The women in the network are senior and mid-career professionals. They come together to enhance the collective capacity and support the engagement of women in decision making and peacebuilding processes.

Members of the Women in Water Diplomacy Network in the Nile
Members of the Women in Water Diplomacy Network in the Nile. Photo by Elizabeth Yaari
Since 2017
Woman in orange shirt with bright blue braids and pink lipstick with a broad smile
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Julienne Ndjiki
Programme Officer
Transboundary Water Cooperation
+ 27 (0) 61 441 6418

“To get ahead and to innovate in our work, professionals and experts need to be surrounded by a network of supporters for inspiration and sharing.”

Dr Muna Musnad (Sudan), Water Chair, UNESCO; Member, SIWI hosted ICWC Governing Board and Member of the Women in Water Diplomacy Network in the Nile

Network members in alphabetical order:

Firmina Acuba (Uganda)

Firmina AcubaFirmina Acuba (Uganda) serves as the Senior Sociologist in the Ministry of Water and Environment in Uganda. Firmina has worked with the Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda since 2001, serving as the Ministry’s Gender Equality and HIV Mainstreaming Expert. Firmina has developed, guided and revised several Ministry of Water and Environment Gender Equality and HIV mainstreaming policies and strategies and provided extensive capacity building on these areas. She is an advocate of inclusion of rights of women and vulnerable groups in water supply and management programming and a training and capacity development expert. Firmina has years of experience supporting bottom up/grassroots water diplomacy processes and inclusive decision making in several key sub-basins in the Nile including the Maziba River catchment in the Kagera – one of the key sources of Lake Victoria shared by Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.​

Firmina has been a Member of the Women in Water Diplomacy Network since 2018. ​

Florence Grace Adongo (Uganda)

Florence Grace AdongoFlorence Grace Adongo (Uganda) is the Director, Water Resource Management, Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda. She is a Principal Technical Advisory Committee member representing Uganda on the Nile/ NEL governance and Chair of Uganda Country Water Partnership. Head of Senior Officials on water resources matters in the Lake Victoria Basin Commission East African Community. She is also the Vice/Chair for Uganda Public Service Directors, Commissioners and Under-Secretaries Forum. Florence Grace Adongo holds a Master of Science Degree in Water and Environmental Resources Management, IHE-Delft, a Masters and Doctorate degree in Business Administration and Management.

Monica Nyingut Akuien (South Sudan)

Monica Nyingut AkuienMonica Nyingut Akuien (South Sudan) is currently the Deputy for Environment Cooperation Organisation in South Sudan. She has previously served as Office Manager at the Ministry of Education and Social Welfare for two years, with a special focus as a counselor in the office of HIV/AIDS testing and counselling. Monica also spent a year as a Marketing Manager for a travelling agency. An advocate for the rights of women and girls, Monica has also founded the Greater Bhar El Ghazal education programmes, a new organization of girls’ education programmes in South Sudan, which supports the education of girls in Greater Bhar El Ghazal region. Monica also serves as the Director of the education programme.

Dr. Karima Attia (Egypt)

Karima Attia​Dr. Karima Attia (Egypt) is Professor Emeritus at the Nile Research Institute and Former Director of the Water Resources Research Institute, National Water Research Institute in Egypt. Karima has more than thirty years of experience in water resource management working as a team leader and member of many national and internationals projects with a focus on watershed management, drought early warning and forecasting, sediment transport modelling, as well as waterway navigation development. She is one of the principal authors of the book, ‘Regime of the River Nile in Egypt,’ and has published more than 45 research papers in scientific journals and conferences. Karima serves on numerous professional committees and advisory councils in her professional capacity and has been awarded a number of key prizes for her scientific and administrative contributions. ​

Dr Karima has been an active Member of the Women in Water Diplomacy Network since 2020 and will join the Global Network Forum online (TBD).​

Yodit Balcha (Ethiopia)

​Network Leadership Council Member

Yodit Balcha (Ethiopia) is a founding member of the Women in Water Diplomacy Network and serves on the Network’s Leadership Council. Yodit is also a founding member of the African Women in Water and Climate Association.

Currently, Yodit works as a Climate Adaptation research officer at the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT-Africa Hub in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Until early 2022, Yodit served as the Senior Climate Change Adaptation Advisor at the Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Energy in Ethiopia, where she is responsible for mainstreaming climate change adaptation and resilience plans into the ministries sectoral strategic and development projects, she was also one of the few women water diplomats during the GERD negotiations back in 2019.

