Asma Bachikhread bio
Asma Bachikh, originally from Morocco, holds a Master’s degree in International Commerce and is an alumna of the Global Business Institute at Indiana University. Asma’s passion for entrepreneurship and the environment inspired her to drive many projects and initiatives in France, Malaysia and Morocco, for which she has received recognition. In April 2015 Asma was elected as President of the World Youth Parliament, which advocates for youth participation in decision making in the water sector. Asma has worked in international organisations across a variety of sectors, from developing quality education in Sub-Saharan Africa to freedom of speech and media in the MENA region. However, Asma found her true passion in the water sector, and is currently a consultant for leading water institutions, focusing on developing their civic engagement, with a special focus on youth strategies. She also sits on the board of the International Secretariat for Water, and has an observer status as part of the Global Water Partnership's Steering Committee.
Neville Mwebesa Bainganaread bio
Neville is from Kampala, Uganda. He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Finance from Makerere University. He is passionate about community service and has participated in various national civil service programs in the remote areas of Uganda. Neville's focus area of study is Economics and Management. He believes that China is the model economy and is looking forward to learning more about China's governance, superior economic structures and drivers. He is also enthused by the prospect of learning Chinese and building international networks with his cohort of future leaders.
Sonya Ruth Cottonread bio
Sonya was born in the United States of America, grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, and has also lived in Finland and China. Her previous academic background is in African languages (namely Xhosa) and linguistics. Currently she is completing a Master’s in Philosophy in Law at the University of Cape Town. In her thesis she focuses on 'silence' as a discursive technique in African legislation, with emphasis on the contradiction that arises when women in customary marriages are excluded from constitutional commitments to gender equality. Sonya's research interests include linguistic ideologies, legal pluralism and legal-anthropology - or, simply put, the intersection of language, law and culture. As a Yenching scholar, she intends to specialise in Chinese Law and Society, and to continue learning Mandarin beyond HSK level 5, which she has already attained. She aspires to engage in socio-legal research involving Sino-African migration from the perspective of individuals whose experiences are often overlooked in macro-level studies that focus on state actors and multinational corporations. Almost as much as she loves learning languages, Sonya enjoys exploring the creative manners in which people interpret and engage with legal language. She believes that applying linguistic approaches to legal subject matter represents a powerful analytic tool, as well as a mechanism for ensuring multiple voices are heard.
Kennedy Chiduziem Ekezie-Josephread bio
Hailing from Ehime-Mbano, Nigeria, Kennedy graduated from University of Calabar, Nigeria where he majored in Philosophy. Kennedy's unique concentration focused on systematizing an axiological system for African Philosophy based off the abstraction of the values implicit in the life of Nelson Mandela. He completed a Diploma in Leading Change at the University of Cambridge specially designed for Queen's Young Leaders Award Winners. While studying at Calabar, he founded the Calabar Youth Council for Women's Rights: a youth-led non-profit that seeks to end gender-based violence with a specific focus on female genital mutilation in Nigeria. His work has been recognized by President Obama's YALI Initiative and has won a Resolution Fellowship. He has also worked with Athena Global Advisors in Philadelphia, U.S.A. as a Management Consulting Intern. Prior to Yenching, Kennedy worked remotely from Nigeria on a team of 3 to build a sustainable company targeted at one or more of the SDGs, which recently developed a product concept for a leading European electricity company to improve electricity generation and storage using Organic Photovoltaics. As a Yenching Scholar, Kennedy pursues a concentration in Economics and Management where he researches the impact of China's investment in Africa and its impact in the development of the continent with specific focus on Nigeria. He looks forward to extensive travel, learning Mandarin, and exploring Chinese cuisine. Kennedy is 19-years-old and he aspires to be the youngest President of Nigeria in future.
Michael Adu Gyekyeread bio
Michael Adu Gyekye lives in Accra, Ghana, and is a graduate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with a BA in Political Studies (Economics Minor). Michael is an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, UK, and serves on the Policy and Advocacy Committee of the Commonwealth Youth Human Rights and Democracy Network (CYHRDN). He has interned in Research and Administration with a host of civil society organizations in Ghana. He regularly contributes articles on current affairs in Africa to several international blogs. At the Yenching Academy, Michael concentrates in Politics and International Relations, focusing on the dynamics, emerging trends and prospects of the growing China-Africa relationship. He is very eager to learn the Chinese language and enhance his knowledge of other aspects of Chinese culture. Michael aspires to become a leading Sino-Africa policy analyst and innovator. He loves to read, write, mentor, plan and organize events, and engage in diverse public speaking activities.
