Former journalist and television documentary maker Onyekachi Wambu brings strong executive management experience to AFFORD and is a respected voice on African affairs.
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Specialities: Strong executive management skills developed running multi-million pound development and media organizations, covering finance, admin, programmes, editorial, advertising, and promotions departments. Extensive experience in policy, advocacy and communications. Key expert in putting the issues of migration and development on the international policy agenda. Policy advisor on Africa to the late Bernie Grant, MP. Over 30 years of consistent commitment first, to communicating and improving understanding of Africa and her global diaspora. Second to researching and developing the evidence base that would enable better planning and decision making; third, developing policy and engaging policymakers and bringing about policy change; fourth, building strong institutions that provide a platform for unleashing African creativity, innovation and agency.
Experience: He has pioneered many of the concepts and practices of enhancing the contribution of the diaspora to African and international development. His previous positions at AFFORD, include Head of Communications, and Director of Strategy and Policy. Onyekachi has written widely on Africa, global diaspora, socio-politics, and development. His publications include Under the Tree of Talking: Leadership for Change in Africa (2007 Ed.), commissioned by the British Council, and Empire Windrush: 50 years, a co-founder of African Remembrance Day; and a trainer on the AFFORD advocacy CPDE accredited course. He has delivered papers and speeches on international development at the UN, UNECA, African Union, OECD, and a host of other international fora. Before AFFORD, he worked extensively as a journalist and television documentary maker. He edited The Voice Newspaper at the end of the 1980s and has made documentaries and programmes for the BBC, Channel 4 and PBS. He has written a monthly column since 2008 for the leading Pan African magazine, New African. He is a respected broadcaster and commentator on African affairs, his commentary has appeared on the BBC, the Guardian, CCTV, Voice of America, Press TV and TVC. He has visited and worked in 27 African countries.
Education: B.A Government, University of Essex; M.Phil International Relations, Selwyn College, Cambridge
Why AFFORD: I was first attracted by AFFORD’s optimism about Africa’s future; its ability to mobilise the diaspora to improve conditions; its passion for innovation and fearlessness in thinking outside the development box; its values of transparency and collaborative working; and the great partnerships it developed with partners and supporters. It remains an excellent space for ambitious and unswerving commitment to the goal of institution building and African development.
I am passionate about Africa because: I fell in love with the continent again, when making a film, Hopes on the Horizon, in 1999. Travelling across 7 African countries (Benin, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, & South Africa), documenting the battles for democracy in the 1990s, I was inspired by the struggles of a generation of beautiful activists, and their determination and optimism in improving the welfare of ordinary Africans. At the lowest point of the whole period of ‘Afro-pessimism’ it was important for me to join this generational effort that believed in a great future for Africa. From ‘Afro-pessimism’ to ‘Africa rising’ in one decade. From ‘Africa rising’ to ‘the African Century’ – let’s do it!
Stella Opoku Owusu
Stella is responsible for overseeing AFFORD’s work on Investment, Enterprise and Employment as well as Engagement, Network Building Services and Training.
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Specialities: Diaspora, migration and development; diaspora policy; diaspora finance; grants management; fundraising capacity-building;
Experience: Over 15 years’ experience in the development sector, responsible for overseeing AFFORD’s work on Investment, Enterprise and Employment as well as Engagement, Network Building Services and Training. This includes managing the Diaspora Finance Portfolio which is now over £1 million. Led on AFFORD’s official engagement with Migration and Development (MADE) Civil Society Network and coordinated the MADE global thematic working group on diaspora and migrants in development with a focus on their role in job creation, social enterprise, investment and public policy. My role engages diaspora and migrants, INGOs, inter-governmental and international bodies, governments and other stakeholders involved in diaspora and development with a view to developing policy to create a better enabling environment for diaspora action.
Education: MA International Relations, University of Nottingham
Why AFFORD: A versatile and growing diaspora-led organisation that has consistently upheld its values through its achievements. Provides genuine space for personal growth and there is no limit to the impact one can make in this organisation.
I am passionate about Africa because: Africa is unique and versatile in so many ways and provides lots of potential for growth. Having grown up on the continent, I believe in its people, its potential and its future and want to be part of the growth and development of this dynamic continent.
Engagement and Capacity Building manager
Responsible for the Migration and Development West Africa Project.
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Specialities: Richard has a background in engaging youth and community development and organising, business development, capacity building, transport and infrastructural development consultancy.