Her work focuses on the nexus approach of Climate, Land (Agriculture), Energy, and Water Systems. Yodit holds a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development from Uppsala University, a Master’s course in Agricultural Economics from Haramaya University, and Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resource Economics and Management from Mekelle University.

Belaynesh Birru (Ethiopia)

Belaynesh BirruBelaynesh Birru (Ethiopia) is the founding Director of Save the Future, an Ethiopian non-profit supporting programming focused on environmental sustainability, humanitarian action, and women and youth empowerment. Until 2021, Belaynesh served as the Director for the Environment and Climate Change Directorate at the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and as a Member of National Climate Negotiation Team. Belaynesh graduated from Kharkov State University Ukraine, received MSC Degree on Geography with a specialization of rational utilization of natural resources and environmental protection. She has extensive experience in transboundary waters, environment monitoring and evaluation, gender equality, and energy. Previously in her career she served as a geography teacher for ten years. ​

Belaynesh Birru is a founding member of the Women in Water Diplomacy Network. ​

Noella Queen Bwiza (Rwanda)

Noella Queen Bwiza ​Noella Queen Bwiza (Rwanda) Noella holds a bachelor’s degree in Water and Environmental Engineering with more than 3 years’ experience in the field of Integrated Water Resources and Sustainable Environmental Management. Being an active member of the Rwanda Young Water Professional and Water Partnership-Rwanda, she contributes to the tasks of facing water security related challenges. She currently works with ARCOS Network as Programme Officer, a regional organization working in the Albertine Rift region to enhance sustainable natural resources management and Biodiversity Conservation through a collaborative action for nature and people.​

She ‘enjoys learning from the senior experts in the Network and believes that failing to try is a failure itself; therefore, she always aims higher and never gives up while growing her career’.​

Noella has been an active member of the Women in Water Diplomacy Network since the 2020 Network Forum.

Dr. Zodwa Dlamini (South Africa)

Zodwa Dlamini, member of the Women In Water Diplomacy Network in the NileNetwork Leadership Council Member

Dr Zodwa Dlamini (South Africa) is a seasoned international transboundary water management specialist, development professional, and senior infrastructure projects manager. As the former South Africa’s Chief Delegate and Permanent Representative on the Lesotho Highlands Water Commission (LHWC) for 11 years, she oversaw the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) and its implementation. The LHWP is a binational project between the government of the Republic South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho responsible for delivering water from the highlands of Lesotho to South Africa, and utilising the water delivery system to generate 72MW hydro-electric power for the Kingdom of Lesotho at ‘Muela Hydropower Station. LHWP is Africa’s largest water transfer scheme to date. Zodwa further ensured that gender policies in the LHWP are intentional and decisive in matters of gender inclusivity and partici­pation of women. It was during her tenure when the LHDA first appointed a woman Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in over 20 years of its existence. ​

Dr Zodwa is a founding member of the Women in Water Diplomacy Network and serves as a member of the Network Leadership Council. Dr Zodwa will be attending the Global Network Forum in person. ​

Eng. Samaa El Baroudy (Egypt)​

Engineer Samaa El Baroudy, member of the Women In Water Diplomacy Network in the NileEngineer Samaa El Baroudy (Egypt) is a Senior Water Resources Engineer serving as the Technical Office Director and the Head of Nile Water Sector in the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation in Egypt. Eng. El Baroudy has more than 18 years of experience in the field of transboundary water cooperation, participating in the preparation, negotiations and implementation of many technical projects related to water resources management that are implemented under the umbrella of the Nile Basin Initiative such as the Eastern Nile joint multi-purpose, flood preparedness and early warning systems, The Eastern Nile Irrigation and Drainage projects, the Watershed management project. Eng El Baroudy has participated in the negotiation process of many bilateral cooperation protocols held between Egypt and some of the Nile Basin countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Uganda, and South Sudan. Eng El Baroudy is a member of the Egypt-Sudan Permanent Joint Technical Commission for Nile Water and the Ministry’s representative in the Water-Employment-Migration Task force formed under the umbrella of the Union for the Mediterranean. ​

