Africa Month Public Symposium 2021

Africa Month Public Symposium 2021

The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) in collaboration with the University of Cape Town and the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance invite you to an Africa Month Public Symposium titled:

Youth development and participation on the
African continent during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Date: Monday, 24th May 2021
Time: 10:00 to 13:00
Platform: Zoom

Join here

25 May marks the annual commemoration of Africa Day which marks the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, now the African Union (AU). The AU's African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) in collaboration with the University of Cape Town(UCT) and the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance(NMSPG) will be hosting a youth centered public symposium on the 24th of May 2021. While progress has been made on the continent in the areas of socio-economic development, democracy and good governance, majority of Africans particularly the youth are now faced with the effects of the new global COVID-19 pandemic. The resilience of African people has been showcased by the unity in tackling the pandemic head on despite limited resources.

The 2021 Africa Day Public Symposium will be convened under the theme: 'Youth development and participation on the African continent amidst the Covid-19 pandemic’. The symposium will cover the following topics:

  • Youth participation in Africa’s Peace and Security amidst COVID-19
  • Youth participation and contributions towards building a strong African Continental Free Trade Agreement' (AfCFTA)
  • ‘Decolonisation of African education curricula

The Symposium is taking place against the backdrop of the African Union theme on Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want and the African Youth Charter’s 15th Anniversary and UCT’s Vision 2030 of Unleashing human potential for a fair and just society.


    Session One:
    Time Topic

    Statement and Welcoming Remarks – APRM:
    Amb Ombeni Sefue – APRM Panel Chairperson

    Statement and Message of Support:
    Mr Chukwuemeka Michael – APRM Nigeria Youth Vanguard

    Statement and Welcoming Remarks – UCT:
    Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng – UCT Vice-Chancellor


    Keynote Address:
    Ms Bogolo J Kenewendo – African Economist, Managing director of Kenewendo Advisory and served as Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry in Botswana.

    Video clip – Africa Month Symposium 2020


    Respondents to Statements and Keynote Address

    Moderator: Ms Cynthia Mbamalu – Yiaga Africa

    • Ms Luanda Mpungose – South African Institute for International Affairs
    • Dr Ekeminiabasi Eyita-Okon – Postdoctoral Researcher at University of Johannesburg Centre for Africa-China Studies
    • Ms Sara Hamouda – Agenda 2063/Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Expert
    Musical Interlude
    Session Two:
    ‘Decolonization of African education curricula Innovation’
    Time Topic

    Moderator: Dr Onkgopotse J.J Tabane – News Anchor of ‘Power to Truth’, eNCA

    • Mr Mcebo Dlamini – Political and Social Activist
    • Ms Stella Agara – Strategic Advisor on Global Partnershiops, YouLead Afrika
    • Dr Thuto Thipe – Lecturer: UCT Centre for African Studies
    • Mx Oratile Thothela – Treasurer General: UCT Student Representative Council(SRC)
    Session Three:
    Youth participation and contributions towards building a strong African Continental Free Trade Agreement' (AfCFTA)
    Time Topic

    Speaker: Mr Wamkele Keabetswe Mene – Secretary-General, AfCFTA Secretariat
    Moderator: Dr Misheck Mutize – APRM Credit Rating Agency Expert

    • Mr Palmar Mutandwa – Founder & CEO of Button Brothers
    • Ms Cindy Pearl Maphumulo – Managing Director at the Business Development Agency
    • Mr Seth Mulli – Executive Director of the Youth Bridge Trust
    • Mr Daniel Adugna – Youth Officer, African Union Commission
    Musical Interlude

    Closing Remarks: Mr Samson Itodo – Emerging African Leaders Programme (EALP) Alumnus

Keynote Speaker

  • Ms Bogolo J Kenewendo – African Economist, Managing director of Kenewendo Advisory and served as Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry in Botswana.

    Bogolo J. Kenewendo is a global economist with deep expertise in international trade and development. She has a particular focus on Pan-African development and a passion for accelerating digitization and innovation across the continent.

    As the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry in Botswana, she implemented reforms to significantly improve the ease of doing business, open up both domestic and international markets, and position the country to succeed in the global value chains as well as the digital economy. During her tenure, she was the youngest Cabinet Minister in Africa and in Botswana’s history.

    Kenewendo is also a vocal advocate for gender equity and protection of children’s rights.

