• Speaker profiles

    Hope Azeda

    Hope Azeda is the founder and artistic director of Mashirika Performing Arts, a leading theatre company in Rwanda. She is also the curator of the Ubumuntu Arts Festival. Ms. Azeda’s work as a writer, performer, and teacher has taken her to many theatres and universities around the world, as well as G8 World Summit in 2005. Azeda also directed "Shadows of Memory" for the 20th genocide commemoration in2014 and Generation 25 in 2019. Alumni of Brown International Advanced Research Institute, she has also been an Artist-in-residence at the Institute for the Arts and Civic Dialogue in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. Azeda is also a fellow of Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI-ASPEN-Institute). In addition to her theatre work, Azeda served as a casting director for the films "Sometimes in April", "Shake Hands with the Devil", "Beyond the gates", "White light", "Africa United" and "Our lady of the Nile". In 2018, Hope was honored as a Laureate of the John. P. McNulty Prize. Other awards include MAAFA Lifetime Award and Continental Award in the category of arts and culture by CEO Global.

    Caroline Numuhire

    Caroline Numuhire is a creative writer and social activist. She is the author of two novels and a collection of short stories. Her first, French novel “L’oncle Gynécologue” was published in 2018 by L’Harmattan in France, following a collection of short stories “Mirror of Stolen Hearts”, and in 2020, she collaborated with Imagine We, a Rwandan publisher, to release “Between Wild and Free”, her first English novel. Additionally, she contributed to two books that were both published in the UK, one by the Caine Prize for African Writing.

    She also brings a multi-faceted approach to the philanthropy sector, informed by her own career in agriculture and global public health. She fosters communities of exchange and support with gusto and serves as a Program Officer in Rwanda on the Segal Family Foundation team. In her free time, she enjoys writing, reading great books, dancing, cooking, and traveling the world. She is also the co-founder of Women ConneXion, a sacred space where women practice the art of (self) healing.

    Yseult Polfliet Mukantabana

    Yseult Polfliet Mukantabana is a creative and social advocate from the Rwandan diaspora — Brussels-raised, now New York City resident — who wants to create spaces for tough conversations. Together with her Co-Founder, she has launched a consultation company that addresses and works on dismantling racism and antisemitism. "The Kinswomen" was originally a podcast that was named top podcast from Cosmopolitan, Elle, Marie Claire magazines. They work on giving space to BIPOC, they have now evolved into a consultation company that works with individuals and companies to make a sustainable and equitable change from within and outward. They do it from a place of love and compassion with a pinch of tough love.

    Dr. David Zaber

    Dr. David Zaber is a private environmental consultant working in the fields of sustainable natural resource and agricultural management. Dr. Zaber received his Ph.D. in Resource Ecology and Management from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment. Dr. Zaber also earned his Master’s of Science in Veterinary Biomedical Sciences from the University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign. Dr. Zaber has served as Director of Science at Defenders of Wildlife in Washington D.C., Wildlife Toxicologist for the National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes Natural Resource Center and Science Fellow for the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago. Dr. Zaber is working currently to protect temperate forests and rare wildlife in the Great Lakes region of the USA.

    Sylvie Nsanga

    Sylvie Nsanga is a social justice activist and feminist with a background and passion in ICT for Development with more than 13 years of experience in digitalization policies and strategies, currently working as a digitalization specialist with the government of Rwanda. She is passionate about digital and inclusive innovations to solve society's most pressing challenges.

    Growing up in patriarchal societies, seeing and living gender injustices and inequalities at an early age, she realized her call and the many privileges she possesses to fight for social justice. For the last 25 years, she is serving in different human rights organizations to promote women’s rights and access to justice. In addition, she contributed to youth social and economic development in her country and served as secretary-general of the Rwanda National Youth Council (2005-2010).

    She has made gender and digital justice her purpose, her research and advocacy link ICT to social justice with the goal to bridge the widespread gender digital divide. Currently, with partners, she is involved in exciting projects to promote children and women's digital freedom, safety, and building their digital footprint. Sylvie holds a bachelor's degree in Information Technology from the former Kigali Institute of Science and Technology and a Master’s degree in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University.

    Joseph Uwagaba

    Joseph Uwagaba is a Rwandan author, career advisor, education and
    business consultant, poet, motivational speaker, manager, evangelist, feminist,
    social activist. He holds an M.A in Development Studies, an B.A in Emergency and
    Disaster Management, a Diploma in Theology. The Co-founder of Talk to Me initiative, Co-founder of the Winners Family Rwanda. He also published his first book “A hundred Days in Marriage”.
    Mr. Joseph is currently based in Poland, attending a Master’s in International
    Business and Logistics at the University of Economics and Human Sciences located
    in Warsaw. Working for Everest Poland as a career advisor together with that he
    also writes devotions and motivational articles.
    Professionally, Joseph works with different trading companies as a Sales Manager. He has previously worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
    (UNHCR), Kigali-Rwanda. He does believe in girls and women empowering as a key
    factor in accelerating development. He stated that dealing with struggles anxiety and
    depression is a process, not an automatic reaction.

    Dominique Uwase Alonga

    Dominique Uwase Alonga is an award-winning leader, a young woman passionate about the intellectual growth and skills improvement of her fellow Africans. She is the founder and chief executive officer of Imagine We Rwanda, an award-winning social enterprise and publishing house with the aim of empowering the reading and creative writing culture in Rwanda. She believes that her organization impacts Africans through the right representation in stories around the world. Dominique also volunteers her time talking to young girls with the aim of boosting their self-esteem. Dominique has proven a fast ability to strengthen her entrepreneurial and business skills to improve the lives of young people in Rwanda through sustainable ventures and projects.

    Sandrine Amahoro Rutayisire

    Passionate about poetry Sandrine Amahoro Rutayisire is a senior at Gashora
    Girls Academy of Science and Technology studying Mathematics, Physics, and
    Computer Science. She has held various leadership positions at school including the
    President of the Gashora Girls Academy Poetry Lab, she is also the current President
    of the Tech and Robotics Club. Sandrine was also nominated and holds a seat in the
    WEF Youth Council for Artificial Intelligence. For the last 4 years, she has shared her
    love for poetry, performing in prestigious events such as Youth Connekt Africa, LIT
    conference, and numerous open-mics in Kigali. Sandrine was featured as Kigali’s Best Poet at the Imfura Arts Poetry for Peace competition and has published some of her poems in MK textbooks as teaching aids. She is driven by the words "Touch Hearts and Teach Minds" which is an adage of hers to create a world of peace, belonging, and prosperity. Sandrine aspires to be a computer science engineer while changing the world with one poem and one code at a time.