Women Fellow 

Asma Haroun (Sudan)

Asma Haroun is an accomplished activist and seasoned development practitioner with more than a decade of experience. Holding a bachelor's degree in water and environmental engineering from Sudan University of Science and Technology in Khartoum, Asma has made significant contributions as a program specialist in various development initiatives throughout Sudan. Her expertise spans critical areas such as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Peace and Conflict Resolution, and Human Rights.

Over the years, Asma has dedicated herself to fortifying civil society by empowering Sudanese youth, women, and other marginalized groups. She has undertaken leadership roles with both local and international organizations in Sudan and the Horn of Africa region, overseeing numerous projects in high-conflict humanitarian zones like Darfur and Kordofan. As a mentor and facilitator in youth peer education, she has spearheaded community-based solutions, particularly in the realms of gender equality and reproductive health.

Her advocacy extends to campaigning for economic, social, and cultural rights through initiatives such as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). As a member of the management board of the inaugural Sudanese women's football team, she champions women's empowerment. As an active participant in Sudanese civil society, Asma collaborates with human rights defenders and revolutionary bodies to support peace and democratic transition in Sudan. Currently, she is a fellow on the African Leadership Centre’s Peace, Security and Development Fellowship Programme for African Women, where she hopes to gain the skills and expertise to further her vision of fortifying Sudan's civil society and continue her role as a leader contributing to the development of her community.

Women Fellow 

Kaltumi Abdulazeez (Nigeria)

Kaltumi Abdulazeez is a prominent humanitarian activist and advocate for women, girls, and marginalized communities. She holds a Masters in Conflict, Security and Development from the Nigerian Defense Academy, Kaduna, Nigeria. As the founder of Ladies Empowerment Goals and Support Initiative (LEGASI), a registered nonprofit organization in Nigeria, she passionately champions gender equality and peacebuilding.

Kaltumi's dedication to her cause has earned her recognition and accolades, including a prestigious state honours award from the Jigawa State Government in 2016 and the title of Community Activist of the Year from the WOF Awards in 2018. Her extensive domestic and international travels have positioned her as a sought-after speaker on women's empowerment and youth-related issues.

Her work harmoniously integrates gender activism and peacebuilding, aligning with the principles of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, which advocates for women's involvement in peace, security, and strategic policy matters. Kaltumi continually hones her leadership skills, completing a certificate course at the African Presidential Leadership Program (APLP) in Cairo, Egypt.

Kaltumi's affiliations include her role as a Nigerian Network of Facilitators (NNF) member, a Generation Change fellow with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), and a Youth Compact Champion with ActionAid International. She is currently a fellow on the African Leadership Centre's (ALC) Peace, Security and Development Fellowship Programme for African Women and also an alumna of the West Africa Women in Peacebuilding program, jointly organized by Rotary International and Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBBI), and a KAICIID International Fellow.

Kaltumi Abdulazeez remains steadfast in her mission to enhance the well-being of Nigerians, particularly at the grassroots level, where access to basic amenities is limited. Her unwavering commitment to positive change is a testament to her remarkable contributions to peace, gender equality, and community development. Learn more about her work at www.legasi.org.



 African Women in Leadership and Peacebuilding

Gorata Chepete (Botswana)

Gorata is a seasoned Criminologist with about five years of professional experience in various fields such as counter-terrorism, intelligence, peacebuilding, community development, public policy and regulatory affairs. She honed her expertise while working at a strategic advisory firm that operated at the intersection of government and industry. In this role, she handled mandates for large corporations, global foundations, and multinational organizations across multiple African countries.

Gorata's impact also extends into advocating for the African Union's (AU) "Silencing the Guns" initiative, where she collaborated closely with the AU's Peace and Security Department during the initiative's year.

Furthermore, Gorata recently completed the Peace, Security and Development Fellowship for African Women at the African Leadership Centre (ALC), where her research focused on understanding mutuality building between leaders and followers of terrorist groups, with a specific focus on Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in Northern Nigeria. Significantly, her contributions were pivotal in the design and implementation of initiatives at NEEM Foundation, an organization recognized for its crisis response capabilities in conflict settings, with a core focus on ensuring the well-being of communities. She is currently on the ALC’s Fellowship Programme for African Women in Leadership and Peacebuilding (degree-awarding). Her research interests include transnational organised crime, terrorism, corruption and governance, policy reform and gender-related issues.

African Women in Leadership and Peacebuilding

Merceline Odhiambo (Kenya)

Merceline is the visionary Founder of Grassroot Women and Politics Community-Based Organization (https://grassrootwomen.org). Her organization is dedicated to empowering and training young widows, those living with HIV/AIDS and with invisible disabilities on Political Awareness, Financial Literacy, Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights and Peace & Conflict Resolution in Ndhiwa, Homa Bay- Kenya. As a fervent Gender Equality Advocate and Women's Political Leadership enthusiast, Merceline brings a wealth of experience and a results-oriented approach to her work. She is deeply committed to advancing gender equality and women's empowerment. Her impressive track record includes spearheading program development and implementation, championing the rights of women and adolescents, and bridging the gap in women’s participation and inclusion in decision-making processes.

Merceline holds a Bachelor of Arts (Double Major) in Political Science & Public Administration and Sociology, with a minor in Peace & Conflict Resolution studies from the University of Nairobi. Currently, she is pursuing an MSc in Global Leadership and Peacebuilding at King’s College London and is on the ALC’s Fellowship Programme for African Women in Leadership and Peacebuilding.

