The council consists of 17 women leaders under the age of 40. Council members are experts in various fields including academia, social movements, civil society, philanthropy, public administration, private sector, entertainment and multilateral institutions. The group advocates for the Africa Young Women Beijing+25 Manifesto and the implementation of the commitments towards the Decade of Action and the Africa We Want.
Aya Chebbi is a multi award-winning Pan-African feminist. She served as the first ever African Union Special Envoy on Youth and the youngest diplomat at the African Union Commission Chairperson’s Cabinet. Prior to this role, she rose to prominence as a voice for democracy and a political activist during 2010/2011 Tunisia’s Revolution.
Over the span of the past decade, she has single-handedly transformed the youth participation space across Africa and created various online and offline platforms with a holistic focus on youth and women leadership. From running an award-winning blog Proudly Tunisian and a popular Mentorship Programme Y-PHEM to building Afrika Youth Movement, one of Africa’s largest pan-African youth-led movements and Afresist, a think tank documenting youth work in Africa.
She served on the Board of Directors of CIVICUS, World Refugee Council, Oxfam Independent Commission on Sexual Misconduct, Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response among others. She is graduate of University of Tunis El Manar with Bachelor in International Relations, Fulbright scholar at Georgia Southern University and Mo Ibrahim Foundation Scholar for her Masters in African Politics at SOAS, University of London. She received the 2019 Gates Foundation Campaign Award and was named in Forbes’ Africa’s 50 Most Powerful Women.
Creator of FGM Economics
Aissata M.B. Camara is a professional with over a decade of program development and management, strategic planning, operations, and relationship building experience in nonprofit, local government, and private sector. As a survivor of domestic and gender-based violence, she uses human-centered design techniques to ensure inclusion, equity, and sustainability in organizations and communities.
While working in leadership and management positions, she developed and implemented successful programs that impacted the lives of more than 35,000 individuals, mainly women, and youth, living in extreme poverty. Her advocacy has also reached more than 10 million people. Aissata is the Co-Founder of There Is No Limit Foundation, an international nonprofit organization focused on serving people living in extreme poverty, especially women, girls, and people with disabilities. She graduated from Bernard M. Baruch College (CUNY) with a B.A. in International Relations and Social Policy. She went on to earn a M.P.A. in International Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy at the New York University (NYU) Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
She has received numerous awards and recognition including the Jo Ivey Boufford Award for Innovative Solutions to Public Service Challenges and being named a 2019 Changemaker by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Bogolo J. Kenewendo
Economist & Former Minister
Bogolo J. Kenewendo
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
Deputy Minister of Info, Comms & Tech
Honourable Emma Inamutila Theofelus is a young, 24-year-old Namibian born in Windhoek, Namibia and is currently a Member of Parliament and the Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in the Republic of Namibia. Before her appointment, Honourable Emma was always policy adjacent and was a Youth Activist around issues of gender, children’s rights, sustainable development and youth unemployment.
She served as the Deputy Speaker of the Youth Parliament of the Republic of Namibia and the Junior Mayor of the City of Windhoek amongst other roles.Emma holds an LLB Honours Degree from the University of Namibia, a diploma in Business Management from Amity University and a diploma in Afrikan Feminism and Gender Studies from the University of South Africa.
In her new role, Emma plans to better communicate the activities and programs of the Government of the Republic of Namibia and assist in preparing the Namibian nation for the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Poet, Activist and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador
Emtithal (Emi) Mahmoud is a two time World Champion Poet, Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR— the UN Refugee Agency, and was named one of BBC’s 100 Most Inspirational Women. Emi co-founded a Sickle Cell research initiative at age 19l.
She has since worked with President Obama, the Dalai Lama, Forbes 30 Under 30. Emi has given multiple presentations at the United Nations General Assembly, The World Economic Forum, Google Zeitgeist, and various high-level events. In 2017, Emi created and hosted the first fully inclusive civilian peace talks and roundtables across her native Sudan; She then, in 2018, as founder of the One Girl Walk and Dreams for Peace Initiatives, walked 1000km for peace in 30 days, mobilizing thousands of people along the way.
In the final stages of the 2020 Darfur peace agreement, Emi acted as an independent advisor on civilian inclusion and citizenship representation, putting forth unprecedented recommendations for civil liberties, gender equality, education, refugee rights, inclusion, diversity, and the rights of all vulnerable populations across the country.
Emi, author of Sisters’ Entrance, was featured among Harper’s Bazaar’s New Changemakers of 2020 alongside several other groundbreaking artists, leaders, and entrepreneurs. Emi graduated from Yale in 2016.
