Born and raised between Mali and Senegal, Coumba Toure is a writer and storyteller. She publishes children stories and organizes art events targeting children’s minds through Falia. She also designs popular education programs with a focus to impact women and children. Coumba is a board member of TrustAfrica and the co-coordinator of Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity. She has an extensive experience in facilitating meetings internationally, engaging young people, designing, implementing, and evaluating training programs to promote human rights especially those of women. Coumba had promoted social entrepreneurship through her work with Ashoka for the past 10 years. She has worked with organizations such as the Institute for Popular Education in Mali, the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement in Selma Alabama, and the Youth for Environmental Sanity in Santa Cruz California. She is a member of the African Feminist Forum and the Per Ankh collective. Coumba has served on the board of Urgent Action Fund for Women in Africa. She is also as an advisor to the Global Fund for Women and to International Development Exchange. Coumba is a loving mother, a sister, and a daughter to many. She is currently preparing to publish Muuso; her new illustration book for children.
Muhammed Lamin is a Gambian Human Rights Activist and is the coordinator of Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity. He was instrumental in organising widespread protests in 2017 leading to Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh's down. Muhammed Lamin was been named to lead the emerging pan-African movement, Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity. Muhammed Lamin has a track record in youth capacity development. He is someone with Pan-African vision, experience and energy to steward a youth lead movement. Saidykhan was involved in numerous campaigns and is no stranger to mobilizing people in the streets and online especially during the #GambiaHasDecided popular mobilization. He also served as Co-Chair of ActionAid International’s Youth Working Group and as a lead Coordinator of the youth-led Activista initiative.
Prince Akpah | Accra
Interim Working Group (IWG)
Founding Chair: Kumi Naidoo, South Africa
Kumi is the former Executive Director for Greenpeace International, a founding ambassador to the Campaign for a Just Energy Future, and a patron of Future SA which both advocate for an end to corruption in South Africa. He has served as Secretary General of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, Board Chair of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAAP) and President of the Global Call for Climate Action (GCCA). Kumi now serves as Board member for 350.org, the Global Greengrants, and as an ambassador to the Southern African Faith Communities Environmental Institute. Kumi is also an advisor to Transparency International and the Environmental Grantmakers Association. Inspired by Martin Luther King Jr., he is currently involved in setting up a new Institute for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment. Kumi is currently serving as the Secretary General of Amnesty International.
Co-Chair: Ezra Mbogoria, Kenya
Ezra Mbogori is the Principal at MS TCDC in Arusha, Tanzania. He was the founding Executive Director of MWENGO, a reflection and development centre for NGOs in eastern and southern Africa, based in Zimbabwe. Ezra served as the Executive Director of Akiba Uhaki Foundation and headed up the UNDUGU Society, a Nairobi-based urban poverty focused organization. Ezra has previously served on the leadership and advisory of numerous organizations namely, the Kenya NGO Council, the Resource Alliance; the Montreal International Forum; the Charities Aid Foundation of South Africa; CIVICUS and PLAN International.
Co-Chair: Marcia Thomas, USA
Marcia Thomas served as an Executive Director, Manager Consultant and Organizer for efforts located both in the East and the West coast of the United States. She has worked for organizations such as the U.S for Africa and Oxfam America which is where she developed most of her international and Africa related experience. She has been associated with a couple of projects such as Hands across America and the 1984 Olympic Games. Marcia has served as a consultant on the Jubilee 2000 debt relief. She provided networking for the campaign’s UK office. She has served on a number of boards and advisory committees in Africa with a focus on women and youth organizations. Ms.Thomas was a founding board member of the National Summit of Africa (African society) and is presently on UCLA’s James S. Coleman African studies advisory board.
Cidia Chissungu, Mozambique
Cidia has joined the struggle for social causes in 2015, after attending a training called TOT Activist which was organised by the Nairobi Global Platform. After this training, she took on the challenge of implementing the Activista initiative in Mozambique. Cidia managed to give life to the movement by developing a training project in the areas of leadership, social intervention, and entrepreneurship. The project involved more than 170 young people from various universities in Maputo. Thanks to her diligent work, Cidia sparked the minds and mobilized activists in Maputo City, Marracuene, Manhiça and other country 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. During the period between 2015 and 2017, Cidia had the opportunity to represent Activista Mozambique Movement in Zambia and Tanzania. Cidia is currently an IWG member of Africans Rising and launched the BLACK CIVILIZATION movement in August 2018. This new movement has pledged to promote solidarity among African people. She also founded an organization that is devoted to providing consulting services and professional training for young university students.
