MEET THE TEAM

Connie Nawaigo

Connie Nawaigo- Zhuwarara
Strategic Programmes Manager

Connie is a Ugandan national. Prior to joining UAF-Africa, she worked at Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights as the Project Manager for Institutional Reform and Accountability programme. Before that she was the Programmes Manager for the Human Rights Training and Public Education at the same organisation.

Over the years she has amassed considerable working experience in human rights and women’s law specifically legal advice, lobbying & advocacy and research. Her area of specialty include women’s law, governance and democracy, business and human rights, legal based human rights education and natural resources law. She also has a keen interest in changing the status quo especially with regard to the challenges faced by women in the criminal and transitional justice system and how key reform, of rule of law institutions can make sure that the rights of women are protected.

Connie obtained her LLM – Masters in Women’s Law from the University of Zimbabwe and her LLB- Bachelor of Laws from Makerere University, Uganda. She is deeply invested in various community development initiatives where she is a strong advocate for the development and enhancement of women’s social entrepreneurship with the aim of improving women’s rural livelihoods. She enjoys having conversations with thought leaders especially on issues that focus on the emancipation of Africa.

Edmond Mugisha

Edmond Mugisha
Francophone Assistant Grantmaking Officer

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 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 organizing 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!

Caroline Kiarie: Grantmaking Programme Officer

Caroline Kiarie
Grantmaking Programmes Officer

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. Caroline’s 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 marginalized 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.

Shinaz Rehema

Shinaz Rehema Ali
Anglophone Assistant Grantmaking Officer

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. Shinaz possesses 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.

Nokuthaba Mathema

Nokuthaba Hazel MathemaCommunications Attaché

She is a Zimbabwean national. Prior to joining UAF-Africa, Noku worked as a freelance journalist and public health blogger. She is a growing journalist with 3 years’ experience advocating for social justice using creative writing, social media, community radio broadcasting and oral edutainment.

Noku’s passion lies in human rights advocacy and documentation on sexual and reproductive health rights and on the intersectionality of HIV&AIDS, women’s rights, religion and culture.She has written extensively on these topics for herzimbabwe.co.zw and wazaonline.com and her blog (mdg4life.blogspot.com) entitled IMPACT.

Noku has volunteered for youth organisations; Youth Press Bureau and Youth Engage – a voluntary membership network for young people focused on mitigating HIV& AIDS Stigma, Shame, Denial, Discrimination, Inaction, Misaction (SSDDIM). In 2015, she blogged and wrote for the daily ICASA Bulletin, for HIVOS. Furthermore, Noku is a co-founder member of weblogzim.com, an online platform for feminist bloggers in Bulawayo. She was awarded Best female freelance journalist in Zimbabwe by Her Zimbabwe for her online activism on HIV&AIDS and sexual rights. Noku is affiliated to the Zimbabwe Feminist Forum, Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe and Young African Women in Leadership. She had a stint at The Chronicle newspaper. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Journalism and Media Studies from The National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe.

She enjoys travelling, networking, playing chess and basketball.

Ndana Bofu

Ndana Bofu-Tawamba
CEO & Executive Director

She is a proud African citizen and Zimbabwean national. Ndana brings to the women’s movement, a sophisticated appreciation of the global philanthropy architecture, multi-facetted narratives of women’s leadership successes and struggles and a lived reality characterised by gender injustice, grit, hard work and remarkable achievement.

Prior to joining UAF-Africa, Ndana was in charge of the UN Women office in Zimbabwe, where she led the execution of multi-million dollar funded EC, DFID and DANIDA Gender Support Program. She has lectured at the Women’s University in Africa, been invited as guest lecturer and speaker at several institutions to speak about African Women’s Leadership, New Frontiers of Philanthropy, the nexus of HIV & AIDS, Ebola, Gender and Conflict; Psychology of Women as an intellectual discipline as well as on Women, Peace, Security and Justice.

Ndana is an Executive Education on Leadership alumnus of INSEAD Business School, Fontainebleau, France and Singapore. She earned her Master’s degree in Women’s Studies from Lancaster University, UK; Bachelor of Science Honors degree in Social Psychology from University of Zimbabwe and a diploma in Personnel Management. Ndana sits on the Board of the International Network of Women’s Funds, Mexico. Her work with UAF-Africa, the Global women’s movement, the UN, academia and regional consultancy assignments has meant extensive travels across Africa and the globe, thereby allowing her to combine her commitment to social justice with an opportunity to further explore women and girl’s realities throughout the world.

In her spare time, Ndana enjoys trying out different cuisines, dancing, and keeping up to date on international politics.

Nancy Chitiza

Nancy Chitiza
Human Resources Manager/Executive Assistant

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 BA in Sociology and Economics from Africa University, Zimbabwe. She is currently completing her MBA at University of Zimbabwe. Nancy loves the field of Human Resources Administration and Management and is very excited about the endless possibilities at UAF-Africa. Nancy works from Harare, Zimbabwe.

Masa Amir

Masa Amir
Learning & Innovations Programme Officer

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) Program. 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!

Pamela Mudhune

Pamela Mudhune
Business Manager

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.

Grâce Muhoza

Grâce MuhozaGrant making Attaché

Grâce is a Rwandan National. She has worked with various community-based organisations across East Africa including the Rwandan Girl Guide Association, an NGO working to end violence against women and girls.

She has also worked as a translator providing services in English, French, Kinyarwanda and Kiswahili to several organisations in Kenya.

As a vibrant, charismatic leader, she has held many leadership positions including the Commissioner of the Youth Girl Guide Association, as the outgoing President of the Rwanda Student Association in Kenya and Secretary/Treasurer of Ibuka in Kenya. Grâce graduated from Daystar University in with a Degree in Integrated Community Development where she is currently pursuing a Master of Arts Degree in Child and Youth Development. She is passionate about the relationships between the youth and the role the family plays in moulding the youth to become better leaders.

In her spare time, Grâce enjoys watching thought-provoking movies, reading novels, cooking, listening to music, visiting new places, and most of all, networking and making new friends.

Miriam

Miriam Wanjira GichuhiOffice Assistant

Miriam is a Kenyan national. She who works as a hospitality point person in the Kenyan office where she runs the day to day office errands. She has a keen eye for detail and is eager to grow with the organisation. 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.