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ICLEI Africa staff

Kobie Brand

Deputy Secretary General: ICLEI
Regional Director: ICLEI Africa

Kobie has more than 25 years of practical and managerial experience in Environmental Management and Urban Development. Her expertise range from biodiversity, climate change, coastal management to urban sustainability and planning. She is responsible for the strategic direction, growth, partnerships, programmes and scope of work for ICLEI in Africa. Kobie is also Global Director for ICLEI’s Biodiversity and Nature-based solutions work, and in this capacity heads up the Cities Biodiversity Center embedded in ICLEI Africa.

ICLEI has more than 260 staff in 22 offices around the world, offering expertise that positions local and regional governments to advance sustainable urban development along our five pathways.

Our multidisciplinary team is divided into 5 teams, which include technical and support staff. However, since the urban challenges we face today are often complex, we work across workstreams to ensure we offer cities integrated solutions.

ICLEI AFRICA TEAM

AllRegional DirectorDirectorsManagersSenior Professsional OfficersThe Team
Deputy Secretary General: ICLEI & Regional Director: ICLEI Africa

Kobie Brand

Director: Biodiversity, Nature & Health

Ingrid Coetzee

Director: Climate Change: Energy & Resilience

Dr Meggan Spires

Director: Communications, Knowledge Management & Research Coordination

Michelle Preen

Manager: Strategic Alliances | Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Nachi Majoe

Financial Manager

Stephanie Babef

Membership Manager

Steven Molteno

Senior Communications Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Adél Strydom

Senior Professional Officer: Social-ecological Systems

Dr Ernita Flynn

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change and Urban Natural Assets

Jess Kavonic

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change and Coastal Management

Dr Kate Strachan

Manager: Urban Systems Unit

Paul Currie

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Rebecca Cameron

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Tara Caetano

Senior Communications Officer

Thea Buckle

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Avuyile Kewana

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Azola Zulu

Researcher: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Balbina Nyamakura

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Ben Hetherington

Intern: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Carine Lehtem Buma

Research and Communications Officer

Claudia Schroder

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Damien Gabriel

Professional officer: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Dania Petrik

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Daniel Adeniyi

Membership Officer

Faghmieda King

Communications Officer: Climate and Energy

Jarita Kassen

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Jehan Bhikoo

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Jokudu Guya

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Kevin Mutia

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Kirsty Griffin

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Lauren Arendse

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Meagen Swain

Financial Administrator

Mellissa Moses

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Mthobisi Wanda

Intern: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Nelson de Lamare

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Nikara Mahadeo

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Quraisha Bux

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Solophina Nekesa

Travel Coordinator

Sonya Smith

Takunda Mambo

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Tamlyn Duncan

Professional Officer: Climate Change and Water Resource Management

Tarryn Quayle

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Thabo Thulare

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Urban Systems

Ryan Fisher

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Vanessa Tshite

Graphic Designer: Graphic design & layout

Widaad Pienaar

Project Financial Officer

Dorah Zatu

Communications Officer

Ruby Schalit

Deputy Secretary General: ICLEI & Regional Director: ICLEI Africa

Kobie Brand

Kobie has more than 25 years of practical and managerial experience in Environmental Management and Urban Development. Her expertise range from biodiversity, climate change, coastal management to urban sustainability and planning. She is responsible for the strategic direction, growth, partnerships, programmes and scope of work for ICLEI in Africa. Kobie is also Global Director for ICLEI’s Biodiversity and Nature-based solutions work, and in this capacity heads up the Cities Biodiversity Center embedded in ICLEI Africa.

Director: Biodiversity, Nature & Health

Ingrid Coetzee

Ingrid has more than 30 years’ experience in sustainability and governance. Her work focuses on mainstreaming nature, its benefits, and nature-based solutions into urban planning and decision-making in cities and city regions thereby helping them become healthier, and more resilient and liveable places. She also serves as technical lead on ICLEI’s biodiversity advocacy work. Ingrid’s expertise includes stakeholder engagement, facilitation, law reform, policy, and strategy development.

Director: Climate Change: Energy & Resilience

Dr Meggan Spires

Meggan believes that African cities are places of innovation and potential, where globally relevant solutions are found. She leads the Climate Change, Energy and Resilience workstream at ICLEI Africa, where a diverse team works with African city stakeholders to build resilience, enable low emission development, and improve access to finance and energy. Meggan holds a PhD in Environmental Science and before joining ICLEI Africa worked as a municipal official.

Director: Communications, Knowledge Management & Research Coordination

Michelle Preen

Michelle has close to 20 years’ experience in the field of environmental communications, most of these within local government, and covering a broad range of environmental issues. Her MSc in Environmental Biology, various communications qualifications and advanced writing skills, allow her to proficiently translate complex issues and concepts into accessible, action-oriented information. Michelle manages communications for ICLEI Africa and the Cities Biodiversity Center.

Manager: Strategic Alliances | Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Nachi Majoe

Nachi has 10 years’ experience in local government policy, practice, and capacity building. She holds two Master’s degrees: Public Management & Governance, and International Planning & Sustainable Development (Urban Resilience). As Manager of Urban Systems & Strategic Alliances she leads on urban governance, finance, infrastructure, and settlements as well as the localisation of global agreements (such as the SDGs). She further maintains ICLEI’s strategic partnerships.

Financial Manager

Stephanie Babef

Stephanie has been working at ICLEI Africa since 2011, when she started as an accounting assistant. She is currently Financial Manager, overseeing all of the company’s accounting processes and financial project reporting. She ensures the books are in order for the Annual Financial Statement and the financial deadlines for all projects are respected. Sustainable development has always been a passion of hers, having grown up on a self-sufficient island.

Membership Manager

Steven Molteno

Steven is responsible for Membership and Governance. He joined ICLEI Africa in 2011 and has worked on communications, membership, governance and several events. He has a special interest in international relations, African history and current affairs, linguistics, and biodiversity. He also has a background in IT, and wants to use his skills and interests to serve Africa’s cities and their sustainable development.

Senior Communications Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Adél Strydom

Adél believes in the beauty and power of stories to bring change. She combines an honours degree in Media Theory and Practice with an MPhil in Sustainable Development. Her six years’ experience range from travel, lifestyle and nature to urban metabolism, energy, and climate change. She works with the Climate Change, Energy & Resilience team at ICLEI Africa on communications, focusing primarily on writing and film.

