Speakers

Below is a list of the speakers who will be attending the conference.

Dr. Michael Peak

Head, International Education Research for the Education Policy Unit, British Council, UK

Michael leads the international education research for the Education Policy Unit at the British Council. He trained in research methods and statistics and has experience of researching international higher education since 2005. Michael has been integral to the inception, development and management of British Council research projects covering different aspects of international education including instigating a global study of over 200,000 prospective students to survey their motivations and decision making; forecasting international student mobility trends, and assessing the impact of transnational education in participating countries.
He leads the British Council’s ‘Shape of global higher education’ study which measures and benchmarks the internationalisation activities of national systems with regard to student mobility; research collaboration; and international programme and provider mobility: this study has assessed the policy and regulatory environment for higher education in 46 countries since 2016.
Michael has provided evidence to national level enquiries (including to the Migration Advisory Committee, and All Party Parliamentary Groups in the UK), sits on the British Council research and evidence board, and the Going Global steering committee.

Prof. Stephen Kimani

Director, School of Computing and Information Technology at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Nairobi, Kenya

Prof. Stephen Kimani is the Director of the School of Computing and Information Technology at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Kenya. He is an Associate Professor in Computer Science in the Department of Computing within the School of Computing and Information Technology at JKUAT. He has also been an ICT Research Scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO, Australia). He has been a post-doctoral researcher at the Sapienza University of Rome (Italy). He holds PhD in Computer Engineering (Sapienza University of Rome, Italy), MSc in Advanced Computing (University of Bristol, UK) and BSc in Mathematics and Computer Science (JKUAT, Kenya). His main research interest is in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and specifically in the areas of user interface design, usability, user experience, information visualisation, and personalisation. He has been involved in ICT projects and activities in Europe, Australia and Kenya. He has offered consultancy services to various organisations including but not limited to: Ministry of Education (Kenya), National Social Security Fund (NSSF, Kenya), Kenya Accountants and Secretaries National Examinations Board (KASNEB, Kenya), etc. He has published widely in international journals and presented in numerous conferences across the globe. He has also been involved in various programme committees of and reviewing for international journals and conferences.

Prof. Yalemtsehay Mekonnen

Professor, Cell and Human Physiology, Department of Biology, College of Natural Sciences of Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Prof. Yalemtsehay Mekonnen is a Professor of Cell and Human Physiology. Currently she is a teaching staff of the Department of Biology at the College of Natural Sciences of Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. She has over 110 publications in different peer reviewed scientific journals on topics of respiratory physiology, medicinal plants and other related topics. She has advised many MSc and PhD students in leadership positions she was involved and has initiated a number of national and international research networks and collaborations. She has also mentored young professionals especially women over the last three decades.
She was awarded research grants and fellowships nationally from Ethiopian Science and Technology Commission and Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization and internationally from the British Council, the International Foundation for Science, Third World of Academy of Sciences, the German Academic Exchange Service and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. She had a number of short research stays in German universities namely; University of Heidelberg, Martin Luther University Halle, University of Kassel, University of Hohenheim, in England in London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and in Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust and in Japan in Primate Research Institute in Inhyoma City. She has presented extensively her research results in national, regional and international scientific and professional meetings and conferences.
She received the 2015 African Union Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards for high achievement for women in science. She has been appointed as Ambassador Scientist by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Germany as part of a worldwide network for excellence in science since 2016.

Dr. Suleiman Babatunde Ramon-Yusuf

Director, Directorate of Research, Innovation & Information Technology (DRI&IT), Abuja, Nigeria

Dr. Suleiman Babatunde Ramon-Yusuf was born in Lagos, Nigeria on 8th November 1961. He began his career as Assistant lecturer in the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria in 1987 and had a career change when he moved to the National Universities Commission, Abuja as Assistant Chief Academic Planning Officer and Programme Officer for Veterinary Medicine, in 1997. In the course of his career in the Commission, he has worked in virtually all the technical departments- Academic planning, (Academic Planning & Research) Quality Assurance, Inspection & Monitoring; Open and Distance Education; and Research & Innovation. His work experience covers the entire gamut of the Commission’s mandate as he rose steadily through the ranks culminating in his promotion to the rank of Deputy Director and Head, undergraduate Quality Assurance Division in the Department of Quality Assurance in 2005. Following the creation of the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Division in the Commission in the wake of the Education sector reforms in 2007, Dr. Ramon-Yusuf was deployed to set up the new Division which was charged with the responsibility for Quality Assurance of Open & Distance Learning and Cross-border Higher Education provisions. In this capacity, he initiated, organized and coordinated the development of “Guidelines for Open and Distance Learning in Nigerian Universities” and “Guidelines for cross-border provision of university education in Nigeria”.
Following recent reforms in the Commission in 2017 resulting in the merger of the erstwhile Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) with the Department of Research and Innovation to an enlarged amalgam – the Directorate of Research, Innovation & Information Technology (DRI&IT), Dr. Ramon-Yusuf was appointed Director of the new Directorate, a position he currently occupies.

