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Zuwa Matondo - President & Founder, Gov-Enhance Africa

Tell us a bit about you

I've always considered myself as a person who doesn't like to be the same as everyone else or do the same thing(s) as everyone else. It's made for an exciting path in my life thus far. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, I left at 18 to pursue my tertiary education at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. After completing both my BA in Political Science and International Development and also my Law degree, I worked at top law firm in Toronto, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. After much deliberation I decided that the time was right for me to play my part in the progress of our continent through my passion for public policy and governance. I then left my law firm to travel further around Africa and dedicate myself to launching "Gov-Enhance Africa" in 2015. 

Tell us a bit about Gov-Enhance? How did the idea come about?

Well, Gov-Enhance Africa is an organization that provides a platform for Young Policy Thinkers and Governance Innovators to (1) provide policy alternatives to decision-makers and (2) engage in capacity building initiatives that enhance the efficacy of existing system frameworks for governments to better deliver services to their citizens.

What really drove me to this point is that in the policy and governance space we lack a platform focused on solutions involving the input of Young(er) Africans. Furthermore, I am a fervent proponent of policy that is pragmatically tailored for different countries' distinct challenges. Positively consequential governance is exercised by a government that is open to new approaches to tackling the complexity around them, both nationally and globally. They must embrace solutions stemming from the private sector, non-profit sector and the citizenry through the political process.

Are you beginning to see an impact on the Diaspora and those back on the continent, given the work your team is doing?

The response our organization has received over the last year is amazing. First of all, many Africans young and old are realizing the importance of good/dynamic governance in dealing with our continent's many challenges. Secondly, one would not expect it but many African governments are becoming more and more receptive to input from the likes of us, especially as young Africans who have a genuine stake in their improved governance. As a result, we have already had fruitful engagement with the African Union and Government of Senegal to name a few, besides our also participating in some international Africa focused conferences. I always try to explain to people that issues involving governance take time to wrap around and resolve; it's definitely a steady road that we are on. 

How does one gets involved with Gov-Enhance?

Our three key forms of engagement are 1. Thought Leadership 2. Strategic Partnerships 3. Capacity Building directly to Goverments. What Gov-Enhance Africa unique is that our publications are sourced specifically from young African thought leaders, on the continent and in the diaspora who want to engage and impact matters of policy and governance in Africa. We invite young thought leaders to submit an abstract to write a policy and governance focused publication through Gov-Enhance Africa and become "Gov-Enhancers".

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

There is a saying that goes, "the meaning of life is to find your gift; the purpose of life is to give it away". What this means to me is simply that we can get so much fulfilment in life if we use our unique talents and passions to serve others.

What does Manyatta mean to you?

Manyatta to me is a chance to connect and collaborate with people of like mind who are passionate about their careers, their heritage and want to contribute to the progress of Africa. 

Youtube: “An introduction to Gov-Enhance Africa” 

Earlier Event: August 16
Kristel Germelus, O'Fem