Supporting tomorrow’s global citizens

AfOx is delighted to announce the 2021 cohort of scholars we are supporting. We are working in partnership with Standard Bank Africa Chairman’s Scholarship, Oxford-Reuben College Scholarship, St Hugh’s College Lady Ademola Scholarship and the Oppenheimer Fund. For the second consecutive year, AfOx will work with partners to support 9 postgraduate candidates from 7 African countries. 

The scholars will be studying subjects ranging from law and finance, linguistics, philology and phonetics to tropical medicine, energy systems and conservation. They each bring extraordinary talent, experience and potential to Oxford.  

The scholars have been selected following a rigorous, multi-stage review and interview process. We are proud to be working with partners across the University of Oxford to support the scholars during their time at Oxford. Going beyond providing course fees and living costs to the scholars, the scholarships will deliver tailor-made training programmes, networking opportunities and support students before, during and following their time at Oxford. 

Read more about the scholars below.  

Cynthia Dushime, MSc International Health and Tropical Medicine

Cynthia was working as the UN Coordination Officer in Rwanda at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the last year and a half, Cynthia led the coordination of 22 UN agencies' support to the Rwandan Government’s COVID-19 Health and Socio-Economic Response and Recovery plans.  

As a global health professional and advocate of Universal Health Coverage, Cynthia has spent her career designing national health policies and advising governments and other multilateral organizations. Prior to her role at the UN. Cynthia worked at the Ministry of Health in Rwanda where she contributed to the development of a Human Resources for Health Policy to help retain medical doctors, nurses, and other health practitioners in public hospitals, especially in rural areas.    

Cynthia has also worked as an Executive Assistant at Health Builders Rwanda. In this role  she coordinated a One Health project of  including the construction of a centre that is now serving 3 million Rwandans and allows women to give birth in a safe environment.  

Through the MSc International Health and Tropical Medicine at Oxford, Cynthia intends to strengthen her knowledge in health statistics, global health research and practice, to ultimately contribute towards reduced health inequalities and expand access to care for all.   

I aspire to be part of the new generation of global health policy leaders. I am excited to apply the skills I gain at Oxford to create equal and strong health systems that help people live healthy and dignified lives.
Jeffrey Tchouambe, MSc Energy Systems

As an engineering graduate, Jeffery has always been passionate about translating theoretical concepts taught in classrooms into solutions which can solve problems around him. During his degree in Electrical Power Systems Engineering from the African Leadership College in Mauritius, Jeffrey used the techniques he learnt in classrooms to create affordable prosthetic arms for people in Nigeria. 

Jeffery plans to dedicate his career to solve the challenges of energy access in Nigeria. During the last year, Jeffery installed micro-grids in rural communities across Nigeria. He believes that decentralised power solutions hold the key to solving the country's power crisis and ensuring clean energy access to all. 

At Oxford, Jeffrey hopes to build on his theoretical and practical understanding of future energy systems with a focus on how policies and economics can enable their deployment. He intends to lead Nigeria's ministry of power to a sustainable future.  

I hope to return to Nigeria in a position to effect change in the country's energy landscape. With the knowledge I obtain at Oxford, I will work towards universal access to renewable energy in the country, and on the African continent.
Sabrina Maonde, MSc Refugee and Forced Migration Studies

Sabrina is a human rights lawyer with experience of working for the UNESCO Inclusive Policy Lab in Paris and for UNHCR and Lawyers for Human Rights in Pretoria. Her primary research interests include the political, legal, and ethical issues that arise from statelessness, refugee status, citizenship, and migration.  

While working for UNHCR and Lawyers for Human Rights, Sabrina worked with asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in South Africa. Through innovative interventions such as translating the legal jargon of South African citizenship law into accessible language for social workers, she ensured that 96% of children in an orphanage in Limpopo were documented. A process that usually took 6 months was now done within 2 weeks. 

During her course at Oxford, Sabrina intends to undertake a feminist critical discourse study of the depiction of Muslim women in the United Kingdom. Her study will focus on the justifications given for the   deprivation of their citizenship. With a focus on gendered terrorism, Sabrina’s research will highlight the link between the media’s depiction of Muslim women within political discursive frames of national values and western feminism. 

Sabrina’s goal is to become a litigating attorney specialising in refugee, statelessness, and citizenship law in Southern Africa. She also hopes to establish a non-profit human rights organisation in Zimbabwe to provide legal advice and representation to asylum seekers and refugees. 

I want to establish a first of its kind non-profit human rights organisation in Zimbabwe. The organisation will be tailored to the human rights needs of the country, including refugee and migrant rights, housing, penal reform and strategic litigation.
Yannick Ndoinyo, MSc Biodiversity, Conservation and Management

As a natural resources and development specialist, Yannick has established and pioneered numerous conservation and development initiatives to enable indigenous communities to develop enterprise-based solutions which address poverty and provide increased access to fundamental social services such as education, health, and water. 

Yannick served as Councillor for Ololosokwan Ward in Ngorongoro District (Arusha-Tanzania) for 10 years during which he led his community through the worst land crisis in their history. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Traditional Ecosystems Survival Tanzania (TEST), a non-profit promoting wildlife conservation, traditional rangeland management and community development.  

Yannick has acted as an advocate for his community at the UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). He also started the only radio station in his community to help develop an active citizenry and connect people working on land rights and good governance. 

At Oxford, Yannick intends to further his knowledge on conservation leadership and act as a bridge between the conservation practices and the interests of indigenous groups. 

