3rd AF-SGW Organising Team

Event Manager

Beza Tesfaye (Ethiopia)

Beza Tesfaye, Earthling, who fell madly in love with the stars! 

Beza currently works at the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS) as General Manager. She has previously held several positions within the organization, including Deputy Manager, Public Relations and Communication Manager, and Outreach Coordinator. Beza joined the Space Generation Advisory Council in 2010 and has served the organization in several capacities.  From 2010-2014 she served as National Point of Contact for Ethiopia, and from 2014-2018 she served as a Regional Coordinator for Africa. Beza was also a member of the organizing team for the 2013 Space Generation Congress in Beijing, China. Beza is a recipient of the Space Generation Advisory Council SGAC Young Space Leaders Award in 2013 and the International Astronautical Federation Emerging Space Leader Award in 2015, in recognition of her dedication and multi-faceted contributions to the space sector in Ethiopia and wider African region.  Over the last decade Beza has gained extensive experience in the African space sector by working closely with university students, young professionals in space, government officials, academia, and space industry leaders in the region.

It is my pleasure to host the 3rd AF-SGW here in Addis Ababa, the diplomatic capital of Africa.  I am looking forward to welcoming all of our esteemed delegates, speakers, and invited guests to Addis Ababa.  This is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to come together and discuss space matters on the continent, as well as a platform to develop our network and build relationships along the way.

Event Deputy Manager

Ani Vermeulen (South Africa)

Ani Vermeulen has just completed a Master’s degree in Space Studies at the University of Cape Town (UCT) SpaceLab in South Africa. Her research was done in conjunction with the South African National Space Agency (SANSA). Her prior education includes degrees in engineering, astrophysics and space science. She is a 2019 SGLA scholarship recipient for SGC2019 and IAC2019 to be held in Washington, D.C., and a repeat member of the SGC Organising Team, reprising her role as the coordinator of the Space Exploration Workshop for 2019. She was a recipient of the SGAC African Space Leaders award in 2018 and participated in the 2018 AF-SGW in Mauritius as Rapporteur for Working Group 4: Capacity Building and the SDGs. She also received the African Union’s ALC 2018 Youth Forum Scholarship to represent SGAC at the 2018 African Leadership Conference on Space Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in Abuja, Nigeria. She was named as an IAF 2017 Emerging Space Leader and contributed to the Innovation working group at SGC2017 in Adelaide. She has worked in Antarctica as a volunteer scientist/engineer for SANSA on the 2014/2015 Summer Takeover, and has four years of telecommunications industry experience in business & systems analysis and process engineering. She often gives public talks on Space Science, Technology, and Mission Design as she loves to share her passion for space with others. Her future focus will be on Space Mission Design for Human Spaceflight.

“I’m excited to be serving as the Deputy Manager for AF-SGW2019 and hope to assist in making this workshop an amazing experience for our delegates. I believe that events such as AF-SGW are crucial to the development of the next generation of space leaders for the African continent, building relationships and establishing a foundation for future continental collaboration in space matters. Last year’s event was exceptional and my goal is to maintain the high standards set by our predecessors while supporting our Workshop Manager and the rest of the Organising Team in our endeavour to put together a great event.”

Program Team

Maryanne Muriuki (Kenya)

Maryanne Muriuki is a Kenyan national. She has been involved in the space sector for several years now. She is serving as the National Point of Contact for Kenya (NPoC) for SGAC. Previously, she has served as the co-Lead for Space Technology for Disaster Management (STDM) Project Group of SGAC between 2017 and 2019. She was also the Deputy Manager for the inaugural AF-SGW in 2017. Ms. Muriuki is a founding member of the Africa Space Workshops (ASW) and she is serving as a policy lead. Her background is in Disaster Management, International Relations and Diplomacy.

I am excited to once again work with fellow space experts and enthusiasts from Africa. It is always very fulfilling to see the Africa space community converge, discuss their growth, and identify gaps and opportunities. I am also happy to see this event take place in Eastern Africa. My expectation is to work closely with other team members and make AF-SGW 2019 a reality.

