Women building bridges

Proposals from the South for global change


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Adie Vanessa Offiong is an award-winning journalist based in Abuja, Nigeria, with experience in cross border reporting, investigative, science and development journalism.

She is currently a reporter with CNN’s As Equals team, which is a series that aims to reveal what systemic gender inequality looks like.

Her works have been published by the British Medical Journal blog, Africa in Fact journal of Good Governance Africa, the International Health Policy newsletter of the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Zam Chronicles, Mail & Guardian, the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Daily Trust.

She has received several recognitions for her work including the Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) Journalists of the Year Award for her story ‘Abuja communities where girls are raped en route school,’ and emerging the only female finalist of the Continental Journalism Awards on the African Union Charter, for her story ‘Twists, turns of Benin Republic’s Election.’


Verashni Pillay is the founder of explain.co.za, a portal aimed at making news more accessible. She was previously editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian and HuffPost South Africa, and head of digital at Power FM. She worked as a senior reporter for years covering politics and general news and specialises in digital media management.

Verashni is a recipient of the CNN African Journalism Award in the digital category, several Standard Bank Sikuvile Awards, an Open Society Foundation journalism fellowship and the 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship. Her experience of cyber bullying as editor of HuffPost SA led to her popular Tedx talk, The Cost of Shame.

She is passionate about finding new models of journalism to both sustain the work of journalism in a changing landscape where revenue is under threat, and to reach wider audiences – in South Africa and across the continent.


She is Chairperson of the governing board of Uganda Agribusiness Alliance whose main purpose is to provide agribusiness with a coordinated and unified voice as well as transform agriculture in Uganda into an interconnected, business-oriented industry.

She is vice chairman of the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda. She is chairperson of the panel of judges for the New Vision Group Best Farmer Competition.

Also, a board member of Brac International, Heifer International and Madhivani Foundation, Hunger Project International. She is also Founder and Managing Director of the Uganda Culture Community Centre through which she promotes reading by establishing and supporting both urban and rural community libraries. Plus, training people in public speaking.

2004-2006 FAO representative to Ethiopia for the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community for Africa (ECA); and Ethiopia.


Linguist and politic.

State administrator at Cimentos de Mozambique (2003-2007).

President of the National Authority of Public Services (2005-2007).

Minister of Civil Service (2007-2010 and 2010-2014).

Minister of labor, Employment and Social Security (2015-2019).

Secretary of State of Maputo Province since 2020.

Member of the Mozambican Parliament in 2014.

Elected as a United Nations expert on Good Governance and Public Administration in 2009.

Topic: public administration, human resources development and labor affairs.

Member of the National Council of the Mozambican Women Organization.


Global leader on inequality and champion of social justice and women’s rights.

Executive Director of UNAIDS and an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations since 2019.

2013-2019: Executive Director of Oxfam International, a confederation of 20 civil society organizations, empowering people to create a future that is secure, just and free from poverty.

Themes: inequality, women’s rights, democratic governance and health.


Peace activist and expert in gender, conflict resolution and peacebuilding. Specializes in preventing and countering violent extremism, women’s peace and security, and mediation and national dialogues.

Co-founder and executive director of the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace (LWPP). She has gained international recognition from the Rockefeller Foundation, Helen Clark and the Charter of Compassion led by Karen Armstrong. In 2017, she participated in UN-led peace talks / dialogues on the track of political leaders and activists.

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