Papa Kojo Botsio (preferred name Pako) is a DPhil candidate from Ghana researching Education and Welfare Policies with an objective to widen access to secondary and higher education for vulnerable students. Pako has led unprecedented initiatives including the first-ever African Choir at Oxford as well as mentoring students through the Scholarship and Access team. Pako also launched an independent funding campaign for African students including meeting with 15 major administrative and financial heads of the University of Oxford (such as the Vice-Chancellor) advocating for the urgent resolution of diversity disparities at the University especially under-representation of African students.
As President of AfriSoc, Pako worked collaboratively with AfriSoci members, affiliates and partners to advance a unified African Development Agenda through open discussions, alumni engagement, scholarship and access efforts, cultural celebrations, and AfriSoc's flagship annual conference.
He also initiated the African Oxons Project, aimed at collecting archival data on Africans from the continent and the Diaspora who have completed their studies at the University of Oxford. This project will also celebrate the achievements, lives, and legacies of AfriSoc members and students of the University who hail from the continent and her Diaspora.
Nwamaka Ogbonna, from Nigeria, is an MPhil candidate in Development Studies whose research focuses on the politics of industrial policy in Nigeria. She graduated with First class honors in Economics from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana and holds a Masters in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) where she studied on a full scholarship.
Prior to Oxford, she led the monitoring and evaluation of the $100 million Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme –which funds, trains and mentors 1000 African entrepreneurs annually. She also completed a graduate internship at the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), New York -the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative. Nwamaka is a writer, providing commentary and analysis on contemporary economic and political issues in Africa. Her writing has been featured on Stears Business, the International Growth Centre (IGC) and the Africa Research Institute (ARI). She is also a well sought-out Public Speaker, speaking at several local and international conferences. In 2017, she was selected for the British Council Future Leaders Connect Programme –a network of the top 50 emerging policy Leaders from across the world chosen from over 11,000 applications.
As Vice President, Nwamaka led initiatives which promote integration within the society and enhances the welfare of its members
Simphiwe Stewart was born and raised in the Kingdom of eSwatini, going on to complete a Bachelor of Political Science at the University of Pretoria (South Africa) and a Master of Studies in Law, specializing in Natural Resources and Energy Law at Lewis and Clark Law School (United States). Before coming to Oxford, Simphiwe worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where her research included the development of GIS mapping and environmental assessment tools, assessing the responsiveness of national-scale EPA environmental justice grants to community-based priorities and connecting community-based partners including state government, nonprofit and academic institutions to EPA's suite of environmental justice tools.
Simphiwe is the co-founding Director of the Environmental Law Assistance Centre (eSwatini), a member of Linacre College and a DPhil student in the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford, where her research assesses voter behavior and elections outcomes across several democracies. As general secretary, her key initiatives included Graduate Research and Innovation (GRAIN), The Daley Breakfast and the Afro-Feminist book club.
GRAIN is still a platform for AfriSoc members, AfOx visiting fellows and affiliates to present, discuss and encourage action on current issues affecting the African continent. Conveners work and partner with the Africa Oxford Initiative whose visiting scholars/fellows co-present on their research. Simphiwe also spearheaded the appointment of the AfriSoc's first honorary patron, Prof Patricia Daley, and convening the Daley Breakfasts, Simphiwe institutionalized women's empowerment, afro-feminist activism, and Pan-Africanism as hallmarks of AfriSoc's core programming. The Afro-feminist book club (ABC) was born from a discussion that highlighted the lack of space for and awareness of critical feminist theory both within the Society and the broader Oxford community. This created a space for men, women, LGBTQI+ and gender non-conforming members of AfriSoc and the broader Oxford community to partake in a shared love for literature that celebrates the diverse and many identities of Afro-feminism on the continent and the diaspora. The ABC is co-convened by the Kofo Collective and AfriSoc.
Francis is a Rhodes Scholar from Zambia reading for an MBA at the Said Business School. While at Oxford, he will be assessing issues on finance, entrepreneurship and social impact. Before Oxford, he completed a BSc in Computer Science and an MSc in Software Engineering. In addition to his academic experiences, he has worked in banking and government as a technical officer and software developer respectively. Francis is especially passionate about public-private partnerships which he sees as key in leveraging Africa's entrepreneurial spirit towards poverty eradication.
