Alumni Fellows

Namibia
Biography 
Fransina Shivute has nine years of experience teaching and has been active as a volunteer and coach, involved in science fair and science projects, served in leadership positions as the head of the Natural Science department and chairperson of the girls’ soccer team. Fransina has a bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Namibia and is studying for her master’s degree in  Environmental Science and Management from the University of London. After completing the Washington Fellowship, she plans to empower senior learners and unemployed youth by providing after school projects to upgrade their grades and to mentor and coach them on career and employment opportunities. She also hopes to encourage her colleagues that serve in leadership positions to provide continuous professional development to teachers.
Seychelles
Biography 
Fatoumata Sylla currently serves as Director General in the Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles. She previously worked for the Department of Youth serving as the Senior Policy Analyst and later as the Director General of Youth Affairs. In this capacity, she made recommendations to the government on issues related to youth development, implemented youth programs in line with national policies, and fostered relationships with international youth bodies. Fatoumata firmly believes in youth empowerment and the power of leading by example. As such, upon her completion of the Washington Fellowship program, she intends to create a mentorship project for youth and by youth.
Tanzania
Biography 
Belinda Wera has over three years of experience working in public relations and marketing with a key focus on regional integration in East Africa. Currently, Belinda is a Program Assistant in the Corporate Communication and Public Affairs department in the East African Community where she ensures that programs, projects, and activities run smoothly so that the people of East Africa are informed about the integration. She is the Sub Editor for the Community Magazine, which is the official magazine of the EAC, and is responsible for managing media and visitor relations, organizing events, and writing reports. Belinda holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Marketing from St. Augustine University of Tanzania and is currently pursuing her MBA at the Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI). Upon completion of the Washington Fellowship, Belinda plans to set up a career counseling program in Tanzania which will provide career advice for young people.
Ethiopia
Biography 
Tsion Teferra Zeleke has seven years of experience serving as a development practitioner. Her work has focused on providing services in strategic development and management, result based program implementation and management, partners appraisal and management, and promotion of community and children participation. She is currently serving as the Director of Child Protection for Save the Children Ethiopia. Her responsibilities include developing and implementing the in-country child protection program and performing advocacy work to positively influence policies. She has a Master of Arts in Social Work and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Upon completion of the Washington Fellowship, Tsion plans to be engaged in advocating for adequate budgeting for the implementation of projects that protect vulnerable children and families.
South Africa
Biography 
Gay Mokwena has over eight years of professional work experience in the non- governmental research sector. She served as a Policy Researcher for the Centre for Policy Studies and as a State Bureaucrat in the role of Director of Youth Development Programs in the National Department of Higher Education and Training in Pretoria, South Africa. In the Department of Higher Education and Training, she oversees the implementation of students support services in technical and vocational education and
training colleges. She has also represented the Department on the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) of South Africa's Task Team on strengthening entrepreneurship education in colleges. Upon completing the Washington Fellowship, Gay will be pursuing graduate studies in the field of Industrial Sociology, specifically focusing on the relationship between human and industrial development policies. She hopes to establish a South African research and advisory services entity to inform economic and social development policy.
Burundi
Biography 
Christian Niyongabo is a dedicated, results driven, professional young Burundian with over four years’ experience in the public sector, capacity building, program management, and public policy. Christian currently works as a consultant-technical advisor for management consulting firm, MESEA (Management and Engineering Services Excellence in Africa) - specifically for the capacity-building project component of the Energy Institutional Reforms of REGIDESO (Burundian National Power and Water Utility). Christian is also a member and policy analyst of PARCEM, a civil society organization and think-tank which analyses, monitors, and evaluates the Burundian government’s economic policies. His academic background includes Public Policy and Human Development for his Master’s studies from Maastricht University, United Nations University, and Political science and Human Resource Management for his Bachelor’s degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Christian plans to advocate and focus more on public administration reforms and to strengthen the impact of civil society’s work within the policy process.
Nigeria
Biography 
Fatu Ogwuche has five years’ experience in the public sector and is the new media consultant at the Independent National Electoral Commission where she's instrumental in project management, capacity development, and developing strategies for citizen engagement. Fatu worked with the African Elections Project in the 2012 Ghanaian elections by sharing knowledge of new media tools used during the 2011 Nigerian elections. She played a positive role in the 2015 elections and coordinated activities in the INEC's Situation Room which led to her meritorious selection by Professor Attahiru Jega to serve on the 2015 Elections Report Committee. She volunteers in voter education activities and raises money for charity through various programs. Fatu holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the Nigerian Law School and an LLB from the University of Jos. Upon completion, she plans to work with institutions that strengthen electoral processes, good governance, and democratic values in Africa.
Kenya
Biography 
Meera Mansukhlal Shah has almost eight years’ experience in the public health sector with a special emphasis on strengthening primary health care. She is currently the sub county medical officer of health at one of the sub counties in Mombasa county, where she coordinates all activities related to health, including preparing the annual work plan, overseeing the running of primary care facilities, and programs such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, mother-neonatal-child health, nutrition, and disease surveillance. She volunteers regularly at community events, especially during health days and medical camps. By profession she is a pharmacist, but due to the vast experience and management skills gained she is now pursuing a Master’s degree in Health Systems Management. With the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she aims to continue strengthening the health systems so as to lead the country towards achieving the three millennium development goals dedicated to health.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Biography 
Orphée Tamba Lusakumumu works for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation in the monitoring and evaluation unit. Thanks to this, he interacts closely with the Democratic Republic of Congo's Ministry of Public Health to enhance and strengthen the country’s health system. He volunteers through two organizations: Bridge-Initiative (youth unemployment issues, volunteerism and social entrepreneurship) and Jeunesse-pour-Christ (evangelization and youth awareness) and is known for being a motivational speaker to help young people discover, develop, and unleash their potential. His motto is that the greatest tragedy in life is not death but a life without a purpose (Dr. Myles-Munroe). Orphée holds over six years of management experience with three in monitoring and evaluation, skills in MS Office 2013, EpiInfo7, social media networks, and reporting tools. He speaks French, English, Swahili, and some local languages. Upon return, he'll create a leadership and excellence-focused hub to help students network and develop values.
Ethiopia
Biography 
Israel Taye is young pan-African lawyer from Ethiopia, passionate about African renaissance, youth empowerment, sustainable development, and human rights. He aspires to fast-track youth participation in continental and international development initiatives and has over three years’ experience in various fields in the public management sector, in human rights in particular. Currently, he serves as a legal assistant for the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights under the African Union’s youth volunteer program. In this capacity, he focuses on issues relating to extractive industries and environmental rights, as well as other human rights violations in Africa. Israel holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and volunteers for community initiatives aimed at youth empowerment through life-skills development and career guidance. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he plans to engage in youth empowerment and development forums both nationally and within the African Union system.
Patience Kente
Uganda

