Dr. Auma Obama is Founder, Director of the Sauti Kuu Foundation, a non-profit for disadvantaged children and youth. Dr. Obama has a Masters degree from the University of Heidelberg, a PhD from the University of Bayreuth and graduated from the Berlin Film and Television Academy.. Dr. Obama is a member of the World Future Council. She is also an Advisory Board member of the Bayreuth University’s Academy of Advanced African Studies, and of Stiftung Lesen, a German Organization promoting literacy. Since 2014 Dr. Obama is patron of The Storymoja Festival. A published author, Dr. Obama’s memoir in German ‘Das Leben kommt immer dazwischen’ was published in 2010, and in English, ‘And Then Life Happens’ in 2012.
Babila Mutia holds an MA in Creative Writing and a PhD in African Literature from Canadian universities. He is the author of four books, and his short stories and poems have been featured in a range of international journals and anthologies. He was invited in August 2011 for a residency at the Rockefeller Bellagio Centre in Italy to complete his novel The Journey’s End. Mutia is a professional storyteller who has performed his stories in Europe, Canada, the US, and South Africa. He is Associate Professor of African literature and Creative Writing at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, University of Yaoundé I in Cameroon.
Gado is the most Syndicated Political/Editorial cartoonist in the East and Central Africa. His works have also been published in Daily Nation (Kenya), Le Monde and Courrier International (France), Deutsche Welle (Germany), The Guardian of London among others. He is the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Buni Media, an independent Multi-media company based in Nairobi and the creator and Producer of the weekly satirical puppet show, The XYZ SHOW.Gado is a 2007 Prince Claus Laureate; a winner of Kenya National Human Rights Commission Award in Journalism; a recipient of the Cartoon for Peace 2016 International Editorial Cartoon and in 2014, was named as one of the 100 most influential people in Africa by New African.
Dr. Karuti Kanyinga is a political scientist with knowledge and experience in human rights and governance. He has extensive experience in managing a wide range of donor and government contracts in the development and governance sector and in developing donor basket funding frameworks and strategic planning for organisations in the public and civil society sector. He has hands on experience in managing a wide range of donor and government contracts in the development and governance sector. Dr. Kanyinga also has extensive experience of over 15 years in programme management, monitoring and evaluation.
Katindi Sivi-Njonjo is the founder and lead consultant at LongView Consult, a socio- economic research, policy analysis, training and foresight strategy firm. Prior to that, she served as the Programme Director in an international organization that facilitates development dialogue. Ms. Katindi has pioneered research and authored publications in areas of the extractives sector, inequality and youth demographics. Her work has contributed to the conceptualization of various national programmes and policies and has influenced organizational strategies both nationally and internationally.
Professor Lou-Marie Kruger obtained an M.Soc.Sci. (Political Studies) from the University of Cape Town (1989) and a M.A. and Ph.D (Clinical Psychology) from Boston University (1996). She completed an American Psychological Association accredited internship for Clinical Psychology at Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Harvard Medical School (July 1995 - June 1996). She is the recipient and nominee of numerous awards and fellowships for her work, including a Fulbright Scholarship and South African Women in Science Awards. Her research focuses on the emotional worlds of low- income South African mothers, utilising mainly psychoanalytic, feminist and postmodern theoretical frameworks.
Professor Loyiso Nongxa is the former Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa. The University Council installed Nongxa as the first Black Vice-Chancellor of Wits on 19 May 2003. Besides his positions at universities, Nongxa has also served as a member of the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee, the SAUVCA Research Committee and various National Research Foundation of South Africa committees. He is currently the Chairperson of National Research Foundation of South Africa. He is a qualified mathematician.
Lucilla Booyzen is director of the South African Fashion Week. Lucilla was born and raised in Pretoria where she graduated with a diploma in higher education. After teaching, Lucilla entered the fashion industry as a model and later moved into production. She has been a production manager for shows in South Africa, other parts of Africa, Europe, USA and Asia. Lucilla established SA Fashion Week (SAFW) in 1997, launching it as the only fashion hub of its kind on the continent, with a focus on elevating fashion into an industry able to play a meaningful role in the South African economy. In 2012, Lucilla initiated an agency called The Fashion Agent, a wholesale platform that connects South African Designer Collections to boutiques. In 2013, she implemented an online store – Runway Online – another channel employed to grow the SA fashion design industry.
Mema Beye is the business development manager of Rio Tinto Exploration Africa. He represents a generation of young Africans whose primary identity is to be African; his love for the continent transcends national, tribal or religious lines. Mema is driven by the belief that an Afri-can-do attitude will see our continent claim a strategic and leading role in tomorrow’s world. As a member of the International Finance Corporation, Mema promoted improvement of the business environment through policy reform analysis, and supported greater access of SMEs to equipment financing through the Leasing Finance Reform programme. At Rio Tinto Exploration Africa, Mema seeks to sustainably and transparently develop new mineral wealth throughout Africa, in partnership with Africans.