Dr. Fridah Kanana Erastus

Senior Lecturer, Department of Literature, Languages and Linguistics, Kenyatta University, Kenya

Dr. Fridah Kanana Erastus is presently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Literature, Languages and Linguistics, Kenyatta University, Kenya. She holds a Bachelor of Education (Arts) degree, Master of Arts degree in English and Linguistics from Kenyatta University and a PhD in Linguistics from Goethe University Frankfurt/am Main, Germany. Her research interests lie in dialectology, language use and multilingualism, language contact, African urban and youth languages, and English language pedagogy. 
Dr. Kanana serves as a resource person, a researcher and an academic mentor in several programmes some of which are initiated by her own research and academic work, and others out of passion and a desire to support young scientists in Africa. She has worked with and reviewed programmes for several organizations among them: Siemens Foundation, Germany (in their youth empowerment programme); The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Kenya; The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and The Kenya DAAD Scholars Association (KDSA). Dr. Kanana is also a consultant with the Commonwealth of Learning, Canada, she is Global Young Academy (GYA) member, a regional Champion in East Africa for the Global State of Young Scientists (GloSYS Africa) project and one of the inaugural fellows of the Africa Science Leadership Programme (ASLP). She has served in the Executive Committees of the Kenyan DAAD scholars Association and the Global Young Academy. Moreover, she was recently appointed to join the International Support Network for African Development (ISNAD) as a mentor and a resource person.

 

Dr. Abraham Rugo Muriu

Country Manager, International Budget Partnership’s Country Manager, Nairobi Kenya 

 

Dr. Abraham Rugo Muriu is the International Budget Partnership’s Country Manager for Kenya, based in Nairobi. His work entails supporting citizen groups to advocate for improved service delivery by ensuring that public finances are used in a transparent, accountable, participatory and equitable way. Previously he worked at Institute of Economic Affairs (2007-2013) and as a public sector consultant (2014-2016). He has a wealth of experience working in Decentralization, Participatory Governance and Public Finance Management in Kenya over the last 13 years. He is a DAAD scholar with Masters and Doctoral Degrees in Public Management from the University of Potsdam, Germany. In his studies, he focused on emerging issues in Public Management such as participation in decentralized systems and performance management. He has a passion for homegrown solutions to societal problems and works to localize and personalize policy matters that are sometimes complicated. He is keen to mentor the next generation of leaders in Kenya.

 

Prof. Axel-Cyrille Ngonga Ngomo

Professor, Data Science at Paderborn University, Paderborn, Germany

 

Prof. Axel-Cyrille Ngonga Ngomo studied computer science and physics at Leipzig University. He completed his PhD research on low-bias algorithms in 2008 and received his habilitation on knowledge integration driven by machine learning from the same university. He is now a full professor of Data Science at Paderborn University. In his research, Prof. Axel-Cyrille focuses on intelligent and time-efficient algorithms for interfacing between humans, machines and data. His team and him thus develop novel machine-learning-driven approaches for the extraction, storage, integration and querying of knowledge graphs with explicit semantics accessible to both machines and humans. A particular challenge of interest in his research lies in explainable and understandable machine learning. Prof. Axel-Cyrille has now co-authored more than 200 research papers which have been cited more than 4,500 times. Several of his works (including papers on knowledge extraction, fact checking, question answering and distributed storage) have received best research paper awards at the top-tier conferences of his field. He has now been the recipient of more than 24 research awards including a Next Einstein Fellowship in 2016.

Prof. Anna Coussens

Researcher, Global Young Academy

Anna Coussens’s career is dedicated to understanding and correcting the immunological risk factors for the world’s most deadly bacterial infection, Tuberculosis (TB). A molecular cell biologist by training, Prof. Coussens completed her PhD at Queensland University of Technology (2007). She then worked in Uganda conducting community health surveys in remote villages, igniting her transition into an infectious disease immunologist. Prof. Coussens completed a postdoc at the National Institute for Medical Research in London before moving to South Africa, where she spent 6 years conducting clinical immunological research in the Khayelitsha township, home to the world’s worst TB-HIV epidemic. Here she studies the intersection between poverty, HIV, diabetes, and malnutrition, and how this drives TB. In 2018 Prof. Coussens joined the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia to set-up a  program of TB-HIV immunology focused on developing host-directed therapies to prevent and resolve disease. She continues her work in South Africa with a joint appointment at the Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa, at the University of Cape Town. As a member of the Global Young Academy, she is co-leading research investigating the Global State of Young Scientists in Africa and is deeply committed to developing new initiatives to improve the research environment for young academics.

