President – Ruddy Ndina
Ruddy Ndina is a fourth-year Civil Engineering student from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Though he was born in Lubumbashi, DRC, Ruddy also had the privilege of growing up in Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and the Kingdom of Swaziland, where he learned to speak 6.2 languages. With a career in Water Resources Engineering, Ruddy plans to contribute his creative problem-solving and project management skills in reconstructing and developing sustainable water infrastructure in Africa, especially within the Great Lakes Region. Passionate about Africa, he is excited to lead the AAI team this year with his vision of creating a more cohesive and inclusive African community at UBC. Drawing from prior experiences with the African Business Club and Tanzania Heart Babies Project, Ruddy looks forward to working with his team in facilitating more intelligent and intellectual dialogue about Africa on campus, thus challenging and eliminating any misrepresentations of the continent and its people. Furthermore, by working with the Global Lounge and collaborating with other clubs on campus, he hopes to inspire his team and contribute towards creating a stronger African voice and presence within the UBC community.
VP Internal – Sally Asu
Sally is in her second year studying Forest Resources Management. She hails from the South West region of Cameroon and has also had the opportunity of completing a Cambridge Leadership diploma from South Africa. What intrigued Sally most about the Africa Awareness Initiative was the strong sense of belonging she felt when she attended the events. She was able to make meaningful connections with students from different parts of Africa and for this reason, she stayed in the club and decided to run for an executive position. As the current VP Internal, she hopes to plan and deliver quality and exciting events that will leave the members always coming for more. She hopes to make the AAI community inclusive of other cultures on campus and bring out the African pride in the club’s members. She’s your go- to person in case you have cool ideas that you would like to see happen in the club.
VP Admin – Megan Warsame
Megan Warsame will be serving as your VP Admin this academic year. She is currently a second-year, pursuing a degree in Bachelor of International Economics. She is Somali but has lived in Kenya for over 18 years. She came to learn of the UBC Africa Awareness Initiative (AAI) during Imagine Day and immediately thought that being involved would allow her to be in touch with her roots. AAI provides her with a platform to be involved with relevant discourse with regards to Africa. She is hoping to change the skewed perception of Africa that some people have about a continent that has so much heart and soul. She believes it is time to welcome others to experience the real beauty and depth of African cultures.
VP Marketing – Naa Karley Addo
Naa Karley Addo is your VP Marketing for the next academic year. She is a third-year Arts student from Ghana, majoring in History with a minor in German. She is enthusiastic about her position because she encourages engagement between AAI and its members. She believes AAI is a great resource on campus for education about Africa.When not drowning in course readings, Naa enjoys volunteering, reading (for fun), watching movies, and listening to different music genres.
Global Lounge Representative – Matilda Ahun
Matilda works as AAI’s Global Lounge Officer. She is currently in her second year, pursuing a psychology degree, and hopefully, a minor in early childhood education. She is originally from Ghana but grew up in Switzerland and New York. In her role, Matilda is hoping to help AAI collaborate with clubs, both within and outside the UBC community, to promote awareness of African culture and the issues it faces. She aims to help further AAI’s agenda in the Global Lounge and ensure that AAI’s presence is felt in UBC.
CO-VP External – Mimi Muthoni Mutahi
Mimi Mutahi is a second-year Economic student at UBC and will be serving as your Co-VP External on the Executive team this year. She initially learnt about the African Awareness Initiative by attending the Annual Conference Week and she was instantly inspired by how easy it was to change the perspective of Africa through simple, yet knowledgeable discussions. This year, she hopes to create a space for conversations surrounding problem solving in Africa, but to also form realistic solutions that can be implemented. She cannot wait to start inspiring other students to do the same.
CO-VP External – Lilian Odera
Lilian Odera is currently in her second year and majoring in Media Studies. Although originally from Kenya, she was raised partly in Kenya and Germany. She is passionate about all things African, particularly African literature and history. When not reading, she enjoys writing essays, poetry, and short stories. Being part of the AAI gives her the opportunity to connect and interact with the African community at UBC, and she hopes to foster more positive dialogue on Africa on campus. She is excited to be a part of the executive team in creating an inclusive space for students to learn, enjoy and indulge in what Africa has to offer.
VP Finance – Bwalya Kasanda
A second year BCom student in the Sauder School of Business, Bwalya comes from Zambia but enjoys referring to herself as a global citizen. Having had the opportunity to pursue IB in England in a diverse environment, she recognizes and appreciates the value of intercultural exchange. She joined AAI due to its popularity on the UBC Vancouver campus, and thought that it was here where she could fully, genuinely and proudly identify herself as African. The reasons she stayed, however, extend beyond the club’s ability to build a sense of community for students, but also its focus on getting them to reshape their perspectives of, as well as critically start thinking and discussing some of the pertinent issues on the African continent. Being on the AAI executive team as the VP Finance allows her to contribute positively and uphold the club’s values of education, awareness, leadership and unity and continue to grow as an individual. She feels that it is a space that allows her to interact with a team of dynamic individuals. She looks forward to sharing the journey of growing AAI with all of you and continuing to embrace the unique stories of Africa.
Webmaster – Johnston Kirimo
Johnston is in his 4th year, pursuing a B. Com degree at the Sauder School of Business. He is enthusiastic about technology and envisions an African Continent that is the heart of digital transformation in the world. As the Webmaster, he is responsible for the development and maintenance of the AAI website. He also acts as the strategic advisor to the President in terms of technology and handles all technical issues.
CO-African Studies Representative – Terry Orlale
Terry Orlale is a fourth-year student interested in International sustainable development, with a focus on human development. She is currently planning on going on to graduate school to further her studies. During her free time, Terry enjoys long walks and quality time with family and friends.
CO-African Studies Representative – Linda Wacheke
Linda is a 4th Year B Com student taking a double option in Entrepreneurship and International Business. She values the opportunity given to her to represent the African Studies course which seeks to engage students in expanding their knowledge about Africa. She enjoys volunteering for organizations that support children’s welfare such the BC Children Hospital where she is currently volunteering. Linda recently was on exchange in Spain and took an interest in learning Spanish. She looks forward to working with the executive members in enhancing awareness about the continent she calls home, Africa.