Dr. Francis Kuria Kagema, Kenya
Dr. Kuria is the secretary general of the African Council of Religious Leaders and the executive director of Inter-Religious Council of Kenya (IRCK). He previously served as the head of the IRCK-RfP secretariat and worked as the national coordinator for the Small Business Network. He also worked as a financial analyst at the Nairobi Stock Exchange, and as a volunteer with St. John Ambulance Brigade. Dr. Kuria holds a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery and is a father of four.
Duduzile Nyirongo, Zimbabwe
Dudu is a mother, wife, chartered accountant, a business leader, a theologian, a human rights activist and an occasional music enthusiast. She is a citizen activist who is passionate about building a just, equitable, and democratic Zimbabwe. Dudu is the co-founder and trustee of CitizensZW, a civic organization which promotes civic participation in social, economic and political affairs. She is also part of the Citizens Manifesto, which is a team that aims to build a non-partisan national convergence platform for citizens to collectively express their thoughts and aspirations for the future of Zimbabwe. After obtaining a B.A. in Accounting from the National University of Science and Technology, she attended a training with Ernst & Young, before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 2010. In 2015, she ranked 13 of The Megafest Top 20 Outstanding Women in Business in Zimbabwe. In 2016, she was awarded Megafest 2nd runner-up outstanding women in entrepreneurship. Dudu is currently pursuing a Masters in Business Administration at the Africa Leadership University School of Business.
Emira Woods, USA & Liberia
Emira Woods is a consultant, strategist, researcher, and advocate specializing in social impact and innovation. She is an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), Trustee of the Wallace Global Fund, a board member of Actionaid International and the Director of Social Impact at ThoughtWorks. Her work forged strategic relationships linking social movements to innovative with technology. Originally from Liberia, Emira led ThoughtWorks’ efforts to bring more robust tech solutions to the Ebola crisis.
Ibrahim Ceesay, The Gambia
Ibrahim Ceesay is a social justice activist, UNESCO Youth Ambassador, and an independent filmmaker. He holds leadership positions with several youth-led regional and international organisations. Ibrahim serves as the Executive Coordinator of the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC), the biggest youth climate movement in Africa, with 42 country chapters. He is also a chairperson of the African Youth Panel Advisory to the Danish African Commission.
Messie Komlan, Togo
Mr.Messie Komlan is the General Secretary of West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF). WACSOF is a liaisoning network between the West African civil society and ECOWAS. Under his leadership, Komlan aims to elevate WACSOF's impact across the region. Komlan is an expert in strategy, management, and business transformation. He holds a Bachelor of Sciences in Electrical Engineering, an MBA degree from HEC Montreal, and a Master of sciences from Polytechnic of Montreal. He is also a certified Project Management Professional and holds a PRINCE2 certificate. Mr.Messie is the co-founder and first chairman of Réseau des Entrepreneurs et Professionnels Africains (REPAF). REPAF is a young chamber of commerce that includes mostly African business professionals. He served as Vice-President of the Project Management Institute and continue to be passionate about creating a dynamic civil society through entrepreneurship and innovation.
Mithika Mwenda, Kenya
Mithika Mwenda is the co-founder and current Executive Director the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA). He has extensively worked in climate change policy advocacy and served as the Climate Change Officer with the All Africa Conference of Churches and the Climate Network Africa. He has volunteered in numerous human rights organizations in Kenya and he honed his leadership skills at Moi University where he was the Vice-Chairman of the Student Union.
Ngunga Tepani, Tanzania
Ngunga Tepani is a Tanzanian development practitioner & open government researcher . He is the Excetive Director of Tanzania Association of Non Governmental Organisations (TANGO). He has previously worked as a researcher, reporter and a translator. He holds a master’s degree of Community Economic Development from Open University of Tanzania.
