4 Africans included in 2016 Rockefeller Foundation Social Innovation Fellows

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The Rockefeller Foundation has announced the 2016 Fellows for the Rockefeller Foundation Global Fellowship Programme on Social Innovation, with four Africans selected to join the 21-strong cohort.

Over the course of the year-long programme, fellows will convene for intensive collaborative workshops in Colombia, South Africa, and Indonesia.

Throughout the programme they will share lessons from their work and gain tools to begin transforming the systems at the root of some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

The Rockefeller Foundation said the 21 candidates selected include some of the world’s most promising innovators across various sectors and affiliations, including leaders from NGOs, development agencies, social enterprises, philanthropies and the private sector.

Two Kenyan candidates, one Ghanaian and one Rwandan were selected to join the cohort.  

The Kenyan fellows are Hital Muraj, corporate affairs manager for East, Central and Southern Africa at Cisco Systems; and Racheal Njeri Mwaura, Kenya programme lead of the Health in Africa Initiative and health at the World Bank Group.

The Ghanaian fellow is Sodzi Sodzi-Tettey, senior technical director for Africa at the Institute for

Healthcare Improvement; while the Rwandan fellow is Edouard Munyamaliza, executive director and founding member of the Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre.

“The Rockefeller Foundation believes that bringing people together to catalyze change at the systems level—across organizations, issues and sectors—is one of the keys to developing breakthrough innovations that can scale and create lasting change,” said Saadia Madsbjerg, managing director at the Rockefeller Foundation.

“We congratulate this year’s remarkable group of fellows, who have demonstrated a commitment to transforming systems in order to build greater resilience and more inclusive economies.”

The Rockefeller Foundation Global Fellowship Programme on Social Innovation is conducted in partnership with the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business.  

Other institutions involved include the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria, the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University, and the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience at the University of Waterloo.

Bertha Centre director Dr François Bonnici highlighted the importance of including the Global South in social innovation initiatives.

“We are delighted to have this chance to partner with some incredible institutions in putting the program together,” said Bonnici.

“The Rockefeller Global Fellowship Programme represents a fascinating new way of thinking about social innovation – one that locates the Global South in co-presence and mindful exchange with international movements towards systems change. The Global Fellows themselves are a truly inspiring group of people.  We continue to learn a great deal from their insight, commitment and diversity.”

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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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