CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Ms. Sandra Uwera, Chief Executive Officer
Ms. Uwera is a seasoned regional private sector development expert, bringing 18 years’ experience working in the corporate sector and business member organizations. She has worked at national and regional level within sub- Saharan Africa.. She is a Rwandan citizen, living as a working resident in Lusaka, Zambia.
Under her leadership, the COMESA Business Council (CBC) has grown to be one of the leading business services organizations, representing the interests of companies, associations, investors and SMEs in 21 countries in Africa. Currently the institution has an annual turnover of 2.1M$ in 2018 and 1.05M$ in 2017, through partnership and private sector incomes. Previous work experiences include business development operations within East Africa, marketing and external relations within the banking sector and communications within various media houses in Rwanda.
Sandra’s expertise include strategy planning, programs management, organization management (specific to organization behavior and results based management) , business policy advocacy, business development, resource mobilization and management, risk management, corporate governance, corporate communications. Competences are recognized in leadership, relationship management, effective delivery, managing partnerships, Public- Private partnership management and multi stakeholder management.
As a strong believer is youth technical capacity building, Ms. Uwera has established young professionals internship program under CBC which hosts two interns per year. She seats on the board for ECOMARK Africa, supporting environmental standards for African businesses. She is also a member of the International Business and Professional Women(IBPW) Association, spearheading Digital Financial Inclusion for Women.
Ms. Uwera holds an Msc. in Strategic Planning, advanced training in International trade policy and law, BA. Corporate Communications.
BUSINESS POLICY & PROGRAMS
Mr. Dickson Poloji, Business Policy Programs Manager
Dickson Poloji is an Economist with over 23 years working experience in the Private Sector, Public Sector and Development sector. He worked as a Consultant supporting East Africa Team under USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub on trade policy issues and also a Consultant with Intergrated Development Consultants Ltd (IDCL). Prior to joining IDCL, he worked for USAID/East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub), East African Business Council (EABC) and Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM).
In the course of his work, he developed sound competencies in leadership and management, planning and organisation, negotiation and stakeholder engagement.
At CBC he is responsible for business policy and advocacy, policy research, trade and business intelligence, program implementation and administration, stakeholder dialogue, event management, and partnerships.
He holds a Masters of Science degree in Economic Statistic from Odessa National University of Economics in Ukraine.
Dr. Jonathan Pinifolo, Project Manager- DFI-SMEs
Jonathan has got 20 years experience in the ICT Industry having worked both in the Public and Private sector. He has been involved in the management of various telecommunications projects at SADC level while working with Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) as well as at Mobile Network Operator level while working with Airtel and Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM). He has worked as Deputy Director at MACRA and prior to joining COMESA Business Council, he was working at TNM as Head of Division responsible for Project Management, Network Planning and Region Operations.
He has also been involved in telecommunications project appraisals, preparation of Business cases for new products/services and setting up of operations functional departments. He was instrumental in ICT policy formulation and development of crucial legal instruments which are vital in electronic transactions like Cybersecurity and Electronic transactions Act.
Jonathan obtained his PhD in Telecommunications Engineering from University of Johannesburg. His Doctoral research particularly focused on the problem of bridging the digital divide in the developing economies and this is an enabler on Digital Financial Inclusion. Among other qualifications, he holds an MBA and MSc in Wireless Communication Systems with distinction from Oxford Brookes University in United Kingdom
Mr. Yoseph Wondimu, Digital Services Manager
Yoseph has more than 16 years mixture of experience in ICT on different sectors such as trade logistics project (financed by World Bank), ERP implementation (using Oracle fusion cloud), environmental projects at regional organization (IGAD Climate Prediction & Applications Center)-funded by European Union, one of the largest four multinational consulting firms in the world (Ernst &Young), national NGO, software development firm and Colleges.
He has M.Sc. degree from University of Pune, India in computer science with first class. He also did B.Sc. degree from Addis Ababa University (major Statistics and minor Computer Science). He is certified with Prince2 (foundation and practitioner), ITIL (foundation), MCSD, MCAD & MCP.
Mr. Hopewell Musundire, Business Development Officer
Eleven (11) years working experience in International Marketing and Trade with special emphasis on exports promotion; market intelligence; organising international trade exhibitions; customer relationship management; market research; managing & implementing technical assistance to SMEs.
A marketer passionate about championing Africa’s cause for development through an ambitious regional integration agenda in terms of industrialisation, boosting intra-Africa trade, trade facilitation, harmonization of trade policies and practices, and effective participation in the multilateral trading system. I believe TRADE can and will boost Africa’s sustainable and economic development while addressing key continental challenges such as women empowerment, youth entrepreneurship, industrialization, technology, innovation and climate change.
He holds a Masters Degree in Strategic Management, Bachelor of Technology Honours in International Marketing and a Diploma in Marketing Management and other various courses in Trade Policy, Data Science Management and Market Intelligence.
Ms. Gallina Tembo, Membership and Communications Officer
With With more than 12 years of private sector industry engagement; Gallina Tembo is the COMESA Business Council’s Membership and Communications Officer. She brings in professional expertise in corporate and media communications, client relationship management, digital and traditional marketing, business linkages, corporate events management, business development, budgeting, creative designs and branding, membership recruitment and many more other attributes.