    She has received global recognition for her work, being appointed as a member of the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council, a Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for Global Development, a member of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation and group on Financing for Development, a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Future Council on Global Public Goods in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and a WEF Young Global Leader. 

    She currently serves as Managing Director of Kenewendo Advisory, an economic development consultancy company and sits on multiple corporate boards.

other speakers/moderators

  • Amb Ombeni Sefue – APRM Panel Chairperson

    Ambassador Sefue was appointed to the APR Panel of Eminent Persons by the APRM Forum Summit in January 2017 in Addis Ababa, and is the current chair of the Panel. He has 40 years’ experience in Tanzania’s diplomatic service and governance. He was Chief Secretary of the Government of Tanzania from 2012 to 2016. As Chief Secretary, he was Permanent Secretary to the President, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Public Service. He was also the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Tanzania National Business Council.

    He was Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Tanzania to the United Nations in New York from 31st August 2010 to December 2011.  Prior to that, he was Tanzania's Ambassador to the United States of America in Washington D.C. from 15th June 2007 to 14th August 2010, with concurrent accreditation to Mexico.  Previously, he served as Tanzania’s High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Canada from October 2005 to June 2007, with concurrent accreditation to Cuba.

    A career diplomat, Ambassador Sefue also served as Counsellor at the Embassy of Tanzania in Stockholm, Sweden, between 1987 and 1992. Before that, he served as Second Secretary and later as First Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

    Between 1993 and 2005, he worked as Speechwriter and Personal Assistant to two Presidents of Tanzania— President Ali Hassan Mwinyi (1993-1995) and President Benjamin William Mkapa (1995–2005).

    In addition to being a Member of the Panel of Eminent Persons of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), Ambassador Sefue is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development (UONGOZI Institute) based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He is also a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete Foundation.

    Ambassador Sefue graduated in Public Administration at what is now Mzumbe University in Tanzania in 1977 and has an M.A. in Public Policy and Administration from what is now the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University, The Netherlands, (1981). He holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in International Relations and Diplomacy from the Tanzania-Mozambique Centre for Foreign Relations in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (1986). 
    He also has undertaken short courses from various institutions in International Negotiations; Economic and Social Problems of Developing Countries; and Oil, Gas and Mining Governance.

    Ombeni Sefue (ed.), The Mkapa Years: Collected Speeches (Dar es Salaam: Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, 2014).

  • Mr Chukwuemeka Michael – APRM Nigeria Youth Vanguard

    Mr. Chukwuemeka Michael is 26years of age, hails from Ikeduru, Imo state Nigeria. He is a civil engineer & a health, environment safety officer by profession. His battle with drug addiction which is a prevalent social vice plaguing several youths in the world at large and specifically in Africa inspired his co-founding of the Sanctuary of Hope Foundation which is a youth-led Not-for-Profit Organization aimed at enhancing the growth of a resource network for combating social vices and aiding the vulnerable in Nigeria and West Africa.

    His active participation in championing youth empowerment resulted in his selection to represent West Africa Youths in May 2019 at the Southern Regional Consultation in Botswana for the UN Study on Youth, Peace and Security and the AU-PSC Mandated study themed "Missing Piece", at which he contributed astute resources and strategized machineries towards the growth and advancement of youth for peace and security meaningful engagement/activities in Africa.

    Chukwuemeka’s firsthand experience with drug addiction and his ability to overcome it has become his story of hope and leadership, which he continues to disseminate aggressively, by reinforcing identity with victims has been integral in helping society cope with social pressure and has helped rescue and reintegrate over 144 youths that were victims of drug addiction and had dissuaded thousands more from engaging in such menace.

    He is also privileged to hold various positions as the Chairperson of APRM Youth Vanguard Nigeria, a Youth Ambassador of West Africa Youth Council (WAYC), Chairperson honorable members of the 7 Guards Battalion Nigerian Army and most importantly as a Clergyman.

  • Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng – UCT Vice-Chancellor

    Mamokgethi Phakeng is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town (UCT). She previously served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Internationalisation at UCT; as Vice-Principal for Research and Innovation at the University of South Africa (Unisa); and as Executive Dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Unisa. She holds a PhD in Mathematics Education from the University of the Witwatersrand and is a highly regarded B1 NRF-rated scientist who has published more than 60 research papers and five edited volumes. She has served as visiting professor in universities in 25 countries and has held numerous distinguished positions, including Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences since 2018. She is founder of the non-profit Adopt-a-Learner Foundation, which provides financial and educational support to students from township and rural areas.

