Keynote & Speakers

Keynote & Speakers


Nozipo Maraire – Keynote

Nozipo Maraire is a Zimbabwean doctor, entrepreneur and writer. She is the author of Zenzele: A Letter for My Daughter published in 1996, was a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year” and a Boston Globe bestseller -published and translated into over 14 languages. She is a full-time practicing neurosurgeon.

Gera Sneller (Security Council):

Ms. Sneller is the Ambassador of the Netherlands in Zimbabwe. She was involved in the establishment of the Special African Court that trailed the former dictator of Chad, Hissene Habre, in Dakar. With the Netherlands and Italy sharing a term as non-permanent Security Council members, as well as the Netherlands role in international justice with the ICC, Ms. Sneller is well placed to be speaking about the topics at this conference.

Anna Brazier (GA3): Sustainable Agriculture / Natural resource management consultant.
Ms. Brazier, editor of Naturally Zimbabwean, is a published author on climate change providing resources for Zimbabwean planners and decision-makers. During the past couple of years she has been running workshops for young people and media professionals on climate change issues impacting Zimbabwe and southern Africa.

Gus Le Breton:

Gus Le Breton, known for his work is bringing the African baobab fruit to a global market, specialises in the use of indigenous plants as alternative crops for small-scale farmers. His 25 year career includes stints as an earnest development worker, cosmetics salesman, superfruit marketer, ecological researcher and, most recently, assistant brewmaster. Gus is a graduate of Cambridge and Yale Universities.

Gladys Senderayi (HRC):

Mrs. Senderayi is a Programmes Officer at Veritas. She has been heavily involved in Veritas’ work to end child marriage in Zimbabwe, and has been instrumental in bringing it to the constitutional courts for legislation.  

Dr. Christen Monberg (ECOSOC):

Dr. Monberg, Red Cross delegate and engineer, works on the management of development projects and operation of IT infrastructure and servers in the fields of renewable power engineering.

Philippe Van Damme (ECOSOC):

Mr. Van DAmme is a development economist and the EU Ambassador in Zimbabwe. He will speak on the African Currency Union.

Ellen Connelly (Environmental Commission):

Ms. Connelly is a Conservation Zoologist who has been working with wildlife for the past 16 years, protecting Elephants, Lions & Rhinos all the way to Hedgehogs and Pangolins. Over the last 10 years she has been working with the Tikki Hywood Trust, rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife, and specializing in the highly endangered ground pangolins.

April Ricotta – Africaid HIV

April Ricotta is the Head of Programs for the Africaid Zvandiri program, providing care and support to children and adolescents with HIV. As a midwife, she worked with Partners in Health in 2015, providing emergency obstetric care to pregnant and postpartum women in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak.

Peter Troell – CDC / President’s Malaria Initiative

Peter Troell is a Medical Epidemiologist working with the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) in Zimbabwe. He has also worked with PMI in Malawi, managed disease outbreaks and surveillance in the U.S., worked as a World Health Organization Immunization Officer in Guyana, and served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco.

Shanine Mushonga – HIV Services Advocate

Shanine Mushonga is 21 years old and a youth champion for Differentiated Service Delivery for people with HIV. Her role is to research and advocate the views and services which adolescents living with HIV need to live healthy lives. She travels often, being the voice for these adolescents, spreading and sharing this message with government and non-profit organisations.

Shirish Balachandra – Center for Disease Control

Shirish Balachandra is the Branch Chief for HIV Services at CDC Zimbabwe, overseeing HIV/TB prevention, care and treatment. Previously, Shirish served as ER Chief and TB Controller for the Northern Mariana Islands, and as a Public Health Officer for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Rwanda.

Sofia Calltorp, Ambassador of Sweden to Zimbabwe

Ms. Calltorp who is Sweden’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe has been with the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for close to 20 years, and has previously served as head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Humanitarian Section and was before this Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Sweden in Sudan. A strong advocate for the UN, she has also served at the Swedish Mission to the UN in Geneva 1999-200 and again in 2006-2008. She brings with her to Zimbabwe great experience from both the political arena as well as from the humanitarian field. 1 January, 2017, Sweden took up its 2 year- non-permanent seat in the UN.

Elizabeth Gonese – Epidemiologist

Elizabeth Gonese is a seasoned epidemiologist working in our Strategic Information branch (surveys and disease surveillance), and Norah is a laboratory scientist in the Lab Branch. Both have been directly involved in the recent/ongoing typhoid response together with colleagues from the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders (WHO, UNICEF, OXFAM, etc.)

Mutasa Samuel – Speaker and Creative consultant

A former management consultant, Mutasa now goes into organisations to shift behavioural patterns and company cultures by hosting interactive keynotes and workshops. He challenges participants to think and act differently, with every sense stimulated so they are fully engaged in dynamic, interactive learning.