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OUR TEAM

 

     Overview

     The SDGs

     Our Team

 

Alain Mugabo

Procurement and Relations Manager

Alain Mugabo serves as the Procurement and Relations Manager. He is in charge of procurement and relations activities and back up back up finance at the Centre. He joined the SDG Center for Africa in July 2016. Previously he worked at the Millennium Promise Rwanda / Millennium Villages at various positions including Procurement Manager, Accountant and Finance Assistant. He has experience in International Non-Profit organizations of 10 years in finance, procurement and logistics. Alain has a MA with a major in Accounting from University of Rwanda (UR) and holds a BA in Accounting from School Of Finance and Banking, and a CIPS Qualification Level 2; currently enrolled in Certified Public Accountancy courses. Alain is a Rwandese native and is fluent in English, French and Kinyarwanda.

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Alain Mugabo

Alain Mugabo

Procurement and Relations Manager

Ashley E. Hufft

General Counsel & Senior Strategic Advisor

Ashley joined SDGC/A in July 2017 as its General Counsel & Senior Strategic Advisor.  Prior to joining the SDGC/A, Ashley served as the Managing Director & General Counsel to The Millennium Promise Alliance (MP), Inc., a U.S.-based international NGO which served as the operational arm of the Millennium Villages Project (MVP), a collaboration between MP, the Earth Institute at Columbia University and several United Nations agencies.  The MVP was a holistic project working across sub-Saharan Africa to simultaneously address challenges of extreme poverty in many overlapping areas:  agriculture, education, health, infrastructure, gender equality and business development.  As Managing Director, Ashley oversaw MP’s support for the MVP across finance, legal, administration, operational, and partnership/development functions.  The MVP was transitioned to government and local community ownership at the end of 2015, coinciding with the end of the Millennium Development Goals period.  Prior to joining Millennium Promise, Ashley was a partner at the international law firm of Alston & Bird LLP, working first in Atlanta and then New York City.  She concentrated her practice in the areas of mergers & acquisitions, securities regulation and corporate finance.  After becoming a partner there in 2006, Ashley took an 18-month sabbatical from her legal practice to work at an orphanage in Cape Town, South Africa and then to serve as Project Manager for the Millennium Cities Initiative, an initiative of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, where she lived and worked in Kenya, focusing on foreign direct investment promotion in western Kenya.  It was during this sabbatical that Ashley became passionate about ending extreme poverty globally.  Ashley received her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was member of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau.  She received her B.A., summa cum laude, in Anthropology from Harvard College and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Prior to attending law school, Ashley taught first grade in Louisiana as a corps member of Teach for America.  After the end of the MVP in 2015 and before moving to Kigali, Rwanda with SDGC/A,, Ashley spent a little over a year working back with Teach For America, as Chief of Staff for the Kansas City region, and on the challenges of educational inequities in the U.S.   Ashley is originally from Texas, and grew up in Missouri, in the United States.  She has a seven-year old son from Ethiopia.

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Ashley E. Hufft

Ashley E. Hufft

General Counsel & Senior Strategic Advisor

Benjamin Rukundo

IT Manager
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Benjamin Rukundo

Benjamin Rukundo

IT Manager

Carol Uwizihiza

Administrative Assistant

Carol joined SDGC/A in July 2016 as an Administrative Assistant where she provides secretarial and administrative support to management and other staff. In addition, she serves as a receptionist where she welcomes all visitors and suppliers to the organization, answers general phone inquiries and directs them to the appropriate staff member using a professional and courteous manner. She also prepares and send outgoing mail, as well as sorting incoming mail and courier deliveries for distribution. Carol manages stock, receives and store the office supplies, ensuring that they are always available. Prior to joining SDGC/A, Carol was the Head of Administration Department at Business Continuity Plan Ltd taking care of the overall administration, organizing BCP Ltdforums where BCP Ltd advertises its services, Interviewing new staffs and communicating the results, taking minutes in various management meetings and following-up on the matters arising from previous meeting, setting deadlines for resolutions, monitoring all the expenses and income and reporting to the CEO. She was also involved in safeguarding all the companies’ contracts, participating in the marketing of the BCP ltd services and meet assigned targets; in addition, to following up with vendors or stakeholders providing various services.

Carol worked at Access Bank under Compliance and Internal Control Unit where she carried out an important role; she was in charge of Money Laundering, reviewed the Customer’s physical files and updated the customer’s information in the System in regard to KYC (Know Your Customer); thus, mitigated risk attached to customer’s incomplete documentation which might lead to fraud and money laundering. Also she was involved meeting customers for the KYC outstanding documentation and marketed the bank products at the same time.