Experience: Has 14 years experience in project management and capacity building, transport and infrastructural development consultancy, youth engagement and development, community organising and implementing projects, initiatives and programmes to successfully educate communities on governance, political decisions, stakeholder engagement, community journalism and conduct research to improve programs and social enterprise/ business development and management.
Led a team to win the maiden 2010 Ghana edition of Global Management Challenge and represented Ghana at the International finals in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. Was a Steering Committee Member of AFFORD’s Africa Gives Platform: helping to develop a platform for African youth in the diaspora to contribute skills, time and financially to African countries. An Expert Assessor for the Global Development Awards Competition, the Japanese Award for Most Innovative Development Project.
Education: Political Science, Geography and Resource Development, Project Management and a Masters in Social Entrepreneurship.
Why AFFORD: The extent to which AFFORD goes to highlight African diaspora efforts, stay ahead of the pack and maintain relevance and steer diaspora agenda attracts me the most.
Why Africa: Africa is home, filled with the most diverse resources and potential that need to be tapped. Africa, however, has to fulfil its potential for the benefit of its people and the world.
Grants and Fund Manager
Dejance brings experience from an accountancy and financial management background.
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Specialities: Bookkeeping, Advanced Management Accounting, Corporate Financial Management, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting, Business Analysis, Budget and Cash Flow Forecast.
Experience: Part-Qualified Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and a qualified with the Association of Accounting Technicians with years of experience in preparing and producing financial and management accounts in the private and public sector. A proficient user of SAGE Line 50, XERO, QUICKBOOKS, SPSS Data Analysis Software, Bloomberg Terminal, and Ms Excel and Office.
Education: MSc in Applied Accounting and Finance; BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance
Why AFFORD: We share the same aspirations and goals of a prosperous and sustainable economic independent Africa. I am passionate about Africa because: I believe Africa is the future of the world and has a lot to offer in terms of opportunities and I want to help it to be self-dependent.
Arinze F. Udenka
Responsible for: the internal Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning (PMEL) system embedded in all AFFORD’s projects and built the capacity of AFFORD staff and partners to implement it.
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Arinze Udenka is a humanitarian with expertise in Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) and Business Development. Over 18 years he has provided monitoring, evaluation, research and learning capabilities to a range of livelihood support initiatives funded by international donors and corporate funders. Arinze understands that part of his job is to help organizations design new project strategies, set-up departments, deliver and evaluate projects in both emergency and development contexts. He had managed programs for International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) in policy advocacy, health, education, rural youth employment and empowerment sectors. Arinze managed donor budgets worth over $20m, staff recruitment, strategic frameworks, successful fundraising efforts worth over $30m, supervised MEL Frameworks, M&E capacity development of staff and constructive engagement with external stakeholders.
Specialities: Program Management, Strategy Development, Knowledge Management, Partnerships, Change Management, and Inter-Agency Coordination.
Experience: He has gained valuable experience in building relationships with both public and private stakeholders in the United Kingdom, Sweden, South Sudan, Liberia and Nigeria. This is shown in his development and deployment of several Management Information Systems (MIS), Monitoring Evaluation Learning (MEL) Indicator Plans for education, youth employment and health interventions. Arinze’s employment history include Director of Operations on EU, UNDP and USADF funded programs for Tony Elumelu Foundation; Senior Learning and Knowledge Manager on USAID funded program for Internews United States (2021 to 2022); Results, Learning & Research Manager funded by Sweden Embassy and implemented by Mercy Corps United States (2017 to 2020); Country Results, Learning and Research Officer funded by FCDO previously DFID) and implemented by Cambridge Education United Kingdom (2014 to 2017); and Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, University of Nigeria (2010 to 2013).
Education: He is a certified Project Manager for Development Professional (PMD Pro completed 2018), and a Doctoral candidate in Development Studies (2018 to 2022) with research focused on “Access to employment through employability skills education (Case of Sweden-funded youth employment initiative in Liberia). He has equally gained a Master of Science in Finance and Investment Analysis (2008 to 2009) from University of Greenwich, London, United Kingdom and a Bachelor of Science in Economics (2001 to 2005) from Nnamdi Azikiwe University. He has completed certificates in High Performance Leadership and Executive Leadership at Cornell University, New York (2019).
Why AFFORD: My attraction to AFFORD is its commitment to utilize the massive potential of African diaspora towards the development of Africa. I also admire the focus on improving the economic conditions of Africans (diaspora and locals) through advocacy initiatives that improve migration related governance and strengthening of entrepreneur networks.