Ola Osman is a Sudanese-Canadian student currently pursuing an MSt in Women’s Studies. Her research is invested in documenting the lives of Black women who organize for peace at a transnational level. In her position as Social Secretary, Ola was committed to fostering safer spaces for the African diasporic community, at Oxford, especially for the bodies that sit at multiple intersections of oppression.
2019 Oxford Africa Conference Team
Anupah Makoond is an Msc. in Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation candidate and will subsequently pursue an MBA as part of the Said Business School MBA 1 +1 program. she has spent the last five years working on peacebuilding projects in conflict-affected societies, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa. Previously, she worked for a civil society platform, advocating for more effective drug policies in Mauritius. She has been lucky to live in, and travel to, different parts of Africa and find immense beauty in its diversity. As co-chair of the 2019 Africa Oxford Conference, She hopes to tap into the multiplicity of facets and resources that Africa and the African diaspora have to offer.
Prosper Ahmed Amuquandoh
Mr. Prosper Ahmed Amuquandoh is a trained Theoretical Physicist, Mathematician, and Computer Scientist. He graduated from the University of Ghana in 2006 with First Class Honours in Physics and Computer Science. His has also carried out graduate studies at the Abdus Salam Internal Centre for Theoretical Physics and the University of Trieste, both in Italy. He is currently an AIG Scholar and a candidate in the Master of Public Policy (MPP) Programme, at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.
Prosper is a practicing Energy Engineering, Policy, Regulatory and Communication Professional. Since joining Ghana’s energy sector in 2012, he has been instrumental in a number of developments in the sector. He was part of the team that developed the Concept and Implementation Framework for Ghana’s National Rooftop Solar Program, currently being implemented. He was a member of the team (where he served as a member of the Technical Committee and Chair of the Media and Publicity Committee) that organized Ghana’s First, Second, and Third Renewable Energy Fairs in 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively. He also served on the National Risk Management Team for the implementation of the Paperless System at Ghana’s Ports to increase compliance with standards and regulations, and facilitate trade in West Africa.
Leveraging on his technical knowledge and communication skills, Prosper, in recent years, has been a resource person on VOA and a number of local TV and Radio stations in Ghana, where he speaks on national energy policies and initiatives. He has also been a speaker at a number of internal and local conferences. Prosper has consulted for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on sustainable energy and green economy issues. He is currently the National President of the World Energy Council’s Future Energy Leaders, Ghana (FEL–Ghana).
In September 2017, Prosper was adjourned the highest achiever in Ghana’s energy sector under the age of 40, at Ghana’s maiden 40 Under Forty Awards Ceremony. In the same year, he was a finalist for the Rising Star Award at the maiden Ghana Energy Awards. In 2016, he was awarded the Mandela Washington Fellowship Award by President Barack Obama. In the same year, Prosper was a finalist for the Future Energy Leader Award in West Africa, at the West African Power Industry Awards ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria.
Primrose Adjepong is a candidate in the Master of Public Policy program and an Oxford-Poler Scholar at Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government. Having been educated at the African Leadership Academy in South Africa and being an African entrepreneur herself, she is passionate about advancing African development in different fields and capacities. During her undergraduate years at St Andrews University, she was responsible for creating Africa-focused events and hopes to draw from those experiences to co-create what will be a landmark conference for all attendees.
Her specific areas of interest include social justice, education and community development. She has worked in Senegal and The Gambia with research and advocacy groups to eradicate female genital mutilation, and in Hong Kong to deliver educational workshops for refugees, asylum seekers and the wider community. Born and raised in Ghana, Primrose is passionate about education in Ghana. She co-founded Butterfly Effect, a start-up which creates unconventional educational curricula and experiences, which serve to supplement the Ghanaian national curriculum in selected under-resourced schools. She seeks to sharpen through her current masters, her ability to design, deliver and measure the impact of good policy so that she can impact many more Ghanaians and Africans on a larger scale, particularly in education but more broadly in building human-capacity.