Advisor Board Panel

Dr Stella Bvuma

Dr Stella Bvuma’s passion is in the area of ICT4 Development and ICT adoption. Her research focuses on ICT adoption by SMMEs towards growth, development and sustainability. She is currently a member to the Council of the South African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists (SAICSIT), and also serves as an Executive Board Member of the Township Entrepreneurs Network (TEN) in South Africa.

She is amongst 32 women who contributed to Volume Two of We Will Lead Africa (WWLA), a collection of stories of the impact, change and transformation happening across Africa, and how these African women leaders are having extraordinary impact every day.

In April 2019 she was honoured by the Asian Confederation of Businesses and CMO Asia as the Best Academic Leader in Applied Information Systems Studies, an award endorsed by the World Federation of Academic and Educational Institutions. In the same year she was awarded best Academic Advisor at the International Business and Excellence (IBAE) Awards 2019 in Dubai, under the GISR Foundation.

She is fondly known as Dr Ma Stella by her students, peers and colleagues.

Dr Naomi Isabirye

Having recently left academia to expand her knowledge within the IT industry, Dr Naomi Isabirye is now Head of Information and Communication Technology at OPECS (PTY), an organisation that provides business and IT consulting services and also operates in the wastewater treatment industry in South Africa and Kenya. As a member of the Executive Committee, her role is to define the Information Technology (IT) strategy of the company and oversee its implementation.

Prior to this, she served as a full-time academic in the Information Systems Department at the University of Fort Hare from 2008 to 2019, teaching a wide range of subjects from first year to Honours levels. During this time she supervised 8 Masters students and co-supervised 1 PhD to completion. Her research experience also involves participation in ICT projects such as the Siyakhula Living Labs project and the IBM Spoken Web initiative, in collaboration with IBM research teams in Israel and India.

In addition, Naomi has been an external examiner for Masters dissertations for the University of Cape Town, University of Johannesburg and UNISA, and has examined Doctoral theses for Nelson Mandela University, North West University and UNISA. She has also served as a judge for the University of Johannesburg’s third year IT projects since 2017, as well as on conference committees and review panels for a variety of local and international journals, conferences and book publications. She has a PhD in IT from Nelson Mandela University and her research interests are in Information Technology Trust, ICT4D, ICT in Education and Cybersafety.

Dr Ntombovuyo Wayi-Mgwebi

She is a Dean of the Faculty of Management and Commerce at the University of Fort Hare. Prior to this position, Dr Ntombovuyo Wayi-Mgwebi had been a lecturer in the Department of Information Systems teaching Information Technology Project Management and Enterprise Information Systems at the university for 10 years.

Her main research interests are in the fields of Information and Communication Technologies for Development and Information Technology Governance. She is passionate about community development with a particular focus on youth in rural communities.

Dr Suama Hamunyela (Namibia University of Science & Technology - NUST)

A Senior Lecturer and the Head of the Department of Informatics at Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST), she holds a PhD in Informatics from NUST, a Masters in IT from Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and a Bachelor in IT (Business Computing) from the Polytechnic of Namibia.

Dr Hamunyela’s advocacy for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and the persuasion of women and girls to join the STEM fields is uncompromising. She has served as the chairperson of the Association for Computing Machinery - Women (ACM-W) Windhoek Chapter, and vice-chairperson of the Namibian Women in Computing.

Her participation and involvement in the WiSci girls’ camps in Namibia led to her nomination and participation in the International Visitor’s Leadership Programme for 2019 by the US government. She has a particular interest in ICT in rural and underserved areas and strongly believes that ICTs can transform service delivery in developing nations and its communities. Suama has numerous research publications on the topic of ICT in Healthcare.

Dr Roche Mamabolo

Roche is a qualified accountant, entrepreneur, author, and business mentor. In 2006, he founded Radipolelo Business Consulting, and is also founder and chairperson of the Vuka Advisory Board of Directors for Entrepreneurs. He wrote his debut book: The Start-up Revolution: Fit In or Stand Out.

He has a passion for entrepreneurship development and his experience ranges from entrepreneurship research, training on various entrepreneurship topics, mentorship and coaching, organising and

facilitating entrepreneurship seminars. His work in this field has led him to start an entrepreneurship academy called The LORA Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Roche mentors about 20 entrepreneurs from various businesses with annual turnover ranging from ZAR500 000 to ZAR10 million. He is a regular guest business analyst on various radio stations in South Africa and adjudicates various entrepreneurship competitions.

Roche holds a B.Com (Accounting) Honours, MBA in Finance and PhD in Entrepreneurship.

