Meet the 2023 BSU Fellows
Central African Republic
Paola Demba works in the medical field as a general practitioner within the Doctors Without Borders Holland section. She focuses on the care of children in medical emergencies and in the intensive care unit. She has also worked within the Gospel Youth assisting people who suffer from trisomy 21. Paola holds a doctorate in medicine. Paola is passionate about saving lives and contributing to the development of the Central African Republic. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Paola plans to develop strategies to push key populations toward prevention against the transmission of new infections, such as the use of condoms and self-testing. She also hopes to create a conviviality center that will allow the medico-psycho-social care of those in her community and a mobile clinic to reach them easily.
Simiso Dlamini has more than six years of experience in medicine. Currently, Simiso is medical officer at Ubombo Sugar Limited, an Illovo Sugar Africa company, and focuses on delivering quality health services to employees and the community. He is also involved in charity work and is a member of an organization's wellness steering committee. Simiso served as the vice-chair of the Illovo Sugar Africa 2022 Millennial Board, which was tasked with spearheading diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives in the company with full executive support. Simiso holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Pretoria and is pursuing a post-graduate diploma in Public Management also from the University of Pretoria. He is committed to improving health and quality of life through consultations or effective systemic improvements. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Simiso plans to strengthen his involvement in initiatives that improve health and wellness in Eswatini through policy development, multistakeholder partnerships, and governance.
Sabah Mohammed Adem
Sabah Mohammed Adem has more than 10 years of experience in the legal field. Sabah is senior federal public prosecutor at Ethiopia’s Ministry of Justice, where she carries out litigation, prosecution, and advisory duties and provides justice and legal awareness of women’s and children’s rights, gender-based violence, and crime prevention. Sabah holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Science in Project Planning and Management and is currently pursuing a Master of Law in International Law. She has worked with associations targeting women’s and children’s support, providing free legal advice, and giving trainings on the Ethiopian legal system and women’s and children’s rights. She believes that these support areas can be further strengthened and made sustainable if women are given visibility and economic empowerment through access to job opportunities and markets. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Sabah plans to help create, reform, and influence policies and legislation addressing human rights and justice issues, with a particular focus on women’s and children’s rights in the criminal justice system and women’s empowerment and inclusion in sustainable investments.
Saffiatou Nyang has more than five years of experience in the legal profession. Currently, Saffiatou is state counsel at the Attorney General's Chambers and Ministry of Justice and focuses on civil litigation, criminal prosecution, transitional justice, and human rights. She is a member of The Gambia Bar Association and the Female Lawyers Association of The Gambia. Saffiatou also volunteers with several youth-led organizations in The Gambia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in law from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and a barrister-at-law certificate from The Gambia Law School. Saffiatou is passionate about justice and accountability, which has led her to focus on anticorruption studies, gender, and human rights, particularly the rights of women and children. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Saffiatou plans to use her new knowledge to impact the lives of the people she serves through her work as a civil servant.
Gloria Dole has more than six years of experience in public sector administration. She serves as the Human Resource Director at the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC) where she manages the overall activities of employees to ensure compliance with the PPCC laws and regulations for the furtherance of transparency and accountability in the processes leading to the awards of public contracts. As a lawyer, Gloria is an advocate for public sector reforms. She currently serves as the chairperson of the technical committee of the National Integrity Forum (NIF)-a body that comprises integrity institutions that ensure transparency and accountability in government activities.
Faniry Andrinjafy is an education advocate from Madagascar. Faniry obtained a master’s degree in Private Law from the Université d'Andrainjato Fianarantsoa in 2020, and he also participated in a leadership and entrepreneurship program organized by the same university in 2022. Currently, Faniry leads a nonprofit organization that aims to keep the most disadvantaged children in Madagascar in school. Faniry also volunteers in a nongovernmental organization, Teach For Madagascar, which trains teachers so that children can get better-quality education. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Faniry plans to help more disadvantaged children and train more teachers in Madagascar.
Mauapasula Chikuta has more than three years of experience working in the public sector. Currently, Mauapasula is an investigations officer at Anti-Corruption Bureau Malawi and focuses on criminal investigations in anticorruption. She has experience in human rights violations investigations and has volunteered in community development projects. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social science (Political Leadership) from the Catholic University of Malawi. Mauapasula is driven by her work with the bureau because she believes that corruption causes serious damage in society, and she is dedicated to championing the fight against graft. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Mauapasula plans to enhance anticorruption awareness and to broaden her professional skill set by specializing in financial crimes and fraud investigations.