Prof. Abdeslam Badre

Professor, Mohammed V University of Rabat, Morocco

Prof. Abdeslam Badre is a Social Scientist and Fulbright scholar. His research focuses on policy development in the fields of higher education and professional leadership of three social groups (youth; migrants; and women), especially within Africa and the EU-Southern Mediterranean cooperation. Prof. Badre is a permanent professor at Mohammed V University of Rabat. Prior to that, he was a visiting professor at various international universities including Alfred University in New York, Monterey Institute for International Studies in California, University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; Aalborg University in Denmark, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin, and Babes Bolyai University in Romania. After completing his PhD, Prof. Badre completed a Carnegie postdoctoral fellowship, at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (2014); a visiting post-doc fellowship at the United Nations University of Barcelona (2015); and a post-doc with the ACSS (2017-2018). Currently, he is a 2019-2020 junior fellow under the auspice of Princeton University and the University of Michigan’s early-career program. As a Global Young Academy (GYA) member, Prof. Badre is co-leading the GLOSYS Africa Project. He has got a MA in international Relation and Diplomacy (Berlin); an MBA in Human Resources Management (New York); an MA in Education (Rabat); and an MA in Cultural Studies (Fez). Among his published books are: ‘Youth Policy Manual for Arab Countries: How to develop a national youth strategy,’ (2013); ‘International Negotiations for Economic Diplomacy,’ (2014); and ‘La Participation Citoyenne,’ (2016). Prof. Badre has been an invited speaker in over 400 international conferences worldwide.

Dr. James Otieno Jowi

Principal Education Officer, East African Community (EAC) Secretariat, composed of Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and Tanzania

Dr. James Otieno Jowi is the Principal Education Officer at the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat (composed of Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and Tanzania) where he develops and coordinates regional education programs (www.eachq.org). He is the founding Executive Director of the African Network for Internationalization of Education –ANIE- (www.anienetwork.org) a pan-African organization focused on internationalization of higher education in Africa. He holds a PhD from the Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS), University of Twente, Netherlands; a Masters in Comparative & International Education, University of Oslo, Norway; a Master of Linguistics & Bachelor of Education from Moi University, Kenya. Before joining the EAC, he was a Senior Lecturer at the School of Education, Moi University, Kenya where he taught Comparative and International Education. His research and publications focus on internationalization, governance and leadership in higher education with a focus on Africa. He sits in several international boards including the African Network for Internationalization of Education (ANIE), the Inter-University Council for East Africa, Austrian Partnership Programme in Higher Education & Research for Development (APPEAR), Norwegian Partnership Programme for Global Academic Cooperation (NORPART), Association of Studies in International Education (ASIE), the technical committee of AUs Committee of Ten Heads of States on Science & Technology and the IAU Expert Committee on Internationalization. He has published extensively on internationalization in Africa and undertaken several studies and consultancies on higher education in Africa.

Prof. Johann Mouton

Director, Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST) Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Johann Mouton is a professor in, and director of the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology at Stellenbosch University and the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Scientometrics and STI Policy. He is on the editorial board of 5 international journals including the Journal of Mixed Methods Research, Science and Public Policy, Science, Technology and Society and Minerva. He has authored or co-authored 10 monographs including Understanding social research (1996), The practice of social research (2002, with E Babbie) and How to succeed in your Masters and doctoral studies (2001). He has also edited or co-edited 9 books, published 90 articles in peer reviewed journals and chapters in books, written more than 100 contract and technical reports and given more than 200 papers at national and international conferences and seminars. He has presented in more than 60 workshops on research methodology and post-graduate supervision and supervised 82 doctoral and masters’ students over the past twenty years. He has received two prizes from the Academy for Science and Arts in South Africa including one for his contribution to the promotion of research methodology in South Africa. In 2012 he was elected to the Council of the Academy of Science of South Africa.
His main research interests are the philosophy and methodology of the social sciences, higher education knowledge production, sociology of science, scientometrics and science policy studies.

Prof. Heidi Prozesky

Senior Lecturer, Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST) – Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Heidi Prozesky holds a PhD in Sociology on Gender Differences in the publication productivity of South African scientists. She has pursued this research interest since 2003 through her involvement in projects commissioned by the South African National Advisory Council on Innovation, and supervision of students on the topic of women in academic science. She has been a member of the international Women in Higher Education Management Network, represented non-professorial staff on Stellenbosch University’s (SU’s) Institutional Forum, served on the executive committee of the University’s Women’s Forum and SU’s Research Ethics Committee. From 2005 to 2014 she was affiliated to the DST–NRF Centre of Excellence in Invasion Biology. During this time, she developed a further specialisation in environmental sociology, focusing on social perceptions of and attitudes towards various environmental issues. Her third research interest is in social research methodology which she has been teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate level for more than 20 years. In this field, she focuses on research design and proposal writing; questionnaire construction; issues affecting the validity of data collected though quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods designs; methodological trends in the social sciences; and research ethics. In 2015 she joined SciSTIP where she manages its research portfolio and continues to conduct research on the careers of scientists, with a particular focus on gender, the scientometric analysis of research output and the sociology of science.