Eng El Baroudy has been an active Member of the Women in Water Diplomacy Network since the Network’s first gathering in 2017. ​

Ambassador Nadia Gefoun (Sudan)

Ambassador Nadia Eisa Gefoun, member of the Women In Water Diplomacy Network in the NileAmbassador Nadia Eisa Gefoun (Sudan) currently serves as the Deputy President of the Charter Committee of Arab Human Rights. Ambassador Gofoun has over 30 years of direct experience in formal water diplomacy processes in the Nile Basin on behalf of Sudan. Ambassador Gefoun has played key roles in regional and bilateral water cooperation since the 1990s, including as a Member of Sudan’s official delegation in the GERD negotiation processes. Until 2021, Ambassador Gefoun served as the Deputy General Director of International Issues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Director of the Department of Water, Environment and Natural Resources. She also served as a Member to the Human Rights Committee in the Arab League from 2016-2021. She served as Sudan’s Ambassador to Norway and Demark (2011-2015), prior to that she served as Sudan’s Deputy Ambassador to Sweden, Malaysia, and served as part of the delegation to the United Nations. ​

Ambassador Gefoun is a founding Member of the Women in Water Diplomacy. ​

Eng. Enas Ahmed Abdelhalim Hussien (Egypt)

Enas Ahmed Abdelhalim Hussien Eng. Enas Ahmed Abdelhalim Hussien (Egypt) is a Senior Water Resources Engineer at the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation in Egypt. She holds a MSc. Degree (2017) from the Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University, Egypt. Enas has more than 15 years of experience, specialized in multinational projects coordination and monitoring and evaluation. She worked as a Member of Shared Vision Program (SVP) team in the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) National Office, where she was responsible for evaluating, approving and commenting on NBI SVP projects’ proposals, appraisal documents and progress reports. As part of her responsibilities she tested, validated, and analyzed scenarios of development alternatives in the Nile Basin. She has organized, participated in and reported on many regional and international events (Arab Water Forum, Africa Water Week, Union of the Mediterranean, and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, etc). She has served as the AMCOW M&E and UN- Water Overall Focal Point (OFP) and has published in key academic journals on topics related to Nile Basin discourse. ​

Enas has been a Member of the Women in Water Diplomacy Network since 2019. ​

Margaret Irungu (Kenya)

Margaret IrunguMargaret Irungu (Kenya) is the Acting Deputy Director and heads the Division of Treaties and Legal Instruments within Transboundary Water Resources Department, working within the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation as a Principal Water Research Officer. She is a registered Geologist and a member of Geological Society of Kenya. She is experienced in Water resources management, environmental issues, geological survey and geological mapping. Ms Irungu is the National Liaison Officer, for the Sio-Malaba-Malakisi Project shared between Kenya and Uganda and acting as a Nile Basin Initiative Desk Officer for Kenya. She has participated in Regional Steering Committee meetings for the project, representing Kenya. She has also represented the Technical Advisory Committee Member at AMCOW and has participated to IGAD meetings to represent Kenya. She was instrumental in formulation of Memorandum of Understanding between Kenya and Uganda for the management of Sio-Malaba-Malakisi catchment system which is a shared system between the two countries as well as the Steering Committee formulation of Lake Victoria Water Release and Abstraction Policy for the management of Lake Victoria basin and Transboundary Water Policy. Margaret is a graduate from the University of Nairobi with a Masters in Geology and trained in various aspects of water, to include; International Water Law, Negotiations and Hydro-Diplomacy, International Water Law in Africa, Database and Groundwater Modeling, Climate Change in Integrated Water Management, Modeling for Data Support System, Transboundary Water Management for the Lake Victoria Region, Groundwater Tracing Techniques, Regional training course on Isotope data evaluation among others, at national, regional and international.

