Committee now includes co-founder of the Malala Fund, leading African entrepreneurs, and a former member of Congress
NAIROBI, KENYA – CFK Africa, a locally led youth leadership and public health nonprofit focused on fighting extreme poverty in African informal settlements, announced today seven new members of its global Advisory Council. Founded by the late U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the Advisory Council supports CFK Africa’s growth to informal settlements throughout East Africa while maintaining its unique model of participatory development, which is rooted in the conviction that those in poverty have the solutions to the problems they face and can work in partnership with others to transform their communities from within.
The new group of esteemed members include entrepreneurs, academics, a former member of the U.S. Congress, a co-founder of the Malala Fund and others who will provide expertise as the organization plans new programs to expand access to health care, improve educational outcomes and provide mentorship to girls and young women.
“Since its start in 2001, CFK Africa has grown to a global leader in public health, education and young women’s empowerment,” said new member and former U.S. Rep. David Price, who served as the U.S. representative for North Carolina’s 4th congressional district for 32 years and has traveled multiple times to visit CFK Africa facilities on congressional delegations to Kenya. “I welcome the chance to offer counsel and support of their work.”
“In Kibera, innovation is survival. Residents of informal settlements uncover new solutions to challenges every day,” said Jeffrey Okoro, CFK Africa’s executive director. “CFK Africa works with communities to harness that energy, and we have greatly benefited from the counsel of this diverse group of international leaders and volunteers who help connect youth talent with opportunities. We have enjoyed hosting many members of the Advisory Council at our facilities and appreciate that the learning goes both ways.”
“Today, youth-led, locally rooted networks are the driving force of innovation and change in the tech industry and beyond” said Megan Smith, CEO of shift7 and another new member, who served as the third U.S. chief technology officer and assistant to the president. “As we look to the future, youth networks will be a fundamental force shaping the tech industry and society as a whole. These networks are the incubators of innovation, the engines of change.”
Along with Price and Smith, the newest additions to the advisory council are innovators and leaders in their fields such as Jesse Moore, CEO and co-founder of M-KOPA, which Time magazine named to its list of 100 most innovative companies in the world; and David Gergen, professor of public service and the founding director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Several new members have close ties to Kibera, including entrepreneur and architect Charles Kahura, who designed CFK Africa’s three-story headquarters in Kibera; Isis Nyong’o Madison, entrepreneur and co-founder of WomenWork Kenya, who has built a company that is improving maternal healthcare throughout Africa and whose mother helped pioneer local healthcare delivery in Kibera; and Kenyatta University sociology and gender studies professor Dr. Grace Wamue-Ngare, whose academic research over 30 years has informed best practices in gender mainstreaming in health and education.
“I am particularly impressed by CFK Africa’s work to support women and girls, who face unique challenges in informal settlements,” said Prof. Ngare. “I have seen girls flourish and thrive when they are empowered and supported. CFK Africa’s Safe Spaces programming for girls provides health education through peer mentoring, addresses period poverty, and convenes a girls’ parliament that provides hands-on learning for advocacy initiatives. These programs build significant resilience among the targeted populations. I feel honored to work with staff and the community to continue advancing and promoting girls’ issues. It’s not just work. It is a passion.”
About CFK Africa
Founded in 2001, CFK Africa works to improve public health and economic prosperity in informal settlements in Kenya through integrated health and youth leadership initiatives. Using a participatory development approach, the organization works directly with community residents to develop and implement sustainable programs. After marking 20 years of service in Kibera in 2021, CFK began expanding to additional informal settlements in Nairobi County and across eight counties in Kenya, including Kajiado, Kiambu, Kilifi, Kisumu, Machakos, Mombasa, and Nakuru. For more information, visit cfkafrica.org.
Advisory Council Biographies
David Gergen is a former presidential adviser who served during the administrations of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. He is currently a professor of public service and the founding director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School.
David Price is a retired long-serving congressman who was the U.S. representative for North Carolina’s 4th congressional district for 34 years and chair of the House Democracy Assistance Commission. He is a former Duke University Professor of Political Science.
Charles Kahura is a Kenyan entrepreneur and Principal Architect at Space Form Studio and an Eisenhower Fellow. He designed CFK Africa’s headquarters in Kibera pro bono.
Isis Nyong’o Madison is a Kenyan-American entrepreneur who is one of the first female members of the Nairobi Securities Exchange. Currently the principal at strategic advisory firm Asphalt & Ink, she also founded Mum’s Village, an online platform transforming the mother-child experience in Kenya.
Jesse Moore is Managing Director and Co-Founder of M-KOPA Solar, the world’s leading provider of “pay-as-you-go” energy services for off-grid customers. He was selected by the World Economic Forum as one of 100 Young Global Leaders in 2017 and was a Morehead-Cain Scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Megan Smith is an American engineer and technologist. She was the third Chief Technology Officer of the United States and Assistant to the President, serving under President Barack Obama. Today, Smith is the CEO and Founder of shift7.
Dr. Grace Wamue-Ngare is a scholar, consultant, and trainer in gender discourse with expertise in developing evidence and action-based research tools. She is currently a professor of gender at Kenyatta University.