innovation: africa

Sivan Ya'ari

Founder and CEO


Sivan Ya'ari is the Founder and CEO of Innovation: Africa, a NY based nonprofit that brings Israeli solar, agricultural and water technologies to rural African villages. She was born in Israel, raised in France, and educated in the United States with degrees in Finance from Pace University and a Masters in International Energy Management and Policy from Columbia University. At the mere age of 20, Sivan identified an opportunity for a more sustainable energy solution, and developed the groundwork for what would become Innovation: Africa. Having worked in Africa for over 20 years, Sivan has vast knowledge, experience, understanding and love for the African continent. Through her work, over 1,000,000 lives in the most remote villages have been impacted, thanks to Israeli innovation. In addition, Innovation: Africa has received many awards, including the Innovation Award from the United Nations. Most recently, Sivan has been recognized as one of the "40 Under 40 Most Promising Israelis" by Globes magazine and one of the "50 Most Influential Women in Israel” by Forbes Israel, and one of the "Top 10 Most Influential Israelis in International Business, Science and Culture 2017" by NoCamels. Aside from running Innovation: Africa, Sivan is a prominent business woman in Israel. In 2010, Sivan opened the first chain of nail salons in Israel. By the time she sold the chain in January 2018, iSpa Express was operating in 10 locations throughout the country and employed 160 female workers. Sivan lives in Tel Aviv with her husband and 3 children.

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Michal Benari

Executive Assistant
to Founder and CEO


Michal, born and raised in London, completed her BA in Political Science at the University of Birmingham after which, she qualified as a Teacher on the Teach First Leadership Development program, where she taught students from underprivileged backgrounds. Michal spent many summers traveling and volunteering abroad, where she taught English to orphans in Nepal and victims of human trafficking in Thailand. Combining her passion for Israel and volunteering, Michal made Aliyah in 2017 and joined the Innovation: Africa team.

Director of Communications


Genna grew up in Virginia Beach, but a passion for soccer and Israel brought her to Israel in 2011. Genna played soccer professionally in Israel for 3 years during which time she volunteered with the Peres Center for Peace. Genna joined Innovation: Africa’s Israel team as the Communications Manager in October 2013, and has since developed the iA Volunteer and Ambassador community in Israel, and hosted the organization’s first Israel based events. Genna holds a BA in Communications and Marketing from The Ohio State University and an MA in Political Science from Tel Aviv University.

Tara Shtauber

Programs Manager


Tara was born and raised in heartland of Oklahoma. During her university years, Tara studied abroad in East Africa and the Middle East to become familiarized with third-world development and politics in each region. In the years following, Tara moved to Israel, first as a volunteer and then as a Master's student of Nonprofit Management and Leadership at Hebrew University. She is married to an Israeli and they have a daughter together. Joining the team at Innovation: Africa has allowed her to combine her two great loves, Africa and Israel.

In House Engineer


Meir is an Electrical engineer and a graduate of Tel Aviv University. Meir worked for Intel Israel, National Semiconductor and for the Israel Electric Company in the Business Development Unit where he was responsible for project design and implementation. For the last year and a half, Meir Co-founded Ulysses solutions, a software company who develops an impact management platform for the developing world.

Software Engineer


With a computer engineering degree obtained in 2016 at EPITA university (Paris), Jeremy worked as a Business Analyst for a management consulting firm where he participated in the analysis and the suggestion of improvement in companies information systems. Pushed by his future wife, Jeremy made Aliyah in 2017 and worked as Full-Stack Developer for a start-up, where he deployed server infrastructure, website, and mobile application presenting data analysis. Strong of his knowledge in telecommunication technologies, Jeremy joined Innovation: Africa in 2018 in order to help the integration of new technologies in iA projects.


