Reverend Dr. Gopar Tapkida
API Coordinator and Committee Chair
Gopar serves as API Coordinator and MCC Rep in Zimbabwe. Before then, he served for 6 years as MCC Regional Peace Advisor for West and Central Africa. Gopar has facilitated training at Summer Peacebuilding Institute, Eastern Mennonite University, USA; Africa Peacebuilding Institute Zambia/South Africa; Great Lakes Peacebuilding Institute in Burundi; Great Lakes Institute Uganda; Peacebuilding Training Center in Jos, Nigeria; as well as in several Seminaries. Gopar has further done training in many countries in Africa and North America. He is conversant with conflict transformation, religion and identity issues, EPRT, restorative justice, reflection on peace practices, trauma healing, conflict sensitivity development, Do No Harm, interfaith/inter-ethnic issues and a host of others. He has contributed to the writing of books chapters and several publications. He received Doctorate Degree on transformative approach to interfaith peacebuilding. Masters in Conflict Analysis and Transformation. Bachelors in Pastoral Theology, Diploma in Public Administration.
Ann Rita K. Njageh, Ph.D.
Committee Member and Facilitator
Ann Rita K. Njageh, PhD is a Senior Research Fellow at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), Kenya. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree (English and Literature), a Master’s in Educational Research and Evaluation, and a PhD in the same field from CUEA. She is a beneficiary of the United Nations affiliated University for Peace (UPEACE) peace research trainings and the 2009 UPEACE-IDRC Doctoral Research award. Rita’s research interests are multidisciplinary and include education for peace, arts and peace building, research and evaluation, and quality assurance. She has several publications to her name and is a passionate mentor of undergraduate and graduate students in the conduct of research. Rita’s peers have evaluated her as a good trainer who is focused on bringing out the best in the people she educates at various levels. Her students have rated her as a transformative educator who educates the mind, the heart and touches the lives of her students. She has conducted trainings for multicultural groups at national and international levels. She has a practical orientation and focuses on translating theory into practice. Rita is also a certified Lifeforming Leadership, Growth and Life Coach. Rita has been a trainer for API for the last three years and is a member of the API Advisory Committee.
Issa Sadi Ebombolo
Committee Member and Facilitator
Issa Sadi Ebombolo currently serves as Mennonite Central Committee Zambia and Malawi peacebuilding coordinator. He provides peace resourcing to MCC Zambia and the MCC Southern Africa region. He is the former chair of the MCC Africa Peace Network (MAPN). He is a specialist in setting up peace clubs with expertise in building peace with young people, church and community leaders, prisoners and refugees. He worked as the director of a non-profit organization Peace Club Zambia for 10 years. Prior to that, Issa worked as a Peace Education Facilitator in Zambian refugee camps with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and Project Coordinator for Maheba Messengers of Peace. He received a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies at Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo in Canada and Bachelor of Art in Development Studies at Zambian Open University.
Dr. Mulanda “Jimmy” Juma
Mulanda Jimmy Juma is from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is a holder of a doctoral degree in Politics, Human Rights and Sustainability from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy. He also holds a master’s degree in Peace Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and another Master in Electoral Policy and Administration from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy. Currently, Dr Mulanda is the Country Representative of the Mennonite Central Committee in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola. He is also a Research Fellow, Department of Systematic Theology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa. He is the former Coordinator of Dag Hammarskjöld Center for Peace Good governance and Human Rights in Zambia, Coordinator of Africa Peacebuilding Institute, MCC Southern Africa Peace Coordinator, Coordinator of Peace Studies and Senior Lecturer in Applied Ethics at St. Augustine College of South Africa (Catholic University), Johannesburg. Dr Mulanda has lectured at various Universities in Africa, Canada and the USA as a visiting Lecturer. He also has more than 10 publications in peer review journals and book chapters in the area of peacebuilding, conflict resolution and elections. Working with others, Dr Mulanda has introduced many practical peace initiatives in Africa including peace clubs in Zambia and Women Situation Rooms in Congo. He has also led the development of many peace studies curriculum in Africa.
API Administrator and Committee Member
Melinda Norris Mdluli has served as the Administrative Assistant to the MCC Area Directors of Southern Africa and as the Administrator of Africa Peacebuilding Institute (API) for two years now. She holds a dual B.A. in Peacebuilding & Development and Environmental Science from Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in Virginia, USA, as well as a B.A. Honours in International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Melinda has spent most of her time outdoors organizing environmental campaigns and educational outreaches as a representative on the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition (VSEC) and EMU’s Creation Care Council. She has over five years of environmental leadership experience, engaging and educating communities on the natural world around them both as a social club president and as a youth camp director. She is passionate about the intersections of faith, environmental education and conflict transformation. In 2015, Melinda volunteered with MCC as a Peace Club Coordinator in South Africa, a country she now calls her home. As API Administrator, Melinda is an active member of its Advisory Committee as well as the MCC Africa Peace Network (MAPN).