    In 2008 she became the first black South African researcher to be appointed to co-chair a study commissioned by the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction. The study, entitled “Mathematics and Language Diversity”, published a volume in 2016, which she co-edited. She has won numerous awards for her research and community work, including the Order of the Baobab (Silver) conferred on her by the President of South Africa in April 2016.

  • Ms Cynthia Mbamalu – Yiaga Africa

    Cynthia Mbamalu is a dedicated human and gender rights advocate and a development practitioner. A lawyer by profession with an LLM in Comparative Constitutional Law, she specializes in human and women rights advocacy, youth leadership development, constitution building and elections.  She is a co-founder of Yiaga Africa where she serves as the Director of Programs. In the past 14 years, she has worked especially on supporting sustainable democracies, promoting political inclusion and human rights. She manages the Annual Democracy Camp for teenagers, the Youth Organizing School for young people in Nigeria and West Africa and the Student Debate Series in Tertiary Institutions. She is also a leader within the Not Too Young to Run movement and the Ready to Run campaign, committed to promoting young men and women political leadership. She currently leads on the #WatchingTheVote project, a data and tech-driven movement of citizen observers committed to promoting electoral integrity.

  • Dr Ekeminiabasi Eyita-Okon – Postdoctoral Researcher at University of Johannesburg Centre for Africa-China Studies

    Dr. Ekeminiabasi Eyita-Okon is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Johannesburg Centre for Africa-China Studies (CACS). Her research and supervision interests lie broadly in the International Political economy of Africa’s development and her PhD dissertation was titled The Political Economy of Regional Hydropower Investments in Africa – it was a comparative study of the Cahora Bassa dam and the Grand Inga Project. 

    Prior to this, Dr Eyita-Okon was a sessional lecturer at the department of International Relations, Wits University. She taught (Intermediate) International Political Economy, Transnational Issues in International Politics, and Research Theory and Methods at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. While she finds fulfilment in imparting knowledge to the next generation of African scholars, she is vested in the empowerment of the girl-child and women in Africa. 

    Dr Eyita-Okon is the founder of two book clubs namely African Girls Do Read (AGDR) and the African Women in Political Economy and Development (AWIPEAD). Outside of work, Dr Eyita-Okon enjoys family time, cooking, and a good meal. 

  • Dr Onkgopotse JJ Tabane – News Anchor of ‘Power to Truth’, eNCA

    Dr Onkgopotse JJ Tabane holds a PHD from Wits University. He also holds a BA, BPROC and MA degrees from UNIN, UWC and NMMU.

    He is currently the news anchor of Power to Truth on ENCA on Sunday and Monday evenings at 8pm. He was the anchor of “Your View” on Newzroom Afrika. He is also currently the editor of Leadership magazine. He is the author of Let’s Talk Frankly: Letters to influential South Africans on the state of the nation. He is a columnist for Business Day and the Daily Maverick and used to be a radio Anchor at Power FM. He is a member of the UWC Council; A Trustee of Love Life and UWC Foundation and Chair of the UWC MEDIA SOCIETY.

    He is the CEO of Sgwili Media Group, a Director at FNP Communications, Founder and Director of Oresego Communications, Pholosang BEE Resolutions Services and Enviroworld Productions. Early in his career he was a Head of Communications for Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Chamber of Mines and South African Airways and Congress of the People.

  • Mr Mcebo Dlamini – Political and Social Activist

    Mcebo Dlamini is a critical scholar within the black radical tradition. He is a staunch Pan-Africanist and believes in the idea a united Africa. He is lived in many places around Africa and through experience knows that the African continent has the necessary capacity to solve the challenges that it faces. Mcebo Dlamini is also a writer who has written about a spectrum of topics that include the law, politics, music and even issues around labour. He believes that there is a constant crossover between disciplines and does not want to limit himself to categories and genres in writing. The work of Mcebo Dlamini appears in a number of platforms such as newspapers, academic journal and as chapters in peer reviewed books. Mcebo Dlamini is in the process of writing his own book that will detail his reflections and experience in the South African political landscape. Mcebo is a staunch believer in education as an important vehicle that could help us transform our society for the better. He has led by example: He currently holds a BA degree in anthropology from the University of the Witwatersrand. He holds an LLB degree from the same institution. He is currently enrolled towards his LLM at UNISA and his research is focused on the idea of human rights as they relate to black people. He argues that we must find a new vocabulary that will include black people in the discourse around emancipation because the concept of human rights inherently excludes black people. He has all the intentions of pursuing an LLD and wants to be part of the canon of thinkers that have shaped black South African radical thought.