Country Director


Maayan was born in Israel and raised both there and in the United States. Fascinated by the intersection of culture and religion, Maayan double-majored and obtained a B.A. in Anthropology and the Study of Religion from the University of California, San Diego in 2009. Throughout her undergraduate studies, Maayan volunteered in various developing countries and was exposed to the plight of disadvantaged women living without access to healthcare and fundamental necessities, such as electricity and water.


Eager to assist these types of women, Maayan joined the Peace Corps in Albania in 2011. During her three-year service, Maayan worked with the Albanian Ministry of Health to develop and implement nationally recognized projects. As an extension of her commitment to protecting women’s rights, Maayan also chaired the Peace Corps Anti-Trafficking in Persons Committee to combat the trafficking of women in the Balkans. Upon completing her service, Maayan returned to Israel, where she spent many years working at a non-profit organization as the Grants and Development Manager. Since her return, Maayan also earned her Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from the University of Haifa.



Country Director


Haley is originally from Toronto, Canada. While receiving her Bachelor of Honour's Degree from Queen's University, she spent a semester in Israel studying Politics at Tel Aviv University, an experience that sparked her love for the country. Upon graduation, Haley made Aliyah in pursuit of her Master's Degree in Conflict Resolution and Mediation from the Interdisciplinary Centre (IDC), Herzliya. During this time, Haley traveled to India for an extended period, volunteering to work personally with orphaned children in education. Haley is passionate about working with at-risk communities in the nonprofit world, having spent 7 years working for a Canadian charity focused on philanthropy in Canada and Israel and spearheading her own Giving Circle to inspire young, like-minding professionals to give. Haley has a deep love of history, traveling, and encountering new cultures. In her spare time she enjoys doing pilates, is a swim instructor, and recently completed her first marathon!  Haley is thrilled and honoured to be a part of the Innovation: Africa team and to play a role in carrying out the organization’s life-changing work.



Deputy Country Director


Rachel, grew up in Kansas City before making Aliyah to Israel to volunteer in the IDF. She completed her BA in Government and International Affairs at IDC, where she was accepted as a Heseg scholar. Rachel is passionate about the non-profit world and helped build an educational pro-Israel volunteer program. In her spare time does bouldering and acro-yoga. Rachel loves learning about sustainable development and impacting rural communities and is honored to be a part of the iA team.


Deputy Country Director
for Tanzania and Zambia.


Nepheli was born and raised in Greece; holding both Greek and Belgian citizenships. She moved to Belgium to pursue her Bachelor’s Degree in Law. Following interning in Israel, where Nepheli was closely engaged with two local NGOs, she fell in love with the field of international development; seeing a way to combine her passion for human rights with field work. Deciding to stay in Israel, Nepheli pursued her Master’s Degree at Hebrew University, specializing in the Glocal International Development Program. As part of the program, Nepheli interned in the Peruvian Amazon, where she taught project design skills to vulnerable indigenous youth with a shared vision to preserve their culture and create sustainable economic alternatives in their communities which were affected by climate change. After working in technological oriented educational programs for youth in Israel, Nepheli decided to join Innovation: Africa as a Deputy Country Director for Tanzania and Zambia. She is very excited to bridge her passion for international development with environmental issues while deepening her knowledge in sustainable development through the implementation of ecological technologies.

Deputy Country Director
Uganda and Malawi


Gabby grew up in the US and obtained her bachelor’s degree in Communications and Global Poverty at the University of Maryland. From a young age Gabby had strong interest in learning about the struggles within developing countries and the effects of poverty and affluence around the world. Gabby spent a semester studying abroad in Brazil and after completing her BA returned to work in Rio de Janeiro’s largest favela, Rocinha, where she ran educational and after-school programs for Rocinha’s youth. Through this experience, Gabby recognized the importance of building and strengthening communities and upon relocating to New York City, she worked for the All Stars Project focusing on community development and providing afterschool programming to marginalized youth. In 2018, Gabby immigrated to Israel and completed her masters degree in International Development through the Glocal program where she completed a 4-month internship in Rwanda. Through her role with IA, Gabby looks forward to continuing to work with diverse communities and support development across the globe.

