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< Our Work < Programs < African Women in Science Program < 2021

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African Women in Science (AWIS)

2021 Program


The African Women in Science program is a transformative initiative for early-career African women scientists from the African Great Lakes region. The program aims to build capacity and offer mentorship opportunities for African women scientists who are actively engaged in African Great Lakes, and freshwater research.


Participants are in a 10-month cohort of 18 African women scientists structured as a learning and implementation community. This community will support and guide the next generation of African women scientists in catalyzing positive change in the African Great Lakes.


Applying to the program

The AWIS 2021 application process is closed.

Check the AWIS Program Page to see when the next program application process is scheduled. 

2021 Cohort

2021 Cohort

The 2021 AWIS cohort has women from eight countries working on five of the seven African Great Lakes and multiple connected tributaries. 


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Dorothy Banda

MSc Candidate

Food Science and Technology

Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Lilongwe, Malawi

Dorothy is pursuing an MSc in Food Science and Technology at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), and her current research is on assessing the effectiveness of solar tent dryer prototype on drying time, microbial and fat quality of Engraulicypris sardella and Copadichromis inornatus fishes of Lake Malawi.

She holds a BSc. in Food Science and Technology, a Certificate in Foundational food safety requirements for food establishments and a Certificate in Food Composition Data Quality management. As a food scientist, she has always been driven by the passion to safeguard the quality and safety standards of fish and her professional aspiration is to become a Microbiologist in Fisheries Science.


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Dorothy Birungi Namuyiga

Research Scientist

National Fisheries Resources Research Institute, Uganda

Ph.D. Candidate

Ecology and Natural Resource Management

University of Bonn, Germany

Dorothy Birungi Namuyiga is a Research Scientist at the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI)-National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) in Uganda. She is responsible for socio-economics fisheries and aquaculture research that involves both qualitative and quantitative aspects of the fisheries value chain, profitability analysis, evaluating demand and supply of fish and related products, monitoring, evaluation and learning regarding fish research for development interventions, development of market strategies and business models to enhance market access by small to large-scale actors. She is passionate about research for development especially towards the improvement of livelihoods and income security.

Born in Uganda, Dorothy holds a Master of Science degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics from Makerere University/University of Pretoria, a Bachelor of Agribusiness Management of Makerere University and currently pursuing a Doctorate specializing in Ecology and Natural Resource Management at the University Of Bonn, Germany.


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Madalitso Chatsika


Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

Michigan State University, USA

Mrs. Madalitso Magombo Chatsika is a lecturer in Fish Biology and Fisheries Management at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, at the Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries Science where she is involved in teaching, research, consultancy and outreach. She is currently in her final year in her Ph.D. in fisheries and biology management at Michigan State University, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. As part of her PhD research, Madalitso studies the “Effects of climate change on fisheries of the Southeast arm of Lake Malawi" where she incorporated environmental variables like temperature and rainfall into the convectional Surplus Production Models to assess the impact of climate change on fisheries resources.

As a fisheries scientist, Madalitso has a passion to contribute towards natural resource management, food security, and poverty reduction in Malawi through sustainable use of fisheries resources. She sees herself as a person who can provide solutions to the problems that are being faced by the fisheries sector in Malawi.

Madalitso comes from a lake district called Mangochi in Malawi and is a wife and mother of three boys. She likes cooking, travelling, playing netball, and likes listening to traditional gospel music.


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Loziwe Njobvu Chilufya

Senior Fisheries Research Officer

Central Fisheries Research Institute

Department of Fisheries

Chilanga, Zambia

Loziwe desires to promote food security through the implementation of fisheries research, which will facilitate the pivotal provision of information needed for planning, management and development of the fishery sector.

Her work is not restricted to a particular water body as she is currently located at the Central Fisheries Research Institute in Chilanga which is mandated to carry out research on all water bodies. Loziwe has however, carried out research which has focused on Lake Tanganyika, Lake Kariba and Lake Itezhi-Tezhi, allowing her to gain a good level of expertise on the lakes and most of her routine research is conducted on the Kafue River.

Loziwe’s expertise in the fisheries sector includes, but not limited to, fish stock assessment, fish species inventory, aquatic food safety, fish disease monitoring and surveillance.


