MEET THE TEAM

Onyinyechi Okechukwu
Onyinyechi Okechukwu

Communications & Media Coordinator

Onyinyechi Okechukwu is a Nigerian national, a communication for development specialist with over 15 years’ experience of developing and implementing programmes that promote human rights in Africa with a strong interest in women’s rights.

She has worked in several international development and feminist organisations including Alliances for Africa, Media for Development Nigeria, WaterAid and ActionAid leading communications, advocacy and campaigns initiatives across Africa and Europe. She has a strong media relations experience having worked as a radio and television producer promoting women’s rights and advocating for women equal opportunity for women in governance and the economy. She has led several media networks across West Africa advocating for public policies that advances women’s rights in Nigeria’s Delta region and other parts of the sub-region.

Onyinyechi is using her work to create innovative digital and traditional media activities that influence policies, attitudes and public behaviour towards advancing women’s rights across the world.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Lagos State University, a Masters’ degree in Humanitarian and Refugee Studies from University of Lagos as well as certificate in Communications in Emergency

Masa Amir
Masa Amir

Research & Protection Coordinator

Masa is an Egyptian national. Masa has a passion for women’s human rights and is particularly interested in women’s economic rights, and strengthening the protection mechanisms and effective responses to women human rights defenders (WHRDs) at risk,

with special focus on WHRDs in North Africa. Prior to joining UAF-Africa, Masa worked with Nazra for Feminist Studies, as a researcher for the Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) Programme. Masa has experience in the documentation of violations faced by women human rights defenders and conducting advocacy at the Human Rights Council and African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Masa holds a Master’s degree in International Human Rights Law from the American University in Cairo (AUC), Arab Republic of Egypt, the focus of her thesis being on the manner in which violations of the right to social security contribute to poverty among women in Egypt; and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, with a minor in philosophy, from the American University of Sharjah (AUS), United Arab Emirates. In her spare time, Masa enjoys diving, baking, and sometimes Zumba dancing!

Chiedza Muchena
Chiedza Muchena

Executive Assistant

Chiedza Muchena is a Zimbabwean national with a wealth of experience in administration, having worked as an executive administrator in different
capacities over a period spanning 6 years. During this time, she managed offices and operations of senior executives

in various companies in the hospitality industry.

Chiedza is very strategic and intentional in her execution of tasks and her experience working in sensitive offices has honed her ability to plan,
multi-task and be extremely organised. She has amassed a wealth of experience working with high profile personalities from various spheres of
life including industry and commerce, politics, religion and entertainment. Her interactions with people of different nationalities, cultural and religious backgrounds has helped her appreciate the power of diversity.

She is passionate about her own personal development and that of those around her and has a soft spot for environmental issues and human rights – particularly the rights of the girl child and minority groups. Her other interests include reading and travelling.

She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing Management from the Institute of Marketing Management (South Africa), a Diploma
in Marketing (LCCI), and a Diploma in Executive Secretarial (LCCI) and a Certificate in Management Development Skills for Executive and Personal Assistants (Zimbabwe Institute of Management).

Nancy Chitiza
Nancy Chitiza

Head, People & Culture 

Nancy has worked in conflict and post-conflict African countries with the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, (UNDPKO). Her career with the UN spans for 8 years, where she worked with the UN Mission in Liberia, UNMIL, and UN Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

Nancy holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Zimbabwe and BA in Sociology and Economics from Africa University.She is currently pursuing professional accreditation with the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), which is the main professional body to accredit and award professional human resources (HR) qualifications. Nancy loves the field of Human Resources Administration and Management, she has worked in the field for over 10 years and is very excited about the endless possibilities at UAF-Africa. Nancy works from Harare, Zimbabwe.

Vongai Tinarwo
Vongai Tinarwo

Research Attachee

Vongai is a journalist by profession, she holds a B.Sc Honours Degree in Media and Society Studies. Prior to joining UAF- Africa, she worked with Chengeto Zimbabwe Trust, a media-based organisation, as a Programmes Officer. In her role as Programmes Officer she explored, investigated and

unpacked issues around rape, child sexual exploitation, child labour, gender-based violence,
gender inequality and child marriages.

