2019 Leaders in Public Management Cohort

Luis Duarte
Cabo Verde

Luis Duarte is coordinating the State-Owned Enterprises Monitoring Unit at the Ministry of Finance in Cabo Verde. The Unit implements an ambitious privatization program that focuses on major economic reforms in Cabo Verde. Luis is also the founder and coordinator of a non-governmental organization called Make It Happen, that cultivates social projects; he hopes to turn Make it Happen into a community leaders training school. He was part of a TEDx Praia team, who held a social innovation event aimed at helping Cape Verdeans better understand their origins and success stories of Cape Verdeans abroad. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Luis plans to continue to lead the State-Owned Enterprises Monitoring Unit to achieve economic reforms in Cabo Verde and to improve the lives of many Cape Verdeans. Luis also intends to continue his work empowering community leaders with the knowledge and tools to reach the potential of their work. 

William Nkamji Tchakounteh

William Nkamji Tchakounteh is a medical doctor with seven years of experience in delivering healthcare to rural communities and predominantly vulnerable populations. Currently, William is the chief medical officer of the Fotabong Subdivisional Hospital, and director of the Hope for Health project, a humanitarian project whose main objective is to render quality and affordable healthcare to the people of Fotabong and its environs. William believes that quality healthcare should not belong only to the rich, and that fighting corruption in public hospitals is vital to achieving quality healthcare; he, therefore, works tirelessly towards achieving that goal. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, William plans to use the knowledge and skills acquired to develop better policies in fighting corruption in public hospitals, and by so doing, continue to offer quality and affordable healthcare to rural communities.

Khassim Lol Mahamat Choua

Lol Mahamat Choua Khassim currently works as an export manager at the National Agency for Investment and Exports. In this role, Khassim helps exporters in Chad access the international marketplace. He is also the founder of the K.L Corporation, a company that strives to provide high-quality internet service. Upon competition of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Khassim will continue to build and grow his company. 

Ousmane Batchily
Cote d'Ivoire

Ousmane Batchily holds a bachelor´s degree in Statistics and Economic Engineering from the Ecole Nationale de Statistiques et d´Economie Appliquée in Abidjanas and has seven years of professional experience in port maritime and public-private partnerships. Currently, Ousmane is a department head at Abidjan Port Authority, in charge of economic and statistic studies, strategy, planning, and financial analysis of port concessions. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Ousmane plans to continue to contribute to the implementation of port concessions and management of the Abidjan Port.

Melissa Kusisakana
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Melissa Bokomba Kusisakana has three years of experience in the education sector, including work within secondary and tertiary education and private tutoring. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Technology degree in Chemical Engineering from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa. After completing her studies, she worked in the mining industry and with a chocolate spread making company for a short period. Currently, Melissa is a lecturer of subjects such as fluids mechanics, chemical engineering, industrial chemistry, thermodynamics, and English. She is also researching the utilization of organic wastes to produce methane, at Loyola University of Congo. Melissa is driven by the desire to attract young people, especially young girls, towards sciences and technology. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Melissa hopes to start a non-governmental organization to create interest in science for young girls.

Ndola Baguma
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Blaise Baguma Ndola is a citizen of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and holds a degree in International Relations. In 2013, his passion for advocacy led him to begin a blog focused on human rights, democracy, and ICT policy. Apart from his activism, he volunteers with Rudi International, where he works as an ICT program manager to design and implement projects on education, research, and advocacy in the field of ICT. Blaise is also a freelance digital communication and security consultant who provides social media advice for non-governmental organizations and local companies. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Blaise will continue to advocate for adequate ICT policies that promote democracy, development, and human rights.

Mlamuli Busika 

Mlamuli Busika has over nine years of experience in the economic development sector, specifically focusing on community development, market linkages, and microfinance. Busika works for World Vision Eswatini as the current livelihoods and resilience manager. In this role, he provides expertise in program design, implementation, and strategy management. Busika holds a degree in Animal Science and a candidate for a master’s degree in Animal Nutrition. Over time he has developed an interest in feeding analysis, which he believes findings could create better opportunities for underprivileged households. He also believes that food security is the key to restoring human dignity and fighting injustice. Upon completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Busika will continue with his work, infusing incisive programming, strengthening accountability, and better delivery in the development of small and medium enterprises.

Gellila Meheret

Gellila Meheret is an emergency physician who has been working to improve medical services for the past four years and advocate of women’s rights and gender equality. She is currently the CEO of the first public trauma and emergency hospital complex in Ethiopia, a facility that is part of St. Paul's Hospital Millennium Medical College. Gellila studied medicine at the Hawassa University and got her post-graduate degree in emergency medicine from Addis Ababa University. Upon competition of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Gellila hopes to launch the first masters training program in prehospital care in collaboration with Oslo Metropolitan University.

Sabela Abebe Takele

Sabela Abebe has over nine years of experience in peace, security, and human resources, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Science, focusing on Philosophy and Political Science. Currently, Sabela is a human resources operation specialist at the African Union (AU) Commission, where she works on initiatives for process improvement by reviewing AU policies and aligning them with the functions of human resource management. Before joining the AU, Sabela worked for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, where she focused on women´s land rights, assisted and coordinated research, and was formerly an Assistant Lecturer at Addis Ababa University. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Sabela plans to continue her work at the AU Commission and anticipates supporting women in her country by providing training and awareness programs.