Dr Nobert Jere

Nobert Jere holds a PhD in Computer Science specialising in ICT roadmaps. He has experience in academics, research, community engagement and industry. His work experience has taken him to various countries such as Namibia, South Africa, Finland, Kenya, Germany and Zimbabwe, where he has taught numerous Computer Science, Information Technology / Systems courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

He has supervised research at Masters and PhD levels in Computer Science and Informatics. His research interests include ICT Service Provision and Community Development, Living Lab and E/M Services Provision, Community Development Informatics, Emerging Technologies, ICT sustainability, Future Technologies, Cyber security and Smart Technologies. Nobert has published over 30 research papers in accredited conferences and journals, and has a passion for research that positively affects the community and business organizations. He has been instrumental in the establishment of ICT Centres of Excellence and Living Labs locally and internationally.

Prof Amon Taruvinga

Amon holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from University of Fort Hare (UFH) and a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship (PDRF) from University of Cape Town (UCT), and is currently a Senior lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension at the UFH. He has extensive experience in the public and private sector having worked in the Commercial farming environment, Government, NGOs and Academia.

He is renowned for his CIRCLE research which has enabled his work in mapping commercial beekeeping areas in the Amathole district municipality of the Eastern Cape province, and portended the establishment of the Southern Africa Climate Change and Biodiversity Research Forum as well as a collaborative research project to develop an app that will provide mobile alerts for veld fires in rural areas of Zimbabwe. His other collaborative project investigates indigenous knowledge and technological innovations in relation to livelihood-based handcrafts among rural women in South Africa.

Amon is a member of the following associations: International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE), Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), the Asia-Pacific Chemical, Biological & Environmental Engineering Society (APCBEES). He is an active member of Women Organising for Change in Agricultural and Natural Resources Management (WOCAN), an organisation seeking to mainstream gender issues in organisations engaged in agriculture and natural resources management in order to balance responsibilities, rights, benefits and power between women and men in management of natural resources so as to achieve sustainable development and poverty alleviation.

Prof Tembisa Ngqondi

She is a Head of School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at University of Mpumalanga and Chairperson of the Institutional Forum. Over the years she has accumulated work experience in academia where she served in different portfolios at the departmental, school, faculty and institutional level. She obtained her PhD in Information Systems at the University of Fort Hare. Her research interest is in Information and Communication Technology with specific focus on Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) and Information Technology Governance (ITG).

Prof Tembisa Ngqondi is an active community member who participates in diverse community engagement projects at an individual and on national level. Her ambition is to contribute towards human capacity development.

Phumza Mfenyana

He is the Executive Manager of the Nelson Mandela Bay Innovation Hub. Phumza’s 23-year career journey spans across various management and leadership roles at private and public sector firms. The last 10 years of his career have been strongly oriented towards enterprise development, programmes of wealth creation for communities and innovation management.

He joined the iHub after 11 years at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) where he served as Manager for the Enterprise Creation for Development Unit’s Eastern Cape branch. Before then he served as Enterprise Development Specialist for the same unit in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and the North West provinces. These positions exposed him to the areas of business development, project management, technology skills transfer, stakeholder relations, transdisciplinary research and community capacity building.

His work included conducting feasibility studies, due diligence exercises and developing turnaround strategies for government funded business enterprises in communities across the country. Phumza holds a Bachelor of Administration degree (majoring in development studies and business management) and a BA Honours degree specialising in development studies from UNISA.

Prior to the CSIR he held various technical positions in the manufacturing industry at several multinational firms, including SABMiller, PG Bison and Nestle SA.

Patricia Nontobeko Nofumba

Patricia is presently an E-learning Co-ordinator for the Eastern Cape Department of Education, having qualified through Nelson Mandela University in Computer Applications Technology (CAT), ICT & E-learning, B.Ed in ICT through Rhodes University and as an Assessor at the University of Fort Hare Leadership Institute.

She orientates and trains on integrating ICTs in Teaching and Learning by developing and distributing relevant e-learning materials, while supporting teachers on ICT resource management and information systems, to ensure that they have sound knowledge and understanding of e-learning.

Patricia’s role also involves arranging and convening workshops and seminars for teachers on the management and use of ICT resources and information literacy. She facilitates the twinning of schools in order to share resources, knowledge and experiences through internet connectivity, while promoting professional development on e-learning as well as monitoring and evaluating curriculum programmes.

Dr. Zelalem Shibeshi

He holds a PhD from Rhodes University, a BSc in Physics, Associate Degree in Computer Science, and MSc in Information Science, all from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. From 2012 to the beginning of 2020, Dr Shibeshi was a Senior Lecture and Researcher at the University of Fort Hare before joining Rhodes University, where is he now working a Senior Lecturer.

His research area includes the following: IPTV and Real Time Communication, APIs for Telco Services, Machine Learning (especially NLP), Information Retrieval (IR), Fog Computing, and IoT in Agriculture.   Dr. Shibeshi also other non-academic experiences including auditor, programmer, systems analyst and CIO at various institutions in Ethiopia.

