Asma Bachikhread bio
Asma Bachikh, originally from Morocco, holds a Master’s degree in International Commerce and is an alumna of the Global Business Institute at Indiana University. Asma’s passion for entrepreneurship and the environment inspired her to drive many projects and initiatives in France, Malaysia and Morocco, for which she has received recognition. In April 2015 Asma was elected as President of the World Youth Parliament, which advocates for youth participation in decision making in the water sector. Asma has worked in international organisations across a variety of sectors, from developing quality education in Sub-Saharan Africa to freedom of speech and media in the MENA region. However, Asma found her true passion in the water sector, and is currently a consultant for leading water institutions, focusing on developing their civic engagement, with a special focus on youth strategies. She also sits on the board of the International Secretariat for Water, and has an observer status as part of the Global Water Partnership's Steering Committee.
Sonya Ruth Cottonread bio
Sonya was born in the United States of America, grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, and has also lived in Finland and China. Her previous academic background is in African languages (namely Xhosa) and linguistics. Currently she is completing a Master’s in Philosophy in Law at the University of Cape Town. In her thesis she focuses on 'silence' as a discursive technique in African legislation, with emphasis on the contradiction that arises when women in customary marriages are excluded from constitutional commitments to gender equality. Sonya's research interests include linguistic ideologies, legal pluralism and legal-anthropology - or, simply put, the intersection of language, law and culture. As a Yenching scholar, she intends to specialise in Chinese Law and Society, and to continue learning Mandarin beyond HSK level 5, which she has already attained. She aspires to engage in socio-legal research involving Sino-African migration from the perspective of individuals whose experiences are often overlooked in macro-level studies that focus on state actors and multinational corporations. Almost as much as she loves learning languages, Sonya enjoys exploring the creative manners in which people interpret and engage with legal language. She believes that applying linguistic approaches to legal subject matter represents a powerful analytic tool, as well as a mechanism for ensuring multiple voices are heard.
Yohannes Ayalew Hailemicaelread bio
Yohannes Hailemicael was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He is a diligent graduate from Addis Ababa University with a Bachelor’s of Animal Science. Yohannes has been actively involved in student initiatives on campus as well as voluntary community services at different non-governmental organizations. He is currently living in Turkey and is fluent in Turkish. At the Yenching Academy, he will pursue Politics and International Relations where he will be focusing on Sino-African relations. His key research interest is China's development policies in Ethiopia and its future. He also hopes to learn and have a better understanding of Chinese language, culture and life style. After completing his Master’s, Yohannes plans to pursue a PhD in his concentration and start a career.
Joel Odotaread bio
Joel Odota is a 26-year old Ugandan man, currently residing in Lamwo district, Northern Uganda, which is just recovering from war. He has a Bachelor's degree of arts with education (Geography and history majors) from Makerere University, Kampala-Uganda (2011-2014). Joel went to Padibe Girls' Primary school (1998-2004) during the Northern Uganda war and later joined Kitgum High School (2005-2010) in Kitgum, Northern Uganda for both levels of secondary school. He was the best high school student in northern Uganda class of 2010, leading to the award of a 3-year undergraduate course at Makerere University by Government of Uganda. In 2016, Joel was selected to represent Ugandan youth in a 3-month leadership course in Nairobi, Kenya by Young African Leaders Initiative, YALI. As a former refugee, young leader, activist, change maker and teacher, Joel is so honored to pursue a Master’s in Politics and International Relations at the Yenching Academy. He is passionate about leveraging change in the leadership spectrum of Uganda and Africa at large as the leadership gap is the root cause of political, social and economic unrest in the world today. He believes that China is a role model both politically, socially and economically as evidenced by the thriving economy of the nation, hospitality, high level of respect to one another, foreign aid to war ravaged economies of the world and the high levels of technology in the country. His major focus and area of research is on "Youth at the forefront of change”.
Franklin Mensah Sarpongread bio
Born, raised, and currently residing in Ghana, Franklin Mensah Sarpong studied visual art at Prempeh College, and went on to graduate from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). Upon graduation, he worked as a field officer on a multidisciplinary trauma research project led by researchers from the University of Cincinnati, USA and Komfo Anokye (Ghana’s teaching hospital). Franklin also served as a National Service staff in the Biostatistics Department at Komfo Anokye. During his second year at KNUST, he was introduced to currency trading, stock brokerage and import trading. Starting an import business that mainly dealt with China, he developed a strong interest in China’s governance, and policy making and how they affect trade and business. Franklin intends to study Politics and International relations - the key factors in the building of an economy. Franklin hopes that his studies at the Yenching Academy will deepen his basic knowledge of China’s governance system, policy making, position on trade and business, and how these policies impact the development of China and Africa’s relations.