February 1, 2023

Open Institute Appoints New Board of Directors


The Open Institute team is proud to announce the appointment of five exceptional individuals to its Board of Directors. These notable additions bring a wealth of experience, knowledge, and drive to our mission of advocating Responsive Government and Active Citizenship throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.

We have been governed by the Trustees and an Advisory Board over the past 10 years. The Advisory Board, which was led by Amb. Professor Bitange Ndemo, Dr. Shikoh Gitau, and Muchiri Nyaggah, has provided guidance and deep commitment to the organization’s mission. The organization expresses its gratitude to the Advisory Board for its service and is transitioning the Advisory Board to an Advisory Council of eminent personalities.

We shall soon be announcing the new Advisory Council. 

Our new board of directors

Let us introduce you to our new Board Members:

The OI Trustees and Board of Directors
  1. Davis Adieno is our new Chairman of the Board. Davis is the Programmes Director at the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. He is a seasoned advocate for transparency and citizen engagement, with a 20-plus-year career that spans the National Taxpayers Association, Civicus and Development Initiatives.
  2. Prof. Geri Karuri-Sebina is a scholar-practitioner based in Johannesburg working in the intersection between people, place and technological change. She is an Associate Professor in Digital Governance at the Wits School of Governance, coordinating the establishment of the new Tayarisha Centre and hosting the African Civic Tech Innovation Network. She is also a Principal at The School of International Futures (SOIF), an Adjunct Professor at the University of Cape Town’s African Centre for Cities, an Associate of the South African Cities Network, and a global faculty member with Singularity University on the future of cities and governance.
  3. Brian Longwe has been building technology-driven networks that connect Africans to each other and the rest of the world for over 26 years. Over this period, he has co-founded and run Internet Service Providers in Kenya, Uganda and Malawi. He also has facilitated the establishment of internet exchange points in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, DR Congo, Rwanda, and others, as well as participated in the formation of critical institutions such as KICTANET, AfriNIC, KeNIC, AfTLD and others. Brian has vast experience in ICT public policy, regulations, and Public-Private Partnerships. He has served in various capacities in regional and continental initiatives that address the policy, legal and regulatory challenges of intra-African connectivity and African internet development in general. Brian is currently co-founder and CEO of Converged Technology Networks, a broadband internet service provider in Malawi.
  4. Nivi Sharma is an expert in innovation, impact, and scale-up strategies in ascending markets. She is currently the CEO of Bridges to Prosperity, the global leader in rural infrastructure development, which uses technology for needs assessment, impact assessment, and engineering to aid rural infrastructure investments. Previously, she was the Chief Operating Officer of BRCK, a connectivity company that provides free public Wi-Fi. Nivi has dedicated her career to access; for children, youth, and adults. Where opportunities can be leveraged to help young people build, serve and lead, she is passionate about figuring out how. In 2011, she co-founded eLimu, the first company to digitise the Kenyan Primary School curriculum content for revision and literacy. Nivi is driven by learning, development, access, and impact. She serves on the boards of Standard Chartered Bank Kenya and Software Technologies Ltd.
  5. Dr. Shikoh Gitau, CEO, Qhala. Shikoh is the CEO at Qhala Ltd, a Digital Innovation company that catalyzes digital transformation capabilities for organizations across Africa. Additionally; she is also the Co-founder and Managing Partner at Q-Ventures, a human capital fund working with subject matter experts across the continent. Q-venture boasts a portfolio of 12 ventures in early stages with a bias towards women first time founders. Shikoh has over 15 years of experience in Venture Building, Research, Design, Implementation, and Management of Digital Technologies. She has established expertise in both African and Emerging Markets specialized in solving problems in Agriculture, Education, Health, Payments, Retail and Renewable energies. Shikoh has served on our Board of Advisors for the past 10 years alongside Muchiri Nyaggah and Ambassador Prof. Bitange Ndemo, who will continue to serve on our Advisory Council.

Better governance

The appointment of the Board of Directors is part of efforts to strengthen our governance. Where we had an Advisory Board chaired by Pro. Bitange Ndemo, we now shall have two bodies – The Board of Directors, which will work with the Trustees of the Open Institute to manage our fiduciary responsibilities and an Advisory Council that will bring eminent personalities who will advise the board and management on the strategic direction and “Big Think” of the organisation. 

We are excited about the steps we are taking towards a new level of impact in Transparency, Participation and Citizen Engagement in Africa. 

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