Country Director
South Africa & eSwatini


Caroline grew up in Washington, D.C. and developed a strong passion for politics and working with others. After high school, she spent a year volunteering in the Yemin Orde Youth Village in northern Israel, working with young people from around the world, primarily high school students who had immigrated from Ethiopia. At the University of Texas at Austin, Caroline was active in campus life and studied Middle Eastern Studies with a focus on Arabic and Islamic culture and religion.  She spent a semester abroad in Morocco on a Multiculturalism and Human Rights program where she lived with a local family and conducted research on women's rights and equality in the public sector and police workforces. Professionally, Caroline spent almost six years working in the nonprofit world both in the United States and Israel at the intersection of education, student life and Israel giving her the opportunity to work closely with Jewish communities across the globe. Making Aliyah in 2016 set the stage for Caroline to join the iA team where she can directly contribute as an Israeli to global human development.

Chief Financial Officer


Bruce Gimpel is a senior executive from the financial services industry. Mr. Gimpel is a CPA having worked at Ernst & Young for eight years, specializing in taxation and then for eighteen years in various capacities at the Permal Group, a global asset management group specializing in alternative investments with over $22b in assets under management and nine offices worldwide. At the Permal Group, Mr. Gimpel was involved in a variety of initiatives over his eighteen years including implementing a robust infrastructure and operations as the Permal Group grew significantly during the period as well as integration activities as the Permal Group was acquired by Legg Mason, a publicly traded investment management firm. Mr. Gimpel started his career at the Permal Group as Chief Compliance Officer and left the group in January 2017 as Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Gimpel is currently a consultant to the financial services and non profit industries and is involved in a variety of non profit activities including serving as a volunteer EMT in the State of New York.

Operations Manager


Emily grew up in NYC and received her B.A. in Sociology from Johns Hopkins University. As a Social Policy Fellow at Hopkins, Emily worked as a research assistant on multiple urban housing and development studies. After completing her degree, she moved to Tel Aviv to work at an Israeli-based NGO, where she found her passion for sustainable development. Now back in her native New York, Emily is thrilled to join the team at Innovation: Africa as Office Manager & Bookkeeper, where she will continue to pursue her goal of helping to generate social impact.

Robert Khakhosi

Project Manager, Uganda


Robert Khakhosi was born and raised in Mbale, Uganda. After studying sustainable agriculture in KULIKA Charitable Trust, Robert worked as an agriculture extension worker with Heifer International and as an agricultural trainer with World Vision International. Robert has also volunteered as a community health worker with the Abayudaya Congregation and Foundation for Development of the Needy Communities in Mbale, Uganda. Robert speaks fluent English and Kiswahili as well as eight Bantu languages.

Sarah Gimono

Field Officer, Uganda


Sarah Gimono a female Ugandan, born and grew up in Mbale, a Bamasaba ethnic community around Mt. Elgon. Studied in different fields of Uganda and earned a degree in Information Technology. She taught computer skills in a community computer training centre and later volunteered with Uganda Revenue Authority where she worked as secretary e-tax until joining the Innovation: Africa team in 2013. Sarah speaks English, Kiswahili and many bantu languages. She has a passion for supporting vulnerable people and rural communities to enable sustainable livelihood.

Ibra Lemye

Agriculture Development Officer, Uganda

Ibra Lemye was born in Kaliro district of Uganda, raised and attended high school in Mbale region. Later on, he joined Makerere University and acquired a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Engineering which equipped him with the necessary skills in irrigation, agricultural extension and crop handling for community sustainability. These skills enabled him to work with Smallholder Fortunes and Thermogenn, which is a non-governmental organization. Ibra worked as a Sales Engineer for “EVAKUULA”, a locally made milk refrigerator, which can be used without electricity for small scale farmers rearing animals to earn more from their milk. This increased his passion for working with communities. Ibra later joined Innovation: Africa as a Volunteer in order to pursue his career. Currently, Ibra is working full-time with Innovation: Africa. He speaks English, Kiswahili and most Bantu languages from East and Central regions of Uganda.

