Dr. Joseph Sevilla

Dr. Joseph Sevilla is currently Director of @iLabAfrica, a Research and Innovation Centre at Strathmore University (Nairobi, Kenya). He is also the Director of @iBizAfrica, a business incubator at Strathmore. He graduated as an Industrial Engineer (Universidad del País Vasco, Spain, 1980) and holds an MSc in Computer Science (University College London, UK, 1995) and a PhD in BioInformatics (Tecnun, Universidad de Navarra, Spain, 2005).

As a member of several committees formed by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Research, Technical Training and Technology, the Ministry of Telecommunications, the Commission of Higher Education and the Kenyan ICT Board, he has advised on issues like the drafting of national policies in ICT, ICT and Education, Cybersecurity, development of National CS/IT Syllabus for secondary and university education, and the adoption of a National ICT Strategy. He has also acted as an advisor to the Directorate of Industrial Training in issues related to IT training. He has been an active member of the “East African Internet Association” and the “Computer Society of Kenya” where he has been a member of the Executive Board and the Education Committee respectively. He is currently Chairman of the “Description and Processing Languages Technical Committee” of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS). Since 2011, he has also served as a member of the Innovation Board at Safaricom (K) Ltd. In February 2013, he was appointed member of the Advisory Council for the IBM Innovation & Client Centre in Nairobi.

In 1991 he spear-headed the creation of the Information Technology Centre (ICT) at Strathmore and served as its first Director until October 2002. He has been a member of the Management Board of Strathmore University for over 20 years, Dean of the Faculty of Information Technology and Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Quality Assurance. 

Together with representatives from other local universities, he participated in the creation of the Kenya National Educational Network (KENET). Recently, he has been actively involved in the promotion of Integrated Management Systems for Universities based on FOSS technologies within the region, holding workshops in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana and Malawi.

While in Strathmore he has taught a variety of courses related to ICT and Management such as Web Technologies, IT Network Security and Cryptography, Operations Research and Managerial Decision Analysis as well as directed many research projects both at undergraduate and post-graduate level. Dr. Sevilla has been involved in FOSS education since the mid 90’s and has actively promoted the use of FOSS applications in institutions of Higher Learning.

Dr.Sevilla’s research interests cover Mobile Technologies, Cybersecurity, ICT in Education and Development, Entrepreneurship and Business Incubators, Managerial Decision Modelling, Internet Governance, eLearning, Bioinformatics and FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications.

In 2008, Dr.Sevilla was appointed External Examiner for Undergraduate Courses at the Faculty of Informatics of the University of Nairobi and has also served as External Moderator for MSc Projects at Kenyatta University and Jomo Kenyatta University.

Since 2008, Dr. Sevilla has been actively involved in the promotion of mobile application development and personally mentored a number of promising young local entrepreneurs.

In January 2011, Dr.Sevilla founded @iLabAfrica as a Research Institute under the Faculty of Information Technology at Strathmore University. The Institute actively promotes Research, Innovation, Product Development and Entrepreneurship; it also provides incubation facilities to local entrepreneurs and is actively involved in ICT Policy. Currently, @iLabAfrica brings together some 60 full-time researchers and its various activities have a wide reach within the East Africa region.

Nekesa Were

Nekesa is on a personal mission to build and support communities to develop innovative solutions that transform societies while protecting dignity and impacting economies positively. As Director of Community at Medic, Nekesa is working to scale the positive health impact achieved with the Community Health Toolkit, by building and fostering a vibrant community of practice.

Prior to joining Medic, Nekesa was the Director of Strategy at AfriLabs, a Pan African network of innovation hubs where she led the planning and execution of AfriLabs’ strategy to consistently elevate innovators across the African continent.

Nekesa was also the CEO at the iHub, one of Kenya’s first innovation hubs, where she championed an open innovation culture that was integral in ensuring quick maturity of Kenya’s innovation ecosystem.