Gallina holds a Master of Science in International Trade Policy and Trade Law, Executive Master Diploma in International Trade Policy and Trade Law, Advanced Post Graduate Diploma in International Trade Policy and Trade Law. She also holds a BA in Education and other Professional courses.
Ms. Marianne Nzioki, Marketing and External Relations Officer
Ms. Nzioki's experience has traversed the corporate and nonprofit sectors, having worked on various assignments spanning Sub-Saharan Africa over the course of the last 10 years. Her forte lies in integrated marketing, stakeholder relations, negotiation, business development, and management of strategic partnerships.
She possesses a demonstrable track record of delivering first-class innovative solutions to projects of varying scale across the region, and is particularly passionate about harnessing the power of technological innovations in Africa, and the promise they hold for propelling sustainable development.
Marianne is a cum laude graduate of Midrand Graduate Institute, South Africa with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Marketing; she also holds a Master of Science in International Marketing from Coventry University, United Kingdom.
FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION
Mr. Roland Mhango, Finance and Administrations Manager
Mr. Mhango’s has accumulated fifteen years’ worth of financial management experience both in the public and private sectors, which comprises provision of advisory services in internal and external audits; corporate governance; annual reporting; designing and implementation of electronic accounting systems; preparation of annual financial statements and management of budgeting cycles.
Prior to joining the COMESA Business Council, Mr. Mhango was a financial management expert, providing oversight within the scope of financial management and compliance, for a portfolio of projects within SADC and COMESA Secretariats. He has also worked for two of the big four audit firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers (Malawi and Botswana) and Deloitte Botswana, where he rose to the position of Audit Manager. Additionally, he has held the position of Chief Accountant at Orange Botswana.
He is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and holds a Master of Business Administration from Herriot-Watt University as well as a Bachelor of Accountancy degree from University of Malawi.
Mr. Charles Tembo, Assistant Accountant
Mr. Tembo is a seasoned and forward-thinking finance professional with over nine years’ progressive experience in the private and international development non-profit sector. With a work ethos informed by accountability, integrity, value addition, and delivering value for money, he brings forth refined skills in accounting; financial planning and regulatory reporting; risk analysis and management; internal controls and compliance; and corporate governance. Mr. Tembo’s extensive body of experience spans various sectors, including financial services, telecoms, INGOs and the construction industry.
He holds a Master of Business Administration Finance (MBA-Finance) From ZCAS University, a Bachelor of Business in Applied Accounting (BBAA) From Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland, an Association of Accounting Technician (AAT Diploma) from Zambia Institute of Management and currently studying ACCA Professional level.
Ms. Nawina Imwiko, Administration and Resources Officer
Ms. Nawina Imwiko is the Administration and Resources Officer of the COMESA Business Council (CBC). A qualified, Articulate and Accomplished Administrator. She brings to the CBC more than 14 years of Excellent strategic administration and project management professional expertise in having worked for both Regional and International institutions involved in the alleviation of poverty in Africa through Trade Policy Research & Advocacy, Private Sector Engagement and Environmental Management Programmes.
She holds a BA (Hon) in Business Studies - Human Resources Management. She also holds qualifications in Project Planning & Management; Diplomatic Practice, Protocol and Public Relations and Management of Information Systems.
CONSULTANCIES THAT ARE ENGAGED WITH US
1. LEGIS Policy Associates - Development of the draft model regulations on the digital integrated regional common payment scheme for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in COMESA:
- Draft Model Policy
- Draft Regulation Guidelines/ Rulebook on the operation of the digital payment scheme for MSMEs.
2. Omni Africa - Implementation of COMESA BUSINESS COUNCIL- Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) System
3. Gerald Munyaradzi Nyakwawa - Business Case Study for COMMON PAYMENT POLICY GUIDELINES TOWARDS A COMESA DIGITAL PAYMENT SCHEME FOR MICRO, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES (MSMEs)
4. Dr Evans Wala Chabala - Development of the Regional Code on Anti-Corruption Compliance for enterprises.
YOUNG PROFESSIONALS PROGRAM (YPP)
Ms. Finan Pietros, Marketing and Communications Intern: May, 2019 to October, 2019
Finan Pietros was the Marketing and Communications intern at COMESA Business Council from May,2019 to October,2019. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration (Hon.) acquired from Cyprus International University.
Ms. Pietros has had diverse professional opportunities those of which include volunteering under the Finance, Admin and Logistics department at the United Nations World Food Program (Zambia). She was also an Intern in the Procurement department at PACT World Zambia and has now decided to join our team here at CBC.
Ms. Regina Banda , Marketing and Communications Intern: June, 2016 to December,2016
Regina Banda graduated from Wuhan University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Economics and Trade (Hon.). She was an Intern at CBC from June 2016 to December 2016. She was later recalled to CBC serving as a temporary administrations and communications assistant from April 2017 to May 2018. The opportunity offered a career kickstart in a diverse and multicultural environment. After her tenure at CBC, she briefly worked as a program assistant on a short Project with National School of Government while pursuing for her master’s degree in Project Management full time at the university of Lusaka. Regina is currently a distant master’s student and works as a Program Assistant for the USAID Scaling Up Nutrition Project in Lusaka, Zambia.