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      Meet the team

      Staff

      Staff

      Onyekachi Wambu

      Executive Director

      Former journalist and television documentary maker Onyekachi Wambu brings strong executive management experience to AFFORD and is a respected voice on African affairs.

      Read more about Onyekachi…

      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 of writing about Black Britain (1999 Ed). He is a trustee of the African social justice platform, Fahamu; a member of the London School of Economics (LSE) Media and Communications Advisory Group; a co-founder of African Remembrance Day; a Senior Associate of the Foreign Policy Centre (FPC); 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 26 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 Opoku Owusu

      Deputy Director

      Stella is responsible for overseeing AFFORD’s work on Investment, Enterprise and Employment as well as Engagement, Network Building Services and Training.

      Read more about Stella…

      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.

      Paul Asquith

      Paul Asquith

      Engagement and Policy Manager

      Paul has 20 years’ experience in managing community development and public health projects, and conducting research in Africa, Europe, and the UK.

      Read more about Paul…

      Specialities: Since 2012 he has helped develop and coordinate ADEPT, a network of African diaspora groups based in 30 European states that are active in development across a range of sectors in 54 African states. Leading on policy engagement issues, he regularly works with officials from different governmental and intergovernmental agencies, including the UK Houses of Parliament, EC, AU, Member States, and UN institutions, and briefs government staff in African and European states on migration and development policy issues. He currently helps coordinate the All Party Parliamentary Group on Diasporas, Development & Migration, for which AFFORD provides the secretariat.

      Experience: Paul has 20 years’ experience of managing community development and public health projects, and conducting research in Africa, Europe, and the UK. Since joining AFFORD in 2012, his work has focused on policy engagement and advocacy on migration and development issues. Prior to this, for ten years Paul commissioned and managed specialist public health and treatment services in London for vulnerable groups such as drug and alcohol users and street sex-workers, with a particular focus on HIV and TB prevention. Paul is also a Research Associate at the Centre of African Studies, SOAS, University of London, where his research interests include: diasporas, migration, and development; culture, health, and migrant communities; Islamic models of development in North Africa and the Horn; and Islamic education and development in Ethiopia.

      Education: MA Anthropology of Development, BA Arabic & Amharic

      Why AFFORD: AFFORD’s work embodies diaspora contributions to development through its work on the continent and here in the UK and Europe. Its staff are passionate yet extremely knowledgeable about Africa.

      I am passionate about Africa because: My love affair with Africa started as a small child, but since first visiting North Africa and then the Horn of Africa as a young man the connection has become hard-wired! I am passionate about Africa because its past, present, and future are so fascinatingly rich and diverse.

      Elvina Quaison

      Elvina Quaison

      Engagement and Policy Manager

      Elvina has over 15 years working with Diaspora organisations, including managing projects to assist diaspora entrepreneurs and volunteers.

      Read more about Elvina…

      Specialities: Elvina has been project managing diaspora focused projects for over 18 years. Her specialities also include research, events organising and public speaking.

      Experience: Elvina has worked with Diaspora organisations for over 15 years. In 2011 she managed projects for AFFORD assisting Diaspora contribute their skills and knowledge by volunteering in Ghana. She also managed a project facilitating Diaspora entrepreneurs’ goals of setting up a business in Africa, specifically Ghana. Following this work she followed suit and lived in Ghana for over three years. Elvina brings her knowledge and deep interest in the UK African Diaspora to her work with AFFORD.

      Education: Qualifications (you can add in institution where comfortable): MA Diaspora and Migration Studies (SOAS), BA Social Policy and Sociology (Essex University)

      Why AFFORD: AFFORD does development differently, it listens to people in the continent and works with them, from the grassroots to decision makers, and then identifies ways to assist. AFFORD recognises the unique and impactful position the diaspora holds and works to maximise the positive aspects of the diaspora while addressing some of the challenges. AFFORD’s way of working makes sense to me and that is why I and many others globally commit our time, resource and energy to the work of AFFORD.