Dr. Adanech Yared Jillo (Ethiopia) ​

​Dr Adanech Yared Jillo​Dr Adanech Yared Jillo (Ethiopia) is a member of the Ethiopian Negotiations Team to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and adviser on national and regional transboundary water issues in the Minister of Water and Energy in Ethiopia. Her main duties include advising ministers, facilitating hydro-diplomacy, negotiation meetings, and internal consultation meetings, and doing hydrological analysis. Since January 2019 Dr. Adanech Yared Jillo has led Ethiopia’s national NBI, Nile Equatorial Lake Subsidiary Action Program (NELSAP), and ENTRO, supporting Nile-COM/EXCO members of the respective countries in prioritizing NBI, NELSAP-Cu, ENTRO, and AMCOW activities as member and chair of the NBI, NELSAP, ENSAP, and AMCOW Technical Advisory Committee. Dr. Adanech Yared Jillo provides regular guidance and technical support on matters related to the Nile cooperation and the sustainable management of the Nile water resources including providing oversight for the NBI, its centers, and AMCOW programmatic activities.​

Dr. Adanech Yared Jillo has been a member of the Women in Water Diplomacy Network since 2018 and a founding member of the Ethiopian Women in Water and Climate Association.​

Eng. Marwa Khattab (Egypt)

Marwa KhattabEng. Marwa Khattab (Egypt) serves as the Deputy Director of the Establishment of a Navigational Line Between Lake Victoria and the Mediterranean Sea (VICMED) project and Senior Engineer in the Central Department of External Cooperation, Nile water sector, Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation. She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Government and Public Sector; Shared Water Resources Diploma, Cairo university 2004; and B.Sc Civil engineering, Ain Shams university, Egypt 2000. Eng. Khattab has twenty years’ experience in water resources management in different disciplines, including as a team member in Nile Basin Initiative National Office Shared Program and Eastern Nile projects and member of the Bilateral Cooperation Department. ​

Eng. Marwa has been an active member of the Women in Water Diplomacy Network since 2020.​

Bethelhem A. Melaku (Ethiopia)

Bethelhem A. MelakuBethelhem A. Melaku (Ethiopia) is a government and international relations expert and currently the Public Diplomacy Officer at the Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in Ottawa, Canada. She is responsible for public relations, managing the social media of the Embassy, people to people relations and image building activities, public mobilization, works on sensitizing the Ethiopian diaspora and that of the international community on the Nile River as a major cooperation factor, consults, vet documents and gives counsel on legal issues as well. Melaku started her carrier journey by working in multicultural environment, at the legal counsel of the African Union, where she acquired an extensive experience on the Nile River, transboundary water cooperation and the like while working at Boundary and Transboundary Resource Affairs Directorate General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia. Melaku is passionate on the Nile, equitable use of the Nile water, International Law and Relations and Diplomacy. She is a graduate of law from renowned Mekelle University. She is very studious, loves adventures and always in a quest to learn and try new things.

Dr. Sumia Mohamed (Sudan)

Sumia MohamedDr. Sumia Mohamed (Sudan) graduated from Cairo University, Egypt, Faculty of Law, holding a Master’s degree in Law on the Nile Basin Countries, and Nile Master’s degree in environmental Legislation, University of Juba, and a PhD Degree in Strategic Vision for the Settlement of Transboundary Water Disputes Nile Basin Case Study. Dr Mohamed works closely with the Technical Authority for Nile Water between Egypt and Sudan through her work at the Ministry of Irrigation and Electricity. She serves on the National Environmental Council, which has published several papers presented in the field of protecting the environment of the Red Sea, the green economy and other topics.

Anna Stephen Mremi (Tanzania) ​

Anna Stephen MremiAnna Stephen Mremi (Tanzania) serves as an Assistant Lecturer at the Tanzania Water Institute within the Ministry of Water. As part of her roles, she is responsible for capacity development and knowledge management in the Ministry, teaching coursework on water and environmental management including transboundary water and conflict resolution modules. Anna is registered with the National Environmental Council (NEMC) since 2016 with expertise in Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Auditing and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment among other areas. Anna holds a master degree in Integrated Sanitation Management. As a determined environmental professional with over 10 years of experience, Anna reports she ‘is always looking for new challenges where my career as an environmentalist will grow and gain opportunities to practice my skills and gain new skills and experience’.​

Anna has been an active member of the Women in Water Diplomacy Network in the Nile since 2021. ​

Dr. Muna Musnad (Sudan)

