Columbia on the Continent: Alumni in Action
Many Columbia students and affiliates are interested in working on the African continent but do not know where to begin. Since many Columbia alumni already work on the continent working in governments, international organizations, companies, and NGOs, their expertise could benefit many of our members seeking to work on the continent in various capacities. Bridging the gap between the African diaspora and those working to solve the continent's challenges is one of the African Development Group's main goals. This event would allow Columbia students to see where they could be after graduation. Learning from alumni is essential to determining paths after college since they went through many of the same challenges we are now in determining what to do after graduation, what programs to apply for, among many other issues. The relationships developed in these interactions could be invaluable to our future.
The main goal of the session would be to expose Columbia students and affiliates to possible careers on the continent through direct interaction with Columbia alumni who are working in those careers.
At the end of the webinar, Columbia students and affiliates will leave with a concrete understanding of where they could end up after graduation and the paths to follow to get there. They will also have the added asset of the contact information of alumni working in influential positions on the African continent. Careers can be very overwhelming, but the goal of this event is to bring the challenge down to the personal level. These personal interactions will give students a better idea of life after college and hopefully make the prospect less scary.
Didace is a senior in Columbia College majoring in Economics and Political Science
Wanja Michuki is passionate, and actively engaged in the process of reforming Kenya’s tea sector. She is also a Systemic Family Business Team Coach and a Private Wealth Consultant and drew on her personal experience and understanding of the complexities of family dynamics that make Family Businesses uniquely challenging environments for family members. Wanja’s training as a Systemic Team Coach and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) places her and her associate coaches in a position to separately and collectively coach G1 and G2 to develop family teams based on trust, accountability, commitment, open communication, results, and LOVE. They incorporate Financial, Corporate Governance and HR Advisory to set the stage for positive Succession Planning.
Wanja Michuki also works with Executives and non-Family Organisations to develop value-based purpose and action towards a 'Big Agenda' in companies and individuals' lives.
She also enjoys writing and speaking about ancestral knowledge, and she is also a transformational speaker.
Lamia Bazir is a young Moroccan social entrepreneur, public policy advisor and advocate for women and youth. Her advocacy and achievements got her recognition in Morocco and beyond. In 2019, she is nominated among the 100 Most Influential Young Africans, by the Africa Youth Award.
From 2018 to 2021, she was appointed by Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem of Morocco as the new Executive Director of the National Observatory for the Rights of the Child, a national institution working with the Moroccan Government and Civil Society to promote children’s rights in the country.
Prior to that official nomination, Bazir worked for the office of Head of Government of Morocco for over three years (2014-2017) on developing a $517 million partnership program between Morocco and the USA: the Millennium Corporation Compact II, focused on education, employability, and inclusive growth.
In 2013, she was a representative at the United Nations’ ECOSOC in New York. She also worked on empowering women in the fight against corruption, with Transparency International in Niger, and for the Arab League’s Ambassador in Paris, during the Arab Spring in 2011.
Over the years, Bazir has cumulated a strong and multicultural education. After obtaining a Bachelor’s of Arts in International Studies from Al Akhawayn University in 2012, she earned a Master’s from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York, a second master’s from the Institute of Political Studies Sciences-Po, in Paris (2014). As a professional, she pursued her executive education at the Kennedy School at Harvard University in 2016.
In parallel to her professional career, Bazir is also a humanitarian in rural Morocco. She is the Founder and President of Empowering Women in the Atlas, a social venture that promotes human development initiatives and the leadership of rural women and girls in the Atlas Mountains.
In 2018, she is selected as one of the Arab Young Leaders by the World Government Summit in Dubai. In 2016, she is the youngest to be selected among the 60 Most Influential Women of Morocco by the Magazine Challenge. In 2015, she won the United Nations Volunteering Award. She was also awarded Columbia University SIPA Harvet Picker Prize for Public Service upon her graduation in 2014.
Yem Edozie is a founding partner of 'Bruuda Architects' and currently holds the position of managing partner at the firm, primarily responsible for overseeing the firm's strategic direction and creative output.
Trained in architectural design, theory and critical thinking, Yem has past experience as an architecture technologist, art critic, design director and research fellow.
He hold's a Master's degree in advanced architectural design from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) where he received the 'Lucille Smyzer Lowenfish Award for Design Excellence.'
He has been an invited speaker at the Columbia University GSAPP Studio- X Initiative where he presented the theoretical argument 'Embrace of the Malignant' as a viable architectural polemic in emergent environments with semi- dystopic tendencies. He has also given multiple talks on sustainable design at University of Lagos several of which were moderated by the esteemed professor John Godwin (OFR, OBE).
Yem is a leed AP (BD+ C), a member of the NIA, an associate member of the AIA as well as a member of the USGBC New York chapter. Yem has a track record of conceiving and completing high quality and high profile projects around the world with a particular focus on the West Africa Sub- Region.
He ensures that the Brudda Ethos of 'Identify, juxtapose and redefine' is applied consistently over each project in order to produce the firm's award winning brand of architecture.
He continues to pursue his interest in architectural discourse at the convergence of critical design thinking and the 'Built - Form' via multiple publications in print and online.