She also worked at Musasa project as Assistant Programmes Officer, a post she held for more than three years. Among other duties, she ran a programme on promoting a culture of active citizen engagement in governance and development processes using ICT and other more conventional modes of communication.

This programme gave voice to communities, and in particular young women in Zimbabwe using the communication for development approach. Vongai is compassionate and enthusiastic about women’s advancement, she firmly believes in a society where women and girls are not only seen but are heard.

She also believes that when women and girls are empowered, they can realise that they have power within themselves to bring change in their lives and
communities they live in. Realising that girls and women in Africa always find themselves on the periphery of discussions and development processes,
she is very ardent about using media to develop communities.

Vongai is currently working towards a Master’s Degree in Gender and Development studies with National University of Science & Technology, Zimbabwe.

Ndana Bofu
Ndana Bofu-Tawamba

CEO & Executive Director

Ndanatsei Bofu-Tawamba, an African citizen and Zimbabwean national, is the CEO & Executive Director at Urgent Action Fund-Africa (UAF-Africa), in Kenya. UAF-Africa is a feminist and pan-African rapid response grant making organisation that invests in African women’s power …

to change the status quo. Ndana is a seasoned feminist and women’s rights advocate, a social entrepreneur with philanthropic expertise spanning 20 years. Prior to leading at UAF-Africa, Ndana was in charge of the UN Women Office in Zimbabwe where she led in the execution of the multi-million-dollar funded EC, DFID & DANIDA Gender Support Programme.

Ndana has leveraged over USD100 million directed towards strengthening African women’s movements and achieving women and girls’ rights. She has lectured at the Women’s University in Africa, been invited as guest lecturer and speaker at several high-level platforms across Africa, Europe, South and North America. She is a renowned speaker and published writer on topics of African women’s leadership in conflict transformation, Regenerative African & feminist philanthropy, and the nexus between Ebola, HIV&AIDS, women and culture. In the global human rights community, Ndana is a staunch figure and voice for enhanced women’s rights investments.

Ndana is an Executive Education alumnus of INSEAD Business Schools in France and Singapore. She is a Senior International Fellow at the Centre on Philanthropy and Civil Society at CUNY, USA. She earned her Master’s Degree in Women’s Studies from Lancaster University, UK, obtained her Bachelor of Science Honors Degree in Social Psychology from the University of Zimbabwe and holds a Diploma in Personnel Management.

Ndana serves on the Board of the African Philanthropy Network. She represents African Women’s Funds on the Governance Board of the International Network of Women’s Funds (Prospera), in Mexico. Her leadership at UAF-Africa, the UN, academia, international boards, regional consultancies on philanthropy, human rights, social movements & governance has meant extensive engagements across the world, thereby presenting her the opportunity to weave her commitment to social justice with an opportunity to further explore women and girl’s realities throughout the world.
Twitter: @NdanaTawamba & @UAFAfrica

Shinaz Rehema
Shinaz Rehema Ali

Grantmaking Programmes Associate

Prior to joining UAF-Africa, Shinaz worked as a social worker, theatre trainer and a project officer within different projects of AMREF’s Children In Need Programme. She has extensive experience and expertise in women’s rights, development and implementation of legal policies

and community oriented capacity development on psychosocial issues. She is passionate about women’s human rights and keen on the intersectionalities between women’s rights and religion with emphasis on fundamentalisms, women and natural resources governance, policy reforms and has specific interest on Young Women and Girls in Africa.Shinaz’s rare skills set in legal, social work and the arts has been greatly valued at UAF-Africa’s grant making portfolio where intersectional strategies in the provision of grants is of huge priority. Her analytical, inquisitive and curious nature has afforded her the opportunity to conduct instructive grant making due diligence thereby ensuring provision of sound and innovative grants that have gone on to change women’s realities on the ground.

