Steering Committee

The network members will be represented by a steering committee of 10 members from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and countries in Africa. The steering committee will act as the final decision-making authority of the network.
Sibulele Sibaca
AfNHi steering committee

It was the firm determination to de-stigmatise HIV/Aids that birthed an extraordinarily powerful and distinguished woman. Sibulele Sibaca – Nomnganga is a dynamic international speaker, social entrepreneur and health advocate with a remarkable personal story. Even though she lost both her parents to Aids when she was barely a teenager, she was determined not to be a victim of her circumstances.

As she is affectionately known, Sibu is a Duke University Fellow in North Carolina, United States and a University of Pretoria graduate. She has travelled worldwide and was consequently headhunted by Sir Richard Branson to head up his CSI Division for the Virgin Group in Southern Africa called Virgin Unite. She has addressed many international heavyweights such as Former
Presidents Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton, and world leaders such as Bill and Melinda Gates, Banki Moon, Kofi Annan, Phumzile Mambo Ngcuka, Joyce Banda and G20 leaders to personalities such as Brad Pitt, Alicia Keys, Bono and Patti La Belle. The list of powerful and influential people she has been privileged to address is extensive. Recently, she addressed
Senators, Congressmen and women at Capitol Hill in Washington DC to speak on the plight of Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) in Africa. She has shared her journey at the United Nations in New York and other prestigious events such as The International Aids Conferences and conferences on gender equality and health, rights and well-being of girls and women. Her
work has been shared in the media both far and wide, including in The New York Times. She has consulted for The World Health Organisation and continues collaborating with UNICEF, Global Fund and Global Citizen. This current face of Sta-Sof-Fro is passionate about unlocking others’ potential and purpose and coaches on how to turn their passions into profit.

Dr. Jeanne d’Arc ASSEMIEN
AfNHi steering committee

Director of capacity building and experience sharing at the NGO Alliance Côte d’Ivoire

Holder of a State diploma of Doctor of Medicine since 2001, Jeanne d’Arc ASSEMIEN -OUATTARA is Franco-Ivorian, took her first steps in this discipline by providing care to the disadvantaged populations of the precarious neighborhoods of Abidjan. She joined Médecins sans frontières (MSF) in 2003, first as a medical referent for mobile clinics in the west of the country and then as a medical coordination assistant. In 2004, she was promoted to field manager (RT) at the Abidjan remand center (MACA). After resuming studies in 2005, in 2007 she obtained a master’s degree in public health and nutritional policy from the Senghor University of Alexandria and Moncton in Canada.

Back in Côte d’Ivoire, she worked in the national nutrition program of the Ministry of Health as head of the Malnutrition department until 2009 before being seconded for the interventions of Gip Esther (today Expertise France) in the prison environment.

First focal point for HIV/AIDS prevention, care and monitoring activities in the prisons of Sassandra, Dabou and Abidjan, then deputy coordinator, she works on monitoring activities in the prison environment in 22 prisons. shutdown and correction, financed by the Global Fund and AFD. In 2013, Pascal CANFIN, then Minister Delegate for Development of France, decorated Jeanne d’Arc Assemien with the Order of Merit for her contribution to improving the health of prisoners in Côte d’Ivoire and especially for her participation in the good collaboration between France and the Ivory Coast in the field of health.

From 2015 to the end of December 2018, she worked as coordinator of the Health office of Expertise France in Côte d’Ivoire, contributing somehow to help improve detention conditions in Côte d’Ivoire. Since January 2019, she has been working for the NGO ALLIANCE Côte d’Ivoire, principal recipient

Rosemary Mburu
AfNHi steering committee

Based in Nairobi, Kenya. Ms Mburu is a global health advocate and civil society leader in Africa working to create political will for improved health outcomes in Africa. Her areas of expertise include policy analysis; building political support for health outcomes; influencing decision making processes; mobilizing civil society and community voices for action; and promoting good participatory practice in clinical trials.

