The Africans Rising Nominations Committee and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) are thrilled to share with you the results of YOUR election for a Coordinating Collective (CC) for Africans Rising for Justice, Peace, and Dignity.
The Africans Rising membership nominated 47 candidates from every region of the continent and the diaspora. In a transparent process managed by EISA, the voting comprised the very challenging task of selecting 9 names from the nominations received.

We are pleased to share the elected slate which collectively reflects the diversity and balance we value at Africans Rising in terms of youth leadership, geographic location, gender, and experience. This slate will join four members of the Interim Working Group (IWG) to ensure a measure of continuity between outgoing and incoming governing bodies.

Congratulations to the 9 candidates below who have been elected as top vote-getters! We know you will serve social movements diligently as we build the Africa we want.We would also like to thank all the nominees for your thoughtful participation in this process. We look forward to your continued engagement with Africans Rising. Most importantly, we want to thank all of our members who nominated such stellar candidates, carved out time to vote, and made this process historic for civil society in Africa and around the world. Together we will walk the many untraveled paths to achieve justice, peace and dignity for all.


Cidia Chissungu, 22 | Mozambique

Cidia has taken on the challenge of implementing the Activista initiative in Mozambique among many other youth-led ventures across the country. Thanks to her diligent work, Cidia sparked the minds and mobilized activists in Maputo City, Marracuene, Manhiça and other provinces, making Activista the largest advocate for Education, good governance and environmental justice in Mozambique. Aside from being an activist, Cídia Chissungo is also a motivational speaker and is currently serving as an IWG member of Africans Rising. She launched the Black Civilization movement in August 2018, this movement has pledged to promote solidarity among African people through concrete actions. She has also single-handly founded an organization that is devoted to providing consulting services and professional training for young university students.

Organisation: Activista Mozambique

Sophie Kanza, 26 | South Africa & DR Congo

Sophie is the co-founder of the Sophie A Kanza Foundation, a home-grown NGO that has vowed to raise awareness to break stereotypes about Afrophobia and improve the collection and distribution of food, clothes and toiletries across South African communities. Sophie is passionate about inter-continental collaborations and projects, as she strives to influence malicious Institutionalzied Afrophobia policies. Sophie is planning to take her film Singabantu (We are human) on a continental tour and will open a youth hub in her hometown, Kinshasa as to inspire young people to create similar movements. In 2018, she was named the Alliance of Peacebuilding Scholar, One Young World Peace Ambassador and Brand South Africa Play Your Part Ambassador.

Organisation: Sophie Kanza Foundation

David Shamala, 23 | Kenya

David is a veteran of creating and managing digital content to build relationships for organizations and individuals. He focuses his work and efforts to fight for causes relating to gender-based violence, environmental sustainability, agriculture and entrepreneurship. David serves as the Chief Content Officer of Africa Youths Committee. David is an unreservedly passionate influencer and motivational speaker. He is also an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenya.

Organisation: Phanicey Foundation

Opal Tometi, 34 | Nigeria & USA

Opal is a New York-based Nigerian-American writer, strategist and community organizer. She is the Co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter. She is credited with initiating the social media strategy during the project’s early days leading to the campaign into a network of approximately 40 chapters. In 2016, in recognition of their contribution, Opal Tometi and the #BlackLivesMatter co-founders received an honorary doctorate degree and BET’s Black Girls Rock Community Change Agent Award. Opal is currently at the helm of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI); a national organization that educates and advocates to further immigrant rights and racial justice together with African-American, Afro-Latino, African and Caribbean immigrant communities.

Organisation: Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)

Catherine Rodgers, 40 | Uganda

Catherine is a passionate African feminist who works with young people across the continent to support their leadership in creating just, equitable and sustainable societies. As the Hub Director for Restless Development Uganda, she leads on Board management, strategic planning, fundraising and finance, legal and risk management as well as overseeing the Advocacy and Programmes. Previously, Catherine worked for ActionAid International as the Youth Engagement Advisor, supporting 50 countries across Africa, Asia, Americas and Europe. Catherine gave a strategic advisory to ActionAid International’s youth campaigning network, Activista, supporting countries to build their national youth networks and to support on programming and policy.

Organisation: Restless Development Uganda

Domani Dore, 35 | Guinea

Domani is a philosopher by training, a former Sports Minister and a Municipal Counselor since February 2018. In 2016, she founded and has been directing La Guinée Audacieuse; an organization that aims to rejuvenate, feminize and qualify Guinean political staff. She is a member of the Global Network of Women Leaders in Politics and the Guinea Ambassador of the Global Program #LeadLikeAGirl (Girl2leader). Domani's work has been celebrated by several national awards; she ranked 16th among the 50 Most Influential Figures in West Africa by the Influential Magazine in Senegal. Over the past ten years, she has acquired an in-depth know-how in the communication and development of projects for youth and women.

Organisation: Salon des Entrepeneurs de Guinee

Rokhaya Dieye, 45 | Senegal

Rokhaya is a manager by training and has an extensive expertise in the organisational management. After seven years of experience in the field of marketing and communication mainly in real estate companies in Senegal, she decided to have a career change and joined LEAD Francophone Africa to contribute to the emergence of a new generation of young Africans Leaders working for sustainable development. She was then recruited as the LEAD Francophone Africa Learning Program Leader. Rokhaya is strongly interested in CSR initiatives and how to institutionalize them in Africa to the benefit of local communities. She is currently a Consultant in Leadership and Management. Since July 2015, Rokhaya has been chairing LEAD Senegal, a youth leader’s national association composed LEAD Alumni living in Senegal.

Organisation: LEAD Francophone Africa

Charles Kojo VanDyck, 40 | Ghana

Charles spent his formative years living in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Ghana. These experiences have shaped his resolve to promote a more positive narrative on the continent. Charles has expertise in strengthening civic action, enabling social innovation, civic engagement and human rights. He is the Capacity Building Advisor of the West Africa-based Program of the Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF). He is the Founding Board Chair of Innovation for Change-Hub Afrique and a founding member of the International Consortium on Closing Civic Space (iCon); an initiative of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC. Charles currently serves as the Head of the Capacity Development Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI).

West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI)

Abigail Stevens, 36 | Sierra Leone

Abigail is a young and fierce female activist. She is a mobilizer, campaigner, mentor and advocate. She is a social worker who went to Njala University and studied Environmental & Development Studies. As a recent graduate, she invested her time to do volunteer work at the Centre for Coordination of Youth Activities (CCYA). Abigail then gained a 10-year professional experience as a Programme Support Staff and later as Gender Officer with the CCYA. She served as a Project & Programme Officer for various initiatives relating to livelihood security, human rights and sexual reproductive health issues. Most recently, she was promoted as the Executive Director of CCYA. Abigail believes in partnership and strong collaborations in achieving common goals. 

Organisation: Centre for Coordination of Youth Activities