Senior Professional Officer: Social-ecological Systems

Dr Ernita Flynn

Ernita Flynn is a senior professional officer (social-ecological systems) at ICLEI Africa and ICLEI’s Cities Biodiversity Center: Urban Biodiversity Work stream. Her work focus is on mainstreaming nature-based benefits in urban environments through planning and implementation. Following initial training in ecology and conservation, Ernita developed an interest in how people and institutions value and interact with the natural environment. She brings 22 years’ experience to the work place.

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change and Urban Natural Assets

Jess Kavonic

Jess has a background in atmospheric science with a specialised knowledge of climate change and its relationship with a sustainable approach to development. She has seven years’ experience working with and for local governments, working to improve urban human well-being, build climate resilience and protect the urban natural asset base through influencing development policies and planning systems. Jess manages the UNA Programme and the FRACTAL and Reflecting Cities projects.

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change and Coastal Management

Dr Kate Strachan

Kate holds a PhD in Environmental Science, focused on coastal changes associated with climate change. She has a special interest in understanding climate change and the associated risks, especially relating to coastal cities. She has worked with and for local governments to build climate resilience, developing climate adaption plans, and identifying challenges and opportunities associated with natural assets to overcome shocks and stressors associated with climate change.

Manager: Urban Systems Unit

Paul Currie

Paul is fascinated by the multi-layered relationships that give each city its unique flavour. With his Sustainable Development MPhil and current doctoral research, Paul uses urban metabolism, resource nexus and political ecology as lenses for shaping sustainable, inclusive cities. At ICLEI, he supports local governments to apply systems perspectives to food, water, energy and nature, and facilitates the development of policies and plans appropriate to contexts of change and uncertainty.

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Rebecca Cameron

Rebecca is a professional planner with more than eight years’ experience bringing together climate change and the urban context in Africa. She works across the scales of the built environment to assist subnational governments to embed and operationalise climate action and resource efficiency in urban planning processes. At ICLEI Africa, Rebecca manages and provides technical assistance to Urban-LEDS ll, the BEA Partnership, and the Sustainable Procurement Programme.

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Tara Caetano

Tara is an energy economist with more than a decade of experience in climate change and development in the African context. She holds an Engineering Masters in Energy Studies from the University of Cape Town. Her experience includes leading projects across Africa at the national and subnational level in areas such as long-term emission development strategies, energy transitions, development economics, and the circular economy.

Senior Communications Officer

Thea Buckle

Thea joined ICLEI in 2016 after completing her Master’s at Nelson Mandela University’s Sustainability Research Unit. She initially embarked on a trans disciplinary Master’s, combining her aptitude for communication with her love of nature, learning that your passions and talents will often meet to reveal your vocation. Her expertise ranges from online marketing campaign conceptualization to graphic design and social media management. She has more than 5 years’ experience.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Avuyile Kewana

Avuyile has a deep passion for urban sustainability. She joined ICLEI Africa in April 2019 to offer technical input and support in implementing low emission strategies, carbon reporting and development of greenhouse gas inventories for cities. Avuyile has experience working as a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Assistant Intern at the City of Cape Town.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Azola Zulu

Azola is an enthusiastic and professional built environment/ sustainability practitioner with over 5 years’ experience within the climate change and urban development field. She holds a Bachelors degree from the University of Pretoria and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Sustainable Energy Efficiency from University of Witwatersrand. In her previous role, as the C40 Technical Officer for the City of Johannesburg, in which she was responsible for driving the process of developing and implementing net zero carbon performance and resource efficiency standards for the built. She is passionate about identifying strategic partnerships to accelerate the implementation of ambitious climate actions.

Researcher: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Balbina Nyamakura

Balbina completed her BSc Honours in Environmental Sciences at Rhodes University in 2017. She is currently pursuing her MSc in Environmental and Geographical science at the University of Cape Town. She joined ICLEI Africa in 2018 as a Masters student and is conducting her research as part of the IMPACT project, focusing on cross-sector collaboration for drought disaster resilience in the city of Harare, Zimbabwe.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Ben Hetherington

Ben holds an Honours in Economics from the University of Cape Town and completed the City of Cape Town’s Urban Sustainability Internship Programme. He has been involved in various energy and climate initiatives, most notably climate data collection and reporting through the ICLEI-CDP Unified Reporting Platform and other climate initiatives, such as C40 and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. He supported the development of the City's Climate Action Plan.

Intern: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Carine Lehtem Buma

Carine is passionate about energy, especially given the urgent need for sustainable energy access in Africa. She holds a MSc. in Physics and B.Eng in Petroleum Engineering. Carine joined ICLEI as an intern and is working on climate change and energy projects, including CoM SSA. She has experience in the design, monitoring and evaluation of photovoltaic systems, as well as on technical properties of petroleum products.

Research and Communications Officer

Claudia Schroder

Claudia holds degrees in Social Dynamics and Environmental Management and is currently completing her Masters in Environment, Society and Sustainability through the University of Cape Town. Her role as a Research and Communications Officer since 2018 enables her to explore the complex dynamics between humans and nature in the face of climate change as well as bring insight to the manner they are communicated to ICLEI’s audiences and stakeholders.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Damien Gabriel

Damien holds a Double Master’s degree in International Relations from Aston University, United Kingdom, and Sciences Po Lille, France. With international experience, various skills and interests in international relations and sustainable development, and a proficiency in French, English and Portuguese, he assists to enhance the ICLEI network in sub-Saharan Africa.

Professional officer: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Dania Petrik

Dania is a MPhil graduate from the Energy Research Centre, UCT, with a focus on climate change and poverty. Her background in communications equips her to effectively communicate climate related issues. She has over five years’ experience in climate research and consulting, working alongside donor agencies, practitioners, local and national government, regional networks, and with academia to implement a range of projects specifically around building capacity and improved climate governance.

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Daniel Adeniyi

Daniel has over seven years research and project management experience spanning areas including food systems, urban planning, and M&E. His work at ICLEI focuses on how to ensure sustainability of urban food systems and ways of incorporating sustainability principles into urban development plans and processes. Daniel holds Masters (Cum Laude) and PhD degrees in Development Studies from the University of the Western Cape. Daniel is a registered city planner and a member of the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA).

