Texas Tech University

2019 Mandela Washington Fellows


Yasir Younis Abdullahi

Ethiopia

Yasir Younis Abdullahi has ten years of experience serving in various roles in public health organizations. Yasir holds a master’s degree in Emergen...

Yasir Younis Abdullahi has ten years of experience serving in various roles in public health organizations. Yasir holds a master’s degree in Emergency Surgery from Hawassa University, where he focused on contemporary, adolescent, and maternal health issues. Currently, Yasir is the general manager of a general hospital, responsible for planning, organizing, leading, and evaluating the clinical and non-clinical services to disadvantaged groups. While working at the hospital, Yasir established a Gender-Based Violence (GBV) clinic to address the social and cultural stigma affecting young adolescent victims. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Yasir plans to continue his work on GBV by empowering women through education, peer psycho-social services, and promoting social justice.

Ikechukwu Agbo

Nigeria

Ikechukwu Okpe Agbo, Esquire, has over 12 years of experience in law and consulting. Currently, Ikechukwu is a Senior Legislative Aide at the Senate w...

Ikechukwu Okpe Agbo, Esquire, has over 12 years of experience in law and consulting. Currently, Ikechukwu is a Senior Legislative Aide at the Senate within the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria. Ikechukwu’s work focuses on drafting bills and motions, providing legal advice, and liaising with government agencies and constituents on behalf of legislators. Ikechukwu holds a master’s degree in International Environmental Law and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria. Ikechukwu is driven by his passion for human capacity development and empowerment and is also interested in political leadership. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Ikechukwu hopes to transform Nigeria’s public space through increased transparency, credibility, and good governance practices.

Pascal Anasigre

Ghana

Pascal Anasigre comes to the Mandela Washington Fellowship with over ten years of experience in agriculture. Currently, he works as an Agriculture Off...

Pascal Anasigre comes to the Mandela Washington Fellowship with over ten years of experience in agriculture. Currently, he works as an Agriculture Officer at the Department of Agriculture, East Mamprusi Municipal Assembly. His work focuses on impacting agriculture technologies on smallholder farmers. Pascal holds a master’s degree in Development Planning and Management from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. Pascal is committed to helping smallholder farmers increase productivity and overall household income. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Pascal plans to leverage his knowledge of public management to continue to facilitate smallholder farmers to become self-reliant and more independent.

Catherine Asiimwe

Uganda

Catherine Asiimwe has over seven years of experience in the public sector, specifically in finance, tax, and audit. Currently, Catherine is a manager ...

Catherine Asiimwe has over seven years of experience in the public sector, specifically in finance, tax, and audit. Currently, Catherine is a manager of financial audits at the Uganda National Roads Authority where she focuses on providing value-adding assurance on the efficiency and effectiveness of an entity's risk management, internal controls, and governance processes. She assesses compliance with relevant laws, regulations, and best practices, including accountability and value for money in doing business. Catherine volunteers as a member of the internal audit panel and conducts mentorships for trainee accountants and other young people. Catherine is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and received the "2017 Young Accountant of the Year Award" for her contribution to the accountancy profession in Uganda. She has completed her Master of Business Administration in Finance and is soon attaining a Certification in Project Management (PMP). She is inspired by good governance and accountability in public entities. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Catherine plans to continue her work at the Uganda National Roads Authority and expand her mentorship programs for young people.

Rokhaya Diop

Senegal

Rokhaya Diop is an accountant with nearly nine years of experience in public sector auditing. Her interests include development and public health poli...

Rokhaya Diop is an accountant with nearly nine years of experience in public sector auditing. Her interests include development and public health policy. Outside of her work as an accountant, Rokhaya consults pro-bono to small and medium enterprises (SME) on taxation, strategy, and marketing. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, she plans to continue her advising role while counseling public authorities and other companies on implementation efficiencies and the transparent management of resources.

Ariel Ornello Inès Djomakon

Benin

Ariel Ornello Ines Djomakon has over seven years of experience in the international development sector, mainly focusing on agriculture, rural developm...

Ariel Ornello Ines Djomakon has over seven years of experience in the international development sector, mainly focusing on agriculture, rural development, and food security in sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, Ariel is the co-founder and chief executive of Gletafa, a community foundation that provides rural youth with development and economic opportunities. At Gletafa, Ariel focuses on public relations, organization management, and the promotion of fundraising activities. He also acts as an international consultant in agricultural finance and ICT for Development with various development partners. Ariel holds a double master's degree in International Development and Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security for Development from the University of Paris-Sud XI, France. A 2015 Benin Young Leader Laureate of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and a 2015 New Leader for Tomorrow of the Crans Montana Forum, Ariel is driven by his commitment to African agricultural and rural development. He works to create equal opportunities for rural youth, and access to finance for farmers. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Ariel plans to continue his work and engage with public players on issues of agricultural finance, food security, and decent rural employment.