      I am passionate about Africa because: Africa made me and so no matter where I go or what I do I have a love and responsibility to Africa the continent and its people. The energy and enthusiasm I get when I visit African countries lets me know that all the work is worth it and just motivates me to keep going!

      Richard Leigh

      Richard Leigh

      Engagement and Capacity Building manager

      Responsible for the Migration and Development West Africa Project. 

      Read more about Richard…

      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 decisons, 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 needs to be tapped. Africa, however, has to fulfil its potential for the benefit of its people and the world. 

      Dejuance Duwhaz

      Dejance Duwhaz

      Grants Programme Assistant

      Dejance brings experience from an accountancy and financial management background.

      Read more about Dejuance…

      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 of preparing and producing financial and management accounts in a 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.

      Alice Radley

      Alice Radley

      AFFORD Business Club (ABC) Assistant

      Alice has recently completed her Master’s in Latin American Development at King’s College London after achieving her undergraduate at the University of Exeter in Economics and Spanish. Alongside her academic interest in development, she has participated in trips to both Peru and Tanzania on education projects with VolunTeach Peru and VSO respectively.

      Read more about Alice…

      For the last year Alice has volunteered at Our Moon Education, a Zambian based NGO, coordinating social media outlets and writing funding applications. She has previously interned at AFFORD for the Diaspora Experience and now works as The AFFORD Business Club (ABC) Assistant.

      Kenny Washington

      Kenny Washington

      Technical Project Lead

      Kenny is the technical project lead for the African Foundation for Development’s (AFFORD) pioneering Diaspora Bond Investment fund for affordable housing. For the past 10 years Kenny has worked in the not-for-profit sector providing fundraising and programme consultancy to international organisations such as Charities Aid Foundation and Geneva Global and more recently international charity Christian Aid. 

      Read more about Kenny…

      Kenny has built a successful career working across a number of industries including, over 10 years as a talent development executive in the music industry and 10 years working with technology and manufacturing start ups. 

      Eva Cholewa

      PMEL Manager

      Eva has 15 years of experience in Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning (PMEL) and fundraising. Worked on projects delivered mainly in Nigeria, as well as in other African countries. She has designed, managed and evaluated multi-million pounds projects focusing on: job creation, peacebuilding, community empowerment, reintegration of ex-combatants, advocacy, good governance and service delivery, funded by DFID, EU and US CSO, World Bank, Comic Relief, Dutch Foreign Ministry, among others.

      Read more about Eva

      As PMEL Manager for AFFORD, she developed an internal PMEL system embedded in all AFFORD’s projects and built the capacity of AFFORD staff and partners to implement it. 

      Orvil Plummer

      Finance Manager

      Orvil has over twenty years of experience in all areas of accounting and financial management, in public practice and the private sector.

      Read more about Orvil

      Specialities: Financial Accounting, Financial Management, Budgeting & Forecast, Reporting and Compliance.

      Experience: A fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified accountants (ACCA), with over twenty years of extensive experience in all areas of accounting and financial management, acquired through working in public practice and private sector.

      Education: Master’s in Business Administration from University of Westminster.

      Why AFFORD: AFFORD’s vision and passion gives me hope that they are sustainable solutions to migration issues. AFFORD brings a new perspective and energy in enacting its vision.

      I am passionate about Africa because: Different countries in Africa are at different stages in their development continuum so this gives a rich mix of exciting transformation prospects. Africa is like an exciting book with a nugget on each page. It is so compelling to be part of real proportionate change.

      Board of Trustees

      Board of Trustees

      Ade Daramy

      Ade Daramy

      Communications and journalism professional with over 35 years experience.

      Read more about Ade…

      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 Njoku

      Ndidi Njoku

      Ndidi has worked across various industries in the financial sector and development arena, within Europe, Middle East, Africa and UK.

      Read more about Ndidi

      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 Osengor

      Martin Osengor

      Martin brings over 25 years of experience as a change activist and has been a Trustee of AFFORD for 12 years.

      Read more about Martin…

      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.

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