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Edith Gondwe

Ph.D. Student

Michigan State University

Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

Edith Gondwe is an agribusiness expert, with applied application in fisheries research through her work as a Fellow at the New Partnerships for African Development-Regional Fish Node, Malawi. As a social scientist, she has a passion for applying her skills to improve the value that fish provide to the people who rely on them and contributing to the sustainable management of this resource. Her professional expertise includes marketing and profitability analysis of investments in fisheries, livelihood analysis of fishing communities, and value chain analysis. Over the past seven years, Ms. Gondwe has had the opportunity to work on Malawian national, and regional and global fisheries programs. During 2015-2017, she was part of a team that conducted studies on impact of informal trade in Africa, where she undertook consumer surveys to assess the drivers of consumption of fish in Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya. At a global level, she has worked on the Hidden Harvest project by the Food and Agriculture Organization during 2018-2019, where she led a team of researchers in Malawi and Zambia in determining the value of the small-scale fisheries of the two countries.

Ms. Gondwe is currently a Ph.D. student in Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. Her research interests focus on drivers of food and nutrition security of fishing communities, effects of urbanization on fish consumption, and livelihood analysis of fishing communities. Overall, Ms. Gondwe is passionate about ensuring that conversations of sustainable fisheries management include the social and economic contexts which are so often lacking but have bearing on the fishery resources, fishing communities, and nations.


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Neema Maheshe Gradi

Research Assistant

Centre de Recherche en Environment et Géoresources

Department of Environmental Sciences

Faculty of Sciences

Catholic University of Bukavu

Democratic Republic of Congo

Neema is a recent graduate from University of Bukavu. Her research was centred on ecology and management of aquatic ecosystems, in the department of biological sciences.


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Sharon Gubamwoyo

Head of Quality Assurance Laboratory

National Water and Sewerage Corporation

Ggaba, Uganda

She is tasked as a quality control officer to ensure good water treatment processes and safety of drinking water that is supplied to the Greater Kampala, Uganda. She is a Limnologist and a researcher who has worked as a research assistant for several research projects on Lake Victoria including the Lake Victoria Environment Management Project. She has further done research on greenhouse gases from river systems. Sharon is passionate about the environment and her latest research focused on alum sludge management using constructed wetlands to protect the natural wetlands, lakes, and the environment. She is currently working on phytoplankton and macroinvertebrates dynamics in Murchison Bay.

Sharon is also a coordinator of the Consultant Capacity Development (ConCaD) training on City wide inclusive urban sanitation. She also heads the Environmental Health and Safety team at the water treatment plant of the National Water and Sewerage Corporation.


Aline Mangaza

Aline Munundu Mangaza

Research Assistant

Centre of Research in Hydrobiology

Uvira, Democratic Republic of Congo

Aline is a research assistant in the department of biology who has built capacity through a number of trainings, including fisheries statistics, socio-economics, and scientific communications. She recently participated in capacity building for sustainable fisheries in Lake Tanganyika, which focused on biological monitoring and socio-economics of sardine stocks in collaboration with researchers in Belgium.

She is interested in the ecology of the endemic species of northwestern Lake Tanganyika, especially their food habits and reproduction.


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Cesilia Mataba

Research Assistant

Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute

Sota, Tanzania

Cesilia is a Research Assistant at TAFIRI tasked with conducting literature reviews of various projects, data collection and analysis, preparation of reports and manuscripts. Her research work is in freshwater research and fisheries. She is based at the TAFIRI Sota centre which is within Lake Victoria basin.


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Stella Mbabazi

Senior Fisheries Officer

Department of Fisheries

Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries


Stella is a Senior Fisheries Officer (Resource Management and Development) at the Directorate of Fisheries Resources in Uganda. She is tasked with formulating, reviewing and implementing policies to ensure sustainable fisheries resource exploitation, maintaining an up to date and reliable database of the natural fisheries resource, training fisheries resource managers at different levels and identifying and providing guidance on management of fish breeding areas. She is tasked with collaborating with national, regional and international research organizations and institutions for fisheries resource development and with regional resource managers to ensure trans-boundary fisheries resource management.


Before, she worked as a Fisheries inspector and undertook routine audits of Fish processing establishments (factories and fish farms), inspection of gazetted landing sites, fishing vessels, fish transport vehicles and processing units to ensure that all parties adhere to the set standards for quality assurance and safety in the sub-sector. Stella has an International career award from the international Association of Fisheries Inspectors “The Peter Howgate Award 2019” as an outstanding young Fish Technologist.