Richard Mangali

Agriculture Development Officer, Uganda

Richard Mangali, as our local Agronomist, his expertise lie in agriculture and heath within rural communities across Uganda. Richard trained in Japan under the Japan International Corporation (JAIC). He returned to Uganda as an Agricultural Coordinator for JAIC and with a focus on youth empowerment, trained high-school dropouts in specific agricultural techniques. As our most recent Ugandan team member, his knowledge has already proven to be valuable to Innovation: Africa. Richard’s extensive field work with the Foundation for Needy Communities (FDNC) has equipped him with the knowledge and experience needed to work within our communities.

David "Wakale" Wangale

In-House Engineer, Uganda


David "Wakale" Wangale was first an Innovation: Africa contractor, our go-to water engineer for all water projects. With the number of projects growing so rapidly in Uganda, and with Wakale's outstanding dedication and quality of work, he joined our team as a full-time employee. His background not only lies in Engineering, but as a volunteer and community trainer. Throughout his career, Wakale has made it a point to train and sponsor orphans who may not have the necessary guidance and access to gaining such a skillset.

Charles Losike

Karamoja Field Officer, Uganda (Karamoja Region)


Charles Losike was raised in Karamoja, Uganda and attended both primary and secondary education in Karamoja region. Charles was awarded The Uganda Certificate of Education after graduating secondary school and speaks fluent English, Ngakarimojong, Kiswahili and Ateso languages. Charles has experience working with many organizations such as: The Red Cross Society serving as a Volunteer then later became a staff member, Samaritan's Purse as a Food Distribution Monitor, Concern Worldwide as a Community Health Educator, Mbarara-Mulago teaching hospitals HIV/AIDS joint program, and finally with (M-JAP) as a community HIV/AIDS Counselor, until his current role with Innovation: Africa.

Sserunkuma Dennis

Engineer, Uganda


My name is sserunkuma Dennis. I was born in nakaseke district but largely grew up and lived in Kampala. Had my high school in Kampala and later went to Uganda Technical College - Lira for a National Diploma in Electrical Engineering. Living in lira increased my love for villages due to my volunteering with Watoto Church were we always reached out and involved with communities. I have worked with some electrical and building and construction companies on part time basis. I always looked out for work that would enable me travel in different parts of the country.I have worked with Masrcorp Ltd a company the produces solar cooking stoves which is so good in providing clean energy and very less fuel consumption. I had an inspiration from my elder brother  an agricultural engineer who works with Davis and shirtliff about water systems and irrigation systems then I picked great interest in water systems and constantly followed his work and installations. When I got a chance to volunteer with Innovation Africa I had no second thoughts. Ican speak English and Luganda fluently coupled with some Swahili and other Bantu languages. I am so thrilled to be a part of this organization.

Benedicto Loduk

Agricultural Development Office in Karamoja, Uganda


Benedicto Loduk was born and raised in Karamoja, Uganda where he attained both primary and secondary education and was awarded the Uganda certificate of education after graduating secondary school. Benedicto went on to study at Busitema University, Arapai Campus Faculty of Agriculture and Animal Science and attained a certificate in General Agriculture. He speaks fluent English, Kiswahili and Ngakarimojong languages. He has experience working with many organizations such as: Caritas in Agriculture Field work, Farm Africa with live-stock field work, Northern Uganda Social Action Fund as lead local artisan, and as an intern at The German Cooperation (GIZ) until his current appointment with Innovation: Africa as an Agriculture Development Officer.