She holds an LLB from the University of Nairobi School of Law and Diplomas in Project Management and Social Work and Development. She is currently completing her studies in French and finalizing her Master of Arts Degree in International Relations and Political Science from the University of Nairobi. She enjoys fashion, art, reading, sewing, cooking and working out during her spare time.

Susan Asio
Susan Asio

Grantmaking Programme Officer – Anglophone

Susan is a women’s rights activist who has passionately advocated for gender equality, women and girls’ rights and empowerment, over the past 10 years.She holds a post-graduate diploma in gender equality studies from University of Iceland, a bachelors’ degree

in social work and social administration
from Uganda Christian University, and a certificate in gender statistics from statistics Sweden and SIDA. Prior to joining Urgent Action Fund-Africa (UAF-A),
Susan served as Uganda’s National Mentor/Gender Advisor at the Swedish International Center for Local Democracy (ICLD), where she coordinated projects on
Gender Mainstreaming Local Democracy in Municipal Council structures.

As Program Manager at the National Association of Women’s Organisations in Uganda (NAWOU), Susan drafted a gender statistics publication for Uganda,
to be used as a national tool for evidence-based advocacy, in addition to a gender barometer for advocacy to East Africa’s heads of state.
Her program management competence has also been acknowledged, earning her the role of Uganda’s Ambassador to UN Women Singapore for her work
empowering rural women with economic skills for self-sustenance.

Susan has also worked as Head of Department – Gender and Economic Policy at Action for Development (ACFODE), she also served as Program Officer with
Isis-Women’s International Cross-Cultural Exchange (Isis-WICCE). While at Isis-WICCE, Susan coordinated the women’s task force which advocated for women’s
specific needs to take priority in the National Peace Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) for war affected Northern Uganda.

Through consolidated advocacy for gender responsive policies, research and documentation, capacity building, coalition building, mobilisation and sensitisation,
Susan has worked to empower women and influence legislation and policy for gender equality in Uganda and across the globe. Susan enjoys jogging, travelling and singing.

Nyasha Chibanda
Nyasha Chibanda

Office Assistant

Nyasha is a Zimbabwean national. She works as the hygienist, hospitality, staff and office orderly assistant in the Zimbabwe office where she runs the day to day office errands.She is highly motivated and is excited to learn and grow with the Fund.

She is a women’s human rights activist, and strong advocate for social and economic justice.
During her spare time, she loves going to church and enjoys morning jogs.
Rosettee Nayanjo
Rosettee Nayanjo

Learning, Monitoring & Evaluation Associate

Rosette is a Ugandan national, passionate about women’s human rights with a focus on the adolescent girls and young women. She has experience in Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning and holds a Masters Degree in Monitoring and

Evaluation from Uganda Management institute.

Her thesis focused on data utilisation for decision making in non-governmental organisations. Prior to joining UAF-Africa, Rosette worked as an M&E Specialist
for various donor funded programs including USAID and DFID. She has experience in setting up M&E systems, Performance based financing for grantees, capacity building,
and reporting writing among others.

Edmond Mugisha
Edmond Mugisha

Grantmaking Programmes Associate – Francophone

Edmond is a Burundian national. Prior to officially joining Urgent Action Fund-Africa in January 2016, Edmond had been working intermittently at the Fund in various capacities since May 2010 under the Grantmaking Programme. Edmond is instrumental in facilitating

Edmond is instrumental in facilitating the Fund’s translation of English materials to French and vice versa and this enables the Fund reach out to Francophone grantees, advisors and partners and thus support the advancement
of women’s human rights across the continent. He plays a major role in organising UAF-Africa’s conferences in Francophone countries. His work experience at UAF-Africa has grounded his global perspective and developed his interest
and awareness on different cultural, political, social and economic contexts.

His self-motivated spirit has made him set a target of speaking ten languages. Edmond is now fluent in French, English, Korean, Swahili, Kirundi, and Kinyarwanda and is currently learning Deutsch. He has enriched his language and
translation skills by providing interpretation and translation services to various organisations including Fahamu, New Mark Group, and Elloca. Edmond holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Integrated Community Development from Daystar
University-Kenya and a certificate of Korean Language efficiency from Kosin University-South Korea.