Biography

Patience Kente is a young professional that has over seven years of experience in various fields in the public management sector at national and international levels. At present, Patience is a policy officer at the African Union Commission Headquarters in Addis Ababa where she among many other duties, assists the secretary general’s office in monitoring the implementation of decisions taken by heads of state. She has a passion for empowering and mentoring youths and mostly young women, through social media platforms. Patience is currently pursuing her master’s degree in International Development at the University of Birmingham. After completion of the Fellowship, she hopes to start a pilot project to popularize the African Union and its initiatives to the grass root youths in Uganda e.g. the African Union Agenda 2063. She plans to continue to empower young people with a view to promoting pan-Africanism ideology and positive transformation of mindsets.

South Africa

Biography

Rekgotsofetse Chikane has been involved in youth development for the past four years. He is currently the national president of InkuluFreeHeid, a non-partisan youth-led organization that works to enhance social cohesion, deepen democracy, and create solutions to socio-economic problems. He has worked on youth-focused policy development at both a national and regional level and continues to host active citizen workshops. Rekgotsofetse has been a Mandela Rhodes Scholar and is a current board member of the South Africa-Washington International Program. He is currently completing is master’s in Management at the University of Witwatersrand's School of Governance. On completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Rekgotsofetse plans to further establish InkuluFreeHeid as a leading youth-focused policy development organization in South Africa.

Sekou Amadou Timbo
Mali

Biography

Sekou Amadou Timbo lives his life motto of ‘learn and share’. His urge to help others led him to found and become vice chairperson of Univers Technologies de Bamako, where he focuses on designing and implementing educational programs on their web page, and preparing competitions for students. Currently, he is an online customer advisor for Callme Mali Groupe Chaka (providing direct marketing, advice, outsourcing and telemarketing solutions), where he assists customers online.   Timbo holds a master’s in English from the Faculty of Letters, Languages, and Sciences of Language (FLSL) at the University of Bamako, where he focused on the general teaching and learning of English. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship he plans to advocate for equal rights to education regardless of gender, religion, or belief. He aims, amongst other projects, to design and implement advice programs for students attending college. 

Stephen Molatlhegi
Botswana

Biography

Stephen Molatlhegi works for the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development as a project officer, where he implements the poverty eradication program through facilitating the establishment of small enterprises or income generating projects for the economic empowerment of people in disadvantaged communities. Stephen is an active citizen who volunteers with non-governmental organizations to engage in activities that cultivate leadership, entrepreneurship, personal development, and to engage in community development initiatives. He is a member of the International Development Innovation Network (IDIN), and Junior Chamber International (JCI), where he has served as the vice president and secretary general respectively. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Adult Education and Community Development from the University of Botswana. Upon completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he plans to continue developing and implementing socio-economic projects, and collaborate with different companies to improve project capacities for sustainability.

Tourki Ali
Comoros

Biography

Tourki Ali has worked for nine years in the area of community development, especially in education, gender equality, health, new technologies, and environmental protection. He is currently the president of a youth association in his village, where he mentors the youth for the purpose of social development. Tourki is the coordinator and project manager of a community center funded by his association and the US Embassy in Madagascar. He is the secretary general of youth coordination for peace in his region.   Tourki has great experience in communication (as local newspaper director and networking for his association) and design. He has also worked with UNFPA and UNDP Comoros in communication activities. He is an undergraduate student of English Literature at the University of Comoros. After his return from the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he wants to continue to serve his country by sharing his knowledge and experiences

Tusekile Mwakalundwa
Tanzania

Biography

Tusekile Mwakalundwa has over three years of experience in various fields in the legal sector, community service, and HIV/Aids. Currently, Tusekile is a law lecturer at Tumaini University Makumira, majoring in Commercial Laws and Human Rights Law. She volunteers in her local community in various schools teaching self-esteem and career guidance, and also volunteers free legal services to disadvantaged persons in the community.   Tusekile holds a master’s degree in Human Rights Law from Tumaini University, Makumira, where she did her thesis on sexual harassment and its effect in achieving gender equality in the formal sector. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Tusekile plans to continue her work in helping young girls understand their value and work up to their real potential. She also plans to work with girls who failed in secondary school and were not able to continue their studies.