I find it disturbing that in this day and age, local people do not have any recognised role in conservation although they contribute about 80% in the protection of the world's biodiversity. I hope to act as a bridge between the conservation of today and the interests of indigenous groups.
Anushka Sehmi, MSc African Studies

Anushka Sehmi is a Kenyan human rights lawyer with over ten years of experience working for the International Criminal Court, United Nations and Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice. Most recently, she has graduated with distinction in MSt Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford. Anushka’s dissertation critically analyses the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and offers suggestions on how the ICC can combat structural violence in its criminal prosecutions. Her dissertation was published in the Oxford International Journal of Transitional Justice.  

Throughout her career, Anushka has sought justice for victims of human rights violence. She is a consultant to various NGO’s including International Federation for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, and Africa Centre for Open Governance.  

Taking the MSc African Studies in Oxford, Anuskha aims to further her knowledge of African history, the colonial state, economic liberalisation, democratisation, and develop relevant research methodologies. Ultimately, Anushka plans to undertake doctoral research on conflict in Africa.  

After graduating from Oxford I would like to continue to work with survivors of conflict, as well as to advocate for a more holistic understanding of justice, which considers the structural causes of violence in many African countries, including Kenya.
Anushka Sehmi
Ndume Ibrahimu, MSt Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics

Ndume developed a keen interest in languages when studying Latin and philosophy in secondary school, where he examined texts of Latin writers such as Marcus Cicero. His education to date has focused on English and African Culture Studies and his present research examines the impact of code-switching (language switching) on minority languages in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  

There are nearly 450 different languages and dialects in the D.R.C. However, a number of these languages have not been studied and are at a risk of decline. Ndume is one of the very few scholars in the country researching the evolution and changes occurring in these languages.  

Ndume has worked on several linguistics-oriented research projects and is currently working at The Bukavu Higher Pedagogical Institute. Through practical experience of working at the customs office at the border between the D.R.C. and Rwanda, he gained insights into how people on either side of the border mix their respective languages to interact with each other.  

Upon completion of his graduate degree, Ndume hopes to undertake interdisciplinary doctoral research on the languages in his country.  

The languages of my country need to be studied and revitalised to avoid the disappearance of many minority languages, which would be a real linguistic and cultural catastrophe. I want to actively contribute to that upon completion of my studies at Oxford.
Crystal Chika Okwurionu, MSc Law and Finance

Crystal is an Energy and Finance lawyer. After witnessing the environmental impact of oil extraction in Nigeria, Crystal decided to pursue law to be able to influence sustainable change in the development and financing of energy projects in the industry. 

After graduating second in her departmental cohort, she joined a leading Nigerian law firm. As a Legal Associate, Crystal advised multilateral agencies and syndicates of lenders on landmark energy projects, including a US$ 141 million syndicated loan facility for the acquisition of an independent power plant. Cystral has also worked with as part of the consultants to the World Bank on financing renewable energy projects in Nigeria. 

Her ultimate goal is to become a leading energy and finance lawyer, to positively influence how the energy industry in Africa is organised. 

The energy industry in Nigeria needs to be reorganised in a sustainable way. My goal is to become the leading energy and finance lawyer in Africa, to positively influence how the energy industry in Africa is organised.
Buthaina Eltigani, MSc International Health and Tropical Medicine

Buthaina is a medical doctor who worked, as an ICU resident treating critically ill patients before she moved to work in the emergency room at Fedail hospital in Khartoum, Sudan. As the first point of contact for critical patients, Buthaina’s job was to evaluate their condition and provide urgent resuscitation. 

Buthaina did part of her medical residency in Alwawar village, located in the Nile River Valley. Having witnessed the huge gap between the healthcare services provided in the capital and those in rural areas, Buthaina decided to dedicate her career to public health. 

A passion for public health led Buthaina to co-found a youth charity Baranaa Hanabneiho or ‘We’ll build it ourselves.’ The charity aims to relieve the suffering of marginalised communities and rebuild dilapidated schools in the rural areas of Sudan. A combination of medical expertise and voluntary work has helped Buthaina gain a deeper understanding of issues related to poor public healthcare policies and the allocation of resources.  

Buthaina is particularly interested in Mycetoma. Upon completion of the MSc International Health and Tropical Medicine, Buthaina aims to build on her expertise in spatial epidemiology of Mycetoma, in collaboration with the Mycetoma Research Center in Khartoum and the Center of Tropical Medicine and Global Health in Oxford. Her long-term career goal is to work as the regional Director for WHO and deliver country-wide health programmes in Sudan.   

I want to use my skills and experience to weave in the gaps in healthcare systems using threads of science and research, to eventually achieve health for all.
Kimberly Rimber, MSc Refugee and Forced Migration Studies

Kimberly is a lawyer, with a research interest in refugee law. She has recently completed a Masters of Law in Human Rights from the University of Cape Town. 

Kimberly’s specific focus is on the policies that support refugees to integrate in their new country, promote self-reliance, and enable them to live a dignified life. During her first Masters degree, Kimberly critically analysed the Global Compact on Refugees to assess whether it offers practical solutions to developing countries which host refugees and asylum seekers. Kimberly compared refugee programmes and their outcomes in different countries.  

She also conducted a case study of the Kalobeyei Integrated Socio-Economic Development Plan in Kenya,which seeks to supports the entrepreneurial potential of refugees and meet their needs for housing, jobs, and healthcare. 

After graduation, Kimberly aims to work with governments and international organisations to establish legal and policy frameworks for refugee protections, particularly in developing countries.  

I want to be a key player in shaping the policies and laws when it comes to refugee protection. Through dedication, hard work, passion, and leading by example, I believe I person can make a difference.