Permanent Members

Candida Nakhumwa, PhD

Organization: Foundation for a Smoke-Free World - Agricultural Transformation Initiative (FSFW - ATI), Malawi


As the Country Director for Malawi, Dr. Candida Nakhumwa manages the Foundation for a Smoke Free Work (FSFW) - Agricultural Transformation
Initiative in the country. She is responsible for promoting and influencing ATI’s work through building and management of strategic partnerships with
government, private sector, development partners, farmer organizations, media, academia, civil society in the agriculture sector in Malawi, and in strategic regional and international forums. She supports program development and work closely with farmer organizations and private sector
to identify and develop structured value chains that will promote transformation and inclusive growth for Malawian farmers. Dr. Nakhumwa has extensive experience in agricultural marketing, agribusiness, agricultural policy analysis and policy advocacy and has collaborated with government
and key stakeholders to establish agriculture, trade and finance policies. She has spent most of her career working on the development of farmers and farming organizations in Malawi, including managing contract farming initiatives and connections to input and output markets. Most recently, Dr. Nakhumwa served as Director of Research, Policy and Partnerships at the Farmers Union of Malawi, where she coordinated research, policy engagement and strategic partnerships; evaluation and communication
and knowledge systems to support the organization’s mission and purpose. She represented Malawian farmers interests at both regional and international forums such as the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) and the World Farmers Organization (WFO).
Dr. Nakhumwa currently sits on the Malawi Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA); NICO Life Insurance and NICO Pensions Board and MWAPATA Advisory Board. She holds a doctorate in agricultural economics from the University of Greenwich, U.K. She also earned her Master and Bachelor of Science degrees in agricultural economics and agriculture, respectively, from the University of Malawi.

Rizvaan Khan

Organization: Foundation for a Smoke-Free World - Agricultural Transformation Initiative (FSFW - ATI), Malawi


 As a Programs Manager for Agricultural and Economic
Diversification, Rizvaan Khan manages the Agricultural
Transformation Initiative’s program development and
operations. He is responsible for securing internal and
external partners to design, implement, and manage
grant and investment programs that provide income diversification opportunities for smallholder farmers in Malawi.
Rizvaan has over 18 years of commercial and developmental experience in the agriculture and horticulture sector. He has spent much of his career in Africa, working in Malawi, Mozambique, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In his previous roles, Rizvaan supported the development and funding of agriculture-based commercial out-grower schemes in Malawi and Mozambique where he promoted business linkages of commercial farmers
to markets. He also served as a Business Associate for AgDevCo, where he oversaw
general program and investment operations, scoping potential investments that were
applicable to country portfolios.
Earlier in his career, Rizvaan was a Senior Business Advisor for TechnoServe Inc.,
where he developed and ad-vised horticulture and agriculture development initiatives.
Rizvaan also oversaw business management and development for the USAID-funded Emprenda program that developed horticulture activities in the Beira Corridor in

Agnes Mwangwela, PhD

Organization: Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Malawi


Dr. Agnes Mwangwela is a Food Scientist with over
20 years of experience in university teaching in food
science, food product development and food analysis
at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural
Resources. From 2013, Dr. Mwangwela has served as
dean of Food and Human Sciences and currently is the
acting Principal of Bunda College.
Dr. Mwangwela is a holder of Phd in Food Science
from the University of Pretoria, an MSc and BSc
from the University of Malawi. Dr. Mwangwela currently leads Food Composition data
compilation and management in Malawi, and is a seasoned researcher who has been
awarded research grants from McKnight foundation, IITA & Africa Rising; IFS, South
African NRF, USAID- Bean Cowpea Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP),
USAID Peanut and Mycotoxin Innovation Lab (PMIL). Her research work has been
published in local and international peer reviewed journals.
She has substantial knowledge of working with project supported by development
partners (USAID, UNIDO, EU and JICA), farmers and food processing companies (Valid
Nutrition, Technoserve- Malawi). She has provided consulting services to private
companies and public value addition programs such as One Village One Product
(OVOP). Dr. Mwangwela is able to deliver basic principles of food processing and value
addition different types of audiences according to their needs.
Dr. Mwangwela is a recipient The Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science
and Technology fellowship. As part of a career development program for African
Women in Agriculture Research and Development (AWARD), Dr. Mwangwela was one
of the first Mentors in 2008 and has proceeded to mentor two more women in 2013
and 2014. Dr. Mwangwela is a budding entrepreneur, in the Agro Food processing
sector, operating as Heritage Foods, a company that is processing Peanut butter, Flour
blends and hibiscus tea. In partnership with Technoserve, Heritage Foods is working
with Small holder farmers to produce quality raw materials for the company such as
groundnuts and soybeans