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Joyeuse Mudagi

Teaching Assistant

Biology Department


Research Assistant

Teaching and Research Unit in Hydrobiology Applied


Research Center in Biodiversity, Ecology, Evolution and Conservation

Institut supérieur pédagogique de Bukavu

Democratic Republic of Congo

I am joyeuse Mudagi from the Democratic Republic of Congo, graduated in Biology at the Institut Superieur Pedagogique  of Bukavu, currently teaching assistant at the biology department of ISP bukavu and research assistant at the Teaching and Research Unit in Hydrobiology Applied (UERHA) and the Research Center in Biodiversity, Ecology, Evolution and Conservation (CRBEC). 


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Namakau Muyumbana


Department of Biological Sciences

University of Zambia


Namakau is a lecturer at the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Zambia. Her most recent research was on the impact of reservoirs on oxygen and greenhouse gases on the Kafue River, Zambia. She is currently mentoring a study on assessing macroinvertebrate assemblages in Relation to Environmental variables.


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Venny Mziri

Research Scientist

Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute

Kisumu, Kenya

Venny Mziri, is a research scientist who is passionate about fish health. She is tasked with developing demand driven and fundable proposals in line with Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI)’s mandate. Additionally, she is involved in generating information outputs through publications, technical reports and factsheets for development of management plans, manuals and policy documents. Currently, she is engaged in research activities on fish diseases and parasites in both fisheries and aquaculture within the Lake Victoria, Kenya with the emerging cage culture systems in the Lake.



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Noella Bugabanda Nabintu

Research Assistant

Centre of Research in Hydrobiology

Uvira, Democratic Republic of Congo

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Noella is a Research assistant at the CRH-UVIRA and her research is mainly focussed on the fish populations of Lake Tanganyika, Lake Edward and Albert. Through engagement in various projects, she is able to contribute towards sustainable fisheries of these lakes.



Racheal Nabwire

Research Assistant

National Fisheries Resources Research Institute

Jinja, Uganda

Racheal is a Research Assistant in the Fish Habitat Management Research Program of the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute with specific interest in macrophytes and aquatic weeds on the Great Lakes of East Africa. Her current work centres on the role of macrophytes and algae in pollution control on Lake Victoria.


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Gaëlle Ndayizeye

Research Assistant

Centre of Research in Natural Sciences and Environment

Faculty of Sciences

University of Burundi

Bujumbura, Burundi

Gaëlle is a research assistant in the Center of Natural Sciences and Environment at the University of Burundi. She has worked on ecosystem services from the Kibira National Park and has interest in conservation of protected areas through coordinating planting of native trees desired by the local communities. She hopes to contribute toward saving Kibira National Park, the source of 2/3 of water in Burundi and Lake Tanganyika.



Eunice Ntambue


Hydrobiological Department

Faculty of Sciences

Kisangani University

Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo

Eunice is a lecturer and researcher at Kisangani University in the field of aquatic biology. She has done studies on the morphometry of certain species of genera Bulinus and Limnaea in the city of Kisangani, and the diversity of fry caught in the confluence of the Congo River.


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Janvière Tuyisenge

Near-Plant Monitoring Specialist

Energy Development Corporation Limited


Lake Kivu Monitoring Programme

 Ph.D. Fellow

Institute for Water Education (IHE-Delft)

Delft, The Netherlands

Tuyisenge Janvière is Rwandan and interested in limnology and biogeochemical processes in aquatic ecosystems. She recognizes that freshwater bodies are essential resources for human and habitat for a wide variety of organisms, understands that anthropogenic activities highly impact these systems and sees the need for their sustainable conservation and management. Her aspiration is to become a limnologist who uses science for problem-solving. Janvière is a PhD fellow at IHE-Delft, Institute for Water Education, The Netherlands with a research project on the ecological sustainability of cage aquaculture on Lake Kivu, Rwanda.


2021 AWIS Sponsors

The African Women in Science (AWIS) program is actively seeking partnerships. The success of AWIS relies on the support of donors who recognize what investing in the next generation of freshwater experts means for our global freshwater future. Together, we can answer the global call to enhance the participation of women in solving our most critical freshwater issues. To support the AWIS program please reach

Ted Lawrence, IISD-ACARE Executive Director: 

The African Women in Science (AWIS) program is a joint program through the International Institute of Sustainable Development and the African Center for Aquatic Research and Education.

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