Dr. Bright Gameli Mawudor

Dr. Bright Gameli Mawudor is a Cyber Security Engineering Lead at  MARA, Africa’s leader in Web3 & Blockchain technology. He is also the founder of the Africahackon, a  Cyber Security collective dedicated to fostering CyberSecurity excellence through capacity building and  

development of a strong community of experts in Africa. He acquired a PhD in IT Convergence and  Application Engineering with concentration in Information Security from Pukyong National University,  South Korea. For his professionalism, Dr Bright is an Advisory Board member of – EC-Council Global  Advisory Board Member – CTIA – Cybersafe Foundation – Moringa School – AfCAA – African council for  accreditation and accountability He has over 10 years of professional experience in the Cyber Security  industry with strong expertise in Cyber security Strategy building, Resilience, and system penetration  testing. Bright has also presented at over 245 Cyber Security conferences, lectured at various  universities, and contributed to cyber security publications. He was also recognized by Tribe of Hackers:  Blue Team 2020, Top 40 Under 40 2016/2021 of young entrepreneurs in Kenya and worked with world  class organizations such as Dimension Data/NTT, Cellulant and Ushahidi. Dr Mawudor has performed  various evaluations and selections of Cyber Security tools and successfully implemented IT security  systems to protect the Confidentiality, Availability, and Integrity of critical business environments to  curb and mitigate risks. Technically highly skilled in various environments, especially in the Cyber  Security space, dedicated and a team player with excellent leadership qualities. 


Wanjiku Gakuo

Wanjiku Gakuo is a seasoned researcher, manual developer, trainer, certification enhancement expert, systems and policy implementer in the sustainable farming, food safety and quality field as an employee and a consultant. Wanjiku Gakuo has worked with organizations both locally and globally such as, HomeBiogas- Kenya, Farm Concern International, African Farms and Markets, Aloha Farms and Oropeal,focusing on areas such as;

  • Development of sustainable farming procedures and systems
  • Developing research manuals – globally and locally
  • Conducting training on food safety, sustainable farming procedures and systems.
  • Experiment development and designs
  • Proposal writing and budgeting for biding projects in the agricultural farming systems and food safety field.
  • Strategy writing and documentation in implementation of projects.
  • Standard documentation (HACCP, ISO 9001) and standard operating procedures (SOPs).

These are some of her outstanding competencies and not limited to the listed above. Wanjiku Gakuo has MSC degree in Food Safety and Quality of University of Nairobi and a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture (BSC) of University of Embu. She also has other management and professional training certificates from recognized institution, including; Project Participatory, Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation, Project Management Skills, Strategic Management Skills, Hazard Analysis Critical Points (HACCP) training – SGS and Crop-cutting-training

Grace Njoroge

Grace is the Deputy Program Director at Mercy Corps AgriFin supporting the Program Director with programming and management of the portfolio. Grace has 12 years’ experience in the financial inclusion and international development sectors. Grace joined AgriFin from the GSMA Innovation Fund where she supported innovative start-ups and SMEs using mobile centric innovative solutions to achieve sustainable growth and improved socio-economic impact across Africa and Asia Pacific.

She has also worked at KPMG East Africa’s International Development Advisory Services unit where she managed among others the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity whose objective was to provide financial access to unbanked and under-banked communities of rural sub-Saharan Africa. Grace was also the programme coordinator for a youth programme in Kenya, funded by the Government, and supported by the World Bank that provided training and funding for 750 young entrepreneurs across the country.

Prior to joining KPMG, Grace gained extensive experience as a technical advisor with one of the leading boutique financial inclusion consulting firms, MSC Consulting. Grace led and executed technical assistance assignments to financial service providers for delivery of market-led products and services. She has worked with banks, telcos, micro-finance Institutions, Savings and Credit Co-operative Unions (SACCOs) and donor agencies in Africa and Asia to develop and customize products and channels of delivery, optimize operational efficiencies, reengineer processes, manage risks, design, and deliver training. She has also been a micro-finance consultant for one of the leading commercial banks in Kenya where her major tasks including growing the business for the bank targeting customers at the base of the pyramid.