Business owner, whole seller of a different range of Cell phones; help her husband set up this and took the leadership position. With this, she had the opportunity of assessing and mitigating business risks timely; later she resigned from the business to take advantage of a professional carrier. Carol Uwizihiza is a BSc holder in Social Sciences from Kigali Independent University. Carol is a Rwandan citizen fluent in English, Kinyarwanda and French.

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Carol Uwizihiza

Carol Uwizihiza

Administrative Assistant

Deo Rubangisa

Human Resources and Administration Manager
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Deo Rubangisa

Deo Rubangisa

Human Resources and Administration Manager

Donald Ndahiro

SDGs Advisor

Donald Ndahiro joined SDGC/A in July 2016 as an SDGs Advisor with main focus on Innovations, IT Solutions and Outreach Interventions. Before joining SDGC/A Donald worked as a Team Leader and Project Manager for The Millennium Villages Project (MVP) in Mayange Rwanda. During this time he coordinated the project planning, completion of work plans, budgets, procurement plans and reports; as well as building on strategic partnerships at national level with governmental organizations, NGOs, and private companies to advance the MVP’s strategic agenda. Before joining MVP, Donald served as a Regional Coordinator for World Vision Rwanda, and was involved in the Development Assistance Program for food security funded by USAID, with interventions in agriculture, health and rural income opportunities. Donald has experience in agriculture coordination for both the MVP and ZOA Refugee Care of which he was lead facilitator in the transition from relief to rehabilitation and a development phase of the program, involved with the development of grassroots based district development plans and was seconded at the province level as a planning officer. In addition, whilst working as the Site Manager for the Rwanda Agency for Rural Development, a local organization set up to resettle old case refugees returning to Rwanda after the 1994 genocide, he was able to identify areas suitable for settlement and those suitable for farming, introduced maize farming on a commercial scale and was responsible for promoting mechanized farming and tractor hire services. Donald has a MBA with a major in Management from Eastern Africa University of Baraton, as well as a MSc in Agricultural Economics and a BSc in Agriculture from Makerere University. Donald is a Rwandese native and is fluent in English and Kinyarwanda.

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Donald Ndahiro

Donald Ndahiro

SDGs Advisor

Enock Nyorekwa Twinoburyo, Ph.D.

Senior Economist

Enock joined the SDGC/A in April 2018 as a Senior Economist, where he is supporting the center's mandate of accelerating the SDG implementation by African Countries. This entails providing policy and technical support to the respective countries in the different areas of economic policy making and implementation. The primary focal are in the realm of financing for SDGs and predominantly tax revenue mobilization and other innovative ways of financing. Previously and over the last 11 years, Enock served as an economic advisor at the European Union Uganda since March 2015, at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Uganda from October 2012 to February 2015 and at the Royal Danish Embassy in Uganda from June 2008 to September 2012.  He also served as the Chair to the Donor Economist Group (DEG) in Uganda since 2012. The roles include but not limited to; promoting coordinated, prioritized, and economically informed policy dialogue with Government and other stakeholders. He also has done part time economics lecturing at the Uganda Technology and Management University (UTAMU) and Kyambogo University Uganda. Enock also supervises academic thesis in other Universities as and when approached, as well as has peer reviewed journal papers namely the International Journal of Sustainable Economy and Ghanaian Journal of Economics. Additionally, he has published a number of journal articles in: International Journal of Sustainable Economy; Journal of Applied Economic Sciences, Contemporary Economics, Journal of Central Banking Theory and Practice, Journal of Bank and Bank Systems among others. Additionally published various economic newspaper articles in the local media in Uganda. Enock attained a PhD in economics from University of South Africa (UNISA), and prior to that he attained a Master of Arts in Economics with a focus on Monetary Economics, Public Expenditure Economics and Environment economics from University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM).  Enock previously had attained a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Makerere University, Uganda. Enock is a Ugandan citizen and is fluent in English, Swahili and is interested in learning French.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-enoq-nyorekwa-twinoburyo-43925886/

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Enock Nyorekwa Twinoburyo, Ph.D.

Enock Nyorekwa Twinoburyo, Ph.D.