Rodney de Koch’

Rodney is a highly experienced senior executive having spent over 10 years working in the public sector as Director of Business Integration & Planning (Dept. of Foreign Affairs) Program Manager Operational Centre within SITA, and as Chief Information Officer at DIRCO, formerly Department of Foreign Affairs.

He has spent over 15 years working for Financial, Technology & Infrastructure organisations, and has led multinational organisations of up to 200 people, with a yearly turnover of $320 million and a profit of $80million. Rodney has had great success managing operational and client-facing engagement teams, operating in a strategic alignment environment, and growing revenue with high GP within the various corporations.

He is currently an Executive in Global Technology Systems at IBM, and has previously occupied the roles of Chief Executive Officer, Director of Operations, Business Development Director as well as other strategic and operational roles within SA, UK, Europe & Middle East for the likes of Microsoft, Oracle and Macquarie Bank among others.

Rodney is a member of the International Risk Management Society (RIMS) - USA Chapter, and has been an active member of the Black Management Forum representing Oracle ad Microsoft. He sits on the ICT Advisory Board of Rhodes University and has been a visiting lecturer at the university on the subjects of BYOD, Secure Communications & Mobile Solutions and IoT.

Mncedisi Mayekiso

Mncedisi is a seasoned business and technology executive with 23 years of ICT experience. He graduated at the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree and a Postgraduate Diploma Management. 

A Nelson Mandela Scholar, Mncedisi is a proven entrepreneur in both ICT and Automotive industries, and served as Executive Director of Enterprise Connection and Director of Joburg City Auto. He has held various roles for global multinational companies such as IBM, Microsoft and SAP, and was until recently Executive Head of Business Development & Partnerships at Internet Solutions (a Dimension Data company). He is currently Chairman of Blackstreet Group, an investment holding company focusing on ICT, Energy, Property and Food industries.

Mncedisi holds an MBA degree from Cass Business School, London (UK) and recently attended 2019 Singularity University’s Executive Programme.

Lulama Mqina

Lulama Mqina is a Marketing and Communications Specialist with extensive experience in the media industry. After attaining a BA in Social Sciences at Wits University, she studied for a Postgraduate Diploma in Advertising and Marketing, which set her on a path of creative ideation and writing on behalf of brands at various advertising agencies.

She subsequently joined one of the then top media companies in South Africa, Primedia Broadcasting, where she enjoyed a long and illustrious career providing creative solutions to brands. It was at this company that she honed her strategic thinking and leadership abilities working with some of the country’s top radio talent and dynamic business minds. Following 18 years at Primedia Broadcasting she left to join MSG Afrika Group as Managing Director of MSG Sales. There her primary role was to drive the Group’s commercial opportunities and client partnerships by providing integrated media solutions.

In 2019 she joined Urban Brew Studios, the television production division of Kagiso Media, now known as Kagiso Tiso Holdings. As Head of Sales and Marketing, she was responsible for the promotion of the corporate business, two television channels, state of the art filming facilities, a music composition capability, audio recording studios and numerous major television shows produced by the company.

Dr Attlee Gamundani

Dr. Attlee M. Gamundani is a Young ICTD Fellow (Postdoctoral Researcher) at United Nations University Institute in Macau. His work on AI Governance and Ethics falls under the Sustainable Decision-Making Tech research project. He is driven by the passion to implement participatory AI governance in the Health Sector. He is part of the organising team for the establishment of the AI Africa Expert Network in support of the UN Secretary General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation to enhance multi-stakeholder efforts on global AI cooperation. Dr Gamundani also serves as the country representative for Responsible AI Network-Africa (RAIN-Africa).

As a Senior Lecturer in Cyber Security under the Computer Science department at Namibia University of Science and Technology he was involved in teaching, research and community engagement. He is also actively involved in the planning and organisation of the annual Namibia National Cyber Security Competition which has been running since 2015, earmarked at raising cybersecurity awareness in an engaging and practical way, and has been the contest’s Chairperson since 2019.

Dr. Gamundani’s work has been widely featured in research publications in International Journals and International Conference proceedings in the field of Information Security covering IoT Security, Cloud Computing Security, ICT4D and Data Security. He has delivered keynote addresses on security issues at national and international forums as well as co-authored junior level ICT Teacher’s Textbooks (Grade 4, 5, 6 and 7) in Namibia. He has received several awards in teaching, presentation and research throughout his career.

Solomon Gizaw Tulu

Solomon completed his PhD from Irish Software Engineering Centre - Lero, University of Limerick (UL), Ireland. He also holds a MSc in Computer Science and BSc in Applied Mathematics from Addis Ababa University (AAU) in Ethiopia.

He was a former council member of FOSSFA-Free and Open-Source Software for Africa. Former Secretariat member of ANLoc -African Network for Localization. He currently works as Assistant Professor in the Computer Science department and as a director for Computational Data Science Graduate Program.