Lemnoute El Hacen

Mauritania

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Emmanuel Eshun

Ghana

Emmanuel Kojo Eshun has over eight years of experience working as a rural healthcare provider focused on maternal and child health. Emmanuel studied m...

Emmanuel Kojo Eshun has over eight years of experience working as a rural healthcare provider focused on maternal and child health. Emmanuel studied medicine at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana and is a member of the West African College of Surgeons. At the college, he focused on women's health and cervical cancer prevention and treatment. Emmanuel works as a specialist obstetrician and gynecologist with the Christian Health Association of Ghana, where he directly provides quality healthcare services to women and children at a rural hospital. Emmanuel hopes to one-day witness a society where maternal death is drastically reduced, and where effective screening and treatment will help reduce the burden of cervical cancer. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Emmanuel will continue to work on reducing maternal mortality rates through educational efforts, effective screening programs, and cervical cancer treatment.

Aminata Mansaray

Sierra Leone

Aminata is a Tax and Revenue Administration Expert with 11 years relevant experience and specialization on Customer/relations and services, business p...

Aminata is a Tax and Revenue Administration Expert with 11 years relevant experience and specialization on Customer/relations and services, business process re-engineering, tax registrations and systems implementation. She has pioneered the implementation of Government Flagship Initiatives which are the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) project in 2008, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2010 and now the Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) which is a project that seeks to automate Domestic Tax administration and improves revenue collection. Aminata is a Change Champion at the SLNRA and has a Masters in Strategic Foresight in Melbourne, Australia. She intends to build Futures Literacy among youths in the short term and establish a Women Leadership Network that supports women leaders in Revenue Authorities across Africa in the long term.

Jennifer Mapepe

Congo, Democratic Republic of the (DRC)

Jennifer Mapepe has over four years of experience of promoting civic engagement and greater political awareness in the communities she serves. Current...

Jennifer Mapepe has over four years of experience of promoting civic engagement and greater political awareness in the communities she serves. Currently, she works as an administrative secretary for the Mouvement Congolais Pour la Renaissance, a political party in the DRC. Jennifer helps talented Congolese youth with their professional development goals, offering them mentorship and guidance through her work with a local non-profit association. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Bangalore in India, where she majored in Computer Applications and Programs. Jennifer is committed to building a more democratic future for her country, advancing the role young people play in politics and decision-making processes. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Jennifer plans to continue her work to mentor young people and help increase their civic engagement in the DRC.

Boluwatife Michael-Biyi

Nigeria

Boluwatife “Bolu” Michael Biyi is an administrator and lawyer at the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, an agency of the African U...

Boluwatife “Bolu” Michael Biyi is an administrator and lawyer at the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, an agency of the African Union in Nairobi, Kenya. He is also the co-founder and president of ROI Africa, a non-governmental organization with a focus on shaping policies in the educational and health sectors in Africa. Bolu holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Covenant University where he served as the president of the Student Union as well as a bachelor’s degree in Law from Swansea University in the United Kingdom. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Bolu intends to share his knowledge learned and to continue to shape health policies in Africa through his work in the public sector.

Sonia Mitchikpe

Togo

Sonia Afi Akpédzé Mitchikpe is a lawyer with more than eight years of experience working in the human rights and environmental protection fields. Cu...

Sonia Afi Akpédzé Mitchikpe is a lawyer with more than eight years of experience working in the human rights and environmental protection fields. Currently, she works as a legal adviser at an environmental protection organization. Sonia is an activist, feminist, and committed volunteer. As a trainer at local high schools, she teaches young women entrepreneurial skills and volunteers with a sexual violence support group that helps victims of trauma begin legal proceedings. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Sonia plans to put into practice all she learned to benefit her Togolese community.

Nature Mogotsi

Botswana

Nature Lesego Mogotsi is employed as an operational risk manager with First National Bank Botswana (FNBB). Her academic background comprises of an hon...

Nature Lesego Mogotsi is employed as an operational risk manager with First National Bank Botswana (FNBB). Her academic background comprises of an honors Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Finance degree alongside other short courses, and she is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Philosophy in Fraud Risk Management. Nature sits in FNBB’s board as a youth representative invitee and remains instrumental in contributing to the organization's Corporate Social Responsibility projects. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Nature aims to advance her philanthropic endeavors with the FNBB Foundation as well as facilitate discussions to support efforts of managing high risks such as cyber and economic crimes in Botswana.

Marcia Jessica Wilson

Eswatini

Marcia Motsa is currently making her contributions in the public health sector as a human resource and administration practitioner and entry-level man...