Senior Economist

Dr. Koffi Houngbedji

SDGs Advisor, Public Health Specialist
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Dr. Koffi Houngbedji

Dr. Koffi Houngbedji

SDGs Advisor, Public Health Specialist

Lina Henao

SDGs Advisor

Lina joined SDGC/A in July 2016 as a SDGs Advisor, where she is supporting and providing technical advice to national governments in the continent on the development and institutionalization of modern “real-time” tools for data gathering, aggregation, visualization and analysis for planning and monitoring the SDGs. Previously she was working for Columbia Global Centers in Nairobi as an Economic Costing Evaluation Specialist for East & Southern Africa and was involved in quantitative and qualitative evaluation procedures at the Millennium Village Projects. She has worked as a consultant, helping a wide range of development organizations in different countries with evaluation assessment of multi sectorial rural development programs. Lina was a Visiting Scholar for the Institute of Latin American Studies at Columbia University and a Research Assistant at The Economic Development Research Center in Bogotá, Colombia; researching on Latin American macroeconomic environment and its institutions and working on impact evaluations of public policies. During this post Lina focused on decentralization, poverty and cash transfer programs and its effect on low-income households and vulnerable populations. Lina holds a B.A. and a Masters in Economics from Los Andes University and a Masters of Public Administration in Development Practice from Columbia University. Lina is a Colombian citizen and is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/linahenao

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Lina Henao

Lina Henao

SDGs Advisor

Gary Verburg

Program Analyst

Gary joined the SDGC/A in September 2018 as a Program Analyst, in which capacity he is supporting policy research, trends modelling, and economic costing initiatives undertaken by the Center to guide SDG financing initiatives across sectors in African countries and analyzing funding needs and trends. He is establishing costing estimates for public sector investment to be used as benchmarks for public sector budgeting, as well as identifying potential feedbacks, synergies and tradeoffs for SDG implementation across sectors. Prior to joining SDGC/A, Gary was working with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) in New York, developing an economic modelling tools to analyze the economic, social and environmental transformations required to achieve the SDGs. Gary has a background in agriculture, and has previously worked on food security and sustainable agriculture projects in Honduras. He remains deeply interested in the role of agricultural and rural transformation in sustainable development. Gary holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Calgary in Canada and a Master in Public Administration in Development Practice from Columbia University in the city of New York. Gary is a Canadian citizen and is fluent in English, Spanish, French, and Dutch.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gert-jan-gary-verburg-15200167/

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Gary Verburg

Gary Verburg

Program Analyst

Mahmouda Hamoud

Manager, Procurement and Logistics

Mahmouda joined SDGCA in April, 2017 as the Manager in Procurement and Logistics. In this role, Mahmouda is in charge of  office logistical operations, travel, transport and events management. She started her professional career in September 1989 upon joining SwanAir Travel as Travel consultant.  In April 1993, Mahmouda moved to Gyro Travel Agency serving as an Assistant Travel Manager. From 1993 to 2012, Mahmouda served for ICRAF – The World Agroforestry Center as the Travel Assistant Officer, assisting the Travel manager organize for Center staff, dependants, visitors and workshop participants, rose to the position of Travel and Conferences Manager in charge of all Center travel and Conferences. From 2012 to 2016, Mahmouda joined the Columbia Global Centers in Africa as the Travel and Hospitality Manager in charge of all travel and hospitality logistics and office operations. Mahmouda has also served as a consultant in travel management, itinerary planning, engaged with travel principals with Airlines and Hotels for maximum cost effectiveness, as well as consulting with Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa in Kigali and managing the launch event in January, 2017.

Mahmouda holds a IATA/UFTAA Diploma and has completed Travel Operations courses. She is a recipient of The President's Award-Kenya (PA-K) – Bronze category. Mahmouda is a Kenyan citizen, fluent in English and Swahili.

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Mahmouda Hamoud

Mahmouda Hamoud

Manager, Procurement and Logistics

Mary Saba

Gender Advisor

Mary joined the SDGC/A in November 2017 as a Gender Advisor, where she is supporting and providing technical advice to national governments in the continent to develop strategies and actions that will enable them to effectively, efficiently and timely delivery on SDG 5 relating to gender equality and empower all women and girls in 2030 Agenda. Previously she was working for the Rwanda Ministry of Justice as Director in charge of the Abandoned Property Unit. She has worked as Child Rights Advocacy Coordinator for Plan International, Rwanda branch. Mary worked as Gender Specialist in the Rwanda Ministry of finance and Economic Planning (CEPEX). During this post, Mary focused on analyzing the gender sensitivity of all development projects. Mary holds a First Degree in Law from former National University of Rwanda and a Masters of Development Policy from Korean Development Institute-Korean Institute of Public Policy and Management (KDI). Mary is a Rwanda citizen and speaks English, Kinyarwanda, and French.

