LONDON/NAIROBI: Since earning her doctorate at the University of Minnesota, Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, 45, has focused on helping other women reach their educational and career goals in fields including agriculture, climate and technology through organizations like the AWARD fellowship program, which has been partly funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and U.S.A.I.D. Most recently, she has been working with Schmidt Futures to set up Black Women in Executive Leadership, to mentor and connect Black women globally and help organizations like the New York Stock Exchange make boardrooms more diverse. Born in Kenya, she lived, studied and worked in the United States, and now lives again in Kenya. Read more

“Not a lot of democracy happening at the moment,” the BBC journalist Will Ross said on the radio in August about the situation across West and Central Africa while reporting on a postelection coup in Gabon. He cited a litany of examples across the region — Guinea, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Burkina Faso and Mali — where there have been coups or armed rebellions in the last two years.

And yet, despite concern for the region and worries about vote-rigging in recent elections in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe, there are examples across the continent where democracy continues to prevail. Read more

Awuor Onguru says that if it were not for her continued exposure to arts education as a child, she never would have gotten into Yale University.

Growing up in a lower-middle-class family in Nairobi, Kenya, Ms. Onguru, now a 20-year-old junior majoring in English and French, started taking music lessons at the age of four. By 12, she was playing violin in the string quartet at her primary school, where every student was required to play an instrument. As a high school student on scholarship at the International School of Kenya, she was not only being taught Bach concertos, she also became part of Nairobi’s music scene, playing first violin in a number of local orchestras. Read more


On a Sunday stroll up 16th Street in Washington, D.C., years ago, Lonnie Bunch got a hug and a gentle talking-to from an African American woman.

Mr. Bunch — who at the time was the director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, which was still under construction, and now heads the entire Smithsonian Institution — had been very visible in the media discussing the newest of the Smithsonian museums. Read more

LONDON: Dr. Ayoade Alakija, an infectious disease specialist based in Nigeria, is co-chair of the African Union’s Vaccine Delivery Alliance (AVDA). In December 2021, Dr. Alakija, nicknamed Yodi, was put in charge of accelerating equitable access to Covid-19 tests, treatments and vaccines for the World Health Organization’s global initiative known as the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator. She uses the term “global north” to describe high-income countries and “global south” to describe low- and middle-income countries. Read more