Why Africa: I am passionate about sustainable development of Africa that harnesses the enormous natural endowment through an ecosystems approach that improves value chains, and creates meaningful jobs.
AFFORD Business Centre, West Africa
Responsible for ….. providing programmatic support for the delivery of the ABC West Africa programme objectives and for developing the AFFORD Business Club brand.
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Specialities: Sustainability; government, regulator and community relations management; partnerships development; project management; sales; integrated communication; research; and behaviour change design.
Experience: I have nearly 10 years of experience in industry across diverse roles including sales, R&D, sustainability and CSR, integrated communications, and government, regulator and community relations. This gives me a holistic approach to organizational development. I also have several years of experience in research management. Particularly, I am passionate about impacting and making impact through young people.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition. University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
Why AFFORD: AFFORD really gets the social implications of a ballooning youth population on the continent. Society often talks about the opportunity that this implies while glossing over the work that must accompany it and the risks involved. AFFORD does not shy away from the realities and positions itself at the juncture of repurposing a significantly large resource (the African diaspora and their contributions to the continent) towards Africa’s development. This completely aligns with my views and values.
Why Africa: Because it is ours…
Board of Trustees
Board of Trustees
Communications and journalism professional with over 35 years experience.
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Specialities: Researcher, broadcasting (radio and TV), Communications including print journalism. Expert on African politics, development
Experience: I am a communications and journalism professional of over 35 years experience. I was educated in Sierra Leone and the UK. Founder member of the Sierra Leone Diaspora Network and the Sierra Leone – UK Diaspora Ebola Response Taskforce (SLUKDERT); Experienced Communications Professional (including broadcast and print journalism); editor (co-editor, Journal of Sierra Leones Studies, editor-in-chief, Promota Africa magazine; Experienced radio (BBC World Service) and TV broadcaster; Consultant on African Diaspora affairs; Media commentator on African affairs.
Why AFFORD: AFFORD can be at the forefront in shaping the discourse, highlighting how entrepreneurship and innovation can impact Africa and create jobs in the coming decades. No one else is doing this and we must seize the initiative to set and shape the agenda. AFFORD already has a proven record in this regard and its vision for the future is one I would very much like to be a part of.
I am passionate about Africa because: Having grown up in an African country and visited several more, I have a desire to see the continent’s talents appreciated, recognised and utilised for the benefit of all.
Ndidi has worked across various industries in the financial sector and development arena, within Europe, Middle East, Africa and UK.
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Specialities: Finance and development specialist, with focus on the role of the Diaspora, migration, enterprise development, and regulatory infrastructure.
Experience: I’ve worked across various industries in the financial sector and development arena, within European, Middle East, Africa, and in UK gas and electricity infrastructure. This has provided the opportunity for me to participate in various specialist discussions and negotiations such as, at the United Nations, World Bank, the International Organisation of Securities Commissions and the European Securities and Markets Authority, the European Commission and European Council.
Why AFFORD: AFFORD captured my interest several years ago due to its innovative and pioneering can-do approach in facilitating sustainable job creation in Africa. AFFORD was one of the first NGOs to discuss the beneficial role of the African Diaspora and advocated to ensure that African Diaspora had a voice in mainstream discussions on migration and development.
I am passionate about Africa becausee: As a member of the Nigerian Diaspora and having visited Nigeria and other African countries, I see the tremendous potential in the continent. I believe that its only a matter of time until this potential is realised. I’m passionate about encouraging further connections between the developed and developing countries to facilitate economic development.
Martin brings over 25 years of experience as a change activist and has been a Trustee of AFFORD for 12 years.
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Specialities: Customer service, Storage and Archiving, Space Management, Health and Safety, Logistics, Strategic Planning, Event Management, Fundraising and resource management, Facilities Management and Community relations.
Experience: A pro-active, service-led change activist with over 25 years experience; 12 years of service as a Trustee at AFFORD, focusing on building community liaison building important linkages between the African diaspora and Africa. Through the delivery of universal health coverage, wellbeing and International development initiatives.
Why AFFORD: I am passionate about AFFORD, because AFFORD has been at the forefront of Institutionalising and mainstreaming the continued impact the African diaspora is having both in their communities and Africa.
I am passionate about Africa because: Africa is diversely blessed with cultural capital that the world can tap into to achieve sustainable development. I am passionate about mainstreaming Africa’s talent and resources in the context of sustainable development agenda.