In his spare time, Edmond enjoys reading novels, jogging, watching detective and spy movies, making new friends, and of course learning new languages!

Jean Kemitare
Jean Kemitare

Programmes Director

Jean is a Ugandan national, a passionate African feminist with over 15 years’ experience in the development sector in women’s rights programming. She has expertise and experience on gender equality & women’s empowerment with a focus

on prevention and response to violence against women across the Sub-Saharan Africa context including program strategy development, capacity building for NGOs, advocacy and research.

Jean has been a practitioner at senior management level over the past 8 years leading strategy development for the regional GBV Prevention Network at Raising Voices from information
sharing to a comprehensive feminist movement building programme. Over the years this work has contributed to a rapid increase, interest and investment in addressing violence against
women within the region and building a critical mass of GBV prevention network membership. She initiated a range of partnerships with regional feminist networks like FEMNET, INGOs
like the IRC, Sexual Violence Research Center, UN Agencies, including UN Women in Uganda and at regional level and coordinated collaborations with feminist movement building
organisations like Just Associates (South East Asia) and Intercambios Allianz (Latin America). She has served in advisory capacity on committees like the African Integrated
Response initiated by the Stephen Lewis Foundation and hosted by African Women’s Development Fund.

She believes in agency of African women to not only innovate solutions of pertinent issues affecting their lives but also generate knowledge for a global audience.
Jean is co-author of among other publications, Get Moving! curriculum a feminist organization transformation tool for addressing GBV and led a its adaptation to address sexual harassment,
exploitation and abuse in humanitarian settings in partnership with the IRC. Previously her work revolved around chronic poverty research, policy advocacy, and community-based HIV awareness and response.

She was instrumental in civil society advocacy for a social protection policy in Uganda. Jean completed a Masters Degree in Social Sector Planning and Management and Bachelor’s Degree in
Social Work and Social Administration from Makerere University Kampala Uganda.

Joyce Kabene
Joyce Kabene

Finance Associate

Joyce Kabene is a CPA and a Bachelor of Commerce graduate from Kenyatta University with over four years working experience in finance and grants management handling analysis of financial systems, donor and management reporting payroll management and

other pertinent finance related tasks. Prior to joining UAF-Africa, Joyce served both as a Finance Associate and a Finance Assistant at UHAI EASHRI where she assisted in the day to day financial management of UHAI and its hosted organisations.

Joyce was also a member of the Secretariat Grant proposals. Before joining UHAI EASHRI, Joyce served as a Finance and Grants Management Assistant at Akiba Uhaki Foundation, where she worked for 3 years. Joyce is currently learning French at Alliance Français. Joyce likes swimming and looks forward to an amazing time in UAF-Africa.

Joanne Mahinda
Joanne Mahinda

ICT & Database Associate

Joanne Mahinda is a Kenyan national. Before joining UAF-Africa, she worked for International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) providing technical support, diagnosing and resolving hardware and software incidents.She has a vast experience providing support for users of different software applications. Joanne also worked for the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) where she offered administrative support to system users where she served as the first point of contact for service providers, suppliers, partners, and visitors.

Joanne holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from The Catholic University of Eastern Africa. She has more than five years’ experience in ICT customer support,
the configuration of applications, infrastructure management, and information technology service management. She also has a professional certificate in Cisco Certified
Networks Associate (CCNA), Business intelligence and Data analytics Foundation. She is currently pursuing a Postgraduate Diploma in Information Security and Ethical Hacking.

In her spare time, Joanne enjoys reading, jogging and providing life and career mentorship to young women.

Pamela Mudhune
Pamela Mudhune

Director of Finance & Operations

Pamela is a qualified accountant with several years of experience in financial management, implementation of internal controls and financial reporting. She has been with the Fund since 2004 and heads the Finance and Administrative roles of UAF-Africa.