Muna MusnadNetwork Leadership Council Member

Dr. Muna Musnad (Sudan) serves as the Director of the Research and Innovation Department at UNESCO Chair in Water Resources – Omdurman Islamic University. Dr Musnad has more than 20 years of experience as a senior researcher leading research and training related to Nile Basin water governance and cooperation including in leadership roles in the Nile Basin Capacity Building Network in Sudan. Dr Musnad has a varied background with experience in Flood Risk Mapping, Integrated Water Resources Management, MODFLOW, HEC-RAS, HEC-HMS and GIS. Her vast research includes work with Riverside Company (USA) for ENTRO-NBI and the Nile Basin Capacity Building Network-River Engineering Project (NBCBN-RE). In addition, she is a lecturer in M.Sc. Environmental Engineering Program. ​

Dr Muna is a founding Member of Women in Water Diplomacy Network and serves on the Network Leadership Council. She is also a member of Board of the UNESCO Category II International Centre for Water Cooperation, hosted by SIWI.

Tumaini Mwamyalla (Tanzania)

Tumaini Mwamyalla​Network Leadership Council Member

Tumaini Mwamyalla (Tanzania) is Tanzania’s National Desk/ Focal Officer for the Nile Basin Initiative. She holds a Master of Science in Community Economic Development from New Hampshire University and Master of Science in Engineering Management from University of Dar es Salaam as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Integrated Water Resources Management from SIWI. She has 18 years of experience in transboundary water resources management, coordinating transboundary issues with different regional cooperation institutions such as AMCOW, NBI, ZAMCOM, LVBC, Lake Tanganyika Authority, Ruvuma Basin Commission and Songwe River Commission. Tumaini has participated from negotiation to ratification of the Nile Basin Comparative Agreement Framework (CFA) and has participated in preparation and implementation of Several Shared Vision Programmes under the Nile basin Initiative. Generally, she has responsibility of coordinating and supervising preparation and execution of transboundary water resources management and development plans as well as implementation of national, regional and international programmes at national level. ​

Tumaini is a founding member of the Women in Water Diplomacy Network and serves on the Network’s Leadership Council. ​

Prisca Nandede (Uganda)

Prisca Nandede​Prisca Nandede (Uganda) serves as a Senior Sociologist with the Ministry of Water and Environment in the Republic of Uganda. She has a background in Social Sciences with specific interest in gender equality and community development. Prisca, an advocate for improved livelihoods of vulnerable people through provision of sustainable water and environmental services. She is also a member of the International Association for Community Development. Prisca has been involved in the development and review of a number of policies and strategies key among which include: the first African Ministers’ Council on Water’s Gender Strategy (AMCOW’s), the Strategy for Mainstreaming Gender in Uganda’s Water and Environment Sector, National Guidelines for Assessing Gender, Environment and Social Risk in the Water and Environment Sector in Uganda, and the development of Grievance Redress Mechanisms for several projects in the Ministry of Water and Environment. A firm believer and beneficiary of mentorship and coaching, her main areas of interest are gender equality, community development, religion, conflict resolution and water security. Nandede holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences at Makerere University, Uganda and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Development Studies.​

Prisca has been active in the Women in Water Diplomacy Network since the 2018 Network Forum in Ethiopia. ​

Nancy Ngumba (Kenya)

Nancy NgumbaNancy Ngumba (Kenya) is a Director, Foreign Service, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kenya and a Deputy National Coordinator, National Coordination Mechanism in the Office of the Great Lakes region. Her responsibility entails facilitating and coordinating Kenya’s interest in the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) on issues of Peace, Stability, Security and Development in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. An alumnus of the University of Nairobi, Nancy Holds an MA in International Conflict Management, a BA in Gender Development and a Diploma in International Relations.

Nompumelelo Ntshalintshali-Motsa (Eswatini)

Nompumelelo Ntshalintshali-Motsa, member of the Women in Water Diplomacy networkLeadership Council Member

Nompumelelo Ntshalintshali-Motsa (Eswatini) is a WASH Specialist and independent consultant. She is the former Africa Region Coordinator for the Sanitation and Water for All and has over 15 years of experience in the WASH sector of which 10 years was spent providing strategic direction on multi-stakeholder engagement, coordination and planning the implementation of the community water supply and sanitation programmes. She was the national WASH Forum Chairperson in the Kingdom of eSwatini responsible for the coordination of the national WASH sector, coordinating work of multilateral and international development partners including UN agencies, facilitating the development of the WASH policies, strategies, and development of national plans for the country as well as monitoring and evaluation of the national WASH programme. Prior to joining SWA as Africa Regional Coordinator, Nompumelelo was elected to the SWA – Steering Committee member representing the East and Southern Africa sub-regions, the Technical Advisory Committee member for the African Minister’s Council on Water (AMCOW), a focal point for GLAAS, JMP and SADC gender mainstreaming in the water sector programme. ​