Deborah Eturu

Deborah Aba Eturu works at the Methodist Hospital Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana as a physician’s assistant and a clinical psychiatric officer. Outside of her work at the hospital, Deborah advocates for quality rights in mental health. She leads mental health awareness campaigns in public schools, religious meetings, and around her catchment area. Deborah has dual degrees in Community Medicine and Clinical Psychiatry from the College of Health and Well-Being Kintampo, and Public Health Education from the Catholic University College, Fiapre. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Deborah plans to continue her work in mental health advocacy in hopes to influence national mental health policies. 

Cephas Avoka

Cephas Ke On Avoka has over six years of experience advocating for youth sexual reproductive health rights through the mentorship and training of medical students. He started "shyOUT," an organization that creates digital innovations designed to empower youth and equip them with information on their reproductive health rights. Cephas is a medical officer with the Kings Medical Center, where he developed a color-coding protocol and district referral team both aimed at identifying and managing pregnancy complications and promoting effective referrals in the Kumbungu District. He also created a donor wall and bed naming initiatives, which have sustained income for the Sick Kids Fund of the pediatric ward at the Dorma Presby Hospital for the past two years. Cephas studied Medicine at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. He is a Women Deliver Young Leader, and a member of the Ipas Ghana Youth Advisory Board. Cephas is driven by his desire to promoting health equity in Ghana. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Cephas plans to pursue a career in public health with a focus on adolescent health and innovative health financing strategies for rural communities in the Northern regions of Ghana.

Marie Lonas

Marie Antoinette Lonas has nine years of professional experience. She is currently working at the Central Bank of Guinea Republic as a human resources manager where her responsibilities include hiring, administrative management, and career development. She believes that every person has a great talent that needs to be recognized and supported. Marie holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and is currently pursuing a master's degree in Human Resources and Organizational Management at Sonfonia University, where she is working on her thesis. She has been a member and is now an advisor of CV-AV, a movement that supports child welfare and is affiliated with the international movement Children's Apostolate. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Marie intends to share her experience with the organizations working for children in Guinea by helping them increase their impact in the community.

Serah Muindi

Serah Muindi has six years of experience in the mental health and wellness field and provides mental wellness services to young people battling issues like suicidal ideation, depression, and mental health conditions. She currently works at Hopewell Firm, where she creates events around mental health issues, provides mental wellness services, and empowers youth to become mentally healthy. Serah also volunteers for a youth organization that uses talent to promote and mentor young people, and a female-led organization that supports female creatives in problem-solving in Africa. After the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Serah plans to scale up the impact and reach of her work in mental wellness service provision and advocacy with a focus on women and youth.

William Sakuda

William Sakuda holds a master´s degree in Business Administration, a diploma in Purchasing and Supplies, and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is also currently pursuing a master´s degree in Procurement and Contract Management. William has eight years of experience in the public sector, specifically in procurement on water and sanitation infrastructure projects for arid urban and semi-arid rural regions in Kenya. Currently, he serves as a supply chain manager for Rift Valley Water Services Board in Kenya. He manages the procurement functions of water infrastructure in seven counties, most of which are facing acute water challenges and community conflicts associated with competition for the same resource. William is also involved in promoting girls´ education in his community and sensitization against harmful cultural practices, including early marriage and female genital mutilation. William is driven by the commitment to see more transparent, competitive, and accountable procurement practices in his country and equal education opportunities for all. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, William plans to continue his work promoting more transparent and accountable procurement practices, while also engaging and sensitizing the community on the need for equal education opportunities for all children.

Teboho Moahloli

Teboho Elizabeth Moahloli holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Statistics and an advanced international diploma in Project Management. She has five years of experience in strategic planning, policy, budgeting, and research, and is the youngest national economic planner at the Ministry of Education and Training. At the Ministry, Teboho contributes to the development, validation, implementation, review, and evaluation of national and sectoral plans to support the fulfillment of the national development agenda. A product of the public school system, Teboho is personally committed to strengthening access to inclusive, relevant, and quality education. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Teboho plans to expand her work in the education sector through the creation of an education program that encourages young people to seize additional educational and training opportunities. 

Maria Nakanyala

Maria Nuusiku Gift Nakanyala has over five years of experience in secondary education, specifically in teaching English as a second language. Currently, she is pursuing her master's degree in International Relations and Diplomacy Management, with a focus on International Multilateral organizations. Maria Gift is the founder of the Girls Can Program, an initiative that teaches young girls about human rights, equality, consent, leadership, and how to contribute to sustainable development goals. Maria Gift has a degree in Teaching from the University of Namibia with a major in English. Her passion for advocacy has led her to become involved in multiple community initiatives and international conferences aimed at youth empowerment and leadership. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Maria Gift plans to continue her work with the Girls Can Program with a focus on mentorship and expanding partnerships.