Libyan Peace Activist
Hajer Sharief is a Libyan peace and human rights activist. She co-leads the work of the Together We Build It (TWBI) organization in Libya. In 2011 and at the age of 19, Hajer co-founded TWBI to build peace in Libya and promote human rights.
Hajer is one of UN Women’s 12 Champions on Women, Peace and Security and Human Rights. She is a member of the Extremely Together young leaders, an initiative by Kofi Annan and the Kofi Annan Foundation. In 2020, Forbes named Sharief as one of Africa’s Most 50 Powerful Women. And she was listed by Avanec media among the 100 Most Influential African Women for 2020.
In 2017, Hajer Sharief was awarded the Student Peace Prize from Isfit.
Minister of Women, Children and Youth
H.E Ms. Filsan Abdullahi is the Minister of Women, Children and Youth in Ethiopia. She was appointed on March 12, 2020 at the age of 29 making her the youngest person to hold a cabinet position in the country. H.E Ms. Filsan Abdullahi is from the Somali Regional State and before becoming a minister, she established Nabad TV, a satellite Television Station broadcasting in Somali.
She is the first woman to both establish and head a TV station in Ethiopia. Nabad which translates to peace in her native Somali language is also the name of a project she started which focused on promoting peace and solidarity between Somali and Oromo ethnic groups. She mobilized youth from both communities to create dialogue and consensus which led to her appointment as a Goodwill Ambassador for Peace.
Before moving to Ethiopia and starting in Nabad, H.E Ms Filsan worked as a speech and language therapist for children with autism in England. She holds a Masters in psychology from the University of Hertfordshire.
Nobel Peace Prize Nominee
Jaha Dukureh was born in Gambia is the founder and CEO of non-profit organization Safe Hands for Girls and contributed to President Obama’s administration investigating the profile of FGM in the USA and the subsequent Summit to End FGM at the United States Institute of Peace.
Alongside women’s organizations and civil society, Ms. Dukureh also contributed to the Gambian Government announcing a ban on FGM through youth mobilization and campaigning in Gambia. She has been the subject of a 2017 feature documentary, “Jaha’s Promise,” which details her life and work to end FGM.
Ms. Dukureh was named to the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world in 2016, and one of the 100 most influential Africans of 2017, by New African magazine for her work as an activist. She was also honoured with the “Human rights activist, Humanitarian of the Year” at the seventh annual African Diaspora Awards in 2017. In 2018, she has been named as one of the top 100 gender global policy influencers by Apolitical, and was a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018.
Martine Kessy Ekomo Soignet
Kessy Martine EKOMO-SOIGNET has 10 years of experience in the field of development and research on issues of peace and security and more specifically on youth and civil society in the Central African Republic.
She is a community leader and founder of the national NGO URU, which
works for the effective participation of young people in the peace and recovery process in the Central African Republic. The organization now covers 14 of the country's 16 prefectures.
In 2015, she was a member of the civil society expert group that helped update the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture (PBA), sponsored by the Security Council. In 2016, she was appointed by
the Secretary-General of the United Nations (Ban Ki-moon) as an expert on the Study on Youth, Peace and Security Agenda, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2250 (Youth, Peace and Security). She has since been a member of the Global Coalition on Youth, Peace and Security. She briefed, in plenary session, the Security Council on the urgency of strengthening efforts to help young people contribute effectively to the resolution and prevention of conflicts around the world.
On a global level, Kessy contributes to various journals and research dealing primarily with issues of youth, peace, security, and development.
Natasha Wang Mwansa
Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights Activist and Advocate
Natasha Wang Mwansa
Natasha is a 19 year old, passionate advocate about using the media to empower young people. She is a junior reporter, child and women’s rights activist at the Media Network on Child Rights and Development. Additionally, she also is the Social Accountability Monitor at Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Dissemination Service.
Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi
Gender Equality Advocate
Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi
Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi is a gender equality advocate and Sexual and Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response Expert with seven (7) years experience developing and implementing innovative strategies and programs.
In recognition of her incredible work in advancing gender equality in Nigeria, she was awarded the first-ever 2020 Global Citizen Prize for Nigeria’s Hero, was recognised as the United Nations as a Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Commonwealth Young Person for the Year 2019 and in the same year named as one of TIME’s 100 NEXT.
Through the years, Oluwaseun Ayodeji has dedicated her work towards fostering systemic change by teaching consent education, providing capacity building support on sexual violence prevention and intervention to governmental institutions as well as supporting policy advocacy to enjoin the Nigerian Government for the passage of gender-centred Laws such as the Violence against Persons Prohibition Bill (VAPP), the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill and the Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Institution Prohibition Bill.
