CLICK TO READ PROFILES OF 2021 JUDGES
Chief Executive Officer, Shajuls Consulting Ltd and Associate - BSD (Group)
Dr. Julian Rowa boasts of 20+ years’ success leading diverse innovation for high-growth multinational banking and non-profit organizations. His development has seen him evolve from a transactional resource person to a tactical intervener advancing into the strategic space. A Pan-African talent, his stint in Uganda and Rwanda has heightened his multi-faceted approach to problem solving. He facilitated the development of the strategic plan for ESADA (East & Southern Africa Dairy Association) involving 14 countries in Africa, funded and commissioned by the Africa Union (IBAR). Dr. Rowa also developed the strategic plan for Kenya Tea Development Agency Foundation and is a Lecturer at the International Leadership University in the faculty of Leadership.
As a consultant, Dr. Rowa emphasizes self-leadership and is passionate about driving change. He thrives in a state of chaos and subscribes to rapid results. Guided by the dictum “why do we…” and “what if…” saw him featured as the “Personality of the Week” in the Daily Nation Newspaper in May 2021. His expertise is in organizational analysis, strategy development, strategic human resource management, business development, research, development of new business ventures, operational excellence, facilitation, moderation and public speaking. Dr. Julian Rowa is a stickler for operational rigor and business excellence.
He holds a doctorate in Business Administration from University of Liverpool (England) and an MBA in Management from Oxford Brookes University, Oxford.
Executive Director, SIASA PLACE
Nerima Wako-Ojiwa is the Executive Director of Siasa Place, a youth organization dedicated to collaboratively create an environment that enables the youth of Kenya to directly engage with the political mainstream in a meaningful way.
She is a political analyst, and served as the president of the International Student’s Organization, Jacksonville State University. Ms. Nerima is a 2018 Obama Fellow. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Sociology from Jacksonville State University 2010 and her Master’s in Public Administration in 2012. She is a former columnist with The East African. In 2019, she was the keynote speaker at the Mandela Washington Fellowship Regional Convening in Rwanda.
She recently led her team to launch the State of the Youth in Governance in Kenya report 2021. “Change is demanded. The change that we constantly plea for will not appear one day. It comes with persistence, perseverance and unity,” Ms. Nerima Wako-Ojiwa.
Youth Mentor & Life Coach
Mr. Gichuki Francis is a nurturer of young dreams and ambition. He is the Founder of Transforming Young Stars of Africa (TYSA), a non-profit organization in Kenya, committed to facilitating life-changing opportunities at local and global level for young people, their communities and organizations. He is also the Founder of Tabasamu Afrika Hub and has dedicated his life to youth empowerment. Tabasamu Afrika Hub is a social innovation enterprise that trusts, invests and journeys with young people supporting them to design their pathways to prosperity. As a growth mentor, he connects policy to practice in youth and sports for development, laying emphasis on “young people as a resource”.
He has extensive experiences in Africa, Europe, America, Latin America and Asia on youth leadership and development. He is a life-coach facilitator and social innovation management expert. Mr. Gichuki is a Board Member of Streetfootballworld; a Germany based global network of organizations working with young people in the football for good sector. He is also a Consultant Trainer in Positive youth development at International Sports Alliance (ISA); a Dutch based international youth empowering organization. He is the author of “A Gem in the Rift Valley” a journey inspired by passion for sports.
He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Education from Kenyatta University and a postgraduate in Social Innovation Management from Amani Institute. He is a global resource person who combines Development Education Leadership and Team in Action (DELTA). Mr. Gichuki is a change maker who has passionately dedicated his life to youth transformation through youth leadership, mentorship and policy dialogues.
Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing, Kenya Association of Manufacturers
Ms. Sally Kahiu is a Strategic Communications and Brand Development Advisor. She has 13+ years of experience in developing and elevating brands, advocacy communications, stakeholder engagement and knowledge management.
She currently works as the Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing at Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) where she contributes intellectual and technical expertise to the strategic and operational development of the Association, informing its fundamental policy advocacy mandate. She serves as the Lead Coordinator for the Association’s Women In Manufacturing (WIM) Programme and; the sustainability Advisor on USAID’s WASHPaLS Programme, on Menstrual Health Management (MHM) in the Workplace. She is also a key contributor to the Unstereotype Alliance – Kenya Chapter.
