Conference Team

Conference Chairs

Emmanuel Taiwo

Emmanuel is a Master of Public Policy candidate and an Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG) scholar at the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government. Having worked in environmental consulting, sustainable development research, and clean energy policy advocacy for about 4 years, he brings rich competence to the Oxford Africa Conference.

A true Nigerian by birth, Emmanuel holds a first class bachelor’s from the University of Lagos, a Master’s with Distinction from the University of Greenwich, and exudes a rare passion for the African continent. He hopes to see a new Africa, where economic growth is ecologically sustainable and socially inclusive, leaving no African behind; an Africa that plays a more vibrant role not only in uplifting its people, but also in tackling collective global challenges.

Noxolo Ntaka

Noxolo is currently reading for an MSc African studies degree at Oxford’s School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies. She holds an undergraduate degree in Economics and Politics from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, including an honours degree in Political studies.

Prior to starting her postgraduate degree at Oxford, Noxolo worked as an intern at the Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP) at the University of the Witwatersrand. In 2016 she served as the Secretary General of the Students’ Representative Council at the University of Cape Town.

She is also an alumni of the 2016 South Africa-Washington International Program (SAWIP) which afforded her the opportunity to intern at the United States Congress in Washington, D.C. in the office of Democrat congressman, Donald M. Payne, Jr. She has a particular interest in the study of Africa and it’s representation in academia as well as post-colonial theory and the study of violence.

Jeffrey Misomali

Jeffrey is an MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine candidate from Malawi. An Environmental Science graduate of the University of Malawi, he spent his early career with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), supporting various African governments to strengthen public healthcare systems, towards achieving universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment and care.

Prior to enrolling at Oxford, he was a Program Officer at the ELMA Philanthropies where he developed and managed grant investments to improve maternal and child health outcomes in Southern Africa.

His research interest is on understanding the utilization and scaling of evidence-based healthcare interventions and tools, and how this can influence healthcare policy and financing in resource limited settings. Jeffrey is an alum of the Global Health Corps and Aspen New Voices Fellowship Programs and his other interests are in entrepreneurship and agriculture in Africa.


Other Members

                         Zuwa Matondo

Zuwa, an innovative and proud Zimbabwean is the Program Manager of the 2018 Oxford Africa Conference. He is currently a candidate in the Master of Public Policy (MPP) program at the Blavatnik School of Government.

He possess a multi-cultural fluency having travelled extensively and worked in countries such as Canada, China, Zimbabwe and other African countries. At both an American international firm and a top ranked Canadian national law firm, as a trainee lawyer, he engaged in complex multi-jurisdictional business transactions, litigation matters and in-depth government policy analysis. His work spanned sectors  including mining, renewable energy, project finance, infrastructure, international trade and foreign investment.

Zuwa is also the founder of the non-governmental organization “Gov-Enhance Africa”. Gov-Enhance Africa provides a platform for Young Policy Thinkers and Governance Innovators to (1) provide policy alternatives to decision-makers and (2) enhance government frameworks to deliver basic services to their citizens.

He is a fervent proponent of policy that is pragmatically tailored by governments that are open to new approaches to tackling the complexity around them, both nationally and globally. They must embrace solutions stemming from the private sector, non-profit sector and the citizenry through the political process.

                Yolanda Kisenyi

Yolanda is the Events Manager for the 2018 Oxford Africa Conference. She is currently an MSC African Studies candidate from London. She holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations from the University of Birmingham.

Before starting at Oxford, she was an Action Plan Executor on the World Merit 360 United Nations Programme. Her team was committed to the United Nation’s 17th sustainable development goal, Partnership for Goals. This resulted in the launch of Impack, a scheme whereby backpackers can engage in socially conscience activities whilst they stay at hostels around the world.  She successfully pitched the team’s project to potential investors and stakeholders at the House of Lords. The programme is currently being executed in both India and the Philippines.

In addition to this, as an executive member of the Patchwork Foundation, she has given a presentation to David Cameron and has hosted a masterclass session centred on leadership with Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Education. In recognition of her achievements, in 2015 Powerful Media recognised her as one of the UK’s top black 100 Future Leaders in their annual magazine.

Her main research interest is focused on social memory and the impact of its elitist construction on perceptions of African history.

     Julia Standish-White

Julia is the Logistics Manager for the 2018 Oxford Africa Conference. She is an MSc student in Evidence-based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation. Julia is an Oxford-Weidenfeld Hoffman scholar and a member of Jesus College. She holds a BSocSc in Psychology and Xhosa and a BSocSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Cape Town. She is a Mandela Rhodes scholar from the class of 2016. Her previous research looked into the implications of cognitive deficits associated with HIV and driving ability. She is hoping to continue working on HIV research here in Oxford.

Julia is interested in effecting social change through meaningful interactions with people on an individual and community level. She volunteered as part of the LifeLine counselling team for two years in Cape Town. She was also part of the MH Foundation Mentoring Programme for high-potential students from a high school in Khayelitsha. Before coming to Oxford this year, Julia worked in a high school in Johannesburg where she designed and ran mindfulness workshops for young students and coached hockey. She also volunteered for eduSOIL, a non-profit organisation that nurtures the mental and emotional health of children through mindfulness, yoga and change making programmes in South Africa and India.

