Editors

Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Karim Ajania

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Karim grew up in Kenya and holds graduate degrees from Harvard and MIT.

Managing Editor

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Rutendo Urenje

Rutendo is Managing Editor of African Peace Journal and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

She is originally from Harare, Zimbabwe and is recently completed a Masters degree in International Human Rights Law at Lund University, Sweden. Prior to this, Rutendo spent five years at Rhodes University, South Africa, studying for a Social Sciences and a Law degree. During her studies she worked for the Rhodes University’s Community Engagement office as a student liaison officer.

In her own words:

I earnestly have a passion to serve people, especially children who may not have developed the capacities to help themselves.”

In Sweden, she actively volunteered at Save the Children Gotland and Save the Children Lund and was a project leader for the Kids in Transit Project in Lund. She is fluent in both English and Shona and has a working knowledge of French, Afrikaans and Ndebele.

To read Rutendo’s blog on Rutendo’s Corner at the African Peace Journal, kindly click here.

Executive Editor

Muyambi Muyambi

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Muyambi is an engineer at Clark Construction in the Civil division. Notably his first project was the $1.2B Dulles Corridor Metrorail project (Silver line), which Clark bid for and won in 2013. Muyambi is passionate about the role of infrastructure in development and is part of the team at Capital Rail Constructors building the Silver Line in Virginia.

In addition, Muyambi is a partnership and branding advisor at The Pearl Dream Inc. – a startup aiming to become Africa’s Disney by connecting African writers and storytellers to a global audience.

Muyambi has also received a personal congratulatory letter from President Obama in 2012 when he graduated from college. Additionally, he is a 2013 National Geographic Travelers of the Year and recipient of the esteemed Burma International award at Bucknell University among other awards.

Muyambi is a native of Uganda and holds a dual degree in Civil Engineering (B.S.E.) and Economics (B.A.) from Bucknell University. Before Bucknell, he attended the last two years of high school in Norway at the Red Cross Nordic United World College.

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Contributing Editors

Véronique de Viguerie

Véronique de Viguerie is a multi-awarded French photographer represented by Reportage by Getty, is based in Paris, France.

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Having completed a Master’s Degree in Law in France, she studied photojournalism in England.

She spent 3 years living and working in Afghanistan. Since 2006, she is been covering stories around the world in Iraq, Somalia, Lebanon, Kashmir, Mexico, Algeria, Guatemala, Pakistan, Niger, Nigeria, Mali and several other countries.

Her work “Afghanistan Insh’Allah” was exhibited in Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan, in Paris and in the Scoop Festival in Angers.

“The Oil War in Nigeria” was exhibited in Bayeux festival for the war correspondents. Her pictures are regularly published in Paris-Match, the New-York Times Magazine, Newsweek,  El Pais, Stern, Der Spiegel, Figaro Magazine, Geo, Marie-Claire, Mail on Sunday, the Guardian, l’Optimum and other publications. Véronique was especially noticed for having photographed the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Pirates in Somalia, the Oil Pirates in Nigeria, the Sicaraias (women killers) in Colombia, and the MNLA in Mali.

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She bravely takes on these challenging assignments and personal projects in some of the most dangerous places on the planet, often working with her French journalist friend and colleague Manon Querouil.

In 2006 she published her first book, “Afghanistan, Regards Croises” and in 2011 “Carnets de Reportage du XXIe siècle”.

In 2012, she was chosen by HBO to be one of the three photographers to be part of the Witness program for her work on the Arrow Boys in South Sudan.

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Véronique de Viguerie and her colleague Manon Querouil Bruneel have just completed a book entitled “Profession: Reporter“.

“Profession: Reporter” will be out on the 20th of August, 2015. To explore the website of Véronique de Viguerie please Click here.

Pascal Bashombana

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Pascal is the Photojournalist/Filmmaker-in-Residence for the African Peace Journal.

Recently, Pascal was in his homeland in Congo documenting the pioneering prototype of the African Peace Journal’s Ubuntu Room.

An Ubuntu Room is a modest room, or an open space, whereby small local communities in countries in Africa that are experiencing conflict, can create a sanctuary to nurture the hope and plan the practical steps toward conflict resolution and a lasting peace.

To view Pascal’s video on the Ubuntu Room potential in the Congo, kindly click here.

Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg

Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg is Director of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD).

AWARD is a career-development program that equips top women agricultural scientists across sub-Saharan Africa to accelerate agricultural gains by strengthening their research and leadership skills.

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Dr. Kamau-Rutenberg is also Founder and past Executive Director of Akili Dada, an award-winning leadership incubator investing in high achieving young women from under-resourced families who are passionate about driving change in their communities.