Grace also sits on the board of the African Women in Fintech and Payments (AWFP) network – Kenya chapter, as a founding board member.

Kitawa Wemo

Kitawa Wemo works as an Innovations Lead at Amref Health Innovations (AHI) with 7 years of experience in public health and entrepreneurship. 

In her role at Amref Health Innovations, Kitawa started as an accelerator manager for Africa’s first assistive tech accelerator, funded by UKAid, supporting innovators to build, design and scale inclusive innovative solutions. 

Kitawa’s commitment to improving public health outcomes led her to manage the Empower program, where Amref partnered with Roche through satellite “Empower” clinics to identify female community health workers with disabilities to screen for breast and cervical cancer. Currently, she is leading the CRODA funded sustainability program to scale Mobile Vaccination Clinics for NCD intervention in rural communities.

Kitawa’s expertise in public health and innovative solutions has made her a valuable asset to the industry. Her goal is to continue driving innovation and positive change in public health to create a healthier future for all.

Dr Towela Nyirenda

Dr. Towela Nyirenda Jere works in the Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Programme at the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency as a Principal Programme Officer focusing on policy, legal and regulatory aspects of infrastructure and services.

She has over 15 years of experience working in the private sector, academia and currently in international development. She initiated the NEPAD Internet Governance Programme, helped launch the Southern Africa Internet Governance Forum and co-founded the African School on Internet Governance. She represents NEPAD on the ICANN Government Advisory Council and served on the IGF Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Group in 2014 and 2015. She holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering (Networking and Telecommunications) from the University of Kansas, a Master of Arts in Contemporary Diplomacy (Internet Governance), an ACCA Diploma in Financial Management and is a qualified Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute (USA). Towela is a member of the Malawi Institution of Engineers, the Internet Society (ISOC) and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).  She also serves on the IEEE Ad-Hoc committee on Africa Activities. She continues to advocate for increased awareness among African policy makers of the importance and significance of infrastructure and ICT development, Internet Governance and policy processes at national and continental level. 

Dr Chitundu Kasese

Dr. Chitundu Kasase (PhD) is currently the Chief Executive Officer/Director of the National Technology Business Center (NTBC). The NTBC is a government agency (Statutory Body) under the Ministry of Technology and Science, Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation with core responsibility of harnessing technology and innovations; and transforming them into viable business products and services.

As CEO of the NTBC, Dr Kasase is a key person involved in driving the policy and strategy agenda in the science, technology and innovation sector in Zambia to drive technological innovations and entrepreneurship that create jobs and wealth for the citizenry. Over the years, he has been recognized as a thought leader in the Start Up and Innovation ecosystem both in Zambia and subregion.

Dr Kasase is a Senior-level professional who has held leadership and senior management roles in the public sector and international Development organisations sector. Professionally, Dr Kasase has over 20 years in management and leadership roles in the public service sector, academia and international development organisations. He has developed key partnerships and networks with several organisations that include public sector, UN Agencies, International Development Organisations, local & International non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

Dr. Kasase holds a Ph.D. from the University of Surrey, UK and Master’s degree from the University of Ghent, Belgium. He is member of the prestigious Zambia Academy of Science (ZaAS).

Sieka Gatabaki

Sieka is the Program Director for Mercy Corps AgriFin directing all programming and strategic partnerships. Sieka has worked for over 16 years as a digital innovations practitioner and a business strategy leader with a passion for helping institutions and individuals benefit from new technologies for deepening access to financial and information services. He currently leads work in strategy, product usage and development, channel development and go-to-market execution, providing digital financial and information services to small holder farmers in the Global South.

Previously, Sieka served as the Group Digital Alliances Manager at Airtel Africa, Airtel Money Director at Airtel Kenya, and Technical Advisor with IFC, supporting digital financial inclusion across Africa. He has consulted for various organizations, including Vital Wave, Ernest & Young, and Grameen Foundation and serves on the board of a number of organizations in various sectors. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa and is completing a Masters in Sociology and Entrepreneurship at the University of Nairobi.