Webinar: Education Event
Topic: Tackling Gender-Based Violence, Gender Equality, and Women in Leadership in the context of COVID-19.
Click on the date below to join our live-steam webinar on Youtube.
Meet our speakers
Her Excellency Ms. Astrid Emilie Helle Norwegian Ambassador to South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar, as well as SADC.Her Excellency Ms. Astrid Emilie HelleNorwegian Ambassador to South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar, as well as SADC.
Her Excellency, Dr Astrid Helle is currently serving as the Head of Mission (Ambassador Designate) for the Norwegian Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa. Previously, HE Dr Helle served as the Permanent Representative of Norway to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. HE Dr Helle is an enthusiastic proponent for gender equality, and as such has held the position of Deputy Director General (Head of Section) for UN Policy and Gender Equality.
HE Dr Helle completed her PhD on Norway and European Intergration, d’Etudes Politiques, in Paris.
His Excellency Mr Abid Q. RajaNorwegian Minister of Culture and Gender Inequality.
Minister of Culture and Gender Equality, His Excellency Mr. Abed Q. Raja is responsible for cultural policy, gender equality and discrimination policy, media policy, sports policy, gaming and lottery matters, and coordinates state policy in connection with the voluntary sector.
Mr. Audun MyhreDirector at ARKIVET
Mr Myhre was appointed as director of ARKIVET Peace and Human Rights Centre in 2014, after being general secretary of Sjømannskirken in the period 2009 – 2014. He has a theological degree from Norwegian School of Theology in 1984. His professional experience ranges from managing a refugee reception center in Alta (1989 – 1992) to the football club Start in Kristiansand (1997 – 2000).
Mr. Erik RostoftDeputy Mayor of Kristiansand Municipality
Mr. Sanjaykumar R. Maharaj Co-founder, Board Member and CEO of the South African Norwegian Association (SANA)Mr. Sanjaykumar R. MaharajCo-founder, Board Member and CEO of the South African Norwegian Association (SANA)
Mr Sanjaykumar R. Maharaj founded a South African commercial law-firm in 2009 and represented international corporations, national companies, financial institutions, prominent individual clients and developing companies. In 2019 he founded the SRM Group of which the core business is to provide products/services to enable sustainable and scalable solutions through innovation and technology. He is the co-founder, Board member and Chief Executive Officer of the South African Norwegian Association (SANA) and has been instrumental in establishing and promoting strong ties between South African and Norwegian business Communities. In addition he is promoting study opportunities in higher education between South Africa and Norway. He has also recently been appointed to the advisory board to the Basic Internet Foundation. The aim of the Foundation is to make digital inclusion happen to improve the life of every single human, by providing free access to the internet and information furthering the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Sanjaykumar R Maharaj holds a Baccalaureus Artium (B.A.) degree and Baccalaureus Legum (LL.B.) degree from the University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. In 2017 he obtained his Masters degree (LL.M.) in Information and Communication Technology Law from the University of Oslo, Norway.
Mr. Torbjorn UrfjellDirector of culture and citizen dialogue in the city of Kristiansand, Norway.
Torbjørn Urfjell is the director of culture and citizen dialogue in the city of Kristiansand.
As administrative leader he is part of the crisis management of Kristiansand and the advocacy for diversity is part of Mr Urfjell`s portfolio in the city. He also have background from the board of a variety of Norwegian institutions including vice chair of the Norwegian center for gender equality. Before entering into his position in Kristiansand, Urfjell worked as president for the Norwegian Independent Film and TV producers Association, he have also worked as head of strategy for Stordalen Foundation, Head of communication of the United Nations Association of Norway and Political Adviser of the Ministry og Foreign Affairs.
Ms. Grete FaremoUnder-Secretary-General and Executive Director at UNOPS
Ms. Grete Faremo joined UNOPS as Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director in August 2014. Before this appointment, Ms. Faremo held various senior-level positions for the Government of Norway.
Most recently, she was Minister of Justice and Public Security; a role she held for two years. Ms. Faremo was Minister of Defence (2009-2011), Minister of Oil and Energy (1996), Minister of Justice (1992-1996), and Minister of Development Cooperation (1990-1992) for the Norwegian Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She was elected member of Parliament from 1993 to 1997. During her first appointment as Minister of Justice, Ms. Faremo initiated negotiations between Schengen member countries and Norway on security and free movement in Europe, which culminated in the Nordic Schengen Agreement, signed in 1996 by the Governments of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
Ms. Faremo also brings a wealth of experience from the private sector, working as the Executive Vice President for the Norwegian insurance group, Storebrand, from 1997 to 2003. From 2003 to 2008, she held the position of Director of Law and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft Corporation’s Western European Office, where she developed the legal and public affairs division responsible for corporate compliance in the region.
Ms. Faremo has sat on various advisory boards and associations throughout her career, including Norwegians Peoples’ Aid, the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, the Competence Development Fund of Southern Norway, Norsk Hydro ASA, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and the University of Bergen.