She has also served as an Assistant Professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco and a lecturer in International Relations at Hekima College, a constituent college of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. Her academic interests center on the politics of philanthropy, gender, Africa, international relations, ethnicity, and democratization, and on the role of technology in social activism. Born in Kenya, she holds a Ph.D. and Masters degrees in Political Science from the University of Minnesota and a BA degree in Politics from Whitman College.

Wanjiru has been honored as a 2012 White House ‘Champion of Change’, named one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by New African Magazine, 2012 Ford Foundation Champions of Democracy, and is a winner of the 2010 United Nations Intercultural Innovation Award.

Libby Hoffman

Libby Hoffman is the founder and President of Catalyst for Peace, a Portland, Maine-based private foundation that mobilizes locally-owned and led peacebuilding and reconciliation in conflict and post-conflict settings, and pioneers in storytelling to share the lessons of this work with the world.

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She co-founded Fambul Tok (Family Talk), which brings victims and perpetrators from the civil war in Sierra Leone together for the first time in village-level, tradition-based ceremonies of truth-telling and forgiveness, reknitting the torn fabric of the community in the process. She produced the award-winning documentary about this work, Fambul Tok, and is lead author of the book of the same name, published by Umbrage, 2011. Libby has been active in peacebuilding for 25 years in a variety of capacities – professor, trainer, facilitator, program director, consultant, and funder.

A former Political Science professor at Principia College, she left academia to focus on the practice of conflict resolution and peacebuilding. She has developed and led conflict resolution training programs in corporate, congregational, educational and community settings. Libby holds an M.A.L.D. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a BA in Political Science from Williams College.

Purity Kagwiria

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Purity is based in Nairobi, Kenya and is the Executive Director of Akili Dada.

A journalist by profession, Purity has worked on the rights of women since 2004.

As an active member of the feminist/women rights movement, she is committed to analyzing the private and personal spaces and developing strategies that lead to the emancipation of women.

Founded in 2005 to address the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions in Africa, Akili Dada is an international organization based in Nairobi and officially registered as a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Kenya.

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The organization focuses their programs around scholars and building networks with other women’s rights organizations both in Kenya and across Africa.

Akili Dada, envisions a world where empowered African women from diverse economic backgrounds are equally represented in leadership roles and decision-making processes in Kenya and across the continent.

Dr. Noerine Kaleeba

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Dr Noerine Kaleeba is a pioneer who has made a significant difference in the lives of people with AIDS and their families not only in Uganda, but also at political and strategic levels throughout the world.  She has remarkable energy and compassion.  She has demonstrated pragmatism and vision, humility and humanity on this difficult journey.

In 1986, she started a support group which blossomed into a pioneer movement to address stigma, restore hope and dignity of people and families living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda. TASO (The AIDS Support Organisation) is now a household name in Uganda. As its founder and first executive director, Noerine developed TASO into a global model of HIV prevention, AIDS care and support.

Noerine was among the small group of people to join Dr Peter Piot in setting up the United Nations joint program on HIV/AIDS, (UNAIDS), and became one of UNAIDS first  staff members in January 1996, based in Geneva. At the beginning of 2006, after 10 years of service as UNAIDS’s partnership and community mobilisation adviser she joined the ranks of retired (but not tired) international civil servants. She then worked as Country Director for a collaborative of four UK-based foundations: The Diana Fund, Comic relief, The Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Children Investments Fund Foundation and led the  development of a holistic program for children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS in Malawi until July 2008. She operates as an independent consultant based in Uganda and serves as a mentor for CDC fellowship program at the Makerere school of public health.

Noerine has been decorated with a Knighthood of the Republic of Italy in June 2009 and is a recipient of several National and international awards (Uganda, Senegal, Norway, Sweden, USA, Belgium, Scotland). She has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from three distinguished universities: Doctor of Humane letters, Nkumba university in Uganda; Doctor of Laws, Dundee university, Scotland ; Doctor of International Relations, Geneva school of diplomacy and International relations, Switzerland.

She has been a governance member of several bodies including the Uganda AIDS commission, the WHO Global Commission on HIV/AIDS; Marie stopes International, is former Chair of ActionAid International. She has written and contributed to numerous publications on HIV/AIDS including an autobiography titled “We Miss You All AIDS in the family”.

She is currently Vice Chair of the Uganda National Health Research Organization, (UNHRO) Board; is a member of Baylor Uganda Board, and Chair of the Action Africa Help Uganda Board.

Molly Burke

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Molly Burke is the Co-Founder and the Executive Director of Bicycles Against Poverty.

Bicycles Against Poverty is a microfinance organization based in East Africa that empowers rural Ugandans to access critical resources using bicycles. Molly is based in Gulu, Uganda. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Sciences and in Political Science from Bucknell University.