Ivan Nyende

Accountant, Uganda


Benedicto Loduk was born and raised in Karamoja, Uganda where he attained both primary and secondary education and was awarded the Uganda certificate of education after graduating secondary school. Benedicto went on to study at Busitema University, Arapai Campus Faculty of Agriculture and Animal Science and attained a certificate in General Agriculture. He speaks fluent English, Kiswahili and Ngakarimojong languages. He has experience working with many organizations such as: Caritas in Agriculture Field work, Farm Africa with live-stock field work, Northern Uganda Social Action Fund as lead local artisan, and as an intern at The German Cooperation (GIZ) until his current appointment with Innovation: Africa as an Agriculture Development Officer.

Lerian Moshi

Project Manager, Tanzania


Lerian was born and raised in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. After studying she completed her Advance Diploma in Information Technology at Learnit Institute of Technology. She then began working as a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for an NGO, Building Rural Incomes Through Enterprises until she joined Innovation: Africa in July 2017.


Lerian speaks both English and Swahili and some bantu languages.

Elias Rutashobya Muhikambele

Field Officer, Tanzania


Elias was born and raised in the region of Morogoro, Tanzania. Finding his passion for the field of agriculture, Elias pursued his Masters of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics at Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania. Previously, Elias worked with World Vision as a program facilitator where her monitored and evaluated projects that focused on education, health, and livelihood.


For Elias, joining Innovation: Africa as a Field Officer mean being a part of a team that I solving real problems in rural African villages, particularly addressing issues of lack of energy and water which are the fundamental needs of humans. Elias feels blessed to work with Innovation: Africa; achieving his personal dreams and being a part of an organization that is changing the lives of millions of people.


Filipo Mwale

Project Manager, Malawi


Filipo Mwale was born in Lilongwe, Malawi. He studied International Development and Sociology and studied at The Open University UK. He began working with Innovation for Poverty Action followed by a Program Manager position for Murphy Mucrea Project prior to joining the Innovation: Africa team. Filipo is a father of two kids: a son and a daughter. He speaks fluent English, Chichewa and Tumbuka.

Faith Kwalimba

Field Officer, Malawi


Faith was born and raised in Blantyre, Malawi. She attended Malawi Adventist University and obtained a BSC in Public health from University of

Eastern Africa, Baraton and has worked as an Environmental Health Officer for a number of years where she did field work on public health services and trained others in environmental health services. She worked with World Vision International as a WASH Development Facilitator where they provided water, sanitation and hygiene and other services in communities, schools and health centres in Malawi. With her passion for community development and belief that everyone deserves a happy, healthy and

environmentally friendly community, Faith joined the Innovation: Africa team in 2018 to serve communities in Malawi. She enjoys traveling, learning new cultures, and supporting others in need.


Elizabeth Kogoya

Field Officer, Malawi


I was born and raised in Blantyre, Malawi and obtained my Bachelor's of science in Agricultural Engineering at the University of Malawi, Bunda College (currently known as Lilongwe University of Agriculture and National Resources, LUANAR). I have worked with World Vision International as a livelihood facilitator for 9 months and I was responsible in promoting resilience in communities affected from disasters and persistent droughts in Malawi through the creation of productive sustainable activities, both household and communal activities. I also worked as an Irrigation Development Facilitator for 2 years in establishing and constructing solar-powered irrigation system to improve the livelihoods and promote resilience to vulnerable communities. I love motivating young girls to work hard and give it their all in their studies to become game changers and contribute to the development of my country, the warm heart of Africa, Malawi. My hobbies are reading and traveling.

Enid Banda

Field Officer/Irrigation Engineer, Malawi


Enid Banda is 25 years old and was raised in Malawi. She holds a Bachelor of Science inIrrigation Engineering that she obtained from the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Bunda Campus, in Malawi. She has worked with Bluezone Limited, Kasinthula Agricultural Research Station and Illovo-Nchalo Sugar Estate designing, installing, operating,

maintaining and evaluating irrigation systems. She is so glad to be part of innovation: Africa as a Field Officer/ Irrigation Engineer, changing lives and making them better.

