Advisory Board

The Advisory Board guides the overall strategic direction of the Africa Portal. It includes representatives with deep expertise in policy research on the continent. Board members serve as ambassadors of the Portal and provide guidance on its content, sustainability and development.

Dr Chuka Onyekwena is the chairperson of the Advisory Board and Executive Director of the Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA). He holds a PhD in Economics from University of Portsmouth, UK, a Master of Science degree in Economics from University of Kent, UK, and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He also holds a certificate in Executive Education, Financial Inclusion from John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. His research interests include Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Trade, Global Economic Governance, Climate Change, and Financial Inclusion. Dr Onyekwena is a member of the steering committee of the West African Think Tank Network (WATTNet) and a member of the African Policy Circle (APC).

Elizabeth Sidiropoulos is the Chief Executive of the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA). Before her current appointment in 2005, she was director of studies at SAIIA from 1999 to April 2005. She was previously research director at the South African Institute of Race Relations and editor of the highly acclaimed Race Relations Survey (now the South Africa Survey), an annual publication documenting political and constitutional developments, and socio-economic disparities in South Africa. Ms Sidiropoulos is the editor-in-chief of the South African Journal of International Affairs. She is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Indian Foreign Affairs Journal, the Journal of the Graduate Institute of International Development in Geneva and the International Journal Chinese Quarterly of Strategic Studies under the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS).

Dr Marie-Claude Martin is Director of Global Initiatives for the Alliance for Human Development at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute in Toronto, Canada. Her work focuses on the development of a global research partnership to conduct and promote research aimed at supporting the healthy development of children and youth in low- and middle-income countries. Dr Martin is also a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Canada. She holds an MA in development economics and a PhD in public health. She has designed and led a number of multi-country research initiatives in topics spanning health equity, poverty and human development through her previous association with Canada’s International Development Research Centre and UNICEF’s Office of Research. Her areas of research include human development, child well-being, poverty analysis, inequality and health financing.

Professor Takyiwaa Manuh recently retired as the Director of the Social Development Policy Division at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Before then she had been a Professor of African Studies at the University of Ghana where she also served as director of the Institute of African Studies between 2002 and 2009.  Ms Manuh was educated at the Wesley Girls’ High School, Cape Coast; the University of Ghana; the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania; and Indiana University in the USA. Her research interests are in African development, women’s rights and empowerment, contemporary African migrations, and African higher-education systems. She has published widely in these areas. 

Dr Abdoulaye Diagne is Director of the Consortium for Economic and Social Research (CRES) in Dakar, Senegal, and a Professor at the Faculty of Economics and Management at the Cheikh Anta Diop University. His research interests include monetary issues, macroeconomics, education, poverty, agriculture and social protection. Dr Diagne coordinated public policy impact assessment work at CRES, and strongly supported the development of public policies in Senegal and in ECOWAS. He is the recipient of the 2013 Accomplished Educational Researcher award. In 2014 he received an award from the World Health Organisation for his contribution to tobacco control in Africa. 

Eugenia Kayitesi is the Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR-Rwanda). She is an Honours graduate of Social Sciences from Makerere University with an MBA from Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands. She is pursuing her PhD degree in Business Administration specialising in Strategic Management from Jomo Kenyatta University. Ms Kayitesi is the current President of the Policy Institute Committee (PIC) and a member of Board of Directors for the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA Rwanda). She sits on the National Independent Review Panel (NIRP) for the Rwanda Public Procurement Authority, and is a secretary to the IPAR BoD.  She has worked with public, private and civil society organisations with a focus on capacity building, organisational development, policy analysis and research. 

John Allen is a senior editor and former executive editor of the African news website He covered political trials, education and religion during the apartheid era in South Africa, and led a South African journalists' union which fought for a free flow of information. He went on to work for Archbishop Desmond Tutu for 13 years, first as his press secretary, then as communications director of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and finally heading Tutu's office at Emory University in Atlanta. He still consults on communications for the current Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba. Mr Allen's biography of Desmond Tutu and three collections of Tutu's works – the latest of which is entitled “God is Not a Christian” – have been published in eight languages.