Frances Uku

Frances Uku has a BSc. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from U.C. Berkeley and is a recent graduate of Harvard University’s A.R.T. Institute, from which she received an MFA in Acting. At Harvard, she studied with Jeremy Geidt, who was also Karim’s teacher at Harvard, and is featured in Teacher Thoughts. Frances speaks Yoruba (Niger-Congo language of Africa), Russian, French and English.

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Frances studied at The Moscow Art Theatre School, Atlantic Theater School and The Second City Conservatory in Los Angeles.

Directors with whom Frances has worked recently include: Ethan Hawke, Brett C. Leonard of LAByrinth Theater Company, two-time Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple, Emmy & Golden Globe winner Debbie Allen.

Katy Digovich

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Katy Digovich is an entrepreneur that has spent the previous five years in Southern Africa growing and running a nonprofit that she founded one month after graduating from Princeton University, known as Positive Innovation for the Next Generation or PING.

PING worked on the ground deploying health and education technology and training local unemployed youth to support and maintain their systems. The organization used this method to launch 11 apps in Botswana, Mozambique and South Africa. PING has partnered with Hewlett Packard, Motorola, Clinton Foundation, Center for Disease Control, US-AID and multiple African telecoms.

Christine Lunanga

Christine is the Executive Director of CAMME in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

CAMME was founded with the vision that in the midst of war and disaster, there can be hope. This hope is translated into practicality through protecting, advocating, sheltering, training and educating children, many of whom are vulnerable and some of whom are victims of armed conflict.

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Born in Bukavu, South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo, Christine earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Development and Finance, and after interning at a local organization promoting mother and child health, she became an auditor in a local microfinance organization in Goma.

After two years, she was promoted and became the organization’s deputy director. After growing up in a relatively prosperous family, a series of conflicts and disasters gave her a sense of the reality faced by vulnerable children on a daily basis, and at the age of 22, she, Stewart Lunanga, and Pascal Bashombana were inspired to create CAMME in the Congo. “I understand what suffering means for a child because I have lived it myself,” she says. “Experiencing this made me want to fight to improve the lives of those who haven’t had the same opportunities as I have.”

Christine was selected in July 2011 to represent young Congolese women leaders through the Moremi Initiative’s MILEAD Fellows program.

 

Annabelle Chauncy OAM (Order of Australia Medal)

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Annabelle is the Co-Founding Director of School for Life Foundation (SFLF).

Annabelle is a country girl who grew up on a sheep and cattle farm in Canyonleigh in the Southern Highlands, NSW. She attended small primary and secondary schools then studied at Sydney University.

A visit in 2007 as part of World Youth International Overseas Service Project saw 21 year-old Annabelle spend 3 months in Kenya and Uganda, where she undertook aid work. She returned numerous times and in November 2008 to March 2009 she led a volunteer school building project in Northern Uganda. Her experience led her to found SFLF with David Everett in 2008. Having completed her undergraduate Arts/Law degree, gaining some professional experience and meeting David, she made the decision to invest her legal knowledge in the non-profit sector and specifically SFLF. Annabelle’s passion lies in building relationships, managing events, sponsorships and business development.

School for Life is a not-for-profit organisation focused on making a transformational difference to the communities of emerging countries starting with Uganda through providing access to a quality education. It builds educated, sustainable, productivity and profitable communities starting in Katuuso, which focuses on children and adults who have been denied an education.

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Katuuso Primary and Vocational School provides high quality education to over 220 primary aged students (including a specialised program for children with disabilities), vocational training to more than 100 adults (agriculture, literacy and tailoring), and clean drinking water, electricity, community outreach and medical treatment to the entire community of more than 1000 residents.

School for Life is now expanding, and will begin construction of another Primary and Vocational, as well as a Secondary School in 2015 
to enable more than 1600 students access to high quality education.

Annabelle has successfully led a team of more than 30 people to raise more than two million dollars in five years. Her role includes management of relationships, business development, fundraising and sponsorship, marketing, media and events. In 2012, Annabelle was listed in the Australian Financial Review & Westpac’s Top 100 Women of Influence 2012 and voted Cosmopolitan Magazine’s 2012 Role Model of the Year. Annabelle was a finalist in 2 categories of the NSW Telstra Businesswomen’s Awards 2013 for Business Innovation and Young Businesswoman.

In January, 2015, Annabelle received the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her pioneering work with School for Life Foundation.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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Nobel Peace Prize recipient Desmond Tutu has been a long time supporter of the Editor-in-Chief’s work in African development.

To read more, click here for the interview with the Editor-in-Chief.