Emmie Kumbikano-Gumulira

Field Officer, Malawi


Emmie Kumbikano-Gumulira has a total of 13 years working experience, 11 of which were in the field of Medical Rehabilitation (A combination of physical therapy, occupational therapy and communication therapy). She has worked in rural settings across the districts of Malawi having worked as District Rehabilitation Officer for Malawi Against Physical Disabilities (MAP) and Partners in Health (PIH). During her 4 years of service in Neno, her passion for vulnerable persons, especially women, children, orphans, persons with disabilities increased due to the high level of desperation and destitution among the people. She decided to upgrade herself academically and professionally and she enrolled at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) for a BSc in Human Sciences to improve her skills in serving vulnerable persons. This degree has enabled her to work in the fields of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS, Education, Youth as well Emergency Situations through working for Creative Center for Community Mobilization (a local NGO), Assemblies of God Care (a faith based local NGO), GIZ Nutrition and Access to Primary Education International (an International NGO) among others.

She is extremely excited to be a member of the Innovation: Africa team and participate in bringing water, light and nutritious food (through drip irrigation) using Israeli innovations and technologies. She sees this not as a job, but as her service to mankind.

Robert Nyasulu

Field Officer, Malawi


Robert received his bachelor's degree in Renewable Energy obtained in 2016 at Mzuzu University in Malawi and he received a diploma in Electrical Engineering in 2012 from University of Malawi. These degrees enabled him to develop vast knowledge in the electrical and solar industry. In addition to his academic qualifications, he worked as a technician at Bluezone Limited and was responsible for designing solar-water pumping systems and servicing Grundfos and DAB water pumps. He acquired a permit for renewable energy activities in 2016 by Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority. Robert is very passionate about working with rural communities as he knows that this is where the effects of poverty and lack of access to basic needs is felt most. This is where he has chosen to focus his potential and play a role in transformation of lives by working with Innovation: Africa. Robert is a Chelsea FC football fan and enjoys watching English Premier League football.

Mercy Tayim

Project Manager - Cameroon


Mercy Tayim is a 6 time Champion of Female Table Tennis in Cameroon and has represented her country in several international Table Tennis competitions. She is also a teacher by training and has taught Biology to High School students for the last decade. She recently graduated from Peking University, China with a Master’s in Management and Public Policy. Currently working for Innovation: Africa enables her to pursue one of her passions -- contributing to improve the living conditions of the less privileged.

Serge Mbaïnassem

Field Officer - Cameroon


Serge Mbaïnassem was born and raised in Maroua-Cameroon. Since his childhood, he has had a passion for the arts. The poor living conditions and lack of social good wealth in his surroundings increased his passion for social work. That is the reason why he created the Salam Art Company  to promote peace through arts and improve disabled people’s living conditions. Thanks to his actions, many peoples’ lives have been impacted and they can now have hope for a better future. Joining the Innovation: Africa team will enable him to accomplish more good deeds at the favor of local communities.


Serge speaks English, French, and some Cameroonian languages.


Yanawa Bidai

In-House Electrical Engineer, Cameroon


Yanawa Bidai was born and raised in Cameroon. He obtained his Certificate of Professional Aptitude (CAP) in Electricity of Equipment and then a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering. He worked as a teacher of Electricity of Equipment in college but later went back to school at the National School of Polytechnic of Maroua, Cameroon, where he gained knowledge in Renewable Energy. He worked in multiple capacities in different structures: the National Institute of Statistics (INS), the Social Networks Project (PFS), the International Rescue Committee (IRC) as a trainee in the transport and distribution of average electrical energy and low voltage. He also worked at the oil production plant (SODECOTON) on their solar pumping sites and achieved electrification of several buildings. Bidai joined the Innovation: Africa team at the end of 2018 as the In-House Electrical Engineer in Cameroon.