Membership Officer

Faghmieda King

Faghmieda joined ICLEI Africa in 2014. Her key responsibilities are membership, logistics and office administration. She has 10 years’ experience as entrepreneur developer, coordinating member events, undertaking coaching sessions and other support activities.

Communications Officer: Climate and Energy

Jarita Kassen

Jarita Kassen spent the last two years working at Eyewitness News producing radio news stories and articles on a variety of topics. She is passionate about climate change and sustainability and excited to work in a communications position that addresses these issues. She has experience liaising with local government officials and gained a good understanding of government structures and communicating about political issues during her studies at the University of Cape Town. She has a BA degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics and an Honours degree in Political Communications, focusing on media. She also has a diploma in Business French and has dabbled in design and layout, and podcast production. Jarita will be joining the ICLEI Africa team as a Communications Officer for Energy and Climate Change, specifically to support communications for the CoM SSA Secretariat as well as our LoCS4Africa Virtual Congress, and other related campaigns.

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Jehan Bhikoo

Jehan has extensive experience in public sector healthcare design, development and infrastructure delivery. With a deep understanding of the correlation between environmental issues and public health, and the importance of good planning, urban development and policy, she pursued a Masters in Environment and Sustainable Development from University College London (UCL). Positioned within the urban systems team, Jehan is excited to explore a range of areas from mobility to circular development.

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Jokudu Guya

Jokudu Guya is an Urban Systems Professional Officer. Her focus areas include Circular Economies, Nexus, and smart cities, amongst other urban systems focus areas. She has a background in city development research and holds a Master of Urban Studies Degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Bachelor’s degree with Honours in Urban and Regional Planning.

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Kevin Mutia

Kevin is a Professional Officer at ICLEI Africa, in the Urban Systems unit. He hopes to change public spaces and urban forms in our cities. He especially hopes to do so through research, well analysed data and information, and a duly followed design process for developing plans, frameworks and strategies to improve the quality of urban spaces in Africa. This will ensure that all the users in these spaces, regardless of economic and cultural background, will have a good quality of life.

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Kirsty Griffin

Kirsty holds a Masters in Climate Change and Sustainable Development and joined ICLEI Africa in 2015. Her work focuses on climate change mitigation and adaptation, capacity building, and climate and biodiversity action planning. Kirsty is currently the project manager of ICLEI Africa’s CAPS Project and a member of several highly experienced and dynamic project teams responsible for implementing ICLEI’s key biodiversity and climate change projects.

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Lauren Arendse

Lauren has extensive experience in the public infrastructure development and maintenance. She completed a Master’s in Water Science and Engineering from IHE Delft Institute for Water Education. She has a good grasp of integrated water systems from water governance to river and coastal management in the context of global issues like climate change. She is analytically minded and strives to use interdisciplinary and system thinking approaches to translate scientific research to inform better governance, policy or action towards sustainable futures, which is well suited for the urban systems team.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Meagen Swain

Meagen Swain holds a Master of Philosophy in Climate Change and Sustainable Development from the University of Cape Town with a theoretical background in Environmental and Geographical sciences. Before joining ICLEI Africa as a Professional Officer in the Climate Change, Energy and Resilience workstream, she completed the City of Cape Town’s Urban Sustainability Internship Programme, within the City’s Environmental Management Department. During her time at the City of Cape Town, she supported the public participation process of the city’s Climate Change Strategy and assisted in strengthening the strategy and action plan. Her interests lie in climate change, resilience and urban greening.

Financial Administrator

Mellissa Moses

Mellissa has six years’ experience in finance, having assisted in financial management and administration, mainly focused in the financial services sector and more recently within the digital marketing space. Here she also gained project finance experience.

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Mthobisi Wanda

Mthobisi is an environmental practitioner with three years’ experience in the public and NGO sectors. His work experience is varied, having been exposed to a number of sub-disciplines in the broader environmental field. These include biodiversity mainstreaming and mapping ecosystem services. Mthobisi’s practical work experience is complemented by a solid academic grounding through a BSocSc in Geography and Environmental Management, and an Honours in Environmental Monitoring and Modelling.

Intern: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Nelson de Lamare

Nelson is part of both the Climate Change, Energy & Resilience work stream, and the Membership team, while undertaking his MA in International Studies at Stellenbosch University. He has experience working for the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service, a global network of International Voluntary Service CSOs, as well as the culture and education sectors of UNESCO.

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Nikara Mahadeo

Nikara has over 5 years’ experience working in the conservation sector in South Africa, having previously worked for local NGOs. She holds two masters degrees, MSc Environmental Science (University of KwaZulu-Natal), and MPhil Conservation Leadership (University of Cambridge). At ICLEI Africa, she applies her experience and skills across various projects within the biodiversity team, whilst expanding her understanding of both local and global environmental challenges.

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Quraisha Bux

Quraisha joined ICLEI Africa’s Biodiversity & Nature-Based Solutions workstream and the Cities Biodiversity Center in October 2018. She currently works on various projects, including INTERACT-Bio and CitiesWithNature. She holds an MSc in Environmental and Geographical Science from the University of Cape Town. Prior to joining ICLEI, Quraisha gained experience in environmental consulting in the private sector. She has a special interest in urban ecology, climate change and sustainable development.

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Solophina Nekesa

Solophina is passionate about Green Architecture and Urban Design. She has worked with an architectural practice to plan off-grid sustainable communities and affordable net-zero energy buildings in Uganda. As a sustainability consultant, she has worked on projects that seek to promote comprehensive sustainable practices. Solophina holds a Master of Architecture (Sustainable and Energy Efficient Cities) from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Travel Coordinator

Sonya Smith

Sonya studied Travel and Tourism and has 22 years’ experience in the travel sector, of which 16 were dedicated to the airline industry. During this time, she worked in every department within the airline’s ground operations. At ICLEI Africa, she is the friendly face greeting staff and visitors at the door. Apart from arranging travel bookings across Africa and beyond, Sonya is also responsible for our well-functioning and organised office.

Takunda Mambo

Takunda is a UCT graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Sociology, and a Master’s Degree in Disaster Risk Science. He is passionate about sustainable development with experience in various areas including, but not limited to, climate change, conservation, energy, environmental management, financial inclusion and ICT4D. He has experience leading projects and data collection in both urban and rural settings. He also has a strong appreciation for GIS, and its integration in data analytics for development.