 

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Mary Saba

Mary Saba

Gender Advisor

May Hui

SDGs Advisor

May Hui joined SDGC/A in January 2017 as a SDG Advisor. Before joining the SDGC/A May worked in academia, grant making institutions, development institutions, public/private partnerships, independent think tanks, and the private sector. She was responsible for designing and managing monitoring and reporting systems for an integrated rural development project in 10 sub-Saharan African countries at the Earth Institute at Columbia University. She is interested in the use of data, technology and innovation to mitigate poverty and engender sustainable livelihoods.

May holds a Master’s of Public Administration specializing in public policy analysis from New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Emory University. In her free time, she enjoys photography, traveling, biking, running, and gardening. May is a American citizen and is fluent in English.

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May Hui

May Hui

SDGs Advisor

Maylat Mesfin

Social Sector Advisor

Maylat joined SDGC/A in November 2016 as a Social Sector Advisor. Before joining the SDGC/A Maylat worked for Canadian Humanitarian (CH) as a Program Support Worker on a short-term project focusing on the education and skill development of children and youth from low-income families in three different communities within Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. After spending time getting to know the communities she worked with, she participated in program evaluation and produced a summary of her observations and suggestions. While initiating partnerships amongst community stakeholders, she also supported a start-up program for people with HIV. Finally, she led students through a photo-voice project that inspired community cohesion and preserved history. Prior to her service with Canadian Humanitarian in Ethiopia, Maylat attended a Master of Social Work program with a specialization in International Development at the University of Calgary while serving the Calgary community by working at Aventa, an organization that supports the addiction rehabilitation needs of women, by attending to their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness. Her specific responsibilities ranged from providing counselling support, monitoring and supervising clients’ activities, preventing potential crisis and providing medication while updating clients’’ medical files. She is trained in suicide prevention, trained in First Aid/CPR, certified in medication administration, and trained in crises prevention/intervention. Maylat holds a Social Service Worker Diploma from George Brown College, a B.A. in Sociology from York University and a Master of Social Work in International and Community Development from University of Calgary. Maylat is an Ethiopian native and Canadian citizen and is fluent in English and Amharic.

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Maylat Mesfin

Maylat Mesfin

Social Sector Advisor

Olive Dushime

SDGs Advisor
SDG Advisor

Olive joined SDGC/A in July 2017 as a SDGs Advisor.  Before  joining the SDGC/A , Olive Worked  as Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist for The Millennium Villages Project (MVP) in Mayange Rwanda; she served Millennium Villages Project in its key sectors ( Health, Agriculture, Education, Business Development and Infrastructure) providing expertise on all aspects of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) practices and policies through development of indicators, targets and methodologies for measuring, monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the project interventions against meeting the set Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Prior to join the project, she worked as Data Analyst Individual Consultant with several organizations on various projects including maternal and child health, infectious and tropical disease prevention, water and sanitation, education and capacity building programs.

Olive holds a Master of Science in Mathematical Sciences from African Institute for Mathematical Sciences/Senegal and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Applied Statistics from the Institute of Applied Sciences/Ruhengeri. Olive is a Rwandan native and is fluent in Kinyarwanda, English and French.

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Olive Dushime

Olive Dushime

SDGs Advisor

Pascal Gasheja

Director of Corporate Services

Pascal Gasheja joined the SDGC/A in July 2016. Prior to this appointment, he worked as Regional Finance Manager for The MDG Center regional office in Nairobi, Kenya, from June 2010 to June 2016 hosted at under The World Agroforestry Centre (2011) and Columbia Global Centers | Africa (2012 -2016). His work consisted of overseeing financial reporting systems of Millennium Villages Projects in East and Southern Africa region. He served as Director of Finance and Administration of the Millennium Villages Project Mayange, Rwanda from 2007 to 2011, overseeing financial reporting, human resource management, procurement and administration. He worked also in 2006 as Financial Management Specialist for the Access Project Rwanda under Columbia University. Previously, Pascal worked at the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) Rwanda from 2000 to 2006. His role included financial auditing, audit trainer, development of audit guidelines and quality review of audit reports. He has extensive experience in financial reporting, procurement, human resource management and financial auditing. He holds a BSc. in Economics from the University of Rwanda, then National University of Rwanda.