    Mcebo Dlamini also believes that everything in abstraction must eventually find its way to the concrete. This is to say ideas are as important as praxis. So as much as Mcebo Dlamini respects the invaluableness of the classroom he also appreciates the importance of the streets. To bear witness to this is his participation in the Fees Must Fall where not only was he the thought leader of the movement but also led the masses. His participation in the movement led to his arrest and imprisonment; he was subsequent found guilty and sentenced. Mcebo Dlamini did not stop there but also embarked on a one man protest where he walked from Johannesburg to Pretoria to deliver a memorandum that was calling for a pardon for all convicted fees must fall activists. Mcebo Dlamini is part of a number of community development projects where he assists various youths in townships. Mcebo Dlamini was also the president of Wits University where he led a campaign that raised over a million towards the fees of university students. Although always involved in controversy Mcebo Dlamini is clear on his mission which is to fight for the complete liberation of Africa. 

  • Ms Stella Agara – Strategic Advisor on Global Partnershiops, YouLead Afrika

    Stella Agara is a Governance and Youth Development Specialist with experience working on a broad spectrum of Governance issues and vast experience on the execution of Youth Led Development programs. She has been working in this area for the last 12years; across East and Southern Africa.

    She is the 15th Laureate of the Bremen Solidarity prize, an award she won for her work in the area of tax justice. Stella is very passionate about alleviating suffering and elevating the most vulnerable people to a level of influence on their destinies. In pursuit of this cause she embarked on a campaign for youth to demand accountability from African Governments on the illicit financial flow from the continent, which earned her the award. She was also awarded the AU Anti-Corruption and Youth Ambassador for East Africa. She is a Nelson Mandela fellow under the Woman in Public Policy program.

    Stella is currently serving YouLead Afrika as a Strategic Advisor on Global Partnerships. She previously worked with Action Aid Denmark as a Youth Advisor seconded to Action Aid Malawi. She is a former Deputy Executive Director of the Africa Youth Trust. She also served the Africa Youth Parliament as a Consultant on Youth Leadership for Governance Processes in Africa. She is currently running campaigns to promote youth participation in tax justice campaigns in East, South and West Africa. She also served as a board member of the Kenya Red Cross Society Nairobi Branch, UNDPs Civil Society Democratic Governance Fund and the UN Habitat Youth Advisory Board.

    Stella has spent most of her adult life working on promoting youth leadership for governance processes in Africa and particularly leadership with legacy. Her mantra is "If it is good for Africa, She loves doing it and she will do it."

    Stella attributes all her success in life to the Almighty Yahweh and His abundant grace to discover her purpose in life. It is in pursuit of her purpose that she has found motivation, provision and divine direction to consistently chase her calling from God to support the most vulnerable people in society to gain influence.

  • Dr. Thuto Thipe – Lecturer: UCT Centre for African Studies

    Thuto Thipe is a lecturer in African Studies at the University of Cape Town. Her primary fields of study include land tenure, African cities, local governance systems, race and racial formation, and feminist studies. Thipe earned her doctorate from Yale University in History and African American Studies and also holds degrees in History, Gender Studies, and Political Science from the University of Cape Town and Macalester College. Her PhD dissertation, “Black Freehold: Landownership in Alexandra Township, 1912-1979” won the Yale Afro-American Cultural Center’s award for “Outstanding Graduate Research in the African Diaspora.” She previously worked as a researcher in the UCT law faculty’s Centre for Law and Society. 

  • Dr Misheck Mutize – Founder & CEO of Button Brothers

    Dr Misheck Mutize is the Lead Expert Researcher at the African Peer Review Mechanism. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in credit risk and a Master of Science degree in Finance and Investment from the University of Cape Town. He has researched extensively on Credit risk in Africa, African governance policy, state-owned enterprises, corruption, poverty and other socio-economic development. Dr. Mutize has also published comprehensive researches on Socio-Economic Development, Political and Economic Governance in Africa.