Outside work he enjoys listening to music, reading up on global current affairs and watching movies. His favourite books are Brave New World and The Alchemist.

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Tamlyn Duncan

Originally from Johannesburg, Tamlyn moved to Cape Town to study at the University of Cape Town. She has an LLM in Environmental Law and is passionate about finding innovative and progressive approaches to achieving sustainability and enhancing resilience towards climate change. She previously worked as an intern in the City of Cape Town’s Environmental Management Department, and enjoyed working within the environmental governance sphere.

Professional Officer: Climate Change and Water Resource Management

Tarryn Quayle

Tarryn joined ICLEI Africa in 2009 and focuses on urban water and sanitation projects through the lens of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Tarryn has a keen interest in co-developing projects that reflect the demand-driven, inclusive and multi-stakeholder approaches integral to supporting sustainable urban development on the continent.

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Thabo Thulare

Thabo, a Professional Officer: Urban Systems, has extensive development management working experience at provincial government and worked closely with local and national spheres of government. He has been active in the fields of sustainable development; project financing; sustainable education and training; spatial planning and land-use management; regional and LED; municipal Integrated Development Planning; development research, Special Economic Zone and Industrial Development Zone planning and infrastructure; provincial and regional development corridors planning; community and SMME development. His knowledge, skills and expertise include strategy and policy development; programme and project management; construction of public infrastructure; development planning and facilitation; public sector procurement and public finance. Thabo already joined us during the course of December 2020 and will, for now, mainly work on the Planning-focused project with the National Government of Tanzania.

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Urban Systems

Ryan Fisher

Ryan has more than 6 years’ experience working for and with subnational governments. Since joining ICLEI Africa in 2013, he has been active in the fields of energy and climate change mitigation, biodiversity and nature-based solutions, food systems, and sustainable transport. With an undergrad in Environmental Management, his expertise include policy review and drafting, facilitation, strategy development and mainstreaming of sustainability good practice into subnational government operations.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Vanessa Tshite

Vanessa holds a postgraduate diploma in Integrated Water Resources Management and a BSc in Environmental and Water Science from the University of the Western Cape. She joined ICLEI as an intern, working on two main projects – UNA and IMPACT. She has experience assisting with environmental legislation and related projects as an Environmental Compliance Assistant at the City of Cape Town and in the private sector.

Graphic Designer: Graphic design & layout

Widaad Pienaar

Widaad studied Multimedia Design at The Cape Peninsula University of Technology where she attained her National Diploma and Bachelor of Technology Degree in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Widaad is known for being optimistic, dedicated and detail-oriented. Her love of fine art and talent for design is obvious in her work. Widaad brings valuable creativity to the multi-skilled Communications team at ICLEI Africa.

Project Financial Officer

Dorah Zatu

I have National Diploma in Cost & Management Accounting from Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and Higher Certificate in Senior Management Development Programme from the University if the Western Cape (UWC). I have years of experience in working across a broad range of technical financial matters within NPOs, Education, SOC and SMME sectors. My work experience includes full bookkeeping function, compilation of management accounts, payroll management and coordinating internal and externa audits. I have a strong track record of working with NGO’s, preparing funders/donors reports, administering grants and ensuring that spending is incurred consistent with the grant agreement.

Communications Officer

Ruby Schalit

Ruby recently graduated with a masters in Development Planning from the University of the Witwatersrand with a research focus on informal recycling systems in Johannesburg’s suburbs. Her undergraduate degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics illustrates her affinity for multidisciplinary ways of thinking. Ruby sees her role as Communications Officer at ICLEI Africa as the perfect marriage between her professional background in marketing and communications, her education and passion for sustainable urban planning, spatial justice and the environment, and her creative flair.

Urban Systems

ICLEI Africa’s Urban Systems workstream focuses primarily on the systems that manage and influence the consumption of resources in African cities. By focusing on systems, cities can identify strategic areas of intervention that facilitate more sustainable urban living and unlock broader ecological and social benefits. The workstream’s themes include resource-efficient service provision, resource flows and circular development, ecomobility, visioning sustainable future cities, procurement, finance, capacity building and governance.

AllDirectorsSenior Professsional Officers
Deputy Secretary General: ICLEI & Regional Director: ICLEI Africa

Kobie Brand

Manager: Urban Systems Unit

Paul Currie

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Daniel Adeniyi

Intern: Urban Systems

Esethu Mmngxunyeni

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Jehan Bhikoo

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Jokudu Guya

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Kevin Mutia

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Lauren Arendse

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Solophina Nekesa

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Thabo Thulare

Senior Communications Officer

Thea Buckle

Deputy Secretary General: ICLEI & Regional Director: ICLEI Africa

Kobie Brand

Kobie has more than 25 years of practical and managerial experience in Environmental Management and Urban Development. Her expertise range from biodiversity, climate change, coastal management to urban sustainability and planning. She is responsible for the strategic direction, growth, partnerships, programmes and scope of work for ICLEI in Africa. Kobie is also Global Director for ICLEI’s Biodiversity and Nature-based solutions work, and in this capacity heads up the Cities Biodiversity Center embedded in ICLEI Africa.

Manager: Urban Systems Unit

Paul Currie

Paul is fascinated by the multi-layered relationships that give each city its unique flavour. With his Sustainable Development MPhil and current doctoral research, Paul uses urban metabolism, resource nexus and political ecology as lenses for shaping sustainable, inclusive cities. At ICLEI, he supports local governments to apply systems perspectives to food, water, energy and nature, and facilitates the development of policies and plans appropriate to contexts of change and uncertainty.

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Daniel Adeniyi

Daniel has over seven years research and project management experience spanning areas including food systems, urban planning, and M&E. His work at ICLEI focuses on how to ensure sustainability of urban food systems and ways of incorporating sustainability principles into urban development plans and processes. Daniel holds Masters (Cum Laude) and PhD degrees in Development Studies from the University of the Western Cape. Daniel is a registered city planner and a member of the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA).