Her prior work experience includes working as a Financial Accountant at General Motors Ltd where she was exposed to various financial management roles within the Finance Department.She was awarded a Masters in Accounting from the Bowling Green State University, USA and earned her Bachelor of Commerce degree from Kenyatta University, Kenya. She is also a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya –ICPAK, and has undertaken short courses in audit, taxation and resource mobilization. Pamela serves on the Kenya Advisory Board of Global Education Fund.

Roseline Kamdem
Roseline Kamdem

Grantmaking Programme Officer – Francophone

Roseline has over 13 years of experience working on various projects to support women and girls empowerment at the grassroots level. She is passionate about the empowerment of women and the education of children. She worked in Cameroon as Finance Manager

for a local NGO for 6 years and for a Swiss NGO for 10 years as Programmes & Finance Manager.

She volunteered as Advisor for the Young Feminist Fund (FRIDA) for 4 years and worked as a Transformation Support Consultant for the same organization.
She cofounded a youth female led organization working to improve girls and women’s rights in rural remote areas of Cameroon. She designed and implemented educational,
income generating, micro credit and environmental activities for women in Cameroon.

During her stay with FRIDA, she had the opportunity to work with various young feminist groups grantee partners for FRIDA in Sub Saharan Africa, assisting them in
capacity development, communication and conducting outreach. She facilitated FRIDA’s annual participatory grant making processes by screening applications,
reviewing final results, and supporting due diligence.

Roseline is fluent in French and English. She holds a master’s degree in commerce and Distribution from the Catholic University of Central Africa in Cameroon.

Roseline is very excited to be part of the team at UAF – Africa. She looks forward to engaging with women’s rights activists and organisations, especially those
from Francophone Africa with whom she hopes to learn and collaborate to advance the rights of women.

Tariro Tandi
Tariro Tandi

Head, Partnerships & Development

Prior to joining UAF-Africa, Tariro lectured in Gender, HIV&AIDS and the Law at Great Zimbabwe University. She worked at Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA) as the Transformative Justice Manager as well as at Plan International and Musasa Project

in various coordination and advisory capacities. Her core expertise is in the areas of gender based violence, human rights and the law as it impacts on women. Tariro is a seasoned gender legal researcher and analyst who has spearheaded several cutting edge women-centred partnership initiatives in Zimbabwe and within Africa.

Tariro holds a Master’s degree in Women’s Law (MSWL) attained from Southern and East African Regional Centre for Women’s Law (University of Zimbabwe), a Bachelor of Laws Honours Degree (LLBS) from the University of Zimbabwe and an Executive Certificate in Community Development and Humanitarian Project Management.She recently participated in the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) in the US.

In 2015 she was nominated for the Female Youth Human Rights Defender Zimbabwe Award.Tariro enjoys mentoring young women leaders. She is an avid legal and social justice journals reader and a keen blogger who writes about socio-political, legal and gender justice issues. Tariro is a fitness-cum-wellness enthusiast; a runner who has actively participated in the 2 Oceans (56 Km) Marathon in South Africa.

Caroline Kiarie

Grantmaking Programmes Coordinator

Caroline, a Kenyan national, has been with the Fund since 2010. She has a wealth of experience and interest in women’s rights and conflict management.Her strength in critical analysis of women’s priorities and concerns within conflict and post conflict

settings has been of phenomenal importance to the grant making programme. She is committed towards promoting and defending the rights of women and girls across the continent and has been doing so especially through documentation and writing opinion pieces about her experiences interacting with marginalised communities in Kenya and Angola.

Caroline’s enthusiastic engagement with communications has also been of critical essence within the grant making portfolio. In this regard she has advanced the fundamental need to highlight grantees’ experiences through strategic use of multi-media platforms including i-stories in showcasing the impact that women’s work has on the sustainable development of their communities.

Caroline ardently believes in women’s agency and uses her skills in conflict analysis and communication to support and profile the lives and work of African women. She is an expert resource in organizing convenings across the globe. In this regard, Caroline organizes spaces that facilitate regional and nuanced intergenerational knowledge, skills, strategies and tactics exchange. She has facilitated meetings on peace, security and justice and spoken extensively on women’s rights issues at high-level human rights gatherings including during UN organized convenings.

