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.
Vurayayi Pugeni is the Area Director to Southern and Central Africa and Nigeria for MCC. Prior to this role, he worked in the Planning, Learning and Disaster Response department of MCC. Pugeni serves on the Board of Reference for the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions, whose goal is to advance thinking and action in Anabaptist and other faith communities to mitigate climate change.
Ann Rita K. Njageh, Ph.D.
Committee Member and Facilitator
Ann Rita K. Njageh, PhD (Research and Evaluation), MEd (Research
and Evaluation), BEd (Arts), Certificate in Peace Research
Dr. Rita Njageh's signature themes are Learner, Deliberative,
Discipline, Relator and Achiever. Rita loves to learn and to help
other people learn often simplifying complex concepts for them. Her
ability to work with learners from diverse backgrounds in a mixed
group, to help adult learners take in much within a short period of
time and move them to apply what they have learnt is typical of her
Dr. Njageh has close to two decades expertise in the university
education sector. Evaluated by her peers and students as ‘a
transformative educator who does not settle for less’, Rita gives her
all towards the empowerment of people requiring her expertise. As
a trainer, she conducts trainings for multicultural groups at national
and international levels.
Dr. Njageh holds a Doctorate in Educational Research and
Evaluation, Masters in the same field and a Bachelor's degree in
Education (Arts), all from The Catholic University of Eastern Africa
(CUEA), Kenya. Trained in Peace Research by the United Nations
affiliated University for Peace (PEACE), Rita is a passionate peace
educator and alongside her training as a Growth, Leadership and
Life Coach, she advocates for transformative educational
experiences for all.
Rita has been a visiting scholar at St. Mary's University Twickenham
London, and a beneficiary of the 2009 UPEACE- IDRC Doctoral
Research award. She believes in giving back to the community, and
in this light, she is a member of the Africa Peace Institute (API)
Advisory Committee, and a Board Member of a number of
educational institutions in Kenya.
Dr. Njageh is a published author and a passionate mentor of
students, both young and old. Rita enjoys reading and organising.
She often spends time creating opportunities that bring out the best
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. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Mulanda “Jimmy” Juma
Committee Member and Facilitator
Dr. Mulanda Jimmy Juma is from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is a holder of a doctoral degree (PhD) 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’s in Electoral Policy and Administration from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy. Dr. Mulanda is the Country Director of the Mennonite Central Committee in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.
He is also a Research Fellow for the Department of Systematic Theology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa and part-time lecturer for the master’s program in Electoral Policy and Administration (MEPA) at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy. He is the former Coordinator of Dag Hammarskjöld Center for Peace, Good Governance and Human Rights in Zambia, former Coordinator of Africa Peacebuilding Institute, former Southern Africa Peace Coordinator for MCC and former Coordinator of Peace Studies and Senior Lecturer in Applied Ethics at St. Augustine College in South Africa.
Dr. Mulanda has lectured at various Universities in Africa, Canada and the USA as a visiting Lecturer. He has more than 10 publications in peer review journals and book chapters in the areas 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’s Situation Rooms in Congo. He has also led the development of many peace studies curriculum in Africa. Email: email@example.com
API Project Officer and Committee Member
Melinda Norris Mdluli currently serves as the Administrative Assistant to the MCC Area Directors of Southern Africa and as the Administrator of Africa Peacebuilding Institute (API). She holds a dual BA in Peacebuilding & Development and Environmental Science from Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in Virginia, USA, as well as a BA Honours in International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Melinda has spent most of her time in Virginia’s great 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 volunteer and 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. In 2015, Melinda volunteered with MCC as a Peace Club Coordinator in South Africa, a country she now calls her home. She is passionate about the intersections of faith, environmental education and conflict transformation. As API Administrator, Melinda is an active member of its Advisory Committee as well as a co-chair of MCC Africa Peace Network (MAPN).