Intern: Urban Systems

Esethu Mmngxunyeni

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Jehan Bhikoo

Jehan has extensive experience in public sector healthcare design, development and infrastructure delivery. With a deep understanding of the correlation between environmental issues and public health, and the importance of good planning, urban development and policy, she pursued a Masters in Environment and Sustainable Development from University College London (UCL). Positioned within the urban systems team, Jehan is excited to explore a range of areas from mobility to circular development.

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Jokudu Guya

Jokudu Guya is an Urban Systems Professional Officer. Her focus areas include Circular Economies, Nexus, and smart cities, amongst other urban systems focus areas. She has a background in city development research and holds a Master of Urban Studies Degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Bachelor’s degree with Honours in Urban and Regional Planning.

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Kevin Mutia

Kevin is a Professional Officer at ICLEI Africa, in the Urban Systems unit. He hopes to change public spaces and urban forms in our cities. He especially hopes to do so through research, well analysed data and information, and a duly followed design process for developing plans, frameworks and strategies to improve the quality of urban spaces in Africa. This will ensure that all the users in these spaces, regardless of economic and cultural background, will have a good quality of life.

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Lauren Arendse

Lauren has extensive experience in the public infrastructure development and maintenance. She completed a Master’s in Water Science and Engineering from IHE Delft Institute for Water Education. She has a good grasp of integrated water systems from water governance to river and coastal management in the context of global issues like climate change. She is analytically minded and strives to use interdisciplinary and system thinking approaches to translate scientific research to inform better governance, policy or action towards sustainable futures, which is well suited for the urban systems team.

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Solophina Nekesa

Solophina is passionate about Green Architecture and Urban Design. She has worked with an architectural practice to plan off-grid sustainable communities and affordable net-zero energy buildings in Uganda. As a sustainability consultant, she has worked on projects that seek to promote comprehensive sustainable practices. Solophina holds a Master of Architecture (Sustainable and Energy Efficient Cities) from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Professional Officer: Urban Systems

Thabo Thulare

Thabo, a Professional Officer: Urban Systems, has extensive development management working experience at provincial government and worked closely with local and national spheres of government. He has been active in the fields of sustainable development; project financing; sustainable education and training; spatial planning and land-use management; regional and LED; municipal Integrated Development Planning; development research, Special Economic Zone and Industrial Development Zone planning and infrastructure; provincial and regional development corridors planning; community and SMME development. His knowledge, skills and expertise include strategy and policy development; programme and project management; construction of public infrastructure; development planning and facilitation; public sector procurement and public finance. Thabo already joined us during the course of December 2020 and will, for now, mainly work on the Planning-focused project with the National Government of Tanzania.

Senior Communications Officer

Thea Buckle

Thea joined ICLEI in 2016 after completing her Master’s at Nelson Mandela University’s Sustainability Research Unit. She initially embarked on a trans disciplinary Master’s, combining her aptitude for communication with her love of nature, learning that your passions and talents will often meet to reveal your vocation. Her expertise ranges from online marketing campaign conceptualization to graphic design and social media management. She has more than 5 years’ experience.

The Climate Change, Energy and Resilience workstream tackles issues of relevance to African cities, including low emission development, climate change adaptation, access to finance and energy, resilience, and disaster risk reduction. The team consists of a diverse set of individuals with backgrounds in energy, economics, environmental science, engineering and planning. Our goal is to co-develop sustainability solutions with our cities, with the aim of enhancing urban resilience on the continent.

CLIMATE CHANGE, ENERGY AND RESILIENCE

AllDirectorsSenior Professsional Officers
Director: Climate Change: Energy & Resilience

Dr Meggan Spires

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change and Urban Natural Assets

Jess Kavonic

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change and Coastal Management

Dr Kate Strachan

Manager: Strategic Alliances | Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Nachi Majoe

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Kirsty Griffin

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Tara Caetano

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Avuyile Kewana

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Azola Zulu

Researcher: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Balbina Nyamakura

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Ben Hetherington

Intern: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Carine Lehtem Buma

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Damien Gabriel

Professional officer: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Dania Petrik

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Meagen Swain

Intern: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Nelson de Lamare

Takunda Mambo

Professional Officer: Climate Change and Water Resource Management

Tarryn Quayle

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Vanessa Tshite

Senior Communications Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Adél Strydom

Research and Communications Officer

Claudia Schroder

Communications Officer: Climate and Energy

Jarita Kassen

Director: Climate Change: Energy & Resilience

Dr Meggan Spires

Meggan believes that African cities are places of innovation and potential, where globally relevant solutions are found. She leads the Climate Change, Energy and Resilience workstream at ICLEI Africa, where a diverse team works with African city stakeholders to build resilience, enable low emission development, and improve access to finance and energy. Meggan holds a PhD in Environmental Science and before joining ICLEI Africa worked as a municipal official.

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change and Urban Natural Assets

Jess Kavonic

Jess has a background in atmospheric science with a specialised knowledge of climate change and its relationship with a sustainable approach to development. She has seven years’ experience working with and for local governments, working to improve urban human well-being, build climate resilience and protect the urban natural asset base through influencing development policies and planning systems. Jess manages the UNA Programme and the FRACTAL and Reflecting Cities projects.

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change and Coastal Management

Dr Kate Strachan

Kate holds a PhD in Environmental Science, focused on coastal changes associated with climate change. She has a special interest in understanding climate change and the associated risks, especially relating to coastal cities. She has worked with and for local governments to build climate resilience, developing climate adaption plans, and identifying challenges and opportunities associated with natural assets to overcome shocks and stressors associated with climate change.

Manager: Strategic Alliances | Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Nachi Majoe

Nachi has 10 years’ experience in local government policy, practice, and capacity building. She holds two Master’s degrees: Public Management & Governance, and International Planning & Sustainable Development (Urban Resilience). As Manager of Urban Systems & Strategic Alliances she leads on urban governance, finance, infrastructure, and settlements as well as the localisation of global agreements (such as the SDGs). She further maintains ICLEI’s strategic partnerships.

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Kirsty Griffin

Kirsty holds a Masters in Climate Change and Sustainable Development and joined ICLEI Africa in 2015. Her work focuses on climate change mitigation and adaptation, capacity building, and climate and biodiversity action planning. Kirsty is currently the project manager of ICLEI Africa’s CAPS Project and a member of several highly experienced and dynamic project teams responsible for implementing ICLEI’s key biodiversity and climate change projects.

Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Tara Caetano

Tara is an energy economist with more than a decade of experience in climate change and development in the African context. She holds an Engineering Masters in Energy Studies from the University of Cape Town. Her experience includes leading projects across Africa at the national and subnational level in areas such as long-term emission development strategies, energy transitions, development economics, and the circular economy.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Avuyile Kewana

Avuyile has a deep passion for urban sustainability. She joined ICLEI Africa in April 2019 to offer technical input and support in implementing low emission strategies, carbon reporting and development of greenhouse gas inventories for cities. Avuyile has experience working as a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Assistant Intern at the City of Cape Town.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Azola Zulu

Azola is an enthusiastic and professional built environment/ sustainability practitioner with over 5 years’ experience within the climate change and urban development field. She holds a Bachelors degree from the University of Pretoria and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Sustainable Energy Efficiency from University of Witwatersrand. In her previous role, as the C40 Technical Officer for the City of Johannesburg, in which she was responsible for driving the process of developing and implementing net zero carbon performance and resource efficiency standards for the built. She is passionate about identifying strategic partnerships to accelerate the implementation of ambitious climate actions.

Researcher: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Balbina Nyamakura

Balbina completed her BSc Honours in Environmental Sciences at Rhodes University in 2017. She is currently pursuing her MSc in Environmental and Geographical science at the University of Cape Town. She joined ICLEI Africa in 2018 as a Masters student and is conducting her research as part of the IMPACT project, focusing on cross-sector collaboration for drought disaster resilience in the city of Harare, Zimbabwe.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Ben Hetherington

Ben holds an Honours in Economics from the University of Cape Town and completed the City of Cape Town’s Urban Sustainability Internship Programme. He has been involved in various energy and climate initiatives, most notably climate data collection and reporting through the ICLEI-CDP Unified Reporting Platform and other climate initiatives, such as C40 and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. He supported the development of the City's Climate Action Plan.

Intern: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Carine Lehtem Buma

Carine is passionate about energy, especially given the urgent need for sustainable energy access in Africa. She holds a MSc. in Physics and B.Eng in Petroleum Engineering. Carine joined ICLEI as an intern and is working on climate change and energy projects, including CoM SSA. She has experience in the design, monitoring and evaluation of photovoltaic systems, as well as on technical properties of petroleum products.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Damien Gabriel

Damien holds a Double Master’s degree in International Relations from Aston University, United Kingdom, and Sciences Po Lille, France. With international experience, various skills and interests in international relations and sustainable development, and a proficiency in French, English and Portuguese, he assists to enhance the ICLEI network in sub-Saharan Africa.

Professional officer: Climate Change, Energy & Resilience

Dania Petrik

Dania is a MPhil graduate from the Energy Research Centre, UCT, with a focus on climate change and poverty. Her background in communications equips her to effectively communicate climate related issues. She has over five years’ experience in climate research and consulting, working alongside donor agencies, practitioners, local and national government, regional networks, and with academia to implement a range of projects specifically around building capacity and improved climate governance.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Meagen Swain

Meagen Swain holds a Master of Philosophy in Climate Change and Sustainable Development from the University of Cape Town with a theoretical background in Environmental and Geographical sciences. Before joining ICLEI Africa as a Professional Officer in the Climate Change, Energy and Resilience workstream, she completed the City of Cape Town’s Urban Sustainability Internship Programme, within the City’s Environmental Management Department. During her time at the City of Cape Town, she supported the public participation process of the city’s Climate Change Strategy and assisted in strengthening the strategy and action plan. Her interests lie in climate change, resilience and urban greening.

Intern: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Nelson de Lamare

Nelson is part of both the Climate Change, Energy & Resilience work stream, and the Membership team, while undertaking his MA in International Studies at Stellenbosch University. He has experience working for the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service, a global network of International Voluntary Service CSOs, as well as the culture and education sectors of UNESCO.

Takunda Mambo

Takunda is a UCT graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Sociology, and a Master’s Degree in Disaster Risk Science. He is passionate about sustainable development with experience in various areas including, but not limited to, climate change, conservation, energy, environmental management, financial inclusion and ICT4D. He has experience leading projects and data collection in both urban and rural settings. He also has a strong appreciation for GIS, and its integration in data analytics for development.

Outside work he enjoys listening to music, reading up on global current affairs and watching movies. His favourite books are Brave New World and The Alchemist.

Professional Officer: Climate Change and Water Resource Management

Tarryn Quayle

Tarryn joined ICLEI Africa in 2009 and focuses on urban water and sanitation projects through the lens of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Tarryn has a keen interest in co-developing projects that reflect the demand-driven, inclusive and multi-stakeholder approaches integral to supporting sustainable urban development on the continent.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Vanessa Tshite

Vanessa holds a postgraduate diploma in Integrated Water Resources Management and a BSc in Environmental and Water Science from the University of the Western Cape. She joined ICLEI as an intern, working on two main projects – UNA and IMPACT. She has experience assisting with environmental legislation and related projects as an Environmental Compliance Assistant at the City of Cape Town and in the private sector.

Senior Communications Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Adél Strydom

Adél believes in the beauty and power of stories to bring change. She combines an honours degree in Media Theory and Practice with an MPhil in Sustainable Development. Her six years’ experience range from travel, lifestyle and nature to urban metabolism, energy, and climate change. She works with the Climate Change, Energy & Resilience team at ICLEI Africa on communications, focusing primarily on writing and film.

Research and Communications Officer

Claudia Schroder

Claudia holds degrees in Social Dynamics and Environmental Management and is currently completing her Masters in Environment, Society and Sustainability through the University of Cape Town. Her role as a Research and Communications Officer since 2018 enables her to explore the complex dynamics between humans and nature in the face of climate change as well as bring insight to the manner they are communicated to ICLEI’s audiences and stakeholders.

Communications Officer: Climate and Energy

Jarita Kassen

Jarita Kassen spent the last two years working at Eyewitness News producing radio news stories and articles on a variety of topics. She is passionate about climate change and sustainability and excited to work in a communications position that addresses these issues. She has experience liaising with local government officials and gained a good understanding of government structures and communicating about political issues during her studies at the University of Cape Town. She has a BA degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics and an Honours degree in Political Communications, focusing on media. She also has a diploma in Business French and has dabbled in design and layout, and podcast production. Jarita will be joining the ICLEI Africa team as a Communications Officer for Energy and Climate Change, specifically to support communications for the CoM SSA Secretariat as well as our LoCS4Africa Virtual Congress, and other related campaigns.