Patricia Lokwa Servant, DRC
Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Patricia Lokwa Servant is a Congolese American radio host of CongoLive!. As a host of CongoLive, she brings a cultural perspective of growing up in both Africa and the United States. At a young age, Patricia understood the importance of Education as a driving force in changing the future of Africa. This is why she is currently majoring in Elementary School Education focusing on Special Education. She also is a student member at the Association of African Students in the Diaspora (AASD) and United Partners of Hope (UPH) which focuses on supporting first-generation African immigrants and their transition into the American education system. She has four years of experience at Crossway Community (CC) in The Family Leadership Academy (FLA). Lokwa is also a Development Consultant with the Friends of the Congo. She brings her passion and dynamic enthusiasm for Africa to her work around impacting Congolese communities. In 2015, she founded by Congo Love which has been supporting Congolese activists working on the ground, organising Congo Week in Harlem, Congo Love Soccer Tournament in Kinshasa, and participating in the Launch of ‘KONGO: Power & Majesty” at the metropolitan museum of art.
Rhoda Boateng, Ghana
Rhoda Boateng is the Program Coordinator at ITUC-Africa, she has a tremendous work record in the political sphere and is highly skilled in strategic planning, administration, and public policy research. Rhoda is a social services professional with a master’s degree in Labor Policies & Globalization from The Berlin School of Economics and Law.
Sodfa Daaji, Tunisia/Italy
Sodfa Daaji is a Tunisian Italian women's rights activist based in Italy. She is a public speaker in Europe and Africa and her work focuses mainly on migration, human trafficking, freedom of expression and religion. She is currently Hubs Coordinator at Afrika Youth Movement, and she collaborates with the European Network of Migrant Women. Sodfa is also serving as a consultant on gender equality for the Youth Department of Council of Europe.
Jay Naidoo, South Africa
Jay is the Chairperson of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). In 2007 he set up the J&J Development Trust and dedicates himself full-time today to voluntary work and social activism on a global scale. He serves in an advisory capacity for a number of international organizations including the Broadband Commission of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Lead Committee of the UNSG on Nutrition. He also serves on the Board of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation Chairperson and also the Development Bank.
Nunu Kidane, Ethiopia & USA
Nunu Kidane is the Director of Priority Africa Network and editor of Africa Moves: a Pan African Migration Platform which hosts regular consultations on migration policy around Africa and the diaspora. She is founder and current steering committee member of the Pan African Network in Defense of Migrants’ Rights (PANiDMR) and the Black Immigration Network (BIN). In 2012, Nunu received an award from the White House as "Champion of Change" for work with African diaspora communities.
Aja Fatoumata C.M. Jallow-Tambajang, The Gambia
Ms.Tambajang is a Gambian politician and activist who served as Vice-President of the Gambia and Minister of Women's Affairs from February 2017 to June 2018. Ms.Tambajang was born in Brikama, the Gambia and pursued her education in the Gambia, Senegal and France. Earlier in her career, she served as the chair of the Gambia National Women's Council and an advisor to Dawda Jawara, the first President of the Gambia after independence. After the military coup d'état in July 1994 that deposed the Jawara government, Ms.Tambajang held the post of Secretary of State for Health and Social Welfare from 1994 to 1995. Ms.Tambajang worked in the field of development under the umbrella of the UNDP, including 5 years in war-torn Mano River. Recently, Fatoutama was recently awarded by All Media Network for championing the rights of women and girls.
Boniface Mwangi, Kenya
Boniface Mwangi is one of the most vocal and courageous Kenyans of our generation. He has been recognized globally for his passion and excellence in photography, as photographer-cum-activist, he could not resist the call to activism after witnessing, first-hand, the brutality that disadvantaged Kenyans experienced in the wake of the Post- Election Violence of 2008. He then established PichaMtaani, a travelling photography exhibition showcasing images of the violence in hopes to offer a platform for healing and honest dialogue. In 2012 Boniface founded PAWA254, a hub for creatives in Kenya, where journalists, artists and activists find innovative ways of achieving social change. Boniface has won the CNN Multichoice Africa Photojournalist of the Year Award twice and is also the youngest Prince Claus Laureate. New African Magazine named him one of the 100 Most Influential Africans of 2014 and 2016 and he is also a senior TED Fellow. Time magazine recognized him as a Next Generation Leader in 2015. Boniface Mwangi continues to wage a spirited campaign against oppressive establishments, today his movement has gained traction with many adding their voices to fight for a better Kenya. He is also the author of Unbounded – a poignant and riveting memoir that captures his incredible journey.