  • Mr Palmer Mutandwa – Founder & CEO of Button Brothers

    Palmer is an Entrepreneur with a keen interest in design, fabrics and business development. Palmer completed a Bachelor of Business at Victoria University and a Master’s in International Business at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia. 

    Palmer launched Button Brothers a menswear business in 2013 in Melbourne, Australia which he has now relocated to Rosebank in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

    Kapra fabrics is one of Palmer’s new projects which launched January 2020. Kapra fabrics is a fabric distribution business which provides African tailors and designers access to European and Asian fabrics. 

    Palmer is the C.O.O and co- founder of Apara Sports a men’s and women’s sportswear brand which launches May 2021. 

    Palmer also has an interest in travel, jazz music and vintage cars he is a member of the Mercedes Benz W123 enthusiasts club in Johannesburg. 

    Connect with Palmer:

  • Ms Cindy Pearl Maphumulo – Managing Director at the Business Development Agency

    Pearl Maphumulo is an entrepreneur and Managing Director of The Business Development Agency (Pty) Ltd, an advisory and consultancy company helping both SMEs and ESD stakeholders with various business development solutions that help formalize, educate, skill, and enable SMEs build sustainable models for job creation.

    She is also head of one of the most influential youth focused social organisations on the continent called The Africa80. The Africa80 got its name as it was originally formed by 80 young Africans from across 30 countries who came together to co-authors a book with the aim to both amplify the voices of 80 young African leaders, but also advocate the power of collaboration. The Africa80 co-hosted the 2018 African Youth Development Summit alongside JCI; United Nations; AU’s African Peer Review Mechanism; and the Global Citizens Festival at the Pan African Parliament attracting over 120 young people from across 21 countries. This organisation not only hosts an annual gathering of young minds, but advocates collaboration as a tool to positively transform Africa’s economies, whilst helping different organisations looking to better engage and involve youth within their streams, and do so with maximum impact. 

    Pearl has been a nominee at the 2015 African Achievers Awards under the category 'Excellence in Leadership'; a business and entrepreneurship column contributor for South African national newspapers The Star and Pretoria News. After successfully serving for over 5years under the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, she now the founding curator of the very first World Economic Forum Global Shapers Hub in the Mpumalanga Province. 

    In 2018, Pearl Maphumulo was ranked twenty three (23) on the one hundred (100) Most Influential Young South Africans list by Ghanaian Media entity, Avance Media and then again in 2019 selected as one of the 100 Young Mandela’s of the Future by Mail & Guardian. She has a long illustrious list of speaking engagements on both local and global platforms from academic institutions such as Wits Business School to gatherings hosted by various African governments, to the United Nations specifically addressing small business development; collaboration; future of jobs; leadership; innovation; youth empowerment and entrepreneurship on the continent.

    During the 2nd High Level Meeting in Nairobi of the Global Partnership for Effective Development hosted by the Kenyan government, Pearl moderated a panel with leaders such as, Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade & Development: Lillianne Ploumen; UN Policy Adviser & Action Campaign Regional Director: Sering Falu Njie; Kenyan Cabinet Secretary: Sicily Kanini Kariuki; & Mowgli Foundation CEO: Kathleen Bury. 

    In this month of May 2019, Pearl was one of the few invited young speakers from Africa at the Global Food Innovation Summit: Seeds and Chips in Italy, where she also, amongst other contributions got the opportunity to moderate two (2) panels, one with five (5) members of the Forum of African Kings, Sultans, Princes, Sheikhs and Traditional Chiefs and the other with an assortment of entrepreneurs and innovators from Egypt to Silicon Valley under the theme: Creating Opportunities through Unconventional Connections.


    • Outward Bound South Africa
    • New Green Economy 2030, Diplomatic Relations & Protocol Committee
    • Nkangala Economic Development Agency

    Facebook Page: Cindy Pearl Maphumulo
    IG: @cindypearl101
    Twitter: @cindy_pearls

  • Mr Samson Itodo – Emerging African Leaders Programme (EALP) Alumnus

    Samson Itodo is an experienced community organizer and development practitioner with over a decade experience in constitution building, governance reform, electoral governance, civic engagement, and political organizing. He is highly skilled in legislative advocacy, political party development, NGO management, social movements, and youth development. He has facilitated policy documents on electoral reform, international development cooperation, constitution review, public governance, and political inclusion. He provides strategic policy advice to parliamentary committees, electoral commissions, political parties, civil society organizations, and academic institutions. Samson is invested in building strong democratic institutions, promoting people-centered legislation and policies, and building communities of active citizens to drive social change.