Ogechi Igwegbe

Jean Ogechi Igwegbe is a public health practitioner, a writer, and a mental health advocate with over six years’ experience in the community development sector, specifically in mental health. She is the program manager for Reconnect Health Development Initiative, where she focuses on conceptualizing, designing and implementing sustainable prevention and treatment interventions for people affected by mental health and substance abuse problems, with a specific focus on young people. Jean holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom as well as a Master’s in Public Health from the University of the West of England, Bristol. She also has a certification from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime on drug prevention, treatment, and care. Jean aspires to be a culturally competent leader driving social and developmental change in Africa as she believes there is no health without mental health. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Jean plans to harness the skills and networks availed to her to change the stone-age status quo of mental health in Nigeria and Africa at large, through awareness, education, and establishment of culture-specific evidence-based interventions.

David Samuel

David Kehinde Samuel is a development practitioner working with the Nirmala Chellarams Centre for Entrepreneurship Skills and a director at the University of Lagos, an on-campus center committed to breeding business disruptors and employment generators. David’s passion is to give young people the power to change their economic and financial narrative while also finding and nurturing their true essence. David co-created Proconnect Investment Partners with investment interest in the hospitality, educational, and agricultural sectors. He also co-founded Experencia Workplace Solutions, a social enterprise committed to building the portfolio of his country’s future workforce. David is a graduate of banking and finance from the University of Benin, and his dream is to become Nigeria’s minister of youth before the age of 40. Upon the completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, David plans to continue pursuing his vision of helping young people nurture their dreams as well as working to build his businesses legacy.

Jennifer Batamuliza

Jennifer Batamuliza has over five years of experience in education and currently works as a lecturer at the University of Kigali, Rwanda. She is studying for her doctoral degree in Data Mining and holds a master’s degree in Computer Science and Technology, and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering. Upon competition of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Jennifer plans to continue to work in the field of education while serving as a student mentor and advocating for girl’s education across Rwanda. 

Lamine Morin 

Lamine Bruno Morin is passionate about urban development issues and has six years of experience in the infrastructure and transportation sector. He develops highway and railway projects and currently works as a project manager with the Senegal Government Investment Promotion Agency, on the Regional Express Train project. Lamine has a master's degree in project management and another graduate degree in communications. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Lamine plans to continue implementing infrastructure projects and launch the first West African think tank dedicated to examining sustainable mobility/transport programs in urban areas. 


Doreen Lesitla
South Africa

Doreen Lesitla has three years of experience in Auxiliary Social Work and ICT Skills Development Facilitation. Doreen holds a Diploma in Electronics Engineering and IT Systems Support from Tshwane South College in South Africa. After working in the telecommunication company for six years as an IP Planner and Change Management Administrator, she is now using her knowledge and skills to make a difference in her village through a non-profit organisation. Doreen provides ICT training to orphans, vulnerable children and unemployed youth with the aim of promoting ICT literacy. She also mentors’ young girls on self-awareness, identifying their strengths/talents and working on developing them, introversion and extroversion. She also works hand in hand with schools and families for the well-being of children. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Doreen plans to focus her acquired knowledge on public policy development to ensure quality education.    

Rishigen Viranna
South Africa

Dr. Rishigen Viranna holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from the University of Pretoria with post-graduate certificates in Child Health and Anesthesiology. He has been a member of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Provincial Legislature, South Africa for over five years for the Democratic Alliance and currently sits on the Education and Community Safety portfolio committees focusing on oversight of departmental budgets, performance, and executive accountability. Dr. Rishigen is passionate about ensuring the responsible use of public funds for the educational well-being of children, and upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he plans to continue work on policy development and parliamentary oversight for better opportunities for South Africa's youth.

Godson Justin
Tanzania, United Republic of

Godson Justin is the planning and development manager at the Vocational Education and Training Authority in Tanzania. He coordinates the organization's plans, budgets, and monitors and evaluates programs. Godson is interested and passionate about early childhood education, social entrepreneurship, leadership, and humanitarian work. He also serves as a volunteer with social enterprises, orphanage centers, and organizes leadership and mentorship programs for children and youth in Dar es Salaam. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Godson hopes to launch the Grow Wise Africa initiative, dedicated to providing equitable access to quality early childhood care and education services to children.

Elizabeth Nabakooza

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. 

Memory Sheba Nabukwa Moyo

Sheba Moyo has 14 years of work experience in the Education Sector and is currently an education empowerment coordinator for the non-governmental organization Beyond Ourselves Zambia. Her work as a coordinator includes training and mentoring teachers and school leaders and supporting them with the creation, implementation, and evaluation of school improvement plans. On a national level, Sheba is responsible for implementing the first Jolly Phonics English Literacy Scheme in Zambia, a United Kingdom-based program. By using locally available resources, she develops teaching and learning materials and trains educators on the implementation of these materials in schools located in poor communities. Sheba holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education, specializing in Civic Education and English from the University of Zambia, a trainer’s diploma in Early Childhood Development and Education, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Educational Management. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Sheba plans to expand her training and mentoring to the national and international level by focusing on developing cost-effective and sustainable teaching and learning materials and resources.