Ms. Faremo graduated from the University of Oslo in 1978, with a degree in Law, specializing in International law. She entered the public service in 1979 as an executive officer in the Norwegian Government’s Ministry of Finance, later moving to NORAD in 1980, and the then newly established Ministry of Development Cooperation, where she worked for six years.
Ms. Josina Machel An activist and Domestic Violence Survivor. Board Member of SANA, The Graca Machel Trust and The Samora Machel Documentation Centre and Founder of the Kuhluka MovementMs. Josina MachelAn activist and Domestic Violence Survivor. Board Member of SANA, The Graca Machel Trust and The Samora Machel Documentation Centre and Founder of the Kuhluka Movement
Ms. Josina Machel is the founder and director of Protect Her Life, an insurance company underwritten by Capital Alliance, a division of the Liberty Life group. She was recently elected to be the representative of Survivors of Violence, Mozambique, in the National Interim group at the European Union and United Nations. She was nominated to the Mama Albertina Sisulu 100 Women of Fortitude. She also joined the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA). In 2007, Ms Machel started a consulting and training company Pfukani (Ltd) and in 2015 she founded the Kuhluka Movement and has won numerous awards both in South Africa and the USA.
Ms. Machel holds an MSc degree in Sociology (Gender) from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor of Social Science, Sociology and Political Science from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Ms. Lerato Mbele Business Presenter for BBC World Television (Host of “Talking Business Africa” and “Talking Business Africa”.)Ms. Lerato MbeleBusiness Presenter for BBC World Television (Host of “Talking Business Africa” and “Talking Business Africa”.)
Lerato Mbele is a business presenter for BBC World Television and is the host of “Talking Business Africa” and “In Business Africa” on BBC World Television. These are programmes that showcase the wealth of opportunities, innovation and talent that Africa offers as an investment destination.
Lerato and team form part of the BBC’s Global Business Unit. Their focus is on the Africa region and they are responsible for all coverage of economic news output from Africa for television. Lerato joined the BBC in 2012 and began as the co-presenter of the Newsday, a radio show aimed at raising the profile of Africa in the broader agenda of
world news and current affairs. In that year Lerato has reported for the BBC and presented shows from the USA, Switzerland, London and parts of Africa.
Prior to joining the BBC, Lerato was a senior business anchor for CNBC Africa, and before that as a prime-time news & current affairs anchor on SABC 3.
Lerato Mbele was named a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, a ‘New Generation African Leader’ by the African Leadership Network, she has been voted one of “100 most influential South Africans” by the Star newspaper and has been called South African Champion on social media (SAFM & Ashraf Garda’s Champions initiative)
She has spoken and moderated televised debates at amongst others the World Economic Forum on Africa; the World Bank & IMF; the African Development Bank; the Africa Investment Forum, Nigerian Economic Summit Group in Abuja-Nigeria and many other platforms supporting investment into the African continent.
Lerato Mbele also worked briefly as a political analyst and during that time, she was co-editor of the book Designing Democracy, published under the auspices of the Ford Foundation and SAIIA. The book was a collection of research and views on contemporary political systems and challenges to democracy in Africa.
Lerato is a Chevening Scholar and graduated with an MSc Development Studies from SOAS at the University of London. Her BA was completed at the University of Cape Town and Honours completed at Stellenbosch University.
Ms. Nina MdwabaSouth African, London based performance and word artist
Ms. Nina Siphesihle Pinkie Mdwaba (aka Boldieaintaboy) is a South African born writer, theatre-maker, spoken word, and performance artist. Ms. Mdwaba’s performance practice is predominantly autobiographical and intra-disciplinary and explores subject matter relating to race, gender, and sexuality, and ritualistic healing. She works predominantly in verbatim, using real-life accounts to carry through the narratives in her pieces. Other mediums used in Ms.Mdwaba’s work include poetry, music, movement, and film whilst incorporating various themes rooted in her African heritage. Since starting her performance career in 2017 Ms.Mdwaba has performed her works in over 20 art venues in Glasgow and London, including the GOMA, Modern institute, CCA, Transmission, Turner Prize contemporary, and a handful of festivals including Brainchild and Awomenfest in London. Her poetry work has recently been published in an Anthology with Poets versus in partnership with UNWomen UK. She is currently residing and making artwork in London with an emphasis on film, music, and poetry. She plans to publish a book of poems by 2022.
Ms. Mdwaba is currently completing her Master’s degree in Drama and movement therapy at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London.
Ms. Solveig Hessaa-SzwintoProject Officer at ARKIVET Peace and Human Rights Centre, Norway
Ms. Solveig Hessaa-Szwinto works as a Project Officer within the field of forced migration and minorities at ARKIVET Peace and Human Rights Center. She also works with preventing racism and anti-Semitisms within schools in Norway. Solveig is the founder of the storytelling concept “BE HEARD!”