Professor Address Mauakowa Malata (PhD, MSc, BSc, FAAN)

Organization: Malawi University of Science and Technology, Malawi


 The Vice-Chancellor of Malawi University of Science
and Technology, former President of Africa Honor
Society of Nursing of Sigma Theta Tau International;
former Vice President, International Confederation
of Midwives, former Principal of Kamuzu College
of Nursing and spearheaded it to become a World
Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Inter
Professional Education and Leadership in 2016.
She has spearheaded the Development and
implementation of various Undergraduate and Postgraduate in the fields of Health,
Science, Innovation and Technology; She facilitated capacity building for faculty and
other staff in various fields; a renowned international speaker, author and editor of
various journals in the field of health, nursing, mid-wifery, and health workforce; serves
on various international, regional and national boards and She is an advocate for girls
and women empowerment through education.
She is a Virginia Henderson Fellow of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), an Adjunct
Professor for Michigan State University, a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing
(FAAN); She was awarded: a Doctor Honoris Causa by University of Oslo in Norway,
2018 ECU Distinguished Alumni and ECU Honorary Award of Doctor of Nursing honoris
causa, 2019 in Australia, an Excellence in Nursing & Midwifery by National Organization
of Nurses & Midwives of Malawi; Medal of Distinction by University of Malawi as one of
the first female Professors.
She has recently received a Certificate of Recognition for significant contributions to
Kamuzu College of Nursing.

Professor Philip G. Pardey

Organization: University of Minnesota, USA


Philip G. Pardey is Professor of Science and
Technology Policy in the Department of Applied
Economics at the University of Minnesota, Director
of Global Research Strategy for the College of Food
Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and
directs the University’s International Science and
Technology Practice and Policy (InSTePP) center.
Previously he was a senior research fellow at IFPRI,
Washington D.C. and ISNAR, The Hague, Netherlands.
Philip presently co-directs the University’s GEMS informatics initiative, a joint CFANSMinnesota Supercomputing Institute venture.
Philip’s career has focused on informing and enabling data driven innovation in
the food and agricultural sectors worldwide. His research deals with productivity
measurement and assessment (drawing on spatial bio-economic modeling
approaches), the finance and conduct of R&D globally, methods for assessing the
economic impacts of research, and the economic and policy (especially intellectual
property) aspects of genetic resources and the bio-sciences.
Pardey is author of almost 400 books, articles, and papers, a listing of which is at:

Professor Danie Brink

Organization: Stellenbosch University, South Africa


Danie Brink, currently Dean of the Faculty of
AgriSciences at Stellenbosch University, graduated
with a BSc.Agric degree from Stellenbosch University
(SU) in 1983, with majors in genetics and animal
breeding, followed by BSc.Agric Hons (1985) and
M.ScAgric (1987). He was appointed as junior lecturer
at the Faculty of AgriSciences (1987) after a stint as technical assistant at the Wheat Breeding Center (SU). He continued to establish the Aqua-culture Division at
SU whilst introducing the first breeding programs for
Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mikiss) and the indigenous abalone (Haliotis midae) in
South Africa.
He completed his PhD.Agric (Animal breeding) in 1997 and was appointed as Associate Professor in the Department of Genetics in 2006 and Head of the Department in 2008.
He served as chairperson on various associations (incl. Aquaculture Association of
Southern Africa), advisory councils (incl. SA Marine Aquaculture Advisory Forum) and
as director of companies (incl. AquaStel (Pty) Ltd, AquaNutro (Pty) Ltd, Diamond Coast
Abalone (Pty) Ltd). He was appointed as Acting Dean (2014) and Dean of the Faculty of AgriSciences in 2017. He remains a keen canoeist, expeditioner and participant in
endurance events.

