Australia Awards Africa Scholars

Hisham Alhassan Osumanu

Hisham Alhassan Osumanu graduated from the University of Ghana with a BSc in Medical Laboratory Sciences and a major in Microbiology. He practised as a Biomedical Scientist at the Tamale Teaching Hospital Laboratory Department, Ghana. In this role as a biomedical scientist, he has provided accurate, reliable and prompt essential clinical laboratory diagnoses of respiratory, urinary tract and bloodstream bacterial infections. He has also collaborated with the Tuberculosis Control Program to ensure effective diagnosis and management of tuberculosis in the country. 


As an Africa Awards Scholar, Hisham is pursuing postgraduate studies in Infectious Diseases at the School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Western Australia. He aspires to become a leading researcher in the area of microbiology with a specific interest in the field of laboratory diagnosis of infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance focusing on sub-Saharan Africa especially Ghana. He strongly desires to investigate meningitis causing bacteria and emerging fungal infections, and the control of the spread of resistant strains of microbial species.

Itumeleng Komanyane is an accomplished development specialist with extensive experience working in the gender and social justice, HIV/AIDS and sexual reproductive health and rights, women’s rights, youth leadership, and community development sectors in Africa and globally. Itumeleng has participated in various international global and regional advocacy platforms, including the African Youth Parliament, the United Nations Special Session on HIV, and UN Women's global gender and women's empowerment consultation forums.


Itumeleng has served as the Deputy Vice-Chair of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Civil Society Advisory Group to UN Women. She has a strong background in the work of engaging men and boys in gender equality promotion, women’s rights, youth involvement and leadership, and HIV/AIDS. She has worked closely with regional structures such as the African Union (AU), South African Development Community (SADC), East African Committee (EAC), SADC Parliamentary Forum, and the Pan African Parliament of Africa’s gender equality development platforms. 


Itumeleng has received multiple awards in recognition of her work, with the latest being the 2016 Top 40 under 40 young Batswana who have made an impact in the social development field. She is currently doing her Master in International Development at the University of Western Australia. 

Mwendesha is a Tanzanian national and a Tanzanian government official. Since 2014, he  has worked as an economist in the Department of Policy and Planning of the Ministry of Community Development, Gender, and Children. In 2013, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania. Currently, he is an awardee of the Australia Awards Africa scholarship and is pursuing a Master of Agricultural Science with a specialisation in agricultural economics at the University of Western Australia.

Mwendesha aspires to lead the Tanzanian community and, in particular, marginalized groups, to achieve sustainable development through the agriculture sector. He also aspires to influence Tanzanians to take part in different levels of the agricultural value chain while employing modern practices.

Nneka Chineze Chima is a young upcoming researcher. She is currently studying a Master of Infectious Diseases at the University of Western Australia. Nneka has a background in biotechnology and is passionate about teamwork and research. She has over six (6) years of research experience with the National Veterinary Research Institute in Nigeria.  She is particularly interested in emerging and re-emerging zoonoses which are generally of public health importance to humans and livestock. She has co-authored several publications on emerging infectious diseases such as contagious ecthyma in camels, sheep, and goats; Marek’s Disease and Chicken Infectious Anaemia in poultry; lumpy skin diseases in cattle; and leptospira in wild rats, among others.

Nneka dreams of having a positive impact in the health and agricultural sectors. She loves to be creatively involved in problem-solving and disease prevention. 

Dr Roseline Charity Oraekeyi is a postgraduate student in the Department of Infectious Diseases in the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Western Australia. She is a medical practitioner with ten years experience. Prior to commencing her studies at UWA, she was Medical Director of Pet Medical Centre Limited, in Kubwa Abuja, Nigeria. Dr Oraekeyi has extensive experience attending to in-patients and out-patients on a daily basis. She is also skilled in management as well as the organisation of community-based health services.

Chiwuike Daniel Akparanta is an Agricultural Economist and a member of the Nigerian Institue of Management (NIM). He is currently studying for a Master of Agricultural Science (Agricultural Economics) at the University of Western Australia (UWA). Prior to coming to UWA, he was a research scientist in agricultural economics with the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm (NIFOR). He briefly worked with Intercontinental Bank Plc, Nigeria, where he played a key role in the marketing department. He has also served with the Federal Ministry of Education of Bayelsa State where he worked to educate people on family life and HIV/AIDS.


Chiwuike has also played a key role in the promotion of Agora and TEEAL programmes in Nigeria. He has published articles on NIFOR’s mandate crops in Nigerian and international journals. He is a graduate of Enugu State University of Science and Technology and the Nigerian Institute of Management. He is married.

Canisius Chomba Kolala is a Geologist at the Geological Survey Department of Zambia (GSD), which operates under the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development (MMMD). He holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Zambia. He has 7 years mining-related experience (three years in the private sector and four years in the public service). While working for the GSD, he has held several roles in both the economic geology and regional mapping sections. Currently, he is an Australia Awards Africa scholar pursuing a Master of Environmental Management and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at the University of Western Australia (UWA).


Upon graduating in 2019, Canisius intends to go back to his country and manage the environmental geology section of the GSD, focusing on the environmental and social impacts of mining activities on local communities. He intends to work hand-in-hand with the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), the Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA), the Ministry of Environment and Naturals Resources (MENR), NGOs, and other relevant stakeholders. 

Silvestre Paulo Langa holds a Bachelor's degree in Agronomy from Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique. He has extensive experience managing small retail shops, selling and promoting agricultural inputs, and providing marketing services for farmers. Silvestre was previously involved in a food security project  in four Mozambican districts through which he promoted the use of crop seeds tolerant to drought, and sustainable irrigation strategies. He also conducted a trial to assess the impact of ozone concentration on some crop yields. Silvestre has also worked as an adviser for climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR). In 2016, in northern Mozambique, Silvestre worked on mainstreaming DRR and CCA into the provincial development planning sponsored by the United Nations Development Program.


Silvestre is currently studying a Master of Environmental Science, with specialisation in land and water management, at the University of Western Australia. His current research project assesses the impacts of applying frass from the black soldier fly (used both to reduce organic waste and as a fertiliser) on green house gas emissions.

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