She holds a Master of Arts -Global Media and Communications from Coventry University, UK (MA). Sally Kahiu is a proficient researcher and was among 12 researchers, world-wide, recruited under the Andrew Mellon Trust Foundation Scholarship. In 2019, she received the UN-Women Recognition Award for her work in championing women’s empowerment, and in 2020 received East Africa’s Women Leadership Award from World Women Congress and CMO Asia. Ms. Kahiu serves as a Board Member (Treasurer) at EmpServe Kenya – a non-profit focusing on youth empowerment through skills development.
Director – Youth & Adolescents Hub (Global), Amref Health Africa
Ms. Evalin Karijo is a global health specialist and a strong promoter of youth leadership in Africa. She recently won the Top 35 Under 35 2020 award under the Health Services Category for her leadership role in the health sector. Ms. Karijo is currently the Director – Youth & Adolescents Hub (Global) at Amref Health Africa, and has led multiple teams steering impactful health initiatives focusing on women, adolescents and youth. She led Y-ACT Youth in Action at Amref, from inception to becoming one of the most influential youth advocacy movements in Africa. She also oversaw the process of developing Amref Health Africa’s first Global Youth and Adolescent Strategy (2021-2022).
Ms. Karijo currently serves on the Advisory Group of the Civil Society Engagement Mechanism for UHC2030, as the Global South Alternate Representative to the UHC2030 Steering Committee. She has received various recognition, including the Management Africa Magazine (September 2018) ‘Top Woman’ feature for her rise as a young leader in the health sector. She has also served as the Chairperson of the Youth Pre-conference - Africa Health Agenda International Conference 2019 which saw over 400 youth from 23 countries launch the Youth4UHC movement.
Ms. Karijo holds a Masters’ degree in International Public Health (University of Liverpool) and a Global Executive MBA in Health Leadership and Management (USIU-Africa).
Chief Executive Officer, Africa For SDGs
Mr. Joe Bonga is a Pan-Africanist at heart, loaded with the dream to transform Africa through intergenerational mentorship glazed with African solutions for African Problems. He believes that the Africa we Want can only be established by the Africans for the Africans.
Mr. Joe is the Chief Executive Officer of the Africa For SDGs. He is the Founder of Africa for SDGs Fellows Program, which offers a platform to young people across the region to incubate their innovative, implementable, scalable and transferable ideas that meet the urgent challenges facing Africa for localization. He serves as the Regional Director for Africa of ICY Africa that operates in more than 30 countries. As a consultant, Joe's passion is reflected on his emphasis on Good Governance, Leadership and Sustainability.
Mr. Joe Bonga possesses extensive experiences in Africa and beyond. He is a mentor and a life-coach with greater prowess in strategic thinking and programing on community led change plan. With a passion for Sustainable Education, Mr. Joe in partnership with the Kenya Education Management Institute advocates and champions for the implementation of the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) policy and models for learning institutions to be agencies of sustainable development.
Focal Point on Youth & Governance, United Nations Youth Association (Kenya)
Ms. Maureen Chepkoech is a multi-skilled social advocate. She has over 10 years working experience in government and private sector organizations. She serves as the Focal Point on Youth & Governance at the United Nations Youth Association (Kenya Chapter) and the Governmental relations & liaison Consultant at Ada Labs Africa, an Artificial Intelligence Centre of Excellence.
Ms. Chepkoech is an ardent champion for youth economic empowerment and has amplified young people’s voices both at the national and international forums. Her quest to ensure that young people’s voices influence decision-making at the Policy level has seen her tenacious contributions at the High-Level Political Forum, United Nations Climate Summit and the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) as the Kenya Youth Representative. She also supports the African Union through the Special Envoy on Youth. Ms. Chepkoech previously served as an Advisor to Kenya’s Youth Programs Director in the Office of the President where she successfully championed for the designation of the President of Kenya as the Global Champion for the Young peoples’ agenda under Generation Unlimited program.
Ms. Maureen Chepkoech also served as the Focal Point on Youth at the Council of Governors, where she provided a platform for the amplification of youth voices and co-creating solutions for sustainable development. She is a member of the Youth Peace and Security Sector Working Group, a program under the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and a member of Kenya Green Building Society.
Policy, Advocacy & Communications Adviser,Trocaire.
Denis Kioko is a Pan African, social scientist adept in National, Regional and Global Public Policy & Advocacy work with over 12 years of experience. He is a skilled negotiator and passionate human rights advocate with a deep appreciation of the intersection between socio-economic challenges, policy gaps and systems failures. His enormous experience in policy and advocacy has enabled him to be a “knowledge producer” in Policy & Advocacy area by conceptualising and developing an advocacy theory i.e. “Theory of the Will.”