Nozipho Mahlalela

Field Officer, eSwatini


A last born in a family of six, Nozipho was raised by a single parent, her mother. She was born and bred in the eastern part of Swaziland along the Mozambican border. She completed her high school education in Lomahasha before she enrolled at the University of Eswatini in 2006 where she studied journalism and Mass Communication. She joined AMICAALL, an urban AIDS response NGO as a communications volunteer before she was promoted to the Communications Officer. While at AMICAALL she fell in love with Community Development programming after she was assigned to coordinate a project focusing on Sexual Reproductive Health among young people. She joins Innovation: Africa from SAfAIDS a regional NGO where she worked on several projects, engaging communities on health issues, behavioural change and service uptake. She has worked in all the 55 constituencies implementing several project activities. She is passionate about community development and she wants to be part of positive change in communities of Eswatini.

Mkhosi Bandile Mdluli

Field Officer, eSwatini


I was born in Mbabane and raised in Ngwenya community. I have lived in many different areas around the country for school and work purposes. I studied Economics and Statistics for my undergraduate degree at the University of eSwatini. After that, I worked for a number of development NGOs in the country, the last one being at World Vision where I worked as Design, Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator. I left the position in 2016 to do a Masters’ Degree in Agricultural Economics in Taiwan, at the National Taiwan University.


Recently joined the Innovation: Africa team as Field Officer. I have a passion for Community Development and hope to play a role in the betterment of the lives of the vulnerable people of eSwatini.


Menzi B. Mawelela

Water Engineer - eSwatini


This gentleman was born in the dry Lowveld of eSwatini, where water scarcity is a major problem on land, which is very fertile. After high school, I obtained a Degree in B.Sc. in Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering for the University of eSwatini. Furthermore, I also acquired various technical expertise in my field of study in Civil, Portable Water and Agricultural Engineering in various projects such as Irrigation, Borehole drilling and Solar installations, Commercial farming and Construction. On my spare time, I fix furniture in schools, which have been damaged, especially during exam preparation and I also am a player-coach for the University Squash team. I speak French, English and Siswati

Abraham Ngobeni

Regional Director
Mpumalanga, South Africa


Abraham Ngobeni, born in Mozambique but raised in South Africa. He holds a BA in Social Work from the University of Venda and Certificate in Advanced Management from the Turfloop Graduate School of Leadership. He has vast experience of community development from the South African government as a social worker for 9 years throughout Mpumalanga Province. He also worked as a District Manager for an NGO - Society for Family Health funded by USAID for Sexuality Education and HIV prevention.


Mr. Abraham Ngobeni fluently speaks 7 of the 11 South African languages: Xitsonga, Siswati, Sepedi, Tshivenda, IsiNdebele, English and IsiZulu. He dreams of Africa without poverty, no wonder he works hard.

Ninky Mkhabela

Field Officer - South Africa


Ninky was born in South Africa in a village called Dumphries "A" around Bushbuckridge area of Mpumalanga province in South Africa. She holds a bachelor’s degree and an honours in Public Administration from the University of Limpopo. Ninky’s experience ranges from working as an intern at Khomanani Youth organisation, volunteering as a teacher at Damphries C Combined School and working as a field worker at a community development organization named Wits Health. Her passion lies mainly in the development of poverty stricken communities. She aims to make “Africa” a better continent to live in.

Seun Mona

Field Officer - South Africa


Seun was born in the late 80s at Cork Village in Bushbuckridge Municipality of Mpumalanga Province. He holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Limpopo. After completing his studies, Seun volunteered in a rehabilitation centre where he was responsible for providing counselling and doing community awareness campaigns against substance abuse. He also worked for ChildLine Mpumalanga where he was responsible for facilitating hands-on parenting groups and teen parenting groups and also providing counselling to young boys who were victims of sexual abuse and those who are perpetrators.  Seun is passionate about helping other people.