Ruvimbo Samanga (Zimbabwe) 

Ruvimbo Samanga is a graduate of Law from the University of Pretoria as well as a Member of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) of the United Nations and currently serves as the National Point of Contact for Zimbabwe. Recently, she participated as a delegate and presented a paper titled: “Lunar Ethics and the Implication of Resource Mining in Outer Space,” at the African Leadership Conference (ALC) Youth Forum 2018, in Abuja, Nigeria. Ruvimbo coached the Winning Team of the Manfred Lachs Moot Court World Finals Competition 2018 in Bremen, Germany, held during the 68th International Astronautical Congress, which also happens to be the first African winners since the inception of the competition in 1991. Ruvimbo is also a recipient of the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship for Post-Graduate Studies in International Trade and Investment Law in Africa at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Her future interest lies in Space Law and Policy, Resource Mining, Trade and Investment Law. In April 2019 Ruvimbo walked away with the prestigious Zimbabwean Achiever Award in the Young Achievers Category. Most recently Ruvimbo was invited to participate in The European Forum Alpbach (EFA). She currently lectures Roman Law at the department of Jurisprudence at the University of Pretoria. 

Taking part in the organization of this conference is part of my contribution to the advancement of the African space industry, and especially as a young professional, I hope it will be a testament to the impact that youth and women will have in the future of the industry.” 

Communication Team

Chidimma Oruche (Nigeria)

Oruche, Chidimma is an accomplished and enthusiastic communication professional with experience managing social media, marketing and PR functions, to promote corporate programs and services. She has worked with reputable organizations such as the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), the national space agency of Nigeria at the Strategic Space Application Department (SSA) and also INKAS Environmental Protection Limited (INKAS CANADA), a multinational company focused on the implementation of sustainable strategies to spearhead oil spill cleanup, land remediation and land reclamation. Chidimma specializes in generating effective and positive organizational exposure to enable the success of dynamic marketing, PR and internal communications campaign. Outside of work, Chidimma enjoys a good Netflix binge and can also be found hiking with friends and family and planning the next adventure.

“I am a peoples’ person and my skills revolve around marketing and communications. As a member of the communications team, I will have the opportunity to bring to fore my past expertise and my strong cravings to create, plan and develop social media strategies as well as learn the latest techniques in developing my skills past their prime. I am very thrilled to be a part of this.”

Joseph Ibeh (Nigeria)

Joseph Ibeh is a Senior Editor at Space in Africa, where he writes about Africa’s commercial space industry and emerging national space programmes. He was part of the core team that developed the African Space Industry Annual Report, 2019 Edition.  His research experience spans across the space industry, education sector and startup ecosystem. Joseph is a Mandela Washington Fellow and a UNESCO trained advocate on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID).When not being nerdy, Joseph volunteers for causes he is passionate about such as working with the deaf community and helping young people discover their career path.

“I am excited about connecting with young leaders in the African space industry. Joining the 3rd AF-SGW organizing team is yet another opportunity for me to support the growing ecosystem of young space enthusiasts in Africa while immersing myself in the networking opportunities that come along.”

Delegates Team

Hanadi Abdalla (Sudan)

Hanadi Abdalla studied electrical and electronics engineering at the University of Khartoum and graduated top of her class majoring in electronic and computer science engineering. Her graduation project was related to CubeSat’s Power system under the supervision of the Space Research Centre at the university and was awarded the National Innovation Award in Communication engineering field. Upon graduation, she joined the Space Research Centre, University of Khartoum. She is working as a research assistant and responsible of developing and testing the Electrical Power system of UOKSat-3 CubeSat. She is also working as a teaching assistant on a part-time basis in the faculty of engineering at her University. Besides that, she is currently the SGAC NPoC in Sudan since 2017, part of the organizing team of the 2nd African space generation workshop 2018 and a member of the Near-Earth Object project Group.