He is currently the Policy, Advocacy & Communication adviser at Trocaire. He brings to new spaces proven capacity to conceptualize and manage issue-based partnerships, provide strategic direction and framing capabilities to institutions and campaigns, and catalyse demand and supply side civic and policy action by key stakeholders.
He holds a degree in Community Resource Management (CRM), Professional Certificate on Strategic Leadership and Management from Kenya Institute of Management (KIM), Political Inclusivity from Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy (ICLD) and is currently pursuing Masters in Public Policy and Administration in Kenyatta University.
Founder and CEO, The Border Hub, Kenya
Mr. Deogratius J. Magero is an Alumni of the YGAP Accelerator program. He is the Founder & CEO at The Border Hub; an award-winning Innovation Hub and Digital Resource Centre enabling young people acquire the Skills, Confidence and Connections they need to prosper in Career, Life and Business. He is also the Co-founder at African Start-Up Campus and the Program & Partnerships Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa on Youth Employment at Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.
With background in Education, Strategy and Business Development, Deogratius is an Entrepreneur, Impact Investor and a seasoned Youth Development Expert experienced in building Innovative Strategies, Programs and Partnerships to enable young people to access opportunities for Education, Work and Business.
Deo is a passionate mentor at YALI East Africa Regional Centre and the Co-Chair at TVET Values & Life Skills (VaLi) Working Group, an alliance of Civil Society actors, NGOs, government
Executive Director and founder,Ujana Afrika
Ms. Lynette Mwende is a passionate social and youth policy practitioner, with over eight years working experience in project management and Education sector-Youth & TVET Policy. In 2014, she was the project lead of Africa Tech Challenge (ATC) under the Ministry of Education- State department of Vocational and Technical Training in Kenya. This was a re-skilling TVET program that saw the participation of youth from Cote D’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia. The annual skills contest trained approximately 1000 youth to get re-skilled and up-skilled. In 2018, she founded Ujana Afrika, a youth serving organization aimed at championing TVET, lobbying for better policy action and increased funding for programs towards youth skills development.
Her interests lie in the role of public policy in shaping the development of economies, specifically in developing countries. She has taken a keen focus on advocating for the socio-economic development of youth through TVET. Her TVET advocacy and championing efforts have been recognized by the Government of Kenya and in 2018, the Ministry of Education appointed her to serve as a member of the Board of Governors at Machakos Technical Institute for the blind. She serves in the Board’s Finance Committee having a special interest in prudent public finance management. She is currently a consultant for the East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP) at the World Bank.
She pursued her undergraduate degree in aeronautical engineering and flight design from the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She was also elected as the President of the Kenyan Students in Beijing Association (KENSAB). She holds a master’s degree in Public Policy and Management from The Strathmore University Business School (SBS).
CHRP(K), MCIPS, MKISM CEO National Youth Council of Kenya
Roy Sasaka Telewa is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Council (NYC) Kenya. The National Youth Council of Kenya is a state corporation domiciled in the Ministry of ICT,Innovation and Youth Affairs. Under his leadership, he has transformed the State Corporation into a vibrant organization that builds & enhances the capacity of Kenyan Youth through strategic consultations, engagements and partnerships.
In 2020, in the midst of Covid-19, he launched the #FursaVsVirus Challenge Campaign which sought tech and non-tech solutions to challenges posed by the novel coronavirus pandemic to provide post Covid-19 economic recovery in Kenya. In 2021, he launched the “Hunters hunt” to help actualize youth’s ideas into viable businesses by providing financial boost. His determination to increase 10% forest cover in Kenya saw the launch of “Greening Kenya with NYC“ initiative.
Mr. Roy Sasaka serves as a Board of Director at the Youth Enterprise Development Fund. He is a graduate of the University of Nairobi with an MBA in Operations Management, a Bachelor of Commerce in Procurement and Supply Chains Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Political Science. He is currently pursuing a PhD with a focus on Operations Optimization from the University of Nairobi. Additionally, he holds full Professional Membership to the Chartered institute of Procurement and Supplies (CIPS-UK), the Kenya Institute of Supplies and Management (KISM) and the Institute of Human Resource Management (IHRM-Kenya).