Innocent Chipofya has more than six years of experience in police work in Malawi. Currently, Innocent is company commander with the Police Mobile Service Ecco Division, which focuses on antiriot, protest management, and border security. He is passionate about acquiring more knowledge about human rights in law enforcement, nondiscrimination application of justice, and political-free policing. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Innocent plans to be part of the directorate of operations overseeing the development and implementation of sound policies that promote the respect of human rights and political-free policing.
Joshna Bhoobun has over 10 years of experience in the public sector and legal field, having worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in law firms. Joshna was called to the bar of Mauritius as a barrister at law in 2021. She is currently a Judicial Researcher of the Judiciary, posted at the Supreme Court of Mauritius. She is also a lecturer in law on a part time basis. Joshna also trains young people through the Duke of Edinburgh International Award as an Award Leader and Assessor and is an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society. Joshna is motivated to empower the youths, women in particular, molding them into full-fledged personalities. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Joshna plans to add the acquired American experience and share the African perspective to enhance her ongoing work.
Gianeswaree Caully has 10 years of experience in psychology. Currently, Gianeswaree is a clinical psychologist in the edopsychiatry unit of the Ministry of Health and Wellness in Mauritius and focuses on conducting psychological evaluations and psychotherapy, as well as designing care plans on a multidisciplinary team. She holds a master's degree in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Adolescent and Child Development. Gianeswaree's drive to ensure children's well-being has spurred her to volunteer with various nongovernmental organizations that advocate for the inclusion of children with disabilities across different countries. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Gianeswaree plans to create avenues for more active cooperation between services to ensure that children and adolescents have access to quality mental healthcare, education, and a safe environment.
Ngundambiriko Katire has more than 10 years of experience in clinical psychology. Currently, Ngundambiriko is a psychological counselor at the Namibia Ministry of Labour, where he focuses on vocational counseling, psychometric assessment, and hosting educational workshops and training. He also provides similar services, through his nonprofit organization, to a broader, less fortunate population that does not have access to such services. Ngundambiriko holds an honors degree in Clinical Psychology. He is passionate about and dedicated to working to improve the government?s service delivery system, especially in the area of mental health. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Ngundambiriko intends to incorporate his knowledge into his training and workshops for the public and to introduce and incorporate leadership skills in the implementation levels of the government. He also plans to grow his nonprofit organization to meet the mental health needs of more people.
Okeoghene Ifiezibe Akusu
Okeoghene Ifiezibe Akusu has nine years of experience in the health sector. He is currently the state supervisor (Bayelsa State, Nigeria) with Preston Associates Ltd., implementing the Young Africa Works project. The project, which is sponsored by the Mastercard Foundation, aims to improve the livelihood of young Africans. Okeoghene was a field supervisor during the 2021 National Food Consumption and Micronutrient Survey organized by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture. He was also a team lead during the 2018 National AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey in the South-South region of Nigeria. Okeoghene is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Public Health. He is highly motivated to improve the health of the public, especially in the creeks and hard-to-reach areas in Bayelsa State. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Okeoghene plans to use his new knowledge, networks, and shared experience to enhance his current work and to improve and increase the quality and numbers of young leaders in his community.
Ayodeji Erubu has more than 10 years of experience as a medical doctor and five years of experience in mental health. Currently, he is senior registrar at the Department of Behavioural Sciences at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital in Nigeria, where he runs large clinical units and trains other registrars and medical students in clinical, academic, and research activities. Ayodeji is the deputy regional coordinator of ASIDO Foundation, a nongovernmental organization that promotes mental wellness among the populace. He is also a member of Suicide Research Prevention Initiative Nigeria; serves as editor of the Association of Resident Doctors with the hospital's chapter; and is a member of Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists, and Novelists Nigeria. Ayodeji holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. Ayodeji is passionate about helping people living with mental health problems because he wants to reduce the biopsychosocial burden of mental illness in his community. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Ayodeji plans to establish a drug abuse support network to provide more psychosocial support for people living with drug addiction and to expand the network to cater to the various mental health needs of the less privileged.
Yusuf Nurudeen has more than 10 years of experience in defending democracy, promoting human rights, and advocating for inclusive development, access to justice, and strong and accountable institutions. He is a legal practitioner with a strong commitment to public interest law and litigation. Yusuf is the executive director at Foundation for Public Interest Law and Development and focuses on promoting sustainable development through legal research, strategic litigation, and legal empowerment. The foundation connects people needing legal assistance to volunteer lawyers willing to provide pro bono legal services. Yusuf is a member of the National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association. He holds a law degree from Lagos State University. Yusuf is passionate about using the full strength of the law to assist those in need in finding trust and solace in the Nigerian justice system. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Yusuf intends to champion the efforts to reduce the menace of police brutality and prolonged pretrial detention while leveraging technology.
