge and digital gap. Such programs include a Robotics Holiday Club, where high-school students from previously disadvantaged areas learn programming and electronics in order to create functional robots. Ntombikayise is currently completing a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge, UK, with a focus on artificial intelligence applications in education. Upon completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Ntombikayise plans to introduce more programs to improve the level of science and mathematics in schools, and steer more students (particularly females) towards science-related fields.

Abubakr Abdelbagi
Education: BS in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from University of Khartoum 2014
Organization: Nehna Media Group
Professional Title: Creative Director
Organization Type: Local or national business

Abubakr Abdelbagi has over four years’ experience working in the fields of media, arts, and development. Currently, he serves as creative director of Nehna Media Group, which he co-founded with the aim of creatively addressing pressing societal issues in Sudan. Abubakr is also part of the Sudan Debate Foundation committee that strives to promote a culture of dialogue while empowering youth. Abubakr is a software engineer, which has given him a deeper understanding of the merits of using innovative technologies to develop sustainable solutions, the main focus being on education. Upon returning from the Fellowship, Abubakr intends to apply the knowledge and experiences acquired to support the most vulnerable by promoting livelihoods through education and development opportunities that catalyze social inclusion. Abubakr is also a caricaturist and illustrator who uses his art to address issues of public concern. He has represented Sudan in a number of international youth events.

Walaa Esam Abdelrahman
Education: BS in Mechanical Engineering from Khartoum University 2007; MS in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London 2014.
Organization: Gesr Center for Development and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
Professional Title: Capacity Building Consultant
Organization Type: Local non-governmental organization

For seven years, Walaa Ahmed has been involved in activities to empower her community. She was the capacity building consultant for Sudanese Young Leaders Program, where she was responsible for planning, coordinating, and monitoring all capacity-building activities. She also collaborated with Practical Action Organization on researching and documenting for the book Technologies from Clay, training women in war-affected zones to initiate their own business. Recently Walaa joined Gesr Center for youth empowerment as an executive board member.   Walaa is a mechanical engineer and has held different positions in government, the private sector, and universities. She was awarded the Chevening Scholarship, the UK’s governmental scholarship for leaders around the world, to study at Imperial College, London, where she obtained her MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering with a special focus on aircraft engines technology and nanofluids. After completing the Fellowship, she plans to continue her efforts in youth and girls’ empowerment. 

Kisioki Moitiko
Education: Tarangire National Park Certificate from Arusha Tropical Tourism College, 2008.
Organization: International Collaborative for Science, Education and the Environment
Professional Title: Project Manager
Organization Type: Local non-governmental organization

After secondary education, Kisioki Moitiko began working in tourism to assist his family. In 2010, he joined the International Collaborative for Science, Education, and Environment, the US-based NGO bringing clean stoves and solar electric systems to the Maasai of Tanzania. He soon became project manager. Under his leadership, the project expanded to over 20 villages and has improved more than 2,700 homes with clean stoves and solar electrical systems. He helped establish both a nonprofit and a for-profit Tanzanian corporation; the nonprofit, ICSEE (Tanzania) is headquartered in Monduli, Arusha region. After studying at Solar Energy International in Paonia Colorado, he has improved and lowered costs of the micro-grids in Maasai settlements. The ICSEE works with the African Wildlife Foundation and other organizations to bring stoves to Kenya and Uganda. The experience and relationships of YALI will enable him to take his work in development many steps forward.

Faita Rita Essofa
Education: Certificate in Marketing from ACEP-Afrique 2013; BA in English from University of Lome 2015.
Organization: Investment and Development Agency
Professional Title: Director
Organization Type: Local non-governmental organization

Faita Rita Essofa has over nine years’ experience in various fields in the community organizing and development sector. As a young social activist, she frequently travels to the rural communities of Togo to sensitize populations, especially women and girls, on good governance and leadership. With a basic educational background in English and Marketing, Faita has a track record of good leadership in various organizations. Now as an international human rights defender and the director of the Investment and Development Agency, she is working with social organizations, urging them to be more transparent and accountable in their activities. Faita is driven by the desire to see more and more women leading and governing her country with strategic investment and transparent tools. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Faita plans to continue supporting and undertaking projects on issues like human rights, leadership, and good governance.

Priscilla Diana Aling
Education: BA in Law from Uganda Christian University 2011; Post-graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from Kampala Law Development Center 2013.
Organization: Land and Equity Movement in Uganda
Professional Title: Legal Officer
Organization Type: Local non-governmental organization

Priscilla D Aling works at Land and Equity Movement in Uganda, an NGO that promotes land tenure security among rural communities. As the legal officer, her nearly three years of promoting land justice involves sensitization, facilitating individuals and communities to document their land rights, conflict resolution and legal representation, and advocacy and research. Priscilla is also a member on the board of Legal Aid Service Providers Network, a coalition of legal aid service providers that link the contributions of legal aid providers in Uganda. Priscilla enjoys community outreach, especially simplifying the law for laymen and writing about learnings. Upon her completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she will continue promoting land justice and plans to develop a program that helps the youth in Northern Uganda utilize the resources available to them for social and economic development to reduce vulnerability.

 Darlington Muyambwa
Education: BS in Media and Society Studies from Midlands State University 2009; MA in Peace and Governance from Africa University 2013.
Organization: Publish What You Pay Coalition
Professional Title: National Coordinator
Organization Type: Local non-governmental organization

Darlington Farai Muyambwa has over seven years’ experience in development and governance having worked in the sectors of health, youth, and natural resources governance. Currently, Darlington is the national coordinator for the Publish What You Pay Coalition, which works on promoting transparency and accountability in the extractive sector. As a coordinator he is responsible for program design, fundraising, implementation, monitoring, learning, sharing, and evaluating the work at national, regional, and international level.   Darlington holds a master’s in Peace and Governance, in which he focused mainly on accountability and leadership. He is also a trained communicator, with an honors degree in Media and Society Studies. After the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Darlington plans to establish a center for youth and development that seeks to professionalize youth work and advance research and advisory services on youth developmental issues. 

 Nosipho Zanele Evangelist Bhebhe
Education: Certificates in Resource Mobilization and Monitoring and Evaluation of HIV/AIDS from Institute of Development Management 2013;
Advanced Diploma in Project Management from Institute of Commercial Management 2014.
Organization: Overseas Adventure Travel
Professional Title: Safari Guide/Trip Leader
Organization Type: International business 

Nosipho Bhebhe is a social worker who has worked in volunteer-tourism for eight years. She runs a program for international volunteers working in different community-based projects in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Nosipho is the founder of Women on the Move, a project aimed at empowering women in different income-generating projects, as well as Youth on the Move, which aims to empower the youth and motivate them into dreaming big in both urban and rural parts of Victoria Falls. She is currently working freelance as a safari guide for Overseas Adventure Travel, and as a social work consultant for All Out Africa in Victoria Falls. Nosipho has skills in monitoring and evaluation, resource mobilization, funding proposal writing, and project management. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she aims to grow both Women on the Move and Youth on the Move through gender equality, youth empowerment, and poverty eradication in Victoria Falls.