Outside of the classroom, Julia enjoys singing in the Jesus College Choir, attempting to keep up with the Oxford Triathlon Club, practising mindfulness, and engaging with the brilliant people and ideas present in Oxford. She is particularly excited to be part of the dynamic Oxford Africa Conference Team, and she is optimistic that the Conference will be a huge success!

           Abdul-Fatawu Z. Hakeem

Abdul-Fatawu is the Financial Manager for the 2018 Oxford Africa Conference. His role is to develop the budget and financial framework of the conference. He works with the Treasurer of the Oxford African Society to manage and approve spending and manages the pricing and distribution strategy of ticketing.

Abdul-Fatawu has seven years of professional experience as an economics officer in Ghana’s Ministry of Finance, assisting the management of public domestic debt. He is also an accountancy consultant, assisting small businesses with book-keeping.

He is currently studying for a Master of Public Policy degree at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Professional Studies, Accra, Ghana and also has a certificate in Ghana Securities Industry course offered by the Ghana Stock Exchange. He also attended various short certificate courses on Financial Markets, Debt Management, Economics and Monetary Analysis, among others.

He has passion for excellence in financial management, transparency, accountability, good governance and volunteerism.

                   Edna Addo

Edna is the Sponsorship Manager for the 2018 Oxford Africa Conference. She is currently an MBA student at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. Before starting business school, Edna worked for 6 years at UBS Investment Bank in both New York and London. She was born in Ghana, where during her senior high school years and shortly after, was the President of the Eastern Region youth chapter of the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG). She was eventually elected as co-treasurer of the PPAG at the national level.

She moved to the US to pursue joint undergraduate degrees in Business Management/Finance and Economics at Stony Brook University, NY, graduating magna cum laude. While pursuing her undergraduate degrees, Edna initiated and ran student chapters of 2 national organizations, ENACTUS and the Investment Research Challenge by NYSSA. She also interned as an Equity Research Analyst at the Harvest Management LLC, a hedge fund in New York city.

Although currently pursuing her MBA, she is also deeply involved in her role as a Guide on two social ventures, one in Malawi and the other in Ghana, ran by an incredible calibre of young undergraduates who have been selected by the Resolution Project.

In her leisure, Edna loves intellectually stimulating discussions and experiencing new cultures both at home and through her travels.

                        Ngoni Mugwisi

Ngoni, a Zimbabwean lifelong learner and leader, is the Speakers Manager for the 2018 Oxford Africa Conference. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD in Engineering Science at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. An impassioned energy engineer, he is researching power electronics solutions for renewable energy applications in the developing world.

Ngoni graduated from Arizona State University (ASU) in 2017 where he was a MasterCard Foundation Scholar, as an IMPACT Award recipient and student convocation speaker. A Resolution Fellow, Ngoni served as the ASU Campus Representative for the Clinton Global Leadership University Conference in 2015, guiding 29 successful commitment makers to participate in the event in Miami.

As an undergraduate, he was actively involved on the Region 6 leadership of the National Society of Black Engineers in the US, where he worked to promote participation and retention of African-Americans in STEM in 13 states. In this capacity, he oversaw the planning and execution of three Regional Leadership Conferences in  Las Vegas, San Diego, and Colorado from 2015 to 2017.

At Oxford, Ngoni sits on the Access Committee at Trinity College, and is working to help advance the university’s efforts at increasing diversity on all fronts. As the Speakers Manager for the 2018 Oxford Africa Conference, he looks forward to engaging with world-class speakers and thought leaders who shall inspire an emerging generation of doers in Africa beyond the conference.


Norbert Nthala

Norbert is the IT/Media Manager for the 2018 Oxford Africa Conference. He is pursuing a DPhil in Computer Science, researching in Security. Born in Malawi, Norbert is a Rhodes Scholar (Malawi & Linacre, 2015) and an Oxford-Linacre African Scholar (2015). He holds an undergraduate degree in Information Technology from the University of Malawi.

Before joining Oxford, Norbert (among others) worked as a Network Engineer for Malawi SDNP, where he was responsible for building, securing, and maintaining the infrastructure that hosts the central .mw domain registry, in addition to managing several network and Internet Linux servers (DNS, Email, DHCP, Database, Web servers, etc), and software engineering. Norbert also served as a Management Consultant at UMODZI Consulting, working on several national and international projects. Among others, he was the project manager for a USAID-funded project which provided a digital monitoring and evaluation platform for the national Farm Inputs Subsidy Program (FISP) valued at over US$131 million. Norbert setup and managed the infrastructure, trained and supervised all stakeholders nation-wide, and engaged with and was part of the FISP task force.

In 2016, Norbert (working with Professor Ivan Flechais (PI)) won a grant from the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) UK through Research in the Science of Cyber Security (RISCS). He run a UK national project (2016 – 2017) through which he developed theories to guide the development and deployment of data security interventions in connected homes. Recently, they secured funding from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) for a project (2017 – 2018) aimed at developing guidelines and tools for implementing and managing network security in connected homes. The project, which engages Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the UK, is situated within the context of the London authority, and complements the efforts of the Smart London Board.

Norbert’s teaching experience spans Computing, Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry. Outside his computing life, Norbert is a STEM ambassador under Science Oxford; does commercial farming; and is an avid property investor. He enjoys football, workouts, and piano practice.