“It’s an honor to be selected for the organizing team of the 3rd African Space Generation workshop, as it is a recognition and a privilege to be able to contribute to the SGAC community. It is a great opportunity to participate in the preparation of such an event and looking forward to make the best out of it.”

Damilola Oladeji (Nigeria)

Damilola Oladeji is a geospatial analyst and web developer with passion in space technology. He has a degree in Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems from the Federal University of Technology, Akure. He currently serves as Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) National Point of Contact (NPoC) for Nigeria and a member of the web team. He is also a member of the Africa Space Workshops (ASW) web team. In his role as NPoC, he educates students and young professionals on space technology, its benefits and careers. He currently works with Omo Oye Integrated Data Services Limited as a Marketing Executive/Specialist. He loves to take on responsibilities.

“I feel honored to be selected as a member of the Organizing Team for the 3rd AF-SGW. With the current momentum in the space industry, it’s no doubt that Africa will be one of the top players in the next few years and I’m glad I’ll be contributing my quota by working with the team to organize this workshop. I look forward to working with this amazing team to achieve a great feat.”

Logistics Team

Yared Moges (Ethiopia)

Yared Moges is studying for his Master’s degree in Remote Sensing in Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute. Working to bring the benefits of space science to Africa is his mission. Just after his first degree in engineering, he received the chance to join Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS) as an intern. The society introduced him to several opportunities. There, he worked with the communication, marketing and logistics teams. He helped in organizing several events of ESSS, hosted 2018th Yuri’s night event and other outreach programs. He had also participated in the 2nd AF-SGW as a delegate, where he volunteered to be a rapporteur for his workshop. His aim is to be part of the growing African collaboration for the sustainable growths, utilizing space technologies.

“This year, participating as a Logistics team member of the 3rd AF-SGW, is a big opportunity for me. Helping organize a successful AF-SGW19 in Ethiopia is my goal. Can’t wait to work with the continent again! I’m excited to learn and enhance my skills in team work and management from an international team. I expect myself to be focused and deliver good hospitality. And hopefully meet SGAC seniors and partners. Thanks!”

Charles-Aimé Nzeussi Mbouendeu (Cameroon)

Engineer in Industrial and Environmental Risk Management, NZEUSSI MBOUENDEU Charles-Aimé, 26 years old, is the SGAC National Point of Contact in Cameroon. He is also a member of the Space Technologies for Earth Applications working group. We would describe him as someone determined, always looking for innovative projects, hardworking and endowed with a sense of leadership developed. In addition, he is respectful, polite, with a good capacity of adaptation and especially a very good aptitude to work in a team. Man of principle, he speaks French, English and German, he is convinced that we all have our part to play for the development of the African continent and chooses to invest in the promotion of space issues and innovation via space technologies.

“Between knowing, power and having, I chose knowledge. The creation of a strong and dynamic network for the promotion of experience sharing and skills enhancement can serve as leverage for the emergence of a united and resolutely progressive Africa. In addition to knowledge, experience, networking and new skills, I hope to come out of this workshop with a good mastery of space issues in Africa and actors are working in this area.”

Local Organising Team

Tensae Alemayehu Ali (Ethiopia)

Tensae Alemayehu Ali is currently a rising senior Mechanical Engineering student at Mekelle University and a member of the Executive committee for Mekelle Branch of the ESSS (Ethiopian Space Science Society). Even before, he has been working in Addis Ababa with former RC and NPoCs of Ethiopia, for several SGAC related and non-related events. He has done outstanding outreach activities in other major cities of the country like Mekelle other than Addis Ababa. He has been immersed into the concept of Space Science and Engineering at a young age and derived himself to be a part of the space sector aided by Wisdom and Leadership. He has engaged with ESSS since 2012 and the SGAC just a year later. Additionally, he’s a functioning member of the Ethiopian Institute of Technology-Mekelle Council (EiT-M) since September 2018 as a student’s representative for academic affairs. He has also just completed his summer aviation technology training under the organization Yunus Emre Enstitüsü and TABiP in Turkey. He believes in virtue of mind, hard work & communication and collaboration for a better future.