Marcia Motsa is currently making her contributions in the public health sector as a human resource and administration practitioner and entry-level manager. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Science with majors in Economics and Public Administration. She works at the University Research Company (URC), a global public health professional organization in Eswatini; URC works with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders to provide technical assistance for scaling up provision and access to comprehensive, integrated, and decentralized HIV and tuberculosis services through PEPFAR and the Center for Disease Control. Marcia is responsible for providing resources and administrative support to over 100 field volunteers providing health services, treatment support, retention, and care services. She has always been passionate about working with people, and working in human resources has enabled her to serve her community through local recruitment. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Marcia plans to share her skills through the Junior Achievement mentorship program, school-age entrepreneurship program which focuses on youth economic empowerment.

Rui Alexandre Mousinho

Mozambique

Rui Alexandre Holmes Da Costa Mousinho is a young finance geek with a genuine interest and passion in financial markets, investments, and performance ...

Rui Alexandre Holmes Da Costa Mousinho is a young finance geek with a genuine interest and passion in financial markets, investments, and performance management. Rui has extensive experience in academic research and trading on the foreign exchange; he currently works in the oil and gas industry working for BP and runs a program focused on female empowering through financial education. Rui holds a bachelor’s degree in Financial Management and a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship. He has participated in various fellowships and was part of the Commonwealth Discover Young Leaders program, the Activate! Leadership for Public Innovation program and was a delegate at the 2017 One Young World Ambassador Summit. After participating in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Youth Forum in 2019, he was appointed coordinator of the UNCTAD Action Youth Hub of Mozambique. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Rui plans to continue his work focusing on women’s financial literacy and FinTech.

Tamarah Moutotekema Boussamba

Gabon

Tamarah Moutotekema Boussamba holds a master's degree in Political Science and Economic Intelligence from the French Gabonese University and has over ...

Tamarah Moutotekema Boussamba holds a master's degree in Political Science and Economic Intelligence from the French Gabonese University and has over five years of experience in project management, with a focus on agribusiness. Tamarah is the founder and CEO of AGRIDIS Group, which produces and sells cassava in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is also the national deputy coordinator of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, a continental coalition of civil society organizations. Tamarah is driven by her dedication and commitment towards achieving economic empowerment through entrepreneurship, and she aims to become one of the most influential women in Africa. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Tamarah plans to pursue her Ph.D. in Economics to develop her capacity to achieve the vision of AGRIDIS by expanding across Gabon and exporting cassava in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Christine Mweu

Kenya

Christine Mutethya Mweu is a seasoned forensic investigator working with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission in Kenya. She is responsible for in...

Christine Mutethya Mweu is a seasoned forensic investigator working with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission in Kenya. She is responsible for investigating acts of corruption, economic crimes, and unethical conduct in the use of public resources to the director of public prosecutions. Christine previously worked at the Office of the Auditor General in Kenya as a performance auditor and has seven years of experience in the public sector. Currently, her work entails increasing public awareness on anti-corruption campaigns and promoting ethical conduct to reduce the prevalence of corruption in Kenya and encourage prudent use of public resources. Christine holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Sociology from Egerton University and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) registered with the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya. She is passionate about mentoring youth and regularly gives motivational talks to students in primary and secondary schools. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Christine will apply the skills she gains to her work on the prevention of corruption, economic crimes and unethical conduct within the public sector; she intends to spearhead the fight against corruption and be a champion for Kenyans.

Azola Mzekandaba

South Africa

Azola Vuyo Mzekandaba has four years of experience in public health programs aimed at providing access to healthcare services in remote and rural area...

Azola Vuyo Mzekandaba has four years of experience in public health programs aimed at providing access to healthcare services in remote and rural areas of South Africa. She specifically focuses on occupational diseases for ex-mineworkers in the gold mining industry. Currently, Azola is completing his master's degree research on the potential social and economic impact of a shorter tuberculosis treatment regimen in South Africa.

Teopolina Namandje

Namibia

Teopolina Namandje has over eight years of experience in development, trade, and transport. Currently, Teopolina is a senior transport economist with ...

Teopolina Namandje has over eight years of experience in development, trade, and transport. Currently, Teopolina is a senior transport economist with the Roads Authority in Namibia, where she formulates budgets and provides analysis, contributing to the development of master road plans and projects. She also worked for the Ministry of Trade and Industry as a junior economist, serving as the acting head of the regional office in the Omaheke region. She holds a master's degree from Stellenbosch University, where she studied finance for development. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Teopolina will continue to help develop and implement projects and policies that lead to a more sustainable future for Namibia.

Elizabeth Nartey

Ghana

Elizabeth Nartey has over seven years of experience in agricultural research. Currently, Elizabeth is a senior technical officer at Crops Research Ins...