Caroline holds a Master of Arts Degree in International Conflict Management from the University of Nairobi, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Communications and a Diploma in French. She is a member and past director of the Rotaract Club of Nairobi Central.

In her spare time, Caroline enjoys baking, traveling and reading political journals.

Hiwot Tedla
Hiwot Tedla

Learning, Monitoring & Evaluation Officer

Hiwot is an Ethiopian; learning, monitoring, evaluation and accountability professional. Hiwot’s passion for Women’s human rights and feminism is deeply influenced by the strong women in her life. She has a combined experience of working both for

humanitarian and development organisation. She has designed LM&E systems and tools
and managed data intensive programs. Hiwot has spent over 13 years working in learning, monitoring and evaluation with community
level organizations, volunteers and donors.

Prior to joining Urgent Action Fund-Africa (UAF-A), Hiwot served as Monitoring and Evaluation coordinator for Population Services International,
where she coordinated LM &E activities for a multiyear USAID funded Transform WASH Project, implemented in 40 districts all over Ethiopia.
She has also designed the M &E plan, the M &E Scope of work and lead in the operationalization of the M &E system for more than 40 projects
in Ethiopia and Djibouti. Hiwot has expertise in training and capacity building, program monitoring and evaluation. Hiwot while working
for the Danish refugee Council, she spearheaded the development and roll-out of a successful M&E system from scratch.

She holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from Indihar Gandhi National Open university and a bachelor’s degree in Business Management
from university of Gondar.

She is grateful to be a part of the UAF-Africa team and support the work of empowering Women’s human right’s defenders. In her spare time,
she likes reading, cooking and traveling.

Vanessa Luendo Bwale
Vanessa Luendo Bwale

Grantmaking Programme Attaché

Vanessa Luendo Bwale is a Congolese national from DRC and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications graduate from Daystar University Kenya. In Vanessa has worked with NewMark Group as PR account manager. She is currently undertaking…

her Masters Degree in Diplomacy, Development and International Security and is well versed in issues pertaining to women’s rights and development.Through the different countries she’s lived and worked in, Vanessa developed over the years unparalleled abilities in contextual and critical analysis that will support UAF Africa in advancing women’s human rights across Africa.
She previously taught English in India through AIESEC and is fluent in French, English, Kiswahili and is currently learning Spanish. She acquired interpretation and translation skills through her work with Oxfam GB and African Voices. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, cooking, travelling and reading motivational books.

Miriam Wanjira Gichuhi
Miriam Wanjira

Office Assistant

Miriam is a Kenyan national. She works as a hospitality focal person in the Kenyan office where she runs the day to day office care services. She has a keen eye for details and is a very cheerful person. Miriam is passionate about promoting the rights

of vulnerable grassroots women. She volunteers some of her time to local women empowerment initiatives in her community. She appreciates the need to provide support towards women’s human rights. In her free time, Miriam a mother of two children, loves to cook and take care of people around her.

Daphne Jena
Daphne Jena

Partnerships & Development Associate

Daphne is a feminist who is passionate about women’s rights advocacy, with a special focus on Gender Based Violence, child marriages and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR). She has over four years’ experience in feminist

organising and women’s rights advocacy. Her advocacy and activism work
prior to joining UAF-Africa centred on content creation using online alternative media for activism and human rights advocacy,
with Childline Zimbabwe. She has been awarded various fellowships particularly focusing on Sexual Reproductive and Health Rights.

Her experience in strategic communications is evident in the work she has done with various online advocacy platforms including
those focusing on women’s rights, children’s rights and human rights law. Daphne holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in Media and Society Studies
from the Midlands State University (MSU) and a Master of Science in Development studies from Women’s University in Africa.
She also has qualifications in Project Management, Project Monitoring and Evaluation and Public Relations. In her spare time,
Daphne enjoys reading, writing and travelling.