Founder and CEO, Dana Communications LTD
Ms. Nancy Amunga is the Founder and CEO of Dana Logistics which offers corporate delivery, transportation, clearing and forwarding services for both imports and exports. She was honored at the House of Commons in the UK with the African Achievers Award under the social impact Category. She recently served as an official member of the adjudication panel for the Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development work, 2021 organized by the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Ms. Amunga is an International speaker who has boldly represented issues around women empowerment, trade and emerging technologies in International Forums such as the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) 2020, the World Investment Forum (WIF) and at the UNCTAD 1st African E-commerce week. She has also represented UNCTAD in the World Export Development forum at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to address the issues affecting the youth and young women in trade and the opportunities provided by the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCTA).
Her dedication to youth in business has seen her receive the Dedication and Excellence Certificate from the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KNCCI). She founded The Sprout Agenda and writes in her blog – www.nancyamunga.com - to mentor young people in business. Her mantle, "Live for yourself and you will in vain. Live for others and you will live again." has seen her expand her wings to impact as many youths as possible.
Programmes Coordinator Generation Unlimited Kenya Partnership Secretariat Executive Office of the President
Ms. Susan Kariuki-Mwongera is a social development practitioner with 18 years extensive experience in youth and gender programming in Kenya and across Africa. She has specialized in youth, governance & leadership, economic empowerment, education & training, peace & conflict management, policy work, research, strategic planning, partnership building and institutional strengthening.
Ms. Mwongera serves as the Generation Unlimited Programmes Coordinator at the Executive Office of the President, Policy and Strategy Unit. Generation Unlimited Partnership is a unifying strategic framework that acts as an enabler for strengthening the interconnectedness of education, training, employment and young people by creating and deepening a public-private-youth partnership to catalyze smooth transitions of young people from learning to the world of work. She was a member of the Technical Committee that developed the Kenya Youth Development Policy, 2019.
In 2018, Ms. Mwongera received the NAB Nexus Youth Summit Collaborators Award opened to two or more delegates who attended the NEXUS Australia 2018 Youth Summit and collaborated to create an innovative and sustainable social enterprise or not-for-profit concept that fosters positive social change and impact in the broader Australian community and beyond. Ms. Mwongera holds an MBA - Strategic Management from Kenya Methodist University.
Senior Product Manager Code For Africa/sensors.AFRICA
Mr. Constant Cap is a ‘City Shaper’ who’s passionate about the planning issues facing African Cities. Far from it, he is a researcher, a cyclist, a blogger and a renowned World Rugby Level 3 rugby referee & Educator of over 18 years’ experience both at local and continental level with over 100 first class Kenya Cup matches. Mr. Constant is currently the Senior Product Manager at Code for Africa’s ‘Sensors Africa, a citizen science environmental monitoring program. He is the director and convener at Naipolitans, a ‘think and do’ tank within the urban planning space
Mr. Constant writes about urban planning issues on his blog - africancityplanner.com . He has a deep interest in sustainable and inclusive mobility, urban resilience and people driven urbanism. He is a Graduate Member of the Town and County Planners Association of Kenya and a member of the International Society of Urban and Regional Planners (ISOCARP).
He holds a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Nairobi. Mr. Constant is a member of “Sauti ya Nairobi” a coalition that advocates for participation, accountability and transparency in the physical planning of the City.
National Coordinator, National Taxpayers Association
Ms. Irene Otieno is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and the National Coordinator at the National Taxpayers Association (NTA), an organization whose mission is to advocate for government accountability in delivering services. She has more than a decade of experience in public sector management, governance and public sector reform management.
Ms. Irene Otieno steadfastly seeks to have the ordinary Kenyan’s voice feature prominently in national conversations revolving around taxes and service delivery. In a sense, to have citizens demand better services because they dutifully pay their taxes. She resolutely underscores her passion for advocacy programs to facilitate a prosperous environment with”TAX WORKING FOR THE PEOPLE”.
She actively participated in CHAMBUA; a citizen led reading party of the Auditor General’s reports that put the spotlight on the level of wastage of public funds and its impact on the morale of tax-paying youth. She has also been featured among “Women in Tax'' for her contributions in the tax arena.
Senior Partner, Omwanza & Areba Associates Advocates
Mr. Areba Omwoyo is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya. He is a senior partner at Omwanza & Areba Associates Advocates. Mr. Areba serves as an associate at 'Run for Office' which supports young people vying for elective seats in Kenya to win and lead.
Mr. Areba holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from Moi University and a postgraduate diploma from Kenya School of Law. He is passionate about youth affairs especially in the leadership and governance spaces where he has actively participated in different youth initiatives at the County, National & International Level.