Elizabeth Nartey has over seven years of experience in agricultural research. Currently, Elizabeth is a senior technical officer at Crops Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Ghana, focusing on breeding stress tolerant and high yielding rice varieties for smallholder farmers. Elizabeth has been involved in the training of smallholder farmers on the production of improved rice varieties and good agronomic practices. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Agriculture. Elizabeth is driven by her passion for ensuring that the smallholder farmer has the prerequisite knowledge that encourages production beyond subsistence and towards sustenance. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Elizabeth plans to train smallholder farmers on the production of improved rice varieties and other good agricultural practices that enhance yield and income.

Obodi Ohouo Epouse Lath

Cote d'Ivoire

Obodi Marthe Armande Laetitia Ohouo Epse Lath is an agronomist and certified in Prince 2 Management with nine years’ professional experiences. She p...

Obodi Marthe Armande Laetitia Ohouo Epse Lath is an agronomist and certified in Prince 2 Management with nine years’ professional experiences. She participated in the writing of the improvement strategy of Research and Development of Agroforestry in Cote d’Ivoire as well as co-authoring a scientific article called "Farmers in Cote d’Ivoire value integrating tree diversity in cocoa for the provision of ecosystem services." She also conducted several research studies in agriculture, agro-climatology, and forestry. Currently, she is working with Nestle Cote d'Ivoire for the management of agricultural cooperatives in the East Zone of Cote d'Ivoire. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Obodi plans to implement actions to help farmers improve their living conditions, adapt to climate change, and specifically fight against bushfires.

Eunice Peter

Kenya

Eunice Peter has ten years of experience in promoting accountability and good governance, focusing on auditing the public sector. Currently, Eunice is...

Eunice Peter has ten years of experience in promoting accountability and good governance, focusing on auditing the public sector. Currently, Eunice is an audit manager at the Office of the Auditor General in Kenya, where she focuses on auditing state departments and government entities. Previously, Eunice worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers Kenya and Rwanda where she audited international non-governmental organizations in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Eunice holds a master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Nairobi, where she specialized in strategic management. Currently, she is pursuing her doctors of Business Administration from the same university. Eunice is also a qualified accountant and a member of the ACCA – UK, ISACA – USA and ICPA(K). Eunice is a board member of Uniport Loans Kenya Limited where she promotes youth empowerment and a member of SheLeadsTech committee where she encourages women empowerment. Eunice also is a public speaker at national and international levels, involved in motivational talks to the youth and mentoring young people and women. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Eunice plans to continue her work of promoting accountability and good governance in the public sector and empowering women and youth.

Micheal Mikia Ramothwala

South Africa

Dr. Masekamane Michael Mikia Ramothwala is a senior clinical manager in South Africa, and currently manages the regional hospital and 28 local clinics...

Dr. Masekamane Michael Mikia Ramothwala is a senior clinical manager in South Africa, and currently manages the regional hospital and 28 local clinics. He is a medical doctor and graduated from the University of Cape Town with his MBChB. Dr. Ramothwala is passionate about reducing maternal mortality rates, teenage pregnancy, and the high HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis infection rates in his district. He recently launched an outreach program at the local high school to educate young women on the forms of contraceptives available. He is an active participant in the organized labor movement that seeks to improve the working conditions of doctors in South Africa. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Dr. Ramothwala plans to build a rape victim empowerment center and to launch an outreach program to help reduce maternal deaths.

Yusra Shariff

Tanzania, United Republic of

Yusra Shariff holds a degree in International Law and Human Rights and is a researcher-in-training at Ifakara Health Institute. Her research focuses o...

Yusra Shariff holds a degree in International Law and Human Rights and is a researcher-in-training at Ifakara Health Institute. Her research focuses on developing a local ethical and regulatory framework in Tanzania to guide the identification of candidate vaccines for endemic infections through controlled human infection model studies. Additionally, Yusra is leading efforts to pilot intervention on adolescent-friendly sexual and reproductive health services in Tanzania. Following the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Yusra plans to start a Ph.D. to further research the intersection of human rights and clinical research ethics, ultimately hoping to use research for social impact.

John Turay

Sierra Leone

John Turay is a financial management professional with about nine years of experience serving in the public service sector. He currently works as an i...

John Turay is a financial management professional with about nine years of experience serving in the public service sector. He currently works as an internal auditor in the Integrated Health Projects Administration Unit under the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in Sierra Leone. In this role, he manages donor funds from organizations including the World Bank, the Global Fund, and Gavi Alliance, and works to ensure that grants remain in compliance with donor guidelines and government laws, monitors procurements, authorizes disbursements, and monitors internal controls. John is committed to preventing fraud, negligence, and the misappropriation of international grants in Sierra Leone's primarily donor-driven economy. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, John aspires to expand his work in public financial management by participating in capacity-building programs, learning from other young African leaders, implementers, and beneficiaries of donor-funded programs.

Young African Leaders Initiative