Nompumelelo has been active in the Women in Water Diplomacy Network since the 2018 Network Forum in Ethiopia and serves as a Member of the Network’s Leadership Council.​

Mary Nelson Khamis Noah (South Sudan)

Mary Nelson Khamis Noah, member of the Women in Water Diplomacy networkMary Nelson Khamis Noah (South Sudan) currently serves at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, South Sudan. She has extensive experience in leading humanitarian activities including organizing medical response missions and social counseling. Inclusive processes have been central to her roles, previously serving as Assistant Secretary for Women’s Affairs, South Sudan. ​

Mary has been a Member of the Women in Water Diplomacy Network since 2018.​

Jacqueline Nyirakamana (Rwanda)

Jacqueline Nyirakamana, member of the Women in Water Diplomacy networkJacqueline Nyirakamana (Rwanda) is a Transboundary Water Resources Coop­eration Specialist in Ministry of Environment, and a Nile Technical Advisory Com­mittee (Nile-TAC) member. She served as Nile-TAC Chair from 2020-2021. She previously served as Representative of Rwanda in Lake Kivu and Rusizi/Ruzizi River Basin Authority (ABAKIR). Jacqueline has a Masters MBA in Strategic Management from Mount Kenya Univer­sity (MKU) and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Université Libre de Kigali (ULK). She has 18 years of experience in Transboundary Water Resources management. ​

Jacqueline has been a Member of the Women in Water Diplomacy Network since 2018 and serves on the Network’s Leadership Council. ​

Anne Silvestro Tukai Osilly (South Sudan)

Anne Silvestro Tukai OsillyAnne Silvestro Tukai Osilly (South Sudan) is an Official in the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation Government for the Republic of South Sudan/Juba. Ms. Osllly holds a Diploma from College of Business Administration, Katuwe, Uganda (2003). She obtained certificates from various countries including a certificate in office management from Kenya School of Government, a certificate in Rural Electrification, a certificate in Small Hydro-processor and Water Resources Management from Hangzhou Chine, and on Entrepreneurship and Small Business in Water Supply and Sanitation Development from India, and in Organisation Need Assessment and Project Design from Japan.  She is currently a senior hygiene community officer at Directorate of Rural Water Supply Sanitation and Hygiene of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation Government of Republic of South Sudan. Before her current position, she has 10 years working experience in hygiene promotion at the Ministry.

Eng. Ereen Fayez Poqtor (Egypt)

Ereen Fayez PoqtorEng. Ereen Fayez Poqtor (Egypt) is the General Director of the Nile Museum in Aswan. From 1996 until 2010, Ms. Poqtor served in various key positions in the General Administration of Water Resources and Irrigation for Aswan Governorate supervising the maintenance and development operations of the Aswan canals and infrastructure. Since 2018, she has served as the General Director of the African Cultural Center and Nile Museum in Aswan where she works to share the importance of the Nile basin for Africa and the river’s diverse histories and cultures with to the public. Ereen Fayez Poqtor holds a BSc of Engineering and a Postgraduate diploma in structural engineering.

Louise Sahabo (Burundi)

Louise SahaboLouise Sahabo (Burundi) is currently in charge of communications within the Ministry of the Environment and Agriculture in Burundi.

Dr. Tahani Sileet (Egypt)

Dr. Tahani Sileet​Network Leadership Council Member

Dr. Tahani Sileet (Egypt) is currently the Head of the Central Department for External Cooperation in the Nile Water Sector, Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt. She also represents the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation in many regional and international organizations as the Technical Advisory Committee Member in the African Minister Council On Water (AMCOW), the Technical and Scientific Committee Member in the League of Arab States (LAS), the Water Expert Group Member in the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the Director of Nile Basin Initiative National Office and the Project Management Unit Director and Regional Coordinator of “Establishment of a Navigational Line Between Lake Victoria and the Mediterranean Sea (VICMED) Project”. She is also appointed as the National Focal Point of Program Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA). She holds a PhD in Shared Water Resources Management, a M.Sc. In the “Impact of Climate Change and Sea Surface Temperature on the River Nile Flood Regime”, an International Post Graduate Diploma in Shared Water Resources, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Irriga­tion and Drainage from Cairo University. She frequently publishes on many differ­ent topics related to the Shared Water Resources Management with focus on the Nile Basin. ​