John Ellenberg

Organization: Land O’Lakes Venture37, USA


John leads Land O’Lakes Venture37, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization doing agriculture-based economic development pro-grams around the world.
Land O’Lakes Venture37 has a nearly 40-year history of
leading animal-sourced foods, crops, and agribusiness
acceleration programs in over 80 countries. Our
current portfolio reflects significant work in the
East and Southern Africa, south Asia, and the MENA
region. Much of the work of Land O’Lakes Venture37 is
powered by the ecosystem of Land O’Lakes, Inc., a $15 billion, US-based farmer-owned
and governed cooperative.
John assumed the Executive Director role in January 2017 after leading Dairy Foods
commercial businesses since 2008. John is a member of the Land O’Lakes, Inc Executive Leadership Team. Before joining Land O’Lakes, John led corporate marketing at American Medical Systems and spent 15 years in marketing leadership roles at
General Mills, a global food company. John holds a MBA and a BA both from the
University of Minnesota

Regular Members

Albert Gideon Changaya, PhD

Organization: Agricultural Research and Extension Trust (ARET)


 Dr Albert Changaya came from a subsistence farming family in a typical rural village in Kasungu. He
graduated from Bunda College of Agriculture (University of Malawi) in 1992 with Bachelor of Science Degree
in Agriculture (with Credit), with specialization in Crop Sciences. He worked briefly as a Trainee Tobacco
Leaf Buyer with Limbe Leaf Tobacco Company Limited for one and a half years in Lilongwe.
He went back to Bunda College of Agriculture in February 1994 to pursue Master of Science in Agronomy
(Plant Pathology) under the sponsorship of Rockefeller Foundation (Forum Programme). He gained
knowledge of the diseases that affect farmers’ crops and how to control them. He also studied the
interaction among disease causing organisms, vectors and host plants.
Dr Changaya picked up a job with Smallholder Agribusiness Development Project (SADP) as Agribusiness
Centre Coordinator based at Thondwe - Zomba soon after submitting the first MSc Thesis draft in October
1995. (He graduated with Master of Science degree in Agronomy – Plant Pathology in 1998). He worked
with Smallholder Agribusiness Development Project for two years in Zomba and served as Business
Development Manager for the entire project at the headquarters in Lilongwe for about a year. This work
involved working with smallholders farmers at grassroot level – providing extension services and farmer
empowerment. This helped Dr Changaya in understanding the problems that affect smallholder farming
and how to assist them. While in Zomba, Dr Changaya was responsible for the formation of Dzaone and Thondwe Smallholder Farmers Associations.
SADP led to the birth of National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (NASFAM).
In August 1998, Dr Changaya joined Agricultural Research and Extension Trust as a Flue Agronomist based at Mwimba Research Station in Kasungu
where he also served as Officer-In-Charge. While with ARET, Dr Changaya also served in several positions of Plant Pathologist, Senior Plant Pathologist
and Principal Plant Pathologist, Chief Estate Extension Officer responsible for Central Region, Acting Entomologist, Chief Plant Breeder-Flue and Head
of Research and Technical Services. He enrolled for PhD under University of KwaZulu Natal in February 2003 and graduated in April 2008. Dr Changaya
gained special skills in research, extension at both smallholder and large scale farmers and scientific writing. Through interaction with farmers, he learnt
how to come up with research topics. Dr Changaya released so many technol-ogies while working with ARET such as chemicals and tobacco varieties.
In October 2011, Dr Changaya picked up a job as Director of Tea Research Foundation of Central Africa (TRFCA) in Mulanje. He was responsible for tea
research and extension activities for Malawi and Zimba-bwe while also assisting Zambia and Mozambique where possible. During the four year tenure at
Tea Research Foundation of Central Africa, Dr Changaya assisted in the release of four tea cultivars that are high yielding, flavoury and drought tolerant;
and also the release of TwinN as a fertilizer in tea. During his tenure there was an increase in tea production among smallholder farmers and also the
increase in the production of improved cultivars among large scale growers. TRFCA also improved in its financial stand during the four year tenure
Dr Changaya picked up a job as Chief Executive Officer for Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) in November 2015 (now called Tobacco Commission).
During the 15 months tenure at TCC, Dr Changaya intro-duced a lot of policies that assisted in the smooth marketing of tobacco. Some of the policies
included transport charge for the tobacco bales to be per kilogram per kilometre, allocation of tobacco production quota to farmers based on land size
and the new registration system for the farmers called Farmers Management System (FMS).
From Tobacco Control Commission, Dr Changaya was seconded to Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development as Controller of Agriculture
Extension and Technical Services (CAETS) from Febru-ary 2017 with the aim of winding up his three-year contract with TCC which fell in October 2018.
Basically, Dr Changaya worked as Operations Manager for the Ministry and was responsible for all Technical Departments of the Ministry: Agriculture
Research Services, Agriculture Extension Services, Planning, Irrigation Services, Land Resource Conservation, Fisheries, Crop Development, Animal Health
and Live-stock Development, Water Supply and Water Resources. As CAETS, Dr Changaya was also responsible for all eight Agricultural Development
Divisions (ADDs) of Kasungu, Karonga, Mzuzu, Lilongwe, Salima, Machinga, Blantyre and Shire Valley.
Dr Changaya was also the Chairperson of the Agricultural Technology and Clearing Committee (ATCC) which included Variety Release Committee (VRC).
This is the Committee that is responsible for releasing technologies that farmers, manufacturers and other agriculture players in the value chain are
supposed to use. The duration of this office was from February 2017 to October 2018.
With the incidence of Fall Armyworm, Dr Changaya was the Chairperson of the National Fall Armyworm Taskforce from March 2017 to October 2018.
For two seasons the committee worked so hard to reduce the economic loss of the pest in the country. The committee also made breakthroughs in
identifying mild synthetic pesticides to be used in the control of Fall Armyworm, dissemination of messages through various means and discovery of
predator insects that feed on Fall Armyworm as biological control. Dr Changaya also developed very good working relationship with Donor Partners who
assisted the country financially and technically.
For one year (12 December 2018 to 10 January 2020), Dr Albert Changaya worked as Leaf Services Manager as a link person between Pyxus Agriculture
Limited and Alliance One Tobacco Malawi (AOTM) on all tobacco issues. He was responsible for both smallholder operations where Field Technicians
interface with farmer and customer programs.
Currently (from January 2020), Dr Changaya is working as Chief Executive Officer for Agricultural Research and Extension Trust (ARET) and responsible
for overall corporate and executive management func-tions of the Trust. He is responsible for the functions of five Departments: Research and Technical
Services, Extension and Specialist Services, Mwimba College of Agriculture, Investment and Business Development Unit and Finance and Administration.
Dr Changaya serves in many Boards of various institutions and is an External Examiner of many Universities throughout the world. Dr Changaya has
published papers in many local and international journals. Dr Changaya is a Christian and he serves in many local and international religious groups.