Kalema Solange has more than 10 years of experience in digitalization. Currently, she is a highly skilled business analyst at the Rwanda Information Society Authority, where she develops strategies to improve interoperability and increase efficiency in the public sector. Solange is passionate about product management, which she believes has the potential to bring about wide-scale positive change in her country. She has a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by public sector organizations, and she is committed to leveraging her expertise to find solutions to those challenges. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Solange plans to focus on building products that will leverage data for policy change and bring data-driven decision making to the public sector.
Nissa Thompson has more than three years of experience in law. Currently, Nissa is a state counsel at the Seychelles Attorney General’s Office leading the Anti-Money Laundering and International Cooperation Unit. As part of her duties, Nissa focuses on prosecuting financial crimes and handling international cooperation matters. As a member of the technical committee of the Seychelles National Committee for Anti-Money Laundering, Nissa actively contributes toward strengthening her country’s fight against money laundering by proposing legislative amendments and providing legal advice on the implementation of policies. Nissa also sits as a director on the Agency for Social Protection board and the Estate Agents Board, providing legal expertise on a wide range of matters. Nissa holds a master’s degree in Law, Business, and Management from the University of Law, United Kingdom. She is motivated to uphold the rule of law and deprive criminals of their ill-gotten gains. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Nissa plans to progress into a more senior role within the Seychelles Attorney General’s Office and enhance her contributions nationally to promote good governance at the national level.
Ebunoluwa Tengbe has more than eight years of experience in law. Currently, Ebunoluwa is legal counsel at Sierra Rutile Limited, in Sierra Leone, where she focuses on regulatory compliance. She is also a team lead for the company's gender taskforce. She is a women's rights activist and volunteers with advocacy groups related to sexual violence, equal rights, and HIV and AIDs. She is cofounder of a feminist organization, Femme Collective, which raises funds and awareness for equality rights. Ebunoluwa holds a master's degree in International Trade and Investment Law and is working toward a Project Management Professional certification. Ebunoluwa is an associate lecturer of Law at Njala University. Ebunoluwa is driven to transfer skills attained in the private sector to public service. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Ebunoluwa plans to work with the public sector, with a focus on gender mainstreaming.
Mpho Digashu works as an award-winning senior education specialist. He is the author of Finding Me Now, a book about the importance of self-awareness, and runs an organization named after his book that helps youth leverage their strengths and improve their weaknesses. The organization also seeks to shine a light on existing social issues that plague South African townships and rural areas. He is a volunteer with several organizations, including the Faculty of Best Advisory, Future of Tomorrow, and Waterberg Welfare Society. He is passionate about education and ensuring that every South African child experience quality, innovative, and basic education. Mpho holds a post-graduate degree in Public Management from Regenesys Business School, a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Witwatersrand, and certificates in Entrepreneurship and ICT Integration. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Mpho plans to sharpen his skills as a leader and to use modern, technological ways of teaching to reach more youth. He also plans to grow his organization to match the needs of those in his community.
Asafika Mpako has more than 10 years of experience working on development issues in South Africa. Currently, she is communications coordinator for southern Africa at Afrobarometer. Asafika has been recognized with various awards, including her participation in the Young African Leaders Initiative and the South Africa Washington International Program (SAWIP). As part of SAWIP, she spent the summer of 2016 in Washington, D.C., at the World Affairs Council, where she joined other young leaders in the Emerging Global Leaders Internship Program. She has also been awarded the St Antony's Scholarship to attend the University of Oxford's International Politics Summer School because she was recognized as an emerging leader who displays the potential to use the opportunity as a catalyst for future career development. She holds a bachelor’s degree in development studies from the University of Cape Town, a master’s degree in public administration and public Policy from the London School of Economics, and a master’s degree in public administration and public Policy from Peking University. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, she plans to contribute to strategic thinking on policy by incorporating a youth-angled approach to elevate youth perspectives in research policy.
Ronard Lubaga has more than eight years of experience in inclusion and reproductive health and justice. Currently, Ronard is corporate social responsibility officer at RNR Business Solutions focusing on women and economic intelligence. He is a board member for Restless Development Tanzania, where he passionately advocates for meaningful engagement of youth and key population groups in policymaking, programs, and funding. He has worked with local and international organizations that promote and provide education and information on sexual health and reproductive justice. Ronard holds a bachelor's degree in Sociology with a concentration in Health and Populations. Ronard is committed to advocating for inclusion and equity in public policy and services and to working toward the social inclusion of all people through strategic public engagement. Upon completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Ronard plans to use the exposure and experience gained to develop networks and engage in deep learning with like-minded individuals from across Africa and influence inclusive policies for better public services.