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Pascal Gasheja

Pascal Gasheja

Director of Corporate Services

Pierre Celestin Munyaneza, ACCA

Accountant

Pierre Celestin Munyaneza joined the SDGC/A in April 2018. He is a Chartered Certified Accountant with 10 years of experience in Budgeting, Treasury management, Accounts reconciliation & financial reporting. Previously, he worked at the Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) and was also a Tutorial assistant at the School of Finance and Banking before joining Caisse Sociale du Rwanda in treasury, as well as in the accounting unit. Pierre is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with specialization in Accounting. He is currently enrolled in the Master of Science in Financial Engineering (MSFE) program. Pierre is a Rwandan citizen and speaks English, French, and Kinyarwanda.

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Pierre Celestin Munyaneza, ACCA

Pierre Celestin Munyaneza, ACCA

Accountant

Tekalign Tsige Sahilu

SDGs Advisor, Water Resources

Tekalign Tsige Sahilu joined the SDGC/A in August 2018 as SDG Advisor, Water Resources. His principal roles and responsibilities include developing policies, strategies, programs and leading the planning and implementation of initiatives and programs to achieve the water and sanitation  SDGs and the Agenda 2063 of Africa.

Before Joining the SDGC/A, Tekalign had worked at international, regional and national levels. From November 2004 to June 2018 he had been with UN-Habitat at the capacity of Chief Technical Advisor (Ethiopia) and from March 2008 to June 2018 at the position of Regional Technical Advisor and Programme Management Officer (Anglophone African Countries based in Nairobi, Kenya) of the Water and Sanitation program of the agency.

After completing university education, he started his career as a lecturer in Asmara and Addis Ababa Universities. He joined the Addis Ababa Water and Sewerage Authority and worked at the capacity of Head of Planning and Budget Division and then as the Deputy General Manager of the Authority.  With over 25 years of experience at national and international levels, he has acquired proven experience in the overall policy, strategy and program formulation as well as the management of project implementation of the water and sanitation sector of Africa funded through bilateral and multilateral organizations.

Tekalign holds a Doctorate Degree in Business Administration (DBA-from Atlantic International University-Distance Learning, USA), Masters in Economic Development and Planning (Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia); BA in Economics (Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia) and Post Experience Certificate in Project Development and Management (Bradford University, UK). Also, he had taken various trainings related to water and sanitation, produced publications and conducted researches. Tekalign, an Ethiopian by nationality, is married and has two children.

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Tekalign Tsige Sahilu

Tekalign Tsige Sahilu

SDGs Advisor, Water Resources

Yigrem Kassa

SDG Advisor, Development Financing

Yigrem Kassa joined the SDGC/A in January 2018 as SDG Advisor, Development Financing, which his roles and responsibilities include conducting research in the area of development finance, coordinating other development finance initiatives including facilitating revitalization of development banks through identification of their needs and implementing capacity building programs, facilitating sharing of best practice and fostering cross learning among development banks  and promoting better awareness on the role of development banks on financing SDGs among policy makers and key stakeholders in Africa. He spent nearly two decades working in the area of development finance and his previous role ranged from development finance policy making, practitioner, trainer and consultant.

He started his career from a humble background of Junior Bank Officer and reached to Director of Microfinance Institution Supervision Directorate at the Central Bank of Ethiopia. In this role he made a critical contribution in drafting financial sector policies, regulations and directives in Ethiopia by benchmarking best practices around the world, supervised and provided technical support to Banks and Microfinance institutions including Development Finance Institutions. Later he joined Vision Fund International (a network of over 37 MFIs around the world) as Regional Business Development Manager for West Africa based in Accra, Ghana and then for East Africa Region based in Nairobi, Kenya and he played a vital role in providing technical support and transforming the MFIs to be successful in their operation, services and positively impacting the lower income section of the population. He also worked as Business and Financial Sector Consultant for Colombia Global Center (CGC)-MDG Center for Eastern and Southern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya and Deputy Chief of Party for BRACED (Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters) program at Mercy Corps International in Ethiopia where in his role contributed a lot in building resilience of the community through designing and implementing effective market based financial service interventions. He has published articles in development finance and contributed to a book titled “Microfinance Regulation for Development, Global Experience” published by Bangladesh MRA. Yigrem Kassa holds B.A degree in Business Administration, Masters in Microfinance from University of Bergamo, Italy and attended development finance related international training and exposure visit programs in Africa, Asia and U.S.A. He is pursuing his research based PhD in development studies at University of South Africa (UNISA).  Yigrem Kassa is an Ethiopian and fluent in English and Amharic.

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Yigrem Kassa

Yigrem Kassa

SDG Advisor, Development Financing

 

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