Elizabeth Sibale, PhD

Former Organization: Palladium – Feed the Future – AgDiv Program


 Dr. Elizabeth Sibale holds a Ph. D. in Plant breeding
from Cornell University obtained in 1995. Dr Sibale
also holds a MSc. in Agronomy from University of
Missouri obtained in 1988 and a BSc Agriculture and
Diploma in Agriculture both from University of Malawi.
Dr. Elizabeth Sibale is currently working as the Deputy
Chief of Party- Feed the Future Malawi Agricultural
Diversification Activity (AgDiv) where she works closely
with Chief of Party (COP) to manage day-to-day
operations of the activity. Prior to joining AgDiv, Dr. Sibale was working as a Manager
for IITA -Africa under Feed the Future Integrating Nutrition in Agricultural Value Chains
(INVC) Bridging Activity.
Dr. Sibale has also worked in various organizations such as Development Alternatives
International (DAI), Danchurchaid (DCA), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO),
European Union and Department of Research.
Dr. Sibale has been active in public service as well as serving on various boards such as
Civil Society in Agriculture Network (CISANET), Lilongwe University of Agriculture and
Natural Resources (LUANAR), University of Malawi, World Vision Malawi, Southern Africa Development Coordinating Committee, United Purpose and International Centre for
Tropical Agriculture.