National Coordinator, Volunteer Involving Organizations (VIO) Society
Mr. Fred Sadia serves as the Secretary and National Coordinator at the Volunteer Involving Organizations (VIO) Society in Kenya. He is passionate about inclusion and loves working with young people hence building a great generation of versatile volunteers ready for change to make the world a better place. He previously served as a judge and unveiled the Top 35 under 35 2020 Awardees.
Mr. Fred is the Kenya Representative at Good Deeds Day. He works to strengthen national partnerships in the Voluntary Sector and the Government to develop Volunteering Enabling Infrastructures. He champions volunteering as a cross-cutting means of implementation in realizing sustainable peace and development.
He coordinated the drafting of the Volunteerism Bill 2019 of Kenya and was the first, globally to endorse The Global Standards for volunteering at IVCO 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda.
Regional Coordinator, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR)
Ms. Jacqueline Ingutiah is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a renowned human rights enthusiast. She successfully designed and implemented programmes supported by the Government of Kenya, United Nations Agencies and Development Agencies i.e. USAID, DFID, SIDA and DANIDA aimed at promoting and protecting human rights in Kenya and other parts of Africa.
Ms. Jacqueline is widely trained and experienced in Human Rights Based Approach in programming. She serves as the Regional Coordinator at the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) where she undertakes investigations, strategic litigation and ADR to protect human rights. She engages the Judiciary, Parliament and Government Ministries, Independent Offices and Agencies in the promotion of human rights. She is passionate and experienced in supporting initiatives that promote rights with and for young people.
Ms. Jacqueline holds an MA from Coventry University and LLB from Moi University. She is a member of the Law Society of Kenya, ICJ-Kenya, FIDA Kenya and Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
Executive Director, Straight Talk Foundation Kenya
Mr. Kenny Kaburu possesses over 15 years’ experience in communications, media monitoring and reporting, media management, fine art and has worked extensively with leading media houses in Kenya as an illustrator and visual creative. Mr. Kenny serves as a Communications and Capacity Building Consultant for the Africa region at- She Decides, a global advocacy movement based in the Netherlands.
He is the Executive Director of the Straight Talk Foundation Kenya, an NGO which focuses on youth and adolescent advocacy and behavior change communication through school clubs, publishing of Straight Talk and Young Talk newspapers, advocacy magazines, edutainment comics and media campaigns. His Foundation offers a platform for girls and young people to amplify their voices about their issues through annual youth events such as Youth Health Camps, Dada Fest and Dada Summit.
Mr. Kenny is a YALI alumnus currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Development Studies at the Mount Kenya University. He is also a Founding member of the OLX Social Media Awards (SOMA) and has honed his skills with corporates such as Transparency International, Safaricom for their magazine, ‘Option’, and the University of Greenwich, as their creative consultant for their projects in Kenya.
KORA Award Winner, East Africa’s No.1 Hypeman!
Davidson Ngibuini aka DNG is an internationally accredited Content Developer and Social Influencer, A-List Celebrity, Multi-Media Personality, Corporate & Hype Emcee. He has won several awards in the Chaguo La Teeniez Awards and has been nominated in the Groove Awards, Kalasha Awards among others. He is a peace ambassador and has worked on several initiatives focused on creating awareness on Corruption, AIDS and Peace-building activities after the Post-Election Violence. He is passionate about Youth Empowerment and Development which saw him establish 254 Cares an NGO that seeks to empower, impact & change the youth by changing their perspectives and inculcating positive behavior change.
Driven by the need to advocate for sexual reproductive health and rights, he founded Punguza Initiative which is a national youth engagement platform that deals with Responsible Sexual Behavior in the lifestyle, habits and intellect of the Kenyan Youth. He is the founder of Who's Your Leader ? A platform which steers conversations about National Development, Cohesion, National Growth, Civic Duty, Legislation and Policy. He is also the Founder of Hustle Yako Initiative which seeks to change the perspective & attitude of the Youth towards Career, Business & Entrepreneurship; Eradicating Poverty & Unemployment. In 2004, he won the Best Gospel Male artist award in the KORA Awards. In 2008, he founded 254 Entertainment LTD, a 360 Degree Experiential Agency in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
He holds a Global Executive Masters in Business Administration and an International Business Administration (Marketing) degree from the United States International University – Africa. His love for the Youth and positive engagement with them over the last 16 years makes him the best and most ideal judge in the 2021 Top 35 Under 35 Awards.