To push for the passage of the Sexual Harassment Bill, she partnered with the BBC to carryout the #SexforGrades documentary; an undercover investigation into sexual harassment cases in Nigerian tertiary institutions. Through this effort, the Bill was relaunched in the National Assembly and passed second reading.
Human Rights Defender and Feminist writer
Rosebell Kagumire is a feminist writer, political analyst, communication specialist and activist from Uganda. She is the curator and editor of African Feminism.com, an online writing platform that brings together feminist writers and activists across Africa.
She is the co-editor of a book: Challenging Patriarchy: The Role of Patriarchy in the Roll-back of Democracy in the East and the Horn of Africa and published Young Ugandan Feminists Voices in Youth in Africa: Agents of Change. Rosebell was honored with the Anna Guèye 2018 award for her contribution to digital democracy, justice and equality on the African continent by AfricTivistes ,a network of African activists for democracy. She has worked as Social Media Manager at the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The World Economic Forum recognized Rosebell as one of the Young Global Leaders under 40. She holds an MA in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies from the United Nations-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. Rosebell has done short term studies in Global Leadership and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Nonviolent Conflict at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. Her undergraduate degree is in Mass Communication from Makerere University in Uganda.
Rose Wachuka Macharia, MBS
Advocate of the High Court of Kenya
Rose Wachuka Macharia
Rose Wachuka Macharia is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya whose deepest professional and life-purpose is to protect the human dignity of all persons. She holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree, Moi University, Kenya, (2009), Post-Graduate Diploma, Kenya School of Law (2010), and Master of Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford (2016) as Chevening Scholar.
Rose works at the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage as the Chief of Staff and Advisor to the Minister on Policy Affairs. She has previously worked in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education and was also the youngest member of the inaugural Supreme Court of Kenya where she worked as Law Clerk to the Court contributing to Kenya’s ground-breaking and indigenous constitutional and electoral jurisprudence.
She is a Board Member of the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya driving vital anti-doping policy and practice in Kenya. Rose served on the Advisory Board of the Afrika Youth Movement, the largest youth-led movement in Africa. She was the representative for Africa on the Global Young Greens Steering Committee. She holds the prestigious Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (M.B.S.) Award, bestowed by H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Climate Justice Advocate
Vanessa Nakate, 24, is a climate activist from Uganda and founder of the Africa-based Rise Up Movement. She began striking for the climate in her home town of Kampala in January 2019, after witnessing droughts and flooding devastating communities in Uganda.
She now campaigns internationally to highlight the impacts of climate change already playing out in Africa, as well as promoting key climate solutions such as educating girls. In 2020, Vanessa was named a UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as being listed one of the BBC’s 100 Women of the year and the 100 most influential young Africans.
Writer & Broadcaster
Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a Sudanese-Australian writer, engineer and award-winning social advocate. Yassmin trained as a mechanical engineer and worked on oil and gas rigs around Australia for years before becoming a writer and broadcaster in 2016.
She published her debut memoir, Yassmin’s Story, with Penguin Random House at age 24, and followed up with her first fiction book for younger readers, You Must Be Layla, in 2019. Yassmin’s critically acclaimed essays have been published in numerous anthologies, including the Griffith Review, the best-selling It’s Not About The Burqa and The New Daughters of Africa. Yassmin founded her first organisation, Youth Without Borders, at the age of 16, leading it for nine years.
Since, Yassmin has co-founded two other organisations and now shares her learnings through keynotes and workshops. Yassmin has spoken in over 20 countries on unconscious bias and inclusive leadership. Her TED talk, What does my headscarf mean to you, has been viewed over two million times and was one of TED’s top 10 ideas of 2015.
Yasmine is the founder of We Belong, a platform and podcast that amplifies the voice of the New Daughters of Europe. She is also an advocate for Social and Gender Justice in Europe and she was recognised Young European of the Year 2019 by the Schwarzkopf Foundation and EDD Young Leader by the European Commission.
Committed to fostering gender equality, she built her expertise in promoting diversity and inclusion strategies in both private and public sectors and she has served as a member of the Gender Innovation Agora at UN Women.
She was also appointed as expert on Peace & Security for the European Union and the African Union, where she drafted a proposal in tracking basic services in fragile contexts to feed into peace processes, currently under implementation in the Lake Chad Basin Region.
Miss Universe 2019
Zozibini is a South African model and beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss Universe 2019. Zozi had previously been crowned Miss South Africa 2019. Prior to that, Zozi worked as a graduate internet in the public relations department of Ogilvy Cape Town.
More council members to be confirmed soon.