Prof. Barry Green

Director, African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), Cape Town, South Africa

Prof. Barry Green is the Director of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in South Africa and the Chief Academic and Research Officer for the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Global Network (AIMS NEI).
He completed his PhD at the University of Cape Town in 1984 and lectured at Stellenbosch University before spending ten years as a research scientist at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, where he also completed the Habilitation. In 1996 he returned to Stellenbosch University, where he was appointed Chairperson of the Mathematics Department in 2002. From 2006 to 2009 he was the Executive Head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, incorporating Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, and still holds a Mathematics Professorship there. His field of interest is in Algebra and Number Theory and he has collaborated with international experts in this field, which has included several research visits to Germany, France, the USA, Japan and Israel. In 2007 he received the South African Mathematical Society’s Award for Research Distinction. He has been Editor of the Mathematics Journal Quaestiones Mathematicae from 2002 to 2015 and has served on the Editorial Board of Afrika Mathematika.
Prof. Barry Green has been closely involved with the growth of AIMS since it’s founding in 2003 and was appointed the second Director of AIMS-South Africa in April 2010. He is passionate about promoting the growth of the mathematical sciences in the developing world, particularly in Africa, and is the current President of CIMPA, the International Centre for Pure and Applied Mathematics.

Dr. James Akindele Abidemi

Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Therapeutics & Toxicology, University of Lagos, Nigeria.

Dr. Abidemi James Akindele is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Therapeutics & Toxicology, University of Lagos, Nigeria. His research interest is Natural Products Pharmacology & Toxicology/Drug Repurposing. He holds B.Sc. Pharmacology (First Class Honours) and Ph.D. Pharmacology degrees and Diploma in Research Ethics. Over the 13 years of engagement in the University of Lagos, Dr. Akindele has supervised and mentored over 50 undergraduate and 40 Masters Students. He has produced 3 Ph.D. graduates. Dr. Akindele is a member of several professional bodies, including the Lagos University Medical Society (LUMS), West African Society for Pharmacology (WASP), American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), Nigerian Young Academy (NYA/Fellow), Global Young Academy (GYA/Alumnus) etc. He has over 65 publications in reputable national and international Journals to his credit and has been a recipient of the Fulbright Foreign Students/Junior Staff Development Award (U.S.); CV Raman International Postdoctoral Fellowship Award (India); CNPq-TWAS Postdoctoral Fellowship Award (Brazil); Fellowship of the Africa Science Leadership Program (ASLP) – initiative of the University of Pretoria in partnership with the GYA and funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung (Robert Bosch Foundation); United States Department of State Grant through the US Consulate Lagos for a capacity building workshop for young (early-career) women scientists in Nigeria etc. He was a Participating/Project Implementation Steering Committee Member of the Interacademy Partnership (IAP) Grant for capacity building workshop for early career women academics in West Africa organised by the NYA in conjunction with other Senior and Young Academies in West Africa. Dr. Akindele is a Core Team member of the Global State of Young Scientists (GloSYS) Africa project with funding from the German Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF. He is the Deputy Centre Leader of the African Centre of Excellence for Drug Research, Herbal Medicine Development and Regulatory Science at the University of Lagos, Nigeria.

Dr. Rose Mutiso

Co-Founder & CEO, Mawazo Institute, Nairobi, Kenya

Dr. Rose M. Mutiso is the Co-Founder and CEO of The Mawazo Institute, which supports the next generation of female scholars and thought leaders in East Africa, and promotes public engagement with research. She is also a Fellow of the Energy for Growth Hub, and the current Next Einstein Forum Ambassador representing Kenya. Rose has worked extensively as a researcher and practitioner focused on technology and policy dimensions of energy, environment and innovation issues globally. Most recently, her work has focused on power sector issues in Africa, particularly the links between renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy poverty. She is a Materials Scientist by training with research experience in the fields of nanotechnology and polymer physics. Rose is passionate about harnessing science & technology to improve lives and elevating women to positions of leadership and influence in African society. She earned her BA and BE in Engineering Sciences with a concentration in Materials Science from Dartmouth College, and her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Evelyn Gitau

Director, Research Capacity Strengthening (RCS), African Population & Health Research Center (APHRC)

Dr. Evelyn Gitau is the Director of Research Capacity Strengthening division at the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) where her main role is to expand opportunities for African scholars to become research leaders and to support the growth of APHRCs signature fellowship program, Consortia for Advanced Training in Africa (CARTA). Evelyn was previously a Programme Manager at the African Academy of Sciences where she was responsible for the Grand Challenges Africa.
She holds a PhD in Life Sciences from the Open University/Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom. She has over 16 years’ experience in medical research having worked at KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Program since 2002 where she was instrumental in setting up ground breaking research and actively engaged in mentoring and supervising students. In 2015, she was appointed fellow of the Next Einstein Forum where she is the ambassador for the development of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in Africa.
Evelyn sits on the advisory board of several organisations including the Independent Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB), Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi, University of Oxford (MSc International Health and Tropical Medicine), the Crick-Africa Network and the Investment Committee Grand Challenges Canada.

