Ms. Mukwashi has devoted more than 25 years to public service, working on poverty alleviation, tackling injustice and inequalities at the intergovernmental and non-governmental level while holding leadership positions at the United Nations and externally. Within the Organization, she served with the United Nations Volunteers programme (UNV) in Germany as Chief, Volunteer Knowledge and Innovation, as well as Chief of Advisory Services. She has also worked on country support programme on gender, population, and development with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Zambia.
Dr Derveeuw Marc G.L joined, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in his country of birth, Belgium in the year 2000. He has expansive experience heading health programs in different international agencies, governmental, non-governmental and academic institutions. Specifically, he has held management and advisory positions in the areas of Reproductive Health, Health Systems Management, Maternal Mortality reduction and Family Planning.
He has also been Reproductive Health Management Advisor for Southern Africa and is especially committed to reducing the burden of HIV/AIDS. Dr Derveeuw Marc G.L has led and provided strategic guidance in various UNFPA country offices, having started as Deputy Representative and then Representative for UNFPA in India, Representative in Cambodia, Central African Republic and ultimately the Kingdom of Lesotho.
His specialties include Health Systems Analysis and Management, Reproductive Health - Public Health - HIV/AIDS, Management and United Nations Reform.
A medical doctor by training, he also has a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Masters in Health Systems Management. His accolades include the honorary title of Commander or Thipidin in the Royal Order of Sahametrey in the Kingdom of Cambodia, the highest decoration for a foreign citizen in Cambodia, and the third most important award in that country, bestowed upon him for his personal engagement in the development of Cambodia.
Dr Patrice Talla Takoukam, a national of Cameroon, has been FAO Sub-Regional Coordinator for Southern Africa since September 2020. Prior to that Dr Talla was FAO Representative in Madagascar and covering Comoros, Mauritius, and Seychelles, under the multiple-accreditation scheme.
Dr. Talla joined FAO headquarters in 2001 as Legal Officer in the Law and Development Service of the Legal Office. In 2004, he transferred to the World Bank in Washington DC, United States, as Legal Officer/Counsel in the Environment and International Law Unit, Legal Department.
He returned to FAO headquarters in 2010, where he served as Legal Officer in the Development Law Service, Legal Office. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in International Environmental Law and Public Law from the University of Limoges in France.
Dr Richard Banda has worked in the health sector for over twenty years facilitating health policy formulation, technical cooperation and policy dialogue both at national and international levels.
Before this appointment, Dr Banda was WHO technical advisor for HIV and viral hepatitis in Kenya for a period of two years responsible for scaling up antiretroviral therapy, contributing to an effective HIV and viral hepatitis response. He served in Tanzania as acting WHO Representative from 2016 to 2017 and as Medical Officer for HIV treatment and care from 2012 to 2016.
Prior to that, he worked at WHO Sub-Regional Office in Harare as a Technical Officer supporting countries in Africa on HIV drug resistance surveillance and monitoring from 2009 to 2011. He joined the World Health Organization fifteen years ago at the introduction of the 3 by 5 HIV treatment initiative. He served his native country, Malawi, as a District Health Officer from 1999 to 2004 before joining the World Health Organization.
Dr Banda graduated in medicine from University of Malawi and holds postgraduate qualifications in infectious disease control from University of London; health economics from University of Cape Town and tropical medicine from the Royal College of Physicians, UK. He is married to a nurse with three children. His professional goals for the next couple of years focus around becoming increasingly involved in efforts to attain universal health coverage by facilitating uptake of evidence-based health policies.
Ms. Aurore has over 26 years with the UN World Food Programme with 9 years of national professional experience and 17 years of international professional experience. Over a career spanning 25 years with WFP, Ms. Rusiga has served in a variety of progressive assignments in Zambia(2012-2016) as Programme and Policy Officer, Purchase for Progress (P4P) Coordinator, Senegal(2008-2012) as regional Logistics Officer for West and Central Africa, Malawi Logistics Officer (Pipeline/ Reports) in 2003- 2004 and as Deputy Head of Logistics and Supply Unit in 2005-2008. She also served in her home country Burundi (1994-2003) as Logistics Assistant.
Ms. Aurore holds a University degree in Tax Systems from University of Burundi, Institute of Commerce, Bujumbura with major subjects including management, Public and Corporate Law, General Accounting, Public and Corporate accounting, Corporate Audit.
Ms. Betty Wabunoha is the UNDP Resident Representative in Lesotho and has over 18 years proven experience in policy and programme development and operations management at a large scale. The Herriot-Watt University MBA graduate also has expertise in financial analysis and management, contract management and negotiation. She is an excellent team builder with result-oriented mentoring skills.
She first joined UNDP in September 2007 as a Deputy Country Director in Tanzania and has also worked for UNDP Country Offices in Angola and Nigeria still as the Deputy Country Director.
Ms. Wabunoha leads, represents, and is accountable for harnessing and directing the full potential of UNDP’s global capabilities, and those of its associated funds and programmes, in support of national development strategies and collaborative partnerships in the country. Ms. Wabunoha has worked in the development sphere within the continent for several years.
Ms Eriko Nishimura is Head of Office (HO) at IOM in Lesotho. Previously, she spent 4 years at IOM in Rwanda in charge of project management and monitoring and evaluation (M&E). Prior to joining IOM, she has extensive work experience in Eastern African states, which includes managerial and leading role in business for 4 years in Rwanda, and M&E task for 3.5 years at Embassy of Japan in Kenya.
She was previously in the humanitarian sector for 8 years in conflict transformation and peace-building. She also served as a Conflict Adviser during 2007 Post Elections Violence in Kenya. She hold B.A. & M.A. in International Relations from Ritsumeikan Graduate School, Kyoto, JAPAN.
Ms Pepukai Chikukwa joined the UN in Lesotho in July 2022, serving as the UNAIDS Country Director. Overall, she has over 28 years progressive experience in HIV, and health and development in general, holding senior positions in government, civil society organizations and the United Nations.
Prior to per appointment in Lesotho, she served in the same capacity in Liberia since September 2020. Before her assignment as Country Director, Ms Chikukwa worked as Strategic Information Adviser for UNAIDS in Lesotho, Eswatini and Malawi since 2009.
Prior to working with UNAIDS, she worked for 6 years for an international NGO i.e., Frontline AIDS (formerly International HIV/AIDS Alliance) at its Headquarters in the UK departing as M&E Manager. She has also worked in South Africa for a national NGO and in Zimbabwe for UNICEF and the Ministry of Health, where her professional career began in 1992. She has also worked for a university research institute in her native Zimbabwe.
Her work has seen her support in strengthening government leadership and coordination of HIV responses, defining and refining national HIV priorities, with development and review of strategic plans as well as for the health sector, helping position and strengthen countries for funding opportunities including for Global Fund and oversight of the grants, capacity building and technical guidance in different HIV technical areas and strategic information including health information systems, development and management of corporate accountability systems. Her work with civil society has helped develop and strengthen nascent organizations into national organizations managing significant Global Fund grants for example. She has experience leading interagency and multidisciplinary teams for defined national and/or UN priorities.
In addition to the 6 countries she has lived and worked in, Ms Chikukwa has provided direct technical assistance to national and sub-national civil society organizations in over 20 countries across the globe. Ms Chikukwa’s qualifications include an MPH (Epidemiology and Biostatistics) from the University of Pretoria, an MSc in Development Management from the Open University – UK, and a BSc in Statistics and Computer Science from the University of Zimbabwe. She is a native of Zimbabwe with one daughter.