Manzoor Bheda

Organization: Kakuyu Farms


 Mr. Manzoor Bheda was born at Lilongwe Bottom
Hospital on 17 September 1961. He attended Kokri
School (now renamed Livimbo Primary School) in Area
2 for his Primary Education. He then went on to an
all boys boarding Secondary School at Sadiq Public
School in Bahawulpur, Pakistan. He returned to Malawi
to complete his A levels Education at Saint Andrews
Secondary School in Blantyre. He subsequently joined
the family Business.
Mr. Manzoor Bheda is the Director at Brymsons Ltd with responsibility for Overall
Leadership & Vision as well as Business Strategy. Brymsons Ltd is a family owned retail
goods store which he inherited from his Father, Mr Ibra-him Bheda in 1983. He also
assumed responsibility of I.I. Bheda Auctioneers in the same year which is also another
family business. Since then he has managed to grow Brymsons Ltd into a thriving
Importer of Office & Household Furniture as well as conduct some of the largest Auction
sales in the history of Malawi.
With ambition to build more businesses he co-founded Money Bureau Ltd which was a
Forex Bureau and is also a Founding Partner of Viscosity Ltd, an Importer of Lubricants,
Oils, Batteries and assorted tyres.For the last 21 years he has been the Chairman of
Kakuyu Investments Ltd. Kakuyu Investments is a 461 hectare commercial agricultural
estate. It originally was a grower of Tobacco but has since diversified into the growing
of Seed Maize, seed Ground-nuts, seed Cassava, seed beans, seed soya and is an
anchor farm for Legumes seed production. Outside of his professional life he is a
member of the Rotary Club for 34 years, is a founding trustee of the Lighthouse Trust
and has served as a board member of Farmers Union of Malawi after serving for 2, three
year terms. He is also Chair-person and Trustee of Lilongwe Sunni Foundation and is
currently Vice Chairperson of Lilongwe Private School a position that he has held for
the last 25 years.
Mr. Manzoor Bheda lives in Lilongwe with his wife and their 2 children. When not
working, Mr. Bheda enjoys reading , Current Affairs and Motorsport.

Jacob Nyirongo

Organization: Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM)


Jacob Christopher Nyirongo graduated with a Master of Science
Degree in Agronomy in 1999 from Bunda College of Agriculture,
a Constituent College of the University of Malawi. He is the Chief
Executive Officer for Farmers Union of Malawi. In his recent past he
has worked for Farmers Union of Malawi as a Program and Policy
Director. He has experience working on agriculture policy and
regulatory reforms. He has worked for the Union since 2011. He has
been a member of Steering and Technical Committees of various
Malawi Government Agriculture Development Projects providing
policy and technical oversight. He has vast experience working on
projects related to agriculture value chains development, development of farmer organizations, access to
markets and agriculture policy and regulatory reforms. He has worked on projects funded by USAID, World
Bank, DFID, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Irish Aid, and We Effect.
From 2006 to 2010, Jacob Nyirongo also worked for Christian Aid as Head of Programs for 4 years. His role
had been providing strategic direction of the Christian Aid Country Strategy. This included partner portfolio
analysis and support, country strategy funding (including managing donor funds and ensuring compliance
to donor requirements, and reporting and also looking at future potential funding for the programme),
and capabilities of the team to deliver the programme direction. His role also focused at ensuring that the
programme engages strategic alliances in order to maximize leverage.
He also worked for the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) as Training Coordinator for
the USAID funded Chinyanja Triangle Project, which covered Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi. His main
role was to provide strategic direction of the agroforestry scaling up project to country teams which were
responsible for project activities in each country, mainly focusing on use of agroforestry trees to enhance
soil health for smallholder farmers and promotion of fodder trees for livestock producers. This also included
provision of management sup-port as well as technical support such as project planning, monitoring and
evaluation, developing strategic partner-ships with NGOs and engagement with government institutions,
development and production of training materials and providing periodic narrative and financial reports to
the project donor. He also worked for an Africa Development Bank funded Rural Income Enhancement Project
as a Community Mobilization Consultant. The project was being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture
and Irrigation. The Project focused on agriculture, water and sanitation, and rural infrastructure. His role was to provide technical support to 4 extension specialists in mobilizing rural resource poor women and men into
viable enterprise groups .