Ms Mburu has extensively worked on building and strengthening civil society and community organizing for health Advocacy in Africa. She oversees the Civil Society Platform on Health in Africa (CiSPHA); the Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN)- Africa hub; and the Africa free of New HIV Infections (AfNHi) Network. She is a member of the Vaccine Advocacy Resource Group (VARG). Mburu is the Southern CSO representative on UHC2030.

Ms Mburu has published several peer-reviewed articles and blogs including on: clinical trial ethics- International Journal of Clinical Practice; investments in HIV Prevention Research- African Journal of Reproductive Health; Biomedical HIV Prevention- BMC Proceedings; and strengthening primary health care- Lancet Global Health blog.

Ms Mburu holds a Masters in Public Health (MPH), Ohio University and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Frostburg State University.

Ntando Yola
AfNHi steering committee

Ntando Yola has over a decade involved in the field of clinical research, mobilizing and engaging with communities mostly in HIV prevention trials. He has done most of his work in association with research conducted through the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation and its global network where he started as a Community Liaison Officer in Cape Town. His HIV prevention research involvement started with phase 1 HIV vaccine trials where he worked and grew with these communities advancing science progress through their involvement.

Out of this work he realized a need and became involved in HIV prevention advocacy and in 2013 was a fellow through Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention (AVAC). This is where his muscle for advocacy was strengthened and became part of the HIV prevention advocacy movement. At the core to his HIV prevention advocacy work is ensuring that intersections between research, communities and factors that affect communities are recognizable. He believes along with many advocates that success to combat the effects of HIV, especially in Africa, lies in integrating commitments and efforts of biomedicine with human rights informed programming. Science alone will fail if governments, developmental organizations and businesses or trade, anchored by involvement of community voices and participation are not collectively party to development. As part of all his work, Ntando is a member of various networks in country, regionally and globally to advance science, engage communities and advocate for policies towards ending AIDS.

Friedel Dausab
AfNHi steering committee

Friedel works as an advocate for HIV prevention, care and support, human rights and specifically focusses his attention on access to biomedical prevention and treatment tools for LGBTIQ+ individuals living with HIV in Namibia and across the subregion. Diagnosed with HIV in 1999 when treatment options were still unavailable in Namibia, his advocacy started around stemming the scaremongering and negative rhetoric that encourages stigmatization and discrimination of PLHIV. Currently, Friedel is the Director of the national LGBTIQ+ organisations, Out-Right Namibia, which seeks to overturn unfair anti-LGBTIQ+ laws and to ensure that the prevention, care and support initiatives and research to ensure that marginalized communities are not left behind. Friedel coordinated the Diversity Alliance of Namibia which brings together civil society organisations which advocates for equal rights and non-discrimination of feminist women’s rights, sex worker rights and LGBTIQ+ rights. Friedel studied Psychology and German language at undergraduate level and currently has pursued further studies in health economics and currently in public and community health science.

Georgina Caswell
AfNHi steering committee

Georgina Caswell is Head of Programmes at the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+). Georgina was Programme Manager at GNP+ from 2008 – 2013, where she supported networks of people living with HIV to build their research and advocacy skills to access prevention and treatment information and services. Georgina was most recently a Programme Manager at Frontline AIDS where she was leading a range of sexual and reproductive health and rights programmes aimed at building resilient and empowered adolescents and young people. Georgina also serves in a number of HIV leadership roles, including as Vice-Chair of the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM), Chair of IPM’s Access Advisory Committee, and Organising Committee member of the HIV & Adolescence International Workshop.

Richard Lusimbo
AfNHi steering committee

Richard Lusimbo, hailing from Uganda in East Africa, is a renowned human rights activist, health services authority, and a prominent figure in the LGBTQ+ community. He is celebrated for his role as the Founder and Director General of The Uganda Key Populations Consortium (UKPC), a coalition that amalgamates key population organisations and networks to address pressing issues such as the diminishing civic space and dwindling resources for key population-focused programming in Uganda. Besides his role at UKPC, Richard is the Co-Founder and Board Chair of the Global Black Gay Men Connect. In addition, he serves as a Co-Convener for Convening For Equality, a coalition of LGBTQ individuals and organisations, allies, and partners opposing Uganda’s recently enacted Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023.