Thakhani Theobald Mudau

Field Officer - South Africa


Thakhani Theobald was born in Limpopo Province South Africa in a rural area called Ha.l-Masia Vyeboom village. He was raised by his Grandmother. He studied Youth Development at University of South Africa, furthering his studies with UNISA studying BA in Social Work as part time student.He has an in-depth understanding of the NGO sector and has worked with several organisations on various projects. His expertise lies in children and care givers, focusing primarily on projects that address parenting skills, nutrition and HIV education.


He belives in the power of the community and works to do his part in developing it.

Thandeka Khosa

Field Officer - South Africa


Thandeka Khosa was born in South Africa andI grew up in a village called Edinburgh in Bushbuckridge municipality. She is a qualified social worker and obtained her honours degree in 2014 at the University of Venda. She worked as a community worker for a number of years and was responsible for monitoring projects and worked to empower victims as a programme manager. She has a passion for working with members in the rural communities and is excited to join efforts at Innovation: Africa in South Africa.

Paulina Phiri

Field Officer - Zambia


Paulina Phiri was born and raised in Zambia. She studied Agriculture Engineering from the University of Zambia. Upon completing her tertiary education, she joined Water Resources Consultants Limited as a Project Manager for National Rural Water and Sanitation Projects in Zambia through the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection Funded by (KFW BANK, UNICEF, ADB BANK, DANIDA and JAICA). For over 6.5 years, Paulina implemented and managed rural water projects, working directly with community stakeholders and she later joined Zambezi Exploration Limited as an Operations Manager. Paulina speaks English and some Zambian local languages. She is more than delighted to be part of Innovation: Africa where she continues working to develop rural communities in Zambia.

George Bush Komakech

Field Officer - Zambia


George is an Agricultural and Bio-Systems Engineer who received his education from Makerere University in Uganda. George also earned a Diploma in Agricultural Engineering from Busitema University, Uganda. Having lived in two parts of Africa for long periods of time, George has developed an interest in providing solutions for water management problems, waste management challenges, and post-harvest handling issues in Africa. Working with Innovation: Africa offers George a chance to participate in bringing water and light (energy) to the people who need it most, those in rural African villages. This is a chance that he truly cherishes. A fun fact about George is that he is also a professional stand-up comedian who, for over one year, has been hosting a comedy TV show on the National Television station ZNBC TV1!

Thukiwe Namfukwe

Field Officer - Zambia


Thukiwe was born and raised in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia. Thukiwe’s passion to serve marginalised communities drew her to study the field of social sciences. Thukiwe holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Mulungushi University and a Master’s Degree in Glocal International Development Studies with a speciality in Gender and Development from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Thukiwe’s previous work involved promoting rights of women and girls’ access to education and health services. Thukiwe now looks forward to working with Innovation: Africa to provide water to remote villages and light to schools, health centers, and orphanages in Zambia.

Timothy Banda

Field Officer - Zambia


Timothy received his Bachelor of Engineering in Environmental Engineering from the Copperbelt University in 2013. Following earning his degree, Timothy worked for Kitwe City Council as an Environmental Officer and has gained experience in water and waste water treatment and management, climate smart agriculture systems, and renewable energy production. Timothy is passionate in playing a role in the field of human development with special focus on working in remote rural areas which are hard hit with malnutrition, disease, and underdeveloped. Timothy is delighted to be part of Innovation: Africa and be a part of the organization's noble work.

Marriam Sakala

Field Officer - Zambia


Marriam was born in Katete District, Eastern Province of Zambia. Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Zambia, Marriam has a strong background in research. Marriam has worked on many water and sanitation projects including being a part of the Malaria Control and Elimination Partnership in Africa (MACEPA) as a member of their in-house spraying projects in Eastern Province. Marriam is delighted to be part of Innovation: Africa where she continues to fulfil her passion of interacting with rural communities and coordinating the implementation of the organization’s projects.

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