Ms. Gladys Mosomtai

PhD Fellow, International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Kenya & University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Gladys Mosomtai is a passionate user of space science to solve global environmental challenges especially in Africa. She has over 5 years’ experience in geospatial technology applications in landscape ecology, landscape genetics and epidemiology, movement ecology and ecological niche modelling. Currently, Gladys is a PhD fellow at International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), Kenya and University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa where she is conducting her research on influence of landscape structure on microclimate at plot level that influences coffee pests and disease occurrences in smallholder farms. She has a Masters degree in Geospatial Information Science and Remote Sensing from Dedan Kimathi University of Technology and a Bachelors degree in Environmental Planning and Management from Kenyatta University. She has co-authored over 10 publications in peer-reviewed journals, and a recent awardee of L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science 2018 Sub-Sahara Africa Fellowship. Gladys hopes to inspire young women to join STEM by sharing her story, mentoring young girls and she is fully committed to break the glass ceiling syndrome in her career.

Dr. Mbulelo Ncango

Human and Infrastructure Capacity Development (HICD); National Research
Foundation (NRF), Pretoria, South Africa

Dr. Mbulelo Ncango is currently a director at the National Research Foundation leading the next generation researcher funding instruments within Human and Infrastructure Capacity Development Directorate such as Honours, Masters, Doctoral Scholarships and partly postdoctoral fellowships.
He obtained all his degrees from the University of the Free State (UFS) and majored in Microbiology. He completed the Senior Management Development Programme (SMDP) course with University of Stellenbosch (SU). He was previously employed as a Plant Pathologist as well as Head of Department in the Disease management unit by the Agricultural Research Council – Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Crops (ARC-ITSC) in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga Province. Dr. Ncango has presented at recognised national and international conferences.
Supervised and co-supervised postgraduate students as well as provided mentorship to the DST-NRF Interns. He has authored and co-authored articles in international scientific journals of repute as well as co-authored an online-video lecture and a chapter in a book. In the process he achieved numerous awards. As
part of his contribution to excellence in academia, he previously acted as a reviewer and assessor for the NRF and is a referee for ISI-accredited academic journals. Additionally, he was a member of numerous scientific local and international societies.

Prof. Mary Jossy Nakandha Okwakol PhD

Vice Chancellor, Butisema University, Tororo, Uganda

Professor Mary Okwakol is the founding Vice Chancellor of Busitema University, a public University focusing on Science and Technology. Prior to moving to Busitema University, she held various positions at Makerere University and served as Deputy Vice Chancellor of Gulu University.
Professor Okwakol is currently Chairperson of the Uganda National Examinations Board, Member of the National Council for Higher Education representing Vice Chancellors of Public Universities, Member of the Board Executive Committee of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) representing Eastern Africa, member of the Organising Committee of the World Women
University Presidents Forum Representing Africa and a Chairperson of the African Women Vice Chancellors’ Forum (FAWoVC). She has previously served as Chairperson of the International Board of Management of the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Programme, Chairperson of the African Institute for Capacity Development (AICAD) Members Forum, member of the Inter-University Council for East Africa and Vice Chairperson of FAWoVC. Her various roles have earned her awards at national and international levels.
As a Researcher/ Research Leader, she has participated in many projects and published widely. Her expert knowledge in environment and natural resource management has earned her consultancies on a variety of development projects, and is one of women scientists in Uganda who have contributed immensely to the advancement of the sciences. She is a member of many professional bodies.
Professor Okwakol has a passion for uplifting girls and women. She was Chairperson of Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) Uganda Chapter, Board member of FAWE Africa (Regional), and Chairperson of the Organizing Committee for the 8th International Interdisciplinary Women’s Worlds 2002 Congress. Professor Okwakol holds a Doctorate degree in Zoology from Makerere University, “Doctor Honoris Causa” degree from Josai International University and is a fellow of the Uganda National Academy of Sciences.

Prof. Bitange Ndemo

Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, University of Nairobi
Business School, Kenya

Bitange Ndemo is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Nairobi’s Business School. His research centers on the link between ICTs and small and medium enterprises with emphasis on how ICTs influence economic development in Africa. Prof. Ndemo is the Chairman of the Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence Taskforce to develop Kenya’s Digital Transformation road map. He is an advisor to UNCDF’s Better than Cash Alliance, UN Global Pulse’s Big Data Initiative as well as a Board member to several organizations including Safaricom one of the leading telecommunication company in Africa, Mpesa Foundation, Research ICT Africa that is based in South Africa. He is a former Permanent Secretary of Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Communication where he was credited with facilitating many transformative ICT projects. He is an Open Data/Big Data evangelist and dedicated to simplification (visualization) of data for ordinary citizens to consume.