Ms. Hessaa-Szwinto is passionate about promoting refugee rights and equality for all people. Thus, she sees it as her responsibility to be part of making a more inclusive and diverse society, where everyone can feel valued and have the freedom to be themselves.
She holds a Master of Science in “International Development Studies” from the University of Amsterdam.
Prof. Anne RyenProfessor of Sociology at University of Agder
Anne Ryen is a Professor of Sociology at University of Agder, Norway. Prof. Ryen has been doing research in Norway and in East-Africa. Her research topics include Asian business, welfare benefits in private business, gender and gendering issues. She was member of the Management Committee of the pan-European COST Action on Femicide 2013-2017 across Europe and initiator and co-editor of a special journal on the topic.
Here are some of her publications: “Research Ethics: Between Care and Control” in David Silverman Qualitative Research, 5th ed., Sage 2020 (in print) (for 4th ed.: https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/qualitative-research/book245489) ΄Indigenous Methods` in SAGE Research Methods Foundations (2019) http://methods.sagepub.com/foundations/indigenous-methods, ΄Fighting the Crocodiles: Immigrant Students and Their Perilous Routes at Campus` in Qualitative Inquiry (2018) https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1077800418806616 “Femicide and Culture” in Journal of Comparative Social Work, 2018 https://journals.uis.no/index.php/JCSW/article/view/156 including “Categories and orthodoxies in studies on culture and femicide: An ethno-informed route to knowledge.” In Journal of Comparative Social Work, Vol 13 No 1, pp. 1-20. https://journals.uis.no/index.php/JCSW/article/view/162
Prof. Sunniva WhittakerRector of the University of Agder, Norway.
Prof. Sunniva Whittaker is professor of French language and has held academic leadership positions for the last 17 years, as head of department and deputy rector at the Norwegian School of Economics and as dean at the University of Agder. Prof. Whittaker is currently the rector at the University of Agder. She has lived in several countries in addition to Norway: Canada, France and the Soviet Union. Her current research interests are language management and multilingualism.
Prof. Vivienne LawackDeputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) Academic at University of the Western Cape (UWC)
Prof. Vivienne Lawack is an academic at University of Port Elizabeth (UPE), in South Africa between 1995 to June 2002. She taught Law of Payment Instruments, Corporate and advanced corporate law, Intellectual Property Law and Competition Law. She also curriculated and started IT Law at UPE. Her disciplinary research publications then and at present centres around legal and regulatory frameworks in payment systems, fintech, and banking and financial markets, with a particular lense of financial inclusion, financial integrity and migration.
In July 2003 until December 2006 she held various positions, namely senior payment system analyst, senior legal consultant and Manager: Financial Safety Net at the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). She was also appointed as chief drafter of the National Payment System Amendment Act in 2006 and the Dedicated Banks Act. Professor Lwack joined Strate Ltd, SA’s central securities repository, where she was the Senior Legal Counsel, responsible for securities and IT legal work, as well as the amendment of the Strate Rules (as regulator of brokers).
In July 2008 until March 2015, she joined NMMU as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law. From 2009 she led the national LLB Curriculum Reform project as President of the South African Law Deans Association, a position she held between 2009-2015. A highlight was co-chairing the National Summit in 2013 with the late CEO of the Law Society of South Africa, Nic Swart, and being one of the key drafters of the CHE National Standards for the LLB programme, against which all law programmes in SA were reviewed.
She was also involved in a number of other legislative drafting projects and advisory input into national and SADC legislation. Prof. Lwack was a consultant and drafted the reviewer for the SADC Model Law on National Payment Instruments, which was approved by SADC Committee of Central Bank Governors in 2017.
Prof. Lawack is currently the Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) Academic at University of the Western Cape (UWC), responsible for leading the academic project at UWC. Her terms was extended by Council for another 5 years. She was also the Acting Rector and Vice Chancellor of UWC from 1 February to 31 July 2020, incidentally leading the university during the COVID-19 crisis.
She chairs and is a member of various boards and councils. A few are: current Chair of the SA DVC Academic Forum, founding Afric board member, Board member of the Kepler Institute in Kigali, Past Chair of the Cape Higher Education Consortium Board and returning member of the South African Judicial Institute (SAJEI) Council, chaired by the Chief Justice of SA.
Prof. Lawack obtained her B.Juris ( cum laude), LLB cum laude at the former University if Port Elizabeth (now Nelson Mandela University) in 1993 and 1995, respectively. She obtained an LLM degree from UPE in 1997 and her LLM dissertation was titled “Electronic payment systems in South African law”. She graduated from the University of South Africa (Unisa) with a Doctor of Laws in 2001 (at age of 29). The doctoral thesis was titled “Aspects of Internet payment Instruments in South Africa”. She is an admitted Advocate of the High Court in SA since Dec 1995 on the non-practising roll).