Women Fellow

Lucy Mabhikwa (Zimbabwe)

Lucy Mabhikwa is a development practitioner and gender activist. She holds a Social Science Honours Degree in Development Studies and a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Development Management from the University of Lupane State, Zimbabwe. Lucy has been advocating for the empowerment of the girl child and working towards uplifting the status quo of women, since her tender age.  When she was s high school student, Lucy became a member of the junior parliament of Zimbabwe, contributing to the initiative’s works towards the representation of children in policy dialogue and policy implementation. In 2014 she worked as a graduate intern at the Bulawayo City Council. ln 2017 she became a co-founder of a development organisation called Thalitha Koum Foundation Trust, which is a women and children-oriented initiative that seeks to address societal ills affecting women and children. The rights of women and sustainable development are particularly close to her heart and are set to further influence her work in the future. Lucy’s research interests are gender, community development, inclusive governance and peace building.

Women Fellow

Ya Sally Njie (The Gambia)

Ya Sally Njie is a peace and development practitioner who has spent the past 5 years working with international and regional development organizations including National Democratic Institute, West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP-The Gambia) and International Republican Institute (IRI) on governance, election observation, rule of law, gender justice, legislative and political party strengthening, transitional justice, citizen participation and inclusion. Through her work with the National Democratic Institute, Ya Sally coordinated the first-ever systemic long-term Elections Observation Program in The Gambia and oversaw the systemic observation of key electoral processes to enhance electoral integrity and transparency in The Gambia’s electoral system from August 2020 to August 2022. She also worked with the Women’s Democracy Network to coordinate a program to ensure the inclusion of diverse Gambian women’s positions during the 2018 Constitutional Review Process and has worked on multiple projects in The Gambia including promoting multi-party engagement, political tolerance and pluralism, increasing the capacity of the National Assembly Members to effectively engage in democratic lawmaking, and enhancing fiscal transparency.

Ya Sally holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from the University of The Gambia.  She is currently a Fellow at the African Leadership Centre’s (ALC) Peace, Security and Development Fellowship Programme for African Women. Her research interests revolve around themes relating to Elections, Political Parties, Decolonialism, Intersectional African Feminism, Peace and Security, Governance and Justice. She especially aims to produce scholarly work to bridge the gap between decolonial research and peace and security practices in Africa.

Women Fellow

Thandekile Moyo (Zimbabwe)

Thandekile Moyo is a freelance writer and a human rights defender from Southern Zimbabwe. She uses print, digital and social media (Twitter: @mamoxn) to document historical and contemporary human rights violations, draw attention to injustice, mobilise defence for human rights, and advance civil and political rights in Zimbabwe. She is a social media influencer with more than 104500 Twitter followers. She uses her Twitter page @Mamoxn to debate human rights issues and raise consciousness among Zimbabweans effectively building a much-needed Matabeleland and woman voice on social media, which is often overshadowed by civil society activists from other regions.

 Thandekile has been a leading voice speaking out for victims of the 1983-1987 Gukurahundi Genocide, a dark patch in Zimbabwe’s history which has not been truly unpacked. She boldly advocates for justice for the victims of the genocide. She has been gathering stories from survivors of the Gukurahundi genocide and sharing these stories on her social media as well as the Daily Maverick newspaper. This has helped amplify the voices of the mostly rural-based victims of the genocide and to raise awareness about the plight of victims and the need for Justice for the genocide. Thandekile speaks truth to power and is known for the hashtag #ZanupfMustGo, which has grown into a mantra for many, uniting people across the divide and becoming a hashtag used to express displeasure against the ruling party, Zanu PF and in particular, the authoritarian and repressive system associated with it.  

African Women in Leadership & Peacebuilding

Catherine Charles Modi Vitaliano (South Sudan)

Catherine Charles M. Vitaliano is a graduate of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya.  Trained as a Lawyer, Catherine has been using her expertise to empower young women's participation in shaping the national agenda of South Sudan. She has served as technical support to the Civil Society Representative on Public Finance Management Oversight Committee, offering her expertise to women leaders. Following the signing of the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan in 2018, Catherine was engaged in the legislative reviews and constitutional reform processes of the country. She is also a Co-Founder of the Citizen Taskforce on COVID-19, a platform that brought together South Sudanese and foreign nationals living in South Sudan to help mitigate the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

She is a member of several renowned networks such as the Nobel Women’s initiative-Sister-to-Sister mentorship program, the South Sudan Human Rights Defender Network, the South Sudan women's Coalition for Peace, and the Voluntary Civil Society Taskforce for Implementation of Peace Agreement. Catherine is currently African Leadership Centre`s Women Fellow in Leadership and Peacebuilding. She is passionate about issues of governance, policies, and inter-generation dialogue. Her research interests particularly include Nation-building, Development, Peace, and Security issues.

African Women in Leadership & Peacebuilding

Shannon Leslie Arnold (South Africa)

Shannon Arnold is on the Young African Scholars Fellowship and is reading towards a MSc Global Leadership, Peace and Society at King’s College London. She is a young, aspiring researcher who is interested in international affairs, peace, and security, from African decolonial points of view. She is passionate about critical-feminist and African-feminist perspectives in politics research. Shannon holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Political and International Studies with Distinction, and a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Political and International Studies with Distinction, from Rhodes University, South Africa. Shannon recently completed her Master of Philosophy in African Studies with Distinction, with the Centre for Gender and Africa Studies at the University of the Free State, South Africa. Shannon's study explored the impact of gender-based violence and gender discrimination on the latent conflict potential of Rwanda. The research considered the concept of intersectionality and how it can be used to achieve emancipatory outcomes in gender mainstreaming peacebuilding processes. Shannon sees her academic work as an extension of her own activism. As a coordinator of #TheTotalShutdown (TTS) movement against gender-based violence in South Africa, Shannon was a part of the team that lobbied for and participated in South Africa's first Presidential National GBV Summit held in November 2018. Following the Summit, she acted as a local consultant during the national drafting process for The National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (2020).