Dr. Mwenda Ntarangwi

CEO and Commission Secretary, Commission for University
Education (CUE), Kenya

Dr. Mwenda Ntarangwi is the CEO and Commission Secretary for Commission for University Education (CUE) in Kenya. He holds a B.Ed. (Language Education) and MA (Swahili Cultural Studies) from Kenyatta University and a MA and PhD (Cultural Anthropology) from the University of Illinois. Before his appointment at the CUE, Dr. Ntarangwi was serving as Vice President at Theological Book Network in Grand Rapids, MI, USA. He previously served as the Executive Director International Association for the Promotion of Christian Higher Education (IAPCHE) and Associate Director Office of Off – Campus Programs, Calvin College. Dr. Ntarangwi served as the Director, African and African Diaspora Studies (AADS) at Calvin College, Director and Assistant Professor St Lawrence University – Kenya Semester Program, Assistant Director Academic Program and Students – St Lawrence University – Kenya Semester Program.  Dr. Ntarangwi, an Associate Professor of Anthropology, is widely published in popular culture, youth, and the practice of anthropology. His publications include The Street is my Pulpit: Hip Hop and Christianity in Kenya, 2016, University of Illinois Press; Reversed Gaze: An African Ethnography of American Anthropology, 2010, University of Illinois Press; Jesus and Ubuntu: Exploring the Social Impact of Christianity in Africa, 2011, Africa World Press; East African Hip Hop: Youth Culture and Globalization, 2009, University of Illinois Press; and, Engaging Children and Youth in Africa: Methodological and Phenomenological Issues, 2015, CODESRIA Books (co-edited with Guy Massart). He is a seasoned administrator and scholar who has carried out research and undertaken teaching assignments in different institutions and countries.

Pauline Bomett

Senior Manager, Leadership and Training, African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD), Nairobi, Kenya

Pauline brings a wealth of experience in human capacity development. As the Senior Manager, Leadership and Training with the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre, Pauline has designed programs to support career development for African Scientists. The programs include Mentoring, leadership, science skills and gender responsive agricultural research. She has initiated and is now managing a successful training of trainers program for AWARD across sub- Saharan Africa. The trainers are developed and certified to deliver top notch leadership, mentoring, gender, research proposal and science writing courses. She has developed best practice tools for training teams and designed gender-responsive training materials for both training of trainers programs. Pauline is certified psychometric practitioner and administrator for MBTI. She is a certified coach. She is passionate about capacity development and has supported various initiatives to develop mentoring programs for youth in Kenya. She trains trainers for these initiatives and is often called upon to provide advice for capacity development programs.
Previously she worked at the German Technical Cooperation (GIZ) as the Human Resource and Office Manager. During her time at GIZ, she developed personnel policy manual for GTZ office local staff – Kenya, including performance management tools where there were none. She has Translated a technical GIZ training manual for Citrus Nursery Management from French to English.
Pauline has an executive master’s degree in Business Administration with a focus on organisation development. She studied French and German for her Bachelors of Arts degree.

Dr. Nyanda Elias Ntinginya (PhD, MSc, MD)

Mbeya Centre Director, Tanzania National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR-Mbeya Medical Research Centre), Mbeya, Tanzania

Dr. Nyanda Elias Ntinginya (PhD, MSc, MD) is the Mbeya Centre Director of the Tanzania National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR-Mbeya Medical Research Centre). The Centre is one of the leading international health research centres in Tanzania with staff capacity of 153 Research and Administration professionals. Dr. Nyanda’s cradle is rural Mwanza Tanzania and he is the 3rd child of 11 siblings. His humble beginnings did not deter him from pursuing higher education and becoming the first graduate, more so a graduate of Medicine and PhD in the family. After a stint in clinical practice following his MD training at the University of Dar Es Salaam (Muhimbili), Dr. Nyanda pursued a MSc in Tropical and Infectious Diseases at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK and later, a PhD in Medical Research-International Health at the Centre for International Health-University of Munich, Germany. These educational achievements were made possible by support from his parents, the Tanzanian government, EDCTP, DAAD and others. Throughout his career, Dr. Nyanda’s work has been driven by the need to understand and find solutions to diseases that affect his community. He has over 10 years of research experience both as a co-Investigator and Principal Investigator, and recently consortium coordinator, focusing mainly on tuberculosis. Other areas of his research include HIV and Emerging Diseases and translation of research into policy and practice. Dr. Nyanda has co-authored over 20 papers in national and international peer-reviewed journals and sits on several steering committees in Africa and beyond.

Ms. Gladys Nakalema

Vice Chairperson, Association of Uganda German Alumni (AUGA), Uganda

Ms. Gladys Nakalema is an Educational Psychologist currently working with Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda. She serves as an Administrator in the Dean of Students’ department where she supports young academicians through varied psychosocial challenges faced within the education setting. She is the Focal Person of the Mbarara University HIV/AIDS Institutional Policy implementation programme. Through this programme, she runs a mentorship and peer education program geared towards supporting upcoming undergraduate students to be robust and career-focused youth through different life skills trainings.
Gladys is a DAAD alumnus sponsored for her graduate studies in educational psychology between 2010 -2012 and has been part of the Association of Uganda German Alumni (AUGA) since its inception. Within the association she has served as Vice General Secretary (2015-2017) and is also the current Vice Chairperson. She is passionate about ethics in research and the professional environment which has seen her initiate the DAAD-AUGA sponsored workshop on Ethics in Research. She also volunteers on the Mbarara University Research Ethics Committee and is currently pursuing a Masters of Public Health with Bioethics at Mbarara University of Science and Technology.