Floriane Klinklin Acouetey
Floriane Klinklin Acouetey has more than six years of experience in the world of development and gender. Floriane is an expert on the gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment project in the defense sector and peacekeeping operations at Togo’s Ministry of Armed Forces. She is a gender consultant on the study of obstacles to women’s participation in police peacekeeping operations. To date, she has trained nearly 80 military personnel of all ranks, with nearly 60 women. She helped review training modules by integrating content on gender and the fight against gender-based violence (GBV). Floriane holds a degree in Sociology and certificates in Gender and Development. She is a feminist web activist who uses Twitter, Instagram, and her blog, Chez Soi (At Home), to deconstruct beliefs that circulate on the internet. In her community, she supports GBV victims in the process of repair and healing. To this end, in 2022 she co-organized a discussion group for survivors. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Floriane plans to use her resources to develop a shelter for GBV victims and to continue to influence policies to integrate women’s rights in practice and legislation.
Djodji Klutse is currently secretary general of the Group of Young Africans for Democracy and Development in Togo and a member of the Collective of Associations against Impunity in Togo. For the past eight years, he has specialized in monitoring demonstrations and public trials. Previously, he was a communication officer at a youth development organization. He was also a volunteer biology teacher at a high school in Lomé. He is a past president of the nongovernmental organization Man and Nature Biodiversity. Djodji has a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Animal Physiology from the University of Lomé. He is committed to protecting human rights, promoting youth development, and participating in creating a climate of peace. He hopes that the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders will teach him new skills that will increase his efficiency and professionalism. He plans to share the knowledge he gains with other young people through organizing conferences and seminars. At these events, he will share his vision of a society founded on human values that includes all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, and other social considerations.
Nabasiita Nusifah has more than years of experience in active politics as an elected woman councilor representing Bugolobi Parish in the Nakawa Urban Council in Kampala, Uganda. Nusifah focuses on advocating for equitable distribution of national funding, pushing for women to receive benefits from government programs, representing women and youth issues in council meetings, assisting women in accessing legal justice, and ensuring that her electorates receive public services and utilities. She is chair of the Buganda Youth Council, which promotes Buganda culture and organizes youth in learning leadership skills. Nusifah is a volunteer activist at the Federation of Women Lawyers in Uganda, which helps women access free legal justice. She also operates her own flower shop and decoration company with two full-time and several other part-time employees. Nusifah holds a bachelor’s degree in human resource management. She is passionate about equity and fairness and, thus, advocates for gender equality, human rights protection, and equal representation for men and women in decision making. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Nusifah plans to pursue a master's degree in Gender Studies and to open a foundation that will mentor and empower women and girls to participate in decision making.
Stanley Mwiinga has more than eight years of experience in the technology field. He teaches computer science, serves as a club mentor, and writes newspaper columns for one of Zambia's top publications, DailyNation. He is the founder of We Are STEM Ambassadors (WASA), a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) club that strives to provide students with useful digital skills. In addition to serving as the WASA club coordinator, Stanley serves as the programs officer at the Zambia National STEM Foundation. He currently chairs a committee that is developing curricula for STEM clubs in Zambian schools. He has received the Tech Excellence Award from Mwape Peer Awards and the Misa Zambia Best Telecoms Award. He is also a national JETS adjudicator. Stanley is passionate about affecting change for young people and STEM. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, he aspires to broaden the reach of his work at WASA to numerous additional schools in different provinces in Zambia.
Chileshe Mwila has more than 13 years of experience in criminal justice and correctional work. Chileshe is administrative and rehabilitation officer and lecturer at Zambia Correctional Service, where he focuses on liaising between management and staff, advising management on human resource matters and inmate welfare, and counseling inmates and staff. He is a founding member and general secretary of Saved Dreams Foundation, which aims to end recidivism in prisons by offering cognitive, social, and professional skills. Chileshe is a volunteer at Twafweni Germany-Zambia, which improves the livelihood of children and women by supplementing social welfare and education provision. He holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration, a certificate in Criminal Justice and Correctional Studies, and a certificate in general lecturing. He is pursuing a master’s degree in public administration. Chileshe is motivated by proactive and decisive leadership that is meant to address current socioeconomic challenges faced by Zambians and is passionate about fighting recidivism by addressing crime and mentoring youth. After completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Chileshe plans to continue his work in correctional service, to create concepts and research papers on better managing offenders inside the facilities and ex-inmates on positive reintegration into society.