Associate Fellow

Momin Saqib (Pakistan)

Currently a Master’s scholar of Global Leadership and Peacebuilding and an Associate Fellow at the African Leadership Centre for the Peace, Security, and Development Programme, Momin Saqib is the co-founder of the Forbes recognised and UN SDGs aligned social enterprise ‘Tayaba Organisation’. Known for its innovative tool - the 'H2O Wheel' - Tayaba has improved accessibility, storage and transportation of water, with a positive socio-economic impact in the lives of vulnerable families in rural Pakistani communities since 2016. Momin was also behind the ‘One Million Meals’ campaign - an emergency response to the COVID-19 crisis in the UK, distributing 100,000+ free nutritious meals and drinks to support NHS and frontline key-workers during the lockdown. The Commonwealth and Points of Light along with Prime Minister Boris Johnson recognised Momin’s outstanding contribution to society with awards in 2021. He was also called upon as an official member of the Adjudication Panel for the Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work 2022. 
As an undergraduate student pursuing a BSc in Computer Science with Management (2019), Momin made history when he became the first non-European to be elected President of the King’s College London Students’ Union (2017-18) and was conferred with an Honorary Life Membership of KCLSU. In 2021, Momin received the ‘In Service’ Award at the King's Distinguished Alumni Awards, honouring his social work over the years. In the capacity of a social activist, influencer and public speaker, Momin became one of the youngest TEDx speakers of Pakistan back in 2019, delivering a talk titled 'How Can Diversity in Perspectives Help Develop Culturally Competent Mindsets?' - revisiting the idea of striving for a more peaceful future and inclusivity in education. Having worked as an Engagement Officer for the King's Vision 2029 strategy, Momin has long been ensuring the involvement of the entire student body to work towards making the world a better place and making the King's community more culturally competent. 

Associate Fellow

Keenan Govender (South Africa)

Keenan is a South African researcher and analyst with a focus on conflict management, peacebuilding, preventative diplomacy, and governance. Keenan is born and raised in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Having completed his secondary education at a leading public all-boys school in South Africa, Westville Boy’s High School, Keenan went on to study towards a Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), graduating in 2019. During his time at UZKN, he participated in the Street Law Programme where he taught Street Law to offenders at the Department of Justice and Correctional Services’, Westville facility over a period of 4 months. Keenan worked as a Programme Officer within the Research Department at The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) from 2020 to 2022, where his focus areas comprised many disciplines but primarily centred around Sudan’s post-2019 revolution democratic transition, as well as South Africa’s Social Cohesion National Action Plan. Keenan had the privilege of working closely with senior officials in both the Government of South Sudan and Sudan, as well as the National Department of Sports, Arts and Culture in South Africa, during this time. Prior to joining ACCORD in 2020, Keenan worked part-time as Project Assistant in Extractive Industries at Team Dynamix, assisting the Chief Executive and his team in developing strategies and implementation plans for a range of mining companies in South Africa and abroad as it relates to their corporate-social sustainability plans, with a particular focus on health, safety, and their Social Labour Plans. Keenan also served as a secretariat member in the Global Peace Secretariat and has assisted technically and substantively on multiple flagship Global Peace activities, working in association with organisations such as the African Union, the United Nations Foundation, UN SDG Action Campaign, JCI International, and other partners. Keenan’s research areas of focus are governance, peace and security, international criminal law, social justice, and African historical perspectives. In 2021, Keenan co-authored a research paper titled, “Leveraging Networked Multilateralism for Effective Peace Support Operations in Africa”, which formed part of ACCORD’s contribution to the United Nations Foundation Challenge Paper and which was referenced as one of the written submissions in the UN Secretary General’s Our Common Agenda Report. 

African Scholar

Ahmed Ibrahim (Somalia)

AHMED IBRAHIM has more than 10 years of experience working with NGO & Research Think-tank’s, INGO, UN agencies and EU missions. Ahmed worked with the European Union Capacity Building mission to Somalia where he supported mission localization and familiarization. He also served as an electoral advisory officer to the UN Mission in Iraq, and as national long-term expert for the education and employment promotion programme of the GIZ/TVET project

Ahmed has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in public administration from Mount Kenya University, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation from Makerere University with professional certification in project management. Ahmed is a candidate of M.Sc. in Global Leadership and Peacebuilding and ALC fellow. He is interested in the areas of Outliers in Peacebuilding.

African Scholar

Mamadou Saliou Diallo (Guinea)

A Statistician by training, Mamadou Saliou has a good understanding of geopolitics issues with years of experience both in international development and in banks. Holding a master’s degree in Data Mining ,he brings experience in evaluation and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data and statistical analysis, including quantifying qualitative information. He is currently a Fellow on the African Leadership Centre’s (ALC) Peace, Security and Development Fellowship Programme for African Scholars in partnership with King’s College London (KCL). His growing interest in Applied Research in development issues led him to use his skills in program impact evaluations, policy analysis during his experience with international humanitarian NGOs and multinational corporations in Morocco, France and in the Netherlands. Saliou aims to pursue his career by doing applied research in the field of security and conflict resolution.

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