Dr. Damtew Teferra

Professor, Higher Education Training and Development at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Damtew Teferra is Professor of Higher Education and has been the leader of Higher Education Training and Development at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa, since August 2012. He is the founder and director of the International Network for Higher Education in Africa, earlier at the Center for International Higher Education (CIHE), Boston College, now at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, for 10 years. Teferra was the former director for Africa and the Middle East of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program in New York. He was the (former) founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of African Higher Education and the International Journal of African Higher Education and the Chronicle of African Higher Education. He is the author of Scientific Communication in African Universities: External Assistance and National Needs (Routledge Falmer, 2003) and lead (and sole) editor of the award-winning books African Higher Education: An International Reference Handbook (Indiana University Press, 2003) and Funding Higher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. His other edited books include: African Higher Education: The International Dimension (CIHE, Boston College and Association of African Universities, 2008), Higher Education and Globalization: Challenges, Threats and Opportunities for Africa (University of Maastricht and INHEA (CIHE) 2010), and Flagship Universities in Africa (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017). Recognized “as one of Africa’s preeminent higher education scholar”, by the African Union Commission, he was recently appointed by the organization to lead the Higher Education Cluster of the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 2016-25).

Prof. Margret Wintermantel

President, German Academic Exchange Service, Germany

Professor Margret Wintermantel has been President of the German Academic Exchange Service since January 2012. Previously, she was President of the German Rectors’ Conference (2006- 2012) and Vice-President of the German Rectors’ Conference responsible for Research (2001-2006).
Prof. Margret Wintermantel studied Psychology and Journalism at the University of Mainz. Following her PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) in psychology at the same University (1972), research periods in Ann Arbor and at Berkeley and Research Fellowship of Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, she gained her “Habilitation”-degree in psychology at the University of Heidelberg (1986). Her research fields of interest are social forming of opinion, language production and communication.
She started her career in 1992 as university professor (C4) for social psychology at Saarland University, followed by Vice-Presidency for Study and Teaching (1994- 1997) and Presidency of Saarland University (2000-2006).
Since 2005 she is Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour in recognition for her merits towards Franco-German-Cooperation in science and research. In October 2009 she was decorated with the Cross of Merit, 1st Class of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Dr. Helmut Blumbach

Director, DAAD Regional Office for Africa, Nairobi, Kenya

Dr. Helmut Blumbach holds a PhD in Development Sociology from the University of Paderborn (1985) and a Master’s Degree in Sociology, German Studies and Journalism from the University of Münster (1978). He was a Research Fellow at the University of Hanover before he became a Lecturer at the University of Cape Coast (Ghana) where he also carried out field work for his PhD thesis. From 1986, he worked with the Otto Benecke Foundation in both Germany and Zambia managing Scholarship and Vocational Training Programmes for refugees in Southern Africa. In 1994, he joined the DAAD and served as the Head of Section for South East Europe and as Head of Division for Eastern Europe and CIS countries before he became the Director for the Southern Hemisphere – Africa, Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Australia/ Oceania in 2004. Since 2014, he has been the Director of the DAAD Regional Office for Africa in Nairobi, Kenya.

Prof. Caroline Thoruwa

Chairperson and a Founding Member of African Women in Science and Engineering (AWSE) Nairobi, Kenya

Professor Caroline Thoruwa holds a PhD in Pharmacognosy from the School of Pharmacy, University of London, Master of Science in Chemistry from Kenyatta University and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. As professor of Organic Chemistry at Kenyatta University her research interest is in Natural Products Chemistry, synthesis and semi-synthesis; ethnobotany- plants for medicinal purposes, for post-harvest management of grain pests, and biofuels. Prof. Thoruwa is currently the Director, Africa Center for Transformational and Inclusive Leadership (ACTIL) at Kenyatta University. She has held several other administrative positions at Kenyatta University including Chair of the Department of Chemistry, Director of the Board of Undergraduate Studies, Director of The Center for Linkages and International Programs, Director of Kenyatta University, Nairobi City Campus, Ag Director Satellite and Offshore Campuses. Prof. Thoruwa is passionate about improving the social,educational and professional status of women and girls in STEM. She is the Chairperson and a founding member of African Women in Science and Engineering (AWSE) based in Nairobi, Kenya and is also the Coordinator of the Kenyatta University Female Students in Science and Technology (KUFESST) program. Caroline is the Secretary General of the International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists (INWES, www.inwes.org).

Dr. Nashwa Eassa

Assistant Professor of Physics, Al Neelain University, Sudan

Dr. Nashwa Eassa was born in Omdurman, Sudan. She is assistant Professor of Physics at Al Neelain University, Sudan. She is a post-doctoral fellow in Nanophotonics group at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), funded by the department of Research Capacity Development (RCD) at NMMU. She holds a PhD in physics from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa and Master of Science in Material Physics and Nanotechnology from Linkoping University, Sweden. Her current research interest lies in developing new technologies which enable direct detection of bacteria, water born disease and heavy metals in water, synthesize and characterize self-assembled nanostructure as well as develop devices and sensing systems incorporating micro fabrication and nanotechnology.
Dr. Nashwa Eassa has been awarded several times. Her awards include: the Elsevier Foundation awards in Mathematics and Physics (2015), the AGNES Grant for Junior Researchers – supported by AvH and TWAS (2014), Research Capacity Development fellowship (RCD), Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University South Africa (2013), Organization for Women Scientists for the Developing World (OWSD) Fellowship (2008). She was one of ~550 young scientists selected worldwide to attend the 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting (2012), as well as being recognized for most outstanding poster presentation award in field of material science delivered at SAIP, South African, 2009.
Dr. Nashwa Eassa holds memberships in the Founder & President of Sudanese Women in Science Organization (SWSO), Vice- President of Arab Region of Organization for Women Scientists for the Developing World (OWSD) (2016-2020) and South African Institute of Physics (SAIP).

