Heather Sonn is the Managing Director of Gamiro Investment Holdings, a company that focuses on investments and building businesses in the energy, agriculture and specialist financial services sectors. She is a Fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative, which is part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and is a global moderator for the Aspen Institute.
Sonn has also worked in national social cohesion projects aimed at increasing the strength of South Africa’s democracy and lobbying government and the social justice sector on various aspects of policy. She started her career completing the Investment Banking Analyst Programme at Merrill Lynch, New York and has held senior executive positions in investment management, stockbroking and banking industries, including as the deputy CEO of the largest women’s investment company in South Africa, Wipcapital that served over 200,000 women beneficiaries via its Trusts. She was also a senior executive of Barclays in London.
Njeri Kabeberi was appointed as Greenpeace Africa Executive Director in September 2015. Before her appointment, she served as CEO of the Civil Society Reference Group in Kenya.
Until 2014 Njeri was the programme coordinator for the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy in Kenya and Director of the Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD-K), Kenya. In the aftermath of the troubled 2007 elections, CMD-K played an eminent role in fostering a multi-actor dialogue. Her past work includes being part of the Citizens Coalition for Constitutional Change and Development Coordinator for East & Southern Africa at Amnesty International. She is a former First chair of the pressure group, Release Political Prisoners and past board member of the Kenya Human Rights Commission.
Njeri is a recipient of the Democracy Ribbon in the Netherlands for her commitment to human rights and democracy in Kenya most notably after the conflicts that arose following the 2007/2008 elections. She succeeded in bringing various parties together and building bridges for the advancement of democracy in Kenya. She has also received a Humanity Award by the Frankfurt Chamber of Lawyers in Germany.
With a background in funding non-profit organisations fighting for democratic change in Africa, Msimang has become a powerful advocate for the better use of money and power on her continent. She writes about money, power and sex. She is the former executive director of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa.
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“I believe that democracy is endogenous to African societies. For too long we have used the language and tools of the West which has created a false impression that accountability, transparency and governance are inherently foreign ideas. Democracy matters because it is as African as it is Greek, and as crucial to our political lives as oxygen is to all of humanity.”