    Samson Itodo serves as the Executive Director of Yiaga Africa and Convener, Not Too Young To Run. He is a member of the Board of Advisers of International IDEA, an intergovernmental organization that supports and promotes democracy around the world. He is a founding member of the African Movement for Democracy (AMD), a network of activists and youth leaders dedicated to deepening democracy in Africa. Currently, he is a Standard Bank and Derek Scooper Scholar pursuing a Master of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. He is currently exploring the impact of social movements in qualifying and refining public policy in Africa. He is also focused on building public policy frameworks that put citizens at the center of politics and governance beyond elections.

    Under his leadership, Yiaga Africa has emerged as a leading civic organization promoting political inclusion, electoral integrity, and public accountability in Africa through citizens' engagement, data, technology, and policy advocacy. He has initiated numerous democracy and citizens’ engagement projects in Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Ethiopia. Samson previously served as lead consultant for International IDEA to develop a strategy for mitigating electoral and political violence in Cameroun, Guinea, Ghana, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe. He also served as Research Facilitator for United States Institute for Peace (USIP) on Transparency and Accountability movements in Nigeria. Samson also served on the National Assembly's institutional reforms committee to design a strategic framework to strengthen the National Assembly. He is currently engaged as a member of the steering committee to prepare Nigeria's Medium-Term Development Plan (2021 – 2025) and Nigeria Agenda 2050 and he was the co-chair of the Focal Group for the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund, a fund established by the government of Nigeria to fund youth enterprise and innovation.

    He is a recipient of several local and international awards and his work has been featured by local and international media stations such as Aljazeera, CNN, BBC, RFI, CCTV, SABC, etc. In 2018, he was appointed by the Gates Foundation as a Goalkeeper and honored by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) Washington DC as 2018 Rising Democracy leader in Africa. He is the winner of the Future Africa Award Young Person of the Year 2018 award and the Leadership Newspaper 2018 Outstanding Young Person of the Year award. He was also inducted into 100 Most Influential Young Africans by the African Youth Awards in 2017. He is a recipient of numerous prestigious fellowships such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellowship, Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance at the University of Cape Town, International Visitors Leadership Program of the US Department of State, Swedish Visitors Leadership Program, European Union Visitors Program (EUVP) and the UK International Leaders Program. Recently, he was recognized by the United Embassy in Nigeria as a Nigerian Star for his achievement and service to Nigeria and Nigerians.

  • Mx Oratile Thothela, Treasurer General: UCT Student Representative Council(SRC)

    Name is Oratile Thothela, a student of the University of Cape Town.

    The current SRC Treasurer General, with a prior background in university leadership namely within faculty council, house committees and university council committees. 

    A passionate community servant with the ongoing quest to give and has been able to promote significant, positive change in communities and individuals through advocacy empowered by compassion. 

    Oratile sits on the board of Wothixokazi, an organisation which invests in young women making a difference in their undeserved communities, and works with an organisation which focuses on the social and academic development of the black youth in underprivileged primary schools across South Africa. 

    Her Activism centres and is dedicated to Decoloniality, Black radical feminism, critical race theory, Black consciousness, intersectionality and mental health.

    Carries the beacon of hope and has the Intention to motivate and inspire individuals in identifying their potential to continue and share this passion to serve others.

  • Mr Seth Mulli, Executive Director of the Youth Bridge Trust

    Seth currently serves as the Executive Director of the Youth Bridge Trust, a grant-making body inwhich aims to create collaborative opportunities for young people on the African continent tosucceed, through entrepreneurship, livelihood skills, and further education in the future of work. Recently he completed the GIBS Social Entrepreneurship Programme sponsored by RMB. InSeth’s view, if business doesn’t pay it forward, it will be left behind.

    Seth is also the host of The Mentorship Challenge with Marc Weiner the Chairman of Redefine properties. The show is currently being broadcast on ENCA and ETV and has aviewership of over 2 Million people. The show sees local leadership luminaries interviewed andgently pressured to pledge hours of their personal time towards mentoring buddingentrepreneurs from all backgrounds.