Dr. Betty Mayeku

County Executive Committee Member (CECM), Education & Vocational
Training, County Government, Bungoma, Kenya

Dr. Betty Mayeku, is currently the County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Education & Vocational Training at the County Government of Bungoma. Dr. Mayeku is on leave of absence from Kibabii University, School of Computing and Informatics, Department of Computer Science. Before her current appointment, she was the Director of the Directorate of Open Distance and Electronic Learning (ODEL), Kibabii University. She has a PhD in Computer Science, M.Ed in Educational Technology and B.Ed (Science – Computer Studies and Physics). She pursued her PhD at the Georg-August University, Goettingen, Germany through the DAAD and National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) Scholarship. Her research interests include among others Context-aware systems, Personalization, Adaptive and Recommender Systems, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) / Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) and Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL). Since her appointment as CECM Education & Vocational Training, her recent research focus has also been in ICT integration in Early Year Education (especially gamification) and ICT integration in Vocational Training (especially in Industry 4.0 phenomenon).

Prof. Eunice Ngongkum

Professor of African Literature, Department of African Literature and Civilizations, University of Yaoundé 1, Cameroon

Professor Eunice Ngongkum holds a PhD in African Literature from the University of Yaoundé 1, Cameroon where she is presently Professor in the department of African Literature and Civilizations. Her research interests are in the domains of Postcolonial African literatures, Diaspora African Literatures, Ecoculture and Literary Theory. She has published widely in these domains in international peer-reviewed journals with her most recent publications being Dennis Brutus’ Poetics of Revolt and Contemporary Anglophone Cameroon Poetry in the Environmental Matrix. Over her more than twenty years of engagement with the University of Yaounde 1, she has mentored young scholars supervising more than thirty Masters Degree students and five PhDs. At a national level, she serves as a consultant and resource person in several programs including the Cameroon General Certificate of Examination Board.
An alumnus of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany, having been a recipient of its Georg Foster Fellowship in 2014-2015, she spent this time at the University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth Germany researching on the intersection between literature and the environment in Cameroon and Africa.

Prof. John Wesonga

Coordinator, DIES Training Course on Management of Internationalization, Nairobi, Kenya

Prof. John Wesonga is a horticulturist by profession holding Bachelors (JKUAT – Kenya), Masters (UWS – Australia) and Ph.D (JKUAT – Kenya) degrees. He has taught Horticulture in the Department of Horticulture since 1996 as Teaching Assistant, Tutorial Fellow, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor. Besides that, he has held several positions of responsibility while working at JKUAT including Director of Alumni and International Students and Director of Performance Contracting and Appraisal. Prof. Wesonga is actively involved in the profession of horticulture through the Horticultural Association of Kenya (HAK) and has served as Vice Chairman and Chairman. He participated in the organization of 17 workshops jointly with Leibniz University of Hannover scientists. He has worked at institutes in Kenya, Tanzania and Germany and has been funded by the German government’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research and Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs. He coordinated the HORTINLEA research project involving 19 universities and research Cooperation and Development and has been involved in the publication of the African Journal of Horticultural Science (AJHS – url: http://www.hakenya.net/ajhs/index.php/ajhs ). He is also a member of the International Society for Horticultural Sciences (ISHS) and participated in the organization of ISHS congress (2009) and ISHS symposium (2013) and Chief Editor of two (2) Volumes of Acta Horticulturae. He is the Coordinator of DIES training course on management of internationalization and thereby involved in the training of 90 managers of international offices in universities drawn from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Prof. Mona Khoury-Kassabri (Ph.D)

Dean, Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Prof. Mona Khoury-Kassabri is the Dean of the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is also the Advisor for Minorities Affairs to Hebrew University President, and the Head of the University Steering Committee for Accessibility to Higher Education among Arab Students. Prof. Khoury-Kassabri is the Head of the committee appointed to examine the Hebrew University Diversity Policy which is part of the Israeli Present’s initiative “Israeli Hope in the Academia”.
Her research evolves around issues related to child and youth welfare. She is especially interested in the area of children and youth at risk for becoming perpetrators and victims of violent and delinquent acts. She was a Visiting Professor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work University of Toronto for two, non-subsequent, academic years, between the years 2011-2012 and 2016-2017. Together with Prof. Mishna, the Dean of the Faculty, they studied Youth Involvement in Cyberbullying in Canada and in Israel.
She is a member of the Israel Young Academy and the Global Young Academy. In Both Academies she is involved in research aims to advance our understanding of the state of young scientists, such as GloSYS Africa.

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