“I’m very honored and delighted that I’m now part of the organizing team of the Af-SGW 2019. This shall and will be an amazing and exceptional opportunity anyone would ask to reinforce their international network and create an enormous impact in regards of awareness creation. I’ll be in my utmost capabilities to make this workshop splendid as it ever can be!” 

Sisay Fantahun (Ethiopia)

My name is Sisay Fantahun I am a 23 year old graduate architect from EiABC/AAU. Ever since my childhood the affection I had towards Astronomy and then later on Space Science led me to put an extra effort in search of new discoveries and developments in the sector. Being an Architect I was motivated to go out and explore the world in every aspect there possible, and so I choose to strengthen my interest by becoming a member of and a volunteer at Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS) a year and a half ago. Now I am on staff at ESSS and a contributing person for the development of the sector in Ethiopia – nothing makes me happier than saying that!

“Becoming LoC for the 3rd AF-SGW is rewarding to me because now I could contribute even more beyond locally and into a continental level helping convey my country’s determination towards space science to the rest of Africa. Not only that but, I will get the opportunity to connect with like-minded people and improve my skills. Throughout the process of the 3rd AF-SGW, I hope to smoothen the logistics of the event by coordinating with the various organizing committees. And create a comfortable platform for the successful execution of the event. In addition, I hope to create an opportunity for our guests to see Ethiopia and experience its culture, its drive for an African Unity and amazing cuisine.”

Tiwuld Zewdu (Ethiopia)

Tiwuld Zewdu is a 4th year Computer Engineering student at Addis Ababa Science and Technology University (AASTU). She has a strong love and passion for astronomy and space science. Tiwuld has been engaged with the space sector through the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS), where she actively participates as a volunteer on several events and programs of the ESSS. Tiwuld also took part in the first student internship program of the ESSS from July-November 2018 and has been closely working with the ESSS leadership team. In 2018, she has participated in the National NASA Space Up challenge. Additional to her volunteering activities in the ESSS, she is also a member of a Rotaract club to serve humanitarian activities. In general, Tiwuld possesses an active, engaging and dedicated personality that creates a good working environment.

“I am happy to be part of the 3rd AF-SGW organizing team. As it is my first time taking part in any SGAC event I’m very excited, eager to learn and expand my network. Additionally, by contributing my part to the success of the 3rd AF-SGW, I’ll be striving to be a role model for young African girls.”

Kirubel Menberu (Ethiopia)

Kirubel Menberu is a 4th year undergraduate Electromechanical engineering student at Addis Ababa Science and Technology University. He has been participating and volunteering for the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS) working on different positions for the past seven years. In 2018 he has been selected as one of the Space Youth Ambassadors to advocate and promote space science in the community. He has been volunteering for SGAC Ethiopia on different events such as Yuri’s Night and Cosmo Day. Currently he is working on a project “The Ethiopian Sky” which aims to broadcast the night sky live streaming using telescopes under the ESSS.

“I am very excited that I got accepted for the LOC position. I was hoping to work with SGAC up close and for me to get this chance means a lot. I will work with all my capabilities to make sure this event is a success. Being part of this event I am looking forward to meet the working force of space from Africa and the Globe. I hope to grow my network, improve my communication skills and learn from the experience of other fellow space enthusiasts.”

Biruk Terefe (Ethiopia)

Biruk is a young professional with huge entrepreneurial, leadership and business skills. He is a space enthusiast who is highly creative and innovative with good communication skills. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Addis Ababa University (Addis Ababa Institute of Technology). He believes that with a good STEM activity, rise in space industries, tech-innovations and startups that grow up in to big companies, Africa can actually change its status. He is an active member of the Space Generation Advisory Council, affiliated with the Ethiopian Space Science Society and also an Alumni of Young African Leaders Initiative.

“As being part of the 3rd AF-SGW team, I am looking forward to and honoured to work with all the international SGAC team!”