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.
Ms. Anurita Bains joined UNICEF Lesotho in May 2019 as the Country Representative. Prior to this engagement Ms. Bains was the UNICEF Regional Advisor for HIV/AIDS covering Eastern and Southern Africa. During her tenure as Regional Advisor she provided leadership to country offices in the Eastern and Southern African region to ensure strategic and focused implementation and management of UNICEF’s HIV/AIDS programmes in countries most-affected by HIV. Ms. Baines brings in almost two decades of practical experience health programme design, implementation and management accompanied by senior advisory functions in HIV/AIDS and cross-sectoral programming, with particular expertise on women’s health and children’s rights.
Before joining UNICEF, Ms. Bains served as the Country Director for the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) in Rwanda. She also served as Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria where she led efforts to mobilise $100-million for countries to support their efforts to scale up their PMTCT programmes. And contributed to the development and implementation the Global Fund’s Gender Strategy. Ms. Baines also worked in UNIADS Geneva as Programme Management Coordinator in the office of the Deputy Executive Director.
From 2002-2007, Ms. Bains supported the work of the Secretary General Kofi Annan’s Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa.
She holds a Master's of Management from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and also graduated with Honours from the University of Toronto. Prior to her work in the region, Anurita was a print and TV journalist in Canada, where she was twice nominated for the National Magazine Awards. Currently she is a Board Trustee of the Graça Machel Trust.
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. Jacqueline Makokha has been the Senior Policy and Strategy Adviser with the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa (RST-ESA) since September 2018. In this role she actively promoted the implementation of programmes to address HIV in women and girls through the realization of commitments made in the Convention of the Status of Women Resolution 60/2. She also served as a Senior Community Support Adviser with the RST-ESA from June 2013 – July 2018. During this time she actively supported the role of civil society in the HIV response at regional level and, together with civil society, worked to demonstrate their added value to the HIV response.
Jacqueline worked with the UNAIDS Country Offices in Kenya (June 2007- April 2010) and Zambia (April 2010 – June 2013) as a Community Mobilization and Networking Adviser. In both roles she was part of the teams that drafted the national AIDS response plans, supported mobilization of GFATM resources and worked with the country coordinating mechanisms of Global Fund to ensure that the HIV response was effective.
Together with a group of AIDS researchers, working under the Network of AIDS Researchers of Eastern and Southern Africa, Jacqueline developed the first programme in Kenya to test the feasibility of implementing prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV in resource poor health care settings in the late 1990s. The Programme was implemented in Nyeri, Kakamega and Homabay Counties of Kenya.
Jacqueline is a national of Kenya with a Master’s Degree in Rural Sociology and Community Development and Bachelor’s in Sociology and History. She is married with four children.