    From the very start, the intention was to revive and entrench a culture of mentorship in skillsscarce,leaderless South Africa – to create a bank of beneficial hours that could be drawn on by future leaders and promising trailblazers, from all walks of life.

    Seth’s vision is firmly embedded and invested in communities, emboldening players in the NGO space to upskill and find access to platforms of power, opportunity, and funding. With 10 years of experience in the youth development space, he’s area of expertiseis incapacitating organizations to create meaningful change in the communities they serve. He is the owner of The Collective, a community of creatives helping NGOs make a meaningful impact in the social media space. Will & Heart, another project he co-founded with his wife is an international volunteer travel company, focused on telling the stories of nonprofit organizations on the African continent, through film, design, and branding.

  • Ms Sara Hamouda, Agenda 2063/Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Expert

    Sara has eleven year of professional experience in the international cooperation and development field. Currently, she works for the African Union Secretariat for Peer Review Mechanism as an officer in charge of the Agenda 2063/SDGs Unit and South-South Cooperation, based in Johannesburg South Africa. She manages continental capacity-building projects as well as multi-lateral workshops on Agenda 2063 advocacy, implementation, monitoring and evaluation with a special focus on SDGs 16 and 17. She handles APRM continental work on and UN Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and  APRM collaboration with UN agencies. 

    Earlier, she worked at the Cabinet of the Minister of International Cooperation in Egypt as a Senior Economic Researcher in charge of cooperation with the regional financial institutions as well as China for Seven years. She also received a professional traineeship at the European Investment Bank (EIB) in Luxembourg from 2017-2018, of which she provided policy analysis and research regarding the EIB role outside the EU, especially in the southern Mediterranean region as regarding various issues such as migration, donors’ relations, and economic resilience in the neighboring countries.  

    Ms Hamouda holds a Master of Arts in International Development from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, a Diploma in Peace promotion and disarmament from the University for Peace and Vienna Centre for Disarmament and a Bachelor’s in Political Sciences from the Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences, Cairo University. She is also an alumnus of the College of Europe in Warsaw. She got two internships at the American Congress in Washington DC in 2007 on USA political system and foreign policy and at the German Bundestag, in Berlin, in 2013 on education policies and public administration. 

  • Mr Wamkele, Secretary-General, AfCFTA Secretariat

    Wamkele Mene was elected by the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of States & Government of the African Union, to the position of Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat. 

    Prior to being elected Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, he served as Chief Director: Africa Economic Relations, at the Department of Trade & Industry of South Africa. In this role, he was South Africa’s chief trade negotiator in the AfCFTA and Tripartite FTA negotiations. During his tenure as chief negotiator, South Africa ratified both the AfCFTA and Tripartite FTAs agreements, providing new export markets in fast growing and dynamic markets in East and West Africa. 

    Prior to assuming this position, Wamkele was Director: International Trade Law & Investment Law at the Department of Trade & Industry, a role in which he was principal legal counsel on international trade law and international investment law. 

    From 2010 until 2015, Wamkele represented South Africa at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland. During his posting to the WTO, Wamkele was elected by over 130 governments to the position of Chairman of the Committee on International Trade in Financial Services, a committee comprising trade negotiators, financial regulators and financial policy makers from over 160 countries. 

    Prior to joining the government, Wamkele worked for the law firms Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in London and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP in Hong Kong.

    Wamkele has written and lectured internationally on international trade law, international investment law and international business law. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Law) degree from Rhodes University in South Africa, a Master of Arts in International Studies & Diplomacy (with specialization in International Economics) from the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London and a LL.M. (Master of Laws) in Banking Law & Financial Regulation from the Law Department of the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE). 

  • Mr Daniel Adugna – Youth Officer, African Union Commission

    Daniel Adugna is the Program Manager of the African Union Youth Volunteer Corps (AU-YVC) – a continental youth leadership program which works with young African professionals through volunteerism and exchange across Africa. He brings over ten years’ experience in continental program management and policy development working with the African Union Commission and other International Organizations. He brings on board program development, implementation and monitoring skills, policy development, international relations and youth development expertise combined with continental level perspectives. Daniel is also an entrepreneur with passion for agri-business.

    Daniel Adugna holds a B.Sc. in Management Information System from the Munich University of Technology, Germany; Master’s in business administration (MBA) from the Lincoln University, USA (Extension, Ethiopia); and MA in Development Finance from the Frankfurt Business School.