Yohannes Ayalew Hailemicaelread bio
Yohannes Hailemicael was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He is a diligent graduate from Addis Ababa University with a Bachelor’s of Animal Science. Yohannes has been actively involved in student initiatives on campus as well as voluntary community services at different non-governmental organizations. He is currently living in Turkey and is fluent in Turkish. At the Yenching Academy, he will pursue Politics and International Relations where he will be focusing on Sino-African relations. His key research interest is China's development policies in Ethiopia and its future. He also hopes to learn and have a better understanding of Chinese language, culture and life style. After completing his Master’s, Yohannes plans to pursue a PhD in his concentration and start a career.
Tatum Zinzi Josephread bio
Tatum Zinzi Joseph was born in South Africa and lives in Cape Town. In 2014, she completed her Bachelor's degree at the University of Cape Town, majoring in Politics and Public Policy and Administration. In 2015, she completed her Honours degree, specializing in Public Policy and Administration. Her research focused on performance management in the South African basic education sector, as part of the requirements for completing her Masters degree in Public Policy and Administration. Pursuing a Masters degree in China Studies at the Yenching Academy is the next step to attaining her career goals of joining the Diplomatic Academy in South Africa and working in academia. Tatum specializes in Politics and International Relations at the Yenching Academy. Her research applies a comparative policy lens to China's response to social development issues and investigate what Africa can learn from their approach. She hopes her research will enhance Sino-Africa relations by enhancing a powerful partnership in global politics.
Benedicte Kinkolo Buandaread bio
Benedicte is a French-Congolese who has been living in Beijing since 2017. Prior to Beijing, she lived and studied in London, New York, Paris, Seoul, Hong Kong and Tokyo. She holds two Masters degrees, one in international relations and one in economic development from Institut d'Etudes Politiques Paris (Sciences-Po) and Peking University. Benedicte also holds a bachelor degree in International Politics from King’s College London and she is a Comparative East Asian Studies Scholar alumni; having studied at Yonsei, Keio and Hong Kong University. Due to her personal background as a French-Congolese living in East Asia, her academic interests revolve around the complexities of the China-Africa relations. More specifically, at Yenching she researches the image of Africa in China and how this impacts the economic cooperation between the two regions.
Abdou Rahim Lema Mohamedread bio
Abdou Rahim Lema Mohamed is a Beninese student in Turkey. He studied International Relations and Economics at Ipek University & Hacettepe University in Ankara. In Summer 2017, he interned at “Dione” Center of Local Development in Greece under the Erasmus+Internship scheme, where he became involved in various Youth Exchange Projects, sponsored and supported by the European Commission. He also studied, for a semester, at Gdansk School of Banking in Poland under the Erasmus+Exchange scheme. At Yenching Academy, Lema studies Politics and International Relations. He is interested in broadening his understanding of the African International Affairs with a particular focus on the Sino-African relations. He is multilingual and looks forward to adding Chinese to his growing catalogue of international languages.
Joel Odotaread bio
Joel Odota is a 26-year old Ugandan man, currently residing in Lamwo district, Northern Uganda, which is just recovering from war. He has a Bachelor's degree of arts with education (Geography and history majors) from Makerere University, Kampala-Uganda (2011-2014). Joel went to Padibe Girls' Primary school (1998-2004) during the Northern Uganda war and later joined Kitgum High School (2005-2010) in Kitgum, Northern Uganda for both levels of secondary school. He was the best high school student in northern Uganda class of 2010, leading to the award of a 3-year undergraduate course at Makerere University by Government of Uganda. In 2016, Joel was selected to represent Ugandan youth in a 3-month leadership course in Nairobi, Kenya by Young African Leaders Initiative, YALI. As a former refugee, young leader, activist, change maker and teacher, Joel is so honored to pursue a Master’s in Politics and International Relations at the Yenching Academy. He is passionate about leveraging change in the leadership spectrum of Uganda and Africa at large as the leadership gap is the root cause of political, social and economic unrest in the world today. He believes that China is a role model both politically, socially and economically as evidenced by the thriving economy of the nation, hospitality, high level of respect to one another, foreign aid to war ravaged economies of the world and the high levels of technology in the country. His major focus and area of research is on "Youth at the forefront of change”.