BIODIVERSITY AND NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS

This workstream helps cities and urban communities work with nature to design their cities to improve urban health, resilience and well-being. We do this by assisting local governments to adopt green-blue infrastructure solutions, interpret global biodiversity and sustainability targets, and find innovative ways of mainstreaming nature-based solutions. We support local leaders to apply sustainable governance practices and advocate multilevel governance in the negotiation and implementation of the UN Conventions.

AllDirectorsSenior Professsional OfficersThe Team
Director: Biodiversity, Nature & Health

Ingrid Coetzee

Senior Professional Officer: Social-ecological Systems

Dr Ernita Flynn

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Mthobisi Wanda

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Nikara Mahadeo

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Urban Systems

Ryan Fisher

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Tamlyn Duncan

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Quraisha Bux

Senior Communications Officer

Thea Buckle

Director: Biodiversity, Nature & Health

Ingrid Coetzee

Ingrid has more than 30 years’ experience in sustainability and governance. Her work focuses on mainstreaming nature, its benefits, and nature-based solutions into urban planning and decision-making in cities and city regions thereby helping them become healthier, and more resilient and liveable places. She also serves as technical lead on ICLEI’s biodiversity advocacy work. Ingrid’s expertise includes stakeholder engagement, facilitation, law reform, policy, and strategy development.

Senior Professional Officer: Social-ecological Systems

Dr Ernita Flynn

Ernita Flynn is a senior professional officer (social-ecological systems) at ICLEI Africa and ICLEI’s Cities Biodiversity Center: Urban Biodiversity Work stream. Her work focus is on mainstreaming nature-based benefits in urban environments through planning and implementation. Following initial training in ecology and conservation, Ernita developed an interest in how people and institutions value and interact with the natural environment. She brings 22 years’ experience to the work place.

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Mthobisi Wanda

Mthobisi is an environmental practitioner with three years’ experience in the public and NGO sectors. His work experience is varied, having been exposed to a number of sub-disciplines in the broader environmental field. These include biodiversity mainstreaming and mapping ecosystem services. Mthobisi’s practical work experience is complemented by a solid academic grounding through a BSocSc in Geography and Environmental Management, and an Honours in Environmental Monitoring and Modelling.

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Nikara Mahadeo

Nikara has over 5 years’ experience working in the conservation sector in South Africa, having previously worked for local NGOs. She holds two masters degrees, MSc Environmental Science (University of KwaZulu-Natal), and MPhil Conservation Leadership (University of Cambridge). At ICLEI Africa, she applies her experience and skills across various projects within the biodiversity team, whilst expanding her understanding of both local and global environmental challenges.

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Urban Systems

Ryan Fisher

Ryan has more than 6 years’ experience working for and with subnational governments. Since joining ICLEI Africa in 2013, he has been active in the fields of energy and climate change mitigation, biodiversity and nature-based solutions, food systems, and sustainable transport. With an undergrad in Environmental Management, his expertise include policy review and drafting, facilitation, strategy development and mainstreaming of sustainability good practice into subnational government operations.

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Tamlyn Duncan

Originally from Johannesburg, Tamlyn moved to Cape Town to study at the University of Cape Town. She has an LLM in Environmental Law and is passionate about finding innovative and progressive approaches to achieving sustainability and enhancing resilience towards climate change. She previously worked as an intern in the City of Cape Town’s Environmental Management Department, and enjoyed working within the environmental governance sphere.

Professional Officer: Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions

Quraisha Bux

Quraisha joined ICLEI Africa’s Biodiversity & Nature-Based Solutions workstream and the Cities Biodiversity Center in October 2018. She currently works on various projects, including INTERACT-Bio and CitiesWithNature. She holds an MSc in Environmental and Geographical Science from the University of Cape Town. Prior to joining ICLEI, Quraisha gained experience in environmental consulting in the private sector. She has a special interest in urban ecology, climate change and sustainable development.

Senior Communications Officer

Thea Buckle

Thea joined ICLEI in 2016 after completing her Master’s at Nelson Mandela University’s Sustainability Research Unit. She initially embarked on a trans disciplinary Master’s, combining her aptitude for communication with her love of nature, learning that your passions and talents will often meet to reveal your vocation. Her expertise ranges from online marketing campaign conceptualization to graphic design and social media management. She has more than 5 years’ experience.

ICLEI Africa’s multi-skilled communications team has extensive experience in the fields of communications, as well as urban sustainability and environmental issues, working at local and subnational government levels. We work closely with the technical workstreams to design effective communications strategies and deliver impactful communications campaigns, resources and events, both in Africa and globally. We support our members in Africa by profiling their sustainable urban development work.

COMMUNICATIONS

AllDirectorsSenior Professsional Officers
Director: Communications, Knowledge Management & Research Coordination

Michelle Preen

Senior Communications Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Adél Strydom

Senior Communications Officer

Thea Buckle

Research and Communications Officer

Claudia Schroder

Graphic Designer: Graphic design & layout

Widaad Pienaar

Communications Officer: Climate and Energy

Jarita Kassen

Communications Officer

Ruby Schalit

Director: Communications, Knowledge Management & Research Coordination

Michelle Preen

Michelle has close to 20 years’ experience in the field of environmental communications, most of these within local government, and covering a broad range of environmental issues. Her MSc in Environmental Biology, various communications qualifications and advanced writing skills, allow her to proficiently translate complex issues and concepts into accessible, action-oriented information. Michelle manages communications for ICLEI Africa and the Cities Biodiversity Center.

Senior Communications Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Adél Strydom

Adél believes in the beauty and power of stories to bring change. She combines an honours degree in Media Theory and Practice with an MPhil in Sustainable Development. Her six years’ experience range from travel, lifestyle and nature to urban metabolism, energy, and climate change. She works with the Climate Change, Energy & Resilience team at ICLEI Africa on communications, focusing primarily on writing and film.