Dr Tahani is a founding Member of the Women in Water Diplomacy Network and serves on the Network’s Leadership Council. ​

Diana Umulisa (Rwanda)

Diana UmulisaDiana Umulisa (Rwanda) works as an Advisor to the Executive Secretary at the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST). She has a wide range of experience in areas of Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) policy and strategy advisory, inter-office coordination, management and institutional strategic planning. She has a master’s degree in Water Policy/ Governance and a fellowship at IHE Delft Institute of Water Education, which exposed her to numerous trainings in the areas of Integrated Water Resources Management. Throughout her work experience, Diana’s roles have revolved around stakeholder establishing and maintaining cordial inter-institutional and inter-personal relationships, social and governance practices at a national level, and effectively engaging with internal and external experts in policy development.

Theresa Khakasa Wasike (Kenya)

Theresa Khakasa WasikeNetwork Leadership Council Member

Theresa Khakasa Wasike (Kenya) currently serves as Director of Administration in the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation. Theresa has 23 years of experience in public administration at both the grass root and central government administration levels. She has worked in the Ministry for 12 years in various administrative positions including as a Project Steering Committee member of a Nile Basin Initiative projects on Mara River, shared by Tanzania and Kenya. Theresa is also a member of the Ministry’s Water Sector Reforms team that is aligning the Ministry’s mandate and functions to the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the Water Act 2016. An alumni of the Ukrainian Institute of International Relations, Kiev University, she has an M.A in International Relations. Further, Theresa has training in strategic leadership and management with the objective of enhancing public service delivery in the ministries that she serves. ​

Theresa is a founding Member of Women in Water Diplomacy Network and serves on the Network’s Leadership Council.

Gladys Wekesa (Kenya)

Gladys WekesaGladys Wekesa (Kenya) serves as the Director of Transboundary Water Resources in the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation in Kenya. As the Director of Transboundary Water Resources in the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation she is charged with spearheading the sustainable management and development of the transboundary water resources in Kenya through formulation of the relevant policies, strategies, protocols etc., in collaboration with other stakeholders and riparian states. As such, she is a member of the various Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) of the regional inter-Governmental bodies, including the Nile Basin Initiative (on the Nile River Basin), The Lake Victoria Basin Commission (Mara River and Lake Jipe/Challa Basins), African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), IGAD Water Unit, and the UNEP Coordinated Project on the Sustainable Development of Lake Turkana and its River Basins, between Kenya and Ethiopia. The role of the TAC Members is to support the Ministers responsible for water affairs of the Member States in providing the overall policy direction and strategic guidance in the joint management and development of the shared water resources. ​

Gladys Wekesa has been a Member of the Women in Water Diplomacy Network since 2018.

“I want to contribute to raise women’s awareness and have them involved in decision making about water issues. It is a national security issue to have the whole of society engaged in water decision making processes. ...this platform provides women with a space where we can learn and share experience about water governance and transboundary cooperation issues. It is very empowering to be of this Network.”

Yodit Balcha (Ethiopia), Senior Climate Change Adaptation Advisor at the Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Energy, Young Professional and Member of the Women in Water Diplomacy Network in the Nile

Coordinating team

Jessica Troell (Environmental Law Institute)

Jessica Troell, coordinator of the Women in Water Diplomacy networkJessica Troell is a Senior Attorney and Director of the International
Water and Africa Programs at the Environmental Law Institute. Ms. Troell has over 15
years of experience in international development and environmental law with a focus
on developing and implementing inclusive, equitable and effective legal, policy and
institutional tools for sustainable and equitable water resource management.

Elizabeth A. Koch (Environmental Law Institute)

Elizabeth A. Yaari, SIWI

Elizabeth A Koch (former Yaari) (United States) leads the Women in Water Diplomacy Network’s Process Support Team, supporting the Network’s development since inception In 2022 she began a new role as Senior Manager of International Programmes at the Environmental Law Institute where she will continue to work to support environmental peacebuilding programmes including the Women in Water Diplomacy Network.