Chancellor Kaferapanjira

Organization: Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI)


Chancellor Kaferapanjira is Chief Executive of the Malawi
Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry
(MCCCI), an apex private sector representative body in
Malawi. Chancellor has served in this position since January
2003, after serving as Deputy General Manager of the Malawi
Investment Promotion Agency (predecessor to the Malawi
Investment and Trade Centre). As Head of MCCCI Secretariat,
Chancellor serves as a link between private sector and
Government in Malawi through various fora such as hosting
the Public Private Dialogue (PPD) Forum between Cabinet
Ministers and Senior Private Sector Members, co-chairing the Sector Working Group on Trade,
Industry and Private Sector Development, and sitting on other equally high level Government
Steering and Technical Committees as well as Taskforces such as the G7 Alliance for Food Security
and Nutrition, and the Farm Income Diversification Project (FIDP), established with a view to
resolving challenges faced by the private sector. Chancellor has been the driving force behind the
transformation of MCCCI from a dysfunctional organisation to a truly and respected private sector
representative body. He managed to turn MCCCI into an indispensable partner to Government in
promulgating its policies to the private sector and in coordinating private sector activities.
As a result of his unique skill set and desirable knowledge and experience, Chancellor serves
on a number of Boards in both private and public sectors. He currently sits on the Boards of
Old Mutual Investment Group Limited, Old Mutual Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for Student
Accommodation, Combine Cargo Limited, National Construction Industry Council (NCIC), and
Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Customer and Consumer Forum Committee). Chancellor
has previously served on the Boards of Malawi Revenue Authority, Roads Fund Administration,
National Roads Authority, National Electricity Council, the Privatization Commission, Malawi
University of Science and Technology (MUST), National Economic Council, Petroleum Pricing
Committee, and a member of the Economic Management Team to Her Excellency President
Joyce Banda.
In his daily work, Chancellor provides leadership to the Secretariat while lobbying and advocating
for a conducive business environment for the prosperity of business in Malawi.
Chancellor holds MSc (Economic Management and Policy), MSc in Strategic Management, and
B.Com (Business Administration).

Kwanele Ngwenya, PhD, MCIBS, MSC (Strategy), MBA (Bus. Admin), CBMBA (Chartered Banker) Dip (Bus Mgt), Dip (Fin Mgt)

Organization: NBS Bank


Kwanele Ngwenya is the CEO of NBS Bank. He is a
career banker, having spent almost his life in banking.
He has over 24 years of banking experience, of which
13 years of it has been in leadership position in
different countries. He started his banking career with
Nedbank South Africa before moving to FNB where
he spent most of his banking career life. He also has
international banking experience, having worked in
Botswana, Zimba-bwe and now Malawi.
Kwanele holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Oxford Brookes
University, Master of Science Degree in Strategic Management from University of Derby
and Masters Degree in Business Administration in Banking and Finance from Bangor
University in Wales. He is also a Chartered Banker with institute of Bankers, Scotland.
Additionally, he holds several diplomas and advanced professional development
certifications from several reputable institutions

Rachel Sibande, PhD

Organization: M-Hub / ICT incubation ,Malawi


Dr. Rachel Sibande is the Founder and Director of Malawi’s first technology hub and incubator for emerging entrepreneurs, mHub.

The hub has impacted over 50,000 youth and women entrepreneurs in 6 years and incubated over 270 entrepreneurs. Over 30 emerging innovative entrepreneurs have accessed more than 380,000USD in financing in 2019 alone through mHub accelerator

programs to scale products and services to the market.

As of 2020; 33% of entrepreneurs accessing training, incubation and acceleration through mHub pro-grams are women led. Rachel has been listed by Forbes twice; First in 2016, as one of 30 under 30 young entrepreneurs in Africa and second in 2019 as a new wealth creator. In 2015, Dr. Sibande became a Google Scholar having won the Anita Borg scholarship for women in the field of Computer Science from around the world. In 2016, Rachel won the pan African Challenge to invent climate smart innovations at the Next Einstein Forum gathering after developing a thermal chemical process to generate electricity for micro grids using locally available re-sources.

Dr. Sibande is Malawi’s ambassador to the Next Einstein Forum that promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In 2017, Rachel was awarded as one of 13 young visionary leaders of the world at the World Youth Forum. She is an alumni of the USA state department Young African Leaders program from 2012. Dr. Sibande is also one of 25 African fellows that graduated from the Zanele Mbeki Development Trust that seeks to nurture African feminists. In 2017, Rachel was named as one of 100 most influential young Africans in 2018 among other accolades.

She has over 12 years’ experience spanning academia, development and social enterprise domains. Rachel has led development projects in more than 15 countries across the following sectors: agriculture, business development, public health, governance and elections monitoring. Dr. Sibande is a computer scientist by training specialized in cryptography and data science. She has just completed a PhD in computer Science at Rhodes University in South Africa. She is 34 and married with 3 children.