Senior Communications Officer

Thea Buckle

Thea joined ICLEI in 2016 after completing her Master’s at Nelson Mandela University’s Sustainability Research Unit. She initially embarked on a trans disciplinary Master’s, combining her aptitude for communication with her love of nature, learning that your passions and talents will often meet to reveal your vocation. Her expertise ranges from online marketing campaign conceptualization to graphic design and social media management. She has more than 5 years’ experience.

Research and Communications Officer

Claudia Schroder

Claudia holds degrees in Social Dynamics and Environmental Management and is currently completing her Masters in Environment, Society and Sustainability through the University of Cape Town. Her role as a Research and Communications Officer since 2018 enables her to explore the complex dynamics between humans and nature in the face of climate change as well as bring insight to the manner they are communicated to ICLEI’s audiences and stakeholders.

Graphic Designer: Graphic design & layout

Widaad Pienaar

Widaad studied Multimedia Design at The Cape Peninsula University of Technology where she attained her National Diploma and Bachelor of Technology Degree in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Widaad is known for being optimistic, dedicated and detail-oriented. Her love of fine art and talent for design is obvious in her work. Widaad brings valuable creativity to the multi-skilled Communications team at ICLEI Africa.

Communications Officer: Climate and Energy

Jarita Kassen

Jarita Kassen spent the last two years working at Eyewitness News producing radio news stories and articles on a variety of topics. She is passionate about climate change and sustainability and excited to work in a communications position that addresses these issues. She has experience liaising with local government officials and gained a good understanding of government structures and communicating about political issues during her studies at the University of Cape Town. She has a BA degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics and an Honours degree in Political Communications, focusing on media. She also has a diploma in Business French and has dabbled in design and layout, and podcast production. Jarita will be joining the ICLEI Africa team as a Communications Officer for Energy and Climate Change, specifically to support communications for the CoM SSA Secretariat as well as our LoCS4Africa Virtual Congress, and other related campaigns.

Communications Officer

Ruby Schalit

Ruby recently graduated with a masters in Development Planning from the University of the Witwatersrand with a research focus on informal recycling systems in Johannesburg’s suburbs. Her undergraduate degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics illustrates her affinity for multidisciplinary ways of thinking. Ruby sees her role as Communications Officer at ICLEI Africa as the perfect marriage between her professional background in marketing and communications, her education and passion for sustainable urban planning, spatial justice and the environment, and her creative flair.

MEMBERSHIP

The Membership office builds and serves the ICLEI network in Africa, working with the communications and technical teams to provide a range of services to members. While being a unique commitment to sustainable development, ICLEI membership also grants subnational authorities democratic powers to govern the organisation internationally. We therefore support the ICLEI Africa Committee and its Mayors, both across our continent and globally.

AllManagers
Membership Manager

Steven Molteno

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Damien Gabriel

Membership Officer

Faghmieda King

Intern: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Nelson de Lamare

Membership Manager

Steven Molteno

Steven is responsible for Membership and Governance. He joined ICLEI Africa in 2011 and has worked on communications, membership, governance and several events. He has a special interest in international relations, African history and current affairs, linguistics, and biodiversity. He also has a background in IT, and wants to use his skills and interests to serve Africa’s cities and their sustainable development.

Professional Officer: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Damien Gabriel

Damien holds a Double Master’s degree in International Relations from Aston University, United Kingdom, and Sciences Po Lille, France. With international experience, various skills and interests in international relations and sustainable development, and a proficiency in French, English and Portuguese, he assists to enhance the ICLEI network in sub-Saharan Africa.

Membership Officer

Faghmieda King

Faghmieda joined ICLEI Africa in 2014. Her key responsibilities are membership, logistics and office administration. She has 10 years’ experience as entrepreneur developer, coordinating member events, undertaking coaching sessions and other support activities.

Intern: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience

Nelson de Lamare

Nelson is part of both the Climate Change, Energy & Resilience work stream, and the Membership team, while undertaking his MA in International Studies at Stellenbosch University. He has experience working for the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service, a global network of International Voluntary Service CSOs, as well as the culture and education sectors of UNESCO.

This workstream helps cities and urban communities work with nature to design their cities to improve urban health, resilience and well-being. We do this by assisting local governments to adopt green-blue infrastructure solutions, interpret global biodiversity and sustainability targets, and find innovative ways of mainstreaming nature-based solutions. We support local leaders to apply sustainable governance practices and advocate multilevel governance in the negotiation and implementation of the UN Conventions.

ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE

AllManagers
Financial Manager

Stephanie Babef

Membership Officer

Faghmieda King

Financial Administrator

Mellissa Moses

Travel Coordinator

Sonya Smith

Project Financial Officer

Dorah Zatu

Financial Manager

Stephanie Babef

Stephanie has been working at ICLEI Africa since 2011, when she started as an accounting assistant. She is currently Financial Manager, overseeing all of the company’s accounting processes and financial project reporting. She ensures the books are in order for the Annual Financial Statement and the financial deadlines for all projects are respected. Sustainable development has always been a passion of hers, having grown up on a self-sufficient island.

Membership Officer

Faghmieda King

Faghmieda joined ICLEI Africa in 2014. Her key responsibilities are membership, logistics and office administration. She has 10 years’ experience as entrepreneur developer, coordinating member events, undertaking coaching sessions and other support activities.

Financial Administrator

Mellissa Moses

Mellissa has six years’ experience in finance, having assisted in financial management and administration, mainly focused in the financial services sector and more recently within the digital marketing space. Here she also gained project finance experience.

Travel Coordinator

Sonya Smith

Sonya studied Travel and Tourism and has 22 years’ experience in the travel sector, of which 16 were dedicated to the airline industry. During this time, she worked in every department within the airline’s ground operations. At ICLEI Africa, she is the friendly face greeting staff and visitors at the door. Apart from arranging travel bookings across Africa and beyond, Sonya is also responsible for our well-functioning and organised office.

Project Financial Officer

Dorah Zatu

I have National Diploma in Cost & Management Accounting from Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and Higher Certificate in Senior Management Development Programme from the University if the Western Cape (UWC). I have years of experience in working across a broad range of technical financial matters within NPOs, Education, SOC and SMME sectors. My work experience includes full bookkeeping function, compilation of management accounts, payroll management and coordinating internal and externa audits. I have a strong track record of working with NGO’s, preparing funders/donors reports, administering grants and ensuring that spending is incurred consistent with the grant agreement.