South Africa’s Khutso Tsikane named among Africa’s Most Outstanding Emerging Women Leaders

Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa proudly announces the 2017 MILEAD (Moremi Initiative Leadership and Empowerment Development) Fellows. This new cohort of MILEAD Fellows represents Africa’s most promising young women leaders, who possess the courage and commitment to lead and shape the future of Africa. The Fellows were chosen through a highly competitive selection process based on their outstanding leadership promise, community service accomplishments, and commitment to the advancement of women in Africa.

Khutso Tsikene

Khutso Tsikene

Ms. Khutso Tsikane’s selection is in recognition of her leadership qualities and strong commitment to community development.

Khutso is a young South African woman who believes in the power of her generation to change the state of the continent. She has dedicated a significant amount of time to community development projects and multimedia storytelling initiatives by offering her insights and skills as an editorial consultant and contributor for online TV as well as serving as an editor for a community and public service broadcasting radio partnership. Khutso is the former editor of Ilizwi Lolwazi, an industry newsletter that showcases stories of media development across the continent. Through the media, Khutso has demonstrated great interest in the development of the African continent and aims always to get audiences concerned about pertinent societal issues. Currently working as a content producer, media trainer and journalist, she aims to position herself as an advocate for African growth, women empowerment and community development. Khutso holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Rhodes University and an honours degree in Media Management from the Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership. She is the recipient of the Gavin Stewart and John Pattern Prize for Journalism and a Golden Key Honours Association member. Khutso has her sights set on championing the continent through compelling content.

The 2017 MILEAD Fellows represent a truly Pan-African diversity. Representing 26 African countries and the Diaspora, the 2017 Fellows bring highly diverse socio-political backgrounds combined with multi-disciplinary academic and professional experiences and aspirations. The Fellows are between the ages of 19 and 25, and are already actively leading change on pertinent issues at many levels – from entrepreneurship, economic justice and women’s health, to political participation, environmental innovations and gender justice. They are a new generation of African women leaders ready to provide the bold and inspirational leadership needed to lift Africa to its rightful place on the global stage. Here are the honoured 2017 Fellows:

  • Arielle AHOUANSOU [Benin]
  • Goabaone Banyaditse [Botswana]
  • Marie-Florence Koikou [Cote d’Ivoire]
  • Brenda Fuen Formin [Cameroon]
  • Christina Van Hooreweghe Ngoy [DRC]
  • Aya ElHossiny [Egypt]
  • Sosina Geletta [Ethiopia]
  • Aji Sainey Kah [Gambia]
  • Tamarah Moutotekema Boussamba [Gabon]
  • Maame Darkwaa Twum Barima [Ghana]
  • Iris Kwafo-Mensah [Ghana]
  • .Hellen Kyambi Kimanzi [Kenya]
  • Josephine Tenezee Somah [Liberia]
  • Fiskani Malisawa Kondowe [Malawi]
  • Holiarisoa Idah RAZAFINDRAKOTO [Madagasca]
  • Marie Gabriella R. Batour [Mauritious]
  • Halimatou Zika Sombeize [Niger]
  • Zimchim Andrea Agomoh [Nigeria]
  • Sandra Musu Jusu [Sierra Leone]
  • Grace Ineza Umuhoza [Rwanda]
  • Rugiyatu Kane [Senegal]
  • Khutso Tsikane [South Africa]
  • Farah Hassan Gassim Ahmed [Sudan]
  • Julieth Sheba Bilakwate [Tanzania]
  • Ruth Nabembezi [Uganda]
  • Sithembile Ncube [Zambia]
  • Lisa Nyamadzawo [Zimbabwe]

From over 2,500 applications from 45 countries, the newly selected Fellows will become part of the growing MILEAD community, a powerful Pan-African network of change makers – a new generation of young African leaders.

We acknowledge all unsuccessful applicants for their transformational work and sacrifices, often under extremely difficult circumstances. Although only 26 candidates could be selected, we truly admire the courage and commitment of all of these leaders. We look forward to collaborating with all applicants through other platforms and future programs as we strive to create opportunities and attain dignity and justice for women on our great continent.


The MILEAD Fellows will converge in Accra, Ghana to kick-start the 2017 MILEAD Leadership Institute – a three-week intensive training program – which will be hosted by the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon. The Institute will serve as a platform for Fellows to cross-examine concepts of leadership in a broad African context, cultivate the skills and experiences necessary to occupy and excel in leadership positions, and gain knowledge on cutting-edge issues critical to African women and their communities. In addition to knowledge building lectures, skills-training workshops, teambuilding activities, role plays and other interactive activities, Fellows will be mentored by experienced and accomplished women leaders who are committed to supporting and nurturing the next generation of African women leaders.


The MILEAD Fellows Program is a uniquely designed initiative committed to the long-term leadership development and promotion of Africa’s most promising young women leaders. Fellows go through a yearlong training and mentoring program, designed to build skills, strengthen networks, and support women’s leadership on critical issues. Over the course of the year, the selected Fellows progress through three phases.  The first identifies and prepares Fellows through leadership development, networking, mentoring, and training.  The second promotes the visibility and accomplishments of Fellows through media coverage and networking.  The third phase supports Fellows through career planning, management, and access to opportunities and resources. Each Fellow will initiate and lead a community change (MiCHANGE) project on a critical issue of importance to their community or African women as a whole. Moreover, Fellows will benefit from a lifelong solidarity and support through the MILEAD Network.


Moremi Initiative is widely recognized today as a leading and pioneer organization promoting women’s leadership and social justice in Africa. Our investments in transformational leadership over the past 13 years continue to inspire and equip a new generation of women leaders on the continent. Moremi Initiative is a United Nations Accredited organization. With offices in Ghana and the United States, we operate across Africa and the Diaspora. Moremi Initiative boasts of a growing and dynamic alumni network with over 215 strong memberships of exceptional young leaders, who share a commitment to shape the future of African and their respective communities. Our Mission is to engage, inspire and equip young women and girls to become the next generation of leading politicians, activists, social entrepreneurs and change agents: Leaders who can transform and change institutions that legitimize and perpetuate discrimination against women.