She has over 15 years of experience supporting water diplomacy engagements in conflict sensitive basins on behalf of SIWI’s Shared Waters Partnership programme, the UNESCO Category II International Centre for Water Cooperation, and EcoPeace Middle East Elizabeth had the honour of supporting the design and development of both the Women in Water Diplomacy Network in the Nile and the Women in Water Management Network in Central Asia and Afghanistan on behalf of SIWI Shared Waters Partnership programme and its partners since 2017 and will be joining the Global Network Forum in person.

Julienne Ndjiki

Julienne Ndjiki is responsible for supporting water diplomacy processes as part of SIWI’s Shared Waters Partnership programme.

Working closely with the programme managers, she applies her background, knowledge and experience in water resources management to provide efficient coordination, programme management and development for several current and upcoming projects. She is also in charge of managing the social media networks, communication and logistical support. Julienne also serves as the Gender Equality Champion in the Transboundary Water Cooperation Team.Julienne Ndjiki

Xanani Baloyi

Xanani BaloyiXanani (Shanani) Baloyi works in the field of development cooperation and international relations.

Her primary area of work is to support the implementation of development projects specifically seeking to make more public and private capital accessible for water-related projects in Africa. Xanani also contributes to the development of activities related to transboundary water governance and cooperation, in particular, the Africa-EU Water Partnership Project (AEWPP) and the Transforming Investments in African Rainfed Agriculture (TIARA) initiative.

Kasonde Mulenga

Kasonde MulengaKasonde Mulenga leads the implementation of Transforming Investments in African Rainfed Agriculture (TIARA) project in the Zambezi supports the ARC in other activities related to water governance and infrastructure in Africa. His background covers both WASH as well as IWRM (including groundwater!) making him a strong addition to Team SIWI.

Kasonde has over 20 years’ work experience in water resources planning and management, program and project management in the water sector . He has worked both in the public and private sector in the southern African Region.

Katie Goldie-Ryder

Katie Goldie-Ryder, SIWIKatie Goldie-Ryder, SIWIKatie Goldie-Ryder is a Programme Officer in the Transboundary Water Cooperation Department at SIWI. Katie supports the Shared Waters Partnership (SWP) programme, focusing on advancing SWP water diplomacy processes with a focus on Central Asia & Afghanistan and the Middle East engagements. Katie also supports the development of the International Centre for Water Cooperation’s water diplomacy curricula. She serves as the Youth Empowerment Champion for the TWC team.

Katie has several years of practical experience building networks, supporting cooperative processes and multi-stakeholder dialogues in regional contexts. She holds a Master Degree in Peace and Conflict from Uppsala University and wrote her MA thesis for the ‘Equal Peace?’ project at the PRIO Centre on Gender, Peace and Security. Katie also holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and Global Developments from Huron University College.

Kerry Schneider

Kerry serves as SIWI’s Senior Programme Manager for the Shared Waters Partnership programme, a multi stakeholder platform aimed at advancing cooperation over shared water resources in regions where political tensions could be a source of conflict. He contributes to the development of research and project management in a number of fields including transboundary water management, climate change, and capacity building Kerry holds a Master’s degree in International Humanitarian Action from Uppsala University, Sweden Prior joining SIWI in 2013 Kerry worked for Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Kerry has supported the Women in Water Diplomacy Network in the Nile, since it was initiated as part of Shared Waters Partnership in 2017, as well as the Women in Water Management Network since 2021.

Anton Earle

Anton EarleAnton Earle is responsible for organising, facilitating and lecturing at SIWI’s international training programmes in Transboundary Water Management and the Integrated Water Resources Management. He is also leading the implementation of the Africa-EU Water Partnership project which aims to attract new sources of finance for water infrastructure projects in Africa.

Anton has over 15 years of experience specialising in transboundary water management, and institutional capacity development and policy-formation for water resource management and water infrastructure finance and development at the inter-state level in the Southern and East African regions, the Middle-East, and others. Anton is a South African national and speaks English and Afrikaans.

“Ensuring equality for women on decisions about water is critical for their social and economic empowerment and plays a vital role in strengthening community resilience.”

Professor Seifeldin Hamad Abdalla, Executive Director of the Nile Basin Initiative, in the Nile Network Newsletter, 2020