Merceline's dedication to leadership and governance extends to her participation in several esteemed programs, including the Political Leadership & Governance Programme by Freidrich-Ebert Stiftung (FES), Kenya Leadership and Accountability Program by the International Republican Institute (IRI), Capacity Building Program by Sauti Kenya, Aspiring Entrepreneurs Program by Pan-African Women Entrepreneurship Network (PAWEN), Women in Political Participation by Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), Women Gaining Ground by Akili Dada, and Supporting Accountability Mechanisms for Youth Inclusion by the International Republican Institute.

Beyond leading her organization's impactful work, Merceline serves as a board member of Digital Opportunity Trust – Kenya and an active member of the Women Democracy Network. She holds the esteemed title of Homa Bay Global Peace Ambassador under the Global Peace Foundation and appointed Homa Bay Youth Senator.

Associate Fellow

 Ivan Muvunyi, Rwanda

Ivan completed his secondary education at Lycée De Kigali before he moved to the UK for his undergraduate degree in Business enterprise and Entrepreneurship which he attained in 2023 from Oxford Brookes University. During his time at Oxford Brookes, Ivan assumed active leadership roles, including Head of Marketing for the African and Caribbean Society. His contribution was crucial in rebuilding and shaping the ACS following the COVID-19 pandemic, which had impacted the students' experience and expectations. As part of the ACS executive, Ivan created events, initiatives and partnerships that enhanced growth opportunities for students of African and Caribbean descent.

He is currently pursuing an MSc in Leadership and Development at King’s College London. He was inspired to join this program due to his academic background and social engagements, but also because of his background and aspirations for his home country and Africa. Recently, he had the opportunity to join the African Leadership Centre’s Associate Fellowship Programme and is part of the 2023/24 King’s 100 cohort.

Apart from his studies, he occasionally works as a designer, filmmaker, and music producer. If you are lucky, you might even catch him performing as a DJ.

Associate Fellow

Shreya Dharmalingam (South Africa)

Shreya Dharmalingam hails from Johannesburg, South Africa, and recently graduated from the University of Cape Town (UCT). In 2021, she completed her undergraduate with a Bachelor of Social Sciences, majoring in Economics, Politics & Governance, and Business French. Subsequently, in 2022, she accomplished an Honours Degree in International Relations, fuelled by her curiosity about history and its impact on contemporary dynamics.

Shreya's Honours thesis, titled “Does China’s Digital Silk Road Have the Ability to Address African Industrial Development to the Benefit of Sustainable Growth?” ignited her passion for advancing African sustainable development and enhancing Africa's role in the global context. Her thirst for knowledge extends to a diverse range of genres, affording her a mature perspective on global issues.

Beyond her academic achievements, Shreya is deeply committed to effecting positive change in socio-political and economic spheres, particularly in addressing intersectional concerns such as gender and racial inequality. Throughout her academic journey, Shreya balanced her scholastic pursuits with active social engagement. Notably, she contributed as a member of the United Nations (UN) Association at UCT, served as Secretary General of the UCT Wine Society, and participated in the Golden Key Mentorship Programme. Her multifaceted experiences have solidified her reputation as an inspirational leader with exceptional interpersonal skills, capable of motivating peers and collaborators alike.

As she embarks on her MSc in Global Leadership and Peacebuilding at King’s College London and assumes the role of Associate Fellow with the African Leadership Centre, Shreya is poised to continue her impactful and motivational leadership journey, shaping a brighter future for herself and those she works with.

Associate Fellow

Olinda Mabunda (Mozambique)

Olinda Mabunda, a Mozambican native fluent in English, Changana, and Portuguese, pursued her education at Christian Academy in Mozambique before enrolling at Messiah University, Pennsylvania, United States. There, she pursued a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies while minoring in Education and Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL). During her studies, she also served as an office and Teacher's Assistant in the Peace and Conflict Studies department.

Olinda holds certification as a Human Rights Consultant and served as the Human Rights Awareness Director at Messiah University. In this capacity, she fostered vital partnerships with community organizations, professors, and stakeholders to advocate for human rights and social justice.

In 2022, Olinda worked in the United States as a Neighborhood Revitalization Coordinator at Tri-County Community Action. Her role involved identifying areas for community revitalization, actively engaging with residents, business owners, and stakeholders to address their concerns. She developed a comprehensive revitalization plan encompassing economic development, housing improvement, public safety, and transportation, collaborating with local government and nonprofits to secure resources.

Olinda also continued her involvement in peace and conflict resolution, working as a Legal Assistant at the Instituto do Patrocínio e Assistência Jurídica (IPAJ) in Mozambique. In this role, she analysed and led mediation sessions for various conflict cases, including work, civil, and criminal matters. Her dedication extended to providing legal and judicial assistance to citizens and organizing workshops in underserved communities, contributing to human rights awareness and sustainable peacebuilding in Mozambique. She is currently pursuing her MSc in Global Leadership and Peacebuilding at King’s College and is an Associate Fellow with the African Leadership Centre.

Contact us

Nairobi Office:
Jacaranda Avenue, P.O. BOX 25742, 00603, Nairobi
Phone :+254 714 874 578
Email: info@africanleadershipcentre.org

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Phone: +44 (0) 207 848 1984/8645
Email: alc@kcl.ac.uk

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